Uh Oh, It’s Magic

Uh Oh, It’s Magic

If you know me well, you know I love magicians. It fascinates me to watch good ones perform and stun their audience. Some seem to read your mind. Others seem to predict the future. I love to be freaked out and wonder, HOW DO THEY DO IT??? You will ask yourself the same thing when you work with a great Realtor. They make it look easy. They get things done. My job is to work behind the scenes to fix all the things that go wrong when selling or buying a home. What, you don’t think anything went wrong when you bought or sold your house? That’s probably because you had a great Realtor on your side. Things always go wrong. They are not always big things that can cause deals to be delayed or to fall through but, trust me, there is always something. Lenders get the wrong document signed, they somehow have the wrong close date or purchase price. Title companies find undisclosed tax liens on the property that is supposed to close in 5 days. A Seller takes a refrigerator that they were supposed to leave. An appraisal comes back low. A Buyer forgets to mention a bankruptcy. The list goes on and on. Some things can’t be fixed, but most can. Don’t give up. I have been able to get a major home builder to pay closing costs, and replace items they initially said they would not. Lenders have jumped through hoops. Title companies have gone to bat for clients and other agents have worked with their clients to come to amicable solutions. In the end, everyone wants the same thing. We all want the house to sell. Sellers want to sell it, Buyers want to buy it, and all the vendors want to be paid. Most Realtors don’t get paid until closing, therefore, they should do everything they can to find solutions for issues that arise. I have been asked if I can move a house to a different location. I actually do know people that can do that! Bottom line is, make sure you have realistic expectations of the magic that can be performed. Also, though, be satisfied that your real estate agent is working hard for you and if you’re not, get another...

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Low Inventory Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Real Estate Market

  If you are like me, you live in a real estate market with very low inventory. What happens when you need more room, your kitchen is outdated, or you really want a swimming pool and you can’t find a house on the market that fits your needs? Or, maybe with the rising interest rates you found a great house but now the higher interest rates put it out of reach. If you currently own your home and your market has appreciated since you purchased, chances are you have equity. A great option is a home equity loan. There are many things you can do to improve your home or remodel to fit your current needs or desires. You might want to add a patio to give you more outdoor living space. You may want to add that swimming pool you’ve always wanted. Or you just might need a new roof. You may have heard about a home equity loan, but another option is a home renovation loan. There are FHA, VA, and conventional products. In a nutshell, these loans will allow you to renovate your home by lending on the improved value, not the current value. They can be a bit more complicated but if you have a loan officer and mortgage company that knows how to navigate the process, it can be a wonderful solution. Home renovation loans are great for those larger projects where you may be gutting kitchens and bathrooms or adding square footage. Of course, as a Realtor, I would hope we could find a house for you to buy that would fit your needs and be within budget, but it is not always possible, especially in a price range that is very popular. I have great vendors I work with that I recommend to clients for both types of loans. In fact, most of them can handle loans out of state so feel free to reach out if you can’t find your dream home but think you could make your current home work for a few more years with a little love. I am happy to refer you to professionals that can give you the hard facts about these loans and how they may work for...

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You’re Not All That

You’re Not All That

  You’ve met them. Those people that the minute you meet them you know they think they were born to bless others with their presence. They think they can do nothing wrong and you are stupid if you think otherwise. Don’t you just want to tell them, “you’re not all that”? Yeah, it goes the same for some people in the real estate market. They think that their $20,000 under asking price, cash offer, first day on the market should make Sellers run to sign the papers and ask if they want all their furniture too. We have a great real estate market in the Nashville area. Over the past two years, I have taken many calls from real estate investors from other states that heard that Nashville was a great market and a great place to invest. They are looking for a “deal”. Well, those days are gone for now. Prices have risen, and Sellers are smart. I have had to explain to more than one person that while cash is great, if it doesn’t accompany a strong offer in other ways, it just might be “prince” instead of “king”. Certainly, there are circumstances where a cash offer makes most sense but if the offer price is a lowball offer, most Sellers will say, “No, thank you”. Think of it this way, if you are a Seller and your house is on the market for 2 days. You get two offers. One is for full price, is contingent on the Buyer’s 90% conventional loan and they are pre-approved by a reputable lender. The other offer is for $15,000 below asking price but is all cash. In most cases, Sellers would take the risk to make $15,000 more. However, the offer may have included things like no appraisal, or no inspection, in which case, the Seller may want to consider value and condition of their home prior to making that decision. I try to get my Buyers to be reasonable in their offers. It is never a good idea to offend or make a Seller mad with the spirit of negotiation in mind. Some people know it’s not personal while others take it very personally and are very offended by a lowball offer when a property is priced well and a Buyer is just out fishing for deals. Life and real estate is about compromise – negotiation. If you start off offending, chances are not good that you will come to a resolution and an outcome that you are hoping for. So, just because you have cash and think your *you know what* doesn’t *you know what*, doesn’t mean that you will get that house. They may just tell...

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Why Realtors Should Hang Out

Why Realtors Should Hang Out

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a networker. I network with CEO’s, musicians, blue collar workers, association and Chamber members, neighbors, and, yes, Realtors. When new real estate agents ask me for advice, I tell them they need to network with other agents. They often look at me like I’m crazy. They say, “I’m not going to sell a house to another Realtor.” Oh, but you ARE! Here are five reasons why Realtors should hang out. You can get the inside scoop on upcoming listings. I am in networks of Realtors that send me listings that are not yet on MLS for the public to see. This is hugely helpful in a competitive market when I have clients looking for a very popular type home. I can be ready to show it immediately when it is available. Sometimes they’ll let you in a listing FIRST.Every once in a while, clients prefer to take the hassle out of listing their house on MLS. They don’t want tons of people going through their house and would rather a few select people see it if it is likely to bring a good, quick offer. If you have a relationship with the listing agent, you may get to be one of the select few and save your client the hassle and disappointment of competing with other buyers. You may win for your client in a competitive market.I have had more than one instance where a Seller has chosen my Buyer’s contract over another one that may have even been slightly better because I had a relationship with their agent. When a Realtor knows that the agent representing the other party is professional and easy to work with, it can go a long way with clients who want a stress-free experience. You may find a house that isn’t listed for your Buyer.It is frustrating for agents and for buyers when the market is so hot and we see properties being listed on MLS and go under contract as soon as they go live. Chances are, they knew about it before it was listed. If you have a Buyer with a particular need, send it out to your Realtor network. There is likely someone who has a client who is looking to sell a property that fits that criteria and it may be possible to get it under contract before anyone else knows about it. The bad stuff is easier to deal with.Not all transactions are easy. Not all clients are reasonable. So, when the bad stuff happens, having a relationship with the other Realtor can make all the difference. If you know and respect each other, solutions can be found even...

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What do Contingencies Mean in a Real Estate Contract?

What do Contingencies Mean in a Real Estate Contract?

  When you are buying or selling a house, many contingencies can be written in the contract. What are they and what do contingencies mean? Let’s take a look at the five most common. Financing. Financing contingencies are the most common type of contingency. It is also the one that in almost all cases, does not get removed until the actual closing takes place, everyone has signed and the property changes ownership. It means that the lender or mortgage company has to fully approve and underwrite the loan and that if the loan is not approved for any reason, the Buyer can terminate the contract and receive their earnest/trust money back unless the contract accounts for it differently. Inspection. I always advise my Buyers to have the home inspected. Not only a general home inspection but if anything comes up on the inspection that may need to be evaluated further, specific contractors or professionals can also inspect those items. Radon, mold, and pest inspections can also be beneficial and can be part of the inspection contingency. Raw land may require other types of inspections and these are included as well. If the Buyer is not satisfied, for any reason, either with the findings, or the negotiations associated with the inspections, this contingency gives them a way out of buying the property. Appraisal. Appraisal contingencies keep buyers from overpaying for the property. Most contracts with appraisal contingencies in them allow the Buyer to terminate the agreement if the property does not appraise for at least the agreed to purchase price in the contract. As we discussed previously, the parties can negotiate if they want to move forward with executing the remainder of the contract but it does give the Buyer the right to walk away if they so choose. Sale of Home. This contingency can be used if a Buyer has another house they need or would like to sell prior to closing on a new one. Not all Sellers like to accept a home sale contingency – especially if the market is hot where they are but the market where the Buyer’s property is, isn’t. The contingency can be used if the Buyer’s property is currently on the market, is not currently on the market, or is already under contract, just waiting to close. Sellers should ask questions and perhaps make certain requirements of the Buyer if they choose to accept this type of contingency. Spousal approval. In a hot real estate market, it is necessary to move quickly in making an offer. If there is more than one Buyer but only one can make it to see the property, this contingency can be used. Typically, a Seller will...

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The Call is Coming From Inside the House

The Call is Coming From Inside the House

  Remember “When a Stranger Calls”? If you saw it and ever babysat, you probably thought of that at least once! There’s not much scarier than thinking someone you are not aware of may be in your house – but what about something being in your house? I am not a home inspector, but I have seen hundreds of home inspection reports and the ONE thing (in Middle Tennessee) that comes up time and time again that can kill a deal is crawl space issues. I have had clients that didn’t even know they had a crawl space, let alone look in it and know what’s going on in there. There can be plumbing leaks, obvious structural concerns, rodents, reptiles and other living creatures. Because I live in a humid climate, I see a lot of organic growth – aka, mold. Mold can grow where there is moisture and oxygen. Think about a shower in a bathroom that doesn’t have an exhaust fan. Eventually, mold will grow. Mold may not grow, however, because, the door or window is being opened to provide ventilation and it is being cleaned on a regular basis. But what about in your crawl space? Is it being ventilated or cleaned on a regular basis? Here is some good info from the EPA about mold growth and some ways to mediate it. https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home Critters also love to make their home in crawl spaces. They are safe from the elements and a lot of times, predators. Generations of critters could be making their home under your floor and you may not even know it. This may not be of large concern to you but what happens when they find a hole and get inside your house instead of just under it? You may have a more pressing problem on your hands. Plumbing leaks can be tricky. You may have one and not even know it because it’s not bad enough to be noticeable even with daily usage. A leak from a commode can be undetected for years but the damage it is causing beneath the surface can be devastating. Subfloor can be damaged or rotted and mold can be flourishing. The remedy can be much more involved than just replacing a wax ring, but it may have been avoided if you knew about it early on. Structural issues are a huge red flag for home buyers. Even though mold can be scary, and some will walk away, structural issues are almost always something the buyer will not budge on being fixed or they will simply find another house. No one wants to buy a house that is not sound or poorly built. And the kicker is...

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