What Buyers Want

What Buyers Want

I get asked to give my opinion as to what Buyers want, based on what I’m seeing the current market. Right now, we are still in a pandemic. A lot of us are still only getting out of the house for essential, necessary outings. People are “living” in their houses more than ever. We are seeing the same walls, with the same pictures, and the same furniture. Our dose of outdoors or change of scenery may be limited to a patio with a couple of chairs and a walk in our neighborhood without sidewalks or place for pets and children to run out their energy. Here is my answer, currently, to what Buyers want. Separate spaces. Is “open concept” a thing of the past? Maybe. Too much togetherness has caused homeowners to yearn for a space to get away. It could just be a breakfast nook instead of sitting at an island or perhaps an extra bedroom as an escape from the chaos that is happening elsewhere.Home offices. With a large number of business owners, independent contractors, and employees working from home, we are seeing the need for more than just setting up shop at the dining room table. It could just be a large bonus room that is big enough to accommodate a desk and filing cabinet but a designated work area is definitely at the top of the list.Classroom. Most parents are not actually going to set up a true classroom for their children, however, being that students are attending virtual classes and doing schoolwork online, they do need a quiet space for them to work. If there is more than one student at home, this creates an even bigger challenge and may take some creativity to achieve.Less space. Yes, you heard me correctly. Not everyone is busting at the seams. Smaller families, couples, or single homeowners may be realizing that there is a lot of wasted space in their home. It may be that even though they haven’t left their house in two weeks, they still haven’t entered that formal living room that they still have to clean, heat and cool. Since they aren’t having slumber parties and dinner with friends, it could be that they have re-thought their actual needs.Outdoor living. So many people have realized that they could do with less indoor space if they had a covered patio, a garden, or a pool. Outdoor space can make you feel as if you added square footage to your home, simply by having an area for a couch to relax on or a yard to occupy idle time.Kitchens. I don’t know if you have had the same experience as me, but my social media has...

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Escalation Clauses: What are They and How Can I Use Them?

Escalation Clauses: What are They and How Can I Use Them?

Escalation Clauses are a great tool that Realtors have in their tool box to help win in multiple offer situations. You may have never heard of them. Your agent may have never heard of them – if this is the case, you may want to decide whether or not this is the best agent for you. But I digress. Before I get into the nuts and bolts, I need to put a disclaimer on this blog post. I am not an attorney and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night. I will relay how I have done it and how I have seen it done in my experience. Your area may have different rules, laws, or customs that may make this information obsolete so make sure you know or consult with an experienced professional before writing an escalation clause into an offer. An escalation clause is a way for a Buyer to tell a Seller that they are willing to pay more than other offers they may have received. This is used in a situation where there are multiple offers on the property – typically in a Seller’s market. I have used it many times and have won the deal for my Buyers. I have also received them many times on my listings and have always been able to get more money for my Sellers. Here are some things to know when using or thinking about using them: Some Listing Agents don’t like them.Some Sellers don’t like them.Some Buyers don’t like them.Some Brokers don’t like them.Parts of them can teeter on the illegal, if written incorrectly. Let’s explore. Some Listing agents don’t like them because, depending on how many other offers there are, it can be very confusing, trying to advise a Seller on the details of each offer when there is a huge variable – price. Even more confusing when there is more than one offer that includes an escalation clause. Some Sellers don’t like them for much the same reason, however, some Sellers don’t feel like it gives all Buyers an even playing field and it makes them feel bad for the other offers. Some won’t entertain the offer simply by matter of principle. Some Buyers don’t like them because it is, in essence, showing your hand, letting the Seller know what you are willing to pay for their house, reducing the Buyer’s negotiating power. Some Brokers don’t like them for several reasons, but mostly because agents don’t write them correctly and open themselves, their client, and their brokerage to liability and legal actions. That brings me to the legality of them. I have seen many that are based on the highest offer the Seller...

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

You read the articles. You ask friends who have gone through it. We are bombarded with advice on social media. If you’re looking for advice on pregnancy, you have come to the wrong place – but don’t leave! I would love to help you understand what to expect when you’re expecting an offer on your home! You have worked hard getting your house ready for the photographs to go out to the world. Your Realtor says it’s time to “go live,” so, now what? Now you need to be ready for showings.  PETS: If you have pets, you need to have a crate or safe place for them within your home or plan to have them out of the house altogether. I am the biggest lover of animals. I love to see them, greet them, let them sniff, climb, bark, purr, whatever. But, not everyone enjoys them. Some people are allergic and some are afraid. Do yourself and your pet a favor, and make sure they are out of the way and as quiet as possible. And, here’s a biggie. They can smell bad. WHAT? Not my precious Ki-Ki. Yes, even your precious fur baby probably smells – even if you don’t recognize it. Non-animal people can smell a cat, dog, bird, reptile, or fish as soon as they walk in the door. Do your absolute best to clean up and deodorize before every showing. Be careful with adding scents into the air, though. Sometimes they don’t mask an odor, they just add to them and it can be overpowering. The market is hot, they say. Your house will sell in a heartbeat, they say. CHILDREN: Children bring their own set of challenges to accommodate when trying to keep your house “show-ready.” I’ve always wondered why such little creatures need so much stuff! If your little ones are still in a crib, chances are, you can keep things pretty tidy, you will just need to work around nap time. Once they are of walking age and a few years into the toddler years, I suggest keeping a plastic bin or two in the main “kid” spaces. When you get a call for a showing and you don’t have much time, just start gathering toys, sippy cups, and stuffed animals and put them in the bins. Your challenge might be to keep little hands from taking out what you just put in, but that one’s for you to figure out! Take the plastic bin with you when you leave or put it in the garage or neatly in a closet. When you get back, junior can get into the bins and make another mess. This may be easier as they...

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When It Rains, It Pours

When It Rains, It Pours

I was describing a day I had this past week to a friend of mine. Her reply was, “when it rains, it pours!” Well, you can imagine the kind of day I told her about. When you say it or hear it, you know whatever proceeded that was anything but easy. My mind is so trained to think “real estate” that when I hear it, I think about houses and, specifically, roofs (it’s an illness, I know…) When there is a hard rain, I think about my listings and hope there are no issues. Water can be one of those things that can cause a purchase to be derailed or a sale to fall through. Sometimes it’s easy. The tub overflows and seeps down through the floor to reveal itself as a stain on the kitchen ceiling. That’s easy to diagnose and, typically, relatively easy to fix. Other times it’s a bit more complicated. There is water in the crawl space. How is it getting in? That must be determined and then a plan of action must be designed to remove all the water. After removal, and determination of the cause, it must be fixed. Lastly, it is likely that a mold remediation or at least prevention needs to be executed. This can take some time and can be costly. And don’t forget the ones that are nearly impossible to figure out. There is evidence of water in the middle of a downstairs bedroom wall, not near a window, with no plumbing directly above it. Huh? Where in the world is it coming from? I had a listing that had this issue. The roofer came out and was perplexed. He fixed a few things that needed repair that could have been letting water in but he wasn’t 100% certain it was resolved. A week went by with no sign of more water, and then it rained. The roofer was called back out and had to do a water test. This is where the roofer gets on the roof with a hose and another person is inside. They are trying to recreate the problem in order to figure out how to fix it. This is a tedious task and sometimes can be very costly because it is essentially doing more damage before it is fixed. Water can be in walls for quite some time before it shows up somewhere visible to us. This means the damage can be extensive. In some cases, walls need to be opened up, dried, mold remediated, drywall re-hung, and repainted. Not fun. I suggest yearly roof inspections. Many roofers will do this for free. Just be careful that you are using a reputable company that...

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