The warmer seasons are here and OPEN HOUSE signs are popping up all over the place on the weekends. Reports for the weekend's open houses are being pulled by buyers all across the country using their favorite app or site. They're mapping out the locations, driving out to them, but.... maybe not actually going in. Hmmm....
Now, this may seem humorous, but my first tip is to actually go into the home. Yes, I know... it sounds crazy and funny, but you would be amazed at how many people take their time to map out all the open houses, drive to them, but don't go in. Sometimes, they'll even stop, open the car door, grab a flyer from the box, but still not go in. You would be AMAZED at how often the home that a buyer eventually decides on is one they judged by the inside.... not the outside. For that reason, I always encourage home buyers to definitely go inside even if you're not sure about the outside.
One reason that home buyers may be reluctant to go inside is that they feel they'll be pressured, over-sold to, and the agent will come on too strongly. My suggestion would be to simply express to the hosting agent your preference on how you like to view homes. Some people like to self-tour while others like to be given a tour. The host wants you to be comfortable, so feel free to communicate to them your preference. The host will always be on hand to provide additional information about the home that you will not get by simply viewing it, so take advantage of that by asking questions throughout your visit.
If you already have a signed buyer's agent agreement with a Realtor, go ahead and share that info with the hosting agent during the introduction. It's most helpful for everyone to know that in the beginning to make communications more efficient should you want to move forward on the home. Some agents supply their clients with cards to hand out should the buyer go exploring homes on their own. This is great because it instantly supplies the host agent all the contact info of the buyer's agent.
So, as you embark on your home searching adventure, be sure to include open houses into the plan, and as funny as it may sound... yes... actually go in even if you may not be initially confident with the exterior. If you have any questions about visiting open houses, and if you would like me to join you (assuming you're not working with another agent), I would be thrilled to show you some homes. Contact me and we'll get you rolling.
As part of the home searching and buying process, people tend to focus on the main living areas of the home - often, the kitchen, family room, and master suite. Buyers also try to envision their furniture within each living space of the homes being considered, so the concentration of home consideration process occurs within the finished living space. It's easy to forget that each of us usually has a collection of stuff that doesn't go in the living space, but rather needs to be stored. Things like holiday decorations, childhood toys, or other decor items that are rotated in and out of the living space throughout the year. Well, these things will also need space in your new home and that is usually some unfinished space or attic... preferably with easy access (aka walk-through door).
What I have found is that fabulous storage is frequently on the wish list, but can easily be overshadowed by a super-nice finished living space. So much so that it's easy for a buyer to forget about checking for storage space while shopping homes and being dazzled by all the nice interiors. Reminder: check the homes for storage and see if it matches your needs for space and accessibility.
What's ironic is that when we discover that awesome dreamed-about storage space, the thought that many of us immediately think is: "We could finish this out!" Well... yes, you probably can, BUT... if that can be done it may be more in-depth than you think. Most likely that home's HVAC system has not been sized to include that additional space, so you're probably looking at an upgrade or additional unit for that space. Also, if you DO finish it... guess what? You just got rid of the storage space you fell in love with and searched for, so now you may be short on space for the items intended for that area.
Another thought that almost immediately comes to mind with many buyers is: "Why didn't they go ahead and finish this space when the home was built?" Well... the short answer is "They've got to stop somewhere", and where they stopped finishing was their optimum combination for living space, storage space, and price. Why price? Well, if a builder was to keep finishing all the unfinished spaces those square feet would increase the home's price by the per sq.ft. price times the number of additional sq.ft. being finished thereby adding many thousands of dollars to the home which may put it out of range for the community's target price range. For example, if a home had 150 sq.ft. unfinished space and someone wonders why it wasn't finished out, that space at $150/sq.ft. would have added $22,500 to the price of the home. At $200/sq.ft., $30,000. Even if it wasn't at full per sq.ft. price, it would still be a substantial increase in price on the home, so there's a target balance of living space, storage space, and price of the home.
Another aspect of storage space in a home is how usable it is. Is it one big room, or allocated into many different areas? Storage space in a home is often a byproduct of a home's roof design and may not actually be something that was "purposefully designed". If you have a home design with a lot of different roof angles, the home's storage space may be divided among many different areas (you usually see a lot of small access doors). Another thing to consider is how easily are the storage areas accessed, and what size objects do you need to store. Is access a full size door, a small door, or attic drop-down stair set? All of those will come into play while comparing a home's storage spaces with your belongings intended for storage.
All of this may help provide some helpful awareness for when you go home shopping. If you have additional questions about homes, selling, or purchasing, please contact me any time and I'll be happy to help.
Let me set the stage for this with the following. You walk into a store and see... let's say... a couple shirts for sale. You look at one, kind of like it, but move on to looking at the next one. While you're doing that, someone else starts looking at the first shirt. They pick it up, and it's the last one of that type. All of a sudden... you find yourself wanting that shirt to the point you're secretly hoping they'll put it back down on the rack. They don't. They take it. Now, all the other shirts you look at pale in comparison to the first one, but they ALL would have been just fine had you not been comparing them to the first one you saw and lost out on. Okay... keep all that in mind as we move forward.
As offers are written on homes for sale, there can often be special requests for things to remain with the home. In our area, our purchase agreement includes a substantial paragraph specifying a group of items that are to remain with the home. Most of the items could already be assumed to be considered part of the home, but as disputes arise, the document increases in size to clarify. Listed are items such as lighting, window treatments, pool equipment, built-in appliances, etc. If left unedited, all those items are to be left with the home by the seller. Exclusions and changes can be part of the negotiation.
Frequently though, there may be some items that a seller wants to take with them and those items may be included in the pre-printed list of items that are to remain with the home. It may be for sentimental reasons, or perhaps the item cannot be replaced and it is the sellers favorite item. All of those reasons are perfectly fine... but the removal of those items needs to be handled correctly which can include these approaches:
There are also of course the cases where sellers wish to take items and it really doesn't matter to the buyer, so they easily come to an agreement. As a seller, you won't know your scenario until you're in it, so make this part of your pre-listing planning. If there are any items that are not going to be sold with the home, remove them. If they are logical components that one would expect to be included such as lighting, replace your favorite one with an alternate model so the home is complete when sold.
As a home seller, you're not putting your home on the market to sit. You want it to sell in an efficient manner which means in a reasonable amount of time AND while bringing you a great sales price. Creating demand for your home is what will help make that happen, so it's time to put yourself in the driver's seat of being a buyer and thinking objectively how you would see your home. Okay... it's almost impossible for a seller to objectively look at their own home, but you'll have to try and probably take some hard advice from a professional who is trying to help you conquer your goal of prepping and selling. To help get you in the mindset, here are a few (but there are many more) tips to get your home ready to make a great impression.
Although the spring and summer seasons usually drive more traffic to our local parks, there are days in all the seasons where a dash out to the park can brighten your day with a run, walk, play, or simply witnessing the wonderful nature we have in Middle Tennessee. To help you venture out, here is a guide to the local Brentwood parks.
In a previous post, we covered a few basics about water heating tanks. Let's talk a minute about the options for heating your water. Currently in our area, there are two main devices: the traditional tank and a tankless system. Both can serve you well, but here are some details that may help you decide which one you want in your home:
There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting your home's water heating system If I may be of any assistance along the way, please let me know and I'll be happy to help.
All of us have a different focus when home shopping. Some buyers nearly ignore the garage area while others focus on it. No matter which group you're in, there are a few things to check so that once you've purchased a home you don't discover that the garage does not meet your needs. Important aspects include:
Check out the video for additional information about garages that will help you as you shop for a home or plan to build one. For any questions, please contact me and I'll be happy to help!
Most of us have grown up with a traditional water heating tank in our home. It may have been installed in the garage, storage room, and maybe even in the attic in some regions. Although we all have them, many people are unaware of how they work, so I want to share some basics about how you can heat the water that supplies your home.
Be sure to watch the video to hear about water heaters and the various parts and functions of them. If you have any questions about them and how those relate to a home you're considering, please contact me.
Have you ever visited a home, seen one on TV, or viewed one in a magazine and wondered "How in the world do they get those curved stair rails bent like that?". Well, you're not alone! Those rails usually lead to railings on the next level that are straight, and those are easily produced from straight stock that is cut to fit and mounted to the posts. The curved rails are an entirely different production process. When asked how they're produced, most people will guess that heat is involved and maybe steam like used in traditional ship building. While that may be possible, there's a more efficient method that produces custom curved stair rails that are spectacular in design and make the entry way of any luxury home stunning in appearance. Check out the video to see how these curved rails are made.