Category Archives: Buyers Information

heated bucket

Winter Horse Care in North Idaho

As we are in the dead of winter while I write this  it brings to light a question I am asked a lot.  How do I take care of my horses or my livestock in the winter is usually the question but since we have 4 seasons I think they are all important.

Lets start with the easiest and that is summer.  The only major issues you have in summer is bugs.  And that is largely going to depend on how wet of an environment you live in.  If your close to water West Nile Vaccine is a must and you are going to want to provide a tight fly mask that keeps everyone off there faces.  Other than that our horses and livestock are pretty happy up here in summer.   I have a few cures for the bug bites in their ears.  Contact me for it if you need the help.

Fall is great we usually start freezing a little at night.  Kiss the bugs goodbye.  Happy to see them go and worse case scenario is we have a few warm rains.  Our critters rarely ever come in under shelter in the fall.  Maybe if its one that socks in and really goes for it for a few days but the ground is open so usually no mud unless you have some funny ground or a really wet season.  There are a few areas that will turn to mud quick but not something to the extent that I would be worried.  And really not that common.  We really appreciate having the dust gone the pollen settled.  I would have to say fall is my favorite season here in Idaho.  Great time to ride!  Don’t forget a bell for your horse and hunter orange.  Hunting season is beginning.

Winter:  So the first thing I am going to say is your animals are not as cold as you are if you moved here with plenty of time for them to acclimate.   Probably not the time to clip out the horses ears but other than that let them hair up and you will die laughing as they roll and play in the snow.

Now the things to worry about.  Water!  You need to have some form or way of getting thawed out water to them during the coldest part of winter.  You realistically really only have about a month of water freezing solid weather but it will come.  My suggestion is some form of heated bucket/ tank heater/ heated water trough.  Or a strong back that wants to haul water several times a day.  For a heated bucket/tank heater your going to need power.  Make sure you are not over loading your circuits if you  have more than 1 bucket to plug-in.  Really sucks on a cold morning to find all your buckets froze solid because the breaker flipped.

heated bucket

These are great ways of watering a single horse in the winter

If you are running extension cords make sure you don’t need them for something else during that time.  They will probably freeze into some ice get buried be an absolute pain if you have to pull them up.  The other important thing (don’t ask me how I know) make sure those cords are not in the path of the equipment that keeps you plowed/blown out.  They don’t go thru the snow blower very well.  Just sayin!

tank heater

tank heater- water horses in the winter as long as they don’t play with this type

I installed automatic heated stock tanks about a year and a half ago.  Had lived with them in a barn that I trained out of for years so I have horror stories for you for when they go bad and some good ideas of how to make them better.  The stable I rented had them sitting on rail road ties.  Yes they balance up there real nice and you can run the water under them and the power to plug them in.  They are awesome the guts of them run somewhat like a toilet bowl so you have a float which turns your water on and off and you  can adjust your water level etc.  There are issues if you set them on wood.  Probably was great at install time – 20 years later wood/water/ toilet bowl float that needs to stay level not so nice.  Wood and water never mix and if those automatic waterers get uneven they are a pain in the butt.  The floats will break off inside guess who no longer shuts off your water.  Yea that’s a visual to come out to in the morning.  I bailed enough water out of stalls to say I never wanted any again.

heated automatic waterer

Heated automatic waterers make life the easiest in the winter

So my food for thought.  They have to be perfectly level to really work well.  I put mine on 4 inch deep squares of concrete.  That is not thick enough to handle the ground frost heaving in the spring or the weight of the horse who comes up next to the waterer all year and makes the ground settle more where it slobbers and puts its front feet.  I think 6 to 8 inches would be much more appropriate for the concrete  pad and probably packed rock around the concrete from there.   Maybe if it’s a deep enough pad it could be big enough for the horses to stand on while they are drinking.  I was concerned about slipping and them tearing them up but maybe that would be better.   You have to remember you drain them where they sit to clean them and that runs around them and helps the ground settle also.  So I think your going to have some maintenance anyway you look at it but there are a few things you can do better than I did.  If you come up with the perfect solution please share.

Shelter:  They always need to have the option to come in.  At least a roof over there head. If your out in the prairie where the wind blows might need sides also.   Chances are in the snow they will not come in.  It never seems to bother them to get snowed on and if they have a good coat they won’t even be wet under the first layer of hair.  If your worried blanket them.  I blanket mine but its only because they are pathetic babies that I like to coddle.  It’s not because they “need” it.  I have kept horses in this area for 25+ years and they are fine in the snow.  Now when I was professionally training the horses that we hauled up here from Tennessee or warmer climates they were cold in the winter the first winter if they didn’t get here early enough to acclimate but otherwise they love the snow.

Spring is my big one where I say Shelter!!  And I am going to say if your horse is not smart enough to come in out of the rain then a way to lock the smart one up under the shelter.  Corral panels whatever it takes.  Unfortunately not every horse is smart enough to come in out of the rain.  Especially when it is very common up here to have a tin roof.  They get cold in the early spring.  Its wet there is no where for them to lay down it can be a mess.   It’s not the late spring rains it’s the early ones.  February, March there is still snow on the ground the ground is still frozen under the snow so the rain is mixed with the snow and when it comes in it may rain for a few days straight.  Once they are wet to the skin they are cold.  So you know your horse but if this is your first year here just keep that in the back of your mind as sometimes a metal roof really bothers them.  And you have to remember it will be 38 or 40 degrees.  Just cold enough to rain.

Other than that a little extra food in the cold times and they are pretty much handled.  I do like to throw mine a little loose salt every other day or so to keep them drinking good.  

All my other animals are pretty much the same care.  My sheep as long as they have non frozen water and don’t have to stand in the rain they are happy as can be.  Dogs, chickens they all need a heated waterer.  I usually buy a dog one for my chickens.  I find those heated chicken waterers don’t last very long.  They do fine with a dog one as long as it’s a little raised so they don’t fill it with gunk.  

Heated Dog Bowl

Works great for the chickens, cat, dog and any other little critters

I’m sure there are better and other ideas but this is what works for me.  It’s always work in progress.  But I find winter  doesn’t have to be to hard as long as you are prepared for it.  Please feel free to leave some comments or ask some questions.  This is a beautiful area to call home.  Contact me here with your questions.  And if your just considering North Idaho for your new home Please shop for homes here!

 

 

 

No Z Estimate for Idaho

The Cold Hard Truth about Zillow and Idaho: Facts you need to know

The Cold Hard Truth about Zillow and Idaho!

 

No Z Estimate for Idaho

Idaho is a Non Disclosure State!

Before you hug your Z estimate to tight lets discuss the facts about that little baby.

Ever wonder where Zillow gets there information?  Its pretty simple Public Records, and Zillows own Algorithm that helps it determine a value off public records and there own values that they have plugged in to come up with a hypothetical value for your home.

So hypothetically and not taking into consideration the home improvements you have done or the fact that the neighbor did home improvements and you ripped your kitchen out and didn’t return it   There is your value.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not a Zillow hater.  In fact I am a Premier agent with Zillow.  I pay them the big bucks for my listings to be listed as mine and for the property requests that are done on those listings to actually come back to me.  The listing agent.  I love the fact that so many people do use Zillow.

But here is the deal!  Idaho is a non- disclosure state.  So what does that mean for Zillow?  They are not accessing our public records for home sales.  We as agents will get in trouble if we disclose to Zillow what homes are selling for.  So where is that pie in the sky number coming from?

That’s a good question.  I have a few ideas but none of them are probably suitable to put in print.

See that is one of the beauties of Idaho.  You go down to the county to file for your home exemption.  First words will be what did you pay for the property?   Your answer is:

I Choose not to disclose!

Now is it ever in your favor to disclose?  There are times:  Example being when the market was bad.  You bet if your new property is getting taxed as being worth $200k and you just paid $150k then you bet you march on in there with your contract and closing statement and you disclose what you paid for it.  But if that is reversed you take the Idaho answer!  I choose not to disclose!  And don’t feel bad about taking that choice.  They expect it!  And it is your right!

So keep in mind of how Zillow just came up with that Z Estimate on your home or a home you are considering from a State that Chooses not to Disclose.  You probably guessed it!

Get an actual value!  Contact me I am happy to disclose to you from the MLS (that I cannot put public links to closed properties on) sold homes in any area that you would like.  Be it a home you are considering selling or a home you are considering purchasing.  You want to rely on someone with the real tool bag.  For Idaho it truly is Not Zillow!

Contact me here for any specific property that you would like a market analysis on or just some local com parables.

What does a Sellers Market mean for you as a Buyer?

What does a seller’s market mean for you as a buyer?

2016 has turned home buying into somewhat of a challenge for the average buyer.  Here are a few ideas to start making your life a little simpler and give you some ideas of how to actually win that home!

1. Of course the absolute most important is having your financing in order!  That means you’ve  already seen A lender,  you already have your pre-qualified letter in hand and  if they could have ran you through underwriting and have you pre-approved  you have already done that also.  You know exactly how much money you can spend and you are very happy with what the payment will be.  In the middle of quick negotiations you need to be sure that your good with the payment.  This is not the time to be worrying about that.

  2.  These things you will need to know off the top of your head.  How much down payment do I have.  And do I have the cash for my closing costs or do I need the seller to pay those. If you need sellers assistance with closing costs that’s fine.  Your not going to be as competitive though so you may have to try for a few homes before you actually win one.  Every concession you need – the more patience your going to need to go with it.

Once you’ve got your financing in order some of the other things you really want to take into consideration is.

What am I looking for?  what type of home do I need?   What size do I need?   What can I live with, and  what can I live without.

Click here for your Home Buying Checklist

You’re not going to have a lot of time to make a decision as you come across these homes.   Sometimes you’re going to have to make a split-second decision and you’re going to be in a competitive bidding war so you want to make sure that you’re aware and happy with the things that you can live with and that you can’t live with.  Put a value to them also if you can.  Really rate them so your prepared and confident with a fast choice.   Make sure if your a couple that your on the same page over these.  Get them discussed ahead of time.

Homes are selling fast

You won’t have a lot of time to make a decision in a sellers market!

Be prepared to look at homes on short notice.  My experience this year for my listings is having multiple offers in hand usually within 12 hours or less of listing the home.  So be  prepared to drop everything and run look at a house.  If your married and you have really discussed that list you may be comfortable with just one of you looking at the house.  Consider it if one of you is not super flexible in your schedule.

 

One of the other things you’re going to want to take into consideration is how handy am I.   What can I repair?  What can I fix?   Who do I have that can help me fix this because sometimes taking on some repairs yourself can be a good bargaining chip when it comes down to negotiating with the  sellers.  Sellers are the happiest doing nothing.   And in a sellers market they get away with doing less than they should because its so competitive.  Don’t worry its all cyclical.  It will come back around and buyers will be able to make them jump thru hoops again.  Doesn’t help you today but a little salve for the wound.

 

Patience is the name of the game.  No getting  attached to any home that you’re walking through until it’s actually yours.  Until you have an accepted offer in your hand no attachment.  You may have to make an offer on several  homes before you win one.   I know that sounds a little tough because you wouldn’t make an offer if you couldn’t see yourself living there.  I get that!  Your setting yourself up for a huge disappointment though if you start dreaming about it to soon.

One thing I can tell you as a constellation prize.  I have yet to see someone lose out on a home and not eventually end up in a home that they love more.  I know that sounds hard to believe when your dream home gets sold out from under you but in all the years I have sold homes it has always worked out to being a far better situation in the long run.  I could get religious on you here but I won’t.  Just trust and have faith!

One thing about a sellers market is everything takes more time than your anticipating.  That can be a real problem if your in a rental.   Your best bet is to flip your lease into a month to month.  I know some landlords don’t like doing that.  If that is a big no with your land lord option B is having someone you can crash with for a while.  Parent, family, friend.

Otherwise you may want to start shopping 5 or 6 months prior to your lease coming due.  That may leave you in a position where you have 2 payments for a month or so if you get lucky and find dream home right off the bat.  That is a gamble.  But if you figure 60 days to finance dream home after you find it.  Remember you won’t have a house payment on the new home for almost 45 days after it closes.  That really only sticks you with a month of double payments if you were so lucky to win a home early.

After you have you prepared – remember the seller is going to be seeking the most attractive offer they can get.  That includes the most money, the least amount of repair for them, (someone taking a home as is) very attractive if the seller knows they are not going to get beat up in the home inspection,  And any other perk that is attractive to that seller.  Maybe staying in the home longer, quicker close.  A lot just depends on what is important to that seller. 

The more attractive you can make your offer and your presentation the quicker and easier it’s going to come together for you.  Of course the cash buyer is almost always going to win over someone who’s financing but do your homework get your things done that you need to get done  and it will come into place for you.   And most important line up with an agent that understands this market.  And listen to them.   Patience and speed is key for a buyer in a sellers market.

7 Tips for Improving your Credit

7 Tips for Improving Your Credit

Here’s how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible.

Getting the loan that suits your situation at the best possible price and terms makes home-buying easier and more affordable. Here are seven ways to boost your credit score so you can do just that.

 

 1. Know your credit score

 

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher, the better. They’re based on whether you’ve paid personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt in full and on time in the past. You’ll need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a home loan and 740 to get the best interest rates and terms.

 

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax (http://www.equifax.com), Experian (http://www.experian.com), and TransUnion (http://www.transunion.com). Access all three versions of your credit report at  (http://www.annualcreditreport.com). Review them to ensure the information is accurate.

 2. Correct errors on your credit report

 

If you find mistakes on your credit report, write a letter to the credit-reporting agency explaining why you believe there’s an error. Send documents that support your case, and ask that the error be corrected or removed. Also write to the company, or debt collector, that reported the incorrect information to dispute the information, and ask to be copied on any materials sent to credit-reporting agencies.

 

 3. Pay every bill on time

 

You may be surprised at the damage even a few late payments will have on your credit score. The easiest way to make a big difference in your credit score without altering your spending habits is to diligently pay all your bills on time. You’ll also save money because you’ll keep the money you’ve been spending on late fees. Credit card or mortgage companies probably won’t report minor late payments, those less than 30 days overdue, but you’ll still have to pay late fees.

Pay every bill on time

Pay every bill on time

 4. Use credit carefully

 

Another good way to boost your credit score is to pay your credit card bills in full every month. If you can’t do that, pay as much over your required minimum payment as possible to begin whittling away the debt. Stop using your credit cards to keep your balances from increasing, and transfer balances from high-interest credit cards to lower-interest cards.

 

 5. Take care with the length of your credit

 

Credit rating agencies also consider the length of your credit history. If you’ve had a credit card for a long time and managed it responsibly, that works in your favor. However, opening several new credit cards at once can lower the average age of your accounts, which pushes down your score. Likewise, closing credit card accounts lowers your available credit, so keep credit cards open even if you’re not using them.

 

 6. Don’t use all the credit you’re offered

 

Credit scores are also based on how much credit you use compared with how much you’re offered. Using $1,000 of available credit will give you a lower score than having $1,000 of available credit and using $100 of it. Occasionally opening new lines of credit can boost your available credit, which also affects your score positively.

 7. Be patient

 

It can take time for your credit score to climb once you’ve begun working to improve it. Keep at it because the more distance you put between your spotty payment history and your current good payment record, the less damage you’ll do to your credit score.

I am happy to refer you to several great lenders that can help you start sorting out your situation.   Here is a list of some of my favorite lenders.

 Other web resources

 

How FICO scores are calculated (http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx)

Answers to frequently asked credit report questions (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/helpfaq)

 

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who keeps a close eye on her credit scores. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR? Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

 

When your agent doesn’t accompany you to a showing

Agents that send you to showings without them or don’t accompany you to houses you want to see!

Okay I have to be honest I am on a rant!  Give me a few minutes and I will cool off. Probably Not!  Received a call today from an agent who has a potential buyer, for one of my rural property listings.  Great!  When do you want to show it?  Well, she says I was hoping you would show it for me.

 

Excuse Me!  You want me to show your client my listing?  The reason I am on a rant over this is this is not the first time this has happened!  Try the 3rd time this month and its only February.  At least this one was polite enough to ask.  Rather than just having their clients show up get a walk through and then send me an offer. I have to be grateful for that.

Do any buyers ever wonder what could be wrong with this picture?  The person who has your back, the person who works for you the person who is your extra eyes and ears didn’t show up!  They are selling you a home that they have never seen!  How do they have your best interest at heart?  Their job is to be trouble shooting for you, your advocate.

I’m working for the seller in this situation not the buyer.  And yes I will be checking you out to see if your a suitable buyer for my sellers property.  And you are probably going to tell me a whole bunch of things that are not in your best interest.

 

Have to love one of the agents that sent me an offer on a house this month.  I just commented to him “You have never seen the house.”  I had already showed it twice to this young couple).  That doesn’t sound so very good!  His answer was priceless “I’m quite familiar with the property I looked at it on google earth”.  All I want to say to these poor buyers is seriously?  Your letting this dim wit that managed to look at your new home on google earth lead the way?  Does he know what condition the house is in?  Can he answer your lenders questions on the property when he is asked?  Can he tell you where the well is?  Do you really feel okay giving him thousands of dollars for never getting up out of his google earth chair?

The Google Earth Chair lulls you to sleep!

The Google Earth Chair lulls you to sleep!

We are ethically bound to do what is best for our buyers and our sellers.  One of those services is to actually take a look at what we are listing and walk through what we are selling.  If your listing agent can’t show up for a listing or your buyers agent can’t show up to show you a property it truly is okay to fire them!  I don’t care what you signed.  Kick them to the curb.  It is our job to show up to work.  No different than you show up to work.

 

And don’t get me wrong.  I can understand busy passing you to another agent in there office, handing you to their buyers rep who shows up with you to the property.  But sending you out to lie to a listing agent to get a showing is flat wrong or lying to you about who is showing you the property is even worse.  We do have a code of ethics in this profession.  And if you’re going to allow yourself to get represented by someone who thinks that is an okay way to do business.  All I can suggest is that you better start checking what other corners they have cut for you.  Because showing the house will not be the only cut corner you can bank on that!

And this isn’t a pick on buyer’s rant I know it sounds like it but I am quite sure that a lot of the times the buyers don’t even realize it’s happening to them.  So if you’re buying a home the person who is representing you or a direct member of that person’s team should be the person that shows you the property.  If a stranger that you never see again shows you the property there is something wrong.

Moral of my Story:

Yes I am showing a property tomorrow for an agent that I don’t know to a client that I don’t know because it is in the best interest of my seller.  Am I going to get paid extra for it NO but I will be able to go to bed tonight knowing that I go the extra mile for my clients.  After all, my number one job to my sellers is to get there home sold!  If that means doing someone else’s job also well sometimes life is not fair and you do what you have to do to get the job done.  As long as it’s ETHICAL!

 

And yes I will volunteer to write her contract for her also tomorrow.   And I am sorry Mr. and Mrs. Buyer your agent didn’t show up to represent you.  I know its not your fault you don’t always know who is going to actually work for you and who isn’t.  Sometimes we are hard to separate we all look the same in a sense.

 

Your best solution for it is to pay attention.  Make sure your buyers agent is actually participating and showing up to homes for you.  And if they don’t sound to eager to drive to a rural property look for a different agent.  We all have areas we “like” to work and areas we don’t like to work.  Nothing wrong with someone not wanting to serve a certain area you just want to make sure that they refer you to someone that does.

 

It is very unethical for us to sell properties that we have never seen.   And you have to remember if the agent hasn’t looked at it how can they advise you in what to do best.  We are not home inspectors and we don’t replace them or appraisers either.  But we certainly should be able to spot a few red flags and point you in the direction to get the proper answers to make sure you are comfortable dealing with the issues.  You only get to do your due diligence once on a property I would  hate for something to get missed because you were overwhelmed looking at the whole property and missed a few details.   And after all if we are in the business of selling homes we need to participate.  No arm chair google earthing and calling it showing up to work.

I sell rural property in North Idaho :   Rathdrum, Athol, Spirit Lake, Post Falls area.  If you need someone that is always willing to show up to work.  Look no further.  And your listings they are safe with me.  I promise you I will show them for anyone to help you get your home sold.  I might stomp my feet at home over it but I will show up!  You can bank on it!   Find out what your home is worth!

 

 

Seller Contract? Buyer BeWare!

As a Realtor telling you this I realize your first thought is you don’t want me to buy for-sale by owner because you lose money.  And yes that is a fact anytime you don’t buy a house through me I don’t gain money.  So very true. Point acknowledged!

I have had an interesting year this year trying to sell a home for a seller that had bought there home for sale by owner a few years ago with very easy to get into seller financing.  They  thought they could do better “on there own” and this is what they got.

They purchased a home for about 35k more than it was worth.  (You should ask your Realtor to run com parables for you) and they got wrote up into a contract that was impossible to get out of.  They got wrote into a 5 year balloon  meaning they needed to pay it off in 5 years.  Well that is good and well if:

1.  The property is finance-able

2.  You do not owe more on it then it is worth.

3.  You have some equity in it at that time and you can get a decent financing deal on it.  Ideally needing to borrow less than 80% of the properties value.  So you can get a good loan on it.

4.  You have the cash or will have and this is a good deal for you

Some sellers will scam

Getting scammed by a seller contract that you can never escape is not pretty!

They hit the 5 year mark with still owing 20k more on it then its worth.  And a property that is hard to finance in the first place if its loan to value was right.  So what is happening to them you ask?  Well there down payment and there 5 years worth of payments is going down the drain.  That seller also made them sign a contract that they were not allowed to rent the property either so after not being able to sell it for more than its worth and not able to rent it out and they can’t finance it because they don’t have another 30k to get that home to a point where they could finance it  he is going to reposes it.  Which by the way this  is the 3rd time he has done that in the last 15 years.  Do you think they got scammed?

He once again is offering it low down rent to own or for sale by owner seller finance and all the other to good to be true options that are out there to take advantage of the unknowing.  The next buyer will have the same terms pay it off in 5 years no renting it etc.  The next ones will also be out the door on there ear.

And don’t get me wrong I am not knocking a seller contract.  But you need to be aware.  What are the terms?   Is it a contract that you can legally ethically get out of down the road.  My sellers on the above transaction were very willing to keep the property and rent it out.  That seller was unwilling to do that because he knew he could do better by repoing it  and starting over.  He had no intentions of letting them create new terms for it.  Even though they could prove that they could not finance it because the appraisal came in way to low he was still unwilling to rewrite terms.  And the fact of the matter is they signed a contract agreeing to his terms.  They had nothing to fall back on.

So you want to consider if it has a balloon where are you going to be 5 years 10 years down the road.  Jobs change, family status changes, life is full of change.  Is it a property that in case of emergency you could take a loan out on?  There are some properties that a bank just will not loan on.  No matter what.  Those properties are going to have to be seller financed to sell.  They could be neat properties but that is the deal.  Are you going to be in a position when you need to sell it that you could carry the paper on it also.  If the answer is NO because you will need the money to move on then you should probably reconsider.  I am an optimist by nature but I truly believe expect the best but plan for the worst.

Are you financially prepared for the worst.  Seems to me usually that the people that can least afford the financial disaster are the most likely to get into one.  Funny how that works.

I’m not sitting here trying to push you to use a Realtor.  i do highly recommend it for your own protection but I know it happens every day that people take on making the biggest investment of there life with no assistance, thinking they are getting a better deal.  Thinking it will save you a commission or save you some extra fees.  Generally speaking if you are a buyer, you can still get the seller to pay the commission to the buyers representative and you end up with someone that is on your team.  Its not a question of you paying more or less.  Sometimes you can’t afford to not pay for the help.  You buy something your trapped in that your going to lose your butt if you have one ounce of a problem that 2 or 3% that it would have cost you for assistance is nothing in comparison.

In my above client example they paid almost 30% more than the property was worth.  They could never have caught up in the 5 years they had to make payments on it.  And they put down a decent down payment they put 10k down.  So my words of advice really be careful.  And make sure you have an escape clause.  That your not upside down and that you could resell it or rent it if you needed to down the road.  Those are the things an experienced agent should be able to help you with.  Your devils advocate per sea.

And I am not saying No to the weird non conforming property that suits your family perfect its good go in with you eyes wide open.  If your credit is a disaster but you need a home and all that is available is an over priced seller financing home thats fine go in with your eyes wide open.  Have a plan.  And know what you might lose and be prepared for that.  We all do things sometimes that we don’t want to do but have to do.  That is fine but know the pros and cons.

I’m here to help you with all your buyer and seller needs.  Please feel free to request help.  Questions and answers are free

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Why is that First Offer always your best offer

Why is that First Offer Always your best offer?

selling houses

Why do we get less money in the long run?

I have been selling “things” since I was 5 years old.  And that is truly the phenomenon question of life.  Why—  is that first offer always the best?  Why is it the most money or the best terms or the best you name it.

I’ve watched it time and time again over the years.  Be it selling a car, horse, livestock, piece of furniture, or something as big as a house.  Why do we all get spanked when we turn that first offer down?

life spanking

why does life spank us when we turn down that first offer?

And I have been guilty of it myself so don’t think I am so high and mighty I’m not!  I had a horse years ago that everyone wanted.  I would go to the horse shows and pass up an offer on her practically every show.

Well shortly thereafter I got pregnant had a kid life changed, and don’t get me wrong I still sold that horse for decent money but thousands of dollars less than what I had originally been offered.  Yes I had my fun and that was certainly “worth” something and I had my ego of having something special.  Can’t forget that!  But it was still less money on sale day.

I watch people do it all the time with  houses.  I have to shake my head at one.  Man was he holding out!  He was not going to take 10k less for that house. Was it worth it you could have argued that one either way.  Questionable home and questionable market.   And this is not a question of right or wrong today this is just a question of  life.  This man  was a lucky one.  He did get his money eventually.  After making 2 years worth of $1000 per month payments he did get that extra 10k for a price.  So for $24,000 he got his 10k.  Wow was it worth it ?  And did he win or lose?

You know we all have to question when those offers come in.  Is it what its worth?  Can I get more?  Am i being hosed by these people? Can I create more value?  Will the market come up next week?  Will it fall next week?  And I guess those are the questions that can drive us crazy forever.  Do your homework and know what range you’re going to fall into (it’s always a range) and its usually separated by a percentage point or so.

And then some where in your heart you have to find some comfort with those questions and come to a self compromise.  Bottom line its a gamble.  Maybe you can do better but your probably going to do worse statistics have proven that.   I guess if you go to the casino and you keep sticking quarters in you will eventually win.  So maybe that’s a good way to rationalize it.  And I guess at some point you have to look at the cost of holding out and balance that with what the difference is with getting on with your life.

You know I think some-days those doors are left half-open for us just to see if were willing to be “giving” enough to take the chance and move forward.  And while you’re sitting in the doorway of one door, the next door can never open.  Funny how that works.

Maybe that’s why were spanked when we don’t take the chances when the doors are opened for us.  And maybe that is why that first offer is always our best offer.

 

I sell homes in the North Idaho and Eastern Washington Market.  To find out what your home is worth click here for your free Market Analysis.  

First Time Home Buyers how to pick the home

 First Time Home Buyer How To pick out that new home!

So you have done your homework.  Your Pre-qualified for your new home you know the price range that you need to be in and you and your family have decided roughly what it is that you want in a home to buy.  And I say roughly because you don’t always end up with what you think your going to end up with.  Once you start walking through some houses your going to change your mind a little.  Your going to find things you like and your going to see somethings that you thought you would have liked that you really don’t.  And that’s okay!  That is part of the process.  Especially if you’re a first time home buyer.

Dream home is found

Once you find the dream home its time to make an offer on it

You have picked your Realtor and are receiving properties from that Realtor on a regular basis.  So what do you do with those.  I’m going to suggest that you take a little time and do a few drive-bys and check out the neighborhoods (make sure your comfortable with them) and look for the schools, shopping  etc what ever is important to you.  As you do your drive-bys you are going to see some of them that you look around and say “No way am I living here”  and that’s fine.  That is how we start sorting them out.

I’m going to suggest that you don’t always sort them out by the pictures.  Unfortunately in this industry pictures can sometimes be deceiving.  Now if its horrible that’s fine but I would suggest starting  first with the neighborhoods.  Remember in Real Estate it’s all about Location, Location, Location!  And unfortunately we all do sometimes see some fabulous houses in areas that a prudent wanting to be safe person would never be.  

Once you have them sorted its time to start scheduling some time to go view them.  This is when it starts to get fun.  You want to block a few hours out at a time.  I am going to suggest that you keep your numbers down to about 5 or 6 to view in a day.  You get to many and they start to run together in your mind.  And bring a notebook.  Plan on taking some notes.  A flashlight and a tape measure are also good tools to have with you.

Depending on your Realtor, the area and how far you are traveling you may ride with your Realtor or you may follow in your own vehicle.  I see a lot of families with babies take their own vehicle so they can have all the babies stuff with them.  it all depends on the situation and the logistics.  Either way your off to start the home buying process.  

I am going to suggest at this time also that if you have a baby sitter for the baby or the other kids to utilize that person at this time.  It’s actually important that you are not distracted as you are walking through homes while you are preparing to make one of the biggest  investments of your life.  

There is a certain etiquette that you want to follow as you come to viewing homes.  For one thing the home owners personal stuff is theirs.  You never go through their home and open dresser drawers, medicine bottles or any other personal items.  And you don’t let your kids do it either.  They don’t get to play with the families kids toys  either.  Frankly sanitation wise that freaks me out.

A well prepped seller won’t have those things out anyway but you will find as you walk through homes not all sellers are well prepped.  If they have booties out for shoe covers you wear them.  Quite a few sellers don’t want extra tracks across their floors.  Especially in an environment where you are probably coming in with wet feet.  You always want to respect their personal property.

Another big one if they have pets Leave them Alone!  I can’t tell you how many times I have to suggest to people to leave their animals alone.  If the dog is in the kennel because the owner thinks it might bite Respect that!  Nobody cares that you’re the next dog whisperer.  If you’re looking at Rural property if you open a gate shut the gate.  And once again leave their animals alone.  You never know how they will react to strangers and frankly there is no reason to find out.  Nothing is going to ruin your house hunting day more than getting a good dog bite or letting someones horse kick you.

Now what can you open.  You can always open kitchen cupboards, closets, pantry’s, garage doors etc.  Anything that is part of the home that will be staying.  Just don’t go through the things in the closet.  They will be leaving.  Another thing that you shouldn’t do is don’t get hung up on any of the pictures the seller has hanging on the walls or sitting around.  Once again a well prepped seller will have put those away but we do see them when we are out and about.

You can take measurements.  if you like a home but know that you have a special couch that is x number of feet long.  Of course you can measure to make sure it will fit.  Anything else that is a specialty of your own personal life by all means make sure it will fit.  That is what we are here for.

Another thing you want to pay attention to is what is included in the house.  Most homes are required to leave the range, the oven hood, dishwasher, attached window treatments, light fixtures,  Anything that is basically attached to the house.

Now on some listings they will have the excluded items list and you want to pay attention to that.  It may include things like the refrigerator, washer and dryer, the storage shed out back.  Sometimes its the beautiful antique chandelier that is hanging in the entry.  It could be anything.

Now once again the well prepped seller would have made sure that the chandelier was already pulled down and what they were leaving was already up.  They can’t take it and leave you a hole in the ceiling.  But we all know not all sellers are well prepped.  And sometimes they just don’t follow good advice because they just don’t want to.  Grandmas chandelier just makes the entry way pop.

So what if your looking at this house and you love grandmas chandelier.  Well you can ask for it.  Make it part of the deal.  Doesn’t mean your going to get it but you never know.  Same thing for the refrigerator or the washer and dryer.  Remember everything is negotiable.  You may want to read How to make an offer so you can put some of the pieces together.

Once you have it narrowed down to just a couple of favorites its usually a good idea to go back through those favorites again prior to making the choice.  Its time to really look at it and make sure that its really going to fit your family.  Another check on the neighborhood, crime rate or whatever is important to you.

Make sure your eyes are wide open and you look at it for its faults also.  This isn’t a nitpick it a piece party but this is the time to look at what is obvious of changes you would want to make or touches you want to add and make sure it looks feasible.  This is also the time to note the condition of the home again.  If it looks like the roof is about to blow off then you need to be aware that you may be buying a new roof in the next year.  Does that fit your budget?

Your probably going to do a home inspection also so you will have an expert come in behind you and really look it over but you do want to be aware.

If it all checks out then the time has arrived to make that offer.  You are well on your way of being a First Time Home Buyer!

I hope this helped give you an idea of how the selection process works for that great home that you want to buy.  Questions and comments don’t be shy.  I am here to help just contact me.  Please feel free to use the free home search on the website and when you are ready to start your shopping process please consider hiring me to help you through the home buying process.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read and have a Fabulous day!

How to Negotiate Your Home Inspection

Negotiating the Home Inspection!

As your offer is wrote you have an option in the contract to have not only a home inspection but an inspection of most anything you want.  For instance if the roof looks questionable to you maybe you want a roofer to inspect it.  If your buying Rural Property and there is a well you might want a well person to inspect that.  Other common individual inspections could be the heating supply, pests inspection, big in my area Radon and Mold.  Anything that doesn’t look right to you and you want a professional in that field to check it out this is the time to request that.

Home Inspector will find water damage

Home Inspector will find water damage

So who pays for that home inspection?  You do!  

It’s your information to protect you.  You own the inspection.  Your agent should be able to recommend you a few inspectors and you can check for fees but ultimately every inspection you request is your responsibility.  Time is usually of the essence in this situation also.  Depending on how fast your closing this contract will sometimes dictate how much time you have to get this done.  Even on a best case scenario though you usually don’t get much more than 10 days.  You want to pay attention to that number in your contract and get these scheduled as quickly as possible so you have time to consider the results and do more research if necessary.

Before you made this offer hopefully you have already looked the house over for any major flaws or abnormalities that you could have noticed.  Your not the expert but you should be able to see if there is obvious water damage or a hole in the roof or something else that is big and obvious.  You will probably have a few surprises in the home inspection but they should be small if you look the house over fairly well.  Your Realtor can help you with this also, they are not a qualified home inspector but if it appears that you never noticed that part of the roof is missing, I do believe it is our responsibility to say hey Mr. or Mrs. buyer are you going to be okay with that big sky light?  Or for instance I had one the other day a Repo that I noticed all the wires were cut to the breaker box.  You know that’s a simple observation that you might want to get the electrical checked out on this home.  I don’t know what needs to be done but looks like a potential problem.

home inspection repairs

somethings you can fix

Now one thing I am going to tell you straight up there is no such thing as a perfect house.  They all have something wrong with them.  Its like anything in life no such thing as perfection it’s just a question can you manage the flaws and can you live with them.  With that said prior to making the offer you should have looked the house over for major flaws.  Water damage, Cracks in the wall or foundation, Obvious Electrical issues and anything else that seems strange.

So the home inspector looks the house over and it has some issues so what can you ask to have repaired and what should you accept.  A lot of times its going to depend on how the home was listed if it’s a foreclosure or a short sale and its listed “as is.” Then that is probably what you’re going to get.  “As Is!”

That home iinspection is to protect you and give you a heads up of what is wrong in that situation.  If the home was listed as is, and you thought you could handle its issues, but after the inspection you find that there is something major, then here is a good opportunity for you to be able to walk away from the home.  

The type of loan you’re getting is also going to dictate what you’re going to have to ask the seller to fix and what you can let slide.  So the first thing you and your agent are going to do is go through that home inspection and make a list of everything that you want fixed, everything you need fixed and everything you must have fixed.  Do some prioritizing.

Then your going to have to look at the market and take that into consideration.  In a fast market with lots of buyers you’re not going to get as much fixed as you will in a slower market.  How marketable is that house.  If your loan requires certain repairs prior to funding the loan than those are must ask for and those become non-negotiable.  Your seller either fixes or your forced to walk.

Then come the wants.  Some days that boils down to how handy are you.  If you can do some of the little things might be better to ask that seller to do the big must do fixes and you take on the little things.  This new home is going to be a life time of little things to fix just fyi.  If the seller is quite handy and you’re not then maybe yes its time to ask for those.

You really more than anything want to find a balance.

Its all about balance

Teamwork can make anything happen

I usually tell my buyers if its major and can become a deal breaker then we ask for it.  If there is a bunch of little piddly things then maybe we pick what is most important to us and that is what we ask for.  Split it per sea and let them know that we are splitting it.  Sometimes a seller is a little happier to accommodate if they know that you have only selected a few things off the list rather than a huge laundry list.

I have found that usually not asking for more than about 3 or 4 things seems to work fairly well also.  You hand them to big of a list and it makes them mad they feel nitpicked.  I’ve had sellers say well if there is this much wrong with my house why are they buying it.  They obviously don’t like it.  Hand them something with just  a few things on it and they will look at it and go okay I can do that.   So don’t overwhelm them.  

And just a little insight on a seller.  That home inspector shows up and there scared.  They know this person can rip their home a new one.  So take that into consideration as this process is going down.  Doesn’t mean get stuck with something that you can’t handle it just means to be a little prudent and kind.

So what if the seller won’t fix anything.  Well you still have some choices.  You can walk of course.  Or you can say hey Mr. or Mrs.  Seller there is a lot more repairs here then I was expecting will you come down on the price a little and help me out?  That is always an option unless the necessary repair has to be done to qualify the home for your loan.

If you really like the home though maybe you talk to the lender and see if some of the repairs can be done out of escrow or change your type of loan.  It is all still very negotiable at this moment. I’ve seen buyers change their loan to accommodate the repairs and the sellers drop the price a little and everyone is happy.  Sometimes you have sellers that are moving because of a variety of reasons and if they can’t afford to do the repairs sometimes you have to work around that.   And this is one of those spots that if you didn’t make your seller mad with your offer to purchase.  How to Make an Offer!  that you can still have a conversation and come to some form of an agreement.

Bottom line on a home purchase.  Everything is negotiable.  And sometimes the majority of the negotiations actually happen after you have made your offer.  Lots of variables out there.  I hope this has given you a little bit of an idea of what to expect with a home inspection and somewhat of how your going to have to navigate it.  Every home deal is different so there is never any set in stone this is how its done.  I always marvel over the creativity of people when they put there heads together and figure out how to make something happen. 

The path to the keys of your new home

The path to the keys of your new home

Please feel free to Contact me with any questions that you may have.  You are always welcome to use my free home search for the North Idaho and Eastern Washington area.  And please consider my services for your next home buying or selling needs.  I hope your day is amazing.

First Time Home Buyers through the eyes of a Realtor

The First Time Home Buyer Calls:

There Giddy with excitement as they have finally decided to take the home buying plunge.  There impatient the time has come to buy that home and since the decision was made yesterday it has already been a long time.  Hurry up and show me something.  If the Realtor should ask to many questions then skip onto the next one that just runs out and shows them a home.   Better yet lets call 3 or 4 realtors surly we will get better service that way.

The first dream home

The first dream home

They come across the drag of a Realtor.  The one that goes “Haaave you been pre-qualified”?  Pre-qualified whats that?  Of course we have good credit! We will worry about that later. Lets go see a house!

Money is only a portion of the negotiation

Money is only a portion of the negotiation

Hurry!  Lets go!   I really want to see it today.  And off to the houses they go.  She falls in love with the first house, he hates it.  Then the arguments begin.  Before you know it we are discussing how many children were going to have,  who gets which rooms and who’s mother gets to live with us.  And I don’t even like his mother she says.  But we get that hashed out and finally ” find the one.”

Remember that “drag” of a Realtor we mentioned earlier?   The one that wanted our first time home buyer to pre-qualify?  Well now we are going to learn why we “should” have listened to that Realtor.  That offer needs a Pre-qual letter.  So now that the dream house is found we need to get that done yesterday because were going to lose that house if we don’t get an offer on it right away!!  And that’s the day we find the blemish on the credit.  And we also learn that $200k house we just fell in love with well we only qualify for $175k.  We can’t afford it.  That makes for a great relationship moment!  One of you  paid a bill late and someone  doesn’t make enough money!   Lets sleep on that one tonight!

There are so many hoops to jump through to make that first time home buying experience as smooth as possible.  From having a well thought out plan to even an idea of what you want for a home.  What features, a dream list per-sea.

A good talk with a financial adviser or a mortgage person is a great place to start.  There are so many different loans and loan programs out there that you should know what you qualify for before you even start “looking” at a house.  Some loans that you will qualify for  are for certain locations, some for certain income brackets, neighbor hood rehab loans that are available to people of certain occupations ie. teachers, police officers etc.  You want to have your financial ducks in a row!

It is to your advantage to decide on the price range and the size of your house payment long before you get swept away with the excitement of a new home.  It’s a budget saver and a relationship saver all in one.

So your well laid out plan on buying your first home is starting to come together.  You have your savings, your down payment, your pre-qualified letter in hand and you know the price range your going to be shopping in.

So let’s go look at some houses!  So before you start calling every Realtor you find on-line.  Now is the time to do a little home work.  Do you have some that can be referred to you?  So interview a couple of them.  They should have some experience in helping a first time home buyer.  Hopefully they know the neighborhoods that you are interested in and can give you a little advice maybe know a few inside tidbits of info on them that you wouldn’t know otherwise.

Are they a good fit for you?  Can you communicate with them?  Home buying can be a little frustrating.  Will they answer your calls and your questions?  Can you text them how do you get a hold of them when you have a question.  When do they work?  Make sure that it’s all a good fit.  Your going to work pretty close with this person for the next 2-3 months.

Once you have selected your Realtor don’t be surprised if they ask you to sign a buyers Representation agreement.  Yes they expect your loyalty.  There going to be doing a lot of ground work for you and yes at some point they are going to expect a reward for there hard work.  Aka a pay check.

So off to the houses you go.  You find your favorite and in goes the offer.  This is a good time to listen to the advise of your agent.  Do let them help you!  I can’t tell you how many first time home-buyers have to lose on a home because someone told them to low ball the house or some other crazy idea.  Your Realtor should be able to help you make a good reasonable offer. For more info on that read How to make an offer.   The secret to negotiations is that everyone wins.  You should feel you’re getting good value for your dollar and you should be able to prove that with com parables of the other homes that have sold in the area.  Your Realtor should be able to provide that.

And you don’t want to leave your seller with a feeling of getting insulted.  The purchase price is just one of the tiny little pieces of the puzzle that make for good negotiations.  You have closing dates, inspections, you have the unknowns with your own loan.  Nothing like finding  your having problems with your loan or the bank is behind and to have to come and ask your already angry seller to work with you.  And don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you overpay for anything but I am suggesting being reasonable.  That old adage of put your self in the other persons boot for a few minutes will help you a lot here.

It takes a team to have a smooth purchase and sale.  A good attitude and a feeling of teamwork will go a long way.  Emotions are always the highest during this time for you and the sellers of your new home.  Lots of changes coming everyone’s direction right now.

This is where lots of prep with you lender should make the loan process smooth.  You get through your inspection process hopefully you had no surprises on the condition of your new home.  And you move on down the purchase pipe line.  The day comes to sign your loan documents.  This is always a big day for folks and a frustrating day also.

You sign your loan should the house be yours right now?  Chances are probably not.  Once you sign your loan documents they usually are then sent back to the lender and audited.

After they pass that little phase they then cut a check and send it to the title company or the closer to disperse.  Once the funds have been dispersed and the transfer of the home has been “recorded” through the county court-house at that time the home becomes yours.

You get the keys with a good offer

You get the keys with a good offer

On a best case scenario that can happen in one day on a worse case it might take a couple of days.  That is always something to discuss with your lender prior to your closing date so you can make a plan.  Hate to see that moving truck full and nowhere to go.

A good Realtor should be happy and willing to walk you through the whole home buying process and keep you apprised along the way of what to expect at every avenue.  With knowledge your armed! And with a well armed client it helps those realtors keep the fun and the charm in their job.  One  of the biggest joys of this job is helping a first time homeowner achieve the fulfillment of owning their first home.  There is nothing more satisfying in my opinion then seeing the glee on the face of a family walking into their first home.

Please contact me with your questions and your home buying desires in North Idaho and Eastern Washington.  Feel free to check out the free home search on this site.  It is always available to you.  Thank You so much for giving my site some of your time.  I appreciate it!  Have an amazing day!

 

How to make that Home Buying Offer

“How to make that Home Buying Offer” is the never ending question.

How to buy a home

Dream Home awaits

What makes for a good offer?  How do I get the best deal?  And the worse part of all is that I have a dozen different people stuffing ideas into my head and I just watched this magic show on TV that tells me I can low ball a seller and make an amazing deal on a home.

I have to tell you I represent a lot of buyers out there.  I’m an ABR (Acredited Buyers Representative).

Which means, I take this job seriously and I  specialize in helping you buy a home.  So I’m going to poop on a couple of myths that you might have: that show on TV, it’s fiction (not real). Yes, there are moments that you’re going to get something amazing for nothing but in reality, it’s not going to happen very often.  Even the great deals usually need work or something special to make them “the great deal.”  It’s there to entertain and give you something to dream about.  And yes, hopefully inspire you to go buy a house!

 

With that said, let’s talk about the offer.

I know you have mom and dad whispering in your ear, and Uncle Joe just told you that all realtors are out to screw you.  After all they want you to pay more money for a property so that they will make more money.  So lets discuss that for a moment:

brass  screw
Honestly I never think about a commission check until it’s in my hand.  Money is a long way out from when I put you in my car until I actually see a check.  So isn’t in the fore front of the mind.  House deals I’m working on now, I may not see the money for 60-90 days or more, depending on what we’re doing.

And then let’s think about the big picture :

1.  If you don’t buy a house the Realtor doesn’t get paid.  It’s plain and simple. And I don’t think forced sales are going to work here.  Most folks don’t purchase at all when they’re pressured.

2. Most of us that are Realtor s plan on being in the business for a long time.  I don’t want to have to run and hide behind the apples, when I see you in the grocery store, because I stole a hundred bucks from you.

3.  Realistically most of our business comes from referrals. And honestly your thousands of dollars of referrals are worth a whole lot more to me then you overpaying by $5000 for a property which will probably net me a $150 bucks.  I would rather take care of you for life.

So, make sure you pick an agent that is in it for the long haul.  You can usually spot them by the extra designations behind their names.  They’re looking at it as a career. They work full-time.

Now I have to ask you a question: You have your price range picked out and you have walked through 10 houses that are all basically the same size, price etc.  Any of these homes could have been “the one“.  You find the one that is the “best” of the bunch, it’s a beauty, the best cared for the most features etc.  So why do you want to low ball the offer on that home?  Why would you want to insult the seller of that home?  And don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting that you don’t negotiate and get a good deal on the home.  I’m talking to the folks that have to come in $25-30k below asking price on a mid-range home (In my area that is under $200k usually closer to $175k).  I have to tell you from experience the people who do that, even if they get the home finally negotiated and purchase it, they always end up paying more for the house in some way.  Always!

 

Money is only a portion of the negotiation

Money is only a portion of the negotiation

Why is that you ask?  They made  the seller very angry!  Those are my polite big girl words for it.  They created an unworkable atmosphere.  They insulted them and they lost the work together attitude.  The seller no longer feels good about selling you their home.  Because sellers like to feel good.  They like to know that someone appreciates the little touches they did and that this new buyer is going to love and respect this home as much as they did.  You see they’re attached to it.  It’s part of they’re family.  And usually they’re sad to leave it.  Kinda like giving your dog away, If it’s getting a good home its a little easier to swallow.  

A recent example:  Some folks looked at a house for $165k they wanted to lowball the house.  I suggested for a low ball $150k is pretty low but maybe you can compromise somewhere in-between.  Now our market supports the $165k price and we had looked at several homes in the same price and this one was the gem of the bunch.  Come to find out that the sellers had already had a deal fall through for $159k.  So they had already shown a willingness to compromise to that price. The buyers decided that the best they would do on the house is $142k now that’s  86% of asking price offer.  You’re asking them to come down 14% .  Now that’s a pretty big hit on a house of that price range.  And were not talking a home that needs a bunch of work.  We looked at those also in this price range.  

So can you guess what the sellers did?  They came back with a $162k rather than what they had previously decided they would accept.  Of course it looks like those Realtors are just trying to get more money out of these poor buyers but the fact of the matter is that low offer made those sellers mad.  They would rather keep their home then sell it to them  for that.  They felt violated and unappreciated and they turned it personal.  As my grandpa would have said “it got their dander up.” It Made them fighting mad.

Now you can say well whats wrong with trying that.  Lets not forget that it takes about 10% of what ever they sell the home for just in fees and expenses that they have to pay out-of-pocket.  And that’s provided that you’re not asking for concessions like your closing costs paid by them.  You can add at least another 3% to that if your asking them to pay those also.   That deal would have cost those sellers approximately 24% of asking price before they pay off their loan.

They have Realtor Fees (yes they pay for your representation too), they have taxes in a lot of states.  Washington is almost 2% of the sales price now.  They have closing costs, septic pumping and any other misc costs that come up.  If you got some repairs out of them they had that also.

And sometimes you want to consider that when you make an offer.  If your going to ask for a bunch of repairs don’t ding them a ton on the price.  You usually don’t get both.

And I’m going to tell you if you really do not think that the home is worth close to the asking price then just don’t make an offer on it.  Wait for the price to come down.  Using the home above There’s nothing wrong with walking through that home and saying that home isn’t worth more than $142k to me.  That’s fine.  So my advice would be if the price of that home ever comes down to say 150k or less than make an offer on it.  Until then wait for it.  As they say you never have a 2nd chance to make a first impression.

So, what makes a good Home buying offer?

Well there is always wiggle room in a home purchase there is no doubt to that.  And I think most Realtor s would agree with me that a well priced home has a couple of % points worth of wiggle room depending on the price range.  A mid priced house like the one mentioned above yes probably 5k but that would be stretching it.  Because you see if your walking through a bunch of homes and there all the same price your going to come across that home that is over priced.  There’s going to be one in the bunch that you’re going to say its nowhere near as nice as these other homes.  Doesn’t compare!  Well that’s the home then that is over priced.

Your Realtor is also going to do some checking for you and tell you how long everything has been on the market and give you some com parables of what has sold.  When you see that homes of this size and style are selling for x amount of dollars well if this home compares to those then that is what its worth.  you may pay a couple of thousand more or less but you will be in that ball park.

The next question: is your market going up or down?  If you’re in a falling market area yes maybe coming down a bunch might  work.  Homes do sometimes have to do what we call beat the market down.  Now if you’re in a situation where most of us are today we are in a rising market and that means that what the houses sold for yesterday may not be what they sell for today there prices are going up steadily.

You really want to consider all the details when you’re putting together an offer.  And I understand wanting the best deal.  We all want the best deal.  But I as your buyers rep. I want you to also have the best experience.  I want you to have a seller that is willing to work with you.  Which means you want to take the whole picture into consideration.  For instance if you need concessions closing costs paid, a quicker close then what is normal (usually somewhere between 30-60 days is normal with about 45 days being the average) then you need to consider that.  Buying a house from an elderly couple with 50 years of stuff in the home may not be the best situation for asking them to close the deal in 2 weeks.  They probably can’t move that fast.

You get the keys with a good offer

You get the keys with a good offer

Quite often buyers and sellers with a good working relationship can get so many extras out of each other that it makes everyone’s life easier.  its nice to know that there leaving the house clean and that maybe there  Willing to fix the leak under the sink that the home inspector found because they think your going to be a good home for there beloved memories.  Sometimes you will find sellers asking you if you want that couch that they don’t want to move or the shed in the back yard.  They do those things when they like you. Not killing  your house purchase because your lender messed up and you need an extra 3 days to pay for the home.  There are so many things to dodge once the offer is made that I just can’ t begin to tell you how important it is to make a fair workable home buying offer.   It sets the tone for the whole transaction!

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.  I’m here to help.