home selling

5 Strategies to Keep in Mind When Selling a Condo in Kingstowne VA

 

Homes for Sale in Kingstowne VA

 

This year is a great year for condo owners to sell their homes. Although home prices across the United States have seen a consistent rise in recent years, more and more buyers who want to downsize their homes still rush to buy homes for sale in Kingstowne VA because they want to take advantage of low mortgage rates.

 

If you are a condo owner and are thinking about selling your condo, this may be the best time to do so. However, selling a condo is not exactly the same as selling other types of homes so you need to take a lot of factors into consideration before making any decision.

 

Here are five important things you should keep in mind when selling your condo:

 

Know the DOM range for condos similar to yours

One of the first things you should do before deciding to sell your home is to look for condos for sale in Kingstowne VA that are comparable to yours in terms of unit type, floor location and square footage. Listings usually indicate the DOM (days-on-market) of properties, which refers to the number of days it takes for a property to find a buyer. By considering the DOM of homes similar to yours, you will be able to determine a reasonable timeframe for your condo to sell. 

 

Know everything about your condo

 

Condos for Sale in Kingstowne VA

 

If you want to sell your condo fast, you must be prepared to answer all the questions your potential buyers might ask. You may also need to review the HOA (homeowner association) rules to determine which parts of your unit you need to work on. HOA rules help you know which flaws fall within acceptable standards or need some improvements.

 

Decide which repairs or improvements are worthwhile

Since renovations involve money, you have to determine which improvements are worthwhile and which are not. Of course, you need to prepare your home before officially listing it, but you can’t just do a total makeover without giving it some thought. 

 

Try to reduce listing costs

While there are plenty of ways you can save on listing costs when selling a home, never skip the standard commission of a real estate agent. Having an agent to represent you in your transactions will make it much easier for you to find potential buyers for your property. Some of the ways you can reduce listing costs while working with an agent include staging your home yourself and hiring a contractor that can do repairs at a much lower rate. 

 

Reviewing the clauses in your buyer’s first offer

One of the most exciting things sellers look forward to when selling a home is receiving their first offer. Although receiving an initial offer for your property can be truly exciting, don’t get carried away immediately. Screen the clauses of the offer, especially the timeframe for the buyer’s obligations, closing adjustments and other addendums. 

 

Are you planning to sell your home in Kingstowne VA? Then contact me today at 703-431-3755 and I’ll help you get started! I am Amanda Davidson, Kingstowne’s top REALTOR!

 

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view 5 Strategies to Keep in Mind When Selling a Condo in Kingstowne VA on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCqK5f8g8PM&feature=youtu.be.

 

 

How Can I Increase My Kingstowne VA Home's Value?

 

 

If you are planning to sell your Kingstowne VA home soon, you are likely thinking of ways to increase its value. One of the most common questions I get from my clients is “How can I increase my home’s value?”

 

How to choose the best project When you want to boost your home value, the best answer is to update and renovate your house. There are many home projects you can do like upgrading the kitchen, renovating the bathroom, adding a bathroom, installing a deck, and more.

 

However, there's a caveat. Home renovation cost a bit of money and not all remodelling projects pay off.

 

How will you know what's the best project to undertake? This is where I can help you.

 

As your real estate agent, I can give you the best advice on what home improvement projects will pay off for your home. Together, we can decide on the best home updates that will add features buyers love and increase your home’s value.

 

Years and years of working with buyers has taught me what they want and I will use that knowledge to help set your home in the best light so that it stands out and impresses buyers.


Best affordable improvements for resale

If you will be moving out and selling the house soon, some general sprucing up and cleaning can do wonders for the house. Minor updates don't cost a lot but can go a long way in making the house look amazing.

 

Here are some affordable updates you can do.

1. General home repairs. The moment you decide to sell your house in Kingstowne is the moment you should start listing down the basic repairs the house needs.

 

Most buyers prefer move-in ready homes. They've just spent a lot of money on buying a house, so any possible repair projects may turn them off.

 

Fix the broken window, replace the leaky faucet, reinforce the kitchen cabinet, do all the minor repairs needed to get your house ready for sale.

 

2. Paint it. When the necessary repairs have been completed, it is time to paint. Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to beautify the home and increase its value.

 

Choose neutral colors to paint your home. As much as you would love to paint your living room that vibrant red, restrain yourself and go for something that is classic and simple. Neutral toned colors are easy on the eyes and make the home look more inviting and spacious.

 

3. Update the light fixtures. An easy way to give the home a new look is to update the light fixtures. Not only does getting new light fixtures add more life to the living space it also makes the room appear brighter.

 

 

 

4. Add storage spaces. Most buyers prefer homes with storage spaces. Cramped storage spaces are a major turn off. Adding a closet space in the bedroom or several storage areas in the garage will go a long way in making your home more functional.

 

5. Update your kitchen. If there is one room in your house you should update, it is the kitchen. Small, cost-effective renovations like replacing an old and worn out countertop or installing new floor tiles will make your kitchen look modern and well-maintained.

 

6. Upgrade the bathroom. Next to the kitchen, the bathroom is the second room in the house that increases the home’s value when updated. If you have a stained old sink, it is time to get a new one. You can also make the bathroom look new by applying fresh caulk and grout.

 

7. Add a low maintenance landscape. Create a great first impression and add value to your home by improving your landscape. Landscaping is one the three most effective home improvements that have the biggest returns.

 

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to boost the value of your Kingstowne VA home for sale. Minor updates will do a lot for your home without busting the bank.

 

There are so many more home selling tips I can share with you. So before you start taking out any walls and making home updates, give me call so I can help you decide on the best updates that will increase your home value.

 

When you need a real estate agent with superior local knowledge, professionalism, and outstanding service to help with all your real estate needs, call me, Amanda Davidson, at 703-431-3755.

 

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view How Can I Increase My Kingstowne VA Home’s Value? on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbDjTOqkQLA&t=0s&index=5&list=PLloCCxd1NYon2n9y4l6HZ6UzDuET_jCU7.

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.


 

Home Selling Tips – How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day

Home Selling Tips – How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day

If you think taking a few random snaps of your home for sale is alright, then you might want to think again. Most of you might be thinking, "what matters is what the house looks like in person, not what it looks like in the photos." However, pictures can make or break a home sale. The first place potential buyers are going to see your home is online. Gone are the days that the first impression is when they pull up for a tour inside your home. I’d even venture to argue that the first showing for your home occurs online. Since we live in a technologically advanced era, people will take advantage of the convenience that the internet has to offer and check your home online first to see if it's worth their precious time. If buyers don’t like what they see online, chances are they’re not going to come to see a home in person. You want to make sure your home is staged and ready for picture day. Below are tips about how to prepare your home for photos as well as what key areas of your home you should be focusing on dolling up for potential buyers.
 


Interior Tips For Picture Day

Furniture

Although having plenty of furniture inside your home might look appealing for you, it's actually not as appealing as it is for potential buyers. Rooms that are packed with furniture will not only appear small in photos, they’ll also appear small for showings. Less is more. Work with your agent or your stager to determine which pieces should stay and which pieces should be removed. Anything you remove for picture day should stay out of the house for showings as well. Leave the task of filling up the room with furniture for the buyer. It's your job to make the house look like a beautiful blank canvas for them to paint on. 

 

Countertops

Countertops photograph best when they’re clear. Again, this creates the illusion of space and cleanliness. For the kitchen, this means small appliances, paper towel holders, cutting boards should be the only things visible. Clunky items such as knife blocks need to be removed or stored away. In the bathroom, take the toothbrushes, soap, makeup, lotion, and any other personal items off the top of the vanity and put them out of sight. The same goes for nightstands and dressers – have their surfaces clear. The fewer clutter countertops have, the more appealing they are for potential buyers. Think of it this way, if you were the one viewing your home, do you think it is necessary to see all those objects placed randomly all around the house?
 

 


Refrigerator

No magnets, photos, artwork, or calendars allowed. Have the exterior of your fridge completely clear to give a clean and classy impression of your kitchen. It should stay this way the entire time your home is on the market, as well. While it doesn’t have to be done for picture day, don’t forget that when it’s time for showings, the inside of your refrigerator needs to be organized and clean. No one wants to see the leftover meal you had from two days ago. It's just downright unhygienic. 

 

Cabinets

Make sure the exterior of all the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are clean. Wipe them down as needed prior to the photographer arriving. Pay close attention to spills, drips, and dried toothpaste. Potential buyers never want to see a dirty home as this would entail that they would have to clean up more once they decide to buy the house. 

 

Showers and Bathtubs

Shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap, razors, and anything else inside the shower or tub need to be removed. Showers and bathtubs should be completely clear including anything hanging on the wall. If you have glass shower doors, wipe them down and remove any soap scum or water spots. Again, you'd want your house to look as if it's brand new for its next owner. 
 


Lighting

Go through your entire house and replace any burned out lightbulbs. Consider replacing bulbs that don’t put off bright light to achieve better lighting the day of photos. On picture day, turn on every light in your home. Lights on ceiling fans should be on too but, the fan itself should be off. Better lighting would result to better photos. Better photos means better chances of reeling in a buyer. 

 

Throw Rugs

Entryway, hallway, and bathroom rugs need to be removed for picture day. Having them on the floor causes rooms to look small and cluttered. It also gives the impression that the house is untidy which is why there's always a need for throw rugs. 

 

Loose Wires

Lamp, TV, and electronic device wires should all be concealed. If that’s not possible, at the very least, they need to be wrapped neatly and zip tied to avoid being an eyesore in photographs. Imagine, if you get irritated at the sight of unruly wires from your computer or television, what more would potential buyers think? Also, loose wires tend to accumulate dust and dirt. We wouldn't want those to show in the photos. 

 

Beds

Every bed needs to be made, not just your everyday make-your-bed routine. Take time to make sure the sheets and blankets aren’t showing from under the comforter. Smoothen the comforter out and ensure it’s even on all sides. Add a throw pillow to the end of the bed for an added touch. Fluff and arrange all of the pillows. Getting a bed ready for photos isn’t a quick task. Allow plenty of time to arrange these during the morning when the pictures will be taken. You'll want the potential buyers to view your home as a relaxing space. What better way to give them that idea than to fix the bedroom? 
 


Toilet Seats

This one is a pet peeve of mine anytime I see it in photographs of a home for sale. Make sure toilet seats are all down. Nobody wants to see what the inside of your toilet looks like, regardless if there's nothing there to see. If you have a professional photographer, they’ll likely put them down for you or if your agent arrives prior to photos commencing to walk through your house, they probably will too. But, regardless of who takes care of it, just make sure it gets done.
 

Trash Cans

All trash cans need to be hidden and that includes the kitchen trash can. Your home is the product you are selling, not trash cans.

 

Pets

Sure, your furry friends might be the most adorable thing in the world for you but who's to say that the potential buyer thinks so, too? Not all people are animal lovers. Some might even be allergic or traumatized just by seeing animals. So, no matter how cute they are, make sure that your pets are out of thr picture when taking a photograph of your home. It goes without saying to remove your pet the day of photos but, don’t forget to remove your pet's belongings too. Beds, bowls, and food storage should not be photographed nor should they be present for showings either. Some buyers do not want to purchase a home if its apparent pets live there.
 


Exterior Tips For Picture Day

Don’t forget the exterior when preparing for picture day. It’s equally as important as the interior.
 


Front Door

You might easily ignore the importance of the front door, but this is usually a key factor in sealing the deal with a potential buyer. Place an attractive flower pot leading up the walkway or on a pedestal by the front door; something with an inviting color that doesn’t overwhelm the space. Adding something by or near the front door gives a welcoming vibe in photos.

 

Landscaping

The surrounding environment of your home plays a huge part in its attractiveness. Having a beautiful and neat landscape would send potential buyers flocking from all corners. Make sure to trim trees and bushes, pull weeds, mulch flower beds, and mow the yard. If the weather hasn’t warmed up enough for the grass to grow and there are bare spots with dirt showing in the yard, have sod put down. Having a touch of gorgeous nature would give potential buyers the idea of having endless days of peace and relaxation. 

 

Cars

Remove cars from the driveway and garage. If you have any sports equipment in the driveway or in front of the garage, it should be removed as well. Always remind yourself that you are selling the home. You wouldn't want potential buyers to think that your car is up for grabs too, right? This would save you possible inquiries in the long run. 
 


Trash Cans

Even the trash cans on the exterior of your home need to be removed for pictures too. Buyers aren’t interested in photographs with trash cans in them under any circumstances.

 

Yard

If you have pets, make sure the yard is free of any calling cards they’ve left. If you have children, remove their toys – there shouldn’t be any random items left out in the yard on picture day. The garden hose is an item that is often overlooked and it should be put away if it's lying on the ground.

 

Windows

All the windows in your home should be closed for picture day – blinds, however, should be open. Don’t forget to clean them prior to the photographer coming. Having open windows would make your house look more welcoming. From the inside, it also gives off beautiful natural lighting. 
 


Preparing your home for picture day takes a lot of attention to detail. I make it a point to arrive 45 minutes to an hour ahead of the photographer so that I can go through each room of the home and make any final adjustments. It’s easy to overlook little things when you don’t prepare a home for photos every day and it’s a costly mistake to make. Think of the photos you’d share if you were creating an online dating profile, they’d only be your absolute best. The same mentality applies to your home. Take the time to go room by room and get it ready to shine on picture day!
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Getting Your Home Ready For A Spring Sale via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

What Updates/Repairs Should We Do Before Listing via Joan Cox Broker-Owner House To Home in Denver Co


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5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

Selling your home might look and sound easy on the surface but, behind the scenes, it’s complicated with a lot of details and hurdles to work out. Far too often I hear of someone who hired a real estate agent only to be completely unsatisfied, let down, or downright angry with how the sale turned out for varying reasons.
 


Selecting the right agent to sell your home is a very important decision. Many people work with the first agent they come across with, and that’s recipe for disaster. When you’re talking about selling (or buying for that matter) one of life’s biggest investments, you want to work with the best of the best. Selecting a real estate agent because they’re a family member, friend, or any other reason that isn’t tied to their skill, level of service, and how they conduct business is a mistake. Ask for recommendations, do your research and conduct interviews to find an agent you not only know is qualified for the job but, who is also an agent you like and trust.

One of the signs you should be looking for when looking for a quality real estate agent is the questions they ask you. Chances are, the more the real estate agent knows, the more questions they're going to ask you. 

In return, you should also be asking them questions on how they plan on selling your home. Here are some of the most important questions you should be asking them:
 

How Will You Market My Home?

I’m not talking about putting a sign in the yard or putting your home in the MLS. Those are basics. You want your home to sell for top dollar in the shortest time possible and that means you want an agent who has a custom marketing plan for your home. Ask to see what the agent has done to market their past listings. Seeing examples of their work will show you if it’s the quality of marketing you want for your home. Check to see how they market homes. Do they use direct email campaigns? How often would they advertise your home? What kind of photos would they use to make the home you are selling more appealing to potential buyers? Are the photos high quality with the right lighting? Photos are essential since these will be the primary visuals that potential buyers will see before they decide to visit your home for viewing.

How would the staging be? Staging is also important since this would be the initial preparation of your home to make a lasting and positive first impression on potential buyers. 

Do they have a well-established blog that ranks well with Google? Having a highly visible blog on Google will definitely increase the chance of your home to be bought in no time. The more visible the real estate agent's site is, the more people will be able to view the home you have for sale. 

Do they target market on social media? Aside from online marketing, a good real estate agent would think of other things to increase the visibility of your home. They could set up an open house so that potential buyers can get a better look and feel of the house that's for sale.

Have they thought about who is likely to buy your home? If you have a 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo, the odds of a family with children purchasing it aren’t high so you need an agent that knows who and how to target. Marketing is not just throwing things against the wall to see if they stick. Effective marketing should be planned out from start to finish, and a good real estate agent will be able to see the potential problems you could encounter along the way. 
 


What Do You Think My Home Is Worth?

Next up is determining a suitable price for your home before you put it up for sale in the real estate market. Pricing is a key component of a listing agent’s job. In order to determine the proper price for your home, a real estate agent must create a comparative market analysis. This would help them gauge the worth of your house by means of comparison with other homes for sale nearby. Having a comparison, you will have a better idea of what your house is actually worth, and how much people are willing to purchase your house.

An agent has to price your home just right and that means they need to understand the current market and be able to thoroughly research and correctly interpret data. Data is readily available to the public but, data is worthless if you don’t know how to analyze and correctly interpret it. Ask the agent why they think your home is worth the amount they tell you. If they’re a great agent, they’ll be prepared to show you the data and then explain it in detail.

And please, do not just go with the agent who gives you the highest number. Although a high price does sound attractive for you financially, remember that your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay and if an agent gives you a number that isn’t supported by market data, your home isn’t going to sell. There are unfortunately some agents who will tell you what you want to hear just to get you to agree to list with them and then you’ll be facing a price drop when your home doesn’t sell.
 

 


What Is Your Average Sale To List Price Ratio On Past Listings?

Determining a real estate agent's ration depends entirely on the market. If you are comparing agents and ask this question, you will get an idea of how accurate the agent is on pricing a home and how well they can negotiate. Remember, a good real estate agent has the capability to haggle sales prices that are close to the list prices. Be sure to ask for the ratio from the original list price. Working with an agent who has a strong sale to list price ratio average can be the difference in thousands of dollars. For example, with an average sale price of $500,000 - if one agent has an average sale to list price ratio of 95% and another agent has one of 97% that’s a difference of $10,000!
 

What Type Of Communication Will You Provide?

You’re entering into a relationship when you hire an agent to sell your home and while it might be tied to business it’s like any other relationship – good communication can be the difference in success and failure. As a seller, you need to be in the loop and be constantly updated with what's happening with your home for sale. Your agent should be able to tell you how often you can expect to receive updates, what hours of the day you can contact them, how long you can expect for it to take them to respond, and what methods of communication they use. Most of the time, real estate agents fail to give updates to their clients and would only contact them once an offer has been placed. Even though an offer hasn't been placed on your home yet, your real estate agent should be able to give you updates on what people are looking for in your home based on previous viewers. This way, you could make the necessary improvements in your home and be able to sell it as soon as possible. An excellent agent is going to ask you what methods of communication you prefer because they’ll want you to feel comfortable and well informed. Some real estate agents would offer to send you emails, give you daily calls, while others are even willing to go as far as seeing you personally to let you know the status of your house for sale. 

Another question to ask about communication is if you will exclusively be working with the agent or if the agent has a team that will be involved. If you want to work with an agent who operates their business by providing exclusive contact with you this is an important question to ask. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s just a matter of what you are looking for in an agent. Not every agent operates their business the same way. 
 


Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

I think this is the most important question you can ask an agent. Anyone can ask how much you want to sell your home for, how many beds and baths it has, or even what you want in a new home but, an agent’s priorities and mindset are exposed by the questions they ask you. As with any other professional, not all agents are created equal. An agent who takes the time to get to know you, learn about your goals and what your priorities are is priceless. What differentiates a good agent from a rock star agent is their ability to learn, understand, and deliver the level of service you’re looking for.
 

There are still a whole lot of other questions you could ask a real estate agent before you decide to hire them. This is far from an all-inclusive list of questions to ask an agent when it’s time to sell your home. These items are here to give you an idea of where to start to get a dialogue going with the agents you select to interview. Do your homework and work with an agent who you trust and feel confident will not only provide your home with the best marketing but, who will also provide you with the best service.

 

 

For Sale By Owner Mistakes - Your Home Won't Sell If It Can't Be Shown

For Sale By Owner Mistakes - Your Home Won’t Sell If It Can’t Be Shown

Yesterday clients of mine who are targeting a specific neighborhood with very low turnover and no inventory contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to reach out to a home that’s a for sale by owner. We’ve driven past the home before, checked it out online but, they have passed on it for weeks because it’s overpriced and a FSBO. Average days on the market in this neighborhood are 3 and it’s been on for 90+ days.
 


I never mind reaching out toa FSBO. They’re not part of my business plan in terms of contacting them to try to get a listing. If I call it’s because a buyer of mine has expressed interest in a tour. Fortunately, we don’t see a ton of them in this area but, the few that I’ve ended up in a transaction with have always needed guidance on next steps, providing forms they don’t have, or even meeting an appraiser. You name it, I’ve had to do what an agent representing them would typically do but, like many of us in the business if it’s for the benefit of my client that’s what I’ll do.

I’ve seen a lot but, not one time have I had a FSBO not want to show their home. Typically the minute I say I have a buyer and would like to bring them for a tour their guard goes down and they are happy to answer questions and arrange for us to come.
 


When I called the FSBO yesterday I got yelled at for a few minutes. It started with that fact I called on a Sunday and then for calling at all. This owner was irate that I had disturbed her and said my clients can see everything they need to online. Real estate is 7 days a week and if you opt to list your own home you need to be aware you're committing to that. The insults were flying and I just sat and listened in shock. How can someone expect to sell a home without allowing potential buyers to come see it?

After this homeowner had unloaded on me I asked if she had toured the home before she bought it. I’m not sure why I decided to tempt fate and ask, I had nothing to lose at that point. There was a long pause and possibly steam coming out of her ears on the other end but, she admitted that yes she had toured it…not once but, TWICE!

I explained they’d simply like to be able to do the same thing she did and that while the 10 photos she has online give a sample of what the home looks like they don’t do enough to make my clients comfortable to make an offer sight unseen. She went round and round about how busy she is, she doesn’t have time to entertain calls from agents like me much less show the home, and she doesn’t want strangers in her home. Even stating that she knows it’s a seller’s market and buyers should know they need to just make an offer when this is the only house for sale in the neighborhood.
 


At thatpoint, I had already offered for us to come at her convenience so I told her if she changed her mind to please call me and then made the call to my clients to let them know what had happened. I suggested they try calling to see if it’s just the fact that I’m an agent that set her off but, at that point they were done. They have zero interest in pursuing this house because they know in the off chance a deal is put together it will be a nightmare to get to closing at best and at worst the seller will wreck the deal.

I don’t know what happened to her in the past to cause her to feel this way but, even if she despises “low life’s like me” she is never going to sell her house if no one can see it. Nothing else is going to matter if the door isn’t opened for showings. I don’t care how strong of a seller’s market we’re in, buyers want to see your product in person. They want to touch it, see if it feels like home and walk through every inch of it. If you’re selling your home without an agent be prepared for calls, welcome those calls, and be ready to arrange showings. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to selling a home. If you can’t execute those few steps you can kiss the thought of a sale goodbye.

 

 

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