WORCESTER – Welcome to October! I’ve been on a brief hiatus as we welcomed our son Everett into the world nearly a month early, which as you may imagine was quite a surprise. Now getting back to business and my feet under me, I’m back in action here at This Week in Worcester. Maybe if you’re good I’ll share an adorable baby picture with you, but we all know what you’re here for… Real Estate! I’ve been pleased to see more properties across the various price bands entering the market, and I featured a few in our Open House column.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is still time to be in to your home, settled, and decorated by the December Holidays but that timeline grows tight! Price and offer accordingly if that’s your desire.
In that same vein, I’d like to offer some buyer and seller “do’s and don’ts” that I know irk people on both sides of the table, including the respective representation of each party.
Sellers: Do not wait until closing day to get all your junk out of the house. It will come down to your agent scrambling to find a “junk guy” that is available, highly irritate your buyers and potentially delay your closing.
Buyers: Don’t wait until the final walk-through to inspect the property. Notify your agent that you’d like them to get in there a few days (2-3) prior and check it out. If there’s a ton of junk still about, the agent needs to have a firm conversation on your behalf with the other party, lest there be a delayed closing, hold-back or mad-dash-scramble day of closing.
Sellers: Do not anticipate that despite low inventory buyers will just “eat” your benign-neglect in home maintenance or upgrades. Yes we have lower than normal inventory, and yes properly priced homes have been flying off the market but there’s a trend many of you are missing. Majority of these homes are priced well and updated and well maintained. If they are not, they are priced accordingly. If you’re 140 days on market and have a funky bathroom… well, you know what I’m going to tell you. Nothing different than what your agent has told you; time to renovate or price-drop accordingly.
Buyers: You are not owed the Taj Mahal at a property that is competitively priced. If you encounter a lovely colonial pushing 2,000 to 2,200 square feet on the West Side or in Burncoat with a 2 car garage, nice yard and some updates listed for under $315,000.00… they do not owe you a chef’s kitchen or spa bathroom. Not unless the roof is falling off should you try to undercut. Please rely on your Realtor™ to guide you with pricing in an offer. Your seventh-sense of deal-making will cost you a great house and much consternation will be had.
To that same point, an egregious offense on the part of a buyer and their agent is to make a strong offer to secure a home, particularly in a multi-offer situation, and then knock-down the price offer price in post-inspection negotiations over arbitrary issues.
I always recommend, as do a plethora of my professional colleagues, do your due-diligence prior to making an offer. Bring along your electrician, contractor, plumber, roofer, et.al; give them a couple hours to go through the house if you’re particularly concerned.
Sellers: You can gird your listing against this attack by getting a pre-listing inspection from a quality home inspector. Address small repairs and price accordingly if big-ticket items come up in the report. Have the inspector return, clean the report, and then make the report available through your Realtor™. It will ensure a smoother process and will likely net you a higher return on your home.
“The house you want to debate making an offer on, someone saw yesterday and will submit an offer on today.” –unattributed.
Consider including an American Home Shield Warranty with your property. These comprehensive home warranties give buyers a peace of mind, negate the majority of post-inspection negotiations and provide a higher return and smoother transaction for your home.
What to expect from your full-service Realtor™
It goes without saying that in today’s hyper media driven landscape people are going to expect a heck of a lot more than just “good fiduciary responsibility” from their Realtor™. When you’re listing a home and discerning between Realtors, even if you know a decent one from the neighborhood, always interview at least 2-3. In this process you’ll hopefully garner some insight about different approaches, marketing techniques, technology and tools that each Realtor™ employs.
Naturally everyone wants the Realtor™ listing their home to be super experienced. I would caution that discounting a Realtor due to lack of lengthy experience isn’t always a good idea. If you feel confident in that person, hire them. For example, a newer Realtor™ will typically have the support of managers and colleagues with dozens of years of experience behind them, and the backing of a quality brokerage. They’ll work hard to provide you great satisfaction in order to grow their reputation and business.
Every top-producer started off as a new agent, became a Realtor™ and clawed their way up to the top. If the person has the right tools, technique, polish and professionalism give them a shot.
What you should also expect from your full-service Realtor™ and their brokerage is a local office and keen knowledge of your area, a laser-focused marketing package, global (if need be) advertising presence, and top-quality Internet reach. Sellers should expect high-quality if not professional photography. There is an old adage, “If it rings, it’s not a camera.” This holds most true in Real Estate where pictures can make or break a listing! A home seller should also expect floor-plans, laser-measurement of rooms, and a micro-site (www.yourhomeaddress.com) so that buyers can easily find you and your home listing can be shared quickly and effectively via social-media.
Little else breaks the hearts of my professional colleagues like losing a listing to someone that can’t be bothered to take room measurements, decent photos and spell the listing description correctly. The dramatic dining room you entail in the listing? How big is it exactly? Limited information turns us off, and it will turn off the buying public.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this piece, and that these insights prove helpful. Happy October and please consult your local Realtor™ for all your buying and selling needs!
Lead Photo Credit: https://precondo.ca/