HELP! My House Isn’t Selling

HELP! My House Isn’t Selling

  Every once in a while I get a panicked call from a Seller asking what we can do because their house isn’t selling. I take a lot of things into consideration. Of course, location, price, and condition are the three major reasons why a house isn’t selling. If those three are good, I ask deeper questions. If it’s my listing, I have the answers to most of these. If it’s not my listing, I want to know these things. Is the house listed in the local MLS and all the major online “real estate” websites? In the rare case that a Seller is trying to be on the “DL”, this can have a major effect on how many people see the property. Also, some real estate offices do not allow their company listings to automatically be uploaded to Zillow and its affiliates. Like it or not, the more sites that the property is on, the more chance it will be seen and sold. Is the information accurate? I had a past client call me recently. Her parent’s house was listed with a family friend but it was not getting any showings. She wanted to see if I would take a look at the listing and give my feedback. Right away I knew why there hadn’t been any showings recently. There had been a price “reduction” a few weeks prior but what should have been a reduction to $1,200,000.00 was typed in as $12,000,000.00. The house didn’t warrant twelve million dollars and there certainly are a lot less buyers in the market for that price home. Be a second set of eyes for your agent. We all make mistakes. I send the listing to my clients and ask them to look it over. You know the property better than your agent. They may have not included a quality or feature that you feel is very important. I’m not saying do their job for them, but it is a team effort to get a house sold so don’t be shy about making suggestions or asking them to make changes. Are the photographs of professional quality? I have seen hundreds, possibly thousands, of house photos that are taken with a poor quality camera. They often have people or animals in them, or the agent’s image in the mirror. The angles are bad. The color is terrible. And a lot of times, they showcase things that should not be highlighted. Make sure the photos are great quality. As a Seller, make sure the house is as “picture perfect” as possible. Are you allowing showings? If there are too many restrictions or the showing requests are consistently being denied, you have a lot...

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Let’s Party!

Let’s Party!

  We all buy homes for different reasons and we actually use them quite differently as well. For some, a home is their respite. A place to get away from the world and leave the stress behind. For others, the door is always open and anyone is welcome to drop by at any time. Some treat it like an investment and barely live in it. And some personalize every square inch. For me, I like for my friends and family to feel welcome in my space anytime. I used to think that my house had to look perfect in order to invite people in – not anymore. I want my life to be about relationships and my home is a place to facilitate that. So, let’s party! I am throwing a birthday bash this weekend. (Not my birthday – I’ll warn you so you have plenty of time to prepare!) At first I thought I would have it catered – much easier. But with so many ideas of parties I want to have in the future and not an unlimited budget, I am going with Plan B. Will it be perfect? Probably not. But, will we have fun? Absolutely. My point is, you don’t have to plan for months, spend a fortune, and have the interior decorator come over to have a party. Who are you inviting? People you know, that like you, that you have fun with. If you have some snacks, drinks, music, and an eclectic group of guests, it will be a hit! Don’t stress out over the fact that you didn’t get that room painted or you still have the stove with the broken knob. Chances are, no one will notice the things you see. They are coming to have a good time, not to judge your house (and if they are, maybe you need different friends). So, how do you prepare for a party? Large parties may take a little more preparation so let’s talk about a normal, 12-25 person party: Food: It doesn’t have to be fancy. Get toppings and have everyone make their own pizzas, or tacos. You can grill pre-made burgers or have pizzas delivered about an hour into the party. Set out some snack foods like chips, dips and veggies. Be sure to think about refrigeration or heat. Drinks: If you are serving alcohol, keep it simple. You don’t need to “please” everyone. Have a signature drink you can make up ahead of time or just have a couple options. Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on hand. The great thing about bottles or cans is that they can be saved if they aren’t consumed – and you are halfway ready for...

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Should I Buy an Opendoor Listing?

Should I Buy an Opendoor Listing?

  You have likely heard of the phrase, “Buyer Beware.” Well, this applies as the answer to the question, “Should I buy an Opendoor listing?” I have shown Opendoor listings. I have read their website. I have read hundreds of reviews and testimonials from buyers and I have talked to other agents regarding this question. The consensus is this in a nutshell: You will not save money You MUST get a home inspection You need to be willing to walk away if they don’t repair agreed-to items prior to closing Many people think that Opendoor is a way to save money. In my research and experience, that is simply not true. Opendoor has a history of buying homes at a discount, charging the Seller extra fees in some cases. They, then, sell the house for market price. They do have a section on their website that indicates they will give $1000 credit to you if you use their preferred lender. You need to weigh the risk of using a lender that they are affiliated with. Everything could go very smoothly – it also could be another way for them to make money and the customer service may not be great. You could have delayed closings and other issues (however, this can happen with non-affiliated lenders as well which is a great reason to use a reputable, local lender that you are referred to by someone you trust. I recommend every buyer get a home inspection. If someone did not want to get a home inspection on an Opendoor listing, I would make them sign a waiver form so I had no liability. All you have to do is read the complaints on the Better Business Bureau website and you will see the common issue buyers have had with Opendoor is the fact that it seems they have a tendency to put “lipstick on a pig.” Continuing with that topic, there are so many reports of the lack of response or timely response when it comes to repairs being completed for buyers. Buyers have complained that their home inspection revealed a plethora of issues and even in negotiating those repairs with Opendoor, they were not repaired properly or not handled at all. With anything, there will be good experiences and bad. Also, most people who have good experiences will not take the time to type up a review but a disgruntled person will make it their mission to sling mud. What you need to decide is, do you want to take the risk to buy an Opendoor listing when there are so many bad reviews. At very least, I would advise you to use a Buyer’s agent to represent you....

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