Does it Really Take a Village?
You’ve heard the phrase, “it takes a village.” It’s used in various contexts. People use it to describe everything from the challenge of raising children, to winning a championship, to just getting through life itself. I was thinking about it in the context of real estate and wondered, “does it really take a village?” Let’s explore.
I think of a “village” as a team. In anything big, important, or impactful, it takes a team to accomplish it. There are very few “lone rangers” in the world that have done something big without help from someone else. I believe real estate is no different. Whether you are buying or selling, you need a team of professionals to do what they do best to help you get to the finish line – closing table – successfully.
If you are Selling:
- Appraiser – If your house is unique, the best way to find value may be getting a professional appraisal. It doesn’t mean that’s what someone will be willing to pay for the house, it just gives you a place to start when it is tough to calculate value using traditional real estate methods of comparisons.
- Home stager – The house needs to look like a model home in order to appeal to the most buyers. Just because you don’t mind toys in every corner and the huge sofa that you have to jump over to get to the kitchen doesn’t mean it’s the best way to showcase your property when selling.
- Photographer – Approximately 99% of all home buyers start their buying process online. You won’t even get them in the door if the photos don’t highlight the best of what your property has to offer.
- Landscaper – Don’t underestimate curb appeal. If the landscaping is done tastefully, you can put a Buyer in a buying mindset even before they open the front door.
- Realtor – I don’t need to tell you, again, why you need to hire a professional. We sell hundreds, even thousands of homes, you don’t. The end.
- Handyman – There will be little things that need to be fixed in order to get your house ready to sell. Instead of stress out and take longer than needed, hire a handyman to knock things off the list quickly.
- Electrician – You may not realize you have an electrical issue until a Buyer has a home inspection. Have someone on hand, just in case (your Realtor can usually help you with trade vendors)
- Plumber – Small leaks, drips, water heater issues, toilet seals, etc. are all things I see come up that need to be repaired prior to a sale.
- Roofer – Most reputable roofing companies will give you a free inspection as well as do small repairs so a home inspector will pass it with flying colors.
- HVAC technician – It’s always a good idea to have your unit(s) serviced on a regular basis. Buyers want to feel comfortable that they aren’t going to have a heating or cooling issue right after closing.
- Mover – You’re past the age of getting your friends to help you move for pizza and beer. Hire a moving company with good reviews or someone who was recommended by a friend.
- Baby sitter/Pet sitter – If you have children or pets, they need somewhere to go on moving day. Doors will be left open, there will be chaos all around. They don’t need to be a part of it. They will likely just get in the way, be stressed, or even get lost in a strange, new neighborhood. Be prepared.
- Closing attorney. Your Realtor has someone they send most of their business to but you can use anyone you like. They will handle closing the transaction, filing paperwork, and disbursing all monies properly.
If you are Buying:
- Lender – Unless you are paying cash, you will need a lender to find the best loan program for you with the best interest rate, terms, and fees possible.
- Realtor – Yes, you can find the house yourself but please don’t try to do paperwork, negotiate, or represent yourself. Would you represent yourself in court where, if you lost, you could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars? If not, don’t try to buy a house without using a Realtor.
- Home inspector – You need to have a home inspection. Unless you are a contractor and have been building houses for years and know all facets of construction and codes, use a home inspector to check out all the systems, the interior and exterior from crawl space to roof.
- Appraiser – If you are paying cash for the property, you may want to have the property appraised to make sure you aren’t overpaying. A lender will typically require an appraisal when getting a loan. It’s not a bad idea to do it even when paying cash.
- Surveyor – You may be surprised how many Sellers really don’t know the boundaries of their property. They may have a great relationship with the neighbor and share the driveway or the play area in between the two properties but you may not get the same treatment once you take possession and you may find that you don’t have access to the driveway any longer. While not required, in a lot of cases, it is a great idea to have the property surveyed.
- Closing attorney – You will need someone to close the loan (or handle the paperwork if paying cash), file all the paperwork, prepare title work, and properly disburse all funds.
- Mover – you have so much going on, you don’t need to be moving your entire worldly possessions yourself. Check online reviews and/or get a recommendation from a friend or your Realtor.
- Baby sitter/Pet sitter – Don’t stress yourself out, or the kids or pets. Have them taken care of so you can focus on the move and not worry about them. Introduce them to the new house once everyone else is gone and everyone will be a lot happier.
- Interior designer – Whether you are upsizing, downsizing or just want help placing furniture in your new space, an interior designer can be a great asset. They may save you money by keeping you from making big mistakes on purchases, color and material choices and help you feel at home and proud to show off your new place.
- Handyman – Inevitably, there will be things that need fixed. A wall may have been damaged while moving, you may just want help hanging all the pictures. A handyman will be a great resource for help with maintaining your home for years.
- HVAC technician – It is a great idea to have your unit(s) serviced quarterly to keep them running efficiently. It will save you money by finding small issues before they become larger, more expensive problems.
- Landscaper – A great landscaper can help beautify your lawn and beds and then you can even maintain it if you’d like. A little color can really change the curb appeal and make your house one you are excited to come home to for many years.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.