House Selling Tips

Tips for Selling a House in Kingstowne VA

 

First time or not, selling a house is no easy feat. There are a lot of things to get done, from the paperwork to packing and everything in between!

Real Estate for Sale in Kingstowne VA

 

It really pays off to do your research before you begin this process. Keep reading to learn these tried and tested tips on house selling from Kingstowne’s top Realtor®!

 

Choose the right real estate agent

 

It all begins here. While the Internet may be a helpful resource from time to time, nothing beats having a professional Realtor® by your side to guide you from start to finish.

 

Each person’s house selling journey is different. You can’t really expect a post you read online to be 100% accurate for your needs. That’s why my first piece of advice is to find that professional who can help you through all your house selling worries and concerns.

 

How to choose the right real estate agent? Make a list of all your candidates. These can be agents you found online or a referral from a friend.

 

Narrow the list. Give each one a call, ask them some questions, and mark the ones that impressed you. Schedule an appointment with these ones, and sit down with them for some time before making your choice.

 

Houses for Sale in Kingstowne VA

 

Remember to read up on their history and background. Take note of how many years they’ve been in the industry, and ask people you know if they have anything to say about the Realtor® you’re considering.

 

Prepare your house for staging

 

Do you want to sell your house fast? Do you want it to sell for the best price? Staging is the way to go!

 

 

Staging is the process of making a house for sale look appealing to potential buyers. Think about the homes you see in magazines. That’s what we’re going for.

 

Home staging brings out the best in your home, accentuating its best features. Some minor repairs might be needed, but don’t worry, your agent should be able to identify the most practical ones with the highest return of investment.

 

One of the major things we have to consider is your home’s curb appeal. This means how attractive your house looks from the outside, including your lawn, trees, porch, doors and windows.

 

First impressions do matter in real estate. If you can’t get your buyer through the door, don’t expect them to buy your house.

 

Consult with your agent and ask them what you can do to improve your home’s overall appeal. If you don’t have one yet, you can begin by packing the things you won’t be needing anytime soon and disposing of all the things you’ll never use again.

 

Start now

 

This old Chinese proverb rings true until today: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

 

This last piece of advice is literally worth millions. Some people waste their lives wondering how to begin, when the first step was to just start.

 

Learned something from this article? Get in touch with Kingstowne’s top Realtor®, Amanda Davidson! Give me a call at 703-431-3755 and let’s get started.

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view Tips for Selling a House in Kingstowne VA on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/XAKhsO8xJD4

5 Tips To Sell A Home With Pets

5 Tips To Sell A Home With Pets

Many homeowners have pets and they’re a part of the family. When it’s time to put your home on the market you need to consider that not everyone loves pets. Having your home deep cleaned to remove any pet odors is something you’ll need to do prior to listing your home for sale. You want buyers to see themselves living in your home and that doesn’t include with your pet.

What should you do when you have pets and it’s time to prepare to sell your home?
 


Make Repairs –

Pet damage isn’t a selling point for your home. Dogs and cats at some point in their lives, no matter how well behaved they are, are going to damage something in your home. Whether it be carpet, hardwood floors, walls, or grass in the yard it’s bound to happen. Repairs need to be completed prior to your home going on the market. Some repairs can be expensive but, correcting them will pay off in the form of an increased bottom line.
 


Remove Pet Odors –

Even the biggest animal lover doesn’t want a home that smells like pets. Your furry friend’s favorite place to lay takes on their scent over time. Accidents also happen and you never want your home to be remembered as the house that smelled bad. One of the top reasons a home buyer will pass on a home is a strong odor. Having your carpets and floors professionally cleaned will in most cases remove the odors. There are some homes that will need to replace the carpet if the odor cannot be removed.
 


Cleanup The Yard –

Pick up any messes that are in your yard. That’s not a surprise any buyer wants if they’re walking in your yard. Look at your yard and see if there are any spots that need new sod laid or damage repaired. Outdoor space is a big selling point for many buyers and because of that, you need to pay equal attention to the yard as you do to the interior of your home.
 


Erase Signs You Have A Pet –

Your pet’s bowls, beds, toys, food, etc. will all need to be put away. Pet accessories are not staging items and look cluttered when left out for photos and showings. Aside from an aesthetics standpoint some buyers do not like pets and in turn, you want to avoid leaving signs out that you have pets in your home. if a buyer asks you’ll need to answer honestly but, you can often avoid the question ever being asked if your pet's belongings are put away.
 


Remove Your Pet For Showings –

If there’s one tip you take away from this post, it needs to be this one. There are far too many risks that come with a pet being left in a home for showings. Buyers and their agents are strangers to your pet and that creates a liability for you. When pets are scared or unsure of what’s happening they act differently. Pets can also get out during a showing and no agent wants to be looking for your pet if they escape. Leaving your pet home during a showing is asking for trouble. If you can’t get home from work to remove them have a neighbor keep them or consider hiring someone to come and remove them from your home before a showing starts. It’s a liability to have a pet in the home during showings and simply not worth the many risks that come with it.

If you have questions about selling a home with pets reach out to us! 703-988-3151 or amanda@amandadavidson.com

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips To Update Your Kitchen

5 Tips To Update Your Kitchen

The kitchen, no matter how big or small is where everyone ends up gathering. It’s a very important room in every home. Presenting your kitchen in the best light possible is imperative, you want buyers to imagine themselves there and feel invited.

Complete these 5 tips in order to see the highest return on your investment.
 


Kitchen Cabinets

The cabinets are a big part of every kitchen and they can really impact a buyer’s opinion. Sometimes painting cabinets is an option but, this isn’t as easy as it sounds and has to be done carefully. If your cabinets have doors that aren’t functioning properly or if they’ve already been painted over this might not be an option.

If your cabinets are laminate they should not be painted over. There are companies that specialize in re-facing laminate cabinet doors and this is a great way to create a new look without fully replacing your cabinets alaltogetherIf your cabinets need attention in the form of painting, re-facing, or replacement but, it’s not an option financially your home should be priced accordingly to account for their age along with their condition. If you want to get top dollar for your home updating the cabinets will help you achieve your goal.
 


Kitchen Counters

Take a look at your kitchen counters and determine if they need to be updated. Maybe they’re laminate or ceramic tile and give your kitchen an outdated look or maybe they’re just worn out in general.

All we’ve heard for years is granite, granite, granite but, granite takes a lot of maintenance. It’s porous and has to be sealed regularly, a task many homeowners don’t do at all or nearly enough. Years of neglect will leave granite looking dull and it is possible for stains to occur if not cleaned up quickly. If you’re going to replace your countertops check into Quartz, it is not a porous product and has become very popular. I prefer Quartz over granite, low maintenance and still looks very natural. Replacing counters in the kitchen is an affordable option to make it stand out to buyers.
 


Kitchen Appliances

This can in my opinion be a tricky one. Stainless steel is still sought after in my market and there are buyers who specifically want a home with stainless steel appliances. It’s also one that I tell buyers not to get hung up on because appliances are super easy to replace. For my sellers, if you are planning on selling your home soon and all of your appliances are fully functional I don’t recommend replacing them. If they’re ancient or don’t go well together (i.e. every appliance is a different color) that’s a different story and something I evaluate on a case by case basis. If you do opt to replace your appliances prior to putting your home on the market I don’t recommend going the high end route because you won’t see a strong ROI.
 


Paint

Kitchens see a lot of activity and it’s easy for the paint to get stained, chipped, and just plain worn out looking. Paint is another budget friendly way to give your kitchen (and the rest of your house for that matter) a fresh feeling. Kitchens are tedious to paint because of all the brushwork they require but, if you’ve got a little experience painting and some patience it’s a great way to see a solid ROI.

Don’t forget to look at the baseboards, they will need painting too but, also may need to be replaced depending on how much wear and tear has occurred. Paint the ceiling as well, paint on kitchen ceilings tends to deteriorate faster than other rooms in your home. Moisture, oils, and evaporation over time leave them stained and dull. Painting is one of the best investments you can make to give your kitchen a fresh and clean look.
 


Lighting

Lighting is another great way to give your kitchen a warm and welcoming feel without spending a fortune. Adding recessed lighting or pendant lights over your island will complement your kitchen. Above or under cabinet lighting is another option, both ensure there aren’t any dark spaces and are a nice added detail. I still see a lot of homes with one large rectangle fluorescent light in the kitchen and it gives off a dated vibe from the minute I walk in. For a nominal fee updating your kitchen lighting will do wonders for how it feels and looks.
 


If you are thinking about moving soon look at your kitchen and consider what should be updated or replaced. A great agent will be able to help you with your decision. It’s no secret that buyers love updated kitchens and there are some easy ways to make yours shine. Don’t forget cleaning – not just a once over. Deep cleaning your kitchen is a must before hitting the market. Clean the cabinets and drawers both inside and out. If they’re overflowing be sure to de-clutter. Buyers will be opening them and you want them to be organized. Clean the appliances inside and out as well. Think the way potential buyers are going to think when looking at your kitchen and make any necessary changes, all of your preparation will pay off when your home goes on the market.


 

First Time Home Seller Tips

First Time Home Seller Tips

When it’s time to sell a home for the very first time it can be downright intimidating and stressful. Where do you start, what should you expect, how do you prepare your home for sale are all questions that pop into first time home sellers minds. Below are tips I recommend for first time home sellers to not only get your home sold but, to do it for the highest price possible with the least amount of stress possible.
 

Hire A Real Estate Agent

Not just any real estate agent, one that you trust and who you know has a proven successful track record. You’re going to have a lot of questions before your home ever goes on the market and you need a trusted partner to give you honest answers. According to The National Association Of Realtors for sale by owners (FSBO) in 2018 accounted for only 8% of home sales and the typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 as compared to $265,500 when represented by an agent.

 

Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time To Prepare Your Home For Sale

As soon as you start to think about selling your home is when I recommend making your hiring decision for an agent and then enlisting their expertise to give you guidance on what your home needs to be market ready. Rushing your home to get it on the market never turns out well. You want a polished and well-presented product and that takes time. Very few of us live in our homes the way we position them to sell. Which is why allowing plenty of time to prepare for your sale is important, it will mean less stress and a favorable outcome than trying to pull an all-nighter to get your home ready.
 


Pricing

Pricing is the biggest reason a home doesn’t sell and getting it correct from the very start is the best way to sell quickly and for top dollar. I always tell my clients no one pays top dollar for stale bread and if your home sits on the market for months on end that’s exactly what it will become. Pricing is unique to each home, its location, and updates. If you’re considering making updates before you sell it’s another reason to enlist the expertise of an agent early on in the process. A great agent who knows your neighborhood will be able to tell you what updates are going to give you a strong ROI and what updates aren’t a good use of your money. From there the agent will then be able to tell you where your home should be priced. If they’re really on top of their game they’ll be able to give you a comparison to show you where you can list if you do XYZ updates and where you can list if you opt not to make changes.

 

Put On Your Buyer Eyes

Speaking of updates, do you remember when you were touring homes as a buyer? What stood out to you, better yet, was there something in particular about your home that made you feel like it was the one? As hard as it can be, putting your buyer eyes on before you list your home and really being honest with yourself about its current condition will give you a lot of insight. Buyers like updated and turnkey ready homes and they’re willing to pay top dollar for them. If your home has maintenance issues, has become outdated, or even just needs some minor repairs the time to do them is before you list.
 


Timing To List

Knowing when to list your home for sale is not something that comes up as often as it should. Most homeowners contact an agent when they’re ready to list their home – as in get it listed as soon as possible. This all goes back to contacting an agent early on in the process. An agent can help you plan ahead and create and implement coming soon marketing if they have the lead time to do it. Think of a big motion picture, it doesn’t just pop into theatres one day unannounced. There is marketing dispersed to build curiosity and put it on moviegoers radar long in advance which of course boosts box office sales. Targeting home buyers before your home is for sale decreases the number of days it’s on the market and has them waiting and ready for it to go active.

 

Prepare For Photos

Updates and maintenance items are part of the big picture when preparing your home for sale but, then there are all those little details that come into play when preparing for photos. Any clutter has to go, it’s rare I see a seller who doesn’t have items to get rid of or donate that they no longer need. I recommend looking at it and asking yourself if you want to pay to move it. That normally helps with the decision making process. After you’ve de-cluttered then focus on de-personalizing. You want your home to feel welcoming and inviting but, not over-personalized. This allows as many buyers as possible to envision themselves living there. Some level of staging will also likely be needed, this is one to rely on your agent to assist with. The amount of staging needed for each home varies and it could be as simple as removing or rearranging furniture or as advanced as hiring a professional stager.
 


Prepare For Showings

When your home is active your daily routine is going to change. If you leave for work every day you’re going to need to allow extra time each morning to get your home show ready. Making beds, doing dishes, straightening pillows, opening blinds, cleaning off vanities isn’t something all of us do as part of our daily routine and it takes time to accomplish. If you have pets have a plan in place to remove them from the home for every showing and be sure to have their belongings tucked away. Be prepared to not be able to come home at your normal time and be flexible. Not all showings are going to give you a ton of advanced notice. I always suggest my sellers have a basket on hand to put extra items from the counter or bathrooms in quickly. If you get a last minute showing request you can either stick it somewhere out of site or better yet just throw it in the car and take it with you. If your house can’t be shown it also can’t be sold.

 

After You’re Under Contract

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your home you may then need to be prepared to allow the buyers in for a home inspection, or your agent to meet the appraiser. Inspections that are needed vary and will be in the contract you’ve signed. Your agent will guide you on the next steps. You’ll also want to arrange for your actual move once you’re under contract. Whether it’s hiring movers or renting a moving truck it’s best to do so in advance to ensure you can get the date and time that’s best for your schedule.
 


Selling a home is a big undertaking but, when you work with an agent you trust to guide you through each step you’ll find your home goes under contract quickly and that all of your preparation pays off.

 

Additional Resources

7 Crucial First Time Home Seller Tips via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

Tips For First Time Home Sellers via Bill Gassett with RE/MAX

8 Successful Habits All Successful Home Sellers Have In Common via Realtor.com

 

Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

A pre-listing home inspection is something I rarely see homeowners want to do. I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve had a client agree to one and while I see both sides of the story I think the benefits of having one outweigh the drawbacks. I’m not going to say one is needed on every single home but, more often than not I do recommend one be conducted.
 


The majority of the time a buyer is going to have a home inspection conducted, even if the market is competitive and it’s a void only contingency an inspection is highly likely going to be part of the puzzle that has to be put together before closing can happen. If you possess a solid idea of the condition of your home and the opportunity to fix any major problems before going on the market you lessen your risk of your home sale falling apart.

Let’s look at the pros and cons!

 

BENEFITS

Identifying Serious Problems Upfront

Surprises and real estate are not a good match. Finding out you have a serious moisture problem before you list is far better than finding out once you’re under contract.

 

Timing For Repairs

In Virginia, most homes close in 30-45 days and in a typical situation the home inspection contingency is 7-10 days after ratification. This puts pressure on sellers to get any agreed upon repairs done FAST. There’s no time to waste. If you know about them before you list your home you control the timing and can get multiple estimates and have the work done without the pressure of a closing date looming over you.

 

Cost-Effectiveness For Repairs

Timing also plays into the cost of repairs. Whether it’s a contractor of your choice or the buyers if you’re on a time crunch your options for who can do the work in the allotted timeframe may be limited. If there isn’t enough time to complete the repair or if the buyer requests a credit you can bet they are going to want more than what the actual repair costs due to the burden being placed on them to then coordinate the repair after closing.
 

Fewer Repair Requests

If you’ve already taken care of any deal breakers or large repair items it’s less likely you’ll get a laundry list of repair requests from a buyer. The overall condition of your home is revealed during an inspection and it can either leave the buyer feeling comfortable or make them want to run.

 

Trust

I’ve never met a buyer who didn’t appreciate a transparent seller. You can’t get more transparent than sharing your pre-listing home inspection along with repair receipts for any items you took care of. It sends the message to buyers that you’re not trying to hide anything.

 

The Report

An inspection report is an excellent tool to have – not only does it allow you to advertise to buyers up front that your home has been professionally inspected it also gives you a great comparison tool to use when the buyer obtains an inspection as well.
 

POSSIBLE BENEFITS (keyword – POSSIBLE … not always going to apply)

Higher List Price

If you get an inspection done and based on the findings determine you need to replace your HVAC or have a new roof put on you may find your agent recommends listing higher than if they’re old and in need of replacement. This is going to apply to significant replacement items, caulking the bathroom isn’t going to make a difference on your list price so you’ll want to rely on guidance from your agent when it comes to what will impact the list price.

 

Faster Closing

The less there is to negotiate on the faster closing can occur. If repairs have already been identified and completed you’re setting yourself up to be able to close faster. Now, not everyone wants to close fast so I understand this might not be seen as a benefit for every buyer and seller but, even just knowing you’re waiting to close and everything is ready to go vs. worrying over repair negotiations and timing for repairs is a benefit.

 

Competition

Based on my experience the odds of another homeowner completing a pre-listing inspection are low. Think about if a buyer is torn between your home and another home. Knowledge of your pre-listing inspection could sway a buyer or even attract a buyer faster. There’s something to be said for peace of mind when it comes to the condition of a home and that goes for buyers and sellers.

 

DRAWBACKS
Cost

A pre-listing inspection is going to cost you somewhere in the range of $300-$600 depending on what size and type of home you have.

 

Doesn’t Replace The Buyer’s Inspection

Although it’s possible the buyer will waive their inspection if you’ve already had one done it's not likely. The majority of buyers will still want to hire their own inspector and quite frankly they should. The pre-listing inspection is provided to a buyer for information only, not in lieu of the buyer having an inspection conducted.
 

Variance

No two inspection reports are the same. Don’t expect for something new or different not to be found during the buyer’s inspection if you’ve had a pre-listing inspection. Inspectors are human and that factor alone means there’s going to be varying opinions and findings.

 

Disclosure

This is going to vary greatly by each state so I won’t go into much detail but, I will say in most states if you know of a serious issue with your house it needs to be disclosed. Some states require far more disclosure than others so this is something to check with your agent about.

 

This post was inspired by a comment from Jay Markanich, Northern Virginia Home Inspector who has also experienced the majority of homeowners opt not to have a pre-listing inspection conducted. Think about the confidence you could have when buyers come through the door of your home knowing that you’ve done everything you can to get your home ready to sell.

Have you sold a home before and conducted a pre-listing inspection? If so, were you glad you did?

 

 

5 Seller Tips For A Smooth Home Inspection

5 Seller Tips For A Smooth Home Inspection

Home inspections are a big part of the process when it comes to selling your home. Most homeowners understand that after a ratified contract there will very likely be a home inspection. While there are some cases where there isn’t, the overwhelming majority of the time it’s the first steps after coming to terms with the buyers.

There are many reasons why a home inspection is necessary. Often, these inspections are part of a real estate transaction. However, some inspections are also done on new construction, before a builder’s warranty expires, or as part of a home maintenance checkup.

No matter the reason, people who are involved in a home inspection process want it to be as smooth and as thorough as possible.

 


The seller’s anxiety commonly associated with the home inspection process can be significantly reduced by the cooperative involvement of an agent. Hence, certain steps have to be taken to prepare a home for inspection and reduce the occurrence of any discrepancies that may occur further down the road. A proactive approach to home inspection helps make the closing process much easier and prevent the home seller from losing a deal.

When it’s time for the inspection every homeowner wants it to go smoothly and not be a deal killer. Home sellers have enough to worry about without having to wonder if their property will pass the home inspection. Any person who is familiar with the nature of buying and selling real estate knows how much work flipping a home for profit requires, so inspecting a home to make sure the buyer won’t have issues to deal with is a must.

According to John Fryer, “owner of Fryer Consulting, “Whatever is wrong with your house will be found out anyway… If you disclose problems in advance and provide potential buyers with an inspector’s report, it can go a long way to diffuse anxiety and help the transaction go through.”  

Follow these 5 tips for a smooth home inspection.
 

Replace Burned-Out Light Bulbs

If a bulb has burned out between going under contract and the day of the inspection replace it. If the inspector comes across a fixture that isn’t working they’re going to note it and while they may say it could be just a bulb you can avoid the remark altogether if you’ve replaced burned out bulbs. This is by far one of the easiest tasks a seller can do to avoid remarks about faulty lighting.

As simple as it may sound, make sure all the light bulbs in your home are working. Remember, home inspectors are required to report everything. Do not think it is insignificant, because a burned-out light bulb may indicate more serious problems than you may think. It could be because of a wiring problem or something else. Before having your home inspected, make sure all your lights work accordingly.

Replace Filters

This is probably the second easiest thing a seller can do to prepare for an inspection. A home inspector is going to check every filter in your home and if they’re dirty they’re going to note it and include it in the report. While you’re at it, make sure they also fit securely, improper size or fit is also something that comes up frequently in reports and is easy to avoid with proper preparation.

Access To All Areas

Have a shed that you keep locked? Be sure to leave it open or leave a key for it to be accessed with the day of the inspection. Have boxes or furniture in front of the electric panel? Move it out of the way. Have a crawl space that’s tricky to locate? Leave instructions. It’s an inspector’s job to examine everything about your home and in order to do that they have to be able to access it.

Unlock all your doors prior to the arrival of a home inspector. Seeing as how the investor needs to view every area of your property, it makes sense to prepare every area for the home inspection. Unlock all the gates and doors to a garage, shed or crawl space.

Also, make sure to provide unobstructed access to the service electric panel, water heater and all attic openings and crawlspaces. If there is attic access in your garage, move your car out of the garage.

It is also necessary that you provide the home inspector all the proper access codes for your lockboxes. Make sure that the codes you provide operate properly by testing them in advance. There are times when an inspector will try to gain access to a property only to find out that the code does not work.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

They’re going to be tested; make sure they’re fully functional prior to the day of the inspection.
 


Minor Maintenance and Repairs

Homes take constant maintenance and while these really should be done prior to listing your home I see them come up in reports all too often. Cracked caulking around windows and doors, missing shingles, slow draining sinks/tubs, non-functional doors, missing or disconnected downspouts, cracked windows, broker shower diverters, and overgrown trees/shrubs.

In addition to the above items make sure your utilities are on and that you are prepared to be away from your home for a few hours. The time it takes for the inspection will vary by the size and type of home. If you have pets you’ll also need to remove them from the home for the duration of the inspection.
 


Being prepared for the home inspection and presenting your home in the best condition possible will decrease your chances of the buyer walking. The more you take care of upfront the less you’ll have to worry about or have to negotiate on in the future.

 

How Do You Find the Right Home Inspector?

You can’t underestimate the importance of finding the right home inspector as you prepare for a smooth home inspection process. Not all home inspectors are created equal—some are better in terms of knowledge than the others.

Here’s a list of the steps you should take to find the right inspector:

  • Find someone who wants you present

A good home inspector will always want the homeowner to accompany him throughout the home inspection process. That is because he wants you to get the most out of the experience, rather than just look at their report at the end.

  • Request for a sample report

Another good indicator of a good home inspector is the quality of his home inspection report. Since many home inspection agencies offer sample reports on their websites, you can check for clarity, formatting, and whether or not they include photos. If a home inspector can show you a good report, that’s a sign that he’s a good inspector.

  • Go through review sites

These days, reviews tell a lot about how good or bad someone or something is. If you want to know if a home inspector is a good find, Yelp, Google, Review and Angie’s List are great places to check for customer reviews. In addition to good ratings, a good home inspector will often engage with customers and address concerns.

  • Ask about experience and certifications

Interview the inspector regarding his work history, if he has certifications, as well as if he belongs to any professional organizations. This information can help you get a sense of his level of professionalism and commitment to his industry.

  • Double check his license and insurance

If you want to hire a good home inspector, make sure that you verify his license and insurance. Good contractors will always provide copies of these items even without you having to ask.

  • Know if he requires extra fee for additional items

Ask your prospect home inspector if he charges an extra fee for any areas that you want him to inspect that are not usually included in a typical home inspection, such as a septic system or foundation problems.
Additional Resources 
The Purpose Of A Home Inspection via Luke Skar with Madison Mortgage 

 

How To Prepare For A Home Inspection via Moving.com

 

 

 

How To Handle A Low Ball Offer

How To Handle A Low Ball Offer

Low ball offers are frustrating to homeowners and can be one of the top challenges when selling a home. Most, if not all homeowners have a certain amount they want to sell their home for and when an offer rolls in that’s $15,000 - $20,000+ less than asking it can be downright infuriating.

 


Real estate transactions have hurdles to work through and they’re not all easily put together. Negotiation is a part of real estate and it’s a regular occurrence for there to be back and forth between the buyer and seller before mutually agreeable terms are found. A low ball offer can be the start of negotiation but, it requires the proper steps be taken in order to turn that offer into something that’s acceptable for the seller and the buyer.

If you are selling your home and have received a low ball offer take a deep breath and consider the following advice on how to handle a low ball offer in real estate.

 

Why Do Buyers Make Low Ball Offers?

From trusting Zestimates or thinking the house isn’t worth what it’s listed for, to taking advice from their agent or family and friends there are a plethora of reasons buyers make low ball offers. Some buyers just like to throw something up against the wall to see if it will stick, testing the waters if you will.

 

How To Handle A Low Ball Offer In Real Estate

Control Your Emotions
Easier said than done, I know but, remind yourself this is a business transaction and emotions don’t mix well with business. Letting your emotions take control is only going to cause you more stress. A low ball offer might make you want to tell the buyer to pound sand however before you do that remind yourself that the offer is just a starting point.

The goal is to sell your home and if you tear up the low ball offer and trash it you’re not going to be any closer to achieving your end goal.
 


Always Respond With A Counter

If you don’t respond to a low ball offer you have zero chance of finding common ground and coming to agreeable terms. On the flip side if you counter there is always a chance through negotiation all parties will come to terms.

There are different strategies when countering a low ball offer.

Going back at full price is one that is very common to send a signal to the buyer that you aren’t messing around. This is not the best negotiation strategy in my opinion because it could deter the buyer altogether.

A strategy I’ve found to be more successful is to respond with the lowest and final price you are willing to accept. Taking this route can eliminate back and forth with the buyer and shows them you are serious about selling but, not at a low ball price.

Whatever strategy you opt to take always, always, always counter a low ball offer.
 


Review All Of The Terms In The Offer
Price is just one factor of an offer and while it’s an important one it’s not the only component to look at. There are other contingencies and terms in a purchase offer and when you’re deciding how to respond you want to look at each detail closely.

What other terms should you consider?

→Seller Concessions

→Earnest Money Deposit

→Inspection Contingencies (home inspection, radon, and termite in Virginia)

→Appraisal Contingency

→Financing Contingency or Cash Buyer

→Closing Date

 

It’s never just as simple as price when it comes to a purchase offer in real estate. An offer is a total package and while the price is often what you first look at it’s not the only term to consider.

 

Look To Your Realtor For Guidance
Low ball offers are just one of many reasons it’s imperative to hire a top Realtor to sell your home. If you are working with a pro a low ball offer is just another day at the office. Your Realtor will be able to guide you on how best to respond and remain calm and professional. Rely on your Realtor for advice and allow them to be your advocate.

 

Closing Thoughts On Low Ball Offers
You’re not the first seller to receive a low ball offer and you definitely won’t be the last. Take a deep breath and remove your emotions when it’s time to consider how you want to counter. Your end goal is selling your home and making that your priority is what matters most.

 

 

 

6 Common Reasons Homes Come Back On The Market

6 Common Reasons Homes Come Back On The Market

No home seller or agent wants to go from pending to active and back on the market. Buyers and sellers make an agreement on a home and everyone including the agents hope the sale goes according to plan but, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So, why do pending home sales fall through? There are quite a few issues that can come up leading to a home going back on the market.
 


Re-listing a home as active again can cause buyers to be concerned that there’s something wrong with the home. That’s a myth and not always the case. As long as your agent can determine what caused a contract to fail homes that come back on the market aren’t something to blacklist during your home search.

 

Whether you are buying or selling knowing why homes go back on the market is useful so that you can do your best to avoid these situations.

 

Home Inspection Problems

Problems from the home inspection are the number one reason a home comes back on the market. It’s a home inspector’s job to go through a home and identify problems.

 

After the home inspection is completed the home buyer may now be aware of some problems with the home and they could be costly. The seller can always negotiate to come to an agreement to have repairs completed, reduce the sale price, or credit the buyer. If an agreement can’t be made between the buyer and the seller the buyer can walk.
 


Home inspectors can make mistakes occasionally, after all, they are human. However, most of the time they are well trained and in Virginia they have to be licensed so odds are if they find a big issue it’s worth looking into.
 

There is a way to prevent a house coming back on the market due to home inspection problems. How? Get a pre-listing home inspection before you put your home on the market. Then you’ll know the condition of your home before it hits the market and can address any issues that need to be resolved.

 

Being prepared for the buyer’s home inspection always works in your favor. Follow these 5 tips for a smooth home inspection.

 

The Home Didn’t Appraise

If the buyer is obtaining financing and doesn’t waive the appraisal contingency there will without a doubt be an appraisal conducted on the home. An appraiser will analyze properties similar to the subject home and review recent sales in the area. Upgrades, special features, number of beds and baths, lot size, and location are all factors an appraiser will consider.

 

If the appraisal comes in at lower than the agreed upon price and the buyer and seller cannot come to terms the buyer can walk.

 

The Buyer’s Financing Was Denied

Buyers can get pre-approved and pre-qualified for a mortgage but, that doesn’t mean their financing is guaranteed. If a buyer loses his or her job they could find that buying a home is no longer an option.

 

It’s good business for a listing agent to contact a buyer’s lender to ensure they are able to qualify. Doing so doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing though. Some lenders pre-vet buyers better than others. Some buyers make dumb decisions such as taking out another loan during the process home buying process that causes them to no longer be able to buy.

Buyer’s Remorse

Real estate isn’t exempt from buyers getting cold feet. It can happen for a variety of reasons.

 

Perhaps they made an emotional decision because there were multiple offers and they got caught up in winning a bidding war. Maybe the home was just so perfectly presented they made an offer before thinking about it financially being a stretch.

 

Whatever the reason for buyer’s remorse it leaves sellers in a bad spot. Even if a buyer has to forfeit their deposit that still means the seller has to find another buyer. Deposits are in place to discourage this type of behavior.

 

The higher the deposit the better for the seller. Even with a high deposit that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of the buyer getting cold feet and backing out.

 

Buyers Could Be Submitting Offers On Multiple Homes

Unless a buyer can afford to buy more than one home at a time they shouldn’t be making offers on multiple homes. However, depending on market conditions there are cases where buyers are working with an incompetent agent who is willing to write offers on multiple homes at one time knowing the buyer can’t buy more than one.

 

All it takes is two offers being accepted at the same time and there’s a big problem.

 

Sound far-fetched? It’s not and it happens more frequently when markets are very competitive. It’s not only unfair to sellers and agents it’s just plain deceitful behavior.

 

To avoid a home going back on the market because the buyer made offers on multiple homes the listing agent should have a conversation with the buyer’s agent. The goal being to get as much information about the buyer’s sincerity in the offer before the seller accepts it.

 

It doesn’t remove the risk but, it lessens it for the seller. The more that’s known about the buyer’s intentions the better.

 

Title Issues Are Uncovered On The Home

Title issues can put a halt to a sale quickly. There are a variety of ways these can occur; illegal deeds, unknown easements, forgeries, unreleased previous mortgages, and liens.

 

As soon as a home is pending the title search should be done promptly. The most common title issue is a lien that is tied to a property. This means that the debt has to be paid before the owner can sell the home. If that can’t be accomplished the sale cannot happen.

 

Closing Thoughts

Homes come back on the market for a variety of reasons. There are cases when coming back on the market can be avoided and there are others where it can’t be. All parties, agents included should work together to the best of their ability to achieve a successful outcome.  
 

 

Additional Resources

Putting A Home Back On The Market Due To A Failed Home Inspection via Bill Gassett of RE/MAX

How To Get A Mortgage via Luke Skar of Madison Mortgage