Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's The Little Things That Will Make or Break A Showing

This morning was full of previewing homes for some clients I have coming in next week.  I am a firm believer in previewing homes BEFORE you actually take your clients through.  Why don't more agents do that I wonder?
Anyhow, all of the homes were similar in size, price, private back yards and in close proximity to each other.  All of the homes would fit my clients needs nicely.
What surprised me with each of the homes was that they had another similarity.  They were all a "little" dirty.  Now, let me explain a "little" dirty.  It was obvious in each of the homes that they were family homes.  Adults with children.  From peeking in closets, pantries and bathrooms I can see that they left in haste in the morning but had all done their best to put things in their proper place.  I am sure that as they walked out the door this morning they all had the same thought,  "This looks clean."
I will give each of them that, yes, there were clothes put away, empty kitchen sinks, toys hidden away, etc.  But what they MISSED in ALL OF THEM was this:
  • Toilets with lids up and they all could have used a cleaning
  • Dirty, sticky door knobs on the pantries (enough so that I had to wash my hands as I wasn't sure what I had touched)
  • VERY dirty doors throughout.  Fronts and back of all interior doors had spills on them, fingerprints, handprints and just grim from every day life with children
  • Front doors with kick marks on the inside where you could imagine someone constantly using their foot to close the door
  • Filthy light switch plates (can't explain that one - just a HUGE pet peeve of mine!)
  • Dust bunnies in the cracks and crevices around the baseboards
  • Very dirty sliding glass doors/french doors leading to the outside decks and porches (little hands)
  • Personal toiletry items on countertops such as shampoos, bubble baths, shaving creams, razors, etc.  Not the ones for decoration but the every day use ones.
  • Front porches with spider webs (from years of buildup - not a new Charlotte's Web, mind you)
There are a few more in my notes but you get the point.  While the homes appeared clean with a cursory last glance before the sellers left for the morning - they were not.
Am I being picky?  I think not.  I can not stress enough to my sellers that when their home goes on the market it instantaneously becomes a product!  It must compete with all of the other products on the market and be shown ONLY in it's best light.
I know that as we live our lives daily we sometimes have a blind eye when it comes to our homes and it's cleanliness.  However, when a seller wishes to attract a buyer this is one of the most important areas to address.
So, if you are a seller please take heed.  Step back for a moment and REALLY take a peek at your home through the eyes of a buyer!  If you are another agent then please do your sellers justice and inform them of the importance of details.  It's the little things that just might make the difference......

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Strong Team Can Give You The Edge When Buying A Home!

Buying a home can be a trying time for anyone whether you are a first time buyer or a seasoned Buying a Home in Wake 
Forest NChomeowner.  However, with a Team and a Plan you can successfully and with the least amount of stress find that perfect home in no time!  There are just a few simple pre-home search tips and tricks and I am happy to share them with you!

You Need A Team!  Yes, a TEAM to help you purchase your new home.  Who does your Team consist of?
  1. YOUR AGENT!  And by YOUR agent I mean a Buyer's Agent.  A Buyer's Agent will be an incredible asset and advocate and most times can offer "inside scoop" information on many of the areas local developments, etc
  2. Your Lender - You need to choose a financial lender that YOU are comfortable with.  Each bank is different so it is important that you ask questions of several lenders before deciding which one is right for you.
  3. Your Attorney* - Your agent will be able to recommend several attorneys for you and you should speak with several before making a decision on which one will represent you in this most important transaction.  *North Carolina is a Closing Attorney state.  Our closings are NOT handled by Escrow or Title Companies.  While this post is addressed to everyone I can only speak from a North Carolina perspective - things may be different in your state. 
  4. Your Inspector - Your home inspector is a CRUCIAL member of your team!  While Home Inspections are optional it is best to spend that few hundred dollars to catch any defects in a home that could cost thousands of dollars if gone un-noticed. Ask your agent to recommend a few home inspectors - it is SO worth it!
Now that you have your team assembled it is time to get your PLAN together!  Once you have found your Buyer's Agent you can get down to business and here are a few steps to get you going in the right direction!
  1. Price Range - This is where your Lender comes into play!  A lender will be able to get an in-depth view of your financial picture and help you to discover what you can reasonably afford.  It is imperative that you speak with a lender PRIOR to previewing homes so as NOT to spend valuable time going in the wrong direction. 
  2. Make a List of Wants and Needs - Sit down and make a list of Wants - those things that you think would be nice to have in your new home.  You don't NEED them but you would LIKE them.  Then make a list of your Needs - those are your absolute musts such as 3 bedrooms, 1st Floor Master, etc.
  3. Research your Local Real Estate Market - Have your Buyer's agent provide you with local listings, market reports, local community information and more.  This is the best way to get familiar with a particular area and narrow down your desired areas/
Buying a Home in Wake Forest NCJust a few simple steps in planning and preparation is all that is needed to get you heading down the right path to your new home!  With your pre-approval from your lender, a little market knowledge from your Buyer's Agent, and your list of wants and needs you are ready to find that home and make an offer! 

If you do happen to be looking for homes for sale in Wake Forest NC I would love to be your Buyer's Agent.  Feel free to call me at 919-649-6128 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              919-649-6128      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              919-649-6128      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or simply send me an email!  I am available to answer any questions that you may have about buying a home, the local Wake Forest NC Real Estate Market and any subdivisions or homes that you may want information.  I look forward to hearing from you!

A Walk Through Historic Wake Forest, NC