Hurry Up and Wait

Hurry Up and Wait

  I’m in a band. We do a lot of hurry up and wait. If we are playing a private event, a lot of times we will have to have everything set up on stage in the middle of the day and we won’t play until 7:30 or 8:00. We may have to sit and wait for several hours to actually play the show. We often rush to get set up and sound check and deal with malfunctioning equipment and a deadline to make ourselves scarce prior to us playing. Then we wait and wait until finally we get the call that they are ready for us to start. Then the adrenaline starts to kick in and we play sometimes for hours. That is very much how it can be when you are selling your house. You scramble to do paperwork, get repairs done, de-clutter, organize and clean, get the photographs and video, we enter it online and then we wait. We wait for showings. We wait for feedback. We wait for a phone call saying someone is interested and then we wait for their offer. We respond to their offer and then we wait. Once all parties agree, we wait for the inspections and appraisal – holding our breath the whole time. You pack your things and wait for all contingencies to be cleared. Then we wait for the closing date. There could be any number of reasons for a closing to be delayed so you could wait for that. Then you wait to get the call that the coast is clear and you can go to closing. You sign the papers and wait to get your money. If you have an escrow account attached to your mortgage, you will wait for a refund. Hurry up and wait is one of the hardest things to do. I like to set expectations for my clients up front. I want them to know what to expect so that when it happens, they are not surprised or unnecessarily worried. It’s just part of the hurry up and wait of real estate. If you are ready to sell your house, be prepared to be rushed and then be prepared to wait. If you understand that and have patience, you will get through the process a lot easier. You probably have a whole list of other things that need to be happening anyway, so get some of those done while you are waiting. What are you waiting for? Hurry up! Let’s get your house...

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Trust

Trust

  Trust is an interesting thing. It is free to give, but costly if lost. If it is broken, it may never be repaired and sometimes, trust is irreplaceable. A friend told our secret. A colleague got the promotion by taking credit for our hard work. A contractor stole from us. A parent didn’t do what they said they would do. Words. An action. We’ve all had our trust betrayed somehow. It is disappointing. It hurts. What do you do when that trust is broken in a real estate transaction? Let’s take a look. You own a house that had some storm damage on the roof. You were able to get your insurance to pay out on a claim. You weren’t having any major leaks so you did a quick fox and used the rest of the money for some other improvements you’ve been wanting to make. Fast forward a year. You are selling the house. You’ve disclosed a few things you knew might come up but your house is in pretty good shape, overall, and it’s a hot market so it should sell fast. You receive two full price offers right away. Well that was easy! You decide on the one that had the best terms and moved forward. As suspected, a few things came up on inspection but no big deal. There was a question about some shingles on the roof but the inspector said it looked like there had been a repair and there were no active leaks. Then you get a call from your agent. He asks some more detailed questions about the roof and you start to get nervous. Apparently the Buyer was shopping for insurance for their “new home” and the agent pulled a CLUE report on your house. “A what?,” you think. It stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. In layman’s terms, it’s a record of insurance losses. Remember that claim you filed? Remember that money you received? There’s a record of it. So, the Buyer knows you were paid for an entire new roof to the tune of $6500.00. That money is long gone and the old roof is still there. The buyer demands a new roof. You can’t deliver. You lose the buyer. Well, that’s OK, just go back to the other buyer, right? Not so fast. Now there is a disclosure issue. You have to (or should) tell that other buyer the situation. If you don’t, your agent should. They will probably want a new roof too, or a reduction in the sales price, or they may not trust you now and wonder what else you aren’t telling them. When you do something to lose trust, you could it...

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5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Realtor

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Realtor

  WHO Who are you affiliated with? The company doesn’t necessarily make a difference but, are they on a team? Who is their Broker? Who can they call on if they need help or have questions during your transaction? If they are part of a team, it typically means you will always have someone to contact if you have questions or want to see a property. Not many individual Realtors have seen everything in the real estate world so it is always good to have resources to pull from.   WHAT What is your process for helping me purchase or sell a property? Do they have a written outline or flow chart of what to expect? If not, they may not be organized enough to have taken the time to prepare or they may be flying by the seat of their pants, so to speak. Make sure they know the process well. There are a lot of moving parts and details that can easily be missed if there aren’t checks and balances. You don’t want to be responsible for making sure the “I’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed.   WHEN When can I expect to hear from you? Don’t expect to communicate with your Realtor every day unless there are things that need to be discussed, however, it is a good idea to understand when and how often is reasonable to expect updates. This is a good time to give them your expectations of how and how often you’d like to receive updates as well. Realtors aren’t mind readers so make sure you make your needs clear so you are not frustrated or disappointed.   WHY Why should I use you? What sets them apart? Do they specialize in what you are selling or looking for? Do they have extensive experience with your demographic? You may be looking for someone who has a lot of time to devote to you personally or you may prefer someone who has a lot of business and, therefore, may not be as personally, immediately available. Make sure their qualifications meet your expectations prior to hiring them, otherwise you may be underwhelmed with the service you receive.   HOW How will you market my needs? Whether you are buying or selling, your Realtor should be letting others know what you have to sell or what you want to buy. There are not only a plethora of public places to market, but Realtors have access to private groups and networking opportunities to make your needs/wants known to professionals that may have the means to meet that exact need.   As in any other business relationship, you need to feel comfortable that they can...

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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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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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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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