Interesting and Useful Information Keller, Southlake, and N. Fort Worth Texas

 

May 29, 2013

Get Your Home Sold Faster

Get Your Home Sold... FASTER!

Nearly everyone who sells a home wants fast results.  With few exceptions, the Homeowner hopes to attract a Buyer in the shortest time possible. Planning is of prime importance to this end.  Many Homeowners and real estate firms simply fail to plan for the sale... and they fail to get enough traffic to achieve the goal.

Our Marketing Plan is designed to get results by helping Homeowners to bring out the best features of their homes and to make the greatest impact on potential Buyers.  By examining the product we're selling -- and considering the best way to present and promote it -- we get homes sold faster and at higher prices than our competitors! Take a look at the factors below and you'll see why we excel at both actual sales results and customer satisfaction!

Your Product

Location

Selling a home is selling a location in which to live. This location includes both the home itself and the specific place where the home is located.  Better location equals more interest from potential Buyers - and more money from the sale!

Competition

Anytime something is bought and sold, the Buyer has a choice to make. The main choice is whether your house is to be bought or whether another house is bought instead. The competition (other choices) goes a long way in determining the interest that potential Buyers have in your property and the price at which it finally sells.

Your Pricing

Value

The value of your home is based primarily on the factors mentioned above - location and competition.  It's critical to accurately determine a home's true market value.  If homes in a given area are regularly selling for $300,000 - it will be impossible to sell a similar home for $350,000.

Price

Everyone will immediately want to know the price of your home.  This is the place where adjustments are made to best compete with other homes (the competition). The price you receive will be based substantially on the home's location, condition, floorplan and amenities.  

Your Presentation

Staging

Making a great impression is paramount when selling your home.  The words of an old song say it so well: "accentuate the positive - eliminate the negative". Your house should appear not only clean... but also spacious and practical.  Clutter and personal items should be kept to a minimun. Add color where needed (in and out); make the living areas inviting and see to it that the walkways flow.

Showing

It's best to make your home available for showing whenever people are ready to see it.  Being totally unavailable for showings during the dinner hour, for example, means that your house is actually "off the market" at a time when many people are actively looking at homes.

Your Promotion

Marketing

Let people know your home is for sale!  This means getting the message out to the greatest possible number of potential buyers. The goal isn't to spend the most money on advertising or to have the largest ad in the newspaper... but simply to reach the greatest number of ready, willing and able potential buyers for your home. The overwhelming majority of serious Buyers are working with Realtors... therefore local real estate agents are BY FAR your best source for true potential Buyers.

Managing

Good promotion requires good follow-up.  We need to know what others truly think about the home we're selling. That means honest feedback.  If people see the house as over-crowded, over-priced or under-appointed... we need to know it right away - and adjust.

Posted in Seller Info
April 19, 2013

Checklist for Selling Your House

Checklist for Faster Sales When Selling My House in DFW

Curb Appeal:

  • Keep the lawn mowed and weeded
  • Edge gardens and walkways
  • Sweep walkways and driveway; remove branches, hoses or toys
  • Add color and fill in bare spots with plantings
  • Remove mildew or moss from walls or walks with bleach or other cleaner
  • Take stains off your driveway with cleanser or kitty litter
  • Neatly stack any firewood
  • Clean and repair the patio and deck areas
  • Remove any outdoor furniture which is in poor repair
  • Make sure the pool and spa are fresh and clean
  • Check for flat-fitting roof shingles
  • Replace broken windows or torn screens; check for good solid caulking
  • Hose off exterior wood and trim, replace damaged bricks or wood
  • Touch up exterior paint, repair gutters and eaves
  • Paint the front door and mailbox
  • Add a new front door mat; consider a seasonal door decoration
  • Polish brass hardware on the front door, outside light fixtures, etc.
  • Make sure the doorbell is in good working orderGeneral Interior:
  • Add a fresh coat of interior paint in a light, neutral color
  • Shampoo carpeting, replace if necessary
  • Clean and wax hardwood floors, refinish if necessary
  • Clean and shine kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Wash all windows, vacuum blinds, wash windowsills
  • Clean out the fireplace
  • Organize closets; pack-away clothes and items you don't need now
  • Remove extra furniture, worn rugs, and items you don't use
  • Keep papers, toys, etc. picked up - especially on stairways
  • Repair loose door knobs, cracked molding and leaking taps and toilets
  • Check for squeaky doors and closet or screen doors that are off the tracks
  • Secure all medications, jewelry, cash and other valuablesLiving Room:
  • Make it cozy and inviting, remove worn furniture, rugs or accessoriesDining Room:
  • Polish any displayed silver and crystal
  • Set the table for a formal dinner to show-off this areaThe Kitchen:
  • Make sure appliances are spotless inside and out
  • All appliances should be in perfect working order
  • Clean the top of the refrigerator and the under-sink areas
  • Wax or sponge-coat floor for bright shine, clean baseboards
  • Unclutter all counter space, remove countertop appliances
  • Organize items inside cabinets; pre-pack things you won't need before movingThe Bathrooms:
  • Make sure tile, fixtures and shower doors are clean and shining
  • Replace any loose caulking or grout
  • Make sure lighting is bright, but not harshMaster Bedroom:
  • Organize furnishings to create a spacious look
  • Present well-defined sitting, sleeping, and dressing areas
  • Remove any un-needed furniture... make it look bigThe Garage:
  • Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
  • Consider renting a storage area if necessary
  • Clean oil or stains from cement floors
  • Provide good overhead lighting
  • Organize, and tidy-up storage or work areasThe Attic:
  • Change the furnace filter(s)
  • Discard or pre-pack un-needed items
  • Make sure air vents are in working order
  • Provide good overhead lighting
  • Sweep if needed

    Call Us to get started with the Sale of your Home!   817-707-4383

 

Feb. 12, 2013

Testimonials

Wheeler Professionals @ RE/MAX Trinity

Professional Services

The primary goal of Wheeler Professionals is to provide you with top quality real estate services. Your needs and goals are the focus of our real estate business. Let us know what you'd like to accomplish, and together, we'll make it happen. We're ready to exceed your expectations!

Real estate transactions require a clear understanding of today's market conditions. The right move at the right time is the difference between a big success and a big mistake. Attention to detail – is the critical factor. Our Team will carefully guide you toward your goals so you can take action confidently, knowing that you're making a good decision. You'll enjoy the benefit of our years of training and hands-on experience in the real estate business. Whether you're investing for cash flow, selling a home or buying a home, call us ~

Residential Home Sales 
  • Property Analysis
  • Staging Services
  • National Marketing
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Transaction Oversight
  • OR Do You Need
Buyer Representation 
  • Smart Location Search
  • Licensed Inspections
  • Transaction Structuring
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Professional Guidance
 

Customer Comments

09/26/2016 - hhohler7

Written about Kelly Wheeler on 09/26/2016
Sold a Single Family home in 2014 in Falcon Ridge, Fort Worth, TX.

Kelly helped me buy my current home, sell my husband's first home and is in the process of closing a sale on my husband's rental property. From beginning to end, she is a first class, detail oriented and driven realtor. Her negotiations skills are excellent, her explanation of the processes are clear and concise, her speed of getting home on the market quickly is unsurpassed compared to others we have attempted to use in the past. I will forever refer her first above all other realtors I know and I look forward to her helping us buy a bigger home in the next year or two.

10/08/2015 - Ryan Stow

Written about Kelly Wheeler on 10/08/2015
Bought a Single Family home in 2015 in Keller, TX.

Best realtor in DFW no doubt about it. Feel free to stop reading here. If you want the reasons why, I'm happy to share: Kelly was recommended from a friend, and as always, everyone seems to know a great realtor so we were hesitant. We were selling our home and looking to buy in a very small radius. She consulted with us on price points to list our home with a variety of levels. One price point selling as is, one with staging and a few modifications, and one with a complete overhaul. We opted for the staging and few modifications. Kelly recommended everyone from contactors, landscapers, window washers, and everything in between. Everyone she recommended was affordable, professional, and had an eye for the overall objective. We received 7 offers after one day on the market, three of which were well over asking. Kelly handled every aspect of our sale. She found us our dream home day 1. We were set and ready to make an offer. Kelly recommended we view a few more properties so we could have a better feel of all that was on the market. She was prompt to set appointments and was readily available at a whim to view properties. She set us up with Keary Turner, who is the best mortgage lender in DFW and is located in Southlake. Keary provided us a letter of pre-approval rapidly. Kelly knew about properties coming on the market for what it seemed prior to owners were ready to sell. We visited 12 to 15 properties and were up in the air. Kelly called us and informed our dream home (original home we viewed) was back on the market due to financing falling through prior to any website notifying us. We had our offer in and accepted prior to anyone else having the chance to view. We have been in our dream home for 1 month and could not be happier. If you seek the best of the best and do not settle for average, I strongly recommend you give Kelly a call. You will be happy you did. Thank you Kelly!!

02/12/2015 - bgillathome

Written about Kelly Wheeler on 02/12/2015
Bought a Single Family home in 2015 in Roanoke, TX.

Kelly quickly determined our needs and was extremely helpful in finding the right home for my wife and I. When the home didn't appraise for our offer, Kelly got the seller to drop the price to meet the appraisal. Everything went as planned. I've been relocated 7 times and Kelly ranks at the top of agents used.

Highly likely to recommend

Kelly is phenomenal! She was the utmost professional in getting me top dollar on the sale of my home. Kelly also was a tremendous asset on the successful purchase of my new home in which there were multiple bidders. Kelly is so passionate about helping her clients and she will go above and beyond to meet her clients' needs. I highly recommend Kelly for anyone wishing to buy or sell a home!

 

Posted in Buyer Info, Seller Info
Aug. 8, 2012

FSBO Closing Strategy

Closing Strategy When you get phone calls and drop-ins, what will you say and what will you do? How will you lead someone from just looking to actually buying?  This calls for step five of our plan. First, remember that you're letting strangers into your home. So, for your own safety, let someone else know when you'll be showing the house. Have them call you about 10 minutes into the showing time. If your prospects are still looking, just take a short pause and answer the phone. Leave the outside doors unlocked while you're showing as well. If you need to get out of the house in an emergency, you don't want to be slowed-down by a locked door. Secondly, put away all valuable items like jewelry and credit cards. Also, make sure that any prescription medications you may have are secured. Trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about a person or a situation, bring the showing to an end right away... protect yourself always! Be friendly, but not "talkative". Ask a question or two as you walk through the house. Here are some things you'll want to know: 

  • How long have they been looking for a home?
  • In which areas are they looking at homes?
  • Have they been pre-qualified with a lender?
  • Do they have a house to sell?
  • In general, when do they expect to move?
  • What attracted their attention to your house?The answers will give you a very good idea of how ready, willing and able they may be to make a near term decision. Your prospects will have questions for you also. Be prepared to answer the following questions in detail when asked:  
  • Why are you selling the house?
  • How long have you lived here?
  • Who was the homebuilder?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • Are there any problems with the house?
  • Why aren't you using a real estate company?
  • How did you arrive at your asking price?
  • What is your rock bottom price for the house?

    There probably will be more difficult questions as well... be ready for anything they might ask you. And please remember this: You absolutely MUST tell them about any hidden defects in the house. The costs of a lawsuit will far outweigh any savings on a real estate commission!

    People who purchase FSBO homes are usually looking for a bargain. They hope you're going to sell the house for a low price. That's why they're here instead of looking at any number of listed homes with a Realtor®.  Also, they know that you're saving the sales commission, and they expect you to pass a good portion of your savings along to them!  Remember too, that they expect you to have already added your advertising and other selling expenses onto your asking price -- they'll want you to discount most of that as well.  Be ready to handle these issues in your discussions of price. Once you find a prospect that's actually ready and able to buy your home, get your contract and financing addendum out and start writing!

    CAUTION: Please be careful how you fill in the blanks and the checkboxes. You are putting together a legally binding contract!  Seek advice from an attorney if you have any questions about what you're doing. Remember to provide the buyer with your disclosure as mandated by State law.

     

June 22, 2012

Marketing Your For Sale By Owner

Sales Tools When Selling By Owner

We want to sell the house, and our main competitors in the area are homes being represented by professional real estate people. So, we're going to need at least some basic sales tools to market the property. Let's start with the following: 

  • A Yard Sign.
  • Photos of the House.
  • Information Sheets.
  • Mortgage Lender information.
  • The Market Analysis (from step one).
  • Sales Contracts
  • An Internet Site (and an Email Address)
  • Money for Advertising and Expenses.
  • A Marketing Plan.FSBO Sign

    Signs are available at many places and they come in all sizes. If you like, you can even have a custom sign made for you by a local sign company.

    Contracts, along with financing addendum, are available from several sources. Consider having an attorney write-up a contract for you... or you can obtain and use a contract from a title company. My best recommendation is to seek professional advice if you have any questions. You're dealing with a major financial transaction, you know!

    Visit several mortgage lenders and pick up information from them; introduce yourself and get some of their business cards.

    If you can build an Internet Site, that would be great. If you can't, check around about getting a site done for you, then add your site to all the major search engines and mention the site in all of your advertising. If you have access to email, you can use it to get the word out on your home sale as well. 

    Marketing Plan

    Step four is our "marketing plan". In other words, our plan for getting this house sold. We need to let EVERYONE know that the house is for sale, and provide them with more information when they want it. The first thing to do is get the house ready as discussed in step two. Then, take quality pictures of both the inside and outside of the house and create your information sheets.

    Now, it's time to put your "FOR SALE BY OWNER" sign in the yard, and hope that someone buys your house before you have to clean it again!  The next thing to do is walk around the entire neighborhood and hand out the information sheets to all of your neighbors. Tell them that you're selling your house, and ask them to tell their friends and acquaintances at work.

    Write an ad for the newspaper and put it in to run this weekend. Don't make any plans this weekend because you'll need to be home to talk on the phone, show the house, and answer questions from people who walk up to the door to inquire. Yes, it's a lot of work - but if you succeed, you'll save the real estate commission... which was the reason you did this in the first place, right?

    Moving right along... depending on the price range of your home, consider contacting major employers in the area. Call the HR Department and ask if you can place an ad on their bulletin boards. Also, consider putting your information sheet on bulletin boards in grocery stores, full service car washes and local convenience stores. See if you can put an ad in your employer's newsletter or your neighborhood's newsletter. Check the Internet for "free ad" sites and post your property information there as well. Finally, think about offering a small fee to real estate agents who are willing to show your house to buyers they're helping. You could drop by a few local real estate offices and give them your information sheet along with details on the amount of fee you're offering.

    Plan to run some more ads in the newspaper next weekend -- and look for other papers (small locals) where you can advertise to another sector of the population in your general area.

    Consider holding an Open House. Although the odds of selling at an open house are between "slim and none", you'll probably eliminate some of the phone calls you're receiving from curious neighbors by simply opening up the house for everyone to see a couple of times.  Put pies in the oven and coffee on the stove to give your house that warm, "cozy" feeling.

    One last thing: Think about buying a home warranty. That could help to give buyers confidence in your property. A home warranty is kind of an insurance policy that covers major appliances and systems for a certain length of time. Most builders offer home warranties with new homes. If you do decide to buy a home warranty... be sure to include that fact in all of your advertising.

June 13, 2012

Showing My House

How Do We Sell It?

Marketing the Home

You probably realize it's unlikely that the right buyer will walk through your door on his own. The home must be marketed to the buyer, and that's where choosing a professional Realtor® comes into play. You'll want an agent who makes good use of advertising, reach, the MLS system and the Internet. As your agent, I'll design a marketing program to bring you a ready, willing and able buyer in the shortest possible time. Your home has just one chance to make a great "first impression" with each potential buyer, so you'll want to show it at it's very best. Homebuyers aren't coming over just for a quick look ... they're going to make a very careful inspection. The whole idea is to present a clean, spacious, clutter-free home -- the kind of place you'd like to buy. Do something toward that goal every day and soon your home will be ready to make that winning impression that finally leads to its sale.

Making it Look Its Best

Your house is going to be judged heavily by its "curb appeal". Let me stress this point. The exterior MUST look great!  If it doesn't, you have to make it look great!  Be sure the paint and visible caulking are in good condition. The yard has to be detailed... green grass (in season) neatly mowed and edged... shrubs trimmed... you may even want to plant a few flowers. Inside, you'll want to brighten-up any dark areas and maybe add some fresh paint. Clear out all unattractive "stuff" and put the clutter away to give the rooms an open and airy feeling. Either clean or replace the carpeting and make sure there are no "stale" odors in the house. This is especially important in closets and bathrooms. Consider adding some houseplants or some fresh flowers. These things will help to sell your home more quickly.

Showing the Home

Your house should always be available for showings, even though it may occasionally be inconvenient for you. Usually agents working with buyers will give at least a couple of hours notice before showing your property. If you refuse to allow a showing at that time, they will take their buyers elsewhere. Let your listing broker put a lock box in a convenient place to make it easy for other agents to show the home to their buyers. Since almost every other house does have a lockbox, if yours doesn't, most agents will simply not show your property. You'll miss out on a lot of potential buyers. Without a lockbox, agents will have to tightly schedule their appointments and most of them will just skip your home and show another one with easy access. Even if they come back at another time, it will probably be with different buyers... you may have lost an important chance to sell your home!  

When it's Time to Show  

  • Open all draperies and shades, turn on all lights
  • Pick up toys and other clutter
  • Check to make sure beds are made and clothes are put away
  • Give the carpets a quick vacuuming if possible
  • Add some of those strategically placed fresh flowers
  • Open bathroom windows just a little for some fresh air
  • Turn off the television and turn on some soft music
  • Make a fire in the fireplace if appropriate
  • Put pets in the backyard or arrange for a friend to keep them
  • Make sure all pet areas are clean and odor-free
  • Dispose of any trash in tightly covered containers

 

You Should Not be Home

Homebuyers will feel like intruders if you're at home when they visit, and they might not be as receptive to viewing your home. Use this time to drop by the local coffeehouse, or take the kids out to the park. If you absolutely cannot leave, try to remain in an "out-of-the-way" area of the house and don't move around from room to room.  Also, don't volunteer any information; simply answer any questions that the real estate agent may ask you.

May 29, 2012

How to Sell Your Home by Owner

How to Sell Your Home $ $   "BY OWNER"   $ $

They finally decided — it was time to sell. "We can sell it ourselves and save the real estate commission!" she told him.  He shrugged. "Who knows... maybe we should just call an agent and let him handle all this stuff."  They'd talked about this before, but now it was time to make a choice. The building plans were ready and the lot was theirs. No more time to waste -- they wanted to start building their new home.

When it's time to sell your home, will you choose the traditional way -- calling a real estate firm -- or will you decide to "give it a go" as a FSBO?  Selling your home For Sale By Owner, (FSBO) can be an interesting proposition. Everyone likes to save money -- especially when it adds up to thousands of dollars!  If you decide on the "By Owner" route, here are some ideas to help you make a serious effort with a reasonable chance of success. 

Make Some Plans

The first thing to do is, sit down with a pen and a legal pad and write down a rough draft of what needs to be done.  For example, you'll need to consider all of the following:

 

 

  • Sales Price
  • House Preparation
  • Sales Tools
  • Marketing Plan
  • Closing StrategyWith this bare outline in hand, start filling in the details under each heading. Yes, it's going to take some work, but if you can pull this off, you've saved yourself a bunch of money!   Home For Sale By Owner Sales Price Let's look at the asking price.  First, how much do you own on the mortgage?  Next... how much money do you need, after the loan is paid, to make everything work out financially for buying the new home?  Hmmm, okay... now that you know the amount of money you'll need, you can hope it will all work out that way.  So, to figure out the asking price, let's forget about all of that... because none of those things matter when it comes to pricing the house!  The ONLY thing that matters is... what are SIMILAR homes in this area selling for today? You could drive around and look at homes for sale, check here, and ask there... but for the real answer, call three or four real estate agents and ask them for a free market analysis. That will give you the true answer to pricing. Adjust the price according to how your house compares to others that recently sold in the area; maybe yours is larger, newer, freshly carpeted, has an extra car garage or backs up to the golf course. The real estate people will help you decide on a reasonable price... and it won't cost you a dime!  Now you're ready for step two:  House Preparation Ready... Set... Go!  Your house must win the race with all the other homes that are for sale in your area. If you come in second, buyers will choose one of those other houses instead of yours. So... we've got to get the house ready to sell. Let's walk across the street and look at the house as a buyer would. Pretend that you don't own it for a minute and see how it stacks up to the other houses you see from here.  Is your front yard, including the trees and flowers, well above average for the neighborhood? Are there things sitting out that should be put away, such as toys, garden hoses and "well used" decorative items?  Walk up to the front door as though you were a stranger, looking at the building for needed maintenance or repair. How is the paint, the driveway, the windows, the front door and doorknob... are you impressed with this house?  Go inside... what do you see right away? Does the house seem clean, bright and spacious? Are the floors and walls clean?  Is the carpeting in excellent condition? You'll want to tour the house, room by room; see if it's tidy, well decorated and impressive.  If you find loose doorknobs, chipped paint, or dull kitchen and bathroom fixtures, you can bet prospective buyers will see them and it will hurt your chances of selling!  What should you do?  You need to paint, repair and replace!  Clear out any unattractive "stuff" that's going to cost you the one first impression you'll make on the next prospective buyer that walks in the door!  

 

April 12, 2012

Find a Good Real Estate Deal in Fort Worth

Finding A Steal

When a good deal comes along... count me in!  Most of the people I know feel this way about saving money... after all, everyone likes a bargain. In the real estate arena, a really fantastic bargain is known as "a steal". That is, instead of just buying a property, the deal isso good that one might say it wasn't purchased... it was stolen!  A few times, buyers have jokingly said to me, "We're looking for a steal." I always tell them, "Well, good luck!"  There are, however, opportunities to purchase homes at prices that are FAR below the market. Some of these properties are what we call "distressed" properties... that is, there are circumstances that cause the property owners to either want or NEED to sell the property quickly...which in turn forces them to consider below market offers.

Here in Texas, back in the 1980's there was a glut of houses on the market because of collapsing oil prices. Real estate values went "south" in a big way and many owners found themselves with homes that were worth less than they had paid for them. Some homeowners simply gave the houses back to the lenders in lieu of foreclosure. The lenders, fearing still lower prices ahead, unloaded these distressed properties well below the market just to save greater losses in the future. Back then, Fannie Mae, (Federal National Mortgage Association), sometimes held public auctions for houses and offered special financing to help get them sold.

Today, the real estate market in the Dallas / Fort Worth area is actually very good... even though it's a little cooler than the wildfire boom of the past couple of years.  In this market, a steal is much harder to come by. Homes that are represented by Realtors® are NOT the place to find steals!  Realtors® protect their homeowners by helping them to correctly price and effectively market their homes. Realtors® also have access to the overwhelming majority of all qualified, active buyers. These benefits allow homeowners to expect fair market prices when using the services of a Realtor®.  The only place today to find a genuine steal, is to look at homes that are being offered for sale by the owner!  Without the expert advice, and the major pool of active buyers to work with, the FSBO homeowner is just one mistake away from having his home "stolen" (price-wise) by a skilled and witty buyer.  No... not every FSBO can be worked in this manner... but this is by far the greatest source of real estate bargain hunting. The For-Sale-By-Owner property is the most fertile ground currently available from which to harvest that luscious, golden fruit -- a steal. 

Most people think they can buy foreclosures for fifty cents on the dollar. Well that's what all the so called "experts" will tell you. But the reality is that foreclosures or bank owned properties often go for at or above the list price. The thing is, the list price is often a great price. In the Fort Worth real estate market though, you're not going to find the fifty cents on the dollar homes. Our market just didn't take that big of a hit to give those amazing prices. You will find some great foreclosures at prices often below market compared to other homes though. Typically, the list price, will be very close to the actual sales price. 

Posted in Buyer Info
June 18, 2011

What's Personal Property?

Personal Property

The real estate agent turned on the lights as we walked in. A large tiled entry seemed to go on forever into the huge living area with massive windows and fine woodworked pillars. Custom drapes and rugs made this beautiful entertainment area seem warm and inviting. "This is perfect!"  We both said it at nearly the same instant, so we laughed. "Those drapes are the exact color we were hoping to use to accent the furniture we're getting." The agent looked at the printout he brought along from his office. "Now, the drapes don't stay -- the seller is reserving these drapes, but will replace them with nice ones that work really well in this area."

When looking at homes, sometimes what you see is NOT what you get!  There are many instances where items don't "convey"... that is, they don't stay with the home when it sells. Such items are considered "personal property".  Most people understand that furniture is personal property and won't be a part of the real estate purchase.  Certain items, however, seem to be in question by both the buyer and the seller.  The simple answer is, items that are attached to the property to be used as part of the property, are real estate, not personal property. Those items that are not attached to the property are personal property.

Light fixtures are a common example. If the light fixtures are attached by bolts or screws, and are used as part of the property, they then become real estate and are not personal property. On the other hand, a floor lamp that isn't physically attached, is personal property. There are legal "tests" for such things, but I'll spare you the grief.  In the case above, drapes are usually considered part of the property because they are attached as well as being specially sized for each window. Unless they are specifically "reserved" and declared as such, they will stay with the house when it sells.  If the seller intends to keep such items, they must be reserved at the time the house is listed. Details of these reserved items are written into the listing information to help avoid possible misunderstandings between the buyer and seller.

Let's be Serious I've seen items reserved that might be considered trivial. My recommendation is, don't worry about a $50 item that could be a point of contention when selling a $200,000 house!  Sellers might do well to replace reserved items in advance of showing their property. It's also a good idea not to appear "petty" by reserving, let's say, a hose reel, if that's going to make you seem difficult to work with when it comes to final price negotiations.  Both parties to a real estate transaction should try to appear reasonable when dealing with the sale of a home.

Buyers and sellers need to be clear with each other in real estate transactions. Personal items that may cause misunderstandings should be made clear from the outset. Don't let personal property become a "personal issue" when buying or selling a home. 

Posted in Buyer Info
May 18, 2011

What's My House Worth?

What's the House Worth?

Market Value

Any house ultimately is worth, what someone will pay for it.  Everything else is an estimate of value. To determine a property's value, most people turn to either a professional appraisal or a "comparative market analysis". An appraisal is a certified appraiser's estimate of the value of a home at a certain point in time.  Appraisers consider square footage, lot size, quality, design, features and recent sales in the neighborhood. They also take into account your landscaping. Most appraisals cost around $300. A comparative market analysis is a real estate broker's or agent's less formal estimate of a home's market value, based on sales of comparable homes in a neighborhood. Most agents will give you a comparative market analysis for free. You can also do your own cost comparison by looking at recent sales of comparable properties in the public records. These records are available at the local Recorder, County Assessor, or through private real estate information companies.

Be Careful Please

If you start out with a price that's too high, you may open a "Pandora's Box" in your marketing plans. Listing agents market and promote your home to hundreds of other local agents who are currently working with homebuyers. This dramatically increases your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks on the market, your home should have a lot of activity with buyer's agents coming to preview your home so they can sell it to their clients. If you and your agent have overpriced the house, fewer buyer's agents will preview your home. After all, many of them are Realtors®, and it's their job to know local market conditions and home values. If your house is priced above the market, they won't waste their time looking at it. They'll just work with the homes that are priced very fairly. Later, when you drop your price, the house is "old news" - it can be tough to recapture the activity you would have had with a realistic price.

 

What if you do successfully sell it above the current market price?  The buyer will need a mortgage and the mortgage lender requires an appraisal. If comparable sales within the last six months and current market conditions don't support your sales price, the house won't appraise ... the deal falls apart. Remember, the appraiser works for the lender. He/she won't appraise the house for one dollar higher than the market justifies! You can always attempt to renegotiate the price... if the buyer is willing... but he's now in the "driver's seat". Your house could go back on the market... not good news!  Once your house has "fallen out of escrow" or sits on the market awhile, it's harder to get a good offer because potential buyers will think you may be desperate, so they'll make lower offers. By overpricing the home in the beginning, you could end up selling it for a lower price than you would have normally received and it may take much longer to sell than it should have.