A surprise can be a wonderful thing, be it unexpected birthday wishes, an impromptu dinner date with a loved one, or good news about your tax returns. All things I enjoy. What I do not enjoy is encountering surprises in Real Estate. Now you might say “Come on Allen, that’s what keeps life interesting!” Well to that, I venture “wait until you’re on the receiving end of it.”

This Week in Worcester Real Estate: Surprise! 1

Surprises in Real Estate are often unpleasant.

That’s why we are discussing three important topics in this piece. Detachment, Pre-Listing Inspections, and Appraisals.

I advocate for the latter two countermeasures to mitigate surprises in the sale of your home. I recommend a pre-listing home inspection and an appraisal. Not always necessary prior to listing a home, but one or the other is almost always a good idea should the home have some deferred maintenance or be more unique than those surrounding it. Your Realtor will be able to clue you in if either are necessary.

A significant portion of our job as Realtors is not just to market your property, but to ensure smooth successful negotiations. The finessing of a transaction between parties requires excellent negotiation and communication skills, as well as the understanding of human-nature and how people behave when in conflict. Luckily, I have watched enough TED® Talks to warrant a PhD in those subject areas.

It is important to note that when buying or selling a home, at one time or another, parties to the transaction will feel aggrieved. As a seller you want to avoid having a buyer become agitated over the results of a home inspection. Nobody wants “I’m being taken advantage of!” to become a mantra throughout a transaction.

Surprises encountered during an inspection are psychologically detrimental to both the homeowner(s) and buyer(s) psyche; raised red-flags are hard to forget and terse negotiations sour a seller quickly while a buyer can walk away. Engage an inspector for a pre-listing home-inspection. This is a surefire way to assuage any buyer fears of the unknown. It will also allow you, the homeowner, to identify any material defects that may derail the sale of your home, and repair any nominal “little issues.” This will help you sell your home quicker, and for a higher net dollar figure. If your home is a bit more unique to the neighborhood, has deferred maintenance (needs a roof) then an appraisal prior to listing is helpful.

Typically, people receive and process information intelligently… regarding home buying and selling this isn’t the case as it’s “personal.” That brings me to my next point. DETACH! Your home becomes a house, a commodity, the moment you list it. Your objective is to net the most on your sale, so that you can move forward wherever you are heading. Detach from the emotional hold your home has on you, declutter, and disambiguate from the fact that you are selling it. Remove your multitude of family photos, depersonalize the house and get it ready with your Realtor for the public. None of this is personal.

If I had a dollar for every buyer I’ve seen jump to “red-alert” status at the information presented during a home inspection, ask for the world on a platter, and then conversely watch as a seller digs in their heels; I’d be having lunch at the Sole today. There’s a lot of negotiation and massaging that brings us to the closing table from that point. What I have learned is that a quality pre-inspection and if need be, an appraisal prior to listing helps you facilitate a quicker sale of your property, and for a higher net dollar amount.  

So, with that advice conveyed, I’ll conclude with a few qualified inspectors:

  • Michael Walsh, Walsh Home Inspections
    Book Online @ www.walshhi.com
  • Michael Kalinowski, The Home Inspection Co
    Phone: (508) 755 – 7586
  • Brent Booker, Dovetail Home Inspection
    Phone: (800) 507 – 9870
  • Michael Gleason, Micheal’s Home Inspections
    Phone: (508) 886-0020. Cell: (508) 769-9871
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