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Putting your house in “Selling Condition”

Before you list

By: Broker/Agents at Village Properties of Pinehurst

Are you thinking about putting your house on the market?  If so, the vast majority of housing experts would strongly recommend that you prepare your house to sell and put it in “Selling Condition”. Besides the basic improvements you can do yourself, like removing clutter and in-depth cleaning, real estate experts say you should identify each task that need to be done by professional contractors.

Too many owners are lulled into thinking they don’t need to change anything before selling. They don’t want to spend the money, procrastinate, or just don’t realize all the work that should or needs to be done prior to putting their house on the market. Even those who have limited financial means need to do whatever they can.

It is estimated that currently only about 10% of homes entering the market have had all the repairs completed and necessary improvements to maximize their selling potential. Yet even small defects can hamper a good sale. Whether it’s a little peeling paint, a leaky faucet or a malfunctioning doorbell…buyers see these little issues and assume your place is in bad shape overall.

Today’s savvy buyers now hire home inspectors who will discover unresolved problems, making this an even more critical issue. Suppose the inspector finds out your roof is shot. Chances are good your buyers won’t even ask you to replace the roof. They could and in many cases will just walk away from the deal and never look back and buy another house where repair issues don’t exist or have already been addressed.

Can you count on your listing agent to highlight all the work your house needs before it goes on the market?  Not necessarily as many agents fear that if they’re frank about a home’s problems they take a chance that the homeowner will not use them to list the house.  A seller should only deal with an agent who is up front with them on all issues good & bad and not one who tells them what they want to hear.

Also you can’t count on an agent to catch hard-to-identify problems, such as major plumbing problems, electrical deficiencies, issues in the crawl space or attic, and more.

Any reliable real estate agent should recommend that all prospective home sellers’ line up a “pre-inspection” of their place before the For Sale sign goes up. It’s far better for you to discover the problem, like a faulty air-conditioning unit, before potential buyers do.

Whether your issues are small or large, you don’t want to give potential buyers reasons to question the integrity of your house. That’s like going in for a job interview with a ketchup stain on your shirt and expecting the employer to hire you.

To locate a reputable home inspector it is recommended that you call the inspector who checked your house before you bought it or you could call one of the two locally owned and respected inspection firms below:

Ollis Home Inspections-Jim Ollis Owner                     Phone # 910-692-5374

Pillar to Post Inspections-Marty Gabryszak Owner    Phone # 910-528-2178

Create a list of prospective contractors to do your work

 

Many people find locating dependable contractors who do good work at a fair price very difficult. It’s probably not a good idea using the Yellow Pages or online advertising for this purpose. A more reliable approach to finding a reliable contractor is to seek out recommendations from friends or office colleagues who’ve had work done on their homes. Besides those in your immediate circle it is also recommended that you request contractors’ names through local real estate agents as they work with many contractors on a regular basis.

For any major single work issue costing more than $1,000 you may want to consider getting a second bid or estimate for the work to be completed. Two or more bids would be recommended for any single repair costing over $5,000.

Once you have all your estimates lined up you can review each from low to high. You may be tempted to go for the low bidder but beware as their work may be subpar. You also need to be careful of the high bidder because higher price doesn’t always mean better work. One way to pick the right contractor is to get references and ask to see some of their work before you sign on. If a contractor isn’t willing to give references you can call or visit, you’ve got to wonder what they may be hiding.

Bottom line results of having or not having a pre-listing Home Inspection

The biggest reason of all in having a home inspection and dealing with the repair issues is that in the end you most likely will save money and unnecessary grief. On the other hand if you don’t have a pre-listing home inspection and don’t address repair issues you can be assured that these unresolved issues will arise once a buyer signs a contract for your house and you have accepted it. In today’s market it is very typical for buyer’s to low ball the price a seller is asking for their house. There are many seller’s in todays’ real estate market that are selling their houses for less than they anticipated.

Next comes something you didn’t expect. The buyer’s Home Inspection reveals a list of repair issues and cost you didn’t see coming. The buyers are now asking you to either make the repairs listed in the Home Inspection Report or give them a credit at closing for an amount they have determined it will cost to make said repairs. From past experience it is very typical for these cost issues to range usually not less than $1,000 and in most cases not more than $3,000 depending on the age of the house. There are some examples where the repair issues ran from $5,000 to $10,000 and even more. This of course is a major shock to the seller’s as they didn’t expect to come down another $2,000 to $5,000 or more from the price they already accepted. You, of course, have the right to say no to the buyers request to make the repairs or their request for you to give them a cash credit amount off the original accepted price. The buyer in turn can and usually does say if you don’t agree to the repairs or credit they won’t buy the house. In most cases these two items are further negotiated between buyer and seller but in the end the seller is usually the one who does most of the giving.

In the end you’ve already negotiated the sale price once and now the buyer is asking you to pay for the repairs noted in the Home Inspection Report and in a sense is asking you to reduce it again. Almost every time cost estimates for repair issues given to the seller from a Home Inspection Report from a buyer the requested cost to make said repairs are usually greater than what it actually cost to have the repairs made. If you would have had a pre-listing Home Inspection in the beginning you would have known about any repair issues and could have had them taken care of by yourself as well as knowing the real cost to make the repairs in advance of accepting any offers. Having this potential cost information upfront could be taken into consideration when coming up with a price to list your house and more importantly when you negotiate the final sale price with a future buyer.

It cannot be said enough times that it is in the best interest of all seller’s to have a pre-listing Home Inspection done on their home. It will eliminate many of the potential surprises that will cost seller’s money and grief and, in most cases, net more cash at the closing table for the seller’s as well.

One last thought

 

Put yourself in the position of any potential buyer…if you were in the market to buy a house today would the one that you currently own and live in (In its current condition) make the cut amongst the others that you would consider buying?????   If the answer is yes you have nothing to do. On the other hand if the answer is no please do yourself a favor and get a home inspection done on your property and have professionals make the necessary repairs.

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Choosing the Right Agent in Today’s High Tech World

Small Agent Firm versus Large Agent Firm

“Does It Make A Difference”

Choosing the right real estate agent to list and sell your property can be difficult and at the same time overwhelming. Don’t make the mistake of choosing one just because an agent may be a friend or a family member. Remember when things go wrong or disputes arise with the listing that don’t work out you take the risk of losing a longtime friend or creating a strained relationship with a family member. Listing your home is serious business and the individual listing agent you choose and not any particular firm, whether it is large or small, is the most significant part of listing your property in attaining the goal of selling it in a timely manner at the right price.

Many if not most seller’s think they know more about the listing process than they actually do. As an example the vast majority of seller’s are naïve about the belief that listing their property with a large agent firm means the seller has a better chance of their property being sold. Be assured there is no validity to this thinking (Please see “Who Sold What in 2016” on the last page of this report). The ever changing technology available through the internet and multiple listing services associated with specific market areas has changed the way home buyers search and locate the home they wish to purchase and the agents they choose to associate with. Whether you list your property with a firm who might have 25-50 agents or one that has 1-5 agents really doesn’t make a difference when it comes to actually selling your property. As individual real estate agents, whether associated with a large agent firm or small agent firm, all have the same exact number of agents in the multiple listing service of approximately 600 agents working to sell your property.

Explanation:  When an agent receives an inquiry of any type from a potential buyer looking for a house the buyer client, in most cases, has already utilized the internet to search for houses that meet their criteria. The buyer client in turn will provide the agent with a detailed list of must haves and or a wish list of amenities such as location, number of bedrooms, number of baths, one story versus two story, hardwood floors, size, price, and much more in selecting a house they wish to purchase. With the buyers wish list in hand the very first thing that all agents will do is go directly to our local multiple listing service web site, enter the buyers criteria, and then select the various home listings that will potentially match up with the buyer’s wants and needs. The agent, when searching for these listings for their buyer client, in no way shape or form cares or looks to see who actually has the selected properties listed. All agents have one common goal in mind and that is to find any and all listings in the multiple listing service that will meet his or her buyer client’s criteria in hopes of selling one of the selected listings to the buyer.

In spite of what a larger agent firm may tell you bigger is not better and in fact are no different when it comes to the ability to sell your home in a timely manner. As an example of big not being better one of our agents recently called an agent that would be considered a pretty good agent that has a large number of listings and is associated with a large agent firm in our area. The call was about a specific listing that our buyer client had a potential interest in. This particular agent had so many properties listed and actually apologized because she couldn’t remember details of the property in question. Please understand the main goal of most top agents is to get as many listings as possible. The listing agent knows that it is very unlikely that they personally will sell the listed house themselves. They also know that it doesn’t matter because 82% of all houses listed will be sold by an agent from another firm. With this in mind there is more to be said about a smaller agent firm as it is not their quest to be the biggest. Smaller firms have more of a tendency to be more service oriented and typically pay more attention to the details of the listing and selling process as well as keeping the seller informed and advising them along the way.

A listing agent’s experience, knowledge, and work ethic in gathering and assembling all pertinent information pertaining to any specific property/listing are the most important factors in making a property stand out as much as possible from other similar properties that are listed in the multiple listing service. Choosing the right agent is the key to the success of any property being sold in a timely period at the optimum price.

Any home owner who is currently looking to list their home for sale would be surprised to know that 81% or 415 of the 510 houses sold in Pinehurst in 2016 were sold by agents/firms other than the ones who actually had the property listed. There are currently about 600 agents who are members of our local Mid Carolina Regional Association of Realtors and multiple listing service. A fair amount of these 600 agents are working part time when they are not playing golf, tennis, vacations, and or other activities. Please be assured the listing, marketing, and selling of your property is not a part time job. There are others in the group of 600 who lack the experience and knowledge needed to get the positive results you want and deserve. Many in the latter group are doing their client, the home owner, a disservice when entering either the wrong information in the MLS or worse yet not entering pertinent information that is not only important to an agent looking for houses for their potential buyer clients but the detailed information that will catch the eye of the agent and buyer alike when sorting through the 282 houses currently on the market in Pinehurst or at least the ones in a potential buyers price range. When a buyer or agent is sorting through the multiple listed houses there are going to be ones that catch their eye and at that point will click on to a particular listing to see what additional information was provided by the listing agent that may excite or entice them into selecting that particular property (Hopefully yours) to show their buyer prospect. The whole point of the MLS is to make your house listing stand out as much as possible over others with similar qualities to agents and their buyers with the ultimate goal that (1) of the 600 agents in our local MLS will sell your house.

Our firm has been listing and selling property in Pinehurst and the surrounding area for over 42 years. Our firm has never been about having the most listings. Our agents personally handle every aspect of the listing process from start to finish. We are very detailed in our approach concerning the information necessary to have success in making our listings stand out from others. We have the mindset that we will handle each listing of a property as if it were our own. The first part of the listing process is preparing an in depth “Market Price Analysis” to make sure the house is priced right. Pricing it right doesn’t mean low balling so it sells quickly or pricing it too high whereas the seller thinks its worth more than it actually is. It is our duty as agents to price it as high as we can but to be in the market range so it will get showing activity and ultimately sell. It is not our duty or nature to tell you what you want to hear such as telling you your home is worth more than what it is just to get the listing. We will be up front with you at all times and provide you with factual information and details necessary to get your property sold.

Upon listing your property one of the first things we will recommend is having a home inspection. We will have your house measured for size (Sq. Footage), measure each room size, note details of each room, take professional pictures & in some instances aerial photography (Drone) as well, check tax records, lot dimensions, and so much more. We will create a detailed brochure for agents and buyer clients.  Even though all listings in our local MLS automatically go directly into the Realtor.com website we also pay an additional fee to have the ability to enhance each listing. Having the ability to enhance each listing means we can enter much more personal information pertaining to the house so it will stand out from others that do not have the enhancement capabilities.

When an offer is received by this firm on any particular property we diligently review the details and conditions of the offer/contract prior to submitting to a seller/owner. We make sure that when we submit an offer to a seller we make sure the seller/owner is aware of what the conditions mean and point out any possible issues in the offer that may affect the ultimate closing and or a seller’s net proceeds. Prior to making any recommendations about accepting an offer we will guide you through the steps and offer our professional opinion on matters of interest and importance and advise you on what we think you should do pertaining to the various issues in the contract. If and when possible legal issues arise that need further review we will contact an attorney (No expense to you) and evaluate the issue and explain what it means to you as a seller prior to you accepting an offer and signing the contract. And last but not least we will keep you informed along the way as we go from the initial listing of the property to an accepted offer/contract and on through the closing.

Selecting a broker/agent from Village Properties of Pinehurst will be the best decision you will make in the process of selling your property. We can’t guarantee that your property or any property will sell in any specified time frame but we promise to work very hard on your behalf and do everything we can to make the listing, selling, and closing process as smooth and painless as possible.

Information Provided By: 

Village Properties of Pinehurst

Providing Professional Real Estate Services & Property Management Services

Since 1981