Oct 312017
 

As listing agents, we sometimes find that sellers don’t understand their responsibilities with a home they are selling and it’s condition. So I’ll explain some of the things we’ve seen with homes we’ve listed for clients and the best approach in dealing with them.

I think everyone can agree that the condition of a home greatly affects the sale price and how quickly it sells. A home that has been well maintained, no matter the age, will sell far more quickly and for a higher price range than average similar homes that are in the area. So as a realtor when we come to do our Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on a home, we look closely on the homes’ condition compared to other homes to set the possible sale price (as an appraiser will do). Updates on older homes will also be a factor but that has been covered in other posts, so we’ll focus on condition for now.

Some of the major items we consider will always be age of the roof, windows, and mechanical systems such as furnace, A/C, & water heater. Normally this is usually pretty easy to establish either from visual inspection or repair invoices from the owner. But there is a lot in a home that is hidden inside walls, attics, basements, and crawlspaces that no one can really be sure of other than the homeowner, and in many cases they often will not know either.

Every time we talk to a homeowner with a crawl space I ask if they have been in there within the past 6 months or so. The reason is this is one of the most common, expensive, hidden defects we run into on a regular basis. Water penetration is a bad thing for a home, and in a dark damp crawl space it’s the worst. Leaking pipes, water coming in around the foundation, and in heavy rains a raised water table can all leave standing water and high humidity. What you end up with is the 4-letter word we hate: Mold.

Expensive Leaky Shower Drain

Recently an inspection found a leaky master bath shower drain that apparently had been that way for months. What was a $200-$300 plumbing repair became a $3400 mold remediation. Another one was so bad the water from clogged gutters, poor drainage, and a nonfunctional sump pump had damaged some of the foundation, which resulted in a $10,000 foundation repair along with a $4800 mold remediation.

Attic spaces are not immune to similar issues. For years it was common practice to vent bathrooms & kitchen fans directly to the attic. Add to that attics also are often not properly vented so again you get an attic full of mold and a rather expensive mold remediation. A few years back on a fairly new custom built home mold was found in a section of the attic that was not vented at all. In another case the roof was in pretty good shape but due to poor ventilation the underneath decking had rotted.

Other expensive hidden items that have turned up include fireplaces with major issues, older or improperly installed electrical wiring, major termite damage, and damaged foundations.

The seller is ultimately responsible for the condition of the home, whether the conditions were known or not. The visible condition is only part of this responsibility. As a seller you must understand that hidden conditions and/or undisclosed conditions can lead to lawsuits if found after the sale of the home. So it’s always best for all parties to be up front it dealing with items found during the inspection and repairs.

How does a seller avoid the surprise costs? Not everyone agrees on the best approach, but we always will ask about maintenance items before listing the home. If seller knows of anything with issues, we advise to have them repaired first. Otherwise they must be disclosed up front. One option if the seller is not sure on their homes condition is to pay for a pre-listing inspection. But anything found must be addressed or disclosed. In other cases where someone is selling a home they have not lived in, inherited, or know nothing about, the home can be listed ‘As Is’ and priced accordingly. But even then major items in the inspection can kill the deal if the buyer walks.

The safest way to avoid the high dollar repair costs when selling your home: take good care of it while you live there. A well maintained home has the highest dollar for dollar payback on one of your most expensive investments.

If you have any questions on selling your home don’t hesitate to contact us at 317-563-1110 or via our web site www.DerrickTeam.com. We’ll be happy to come look at your home with no obligations to hire us. We’re here to help you today, tomorrow, or anytime down the road.

 

 

 

 

Jul 262017
 

Buyers today will typically have the home they purchase inspected by a licensed home inspector. Acting as buyer agents we always will insist they do as they are buying a ‘used’ home and not everyone takes care of their home the same. And even a well-maintained home may have defects that the seller was not aware of.

A new roof can be an expensive surprise.

As the seller, you should expect this as part of the sales process. Even if you are selling ‘as-is’ a buyer will most likely do an inspection just to make sure they don’t get any surprises. They buyer hires and pays for this inspection so the inspector will be working for the buyer. With that in mind they will almost always find something wrong. The buyer will then present you with a Buyers Inspection Response that lists items they want repaired before they will close on the sale.

First, here are things expected of the seller for the inspection, which can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours.

  1. As a common courtesy, the seller should vacate the home during the inspection. Pets should be removed or crated during this time. If you cannot leave for some reason at least leave the inspector and buyers alone so they have some privacy. The inspector needs to be able to discuss items freely with the buyer.
  2. Access to the mechanicals, such as the furnace / AC, water heater, etc. is necessary for the inspector to check them out. Move boxes, items, etc away so they can remove the panel on the air handler unit.
  3. Any access to the attic areas or crawl spaces must be clear of all items. Cars parked in a garage can keep them from attic entry if that’s where the opening is. Locks on crawl space entry must be removed or a key left behind.
  4. Any electrical panel should not be blocked or hidden. If there is a picture hanging over it remove it. The inspector will need to pull the cover off to check the wiring.
  5. Any outbuilding, detached garage, etc should be unlocked or key left in home so inspector can enter.

Second, here are some things the seller can do to help prepare for an inspection.

  1. We usually suggest or sellers have the furnace / AC serviced when they list their home unless they’ve already done so recently. That way there are no surprises and inspectors will always point out serviced systems.
  2. If the home has a crawl space peek in there or hire someone to check it out before listing. This is where some of the most expensive repairs come from. Often from a non-working sump pump that leads to water damage and mold.
  3. If the roof is more than 10 years old or age is unknown, have a roofing contractor inspect the roof for damage before listing your home. This gives you time to get quotes and check for insurance coverage way before the inspector finds and reports the issue. This also is often an issue with appraisers and having the roof replaced can be a condition on the sale of the home.
  4. If you or a ‘buddy’ have done electrical work or you are aware of some electrical items that just don’t work correctly, it would be a good idea to have an electrician come inspect and repair any of these items. These often show up in inspection reports.
  5. Leaking pipes, call a plumber. It’s often not just repairing the pipes but repairing water damage that can run up the costs on inspection repairs.
  6. If you have a wood burning fireplace, it’s best to have it inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep.
  7. If there are any major items you are aware of but don’t want to fix, get quotes beforehand. It helps with negotiations when you have a quote on the repair costs ahead of time.

Keep in mind the Buyer’s Inspection Response is a negotiation and not necessarily a demand. But the items listed above are generally items that should be addressed, as nobody wants a leaky roof, electrical or plumbing issue, water or mold issue, or a furnace that breaks down the first time it gets cold. We generally say look at the items you would want fixed if you continued to live in the home and work from there. In some cases it can be negotiated as rather than making repairs the seller adjusts the selling price in compensation to the buyer.

As both buyer and listing agents we’ve see it all. For question on home inspections, selling, or buying a home feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week including weekends and evenings.

Nov 102016
 
Our Danville listing that sold in 9 hours.

Our Danville listing that sold in 9 hours.

Common wisdom has spring starting in late March because the calendar and outside weather tells us that. A common misconception is that the prime home selling season starting around the same time. But there are other factors that come in to play that show by March you’ve already missed the first opportunity to sell you home. Like this past spring we sold the most homes in March, and all of those homes had been on the market for at least a month, if not longer. So people who waited until March to list missed the largest surge of selling activity. A good time to start is now by finding your realtor and talk to them about what you need to do to your house. The Derrick Team is more than happy to come out and discuss what you need to do with no obligations!

Getting ready
First you have to consider the preparation of getting your home ready to sell. Depending on how you ‘keep house’, this can be anything from a couple of weeks to 2-3 months or more. The basics that you will need to address are de-cluttering, cleaning, and making everything looking spiffy! This often includes painting, replacing worn / outdated fixtures & flooring, and repairing items that will need to be addressed to sell the property. We see this all the time where the homeowner is totally unaware of how long it will take them to get the home ready for the market. So a good time to start working on this is around the Thanksgiving holidays in November when you might have some extra time off from work to do as many chores yourself to save from paying others to do it for you.

When should you be ready?
Plan to be on the market in January after the holidays are over. This gives you cushion, as the end of January to early February is our latest recommend time frame to target getting your home on the market (see chart below). Why then you ask? First, when the weather is bad buyers are sitting at home searching the Internet and getting ideas on what they want to see as soon as the weather gets better. You want them to find your home so you’ll be the first on their list. Second, you want to beat all the other sellers who do wait until March or April to list. Again you’ve picked up those buyers chomping at the bit while the weather was bad. Third, first time home buyers will start as soon as they get their tax returns. So there are at least 3 good reasons to be on the market early.

This past spring was our busiest ever and in April local sales in central Indiana were the highest ever recorded after a very busy February & March. Many of our listings had accepted offers the day they went on the market. We saw that many sellers that waited until May / June had to sit and compete with all the other late listings, when the market normally slows somewhat. All the current reports show this spring should be at least as good as last spring with interest rates still in the reasonable range and consumer confidence continuing to grow. There is a pent up demand from first time home buyers that continues to propel the housing market.

If you have any desire to sell in the next couple of years it costs you nothing for us to come talk with you. We’ll be happy to help with a free CMA and tips for getting your home ready with no obligation on your part. Call or text The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 or shoot us an email. Don’t wait and miss those early buyers.

Spring Home Sales

Oct 212016
 

It’s easy to forget when you are spending a lot of money on a house that you are buying a USED home (unless you happen to be building a new one). And often it is at least several years old, if not a few decades or more. When we first talk to buyers we find out how comfortable they are with home maintenance which can dictate how old of a home they might be comfortable with. But truth is a lot of older homes are better built than some of the newer styles. But that’s another whole blog post so we won’t go over that here. But the real key is that when you’ve successfully worked out the Purchase Agreement (PA) with the seller, you’ll want to pay and professional inspector to carefully go over the home to point out any flaws or defects the home has that aren’t readily apparent.

1308Interior10

Inspection of the furnace /AC and water heater is very important!

As you are looking at homes with your real estate agent you can usually note the basic conditions that tell you what might be needed. Because we’ve talked to our clients before showing them homes we’ll point out things and ask if they are comfortable taking care of that after the sale. For example, many homes will need some painting of some sort, and most our clients will be OK with that since they might want to change the colors anyway. But for holes in the walls or cracks in the ceiling it might depend on how handy our client is as to if that makes them move on to the next home. The reason we point this out is these are the items in the homes condition that are readily apparent and are “known issues” at the time you write the purchase agreement. So you factor those items into what you are willing to pay for the home. We help guide our clients on what their costs may be in addressing these issues.

The inspection after the PA is accepted by both parties is to look for the “unknown issues”. A good inspector will help educate you about the home you are about to purchase going over items like the furnace operation, water shut offs, etc. That’s why it’s important to be there why the inspector is doing the inspection. Unlike many agents we try to be there for all our buyer’s inspections. (sellers should leave during inspections). Inspectors will ALWAYS find something wrong, it’s their job. And remember these are USED homes. The age of the home will also determine how to look at issues as building codes have changed over the years so what’s OK in a 50-year-old home may not be for a home only 10 years old. What I like to point out is there will be a list of items the inspector finds on every home as no home is perfect. So as either a buyer or seller, don’t freak out when you see the list. That’s why we like to be there so we can mention this or that is a common problem found in most homes. Having attended many inspections, we’ve listed below many of the common items found at inspections, even in homes less than 10 years old. For a buyer don’t be surprised at the list and as a seller look this list over to see if you can address some of these items before you put your home on the market.

Electrical:

  • Loose outlets and switches (very common)
  • Open /uncovered junction boxes
  • Non-working GFCI outlets (important in newer homes)
  • Non-grounded outlets (important in newer homes)

Furnace / cooling systems:

  • Dirty filters (very common)
  • Dirty furnace (showing lack of servicing)
  • Improper ventilation for combustion systems (gas, propane, oil)
  • Indoor circuit breaker not matching outside AC unit

Windows / doors:

  • Broken seals on double-pane windows (very common)
  • Doors that won’t latch
  • Broken / cracked glass
  • Missing / damaged screens (very common)

Roof / exterior:

  • Roofing nail pops (very common)
  • Loose or missing shingles
  • Loose vinyl siding
  • Roof damaged (hail damage or worn out)
  • Rotten / damaged soffits or window trim
  • Unlevel or cracked concrete patio / sidewalk / driveway (very common)
  • Gutters full of leaves
  • Improper downspouts

Plumbing:

  • Dishwasher drain without proper loop (very common)
  • Leaky pipes / drains under sinks
  • Low water pressure (common in older homes)
  • Improper water heater pressure relief valve drain pipe (very common)
  • Sump pump inoperative in crawl spaces

These are just some of the more common items that are found in just about every home. If you inspected your current home today many of these items would probably show up. The main thing to keep in mind is you are not buying a perfect home (inspectors will also find problems with brand new builds). Use the inspection report to address items that relate to safety, security, and structural conditions. That’s what we are there to help you with as you go through what some might call the ‘scary’ home inspection. It’s usually something that all parties can negotiate items to be addressed and it’s very rare that a buyer has to move on to another home. Having a good REALTOR will help you make your deal work out, as either a buyer or seller.

Contact The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 with any questions on buying or selling real estate. We work 7 days a week, evenings too!

 

Apr 232016
 
Save The Earth

Save The Earth

We are not referring to a fad that utilizes lots of shades of green, such as a color scheme using hunter green for decorating accents. But you might have heard the term ‘Green Building’ or ‘The Healthy Home’ being tossed around lately. The idea is building homes along the lines of being friendly to the environment. While using products that don’t harm the environment are considered, that actually is not the focus of a ‘Green Home’ today. Instead the focus is on the amount of energy used to heat and cool and how that in turn affects the environment. More energy used uses more of the non-renewable energy sources on the planet. So an energy efficient home is thus labeled a ‘Green’ home for using less energy.

With new homes there are a lot of new design options and building techniques that can add up to a lot of efficiency for overall energy requirements. We attended a workshop held by David Weekley Homes in Avon that discussed many of the new implementations they have rolled out with their homes. You can find out a lot about their ‘Energy Saver’ homes here. You can see where a lot of builders are working on building changes here. So if you are planning to build you might want to look into your options that can pay off in the long run.  Be sure and give your Realtor (The Derrick Team) a call for assistance with local builders.

Now for the other part of a ‘Green’ home we look at existing homes. The reason I bring this up is that it’s quite probable that at some point in the near future there is going to be a energy rating applied to all homes. You may already have gotten notices from your energy provider about free energy audits that they provide to check your homes efficiency rating. At this point they are going to test your home and recommend items you can address to make your home more efficient such as insulation, window replacement, etc. But at some point they will also be applying a rating to be used for comparison purposes. Comparison to what you say? To other homes when you go to sell your home. Most likely it will be a common item to list a home’s efficiency rating, much like the gas mileage when shopping for cars, in the not too distant future.

So what does this mean to you today? It might be prudent to pay attention to what adds to your home’s energy efficiency with any updates you do to your home. For instance if you need to replace the furnace, consider spending a little more to get a higher efficiency unit. And it might be a good idea to take advantage of a ‘Free Energy Audit’ if your utility provides one. I know here in Hendricks County, Hendricks Power & Duke Energy will do free audits for their customers.

So if you want your home to be ‘Green’, it’s going to take a little more work than slapping the trendiest color of green on the walls. If you have any questions on updating your home and the future value call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 today and we’ll be happy to discuss with no obligation to you. Or use our handy Contact Form here!

 

 

Feb 122016
 

A well planned garage sale can put some $$$ in your pocket!

Garage sale todayIf you are planning to move, or just need to make some space, a garage sale (sometimes called a yard sale), is a great way to get rid of unwanted or unused items and pocket a little cash. Here are some general ideas that can help you clean up and get a reward.

Plan

  • It’s not a good idea to have sales on holiday weekends as most people already have other plans.
  • Look for community sales you can join or invite neighbors to join as you have more stuff and can split the advertising costs. More stuff increases a shoppers chance of finding something they like.
  • Check with your Homeowners Association and/or with local ordinances as sometimes a permit or registration is required. Some HOA’s only allow them during ‘community sales’.

Advertise

  • Run an ad in the newspaper and/or post an ad for free on Craigslist, Facebook groups, or other local Internet sites.
  • For larger sales passing out local flyers or posting on local store bulletin boards can draw traffic as well.
  • Put signs out the day before (check local ordnances) and check to make sure they are there the day of the sale. Most of the Indy area has 24 hour rules.
  • Remember, attaching signs to public signs and utility poles is a no-no, they must be free standing.
  • Good signs make a difference as most people are drive bys so make sure they are sturdy and easy to read from the road.
  • If it’s windy or you had a storm overnight go check them right before the sale is going to start. Consider using boxes with weights in them. And make sure and go pick them up after the sale.

Before the Sale Preparations

  • Supply plastic bags or boxes for multiple items. Keep old newspaper handy to wrap up fragile items.
  • Put dogs away as some people are scared or allergic of them.
  • Have a small calculator handy, buyers might otherwise question your addition.
  • Make sure you have room for parking safely on the street or yard area.
  • Place an ‘All Sales Final’ sign to make sure you don’t get people coming back the next day.
  • Have plenty of change at the start, at least $50 in small bills and coins. More if you have a lot of low priced items.
  • Don’t take checks from strangers as you have no way to get your money if the check is not legit.
  • Keep the money on you, not in a cash box as a tempting target. Carpenter aprons are a handy item to keep your money on you.
  • Price everything or at least group them on a table with a sign that says ‘All Items on this Table $5’. Price items in good shape for about a 3rd of what they are new. Make it easy on yourself and price them in even amounts like 50 cents, $1, $5, etc.
  • Provide electric power to test plug in items and batteries in battery operated items.
  • Have some soft music playing so people don’t have to whisper if they are talking about an items price.
  • Provide cold drinks (you can make a little money there) and even snacks as that can help keep people browsing.
  • Make sure all items are clean and neatly arraigned and during lulls in activity be sure and straighten the displayed items.

For the Sale

  • Expect early birds for the ‘professional’ yard sale shoppers looking for the under priced item they know are worth more and they can make a tidy profit from (if you want to discourage them put in the ads ‘Early Bird Pays Double’).
  • Put man items (tools, electronics, sports items, etc) and high dollar items by the street so the woman can get the man to stop.
  • Put broken or items with little value by the street with a sign ‘Free Pile’. This gets people to stop as well.
  • Don’t expect much for clothes, only baby items generally will sell at all. Use cheap hangers for hanging items (like from the dry cleaners) as buyers will probably take the hanger with the item.
  • Be sure and check the pockets as you might sell a shirt for $1 that has a $10 bill in it! As items sell, spread items out to fill in and make it look like you have plenty of items left to sell.
  • Be ready to haggle as everyone is looking for a bargain at yard sales.
  • Towards the end start dropping prices. This is where the price per table is handy. Just start moving everything to the cheap table. You can also box similar items (like toys, games, books, etc) and put a price on everything in the box.

After the Sale

  • Determine what items you want to keep for a possible future sale and box them up.
  • The rest can be donated to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, your favorite charity, or the trash man.
  • Don’t forget to go pick up the signs! Then sit back and count the money!
  • And if this is in preparation of moving, call The Derrick Team and we can help you with the next step, staging your home to sell and of course helping you market your home to buyers!

Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week!

Download our free Garage Sale Tips Booklet here

Nov 172015
 

Something a lot of people don’t understand: Every dollar you spend on your home will not increase the value of the home by the same amount. It’s known as the Return On Investment (ROI). So here are four examples that you would not gain much value if you added them to your home.

 Pool Time1. In areas where they cannot be used year around, swimming pools don’t add much if any value, and to some buyers will only looked at as an expense they are not interested in. Do not install a pool as an investment. Only do so for your personal use and understand the issues when you go to sell. The only exceptions are in the warmer climates and upscale neighborhoods where many homes have pools. If it’s an above ground pool, you might consider removing it when you go to list your home (or at least offer to do so at your expense if potential buyers don’t want it).

 2. Any improvements that bump your home in value that exceeds the neighborhood around you. Prime example would be a complete kitchen redo with expensive tile floors, granite counters, & custom cabinets where the other area homes are vinyl floors and Formica counters with stock cabinets. While you’ll be the best showing home in the area, your ROI will be much lower than just a standard update that matches surrounding homes.

3. Large investments in rooms that may not be common in your neighborhood such as converting an attached garage to a family room or fancy entertainment center in the basement. If you eliminate a garage, be sure your parking area matches area homes. If most homes have garages you’ve not gained much by the extra room. And for adding value to your home a fancy basement doesn’t add much more value than just a plain finished basement. Your ROI will again not amount to much.

4. Any project that you borrow a lot of money to complete. That loan will come off the proceeds right after your mortgage and thus reduce your net considerably while again not adding dollar for dollar increase in value.

The best advice we can give you is before you invest a lot of money in your home with the idea of selling in the next few years, call The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We’ll be happy to do area comps to give you a rough idea on your possible ROI. We’ll be happy to offer advice on some simple low dollar projects that will help you in the long run.

 

Aug 192015
 
Building a deck

That’s me, working on our home.

First time home buyers are always fun to work with because of the excitement they bring to the process (along with some anxiety). First timers have made that commitment to own their own home because they have been paying rent, sometimes for years and have nothing to show for it but an empty bank account. This article is for those first timers and those considering their first home purchase. It’s also a general summary of the responsibilities that come with owning your home and most importantly taking care of your investment.

First and foremost is of course the financial aspect of making payments as almost all first timers must get a mortgage to cover some part of their purchase. There is also the need for insurance and we cannot forget that the government will take some of your money in property taxes. But most of this is explained up front during the discussions on financing and the purchase itself. I want to discuss the after the sale responsibilities of maintenance.

All home owners should understand the value of proper maintenance of your home. It’s an investment and you probably expect to sell it someday and at the very least get some of your money back that you’ve paid into it. And when you do indeed decide it’s time to sell, proper maintenance or lack of it will have a big impact on how much return you get on your home investment.

Let’s start with the basics, regular maintenance such as lawn care. Don’t just mow the lawn but maintain the trees, bushes, and general landscaping to keep the yard looking neat. Go ahead and plant flowerbeds and install attractive lawn decorations but don’t overdo it and make the yard look like a flea market for landscaping. It’s also important to keep up your home appearance for the sake of your neighbors who are selling. Remember the more they get for their home when they sell also increases the value of your home. Plus it’s just a good idea to keep your neighbors happy.

Maintaining the home’s exterior is probably one of the most important as water intrusion will destroy not just the outside but the interior as well. Keep the gutters clean and make sure the downspouts carry the water away from your foundation, the further the better. Make sure your roof is in tip top shape and if you don’t know what to look for have it inspected by a roofing contractor on a regular basis. Replace loose or missing siding or any of the exterior cladding on your home as soon as you see it. Waiting to do repairs on the exterior is inviting much more damage to the homes entire structure and will cost much more in repairs in the long run.

Next on the list would be your mechanical systems which typically consists of your heating / cooling system, water system (plumbing, water heater and possibly a well & septic system), and electrical. All these often need some regular maintenance, especially the heating / cooling system so be sure and become familiar with the systems in your home and follow recommended guidelines. Again, regular maintenance can save you money by extending the lifetime of these systems and avoiding major repairs from ignored minor issues.

You should also pay attention to your interior structure such as walls, ceilings and flooring. Much of what needs attention here will be from normal wear and tear but keeping things clean regularly helps in the long run. Allowing items to get really dirty ruins the finish and you’ll find in order to make it look good enough to sell you’ll have to replace it completely, and those costs take away from your bottom line.

This is just a few basics items of what you need to take care of to maintain your home. Each home has different priorities to the maintenance schedule such as type of building materials, type of heating system, etc. But regular maintenance can make your return on investment when it’s time to sell well worth it. We’ve seen a lot of owners take a lot less for their home because of the poor condition it was in due to the lack of maintenance. Keeping your home in great condition makes financial sense but it’s also nice to live in a well maintained home so do it for yourself and your family’s health and well-being as well. And again, a neighborhood of well-maintained homes brings everyone’s homes value up when it’s time to sell and makes for happy neighbors.

If you have questions on your homes’ condition in preparation to sell feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110, even it’s a few years away. We’ll be happy to come out and take a look and let you know what you might need to address at no obligation. It’s what we love to do, help people with home ownership!

 

Jun 152015
 
A Shiny Kitchen

A Shiny Kitchen

There are many different reasons buyers are out looking at homes. Normally when working with a buyer an agent tries to determine a buyer’s motivation before they start showing them homes. But some agents will just about show houses to anybody who asks (eventually they realize their wasting time, but that’s another blog post). For the most part the buyers out looking are at least thinking about moving or buying a home when they go out looking. We’ll break down the different motivations in this article.

Tire Kicker
You know the saying about car shoppers and the same can be said for home shoppers with a low motivation. They’re just looking at homes thinking about moving. Maybe their thinking their current home is too small (or too large), and want to see what’s out there for a price they can afford. They are working with agents they know and are willing to show them homes because of previous dealings. We have clients like this and we know eventually they will find a home that motivates them. But it can take months, if not years before they purchase a new home.

First Time Home Buyer
First Time Home Buyers usually have a higher motivation than Tire Kickers, but often not much higher. They’ve been thinking about buying a home for a couple of months (or years) but are usually renting and don’t have an immediate reason to move. Their motivation can pick up a level or two if they have a lease coming up and have to move by a certain deadline. Let’s just say their motivation varies, depending on the weather.

Growing Family
A current homeowner that has a more immediate need can have a much higher level of motivation due to a baby (or two) on the way and they are running out of room in their current house. They are working with an agent who has listed their home and hope to find one to make an offer on as soon as they get an accepted offer on theirs. Their motivation becomes very high when they have that accepted offer.

House Just Sold
This applies to a homeowner like above who for whatever reason is moving and has just sold their home. The motivation factor is very high in this case. This is where you might get above list offers if they really like a home.

Job Transfer / Relocation
Depending on the timeline (as in just started or already changed jobs) these home buyers are motivated or very motivated. Sometimes they will just buy a home that works and plan to move in a few years once they know they are staying in the area. Highly motivated buyers in this category might make above list price offers as well.

Investor
Never in a hurry until they find a good deal. Usually a low cash offer but sometimes will pay good price on a nice home with good income potential whether flipping or renting.

The reason sellers need to know all this is there is a wide range of motivation in the buyers looking at your home. So what you need to do is make your home stand out so you impress all buyers that look at your home. This is what we refer to as being the ‘Shiny Penny’. All buyers will gravitate to the ‘Shiny Penny’ and you’ll get more and better quality offers if you make sure your home stands out.

Want to make your home a ‘Shiny Penny’ when you’re ready to sell? Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 and we’ll come talk to you about what you need to do to your home with no obligation to hire us when you’re ready to sell. We like to help home buyers and sellers with all their real estate needs.

Mar 202015
 

The answer should be obvious but I still want to go into some details so you’ll understand why I’m blogging about this. And of course to let you know that The Derrick Team ALWAYS takes great listing photos.*  One of the common complaints we hear from buyers is the lack of or poor photos on home they want to see.

There really is no excuse for an agent not to provide plenty of photos for the MLS so they are distributed throughout the Internet sites home buyers use. Yet sadly many agents only take a couple, and often those are poor quality anyway. A trend (that drives me crazy) are the photos taken with cell phones, tablets, or really cheap cameras, that are just plain, ahem, terrible. These devices lack the lenses to produce proper depth and color and often are too dark to see much for indoor photos. They are fine for selfies and personal photos but paid professionals should do their best to help their clients and decent cameras are not expensive any more. Those agents also have the option to pay professionals so there really is no excuse for poor quality photos to market their paying clients property!

I use a Coolpix-510 for our great photos. Additional flash when needed.

I use a Coolpix-510 for our great photos. Additional flash when needed.

With all that said, you should pay attention to what agents provide before you hire them to list your property. Buyers actively search the Internet first before deciding to tour homes. Do you want your home with limited photos that are dark, blurry, and just plain show your home in a bad way? Homes with photos like that will get fewer showings for that reason alone. It’s easy to check on this by looking at the agent’s current listings and marketing materials. Pictures tell thousands of dollars in this case.

Here in central Indiana MIBOR requires members to provide a minimum of 2 photos per listing. This should only be acceptable in what is referred to as ‘listed & sold’ entries. These are homes that never were marketed and the information is not for the public but for reporting purposes only. Otherwise agents are allowed to post up to 24 photos of each listing and those photos are then distributed to other Internet sites for marketing.

The Derrick Team will always use as many photos of a home as possible to make sure the Internet buyers see everything they need to. Often this is way more than the 24 photos so we add more photos to our dedicated website and other marketing materials & virtual tours that we create for each of our listings. We pride ourselves in taking great photos that reflect the home in the best possible way we can. If conditions are not great for the first photo shoot (cloudy, raining, snow, etc.) we always take updated photos at the first opportunity we can. And as the flowers pop up and the grass greens we’ll update as seasons change.

The main reason for great photos is that there is a lot of marketing involved with selling a property and every piece of that will include photos of your home. You want to hire an agent that will make sure those photos best represent your property to potential buyers. You want to make sure those buyers are drawn to come see your property in person, as that’s the last step before they write up an offer. Great photos sell your home.

Check out The Derrick Team’s listings and you’ll see that we take marketing our clients’ property seriously, which includes great photos. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110.

Good pictures show the outstanding features on this home in Oak Bend Estates in Avon.

Good pictures show the outstanding features on this home in Oak Bend Estates in Avon.

 

 *Occasionally the home sells before or on the day we list it, then we may only have taken preliminary photos.

 

Mar 102015
 
Avon Home ready to show

Make is sparkle!

You’ve completed all the tasks to get your home on the market such as cleaning, decluttering, painting, etc. and just signed the contract to sell your home. Signs in the yard and your home is officially on the market. Now you start getting the calls from agents who want to show your home. Here are some tips on making your home stand out.

Be Ready To Show
First it’s generally a good idea to have the home ready for showings at all times. You just never know when an agent is out showing homes and their client’s spots your home and wants to check it out. Last minute showings aren’t that common but they do happen. In some cases that’s not possible depending on your situation but keep in mind you want to avoid turning down showings if at all possible. It often comes when an agent shows a nearby home and spots yours. So it pays to always be ready.

30 Minute Drill
Since you are going to be living there you will probably create messes as you cook, play, etc so just be neat and try to always clean up afterwards. Create a family drill where each member has a task to clean up an area in less than 30 minutes. Clean homes usually sell faster so in an ideal market you won’t have to do this drill very many times.

Light It Up
When you have a showing make sure all the lights are on and the drapes / shades are open. You want to buyer to see your bright clean home in the best possible light. Change out those money saving bulbs for brighter wattage in darker areas. When we are showing homes we often try to walk ahead of our clients and turn on lights but we don’t always see all the lights and may miss some nice accent lights that show off an area of the home. A neighbor or family member could come set up the home if you are not in a position to do this for all showings.

Air It Out
Smells invoke reactions and buyers will react to bad smells, even in a beautiful home. If possible open the windows and air out the home before showings. Remove any items that may cause bad smells like the trash with last nights leftovers, dirty litter box, soiled laundry, etc. or the smell will come right back when you close the windows. Avoid strong smelly sprays & scented candles as they often make the buyer think you are covering things up. Sometimes a little splash of bleach in the drains can make a room smell fresh and clean, but don’t overdo it.

Make It Nice
If you really want to impress your potential buyers put out some individually wrapped snacks on the kitchen table with a ‘help yourself’ sign. Little bottles of water work nicely with that as well. Have some soft easy listing music playing in one area just to make it feel comfortable. If you have a dedicated entertainment room a ‘G-Rated’ movie playing at a low volume can be a nice touch. The idea is to make them envision themselves enjoying living in your home.

For Pet Owners
Like most pet owners you probably let yours run around the house while you’re away. You really want to address this during showings as not all people like or feel comfortable around pets, especially large dog breeds. We’ve seen where agents wouldn’t even enter a home if a large dog is loose. So at a minimum we suggest you crate both cats and dogs for showings. Keep in mind it’s for the pets’ safety as well as doors may not be closed and your pet may escape the house and run away. But really the best option would be to remove the animals during showings. Talk with a neighbor or family member about helping if you are not always available to do this.

Vacate!
This may seem obvious but sometimes we come across sellers who hang around while their home is being shown. We’ve dealt with this a few times and it really makes our clients uneasy. The last thing you want to do is make them uncomfortable, as that feeling will stick with them. If you want to keep and eye on people looking at your home go over to a neighbors and hang out or sit down the street in your car. This is completely acceptable and it makes it easy for you to know when it’s safe to return to your home.

We try a prepare sellers that it can be quite a job to sell your home. But the better you are prepared the better your home will show so hopefully you sell quickly and you won’t have to do all these items very many times. Feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email with any questions you have about selling your home. We’re here to help!

Feb 232015
 

Sold Another Avon HomeYou often will hear about improvements to a home that help increase the value. But you really don’t know if the value was really improved until you go to sell your home. What you want to increase is the buyers’ perceptions which will in turn increase what they will offer. As long as it appraises you will have increased the value based on your improvements.

First and foremost, the most important improvement is to clean your home like it’s never been cleaned before. This will always be our number one recommendation to anyone who’s getting their home prepared to sell. We’ve heard all kinds of reasons why people want to skip this step but you’re hurting the home’s value because of the buyer’s perceptions. ‘If the owner does not clean the home they probably don’t take good care of the home in general.’ In other words they wonder what else has been ignored in the upkeep of the home in general.

The first part of this involves decluttering. Remember that you plan to move soon so purge first to save you a lot of trouble later on. Then store away as many personal, small items as you can to make the home look neat. You’ll be glad you did this first when you start to clean. While you can clean the home yourself and save money it might be worth having professionals come do a top to bottom cleaning once, then you can just do maintenance cleaning from that point on. Clean homes will always sell faster and for closer to original list price. So this is the biggest bang for the buck, even if you pay someone.

After the cleaning look over everything in the home such as kitchen / bath fixtures to see if there are any stains or damage that didn’t come clean. At that point consider replacing them and be sure and match or upgrade what you currently have. What you use as replacements depends on your home décor and price point. This is a good time to talk to a local REALTOR to see what would work best for your home. Now use this same thought process on everything else in the home. Scarred or damaged walls? Go ahead and repair / paint and be sure and use a neutral color. * Stains that won’t come out of the carpet? Consider replacing the carpet or at least getting a quote. You’ll want to talk to a REALTOR before you spend too much money on new flooring.

After cleaning and repairing things can get a bit trickier. This is where someone with local market knowledge can be the biggest help. While a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover will help you sell your home, you may spend a lot of money and only get a little increased value in return. What really drives major updates is the local market for your type of home. In markets in other parts of the country homes sell for much higher values (starting at $500K), so updated baths and kitchens are expected with a basic home. So in that market a $20K kitchen upgrade could pay off while here with an $85K starter home, not so much.

Better investments locally are to look at the condition of the mechanicals such as heating/air, water heater, sump pump, etc. For example have your furnace serviced before you put the home on the market and keep the paperwork on anything done, especially if there is a transferable warranty. These are the type of items that can come up in an inspection so you’ll probably have to do this anyway. But what you want is to show the buyer you take good care of your home. That is the basic perceived value you want to impress on buyers who tour your home. That in turn will increase their offer and what the real value of your home is to that buyer.

If you are looking to increase your home’s value feel free to call The Derrick Team to come take a look at your home. We’ll be happy to discuss what you need to do with no obligations. We love to help people sell their homes that much! Call or text 317-563-1110 or email us at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com. We work out of our Avon Indiana office to help buyers and sellers in the entire Indy Metro Area.

* If you plan to do the painting your self be sure and do a neat professional job. Sloppy paint jobs can be worse than walls that need painting so invest in some good paint tools and tape to do it right.

Nov 132014
 

U-Haul-TruckOne thing we often hear from our clients selling their home and buying a new one is they don’t want move more than once. They want to move right from their current home into their new home. It’s an understandable desire as moving all your belongings is usually a highly underestimated task. One never realizes how much you own until you have to pack, move, and unpack. So the thought of doing it twice or more brings about a certain dread. The reality is the only way to make sure you only move once is to buy your new home first. But since most of our clients need to sell their current home first, that’s not a real option. So we’ll explain the best way to prepare yourself so that when you put your home on the market you’ll be in the best position to move only once.

The first step to prepare your home for the market is to declutter your home. This is also an excellent time to purge all those items you’ll never need again. Garage sales, giving items to friends & family, and donating are excellent ways to get rid of items that have some use, just not for you. And before you pitch any items in the trash, first consider recycling when possible. For any items you won’t need until after you move pack them away and if possible store them elsewhere. The idea here is the less you have to move to your next home the easier it is move over a weekend. These days you typically have only a few days to move out after closing so plan on a quick 2-3 day move and you’ll be fine. Don’t forget when you move out you cannot leave anything behind unless that is agreed to in the purchase agreement so give yourself time to have the home ‘broom clean’.

Next you want to have a target in mind of where you want to move. It’s best to search for homes before you even list your house so you have an idea of what’s on the market and what you can afford. Be sure and talk to a lender and get prequailified so you don’t have any nasty surprises later when you go to buy another home (we’ve seen that one before). Visit some open houses in the target area and talk to neighbors you see out. Having an idea of where you want to buy (and can afford) when you’ve sold your home helps keep the timeframe lined up with back to back closings so you only have to move once. You’ll need to watch the inventory supply for your target area. In some of the most popular areas homes sell quickly. If you are determined to buy in an area like that have your home ready to go on the market at any time. Then when the perfect home comes on the market get your home listed ASAP, and price it to sell quickly. A good REALTOR can help advise you on local sales prices so you’ll want to be the best deal in your area. You can also consider making a ‘first right’ offer on the home you like but many sellers are reluctant to do so in areas where homes sell quickly. Also be prepared to offer top dollar whenever you do make an offer. Again, a good REALTOR can advise you on the best tactics to entice the seller to accept you offer over other possible offers.

Finally, when you have an accepted offer on your home and have successfully negotiated an offer on the home you are buying, everything becomes time critical. The entire process of inspection, appraisal, necessary repairs, etc must move in lock step on both transactions. Any delay in one will affect the other and possibly jeopardize both. A good REALTOR will help you by staying on top of both transactions to ensure you have a back to back closing (usually on the same day) so you can work out an acceptable timetable with both parties and you’ll only have to move once.

So to summarize:
1. Reduce the amount of items you need to move so you can move in just 2-3 days.
2. Do your homework and know where you want to move based on what you’re approved for by a lender.
3. Get a good REALTOR that will make sure everything moves in lockstep in the sale of your home and the purchase of your new home.

A couple of items to note is we still recommend to our clients you have a backup plan in case you sell your home but some last minute issue keeps you from closing on your new home right away. And while it’s not always possible its handy if the home you are buying is vacant so there is no issue with immediate possession.

You’ll want to find a good experienced REALTOR with both listing and buying. The Derrick Team, Connie & Dennis Derrick are your experienced REALTORS and are here to help your move from your current home to your new one as smoothly as possible. Call or text us today at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week!

Jul 082013
 

Demo Man Dennis DerrickSome are born with the need to tinker. I am one of those persons and got that from my Father. He was always working on some sort of project around the house as I was growing up. Even then I was aware that this was not an automatic thing for all dads. Today as each generation has been raised with more diverse talents and occupations available the ‘around the home handyman’ is becoming less common. But since you can figure out how to do anything on the Internet (right or wrong), some still try to be that handyman that produces, um shall we say dubious results. This often becomes all too obvious at a point when you try and sell a home.

One of the most common ones we see is the attempt to paint, when a person shouldn’t really be allowed to hold a paintbrush. Walking through a home as they proudly show off the freshly painted walls, we have to point out the fresh paint on the ceilings, trim, windows, floor, etc. and politely ask how soon will you be finished cleaning up the, um overlap. Painting is more than slapping paint on the walls so keep that in mind if you plan to give it a shot. And if selling is in the near future, pick your colors carefully.

Flooring is often marketed these days as DIY with simple ‘peel & stick’ or ‘snap & click’. But again it stands out when the edges around the walls are not matched up, there are buckles in the middle, and the transition to the next room is an afterthought. As in painting, the quality of the installation is all in the details. And the cost of materials can make for an expensive mistake.

Another project today’s handyperson likes to tackle is tiling a backsplash or for the more brave, a whole shower. Watching the shows on HGTV makes it look like a snap. One little piece at a time you slap sticky stuff on it and slap in on the wall. Later you fill in the gaps with more sticky stuff to cover up the gaps, no matter how large. How hard is that? Let’s just say many find out halfway through the project they may have been just a little too ambitious.

These are just some of the most common little ‘big’ jobs that handy wannabes will attempt to spruce up their home. Our advice to anyone thinking about it: research and practice a little before taking on a larger project and take your time and pay attention to details. If you plan to sell your home in the next few years think carefully on how your workmanship will look when your home is on the market. Otherwise you may find yourself paying a professional more to undo all the damage you did.

Want free advice on getting your home ready to sell? Give The Derrick Team a text or call at 317-563-1110 today!

Jun 142013
 

Almost ThereAfter your agent has successfully negotiated the final documents with a buyer you smile and think your home is finally sold. Nope, the show hits the road and a good agent kicks into high gear. Depending on contingencies there will more negotiations possible during the sale process.

Typically the first will be from an inspection done for the buyers. This can be just for the buyers satisfaction but more often these days the buyers lender will have requirements that your home will have to pass before they will give the buyer a loan on the home. Common ones are termite inspection or tests on the well water and septic system if they apply. FHA loans can be denied if there is peeling lead based paint or the roof is beyond its designed life.

A good Realtor will note these items at the time of listing so you as the seller are prepared for possible costs involved with selling your home. But some items cannot be seen and thus will be part of the negotiations after the inspection report is delivered to the buyer and the buyer’s lender. These expectations also can be discussed before the inspection with the buyers if the accepted price considered items needing repairs. This is one of the reasons home warranties are popular now, as this will assure the buyer if mechanicals such as heating systems are really old they will be taken care of after the sale for minimum costs. The Derrick Team always recommends home warranties to our sellers.

Next comes the wild card, the appraisal. A good Realtor has looked carefully at the comparative home sales when pricing a home and has advised the seller on the possible appraisal value. Except for cash buyers, the appraisal will always set the price the buyer is going to pay. That is unless they can apply more cash on top of the loan amount to make up the difference (very rare these days). At the time of sale a good Realtor will examine recent comparative sales to provide to the appraiser if applicable. These days communications with the lender / appraiser / Realtor has to be limited so caution is the word. If the appraisal comes in lower than the sale price, the seller must discusses with their agent possible negotiations and options to keep the sale in motion. A good agent will have ideas to work out a deal that is acceptable to all parties.

Finally there is the closing. Working out a good time for everyone to meet and sign the paperwork along with when buyers take possession is one of the final negotiations, often based on the original purchase agreement but can be changed if all parties agree. The good thing is this is the one everyone is eager to accomplish and usually can be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. You know everything’s been handled well when you have a smooth closing.

So keep in mind when hiring a Realtor to sell your home, the marketing is only the first step. You want an experienced Realtor ready to be representing you every step of the way, keeping all the gears well oiled all the way to that smooth closing. Call The Derrick Team today to discuss our marketing and closing processes that leads to happy clients at 317-563-1110.

May 102013
 

Information For BuyersSome of the usual tips you get to your home ready to show are clean and paint where needed. We’ve covered this in more detail on other blog posts. Here are a few important tips to set your home above your competition on the market.

1. Documentation on work performed on your home.

I would almost call this a diary of your home improvements. Gather up any invoices, documentation, permits, etc of major items that have been repaired, replaced, or upgraded. This can be a simple as a repair to the furnace to a bathroom remodel or new roof installed. Warranty information is especially important. Other work could be outlined in a document with dates and work performed such as owner performed landscaping, painting, etc. Not only does this impress buyers but this can be used for inspections and appraisals which is an added bonus.

2. Find documentation from when you purchased the home.

Most people don’t realize there can be some very helpful documents in your last purchase package. First is that most title companies will give you a discount on your owners title insurance if you provide the title work from the last purchase. Also there might be a boundary or stake survey included in the packet. If you purchased new it should have the model information and floor plan. Again very helpful and could be added to #1 item above.

 3. Utility and service vendor information.

Good agent will ask you for this so it helps to go ahead and gather this up ahead of time. You’ll need to come up with average costs for items such as electric, water, & gas if applicable. Also include cable, phone, and Internet services. Don’t forget if you use a lawn service, trash pickup service to include that as well. Of course this all can be neatly laid out in a document and added to the book. (Are you seeing a pattern yet?)

4. Seasonal photos.

If you have really nice landscaping with flowers the bloom in the spring find some photos you’ve taken (you didn’t just look at them did you?) If applicable maybe some nice fall foliage photos of the trees in full color. If you have that ideal back yard that looks great with a fresh snow include that one. Also any wildlife photos you snapped in the back yard that adds to the beauty setting of your yard. Share these photos with your agent and of course, add them to THE book.

Well I think you get the idea now, do some work upfront to wow your buyers on how well you’ve taken care of and enjoyed your home. This will in turn add value in the eyes of the buyers but also help when this is presented to the appraiser. When they determine the monetary value of a home they compare it to similar area sold homes and then make adjustments based on condition. With your documentation they can make those adjustment on the ‘plus’ side and in turn raise the overall value of your home.

The Derrick Team will be glad to help our sellers create this book in a nice format as part of our “Above and Beyond” marketing. Give us a call for more details at 317-563-1110.

Oct 202012
 

AhoSoldWhen you are going to sell a home, you first need to determine how motivated you are. A motivated seller will listen to good advice and prepare the home to show well to encourage offers from buyers. The not-so-motivated will say, “They’ll just have to buy it and fix it up themselves”. What the not-so-motivated don’t get is they can expect a longer time to sell for lot less money.

Before you look at a marketing report from your REALTOR be sure and think carefully about your motivation as that does effect how you price the property. Once you’ve received your marketing report with a range of possible listing prices based on solds, pendings, and the active competition in your area, look carefully at what sold / pended, as that is your target on what buyers are looking for. The actives are really for information only and should not be factored into your list price.

Now consider your motivation for selling. Look at the following and see where you fall:

  • Very aggressive – Must sell. Examples: Job relocation, health or financial reasons, divorce, or estate settlement.
  • Aggressive – Would really like to sell but don’t have too.  Examples: Need a larger/smaller home, would like to live in a different school district, want to live closer to your work/family, or ready to move to your retirement destination.
  • Kicking the tires – Will sell under the right conditions. Examples: Interested in a different home on the market, tired of cleaning a large home, ready for a maintenance free condo.

No matter what your motivation level is, do yourself a favor and get your property show ready. The feedback you want to hear is “home shows nice”. Those are the homes that sell quicker and for higher prices which is what every seller wants, no matter your motivation.

No matter what your motivation is, give The Derrick Team a call for a FREE no-obligation home market evaluation at 317-563-1110.

Feb 152012
 

Getting ready to put your home on the market? You might want to check out the requirements an appraiser will need to OK your home for an FHA loan. Why is this important? A large portion of homes are sold with the buyers getting some sort of FHA financing, or requires the home to pass FHA appraisals. If your home doesn’t pass that test, your limited to conventional or insured conventional loans, or cash buyers. That shrinks your buyers market, considerably…..!

From the FHA (HUD) web site:

Required Repairs: Required repairs are limited to those repairs necessary to preserve the continued marketability of the property and to protect the health and safety of the occupants, A.K.A. the three S’s:

Safety: protect the health and safety of the occupants

Security: protect the security of the property (security for the FHA insured mortgage.)

Soundness: correct physical deficiencies or conditions affecting structural integrity

In general this all sounds good as any buyer wants their property to be a good investment as it’s a rather substantial one for most buyers. But as a seller you can easily get tripped up on the sale process after a buyer has made an offer. You’ve negotiated a sale price that you feel comfortable with, and then the appraiser calls out many defective items that will need to be addressed in order for the FHA loan to be given to the buyer. Now your stuck with paying for the repairs, or letting the buyer walk away. And you’ll have to make those repairs before the next FHA buyer comes along. We’ve seen this happen more than once….

Some of the more common things to consider that often get called out are:

  • Peeling paint, especially on older homes (pre 1978) that might contain lead based paint.
  • Roofs that have outlived their life (a judgment call sometimes, others more obvious).
  • Exposed wiring or dangerous electrical issues.
  • Broken or missing windows.
  • Loose or missing handrails and balusters.
  • Holes in walls and flooring, especially as pertains to firewalls (between garage and home, or other units in multi unit buildings).

This is a very short list but it covers some of the items we’ve seen called out, more than once.

Appraisers are required to go by the FHA guidelines or they can be fined and lose their license. Some will be more strict than others and sometimes you can request a second one at your own expense. But that doesn’t guarantee anything, so the best approach is to address obvious items up front, and be prepared for some surprises, even on newer homes.

If you so desire you can review the entire FHA list here: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh/4150.2/41502c3HSGH.pdf

Or just give The Derrick Team a call. We’ll be glad to come do a walk through and help point out the obvious items we’ve seen called out. Some items can only be determined by a professional (electrician, HVAC tech, etc). But we can at least give you a heads up. Call us at 317-563-1110 today!

 

Dec 162011
 

Getting ready to put your home on the market?  Better get started right now!

We often think of spring as starting in late March because of the actual calendar tells us that. So people think of the prime home selling season as starting around the same time. But the truth doesn’t pay attention to the calendar so you need to change your perception as well.

If you are not already getting your home ready to market, you’d better get busy. As the chart showing the seasonal pending home sales shows you, that early spring peak starts in January, in the middle of winter! So to get in the early spring sales peak, you should have your home listed by the middle of January by the latest.

Give us a call if you have any questions on what you should be doing. We’ll be happy to help with a free CMA and tips for getting your home ready. Call The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 today!

Oct 122011
 

EntryDoorArtworkWe’re moving to the cooler months where spending time indoors is the norm in central Indiana. If you are thinking of selling your home next spring, now is the time to start getting ready. We are going to talk about looking at your home through a potential buyers eyes (and nose).

First, while it’s still nice out, take a walk around your neighborhood and get some fresh air. While doing that make note of the homes that seem attractive to you. Neat yard, nicely trimmed hedges, colorful flowers, no peeling paint, etc. Look at those compared to the homes with weeds, broken fences, missing gutter, etc and think which home would you think about buying? Now when you get back around to your home, stand out front and look over what you might want to address before next spring and make a list before you forget!

Now step inside and take a deep breath. Smell anything at all? This morning’s breakfast or something currently cooking aside, make note of the source and make sure that it is addressed before you market the home. Anytime friends are over ask them if they notice any smells. Sometimes you get used to a home smell and don’t even notice it.

Now to the interior of the home. Walk around with a clipboard or notepad and make note of ANY defect you notice. Dirty ceiling lights, broken outlet cover, broken trim board, etc. Don’t think about how you can hide it with furniture, it must be cleaned / fixed / replaced! No detail is too much. Buyers will pick apart the home and when a list gets too lengthy in their mind, they will walk out and move on to the next home. They want a “Move In Ready” home.

Start with the simple things, like cleaning dirty items. As a rule of thumb we say clean it to make it look like new. If it won’t come clean replace or paint it. Not sure on what to replace it with? Look at home centers for ideas, or go visit nearby new model homes in the price point you expect (or want) your home to sell in.

Next look at more major things such as painting a room or replacing carpet or flooring. Try to look for what fits with the room’s original use; like hardwood in a dining room you’re using as a playroom now. Again you can get ideas from model homes and improvement centers / magazines. But don’t go crazy with colors when painting. Neutral tones or single accent walls are a safer bet. Tone down any walls you have that are currently really loud if at all possible. For projects you cannot do yourself, get quotes and mark those costs on your list.

Then there are the major items that can be really pricey to replace so first consider the value they add to your home before a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover. Again get quotes on these items and mark those costs on your list.

This is the point where you want to talk to a REALTOR about local home values. This will help you determine improvement vs. home value to see if it’s worth the costs. The Derrick Team will be glad to come talk to you months before you are ready to sell. And you are under no obligation to use us at any time. We just love to help people sell their homes. Call or text The Derrick Team anytime at 317-563-1110, we work 7 days a week including evenings!

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