Home Inspection – Eyes Only!

Home Inspections are a necessary part of the home buying process. Take your time to get a really good look or two, hire a pro to help you and ask questions. It’s all about the all-important peace of mind when buying and selling a home.

My latest podcast has a some tips and info help you gain that peace of mind.

Maintaining Your Dishwasher

Wow. I just watched a short video on realtor.com that showed me how to quickly clean some of the residue from my dishwasher. Also a good idea to add this to your list of things to do before you put your home on the market.

Now, some of you may already know how to do this, and you may have your own tried and true cleaning methods. Here is what they suggest:

  • Remove any loose debris on the bottom of the dishwasher near the filter.
  • Place a cup of white vinegar in the top rack and run an entire cycle.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run through a shorter cycle, making sure it still uses hot water.
  • They also suggest you check the hinges/springs on the door to make sure it closes/seals properly.

And here is the video: maintaining your dishwasher.

I can’t stand a dirty and even slightly smelly dishwasher. Unfortunately, they do get that way over the years with use. Realtor.com suggest cleaning like this every six months. More often if you are finicky like me!

Tips on Writing Your Offer So a Seller Listens

There are all types of sellers, all types of buyers and all types of properties. Each scenario is going to be different. But if you are a buyer who has found a nice home you really like, and it is listed by a seller who takes some pride in their property, here are a few things to think about and take into consideration if you want the seller to take you and your offer seriously.

  • It all starts with the first showing of the property. If you want to make a good impression on a seller, show up on time, leave the home the way you found it, and follow any specific showing instructions.
  • If the seller is present, take your lead from the seller. If they are staying in the background, don’t bother them. If they seem like they want to show you their property, allow them to do so. Try not to ask any personal or financial questions and keep the comments positive and brief.
  • Let your agent speak to the seller’s agent to try and determine any special circumstance or motivation of the seller. See if the seller’s agent will disclose to your agent any deal-breakers for the seller in terms of length of escrow, etc. Perhaps you can make them very happy with special terms if they will budge more on price.  How, other than price, can you make things easier on the seller? Think: give and take.

The last thing you want to do to a seller who has a lovely home is insult them or get them upset with you or any offer you write.

  • Sellers are just like you, and need to make a move, and the stress is no fun.  If you can’t meet their price, or it is obvious their price is too high, submit your best or almost best offer in terms of price in hopes of starting a back and forth conversation with them.
  • The offer itself and the manner it is presented should also reflect respect and professionalism to the seller. It should be complete and neat. The buyer’s agent should communicate honestly and courteously with the seller’s agent. The seller doesn’t want to open escrow with someone who may seem “flaky.”
  • If the offer price is low compared to list price, the buyer and their agent should respectfully submit recent sales to validate the price offered.
  • It may help to write a very short letter of introduction to the seller. Discuss this with your agent who may have insight into whether or not it may be a good idea in your particular instance.
  • Be prepared to wait for the seller to get back to you, especially if the price offered may appear low to the seller.  Sometimes sellers take things personally; the last thing you want to do is to get a seller upset so that they just don’t want to work with you or even respond to your offer.

Bottom line is you want to put your best face forward on any offer you present and with any initial dealings with the seller; especially if it is a seller’s market. Often, your initial offer will stick with the seller; they will form an opinion of you as a buyer and may not budge from it even if you sweeten the offer later. First impressions matter! Show them you are serious, you are motivated, willing to work with them and be flexible where you can.

Best of luck!

A Pre-Listing Home Inspection is a Good Investment

Home InspectionOne of the things that a home seller can stress about during the marketing and escrow period is how their home measures up in the eye of the buyer. Are there doors or windows that don’t close properly? Are there leaks or tell-tale water stains that point to leaks? Do all the electrical and light fixtures work? Are fences worn or wobbly? Do you have the requisite smoke detectors installed? Buyers can usually pinpoint some of these items, and a buyer’s home inspector will catch many items, even if the home is in good repair. It may be wise for the home seller to hire their own home inspector to catch and fix as many of these items as possible prior to marketing the home for sale.

During escrow, a buyer has the right to inspect the home, and the seller has the duty to allow them access. The buyer may opt for several different types of home inspections. The inspector then prepares a list of items of concern, and the the buyer may then present a “fix-it” list to the seller. Depending upon the buyer and the condition of the home, this can be a lengthy and costly list!

Get a Seller Home InspectionIf a nervous buyer sees a couple of water stains or loose boards, etc., they may inflate these potentially minor issues into larger issues and may devalue the property in their mind. They may even re-think the wisdom of the purchase. If a buyer sees a couple things amiss, they may think even more things are wrong with the property, even when there aren’t.

I can do a cursory visual inspection of your home when you get ready to list for sale, but if you have concerns or several things wrong with your home, a pre-listing home inspection done by a professional is a wise investment. They can catch many things before the buyer does, giving you the option to fix things a buyer will either want the seller to fix or provide a credit for. A home in good repair or with few things amiss (all homes have something wrong with them), will have more value in the eyes of a buyer. They will feel more comfortable going through with the purchase and perhaps happier paying a higher price for it. A home in good repair will give a buyer fewer reasons to back out or try to “ding” the seller with items to fix. You, the seller, may even feel happier, prouder and more confident showing and selling your home. You will most likely be able to ask a higher selling price, too, depending upon how many fixes and repairs are made before going on the market.

If you are thinking of selling, call me, and we can assess whether or not you need a pre-listing home inspection. 949.525.5905.