Posts Tagged ‘ google ’

Home Buyer Turn-Offs

There are some things that a seller does that can really repel potential buyers. In today’s market, a traditional seller has to compete against some pretty tough competition: banks and short sales. Both are below market type of listings but a traditional or what I call a “regular” seller does have some advantages.  A normal closing time and a relatively well maintained property are two of those advantages. But there are also ways that a seller can kill a deal. Tara -Nicholle Nelson of Trulia gave several reasons that I will share with you below along with my take on it.

1.-Stalker-ish Sellers. This one made me smile! I have shown houses where the seller insists on giving the tour. After all, they know their property best! Problem is most buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home. Having the seller there in the same space makes that process very difficult. The buyer will no longer be paying attention to what they could like about the home because the seller is distracting them with little pieces of nostalgia that the buyer does not need or want to know.

Sellers, go for a walk or go to the store but whatever you do, just do not make your presence known while the buyer is looking at your home. If there is a lack of chemistry (kind of like dating) between you and the buyer, you could kill the deal before it even makes it to paper.

2. Keep it Clean – Sellers will be told this a dozen times but it really does make a difference. When buyers have seen the trashed bank owned and short sale properties it is such a relief to see a well cared for home.  So clear the clutter, straighten items up (laundry, dirty dishes, toys, etc.) and try not to have any offensive odors lingering in the home (cigarette smoke, stinky food, dirty cat boxes,  wet dog,etc.).

3. Pricing – It used to be location, location, location that sold a home. Today it is pricing, pricing, pricing! It is hard when your home is in better condition than the distressed property but pricing your home like it is 2006, regardless of the superior condition, will not get you a buyer. Actually, overpricing indicates to the buyers that you are either testing the market or will be unreasonable to negotiate with.  Have your realtor do the comps with and without the distressed properties and then figure on a price that meets in the middle.

4. Bad Home Improvements– If you are going to take the time and money to do an improvement, do it to sell and not for your personal liking. Use neutral or warm toned colors that will appeal to a majority of buyers, not your favorite shade of pink “because you still have to live there until it sells”! I am always amazed at what some sellers consider improvements (which makes me wonder how bad did it look before?).  If you know you are going to sell soon and are going to update or upgrade, get a professional opinion from either a home decorating store, paint store or your favorite realtor (most realtors actually do know what the current trends are!). You want to make sure that you will get a return on your money so choose wisely. Remember, any job worth doing is worth doing well and doing smart!

5. Listing Photos– Listing photos are so important and yet are so over looked! The internet is generally where most buyers view the homes that they would like to see before they ever get in the car. A bad photo will have them clicking the “next” button to see a different home. If your realtor does not have a decent camera, they should be hiring a professional to take the pictures. And make sure that you the seller see and approve the pictures first and have the realtor show you what your listing looks like on the MLS and internet.

One more item that is also overlooked and that is showing availability. Many buyers have a limited time when they are out looking so don’t make it difficult to schedule a showing. Most buyers are understanding but if they have to arrange the entire schedule of properties to see around yours, they may just skip you all together.

If you would like additional tips for selling your home in the Boise Idaho real estate market please see my other posts under home selling tips or go to my website (no sign up required):

Why it is Important to Have Buyer Representation?

As a buyer, having a Realtor represent you on a purchase is more important than you might think. You may have heard this before but it is true!

Here is the scenario if you just go out and try to purchase without having representation:

You go on the internet and find the perfect home. Now you drive over to the home and see a realtor sign. You call the number on the sign and you ask to see the house. The realtor will jump at the chance to sell the home and make the full commission. Nothing wrong with wanting to make money, that is why we are in the business! Now you get to see the house and you want to make an offer. You sign the papers with the agreement to have a lender approval letter in hand. Only problem is that when you go talk to the lender you find out you are not qualified to buy the home. This is a big set-back and you are extremely disappointed.

But what if you had qualified? Well that brings up some different issues like who does the realtor represent? The realtor has a signed seller representation agreement but if they sign a buyer representation with you they now become what is called a “dual agent”. This is where they no longer represent either one of you but are basically processing paperwork for both of you.

If you want to avoid that uncomfortable feeling that you are suddenly not getting the best deal here is what I recommend. Find a realtor that you are comfortable with ( this may take a few interviews but always remember they work for you, so treat it like a job interview and you are the boss) Once you find a realtor, a good one is going to tell you to get yourself pre-qualified with a lender before  you even go out looking at houses. This helps to avoid the first scenario’s disappointment.

Once you have found the perfect house your realtor will write-up the paperwork and help you to negotiate the best price. They do this by showing you all the recent solds in the area that are comparable to help ensure that your offer is in the right range. The realtor will also recommend that you get an inspection and can help set that up for you. They will also coordinate with your lender, title company and the listing agent,  items that need to be taken care of in a timely manner so that you will close on time. (Nothing is more frustrating than having the closing moved- out because paperwork is missing or inspection items were not taken care of.)

The very best part about having buyer representation with a realtor: it is free! The seller pays the commission, you pay nothing (ok, so it is included in the price so you pay long-term but it is the seller who pays up-front) Please also keep this in mind: the realtor who has driven you around and has done a lot of hard work and countless hours on your behalf, does not get paid until after the closing. It is very frustrating for a realtor to work hard only to have a buyer go to an open house and get talked into signing an offer by the listing agent. So please show your buyer rep the same fiduciary loyalty that they give to you as your buyer rep! And no matter what, always have buyer representation!

For more information regarding buyers representation please go to my website (no sign in required) :

Why You Should Google an Address

With instant information available at our fingertips via “google” magic, it is extremely easy to find out pretty much anything we want. But have you ever googled your address? or your neighbors? or maybe one of your children’s friends? While this may seem like spying, it is actually a very handy tool to have available for a few reasons.

  • 1.-To keep you and your loved ones safe – Local sex offenders have to register with their local county Sheriff’s department. By typing in an address you can see if a sex offender lives there. If you want to see if there are in your neighborhood or in a neighborhood that you are considering purchasing a home, you can type in the address, the town, or the zip code followed by “Megan’s law” and the registered offenders should appear.
  • 2. To protect against scams – By doing a search on an address you can see if it is being advertised by scammers as being for rent or sale.  If you are doing the search on a property that you plan on buying you will be able to see if someone other than the owner or realtor are advertising the property.
  • 3.To check on Home Sold Prices – This is especially helpful if you think your taxes are too high. By checking on the local sold prices you will be able to see the sold pricing  trend in your area. If the you see a downward trend (which you most likely will right now) you will be able to petition the local tax assessor to adjust the tax assessment. (If you go to you will be able to get this information also)
  • 4. To see street views – This is really a great idea especially if you are getting ready to list your home. Many potential buyers go to the internet first before they physically view a home. Google Maps lets them see a street view, not just of your property but of those around it too.  There may be a shot of your house maybe when you were cleaning out your garage or having a garage sale (you get the idea). Was your former neighbor a pig? Now they have moved and their yard looks great but usually the google street view is a few months (sometimes years) old. If you think that the view is not a good one make sure that it is mentioned by your realtor in the listing so potential buyers are not scared off before they even get to see the inside!

Whether you are buying, selling or just trying to stay safe, it is an excellent idea to google an address!

If you have any questions regarding the real estate market in the Boise area please feel free to contact me: or

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