You Never Know What Will Seal the Deal

Curb AppealI have often compared house hunting to match-making or dating. You view several different homes, assess its good points and bad points, envision yourself living there, consider whether or not it meets your needs and usually get a sense of whether or not the home feels right. Each home has a different personality. Sometimes not all the good points are instantly visible to the buyer. Sometimes a home has potential that can easily be seen. And sometimes it can be just one specific feature that makes a buyer fall in love and write the offer.

One time I helped a seller with their curb appeal by re-planting their front flower bed and adding charm. I planted lavender, daisies and various pink and lavender annuals. A young couple came to view the home, and the young woman fell in love with all the lavender and purple; it was her favorite color. It made her vulnerable to fall in love with the rest of the home (which was equally charming and desirable). Once I showed a home to my buyer that was outside of his price range. He could afford it, but had a budget. It had a pool, spa and yard he had been dreaming of. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw that rear yard; it was love and there was no going back. The home itself was not ideal and needed some upgrades, but the yard was his ideal soulmate.

Staged Room Looks InvitingSometimes a buyer can be turned off by certain things, too, even if the home is otherwise perfect. A few years ago, I was showing the ideal home to a buyer, but the owner was present. It made my buyer uncomfortable and have a bad feeling about the home, even though they otherwise really liked it. We came and saw it again, but the bad first impression with the homeowner present had stuck and could not be erased.

First impressions really matter in life. When selling real estate, always try to enhance and showcase the best aspects of your home no matter what it is. If it is a great view, frame and highlight the view; do nothing to detract from it. If the home is very open and spacious, make sure it is staged properly to highlight this. If your front yard is a little blah or bland, add some simple life and color, especially near the front door and path to the front door. Desirable character traits of your home will usually outshine any perceived flaws and help the buyer fall in love with the real soul of the home.

Indian Village Home Curb Appeal

Writing an Offer That Has a Chance of Getting Accepted Today

If you are a buyer looking to buy a home in South Orange County right now, you must be aware that inventory is low, and finding a condo or town home is nearly impossible. If you submit an offer, there are already a few offers on the table OR the seller is only allowing one or two days of showing before accepting an offer. It is much like an auction, and the highest and best bid wins. If you really want to buy now, you must really want the home and be willing to step up and do what the seller asks you to do.
You will need to be pre-approved by a lender and be able to provide proof of funds to close to the listing agent along with your offer. Your offer should be complete and have as few contingencies as possible. If you reduce your contingency period, that may be more attractive to the seller. The more money you put up for deposit, the better. The goal is to show the seller you really want the home. That means giving him or her the best price – usually well over list price – show you are a solid qualified buyer and assure the seller you can close with as little stress to him or her as possible. It is imperative to write the best offer you can at first try because most likely you will NOT get a counter offer or a second chance to make a great first impression on the seller. Even if you do all that, there is still a good chance your offer will not be accepted.
So hang in there and don’t give up. Decide that you really want the home and can afford it, and make your best offer. With prices on the rise, you will be glad you did.

Working with Multiple Offers

I was recently working with multiple offers on one of my listings (something that is more and more the norm these days) and I noticed that the buyers are getting more and more motivated. They are writing better offers, they are providing the information I need to present to my sellers, and they are moving quickly to prove their motivation. Those that don’t, get left behind and are forced to continue their home search among fewer and fewer listings.

If you are a buyer, you need to realize that you are not the only one who will be putting an offer on the property. You need to decide how much you want the home, and you need to be ready to pay top dollar for a choice home. Nothing is wrong with writing an offer that may not be as strong as it needs to be, but be ready to receive a counter offer from the seller asking for perhaps more money or better terms. There are just too many buyers out there right now. It is definitely a seller’s market, and prices are going UP.