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The Inspections you Need Before Buying a Home

Article by Wendy McCance

Let’s say that you are looking to buy a home.  You come across a home that looks like it might be “the one.”   You put in an offer and it is accepted.  Before you start the celebration, you decide to get an inspection done on the property.  This is the typical scenario that most potential buyers go through.  Getting an inspection is an incredibly important part of the entire buying process.

The reason to get an inspection is to find out what may be a potential issue that you might have to deal with.  Are there issues with the foundation, evidence of water damage or an infestation of termites?  There are so many potential problems in a home to know about up front.  Maybe a problem is found and you renegotiate the price or decide to walk away.  Thank goodness you found out about the problem before signing those final papers.  Although inspections are highly recommended, they don’t cover everything.  There are other people who should be contacted to look over the home you are interested in.  Another inspector to contact would be an inspector to check out your sewer.

A sewer inspector can find out if there are clogged pipes or pipes that are falling apart.  To get a sewer dug up and fixed is so outrageously expensive, spending on average of $95.00 for the inspection is well worth the money.  (Important) That general inspector that you hire will not look at the sewer system.  It’s important to know there is a specialist who works specifically with sewers that will have to look at your sewer for you.

Long before I became an agent, our family bought a home that had been inspected.  Our real estate agent never mentioned getting the sewer inspected, and it wasn’t something that occurred to us either.  We moved into the home and put all of the boxes in the basement.  We would bring them up one by one to unpack.  The basement was beautifully finished and carpeted.  Within two weeks, I went downstairs to the basement to do some laundry and noticed a big stain on the carpet.  A while later, that stain became a puddle and then a sloshy mess in our basement.

Our sewer lines were clogged.  We had been doing a ton of laundry and dishes.  The sewer lines had tree roots in them and the water backed up.  That stain (it turned out) was where our drain was located and it was under the carpet.

$1,200 later and a basement that had torn up carpet and damp floors, our sewer was fixed.  Thank goodness those boxes hadn’t been placed on the ground.  They were all on tables and shelves.  We truly got lucky.  I wish we had known to have our sewer checked out.  We would still have a great looking basement and a lot more money.

Other inspections that you might want to consider are a radon test and a check of your septic system.  If you have a septic system, you might want an inspector to come out and check your septic system if you aren’t connected to your city’s water system.

The bottom line is to over think the problems that could go wrong.  Get picky and make sure you get the inspections you need while you still have an opportunity to negotiate or walk away from a home that carries any issues that concern you.

If you are interested in a free consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 1, 2013 in advice, houses for sale, how to

 

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Selling your Own Home vs Using a Seller’s Agent

If you have ever thought about selling your home yourself, I’m sure you have wondered what the positive and negatives points are compared to a real estate agent selling your home for you.

First let’s go over the positive reasons for selling a home on your own.

1.  You will not be giving a sellers agent a commission.

2.  You will meet any potential buyers yourself.  I’m not sure if this is a positive reason, but it might mean a lot to some home owners.

3.  You are in control of the entire process.  For those of you who like to have their hands in the entire process from meeting buyers to the negotiation process directly with those buyers, this might be a plus.

4.  You decide when to show the home and will be present for those showings.

Now, let’s go over the negative aspects of selling your own home.

1.  You pay for any advertising.  On top of that, you will not have access to the MLS which all agents have access to.  That means that instead of agents emailing their clients your home information when it appears on the MLS, you have to find the interested buyers yourself.  Agents are also more adept at only showing clients who have a definite interest in the features of your home.  You could have people looking at your home that aren’t pre-approved, are just window shopping or truly are not looking for what your home has to offer.

2.  You will need to understand all of the paperwork needed to sell your home.  It is also highly recommended that you hire an attorney to write-up the paperwork and make sure everything is included.  An attorney might be more expensive to use.  Another consideration is that an attorney doesn’t typically write-up paperwork to sell  homes as part of their job and might miss something along the way.

3.  If you aren’t available to show your home, your home won’t be shown if you sell it on your own.  When you work with an agent, it doesn’t matter if you are on vacation.  The home can still be viewed and an offer can still be made.

4.  Knowing what to price your home at.  Why waste your time if you price your home to high?  You also have to worry about what an appraisal will decide your home is worth.  You could get an interested buyer who is willing to pay the price you are offering.  If the appraisal comes back and is lower, the bank will not finance the buyer at that price.

5.  When a buyer knows you are selling a home yourself, they know you aren’t paying a sellers commission.  Because of that, the buyer will typically bid extra low to cover the difference.  Meaning you might still be out the same amount of money or more.

6.  If you don’t offer a buyer’s agent a commission, many real estate agents won’t be enthusiastic about showing your home verse a home that is similar with a commission included.  (Although this is ethically wrong, it has been known to happen quite frequently).

7.  It will take much longer to sell your home on your own.  This is because of the amount of advertising needed. Also, the less you are available to show your home, the longer it will take to sell.

8.  When you take into account fees for advertising and the lawyer, you might end up paying more money, than if you used an agent.

9.  You will have to make sure you understand the laws.  You aren’t exempt from getting in trouble for lack of knowledge.  You must understand the laws regarding who you decide to sell to and why.  You will need to understand how to get a clear title before the closing of the home can occur.  Some cities require a city inspector to view your home and there is a fee.  You must also understand that any defects in the home must be disclosed to anyone who views your home.  Not mentioning that there was a flood in the basement several years ago, for instance can result in a lawsuit if the buyer finds out after purchasing your home.

Many people try to sell their home themselves.  A good majority of these same people end up using a realtor after a lot of frustration and money spent.  If you decide to go it alone, make sure you truly understand what you are getting into before putting up a sign in your yard.

If you are interested in a consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2013 in advice, houses for sale, how to, real estate

 

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Real Estate Agents are not Salespeople. We are Consultants.

When I decided to get into real estate, I figured that my background would be a perfect fit.  I have a strong history in the sales field.  I was really good in my field, and truly enjoyed the social aspect of a sales job.

When I took the classes and worked with a mentor, sales was what was discussed.  There were strategies and outlines.  There were even scripts you could use.  It wasn’t until I really got off the ground that I realized that sales has nothing to do with being a good real estate agent.

I’m sure there are agents out there that will argue that this is a sales job, but let me tell you why I think it’s not. My feeling is that if you are a good agent, you are not a salesperson but a consultant.  This is one of the few jobs where it doesn’t matter how hard you might try to sell someone on a home.  Buying a home is incredibly emotional.  It is also one of the biggest expenses you will have in a lifetime.  I don’t know anyone who is casual enough to allow a salesperson to come in and twist their arm to buy a home that might not be right for them.  Let me state it another way.  I could never be that person who puts pressure on a client.

My personal feeling is that if you are a good real estate agent, you will treat your client like you would treat a good friend.  There is respect, understanding and help in figuring out what type of home might suit that particular client best.

As a real estate agent, you are there to guide your client.  You must be knowledgeable and able to teach them the steps in home ownership.  You are the person that a client will go to for consultation.  Maybe the time is right for a customer to buy, and maybe it’s not.  The goal is not to sell a home, but to help a customer decide what’s right for them.

If you go about your job in this manner, the rewards will come.  A customer might use you later down the road because of your honesty and integrity.  You will gain a good reputation, and yes, you will sell homes and make a good living.

It’s all perspective.  I know that I would be turned off by an agent who felt like a salesperson.  On the other hand, an agent that acted as a consultant would impress me and leave a lasting good impression.

For those of you just starting out in real estate, this way of looking at your job might be of enormous benefit to you.  If you are an agent, how do you approach your job?  Are you a salesperson or a consultant?

 
12 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2013 in advice, career, houses for sale, real estate

 

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Selling a Home? Here’s a List of the 5 Most Common Things That Need to be Done.

Well, you have decided to sell your home.  You have found a realtor and put the home up for sale.  Now what?  Below is a list of the 5 most common things you must get before and after closing on the property.

1.  Paperwork (ASAP)

This is by far the most important thing you must do.  Any and all paperwork you can find in regards to your mortgage and any lines of equity you might have must be pulled out.  The better the paper trail, the quicker the closing.  Banks are not great at getting the paperwork showing what you owe and have paid off together.  If you get an offer on your home, you will want to close as quickly as possible.  The bank can stall that process more than 30 days.  It can be a real nightmare to rely on the bank to put all of the pieces together.  Do yourself a favor and create a folder to put all of your paperwork in.

2.  Pipes and the winter weather (Only if you don’t occupy the home)

If you don’t occupy the home you are selling, you will need to winterize the pipes so that they don’t burst in the cold weather.

3.  Utilities (once you are a week or less from closing)

You will need to get a final water reading.  You will also need to call the gas and electric company to notify them of the transfer in ownership.

4.  At the closing

Make sure you bring a photo I.D.  Your driver’s license will suffice.

5.  Homeowners Insurance

Once the closing is complete and everything has been funded, you will want to call and cancel your homeowners insurance.

note:  Each sale is unique.  It is imperative that you have good communication with your realtor.  Make sure you go over the necessary items that are needed so that there are no surprises.  In addition, make sure that you know the timelines for getting each thing accomplished.  If a water meter is read too soon, you will need to get another reading before closing.  Timing is everything when you are wrapping things up for closing.

 

If you are interested in a consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2012 in advice, houses for sale, real estate

 

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