Category Archives: Selling my Home

Ideas and suggestions to help you market that home for sale.

For Sale by Owner Beware!

I know this headline sounds a little crazy.  After all us Realtors have been trying to scare the dickens out of you forever!  You know all we want to do is steal your hard earned equity  by doing nothing but sitting on our butts.  I hear you!

Butt I know what I do for my clients so that doesn’t bother me.  I know the service I provide and its top notch.  And I know you need me.  Cocky sounding yes but after seeing what all can go wrong in a transaction I know I am worth the money.

Had an interesting transaction this last month.  My buyer found a For Sale by Owner on Zillow.  Of course!  Where else will a buyer find a For sale by Owner.  Lets be real its Zillow or Craigs-List in my North Idaho /Eastern Washington Market.

So they are out of State buyers and ask me to go preview the property for them.  We had just lost out on a similar property that had a lot of issues thru the home inspection.  So they had to let that property go it was a hidden structural flooding mess.  This property was in the same price range.  A little more but within 22K and well within there budget.

So I call the owner and go preview the house for them.  There is no comparison this house is amazing compared to the one they had an offer in on.  So they sight unseen make an offer on the home.  I negotiated for the For sale by owner to pay the  buyers rep commission and we got this baby going.  They are saving half the commission this way yea yea for them!

its a battle to keep as much equity out of your home as possible

Home sails thru the Home inspection process.  This is a nice home!  I ran comps on the home for the buyers.  Its a way better home than our first home and I had plenty of comps for it found plenty of comps for this new home.  And our first homes appraisal had come in over what they were paying for it.   We are happy with the price we are moving right along.  Buyer comes and sees it and is in love!  This home is great!  Clean, structurally sound etc.  Great!

Lending is moving along Appraiser calls and schedules to see the home.  Appraiser remembers the home from when these sellers bought the home several years ago.  Recognizes how much work they have done on the property.  They were pretty pleased he seemed like a great guy.

Until the Appraisal came in.

Appraiser had some comments that should scare the dickens out of every For Sale by Owner around.

And I quote ”  The appraised opinion of market value is below the sales price.  This is not unusual when a property is for sale by owner.  When a property is not exposed to the multiple listing service or guided by a listing agent, its listing price does not get measured by the market place.”

“Additionally there is currently the perception, and in some cases the reality that the inventory for homes to purchase is limited at this time.  In such an environment, a seller will attempt to maximize on their asset.  When a buyer is faced with this environment, they will often accept an offer on a property that is above the current market value.”

Sellers are of course crying at this time.  The appraisal wasn’t a little off it was $25k off.  Enough to have paid 2 commissions on the property.  We aren’t talking an extreme home we are discussing a $250k property.  And did I say this was a nice home!  This was a Nice House!  They were selling it for substantially  less than I would have listed it for anyway if I had been representing them.  Nice house!

Of course they are begging at this point please fight this for us.

And the fact of the matter.  I can’t!  They got hosed over bad, there is no doubt in my mind about it.  But Agency law in Idaho dictates who you represent.  I represented the buyer.  I am not there list agent.  You unfortunately don’t get to pick and choose when you get representation.  Its not only if bad things start to happen.

Even tho they got to use my contracts and they somewhat have someone walking them thru the transaction because we do always end up having to take care of the transaction when we make an offer on  a for sale by owner.  They had NO Representation!

No access to the MLS to fight that appraisal.  No agent that could have submitted other comps to him.  ( I have fought low appraisals before and won)!  I have found comps for Appraisers that were to busy or didn’t know a certain market good enough to find the comps.  Happens a lot with rural properties.

But did I say I represented the buyer?  Boy are they excited!  Because they know how that home compares.  They have been thru them.  They know!

And yes the sellers could have backed out of that transaction and tried to find another buyer.  I know that is always the knee jerk answer.

Statistics of going it alone

But have we ever discussed disclosure?  You know a lot of For sale by owners forget that they are obligated to disclose just as if they had an agent.  We are in a pretty sue happy environment.  A little Cover your Butt never hurt anyone.

How would you like to honestly answer the question to the next buyer when they say “Why did your last transaction fall apart?”  Do you want to chance it and lie?  Or just hope it doesn’t come up.  Roll of the dice if you get the same appraiser again.  You could pray for cash.  Maybe will happen.  A lot of unknowns and a lot of risk there in my opinion.

And I am not writing this to scare you or induce you to always use an agent but its a scenario that I came across this last month that really gave me cause to pause and consider.  You are very limited in where your home gets advertised as a For Sale by Owner.  Is it really getting shown to the “Market Place”?

 If it sells quickly on the MLS there is proof on the back end of how many times it was sent to prospective  buyers.  There is days on market proof.   An appraiser could ask a list agent about exposure, showings, offers in etc.   And it becomes a statistic in the future.  I would expect that an appraiser would appreciate that especially in a non disclosure state.

I never thought about it from an appraisers perspective.  Unless I enter that home as a sold on one of the MLS’s that I belong to its a gone statistic.   I suppose that could be a little irritating if I was an appraiser.  Might be worth handing out a little spanking.  Maybe?

How did the story end?  Well my buyers felt a little sorry for them.  They knew they were getting a deal.  So they did hand them a couple thousand over the appraisal.  A bone per sea.  And the property got sold.

I still feel very bad for those people.  They had an expensive lesson in my opinion.  I hate to see that happen to anyone.  I am glad my buyers got a deal but they already had a deal a better house than they would have had at probably below fair market value anyway.

So when I think of all of the pitfalls of being a for sale by owner.  The lack of contracts, the proper disclosure forms, pricing the home, the questions of navigating a home inspection,  qualifying a buyer,  the appraisal and then lets add the question did your home receive proper marketing to be considered offered to the public thru the “market”.    What else could possible go wrong?

If your stomach for risk is not that high.  Consider contacting me to help you sell your home.  If your out of my area contact me anyway.  I know a lot of great agents across the country that could help you out.  I am happy to refer you to one of them.

If your going to leave money sitting on the table anyway as these folks basically did.  You may as well be paying an agent and  do  what you can to minimize the risks of selling your home.

And who knows you may find you have a great agent and  a great ally in all of your future real estate transactions.

And just maybe if we save you $20k here and $50k there we may even be worth the money you have to pay for us.

Taking care of my clients best interest is my number One Job!

I want to be your Realtor for life!

Thank You for taking the time to read this and once again Be Careful out there!  Its a dangerous world.

Contact me if you would like some assistance!

May your day be Fabulous!

15399 Arcadia Ln, Rathdrum Idaho 83858

Expansive Mountain Views, Views of the valley and views of heaven

Gorgeous 40 acres for sale in Rathdrum Idaho. 15399 Arcadia Lane, Rathdrum Idaho 83858.  Less than 10 minutes to Rathdrum, 15 minutes or so to Post falls and a short 20-30 minutes to Spokane.  Location of this lot is amazing.  Close to town but out in the woods.  Your own private paradise.


Gorgeous views of  Coeur d’ Alene, Post Falls, Rathdrum and the Spokane Valley from this beautifully treed lot.

Expansive Mountain Views, Views of the valley and views of heaven

Click Here to receive a copy of the aerial map of this property!



Power is at the property corner, well is in and a building pad is level and ready to go.   This lot backs directly up to 160 acres of Inland Paper land.  Does  bump up at the NW corner to another huge  chunk of Inland paper land.  If 200 acres is not enough to play on!


Tons of wildlife on this property.  The elk herd goes thru regularly.  Lots of deer, an occasional bear, and a few moose are among your many neighbors.  Seasonal creek on the property.  Usually runs most of the year but may get a little dry late in the season.   Enjoy the wildlife as you see fit.

Road is cut in and currently being shared with the  lots that are below  this lot.   This lot does have an easement thru 3 other lots to get to it.  All in place.   Road is well graveled and in good condition.   Lot is also surveyed and well marked.  This lot is the end of the road no reason for anyone to drive thru your lot.

40 Acres bordering Inland Paper Land

There is a small hunting cabin on the property that is in great condition!  And there is a garden spot that is fenced in with posts that are set with the thought of a shop in mind for the future.  Just put trusses on them and you are good to go.

You can see all the way to heaven!

This is a very well maintained property  with a ton of potential.  Can be split into 2 -20 acre parcels for sure and possibly 4 -10s.

Views of Rathdrum, Post Falls and Coeur d Alene Idaho

Very rarely does a lot of this size come available.  And especially so close to town.  Would make an amazing home site or use it for your recreational playground.  Horseback riding,  ATV’s, hunting you name it the fun and the potential is here.  Call today to schedule your showing.

Search for other homes and properties Here!


Hidden Treasures to Consider As you Price that Home!

Hidden Treasures to consider when you are pricing your home.  I thought this info graph was full of some great ideas of what some of your homes best features are worth.   Also some real good food for thought for what home improvements are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.

I am also part of the active rain community and love some of the ideas that I get to share with other top agents in the country.    If you would like to discuss pricing your home please contact me here and we can schedule a time for us to discuss your home and your situation.

Data provided by

To get your free market analysis please click 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.

Free Market Analysis

Who You Work With Matters! Get Your Free Home Value Now!

Who You work With Matters!

Free Market Analysis

Free Home Value

Proven Results!

Happy Satisfied Clients!  Testimonials

Get Your Free Home Value Now!

View Sold Properties Through 2016 in a full screen map


8 Million in Sales 2015!  Will be matching or beating in 2016!  When it comes to getting your home sold It matters who you list it with!  Experience!  Connected!

Involved in Networking Groups across the country!  Tom Ferry group!  The top Real Estate Coach in the Nation!  Working with the top agents in the Nation!  CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)  Networking with agents who want to provide the best service!


Advertising Nationally!  Locally!  And Abroad!

Yes who you work with Matters!  Testimonials!


Contact Us for Your free Market Analysis!

Homes are selling fast

Sales are up! Inventory is Down! Kootenai County 2017 Forecast

What everyone wants to hear this time of year!  Sales are up!  Yes sales are up but inventory is down!  So welcome Sellers the market is yours.  What does that mean for you?  Well from what I am seeing in the field.  It means that if you have a reasonably well priced home that shows pretty nice regardless of price range that you have a pretty good chance of moving it this year.

So if you have been on the fence about moving this might be the year to consider it.  A lot of you have made up the equity that you lost through the fall of the market.  You may not be ahead of where you were if you bought right before the crash but you are certainly beginning to be on the cusp .

Homes are selling fast

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

Most well priced homes are seeing offers on them within a month and if its something special multiple offers within a week or two or as my luck has been this 2016 within a few hours.

If your curious about where your home stands right now and want to check your equity in it click here I will get back to you with a current market analysis.  It is free and there is no obligation.  You are welcome to just check in and see where you are at.

What does the future hold?  2017 is going to see some interest rates going up so that may slow the market up a little.  We will see.  I don’t think we are going to have rates go up a lot until summer or fall.  But if your thinking of selling  I guess I am more of the bird in the bush mentality.  Market is great right now.  Take it while you can.

Buyers when we say its a sellers market you all are about to cry I am sure.  But realistically its still a buyers market also, in many ways.  You still have great interest rates.  So its still a good time for you its just tougher for you to get into a house.

So what does that mean for you?  What I am seeing  and my suggestions for you are.

1.  Be prepared.  Financial stuff needs to be ready to rock immediately.  If your realtor can’t send a pre- approval letter with your offer you are probably going to be out of the running.

2.  Pick out more than one home that you like.  You may end up competing for the home you buy so try not to get to hooked on one home.  Be a little open minded to maybe making multiple offers on several homes.

3.  You unfortunately don’t have all day to think about making an offer.  Get comfortable with what is out there so that when you walk through “the one” that you are comfortable pulling the trigger and going for it quickly.  Many times that is the difference between owning it and getting caught up in multiple offer situations.   Early bird does get the worm!

Early bird gets the worm

Early bird gets the worm

4.  Don’t get discouraged!  If at first you don’t succeed try and try again!  Depending on the financing method that you are using you may expect it to take a little longer than normal to get the home you are searching for.  Cash of course is king and its tough to compete with cash.  The more down payment you have the easier its going to be but don’t get discouraged you will prevail even if it takes a little time.

Search for Idaho and Washington Homes Here!