Black Diamond Real Estate

Because we are a small firm by design, we are personally involved in every step of the buying and selling process, from listings to showings and from contracts to closings. When you have any questions, you deal directly with us.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

For Sale By Owner FSBO red sign If you are thinking about selling your home by owner there are some things you should know before putting your home on the market. Most For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) are unaware that there are two mandatory forms required by the State of North Carolina that a seller must complete and provide to the buyer “no later than the time the purchaser makes an offer”. The two required disclosures are the; State of North Carolina Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement (RPD), and the State of North Carolina Mineral and Oil and Gas Rights Mandatory Disclosure Statement (MOG). If these forms are not completed by the seller and given to the buyer prior to them making a written and signed offer, then the buyer may under certain conditions cancel any resulting contract without penalty to the buyer. Stated another way, the buyer could be entitled to be refunded their Due Diligence Money, Earnest Money Deposit, and any expenses they incurred such as inspections, appraisals, lending fees, and the like. Whether you sell your home By Owner or list it for sale with a Realtor, these mandatory disclosures are required by the State of North Carolina. In other words, these forms are mandated by the State of North Carolina, and unlike all other real estate contract forms used by Realtors, they were not created jointly by the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Association of Realtors, but by the State of North Carolina.

The purpose of the RPD is for the seller to disclose to the buyer material facts about the home in which they have “actual knowledge” about. The form has three boxes for each question in which the seller can check Yes (if they are aware of any existing problems), No (if they are unaware of any existing problems), and No Representation (if they don’t know if there are any problems or not). If a seller is aware of any problems and checks the No box, then they will have knowingly made a “willful misrepresentation”, and could place themselves in legal jeopardy. If they check the No box stating that there isn’t a known problem (as far as they know), and a home inspection uncovers a problem, then they will have made an “unwillful misrepresentation”, meaning that they truly and honestly didn’t intentionally misrepresent the answer to the question. In this instance, the seller should provide the buyer with a corrected and updated RPD. If they check the No Representation box and know there is a problem and don’t disclose it, they will have nonetheless made a “willful misrepresentation”. Lastly, if they check the Yes box disclosing a known problem, they are required to include a written statement on the form describing the issue. Summing up the RPD Disclosure Statement, it is designed for the seller to provide the buyer with truthful and transparent representations (to the best of their knowledge) about the property, prior to entering into a purchase agreement contract.

The MOG Disclosure Statement is a relatively new seller disclosure that came about because national homebuilders, such as D.R. Horton and the like, were buying up large tracts of land after the 2008 financial crisis and severing the subsurface mineral rights when they sold their homes to buyers. One of the reasons builders were severing these rights was that they were valuable to them in locations where energy companies were fracking and doing a lot of horizontal drilling. Since Alamance County is not known for fracking, sellers in older established neighborhoods are not severing their subsurface rights and are continuing to convey them to their buyers (as has historically been the case when homes were sold).

Moving on, let’s say that the FSBO has provided their buyer with these required disclosures which have been completed and signed, and they have entered into a contract to sell their home. From here, it becomes a matter of managing the process which includes, among other things; coordinating the scheduling of the home inspection and negotiating repairs, making arrangements for the pest inspector and appraiser to come out, and coordinating the closing date and time with the buyer’s attorney.

Let’s now assume that the FSBO successfully navigated through this entire process, finalized the sale of their home, and the attorney recorded the deed and disbursed the money to them from the sale proceeds. Now it’s celebration time! Not only have they successfully sold their home themselves, but they also saved thousands of dollars from not having to pay a commission to a Realtor. However, the FSBO really didn’t save the commission, they earned it, by having invested a lot of time and effort in selling their home themselves.

In conclusion, selling your home by owner can be an appealing option if one knows and understands how to manage the process and complete and provide the buyer with the required North Carolina Disclosures, prior to a formal written offer being made. However, if the seller sees the benefit in receiving help with; pricing their home (researching MLS and public records for comparable sales, listings, and expired listings to form a BPO - Broker’s Price Opinion); marketing; advertising; scheduling showings; record-keeping of all the Realtors who have shown their home with showing feedback; negotiating the purchase price, terms and conditions of the contract; negotiating repairs and any seller concessions; scheduling and coordinating appointments with the home inspector, pest inspector, the appraiser, and closing attorney; then it would be well worth their time to engage the services of a professional and experienced Realtor and enter into a Listing Agreement, and pay them a commission to sell their home.

If you are ready to buy or sell, call Mary Staton or Bert Ward at 336-213-0989 - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Continue reading
  267 Hits
267 Hits

Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

Kitchen stagged for selling the homeDe-Clutter your home
The first and most important task when staging a house will be getting rid of clutter. A clean and almost empty house will always make it look bigger. Remove personal items, photos, knick-knacks, and pieces of furniture that are not necessary to the room. It is good to keep a few items of furniture to identify the room and show ideas how to arrange the furniture, but not so much that it makes it look cluttered. Get rid of furniture that you won’t be moving with you, or store away furniture that will be coming to your new home but will not be needed for staging.
With the clutter gone, do a deep cleaning and make your kitchen and bathroom sparkle. Dust off the blinds, clean the windows and sills, clean carpets if needed. Open the windows and air out the house. Hire a cleaning company for a deep clean if you have it in the budget.

Paint
Another good idea is to paint the walls throughout the main living area one neutral color. Use a light gray or light greige color that will make your home look nice and bright and airy, and will make your house look bigger.

Brighten up your home
The lighting of your home is also important. Buyers typically like to see bright rooms. Open blinds and pull open curtains if someone is coming to see it. Turn the lights on throughout darker areas of your home. Maybe even put lighter bulbs in the light fixtures or lamps to make your home look nice and bright and airy.

Arrange furniture
The position of the furniture is also something to think about to make your home look its best. Position couches, chairs, and tables away from your walls. Anchor the space with an area rug, even if the room has wall-to-wall carpet. This creates a cozy, intimate space, ideal for chatting with friends and family.

Curb appeal
The exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Get them in the door by creating a nice exterior look. Here are a few easy things to do for the outside of your home.

  • Power-wash your house and walkways.
  • Clean your windows.
  • Make sure your house number is easy to read.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Trim shrubs and weed natural areas
  • Plant flowers around a mailbox and put potted flowers by the front door to add color.

Add little extras
Some other nice little touches would be to put a bowl of fresh vegetables on the kitchen counter. Add a vase of fresh flowers to the entryway or living room. Put some scented plug-in air fresheners around the house, nothing too strong, perhaps a cotton scent or beachy scent, or an apple-cinnamon scent in the kitchen. It’s the next best thing to homemade apple pie!

If you are ready to buy or sell, call Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Continue reading
  291 Hits
291 Hits

Preparing Your Home to Sell

Man working on home project of fixing lightIf there is only one thing I recommend anyone do in preparing their home to sell, it would be getting their home inspected and making as many repairs as reasonably possible prior to putting their home on the market. The benefits of doing this are twofold. First, it gives the seller more leverage to negotiate the best price and terms in the sale of their home. Second, it gives the buyer a greater peace of mind that the home is in good condition prior to entering into a contract to purchase the home. Furthermore, the contract is less likely to be renegotiated or fall through during the critical period of the due diligence process. Think of it this way, if you were looking to buy a pre-owned car from a reputable dealer, they will check it out and certify that the vehicle is in good condition before they sell it to you. Makes sense this would be the best way to sell your home for top dollar, right?

Having said this, I recognize that getting your home inspected before putting it on the market may not be the best course of action for every seller. For example, if the seller doesn’t have the money to make needed repairs, the seller should be prepared to expect the unexpected. If a buyer enters into a contract and their home inspector uncovers a lot of issues with the home, they will surely want to renegotiate the contract by amending the purchase price, or even worse, exercise their option to terminate the contract during the due diligence period. An exception to this scenario would be if the home is priced aggressively to sell where most of the issues are observable and obvious, such as noticeable wood rot, an old and worn out roof or HVAC, or foundation cracks. In this case, such deferred maintenance will be factored into the price and what you see is pretty much all there is. In this event both the buyer and seller would have a mutual understanding that the home is being sold “as is”.

If you are ready to buy or sell, call Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Continue reading
  456 Hits
456 Hits

Coming Soon

Guy holding a bottle in his hand excited about a new listing A trend you may have noticed over the past couple of years that is becoming more common is the “Coming Soon” home.  Generally speaking, the concept behind this marketing strategy is to build up the anticipation and excitement of a new listing prior to it hitting the market.  The idea is to attract the interest of multiple buyers based on the principle of scarcity by creating an auction effect, in which buyers will want a home more if they believe that other buyers want it too.  A typical example for marketing your home as “Coming Soon” is when another home is listed in your neighborhood, is similar to your home, and you need to do some finishing touches to get your home ready before it is put on the market; but you want prospective buyers who may be considering the other home to see your home, before they make a buying decision on the other home.  

“Coming Soon” listings do have a downside however and that is the listing agent, buyer agents, and homeowners, are not permitted to show the home to any prospective buyers before it’s beginning list date (as stated in the written listing agreement and it is typically the day the home is listed in MLS).  This rule is in place to prevent anyone from gaining an unfair advantage of selling the home before other interested prospective buyers have a chance to see it and make an offer. 

In summary, it is not essential to create buyer excitement by marketing your home as “Coming Soon”.  If a home is priced to sell the day it hits the market, a new listing will have the same effect as “Coming Soon” since other Realtors and buyers will recognize a properly priced listing and will want to quickly see it and submit their offers.  So if your home is ready and priced accordingly, you may want to just go ahead and put it on the market and let the showings begin and offers come in.  If your home is not ready but you want to get a head start marketing it before it goes on the market, then you may want to consider entering into a “Coming Soon” agreement with your Realtor.

 If you are ready to buy or sell, call Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Continue reading
  340 Hits
340 Hits

When is a Bedroom a Bedroom?

When is a Bedroom a BedroomThis past spring my wife, Mary Staton, and I showed a condo in Burlington that was listed for sale as having two bedrooms. In preparation for the showing we pulled the original MLS listing when the condo was first sold in 2007, as well as the current active listing, and the public property tax record. All three documents represented this condo as having two bedrooms. So far we have a two-bedroom condo, right?

The showing was going as expected until we went upstairs and saw the second bedroom which was located adjacent to the second full bathroom and bonus room loft area. The first two things we noticed about the room being counted as a bedroom were the skylight in the middle of the ceiling and a double door closet. Was this bedroom really a bedroom? Drawing from my appraisal experience I recalled that a bedroom must have an accessible window or an exterior door for egress access - for safety reasons in case of a fire. This room with a closet and skylight apparently didn’t meet the egress requirement of it being called a bedroom.

Knowing this, Mary Staton and I decided to investigate the matter further since this home was being represented as a two-bedroom condo. Afterall, just because I suspected that this room wasn’t a bedroom doesn't mean it’s not a bedroom, right? Doing what any professional Realtor would do, we contacted the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, the attorney with the North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR), The North Carolina Appraisal Board, a local Home Inspector, the City of Burlington Inspections Department, and the City of Burlington Fire Department to get their opinions.

The Appraisal Board said that it was up to the appraiser to determine whether or not they considered it to be a bedroom, but if they did the appraiser should provide detailed comments in their report as to why they were classifying it as a bedroom. In other words, the appraiser could theoretically call it a bedroom, but it would be inadvisable from a professional liability standpoint.

The Burlington Fire Chief referred me to the City of Burlington Inspections Director who said that the second bedroom did not meet egress code which states that upper story windows shall have a total glass area of no less than 5’.7” square feet and be no less than 44” off the floor.

The local home inspector concurred with the City of Burlington Inspections Department that this condo’s second-floor bedroom did not meet egress code, and that they always note in their home inspections that bedrooms without proper egress access are safety concerns. The home inspector said he commonly encounters this situation with rooms in basements, without windows, being used as bedrooms.

After speaking with the attorney with the NCAR, he advised that since this room with the skylight did not meet local egress building code, then it couldn’t be represented as a two-bedroom condo, and that the listing agent of the condo should correct the listing and market the property as a one-bedroom unit or count the loft area as a bedroom.

So, the question is how was the builder, Keystone Homes, able to market and sell this condo as a two-bedroom property in the first place? Mary Staton researched Keystone Homes’ website and found an almost identical floorplan that they were selling where the second-floor loft was an “optional” bedroom. Apparently, when this homeowner bought this condo in question, they decided not to convert the loft to a bedroom. In order for them to make this condo appear as a true functional two-bedroom unit, the owner should sheetrock up the half wall in the loft, install a closet, and put up a bedroom door for privacy.

One last word about bedroom classifications. While many rooms are called and sometimes used as bedrooms, common sense should prevail when in doubt, especially when it comes to functional utility. Contrary to popular belief, a closet is not a requirement for a room to be counted as a bedroom, as long as the room functions appropriately as a bedroom and meets the egress requirement.

To illustrate the point, there’s a home that comes to mind that was being marketed as a four-bedroom property. The second story has a bedroom with its own private and separate bathroom. One of the other two bonus rooms on the second floor was being counted as a bedroom by the listing agent but did not have direct access to a bathroom without having to pass through the bedroom. There is however another full bathroom located on the first floor in the foyer hallway, located adjacent to a first-floor bedroom. If someone were sleeping in the upstairs bedroom (or getting ready at the same time in the morning or evening), the other second-floor bedroom occupant would have to walk downstairs to use the other bathroom. This inconvenience makes this fourth bedroom a functional utility issue, adversely affecting the home’s overall value and marketability. As a result, it would be a stretch to call this additional second-floor bonus room a bedroom. A professional Realtor or Appraiser would not count this as a bedroom and sellers shouldn’t either since most buyers and Realtors will recognize the deficiency and not consider it a true functional bedroom.

If you are ready to buy or sell, call Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Continue reading
  706 Hits
706 Hits

Going the Extra Mile

Mary Staton Ward and Bert Ward Owner/Appraiser/Broker/Realtor/GRI Black Diamond Real EstateGoing the extra mile has to an extent become a common cliché that some people may say and know they should do but seldom put into practice. Napoleon Hill defined Going the Extra Mile as “the habit of rendering more service and better service than one is expected to render (or paid to do) and doing it in a positive mental attitude”. This article illustrates what going the extra mile means to Black Diamond Real Estate.

In the Spring of 2019 an accountant friend referred to me a seasoned women, who was looking to sell and lives alone at Caswell Beach, seldomly leaving her home, and doesn’t have email, internet, nor a cell phone. The only method to communicate with her is by land line phone or paying an in-person visit. As a personal favor to my friend, I spoke with this sweet and kind lady who wanted to sell a one acre lot she owned on Westbrook Avenue, in the Alamance County part of the Gibsonville city limits. She told me about someone who wanted to buy her lot and gave me his name and number. I called the prospective buyer who informed me that he was interested in growing an organic vegetable garden on her lot and was only willing to pay $7,000 since her property did not have access to city sewer, only city water.

Performing my job in accordance to the Realtor Code of Ethics I conveyed the offer in which the seller, understandably, flat out rejected the offer. My next call was then to the Gibsonville Planning Department to take a deeper dive into investigating the peculiars of the lot. They confirmed that city water ran down Westbrook Ave in front of her lot but the city sewer did not. They even emailed me a map showing where the city sewer lines ran throughout the bordering subdivision, and on the adjacent corner across the street on Westbrook Ave. The only options for seller’s property to have access to city sewer was for at least one of the four bordering property owners to grant her an easement, or to tap into the sewer line across the street. Tapping into the sewer line across the street was not only a bureaucratic process involving in-person meetings and hearings, but would be a seller incurred expense and therefore was not economically feasible. In other words, the time and expense involved to connect to the sewer line across the street would not net the seller more money, in fact it would cause her to net less money. The more feasible option seemed to be trying to get one of the four bordering home owners to buy her lot, since there was no incentive for them to grant her a sewer easement without monetary compensation. The last option was to see if the city of Gibsonville would allow a septic system. They shot this final option down saying that if you have access to city water, you are required to connect to city sewer.

Determined not to give up on helping this seller sell her lot, the next thing I did was mail letters to the bordering property owners to see if any of them would be interested in buying her lot, since it seemed to me that it would be great investment opportunity for any one of them. I received a call from one of the letter recipients who expressed some interest and had a plumber come out to give him an estimate of how much it would cost to run a sewer line through his property. When the cost estimate came back at $20,000, his interest in the lot turned luke-warm. I followed up his response with a question by asking if his neighbor would be interested in going in on buying the lot with him? Unfortunately, he said that he didn’t get along with his neighbor, so this wasn’t an option either.

What to do now was the question? After exhausting all my efforts to no avail, I called up the Gibsonville Planning Department again and posed the question, how is this fair to this seller not to allow a permitted septic system when connecting to city water was not a viable option? I explained that if a septic permit was not permissible, then this seller had more or less an unmarketable property, not even worth about half its tax assessed value of $15,000. And, that if her property had city sewer access her property, it should sell for around $40,000+/-. About an hour later after we got off the phone I received an email from the Gibsonville Planning Department with an attached document they found that allowed an exception to allowing a septic system inside the city limits when connecting to city sewer is not “reasonable accessible”.

Finally, good news, but there was still more work to do in order to get this property ready to list and sell on the open market. First, we needed the seller to get a new and current survey of her property so that we could apply for a septic permit. Once the survey was completed, we would need to apply for a four-bedroom septic permit with the Alamance County Environmental Health Department.

After we obtained the new survey and septic permit, we would then need to get the listing agreement signed, since we now had a marketable and saleable property. Emailing or faxing the listing agreement was not an option, so we would need to snail mail it to the seller or drive to Caswell Beach to personally go over the listing agreement with her to sign. Determining it was in the best interest of my seller, I decided to literally and figuratively, Go the Extra Mile, and drove down to Caswell Beach on a Wednesday and returned home the next day. On Friday we listed her lot in MLS for $37,000, and on Sunday, we received two cash offers, both with a two week closing. The seller verbally accepted the best offer and I drove down again the following week for her to sign the contract. Two weeks later, we lined up a public notary and returned to Caswell Beach for my third and final trip for her to sign the deed and her seller documents. That afternoon, my seller arranged a light house tour for my wife and I, and afterwards we went out to dinner and spent the night at Sunset Beach. The next day we drove home and closed on the lot that afternoon.

In conclusion, going the extra mile for our seller paid off in more ways than one. First, in doing the right thing and looking after our seller’s best interest, we were able to sell her lot for top dollar which netted her three times more than she would have received if we had given up on finding a solution to the sewer/septic problem. Second, the satisfaction we received in helping our seller, far outweighed the monetary compensation we received from selling her lot. After factoring in the time value of money and the expenses we incurred, we only netted about $500 in selling her lot. In other words, going the extra mile to Black Diamond Real Estate means doing whatever it takes to lawfully, morally, and ethically serve the best interest of our buyers and sellers. First and foremost we are in the business of helping people, and if we do the best job we are capable in doing that, then we consider it to be a successful outcome, regardless of our bottom line.

Bert Ward
Owner/Appraiser/Broker/Realtor/GRI
Black Diamond Real Estate
BDRE.com

Continue reading
  607 Hits
607 Hits

You Can’t Sell A House If Your Spouse Doesn’t Sign

One morning when I was first getting started in real estate sales, I received a call from an older retired man looking to get his home appraised.  I asked what the purpose of the appraisal was for since there are different types of appraisal assignments that can affect an appraiser’s opinion of value.  He advised that he was interested in an appraisal for sale purpose. I let him know I could help sell his home, but if I did, I would not be able to appraise it since it would be a conflict of interest.  The owner decided that since I was an appraiser, a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) performed by me would serve his interest just as well as an appraisal since he wanted to sell.  

After pulling and reviewing copies of the tax record and deed, a listing appointment was scheduled and I went out the next day to meet with him.  Upon arriving I covered Working With Agents with him and he proceeded to let me know why he wanted to sell.  As it turned out, he had purchased the home for his son to live in while the son looked after him.  The only problem was his son didn’t want to move back to Burlington so my client was moving to Texas to live with him.  He further explained that he was tired of living alone after his wife took him for half of everything he owned. I listened with empathy and promised I would do everything I could to help him sell his home for the best possible price so he could make the move to Texas and be with his son.  

After the second week his home was on the market, it was placed under contract with a financially qualified young couple.  Approximately four weeks later we met the buyers for the first time at the closing table. The first question out of the attorney’s mouth to my seller was, are you still married?  I was thinking this was just a formality and how could this man be married after explicitly telling me about how he had been taken for half of everything he owned? Then he replied yes he was still married.  

After hearing his answer my jaw dropped and I looked across the table at the young couple and their agent, looking at me as if they had just seen a ghost.  We were all taken aback and speechless, except for the attorney. The attorney asked if his wife was still in town to which the seller replied she was. He then asked if he had her phone number and that if he called her, did he see any reason why she would object to coming in to sign the deed?  To which he replied I don’t think so. As good luck and fate would have it, the attorney was able to reach his wife and fifteen minutes later she came in to sign the deed.  

After the closing successfully ended, I asked the attorney how he knew my seller was still married since the public records showed that my seller was the sole owner of record.  The attorney said that he handled the closing of the home when my seller bought it and knew he was married. My seller assumed that since he bought the home without his wife, that it was his to sell without her.  After hearing my seller’s sad story about being left by his wife and that he was the sole owner of record, It never crossed my mind to ask the magic question of whether or not he was still married. After this close encounter, I no longer assume that someone isn’t married just because they have settled up and parted ways.

If you have any questions about what you will need for a home closing,or if you are ready to buy or sell, call  Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.  

Continue reading
  773 Hits
773 Hits

Willful Seller Omission

My wife and I were representing a buyer to purchase a remodeled home in the county on well and septic.  After our buyer entered into a contract to buy their home, we discovered through a septic inspection that the seller had a non-permitted septic system.  Needless to say, this was a big surprise since we had pulled a copy of a septic permit on file for this home and that the seller represented on the North Carolina Residential Property Disclosure Statement that there were no problems with the septic system.  

After notifying the listing agent of our findings, the seller called us all out to meet about it at his home.  What we learned was that a septic system had been installed in a different location than the permit on file showed, and had not been permitted by the Alamance County Health Department.  The seller said the septic system backed up just over a year ago and that he had it repaired.  It was at this time that we believe he was made aware that his septic system was not permitted (he probably bought the home without getting the septic system inspected and his agent only pulled the original existing permit on file at the time of purchase).  He contacted the Alamance County Health Department about repairing the septic system and getting it permitted. The seller decided to have an unlicensed friend make the septic repairs and bypass obtaining a permit, due to the cost involved in going through the permit process.  We were shocked to find out that this seller had willingly and knowingly failed to disclose to his listing agent and all prospective buyers on the open market, the material fact that his home had a non-permitted septic system.  

Luckily for the seller, our buyer still wanted to buy his home at the time if the seller could get a new permit issued for a three-bedroom septic system, which he agreed to do.  As it turned out, this seller tried to get the Health Department to issue a permit for the existing septic system which they declined to do. As a result, the seller did not obtain the permit, breached his contract, and negotiated a settlement agreement refunding most of the buyer's incurred expenses.  

Fortunately for this seller, our buyer decided not to sue him for breach of contract preventing him from selling his home to any other buyers.  He also could have faced legal problems for failing to disclose on the North Carolina Residential Property Disclosure Statement that his septic system was not permitted, which he knew and was a Material Fact and a Willful Omission.

If you are ready to buy or sell, call  Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.  

Continue reading
  636 Hits
636 Hits

Why Homes Don’t Sell

The primary reasons why a home doesn’t sell are location, condition, financing, marketing, and price.  

Location is the only factor in which no one has any control over since it cannot be changed.  For example, if a home is located on a busy street or near railroad tracks, this detracts from its value (unless zoning permits it for commercial use in which case it’s highest and best use is most likely not residential property).  On the other hand, if a home is located on a golf course or lake, for example, there are always buyers who are willing to pay more for these unique locations. Of all the determining factors of value, location is the most important.

Another factor that determines a home’s ability is its condition.  If a seller wants to get top dollar for their home, it must be in top condition.  If the home is not in good condition and the seller is not in a position to make repairs it should be priced accordingly.  Common examples that adversely affect a home’s condition are an old roof, old HVAC systems, damp crawl spaces, old windows, and exterior and interior deferred maintenance.

Financing involves a buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage loan.  This is self-explanatory in that a buyer will need to come up with a larger down payment and have more income to buy an executive type home.  In the $200,000 +/- price range the down payment is less of a factor with FHA loans being prevalent and income playing a larger factor in obtaining a mortgage loan.     

About fifteen years or so ago, in order for buyers to find out about homes for sale in the market area they were looking in, they needed to engage a Realtor to find out about them.  Today when a Realtor markets a home for sale, it is inputted in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which streams to a service called ListHub that disseminates the listings to a number of real estate websites such as Realtor.com and the like.  So generally speaking, if your Realtor is a member of MLS, then a seller’s home will be exposed on-line for buyers to see without having to contact a Realtor.  If a buyer is interested in finding out more about this property they will either call the listing agent directly or contact a Realtor friend. This is how the majority of homes are bought and sold.  As a result, Realtors who are members of the local MLS are able to market homes to the public at large like never before. A final word about marketing is that all the marketing in the world won’t sell an overpriced listing, it will just let more people know it is overpriced.

Price is another factor in which a seller has control over it since it is not the Realtor’s job to set the listing price.  The Realtor’s job is to help the seller come up with a list price by performing a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) but the seller ultimately determines how much to ask for their home.  Only once a home is listed and exposed on the market will a seller find out what their home is worth.  Based on the number of showings, showing feedback, and offers or lack of offers will a seller get a realistic picture of what buyers are willing or not willing to pay for their home.  Price is primarily a function of time. If a seller is in no hurry to move or can’t or won’t move unless they can get a certain price, they will have to wait longer and hope that the market improves.  If a seller has been relocated, chances are they will need to sell their home relatively quickly and they will either price their home to sell from the onset or reduce the price accordingly to sell at market value.  At the end of the day, a home priced properly overcomes all buyer objections.

Of course, there are other conditions that affect the salability of a home such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, upgrades/finishes, the functionality of the home, and the seller’s motivation or reason in wanting to sell.  The purpose of this article was to address the primary factors of why some homes don’t end up selling. 

If you are ready to buy or sell, call  Mary Staton or Bert Ward - they’ll be happy to answer any questions.  

Continue reading
  1079 Hits
1079 Hits