TRACY BUCHANAN, ABR, SFR HARD-WORKING, AGGRESSIVE, AND SKILLED
PRE-LISTING PACKET FOR SELLERS Long & Foster Realtors 5000 W. Village Green Dr. Midlothian, VA 23112 Direct: 804-400-0456 Office: 804-739-6000 www.realestatewithtracy.net
FROM THE DESK OF TRACY BUCHANAN, ABR, SFR
Long & Foster Realtors 5000 W. Village Green Drive Midlothian, VA 23112
Direct: (804) 400-0456 Dear Prospective Client: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present my practice of real estate to you. As you review this material, you will begin to understand that all real estate professionals are not alike. I’m building my business and reputation on doing the very best job for my clients. My goal is your goal: Whether it is to sell your home within a certain time frame, sell it with the least amount of inconvenience to you, or sell it for top dollar. I have included in this packet a fair amount of information about my practice to reinforce the fact that I will work hard to get the job done. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a “Buyer Market” or a “Seller’s Market”… there is always fierce competition among the homes on the market for those “Qualified Buyers” who are out looking. Sellers need aggressive, effective Realtors to direct those buyers to their property in order to get their property SOLD at their price and terms. By knowing more about the process I use, you will have a solid understanding of why I’m the Best at getting the job done! I hope you find this packet informative and useful. After reviewing the information provided you may conclude that selling a home is a complicated business. That is why it may be in your best interest to hire the Very Best to represent you. I believe your review of this packet will make you enthusiastic about choosing me for the job! I’m also including a sample of the documents we will be reviewing as we list your home. Please highlight any items you are not sure about so that we may discuss thoroughly. I am looking forward to meeting with you to discuss your needs. Your REALTOR,
Tracy Buchanan, ABR, SFR
PROFILE OF TRACY BUCHANAN
I am a licensed Realtor in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a member of local, state and national Associations of Realtors. My goal is to provide a smooth and enjoyable Real Estate transaction for my clients. My customer service background began with my very first job at the age of sixteen. Twenty years later my training and experience in Customer Service and Insurance is used to guide buyers and sellers during the sometimes-overwhelming real estate experience. I completed my â€œPrinciples of Real Estateâ€? through John Tyler Community College and my Star Builders training through Long & Foster, which included such aspects as sales, finance marketing, agency, fair housing and ethical standards, just to name a few. As your professional real estate advisor, my focus is your client satisfaction. My years in the business and my professional background have provided me the experience to assist you with nearly every real estate need. Whether you are selling your own home or searching for a new place to call your own, I will work hard to make sure that you are completely satisfied. I will listen to your needs and wants to establish our goals and objectives. We will work as a team to meet the goals and you will continually be in the loop during the entire process. I believe communication is key in meeting our goals and building our relationship. My satisfied clients are my best resource for new business. In this business of real estate, service makes the difference. My service is second to none and has earned me a valuable source of referrals. If you are considering a real estate professional, I would welcome the opportunity to earn you business too.
TRACY BUCHANAN, ABR, SFR 5000 W. Village Green Dr. Midlothian, VA 23112 Phone: 804-400-0456 Fax: 804-739-0301 e-mail: email@example.com www.realestatewithtracy.net
LONG & FOSTER PROFILE
Long & Foster’s Richmond Region is Central Virginia’s largest residential real estate firm, with 20 offices in the Richmond, Tri-City, Northern Neck areas, down to North Carolina boarder including South Hill and Victoria. Long & Foster commands an estimated 40 percent of all the residential Real Estate business in the capital area. Long & Foster is the largest privately owned Real Estate Company in the United States with over 200 offices in seven states and the District of Columbia. Over 13,000 Sales Associates account for over $38 billion worth of homes sold every year. Listing property with Long & Foster means receiving all the benefits of highly skilled, professional Real Estate Sales Associates: • • • • • • •
Experience Integrity Effectiveness Advanced Techniques and Aids An Intimate Knowledge of the Marketplace Cutting edge marketing tools Dominant market share
The various companies and divisions of Long & Foster provide a full range of Real Estate related services such as: • • • • • • • • •
General Brokerage Property Management New Homes Extraordinary Properties Commercial Properties Relocations Home Mortgages Title Insurance Homeowners Insurance
TRACYâ€™S MISSION STATEMENT It is my mission to provide quality real estate service and the finest personalized service to my clients. It is my mission to pursue the best interests of my clients at all times and with the highest ethical standards, to provide each and every clients with professional expertise and to continually educate myself so that my clients will benefit from the most accurate, up-to-date information and resources. It is my mission to treat all of my clientĂ¨le with the highest respect for their needs. I will be upfront and honest as to how I can best help them. I will not enter into a client relationship where I know what is expected of me cannot be accomplished in good faith. My work, time and energy will be given in such a helpful and professional manner that my fees will be respected and my services highly recommended. It is my mission to strive for win/win positions and fairness in all transactions. My actions with others will never be done for short-term gain or at the expense of another. It is my goal that my attitude, spirit and energy enrich the lives of every person I have the pleasure of working with. It is my mission to enter into and develop every client relationship with honesty and integrity. I will treat all parties fairly without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status. It is my mission to share with my clients my passion for business excellence and to always build my business on a foundation of love for the work I do. My ultimate goal is to provide my clients with the most rewarding real estate experience possible.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM TRACY BUCHANAN
Attention to detail: Knowledge of the complex real estate market and various types of transactions.
Ethical Standards: Integrity and strict ethical standards.
Broad Exposure: Your home will be exposed to buyers generated by my broad scope of advertising. In fact, by working as a team with the Harbour Pointe Long & Foster office, the chances are higher that we may already have a buyer for your home.
Immediate Coverage: Your property is input into the Multiple Listing Service system within 24 hours of the listing agreement being signed, giving visibility to over 4500 agents in Central Virginia as well as our Relocation network.
Full-time Effort: I am a full-time professional Realtor.
Communication: You will receive weekly activity updates to keep you informed.
Knowledge of the Market: Daily hands-on interaction.
Relocation Services: I have access to the long & Foster full service relocation department should you need to be referred to an agent in another area or state. It’s that simple!
The Best Service: Your goals are my goals and you can rest assured that they will be my primary focus.
My Goal for You: To sell your home in the shortest period of time, in a manner convenient to you, and at the best possible price!
TRACY’S POINTS OF DIFFERENCE MORE THAN A SIGN •
Advertising: Your home will contain a home book to include: Descriptive flyers Survey (if available) Seller's disclosure Voice Pad Social networking
Financing options Utility history (if available) Sign You Tube Craigs list
Full investigation of Competitive Housing Prospects
Assistance Staging your Home for Market
Network the entire Broker Population
Inform your neighborhood of your available property with a mailing to surrounding houses in your area including description and photo.
Open Houses open to the general public at your discretion
Cumulative Feedback from showings
Your home will be a featured listing on www.longandfoster.com
Your home will be a featured listing on my personal website www.realestatewithtracy.net
Your home will have an individual professionally designed property website to include up to 50 or more photos, full screen slide shows, social networking tools, craigs list posting tools, free listing syndications, and property feedback; so we have the best possible Point of Reference for the Buyer.
REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR CHANGING TIMES It's no secret that today's real estate market is a departure from the market of years prior. Gone are the days of 24-hour listings and multiple offers on a property. In the current market, inventory out numbers buyers. This shift means that sellers in todays market need to approach the task of selling their home with realistic expectations, and take extra steps to ensure that their property appears desirable to potential buyers. For those looking to sell a home in this slower market, the best way to approach the situation is with a positive, but realistic attitude. Home owners need to be prepared for the fact that their home might be on the market for several weeks. Whereas in the past a home would often sell in days, having a home on the market for two months is a more likely scenario now. Knowing this from the beginning will help you plan adequately when listing and pricing your home. Now more than ever, it is important to price your home reasonably right when it goes on the market. Your REALTOR will be able to guide you in the right direction, and offer advice based on what other homes in your area are selling for. Setting a reasonable price upfront is the best way to reduce days on market and ensure that your home will get plenty of traffic from potential buyers. Remember, buyers have more choices than ever; if your home is unreasonably priced, they will be more likely to discard it as an option before ever stepping inside. Having your home in move-in condition can also be a crucial factor in influencing a buyer's decision. Buyers may not be interested in a home they see as a “fixer-upper” - especially if there are similar houses to choose from that have already been upgraded. Again, your REALTOR may have suggestions about home improvements and repairs that you can make before putting your house on the market, such as repainting walls or replacing hardware. Anticipating what the buyer will ask for in advance cuts down on the time that would be spent making improvements before a new owner can move in. It helps to “neutralize” your home as much as possible before agents begin showing it. Remove personal items and excess clutter makes it easier for potential buyers to envision the home as their own. Create a canvas that allows buyers to imagine their furniture and belongings in the space from the first time they walk through the home. You may even want to consult a professional home stager to assist in arranging furniture and décor in an appealing way. Although the market has slowed, there will always be buyers looking for homes. With a positive attitude, a little presentation, and the help of a REALTOR, you can set your home apart from the rest and do what it takes to get your property sold.
WHILE YOUR HOME IS ON THE MARKET I will keep you posted on all inquires and showings as they occur. Agents and buyers should not drop by unannounced. They are required to make an appointment at all times. Although appointments are needed, there will be instances where we have very short notice of a showing. This is why it is very important to have your home in “SHOWING CONDITION” at all times while on the market. Making sure the house is sparkling before going to work or tidying up as you go throughout the day will make these unexpected showings an ease. Buyers aren't going to operate on your schedule. When your home is put on the market, you won't have just your own Realtor showing your home, you may have dozens of Realtors and their clients wanting to see the home at almost anytime of the day or evening. You may feel like fair game when buyers show up at your home without an appointment or ahead of their Realtors and ask to see your home. Don't let them in no matter what they say. There is no reason for an unaccompanied buyer to be in your home for any reason. Just say no! When showings are scheduled, it’s a good idea for you to run an errand, go out to eat or treat yourself to a movie. Most showings last about 30 minutes but it is best if the potential buyer can freely look around. They will feel more comfortable and show more interest if you are not watching over them.
AFTER SELLING YOUR HOME: THE HOME INSPECTION
Many buyers choose to have Home Inspections at their expense when purchasing their new home. In fact, many offers are subject to having a home inspection. By having a home inspection, the home's vital systems are checked. A home inspection allows you to sell your home with confidence. The buyers will schedule a whole house inspection shortly after the contract is ratified. I will contact you to let you know when the inspection will take place. The inspection will normally take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours. This is also a good time for buyer to bring in any family members that would like to see the house. The buyer's agent will usually be present during the inspection. Once the inspection is completed the buyer's agent will provide me with a repair addendum that will detail the requested repairs/credits. I will contact you to discuss the requests and we will then negotiate the addendum. We will have time to get quotes from any contractors that we may need.
Items on your inspection report will include: Foundations, Basements & Structures Basement floors, & walls, proper drainage & ventilation, evidence of water seepage. Exterior Siding, Windows, Door, Lots & Landscaping Exterior walls, windows, doors, porches, decks & balconies, condition of steps and driveways Roof Roof type & material, condition of gutters & downspouts Interior Plumbing System Hot & Cold water system; waste system & sewage disposal; water pressure & flow; water heater Electrical System Type of service, the number of circuits, type of protection, outlet grounding, and load balance Central Heating & Cooling System Energy source, type of colling equipment, capacity, and distribution Interior Walls Ceilings, Floors, Windows, and Doors Walls, floors, ceilings, stairways, cabinets, and counter tops Attic Structural, insulation & ventilation information Garage Doors, walls, floor, opener Appliances A wide range of built-in and other home appliance, smoke detectors & TV/Cable hookups
SOME THOUGHTS ON CONDITION
Of all the things homeowners control when selling their home, the condition of the property is one of the most important. A crucial part of marketing any product is the presentation of the product. Corporations and retail business understand this concept and pay millions of dollars each year to advertising and marketing consultants to get the best advice possible. The same is true for houses. In order to effectively compete with other sellers, homeowners must present their homes to the marketplace in an attractive, desirable condition. When you bought your home, you probably comparison shopped. Well, buyers are still doing that today. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average purchaser looks at 10 to 20 properties prior to purchasing a home. Regardless of how many properties are on the market, available buyers will always seek the best priced property that is in the best condition.
THINK LIKE A BUYER You are not just selling a house. You are selling a shelter, lifestyle, and dreams. People always want the best for themselves, and your home should represent the buyer's answer to this goal. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes! Remember, they arrive at your front door wanting to find the right home. Don't make them search somewhere else for it. If you have done your homework, every room in your home will create a desire for the buyer to stay.
START MAKING A LIST Walk outside and take a look at the property through the critical eyes of a buyer. Is there anything that needs painting, repairing, looks worn, or is outdated? Start writing these items down on your list. Walk through the interior and do the same things. Ask for the assistance of everyone in your family. After all, a shorter sales time will benefit everybody.
DO EVERYTHING BEFORE PUTTING YOUR HOME ON THE MARKET Complete all your repairs, improvements, and enhancements prior to your first showing. Remember, your best showings come early in the listing period. BE READY!
110 WAYS TO SECCESSFULLY SELL YOUR HOME FOR THE HIGHEST PRICE IN THE SHORTEST TIME
Selling a home today is different than it was five years ago. Today's buyer wants a home that is in “move in” condition, and they will walk away from a home that does not “show well” or is in poor condition just as fast as they will walk away from an overpriced property. In many instances it is hard to look at your home objectively because it's your home, but a Realtor is trained to do just that. We hope that these 110 ways will get you the sale that you are looking for.
EXTERIOR-LANDSCAPING 1. Plant grass seed where needed as the lawn can be a real turn off or a “turn on.” 2. It's a good idea to prune away trees that distract from the view of your home. Pruning low limbs on trees can make a major difference. 3. Clean up everything. Make sure that any debris or broken fence parts, bricks, yard lights and mail boxes are in good repair. 4. Remove any dead or dying shrubs, and replace them with fresh ones. 5. Put new mulch in the flowerbeds, around shrubbery and the base of trees. 6. Make sure that all walkways are cleaned and in good repair. 7. If you don't know what to do, hire a landscaping company to evaluate your property and give you a plan. 8. Make sure that all exterior lighting works properly. 9. Keep your lawn cut and neatly trimmed. 10. Use large pots of flowers or green plants on the deck or the front porch. 11. Hanging plant can also create a favorable impression. 12. Repair cracks and damages in the driveway and in some instances it's a good idea to have an asphalt driveways resealed before showing. 13. If your home is going to be marketed during the winter months when ice could be a problem it's important that you keep driveways and walkways cleaned and safe.
EXTERIOR OF THE BUILDING 14. Repair and replace any broken or rotted trim and siding. 15. Paint everything that needs painting. Most people prefer to buy a home that is in good repair and ready to move in. A home which needs to be painted is a real turnoff, especially if there are other homes from which to choose. 16. Replace any missing shingles from the roof. 17. Clean, repair, and replace any gutters and downspouts that are defective. 18. Invest in a new doormat. 19. Check all screens and storm windows to make sure they are in good repair. 20. Consider “power washing” the exterior and the walkways, decks, driveways, etc. 21. Paint the mailbox and he post. 22. It's important to create and “outdoor room” as it makes a house feel like home. You can do this effectively by covering a picnic table with a vinyl tablecloth, an arrangement of silk flowers, and a few plastic plates and flatware. This could be created on a screened-in porch, deck or in the rear yard. 23. Placing a potted plant on a front porch or stoop can make a positive impact on a person's first impression. Take care to make sure it's a positive reflection of your home. 24. Have the windows and windowsills cleaned inside and out. 25. Paint everything that is in question.
INTERIOR 26. Clean all the carpets and replace those that are worn or strained beyond cleaning. 27. Remove any dated items such as wallpaper, carpets, light fixtures, etc. If you're not certain about what to do, consider using the services of an interior decorator or professional organizer to help you make the right choices. It's a good idea to use someone who is involved in the new homes industry as they are more in tune with what people are looking for in a home.
28. Be very careful about selecting paint colors, wallpaper and carpets if you decide to fix it up. Many buyers have a hard time looking beyond bold colors on the floor or on the walls. The idea is to get the home as close to neutral as possible so, use neutral tones. 29. Repair any dings in the trim or cabinets. Hardware stores have a variety of new products that can make this job easy and fun. 30. Replace any hardware like doorstops, hinges, doorstops, shower rods, faucets and switch guards that have become worn, discolored or damaged. 31. Clean all the windows including the skylights. 32. Make sure that all light fixtures are clean and in working order. 33. Repair and/or replace any plumbing fixtures that are defective. 34. One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that the home is immaculate and stays that way. Many homeowners use the services of a professional cleaning service to get the home ready and to keep it in â€œready to showâ€? condition during the selling process. 35. The idea is to make every area of the house sparkle and shine.
SPACE MANAGEMENT 36. It's important that all clutter be removed from every room and every closet. 37. Remove all of the boxes and clothes from the closets that are not going to be needed during the showing process. 38. It may be a good idea to rent a storage space to store all of the items that are in the way. Do not store them in the attic or garage as they still are a problem. 39. Pack up all of your collectibles to both protect them and to give the rooms a more spacious feeling and appearance. 40. Leave just enough accessories to give the home a personal touch but not so many that they become a distraction. 41. Use light to make the home appear more spacious. 42. Take time to open the drapes and blinds. 43. Make sure that all the lights throughout the house are on before a showing.
ROOM ANALYSIS The Front Entry â€“ This is the area that forms the first impression of the house and it really needs your attention. 44. Make sure that the entry is in as near-perfect condition as possible. 45. The front door should be freshly painted. 46. If the doorknob and locks are not bright and shiny, they need to be replaced. 47. Well-placed and carefully chosen mirrors and rugs add to the appearance of any foyer or entry area. 48. Remove any off-season clothing or other items from the entry hall closet that can be stored elsewhere. 49. Remove any musty odor by adding a bag of cedar chips or some other fresh scent. 50. Put a fresh coat of paint in the entry closet to brighten it. 51. Water container plants/flowers. Replace if necessary. 52. Dust entry table or shelves.
THE LIVING ROOM/FAMILY ROOM 53. Dust surfaces (including TV screen). 54. Straighten coffee table, bookshelves, and other areas. 55. Stow away newspapers, magazines, books, games, toys and videos. 56. Vacuum rugs or mop floor. 57. Vacuum upholstered furniture; wipe down leather or vinyl. 58. Sweep fireplace. 59. Wipe down ceiling fan blades. 60. Water house plants.
THE KITCHEN 61. Mop or vacuum floor. 62. Clean appliances. 63. Avoid clutter! Clear items from counter tops and cabinets. 64. Wipe counter tops and cabinets. 65. Clean sink. 66. Stow away kitchen sponge and dish towels. 67. Open windows or run fan to remove cooking odors. 68. Open windows or run to remove cooking odors. 69. Clean off the top of the refrigerator..
THE DINING ROOM 70. Visually imagine a large dining area. 71. Remove extra “company” chairs. 72. Take one or two leaves our of the dining table. 73. Add fresh or silk flowers as a centerpiece on your dining table.
THE HOME OFFICE 74. Dust surfaces, including computer screen. 75. Stow away files, preferable “off site.” 76. Mop floor or vacuum rugs. 77. Polish cabinets and woodwork. 78. Straighten desk and bookshelves. 79. Give away anything you do not use or is no longer needed.
THE BEDROOMS 80. Large master bedrooms are extremely popular today. Make your bedroom appear larger. 81. Paint the room a light color. 82. Remove one of the dressing are extremely popular today. Make your bedroom appear larger. 83. Remove one of the dressing tables or bureaus if the room is crowded. 84. Get rid of the clutter. 85. Imagine you are in the “Bed and Breakfast” business. 86. Make closet look spacious. 87. Remove and store all out of season clothing. 88. Remove any items from the floor area. 89. Lighted closets look bigger, are more attractive and allow buyers to inspect the interiors – there are many battery-operated lights on the market. 90. Remove any unusual or personal wall hangings such as posters and store them until your home is sold.
THE BATHROOMS 91. Empty wastebaskets. 92. Remove laundry. 93. Put out fresh towels. 94. Clear off counter top and store all personal care products. 95. Dispose of old prescriptions and polish the shelves in the medicine cabinet. 96. Repair leaking faucets. 97. Clean off mineral deposits with vinegar or a commercial cleaner. 98. Replace old repair caulking. 99. Clean and repair caulking.
100. Display perfumed guest soap and add a plant for freshness. THE BASEMENT 101. Sweep stairs. 102. Clear clutter blocking access to furnace, electrical box or laundry room.
THE GARAGE This is a very important art of a home for most buyers. It is important that it be cleaned and organized just as you would the other rooms in the house. 103. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and the floor can make a huge difference. 104. Remove any stains or paint on the floor and repair any cracks or damages. 105. Remove any items that are not going to be used during the time that the house is going to be marketed. 106. Clutter and trash left in the garage destroys the one main thing most people are looking for in a garage-space. Make it look spacious! 107. If your garage is small and accommodates one car, it is a good idea to leave the car in the driveway to give the appearance of spaciousness. 108. If you have a two car garage, leave one car in the driveway when the house is being shown. 109. If the garage is dark, add more light. A well-lit and well-organized garage appears to be larger and thus adds value to the home.
STAGING YOUR HOME 110. One of the most important steps in the selling process is staging your home. Each room should be inviting, fresh, clutter-free and clean. Less is better when it come to pictures, knickknacks and mementos. Pack away extras before even starting the cleaning process. You are selling your house and potential prospects need to be able to picture their furnishings in your property. Arrange furniture in a way that makes each room appear as large as possible. If you need help with this process, I can be candid about what to pack and what to leave. Or I will put you in contact with a professional who will help you with this for a nominal fee.
POSSIBLE SET-BACKS WHEN LISTING YOUR HOME 1. Your Home May Not Be Worth What You Think The reality is that markets change, and home values rise and fall. Many factors affect home values and most of them are subjective and hard to measure. Sometimes you may see no difference between your home and others on the market, and it is hard to understand why your home my appear to be less valuable. Harder to understand is why improvements you may have made do not seem to raise the value of your home. Also irrelevant is what you paid for the home, and what you need the home's price to yield so you can pay debts or buy another property. Many people believe their home should pay off like a securities investment. Historically home values have barely kept pace with inflation – that is why they are a place to live, not an investment. But many people believe that when you spend that much money, you ought to be making money on your home. The economic reality says otherwise, because homes depreciate even while they gain in value. Buyers will determine the true worth of your home, in this market, at this time, and what your home is worth right now may be very different than what it was worth three months ago or what it will be worth six months from now. All you can do with your agent is determine an asking price based on comparables, square footage, condition, and other factors, and see what the market will bear. 2,
People Won't Love Your Home Like You Do You love your home and fully expect others to appreciate the same qualities in it that you do, but buyers have their own lifestyles, preference, tastes and attitudes. The chances of finding a buyer who will want your home “as is” are slim to none. In fact, buyers will look at your home with an eye to how they can make it their own. Then they will love it the way you do. But, first, they may knock out that wall where you have your prize fish tank, tear down that designer wallpaper you had imported from England and gut the kitchen where you spent so many Thanksgivings preparing dinner. All those changes cost money, so they will value you home less while they consider remodeling and decorating costs. It will hurt your feelings that the buyer will find every little flaw possible with the home and use that knowledge to negotiate the home's price downward. Don't let yourself think that what was good enough for you and your family should be good enough for the buyer. But keep in mind, that selling a home can be fiercely competitive. Your home is competing against new homes, homes that have already been updated, and homes that offer unique features that your home doesn't. Your home has to withstand the glare of scrutiny. So, Keep you cool. It's just business, not personal. You weren't going to take that wallpaper with you anyway.
3. You May Lose Your Temper Your relationship with your buyer will be one of love/hate. The buyer is an adversary because s/he wants to pay the least for your home, while you want to net the most possible. The buyer, in order to improve bargaining leverage, may pick your home apart. Many of the buyer's complaints and requests for repairs will be legitimate, but some may not. In fact, some requests can be outrageous. It's your job to stay focused on the ball. If you don't want to comply with the buyer's wishes, you don't have to. You can draw the line, and have you agent tell their agent to tell them to get real. But, the bottom line is that the buyer brings the money to the table. No transaction can take place without a buyer, so letting tempers flare only gets you further from your goal. The buyer has pride, too, and doesn't want to lose face any more than you do But, anyone who can't be reasonable because they have let angry feelings get in the way isn't going to be making any deals happen. You may get angry at your Realtor, too. But, if your agent is a pro, she/he will be able to handle your concerns. Just know that some things, like other people's behavior, are simple out of your Realtor's control. 4. Buyer Rudeness Everyday, we each experience rudeness in society. People don't RSVP in time for the party, they don't write thank you notes anymore, they get in the express line with at least 20 items, and the are turning road rage into a national pastime. So why be surprised when buyers visit your home and leave their sweaty McDonald's cup on your coffee table? Or leave the cabinets and closet doors open wherever they looked? Or miss their appointment altogether, expecting you to reschedule at a moment's notice? As tempting as it may be to play Miss Manners, its not worth passing up a good offer. 5. Inspections Inspections kill more deals than any other single factor besides overpricing. All homes have some minor and some major problems. These can either be addressed in the sales price of the home, or as a negotiation with the buyer under contract. And it is a matter of opinion how seriously the buyer will take some problems over others. Although the inspection is typically an expense on the buyer's side of the ledger, sellers can avoid a lot of heartache by hiring an inspector themselves before listing their homes. The Inspector should reveal what the buyer's inspector will find, giving you the knowledge you need to fix problems that must be fixed, price the home more competitively with your agent and give you maneuverability in negotiations with the buyer. A buyer who sees a favorable inspection report is more likely to make a fair offer, and less likely to bargain
hunt or place a lot of contingencies in the contract. If you don't choose to have your home inspected, be prepared to be surprised with some repair expenses or face a price reduction if you want to keep the deal going. 6.
Last Minute Problems That Delay Closing Service provider, from lenders to inspectors to closing agents, may cause problems, sometimes without meaning to. In some areas, closing are happening at such a rate that all service providers associated with the real estate transactions are on overload. Lenders may wait until the day before closing to appraise your home. Title insurers, dispatched at the last minute, may find an area of dispute in your survey. The plumber who was going to replace your shower pan in time for final walk-through is called out of town and can't do the job. Any of these scenarios and many others may cause closing to be delayed by days or even weeks. Expect people to be late, unprepared, or to not show up at all. Try to schedule repair people, appraisers and closing agents any time but peak periods. Your closing will go much more smoothly if you close during the first of the month rather than at the end with everyone else. Be prepared for anything and everything. Listen to your Realtor. You're paying for good advice. Take it.
TRACY BUCHANAN PROPERTY SEARCH REQUEST
Your name__________________________________ Work Phone_________________________ Home Phone ________________________________ Fax Number_________________________ E-mail_________________________________________________________________________ Current Address _________________________________________________________________ City/County __________________________________ State _______________ Zip __________ Maximum Price $______________________________ Minimum Price $ ___________________ Minimum Square Footage _________________________________________________________ Minimum Number of Bathrooms ____________________________________________________ Garage
Amount of Down Payment $ _______________________________ Amount of Monthly Payment $ ______________________________ Age of Home Preferred ___________________________________________________________ Wooded or Open Lot Yes ____________________
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WORDS TO THE WISE Below is a handy guide of terms that sellers need to know.
Agent – A person acting on behalf of another, called the principle. Agreement of Sale – Known by various names, such as “contract of purchase”, “purchase agreement”, “sales agreement”, or “binder”, according to location jurisdiction. A contract in which a seller agrees to sell and a buyer agrees to buy, under certain specific terms and conditions spelled out in writing and signed by both parties. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – Includes quoted interest rate on the loan plus all additional service and finance charges associated with the loan. Includes all costs of financing; those paid at the time of closing and those paid over the term of the loan. The APR is usually slightly higher than the note rate. Appraisal – An expert judgment or estimate of the quality or value of real estate as of a given date. Assessed Value – The valuation placed upon property by a public tax assessor as the basis for taxes. Bill of Sale – An instrument which transfers title to personal property (chattels); a “Deed” transfers real property. Certificate of Title – A document signed by a title examiner or attorney, stating that the seller has a good marketable and insurable title. Closing Statement (Settlement) – The computation of financial adjustments between buyer and seller as of the day of closing a sale to determine the net amount of money which buyer must pay to seller to complete purchase of the real estate and seller's net proceeds. Also, “settlement sheets”, “HUD-1”. Commission – Payment to a real estate broker for services performed. Convey – To deed or transfer title of property from one person to another. Deed – A formal written instrument by which title to real property is transferred from one owner to another. Also, “conveyance”. Deed of Trust – Like a mortgage, a security instrument whereby real property is given as security for a debt. However, in a deed of trust there are three parties to the instrument: the borrower, the trustee, and the lender (or beneficiary).
Earnest Money – The money given to the seller by the potential buyer (usually held in escrow) upon the signing of the agreement of sales to show the buyer is serious about buying the house. Equity – The interest or value which owner has in real estate over and above the debts against it. (Sales Price – Mortgage Balance = Equity.) Escrow – Funds, property, or other things of value left in trust to a third party. The escrow may be released upon the fulfillment of certain conditions or by agreement of the parties. Fixture – What was formerly personal property which is now permanently attached to real property and goes with the property when it is sold. Hazard Insurance – Protects against damages caused to property by fire, windstorms, and other common hazards. Listing Contract – Between a homeowner (as principal) and a licensed real estate broker (as agent) by which the broker is employed to market the real estate within a given time for which service the owner agrees to pay a commission. Also, “listing agreement”. Market Value – The highest price which a buyer, ready, willing and able but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest price a seller, ready, willing and able but not compelled to sell, would accept. Basis for “listing price”, or “asking price”. Market Price – The actual amount for which a piece of property is sold. Also, “sales price”, “purchase price”. Mortgage – A lien or claim against real property given by the buyer to the lender as security for money borrowed. Mortgage Note – A written agreement to repay a loan. The agreement is secured by a mortgage, serves as proof of an indebtedness, and states the manner in which it shall be paid. Also, “deed of trust note” P.I.T.I. - Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Most residential mortgage payments include the above and are therefore referred to as P.I.T.I. Also, “carrying charges”. Points – Sometimes called “discount points”, a point is one percent of the amount of the mortgage loan. Prepayment Penalty – Penalty for the payment of a mortgage note or deed of trust note before it actually becomes due. Principle – A capital sum lent on interest Property Management – The operation of real property, including the leasing of space, collection of rents, selection of tenants, and the repair and renovation of the buildings and grounds.
Prorate – To allocate between sellers and buyer their proportionate share of an obligation paid or due. For example, a prorate of real property taxes, fire insurance, or condominium fee. Sales Associate – A person with a real estate license and associated with a specific real estate broker. Survey – A map or plat made by a licensed surveyor showing the results of measuring the land with its elevations, improvements, boundaries, and its relationship to surrounding tracts of land. A survey is often required by the lender to assure a building is actually sited on the land according to its legal description. Title – As generally used, a document that indicates rights of ownership and possession of a particular property. Title Abstract – A summary of the public records relating to the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title company reviews an abstract or title to determine whether there are any title defects. Title Insurance – Protects lenders and homeowners against loss of their interest in property due to legal defects in title. Title Search or Examination – A check of the title records generally at the local courthouse, to make sure the buyer is purchasing a house from the legal owner and there are no liens, overdue special assessments, or other claims. Transfer Tax – State tax, local tax, (where applicable), and tax stamps (in some areas) required by law when title passes from one owner to another.