Easy to Understand and Easy to Buy

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Thinking about selling?  Maybe your listing agreement just expired without selling your home and you are thinking, what happened?  Why did my house not sell?

First, in today’s real estate market, (expect this to be next year’s real estate market, and 2013’s real estate market…….) “things” are a “little” different than pre October 2008.  Far fewer buyers, far more property for sale, and tougher mortgage qualifying….just to start.   (Let’s forget the economy, the amount of distressed properties, etc. for this post!)  What you need to know is that FIRST…the details of your property and the terms you are willing to accept to sell MUST be easily understood.  As a seller you are at a disadvantage in this market…it’s the buyers turn!  Sooooo,  everything from the property boundaries based off your deed (Is it a warranty deed?  Have you sketched out the property lines based off the description written in your deed?  Do you know how?  Has your last real estate salesperson done this for you?  Are there any problems with this?), to the insurability of your house (have you had homeowners insurance claims made against your policy?), to the records kept in your property’s building file with the town code enforcement office (have you ever checked this out?), to septic health should you have one, water quality should you have a well, heating system health….just about every buyer does an inspection!  The jest here is that this is just like fishing except that there is one fish and lots of lures surrounding that fish.  That fish can inspect the bait/lure and choose!  You want that fish to bite….that’s it.  Bite!   Once that happens……look for another post on that!

SECOND….the transaction process needs to be EASY!  Push a button and it’s a memory easy.   Help the buyer!   Do what ever it takes to accommodate someone wanting to see the home.  Yes, checking to see that the potential buyer is at least pre-qualified is smart and you SHOULD be doing this.  But, don’t make them wait.  Get them in….they could be the one…the only one!  Now, have answers to their questions.  Be able to respond to them, offer included, immediately.  Keep your contingencies to a minimum.  Offer seller concessions up front.  Be flexible.  Fix broken things now.  Start packing up now.   You ARE going to sell.  Oh…..take stock of your motivation to sell.   For you the seller, it should be about the bottom-line.  If you are buying another home, well I am sure you are getting a good deal, but that means you may need to give a good deal.  Moving, what are your carrying costs to ride it out.  Etc, etc…

The way I look at it is that EVERY house is for sale at some price.  And EVERY house would sell in a month at some price.  Your entry into your local real estate market is only as good as its weakest link.  Don’t let understanding what is for sale of how to buy it be one of those.

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First Impressions

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Our nature is to form an opinion quickly when we first meet someone or something.  It’s automatic.  In court, the jury forms an opinion about the defendant being guilty or not during the opening arguments.  The rest of the trial is about a massive effort to sway this first impression.  What was that saying…innocent until proven guilty…I think not.

Soooooo, use this to your advantage sellers.  This is good for buyers too.  I want sellers to make a strong effort to put their homes in the best light possible from the moment they decide to sell.  They will do better and buyers won’t waste their time.  Listing sheets, curb appeal, the front door.  Sellers, you may not be able to add a garage to your house very easily, but how about a manicure for the front lawn.  Paint the front door.  Fix and add lighting to the front of the house.  Wash windows.  Hang some plants.  Fix the doorbell.  Add a nice door knocker.

If you are selling, go outside and walk up to your home’s formal front door.  You probably don’t even use it much.  Walk up to it slowly, cautiously looking around.  Try to notice everything.  Does it look inviting?  Is it solid?  Dressed well?  Believe me, if you get a potential buyer pass the listing sheet online, pass the drive by from the street, pass the walk from the car to the door….this is where that impression is made.  At the door.  After the person walks through the front door and is greeted to your home…that critical first impression has formed.  The opening arguments are over.