Sam Richards GRI, Broker/Owner
BRE License #01305588
March 5, 2014
SETTING THE STAGE
Q. My purchase offer fell apart because I couldn?t get my home sold. My loan agent had an appraisal done on the one I was buying, and says I have to pay for the appraisal anyway. What?s fair? S.T. Rio Vista
A. Any offer to purchase has to give the seller a warm fuzzy that the buyer is for real. The offer has to be followed by good faith intent to complete the purchase. It?s no secret that a ?pre-qual? letter has no substance; the remaining two phases of the loan are where the buyer is dissected and analyzed. The approval letter is what most seller agents are asking for. This is where the loan application has been taken, credit run, employment verified, and cash on hand proven. At this point, a loan person can truly establish the lending ceiling and interest rate. What a seller does not want to have happen is to take their house off the active market and lose prime selling opportunities because of what turns out to be an under qualified buyer.
In turn, your loan agent wants to lock your rate and progress on the loan, which would include an appraisal. The appraiser typically gets paid the day of the appraisal by the buyer. They are an independent party, and their appraisal is their only function on your purchase. When they bill to escrow or delay payment, then, chances are, if the deal falls apart, they don?t get paid.
Basically, if you contract for someone to do something for you, even through your loan agent, you should pay the bill. Perhaps, since you had a home to sell, your loan agent could back off and do all this when you have a buyer. However, if rates go up during that time, it could change your ability to qualify.
If you knew the appraisal was being done, then you owe it. If your agent didn?t tell you there would be an appraisal, then that?s different. I wonder though, who would assume they could get a loan without the lender establishing the value of the property?
Q. How important is staging a home for sale? J.B. Isleton
A. When showing homes, we often find that any more than three will have the buyer confused about they have seen. To add to that is definitely ?staging?, that a home not too cluttered and not too empty is best. An empty home feels cold, where a cluttered home feels small. Add to a cluttered home screaming kids and/or barking dogs, and that?s all the buyers remember, not the home itself.
Since first impressions are everything, staging needs to start with the curbside view. Empty the driveway so all you see is concrete, and remove any oil spots. Make sure the lawn is neat and trimmed. Set the sprinklers to after 8pm and prior to 7am so they don?t get buyers wet. If you can?t afford to paint the house, at least insure that the entry door is painted and clean. The inside should show off the best attributes of the house, not furniture or wall hangings. Keep it simple and in good taste, and Fung Shui wouldn?t hurt either. When a buyer walks away, they should easily remember the carpet, wall condition and color, countertops, appliances, and be able to have enough empty walking space to easily envision their own stuff in there.
Now, most important, when a buyer walks through you should leave the home, and take the kids and dogs with you. The buyer should have the freedom to linger and ?absorb? the home. The more time they spend, the more they will remember, which gives you the edge towards getting their offer.
Staging is not just important, it is critical to getting your home sold.
Set the stage by calling 707-374-6491 or Visit our web site www.richards-realestate.com