Buyers’ Corner: 3 Well-Meaning Pieces of Advice You May Even Believe!

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.Once your friends and family know you are looking for home to buy you may hear,” let me give you some advice.” They’ve been there, done that and watch copious amounts of House Hunters on HGTV. However, their well-meaning opinions and words of ‘wisdom’ may lead you down the wrong paths.

“You should remove contingencies to make your offer stronger.”

In a competitive market it’s tempting to write an offer with no contingencies. I beg you to reconsider. These safeguards are part of the contract for a reason. There is an inspection contingency: to save you from buying a mold-ridden, termite infested property. Appraisal contingency? Understand that if the lender’s appraisal comes back less than your offer price, you are obligated to buy the home and come up with the difference by closing. How much do you like to gamble? Lastly, the loan contingency protects you in case the lender cannot approve your loan. Remember, contingencies are designed to protect you from utter catastrophe.

“Make a low-ball offer and negotiate up from there.”

Again, it’s still a sellers’ market, and often they receive more than one contract to consider. This can start the negotiations off on the wrong foot, offending the seller, or worse, driving them to reject your offer outright. Not all seller’s counter the offers they receive, often taking the highest and the best one. Serious buyers and sellers know what a home is worth.

“Don’t bother with a home inspections.”

Sure, you can save a few bucks by not doing your due diligence, after all the house looks really clean and well cared for. Saving a few bucks upfront could cost you thousands down the road. Some folks only get a termite company to do a pest inspection. All they are looking for is termite and dry-rot. Consider getting a home, chimney, sewer lateral and possibly pool inspection. You will uncover issues and know if/how you wish to move forward.

“Just use the listing agent to represent you.”

Called dual-agency, it’s ethical, legal and often done. You think it will give you an edge and cuts down the number of cooks in the kitchen. You think your offer will rise to the top of the pile. Why? The listing agent represents the seller. They have a fiduciary duty to keep the sellers’ best interests at heart. It’s the seller who chooses which offer they want to accept, not the agent. Using the listing agent to write your offer and represent you is like having the same attorney representing both sides of the case.


5 Questions to Ask an Agent Before You List

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New HouseUnless you frequently buy and sell homes, or have recently done so, listening to a typical listing presentation can leave you completely overwhelmed. In order to make the right choice regarding who you hire, you must commit to becoming an active participant in the interview process. To get valuable insight into an agent’s professionalism, prowess and enthusiasm consider asking the following questions:

#1 How will you market my home?
While it’s good to know your home will be exposed on a number of real estate websites, it’s more important to know how many, which ones and the agent’s system for following up—some are much better at it than others! What else will they do to inform the public your home is now for sale? Ask them how quickly they respond to leads and keep them engaged after initial contact.

#2) What did the last home you sold in this area go for?
As important as it is that your agent have knowledge of your neighborhood, it is also up to you to share what brought you to the area and why you bought your home. You will also want to review property sales in the past 90 days within 3/4 of a mile that are comparable to yours in condition and amenities. Your agent should have this information ready and understand how the local area is trending.

#3) What can I do to help my home sell for more?
You don’t want to invest in improvements that won’t net you more money and improve you bottom-line. A good agent will tell you what will be worth your time, energy and money to consider. You may be surprised how much a few simple changes can impact how quickly your homes sells and the ROI you will see.

#4) What issues should I address that will might not appeal to the buyer?
If your home is not going to list for what you’d hoped for, ask your agent why. Pet or smoke odors in your home? Deferred maintenance, broken or non-functional systems? Remember, your home enters a beauty contest and a price war when you go on the market; ask your agent what they will do to help you win!

#5) What is your opinion of open houses and how do you make them worthwhile?
Many agents have varying thoughts about the efficacy of hosting open houses. Ask the agent if they plan ot hold it open to the public, how often and what they do to attract visitors.

Ultimately, ask yourself if you feel comfortable and confident the agent can get your home sold and meet your expectations. Remember, this process is all about YOU!