When Selling: Is Opendoor Good or Too Good to Be True?

When Selling: Is Opendoor Good or Too Good to Be True?

When something sounds good, we want to know more. That’s what happened when I heard about Opendoor. I have seen the same advertisements that you have. They will buy your house for cash, you save yourself so much time and you can close almost immediately. My team motto is that we take the stress out of the home sale and home purchase process. So naturally, I was curious. I did some more research and I asked a few people who had personal experiences. So what did I find? Is Opendoor good or too good to be true? Let’s take the good first: Simply put your address into their website and Opendoor will send you an offer on your home within about 24 hours. Their offer is cash. You don’t have clean your house for showings. You don’t have to do any repairs. You do it yourself – no Realtors involved. You can close typically within 10-60 days. Sounds good, right? Let’s see if it’s too good to be true. The rest of the story: Their offer is most often below market value. They do their own inspection of the property and take the cost of any necessary repairs out of your proceeds. They charge 6-13% of purchase price for fees. You don’t have anyone looking out for your best interest. What do you think? When I read these facts, along with personal experiences of known individuals and online reviews, I think there are some real positives if you fit into a specific category: If you need a guaranteed FAST sale/closing. If you are willing to take less than market value. If you DO NOT want to show your house to perspective Buyers. If you DO NOT want competitive offers. If you DO NOT want to have to do any repairs. If you DO NOT see the value of a Realtor. You may fall into one of these categories and that’s OK. Opendoor may be a perfect solution for you. Let’s look at the other side. With a traditional sale, using a Realtor, you are likely get offers for a much higher price than an Opendoor offer and possibly even higher than market value in some markets. This can offset any Realtor fees (and remember, Opendoor charges 6-13%). The offers could be cash. If the Buyer is getting financing, part of the Realtor’s job is to manage the process and make sure the financing is going through smoothly. In certain markets, it only takes one day of showings to sell your house. If you live in this kind of market, you will probably get a higher sale price and shouldn’t sell yourself short, in my opinion. As a listing agent,...

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Is Common Courtesy Really Common?

Is Common Courtesy Really Common?

  Is it just me? Am I getting old? Or is common courtesy not so common anymore? More often I see people in public that seem to think the world revolves or should revolve around them. Drivers don’t signal. They cut others off or speed up so someone can’t merge into traffic. Social media is a breeding ground for people to share their negative opinion even when it’s not asked for. Contacting customer service at some companies is as useful as trying to pull a tooth with no tools. Unfortunately, I see it in real estate as well. Agents and parties to contracts take days to respond, have no regard for deadlines, communication is scarce, and when it comes to negotiation – well, there isn’t much going on sometimes. So why am I pointing out what you may think is obvious? Because kindness still wins. I recently booked a trip online. Later I saw the hotel was having a sale that would save me some money so I called the hotel directly. In a lot of cases I would have had to cancel my reservation and book a whole new trip, wait for my refund, waste time, etc. However, I was nice. I used common courtesy and the representative handled everything for me. I engaged her in conversation and she ended up sending me to a concierge to book a restaurant reservation for me that she highly recommended. Then there was the real estate deal that had more complications than the average transaction. One party and their agent was difficult to deal with at first. They only wanted to allow the other party to access the property at certain (inconvenient) times and they were not at all interested in negotiating repairs that were quite reasonable. The other side could have been just as disagreeable, everyone could have been upset and the deal could have fallen apart and the agreement could have been terminated. The Seller could have had to find another willing and able buyer and the Buyer could have had to continue their search for the near perfect home. But, one of the agents decided to use common courtesy to get the deal done. They communicated each step along the way to make the other party comfortable. They offered to go out of their way to be available at the property, hand deliver items, take measurements, and make everyone’s life a little easier. The other side slowly started to soften up. They realized that no one was trying to take advantage of them. They understood that things could go a lot smoother with a lot less stress if they would use some common courtesy and treat the other...

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Tell It Like It Is

Tell It Like It Is

  “I may not tell you what you want to hear, but I am going to tell you the truth.” As a Realtor, this is what I say to clients. I have to say it. I’m obligated. First of all, ethically, I need to. Secondly, I just couldn’t run my business any other way. So why do so many people get lied to during a real estate transaction? Why don’t people just tell it like it is? I think there are several reasons. Some people just want to be liked. Others don’t like confrontation. Still others want to get the business no matter what. I don’t understand any of those. I am hired for my experience, for my market knowledge, marketing, and my negotiation skills. If I don’t tell a client the truth just to get the business, to be liked, or to not have a confrontation, what does that do? A lot, actually. It says a lot about my character. It says that I am not strong enough to take the heat of telling someone something they may not like. It says that when it comes to negotiating and fighting for that client, I won’t do a very good job if I just say what people want to hear. The most common time that people don’t like what I have to say is when it comes to the value of their property. We all think our house is the BEST, right? Of course. And, it may well be. However, just because you spent $75,000 putting in extra insulation and imported tile from Italy, doesn’t mean your house is worth that much more. And, I’m the one that gets to tell you the harsh reality. I like it best, when, on the rare occasion, I get to tell a homeowner that their house is actually worth a lot more than they thought because values have risen more than they realized. I have kept people from selling. I have kept people from buying. I have also lost business because I told people the truth. I would do it all again. At the end of the day, do you want someone who will agree with you and have your house sit on the market? Or you don’t win a competitive offer situation because that agent didn’t tell you that you needed to be able to offer more than list price if you really wanted that house? Some people won’t like it, and that’s OK. If you want to sell, or you want to buy, find yourself a Realtor who will tell it like it is. Don’t go for the “yes” man or woman. A good one can get things done and...

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Heat and Your House

Heat and Your House

Things are heating up! Temperatures, the real estate market, and possibly, your house. So what about heat and your house? Well, heat can cause some serious consequences. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent, avoid, or fix them. Let’s take a look. Roof and attic. When was the last time you went into your attic? You may not even know how hot it’s getting in there and it could be seriously shortening the life of your roof. When attics are hot, chances are, your roof is hot too. If you have shingles, heat can cause them to wear and shorten their life span. Consider adding attic fans and/or a ridge vent to keep air circulating. This will save you money in the long run as they are much cheaper to install than a new roof. Windows. Is the inside of your house hot even when the air conditioner is on? It may be that the cool air is escaping out your windows. New energy efficient windows with UV protection can keep your home a lot cooler and, in turn, save money on your utility bills. Now, this can be a costly investment but if you’re planning on staying in your home for many years, the cost savings on utilities will likely be worth it. If you don’t want that initial expense, you may look into a UV window film that you can add to your windows. It will save you some money on both sides and help keep you cool in the height of summer. HVAC. How old is your HVAC Unit? Is it big enough for your square footage? What is the SEER rating? It may be that your unit is just not keeping up. A simple tune-up could provide the relief you need, or it may be something more serious. My advice is to put money back a little at a time as new units can be very costly. There are financing options but when you go to sell, most of those are lines on the home that will need to be paid off. If you are looking to save some money, window units and ceiling fans can be installed and make things much cooler without the major expense. Just make sure that if you are adding window units, your neighborhood or county allows...

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Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

Have you heard of the phrase, “house poor?” I never like my clients to use all their cash for down payments and closing costs. It is important to have access to cash and expect the unexpected. When you own a home, you need to be ready for anything to cost you money. You probably have prepared yourself for buying new furniture or a refrigerator. You may have even budgeted for new blinds or carpet replacement. But what about plumbing or electrical issues or window replacement? That was probably not on your wish list when you signed on the dotted line. Picture this: You want to add a beautiful wood deck off the back of the house. You want it landscaped beautifully and have some twinkle lights inside a pergola framing the deck. Your daughter’s baptism is next month and the whole family will be in town to celebrate. You can’t wait to show off the house and the new deck. You envision evenings on your deck, under the stars and the twinkling lights with a glass of wine in your hand, breathing in the sweet smell of having put your stamp on your new home. Screech – halt! You pull a permit for the deck and the electrical and it is discovered that the existing out-building was not built with a permit and the electrical that you were going to tap into is not up to Code, so now what? Now you have to have that electrical box redone so you can have your twinkle lights on the deck because the house box is maxed out. Ok. Not so bad, but it’s going to add about $1000 to the total cost. But you proceed. Once the deck is in full swing, you begin work on the landscaping. While holes for the shrubs are being dug, the septic line is uncovered and, unfortunately, so is a leak. It could be worse, you think. It could have began sweeping into your house and causing real issues and that does explain the rotten smell in the air off and on for a couple weeks. You pause the beautification and call the plumber. It won’t add too much to repair the leak and you are glad you found it before it caused more trouble. The project continues and it is smooth sailing now. Or is it? The deck and backyard is complete and you are enjoying a warm evening outside only to go inside and realize that someone must have turned the AC off. It’s hotter inside than it is on the deck and your family is arriving in 36 hours. UGH!! You guessed it. You need a new HVAC unit and there’s...

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