October 13th, 2016
When you buy a home in any market you might find yourself writing an offer quickly, then wondering if you made the right decision. The great news is you have a few weeks to do more research to make sure it’s the right home for you. During this time, you can hire an inspector to do a very thorough visual inspection. The two inspectors I recommend, and work with the most spend three hours at the home, then meet with the buyer and walk them through for an hour going over the findings. Then they will email you a large report. At this time, I will give you a few documents to review talking about mold, radon, property lines, utility costs, verifying square footage and so much more.
If anything comes up that you are unhappy about you have options:
1. Negotiate for the seller to take care of repairs.
2. Ask for a price reduction.
3. Decide you’ve gotten a good enough deal upfront and move forward.
4. Decide this isn’t the right home, and you can cancel the contract.
When it comes to negotiation there are a lot of elements that go into it. The advantage to having a realtor is they will be able to negotiate for you, and give you a third party perspective. It’s easy to fall in love with a house. A good realtor will be able to help you find the best home, and keep your best interest at heart. A great realtor will always be working for you, and be helping you to make the best decision for you. Whenever I negotiate a contract, the first thing I always ask is what do the buyers want, and what is in their best interest?
What can you negotiate? Everything, including the kitchen sink!
October 5th, 2016
What are seller disclosures?
The seller disclosures are the first deadline in the contract. This is the seller’s deadline in Utah. We use a seven page form that goes over the history of the home for the time the seller has owned the property. It will cover:
*Use of Property
*Termites/ Dry Rot/ Pests
*Structural Items and Soil
*Other Moisture Conditions
*Home Ownership Association Contact Info
* Unpaid Assessments
In addition to this the seller will also provide you with a copy of the title report and CC&R’s (Codes Covenants and Restrictions) for the subdivision if they are still in place. They will also provide Home Owner’s Association information, if you are buying in an HOA. This will also cover if the property has any water rights, or a notice of environmental or code violations. Also if the home is rented, they will give you any contracts that affect the property.
I always advise my sellers to be as honest as possible on this form, but some things can be lost in translation. This is why the next step is buyer’s due diligence.
September 28th, 2016
What is Earnest Money?
When you buy a home as part of the contract you the buyer, will put down some earnest money that will eventually go towards your down payment. Now a few things to remember about earnest money.
1. Earnest money is typically 0.5-1% of the purchase price of the home. The more you can put down the stronger your offer is to the seller.
2. Your earnest money can be lost if you the buyer, don’t keep up with your deadlines in the contract.
3. There are four deadlines in the Utah contract. Once you pass the 3rd called financing and appraisal deadline your earnest money goes “hard” and can be lost.
4. The earnest money protects you the buyer, from the seller cancelling on you halfway through the process to accept another offer.
5. If you decide this home is not the right home, and cancel the contract properly your earnest money will be returned.
November 2nd, 2015
Professional pictures for my home I want to sale, is it worth it?
In this case I think a picture is worth one thousand words so let me show you a few thousand words. All three of these pictures are of a home that I sold last year. The “A” pictures where from when my seller bought the home four years prior. The “B” pictures where taken by Spotlight Home Tours a Utah
company that I hire for my listings. As you can see below it’s worth my marketing dollars to show the home in it’s best light.
Which “home” would you want to go look at?
I love the difference between the two different pictures. I also helped this home owner stage the home with items he had around. That is a post for another day…..Staging your home: Is it worth it?
October 12th, 2015
We are currently in a seller’s market; what does that mean for you as a buyer? It means there are more buyers than homes available for sale. Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of multiple-offer situations. Why, as a buyer, would you want to still buy in a seller’s market? Because interest rates are still amazing and over the life of your loan, the lower interest rate will save you more than a higher price point.
It’s still worth it to buy a home, but how do you win in a multiple-offer situation without overpaying?
I had some first time buyers who were looking for a home that they could do a little rehab work on to get some equity in a very competitive price point. Because of this, I was checking the multiple listing services many times a day, hoping to find a home that would be perfect for my buyers. I did one last check before I went to bed and found a great home listed just a few hours earlier. It was undervalued because a family estate wanted the home sold quickly. I sent it to my buyers and told them that if they wanted this home, we would have to see it as soon as possible the next day. The next day, I called the agent to make and appointment for 1:00 and she told me she already had an offer and planned on responding it by 3:00 that day. So, I helped my buyers write an offer with an escalation clause that said we would beat any offer by $1,000, up to a certain price.
We saw the home and they loved it, but there were already an additional two offers on it by then. I was grateful we had already written and signed an offer so that my buyers had a real chance. And you know what? They got the house.
There was a lot that helped my buyers win this multiple offer situation.
1. They were already qualified for a loan with their lender and had an approval letter before they went house shopping.
2. They where willing to be aggressive when it came to writing an offer quickly.
3. The escalation clause helped them win without spending their top dollar.
September 14th, 2015
Well the solar panel salesmen must be out in full force for the last few weeks of summer. I’ve had a few clients and friends call me about adding solar panels to their homes and how much value it would add to their home so I thought this might be a good topic to cover.
I love to be a resource to all my friends and clients if you have questions regarding the value of your home or adding value so please if you ever curious feel free to call me!!
Will adding solar panels to your home add value? The very short answer is no. However let’s talk about this before you decided to push the salesman off your porch.
It is true I can not take a home that is the same size, condition and location and say because it has solar panels I can sell it for X amount more than your neighbor. Why you ask?
First we don’t have enough track able date to prove this here is Utah. Solar panels are new enough that many people have not bought them and resold their home to prove there is a higher resale value for that one item.
Now to the right buyer the solar panels could be the thing that pushes the buyer to write a full price offer on your home because you have something they really want and it’s hard to find in other homes.
Another thing to think about is are your renting or buying the solar panels. Companies are offering different options but if your renting them you might have to try and get the new buyer of your home to take over your rent on the solar panel making them less appealing.
What I recommend is if your want solar panels for the write offs, becoming more “off the grid” and saving on your utilities then I say go for it. But do not buy them thinking they will add a tangible dollar amount to your home’s value. What will add value to your home? That is a blog post for another day.