Checklist for Sellers

We take a holistic approach with our clients and consider every detail of buying or selling a home and how it will affect our client’s lives. Buying and selling homes tends to be one of the largest financial transactions of a person’s life. Finances aside, choosing to sell or purchase a home affects a person’s health and lifestyle as well.

 

Here is a checklist for selling your home we think you may find helpful:

 

  1. Pricing your home to sell. Home sale prices directly correlate with days on the market in our current market conditions.
    When a home is on the market for more than 30-60 days (generally in the $500,000 and below range), buyers perceive that there is a problem with your home and your offers will tend to get lower and lower with time.
  2. Home Inspection Issues. We can identify potential inspection issues for you when walking through your home and
    consult with you on repairs so that your sale will not fall through based on inspections. You might also consider getting a pre-listing home inspection to avoid complications during your sale as there are things we will not be able to see.
  3. Home Warranty Coverage. Some homeowners get frustrated by a home warranty because they assume they can hire anyone they want to make a repair and that if something is broken or old they can simply have the item replaced by the warranty policy. Home warranties offer important protection from unexpected repair bills, but they won’t usually be enough to replace an item that has worn out, had pre-existing problems, or were improperly maintained.

4. Seller Disclosures. These disclosures provide a wide range of information. Overall the basic premise of the disclosure is to have the seller explain any known material or legal defects with the property. Some of the items to expect in the disclosures are the seller’s knowledge of any zoning or legal violations on the property, legal actions affecting the property, location within a Greenbelt, damage to the roof, past-due utility payments (ones that affect title), problems with culinary water, damaged sewer or septic tanks, damaged heating and cooling devices, etc.

A. Fraud. In Utah, lying on a seller’s disclosure in a way that induces a homebuyer to purchase your home is fraud. For instance, if you were to say that you’ve never repaired leaks in the basement, but in fact have patched an area that’s now hidden by boxes, that would be a lie. Don’t do it. Fill out the seller’s disclosures, and fill them out honestly.

B.  Fradulent Nondisclosure. Fraudulent nondisclosure involves failing to disclose a material defect. For example, if you

were to incorrectly claim that you never noticed any leakage in the basement at all, that would be a nondisclosure.

7. Staging.Before listing your home it is important to have your home looking its best. Staged homes sell an average of 17% faster than homes that are not. There are many statistics to be found from many sources but staged homes also appear to sell for 1-5% more than a home that is not staged. We work with many different staging companies so we can tailor staging services to each unique home’s needs.

8. Marketing. We achieve high list-to-sale ratios and very low days on market in contrast with other brokers. We excel in evaluating homes, making them better with staging, advising of needed repairs and setting the right price to get the best outcome for our sellers. We set realistic expectations based on anticipating repairs needed after a buyer’s home inspection, preventing most of the typical drama that comes up during a sales transaction.

9. Showings. Sellers should be aware that same-day and even last-minute requests for showings are common, so a seller with a ‘24 hour notice to show’ stipulation often cuts himself out of a good chunk of the buying market. The only standard lag time that should be necessary is when you must give ample notice to a tenant. In Utah the standard is 24 hours notice. Once a house gets tagged as difficult to show by agents, you won’t receive as many calls to show it.

Stress Management for Home Buyers

Everything about moving can be stressful. We have a few tips to help you manage stress during the process. From the selling or buying of a home to the packing and unpacking, there are moments of excitement and moments of anxiety so having your ducks in a row so to speak will help make the later moments minimal.

Start Small– this will allow you to see progress along the way and hopefully keep you motivated without the tasks seeming to daunting. Whether that is packing up all the bathroom drawers only leaving items that you may need up until moving day, to picking a section of basement or garage to make some headway.

 

Allow for plenty of time– trying to rush through the moving process will do nothing but put added stress on the situation. Pre-planning for moving trucks etc., will help you also feel more prepared. Try not to leave anything to the last minute.

Try to stay organized– sorting and labeling boxes is the key to having a less stressful unpacking experience. This includes keeping all documents you may need in an easy to access place. Upfront planning is essential to coordinating all the ‘moving’ parts.

 

Hire professional movers-if you can fit it into your budget, having professionals come and pack the truck, haul the items, and unpack the truck in your new space is a lot less work for you. In addition, it will not only save your back from heavy lifting but will give you peace of mind knowing all your stuff is in one place.

Ask for help– if you need it, ask! Family and friends are a great resource if you are feeling overwhelmed by the move. Having an extra set of hands or two, can help tremendously.

 

Meet your new neighbors– who knows, they may even be nice enough to come help you unpack.

 

Rest– be sure to rest when you need too. Try and get as much sleep as possible and drink plenty of fluids. This will help you both mentally and physically.

 

 

Yes. Buying a Home Can Be Stressful.

Yes. Buying a home can be stressful.

Hiring a professional to buy or sell a home is a good way to assist you in dealing with some of the stress points during a real estate transaction. Often times, buyers and sellers are unaware of all the possibilities that may come into play when purchasing a home or selling one. Your realtor is a trusted resource that will help you remain calm.

Here a just a few to consider:

 

  • Sometimes you will have to write many offers in our competitive market before you will secure a contract.

  • Sometimes home inspections do not go well and negotiating repairs can be stressful.

 

 

  • Sometimes closing gets delayed or there is an issue getting your keys once closing has occurred.

  • Often sellers may accidentally leave items at the home that are unexpected or leave the home less clean than anticipated. This can cause extra work to be needed before you may want to move in.

 

  • If you do not understand the home buying process well or your lender and/or real estate agent are not communicating consistently, it can leave you feeling out of the loop and anxious.

  • Feel free to constantly communicate with your agent and lender if it helps you feel at ease during the process. They really are such a valuable asset in so many ways.

 

Hidden Costs for New Homeowners

When the time comes for you to buy a home, new homeowners need to understand that there are ‘hidden’ costs and fees when you are ready to sign on that dotted line. We are calling them ‘hidden’ because they are not included in the actual price of the home, these costs are obtained through the buying process and at the time of closing.

Here is a breakdown of those ‘hidden’ costs.

 

Home Inspection

Although this is an optional expense, it does protect you from purchasing a home that may have a lot of issues that may not be obvious. These can include things like mold, problems with the heating or cooling system or water leaks. A rough estimate for a home inspection is $300-$500. Keep in mind, if you end up not buying the house after the inspection, you are still obligated to pay the fee.

Appraisal

This is a necessary fee that asses the home and property so your lender knows that you are paying what the property is worth. There are times when a seller may have to adjust their asking price due to an appraisal coming in under the amount of asking. Appraisal fees can run $200-$500.

Loan Application Fees

These fees start the entire loan process. A lender will need to run your credit report to ensure you can qualify for a home loan. That fee is included in the application fees. These typically run $75-$300.

Title Services

Title services include running a title search on a property, paying the notary to notarize all the documents that you sign, and the required government filing fees. It is important to get a detailed invoice for these fees so you are fully aware of what you are paying for. These fees run $150-$400.

Origination Fees

These fees go to the lender for creation of the loan. These are paid upfront and include processing the loan application. the underwriting process and the actual funding of the loan. These fees are usually based on a percentage of the loan amount and range from 0.5%-1.5%.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If you put less than 20% down on your new home, the lender will require you to purchase PMI. This protects the lender from losing money in the event of a foreclosure. This fee can be re-assessed at such time as you have equity in your home. This fee is based on a percentage of the original loan amount as well.

 

Disclaimer- All dollar amounts and percentages are estimates. 

 

Choosing Investment Properties in Utah

Don’t let the fear of being a landlord keep you from looking into purchasing investment properties. In fact, investment properties can generate great passive income and there are several options to managing the property that can make you a passive participant.

 

If you do not think you can manage your investment by yourself, be sure to calculate property management fees into your strategy. Be sure you learn about fair housing laws and other laws that pertain to the property you are considering purchasing.

Consider taking a landlord or Property Management class to learn how to select tenants, screen them to be sure they qualify, etc.

 

Be aware that many condo complexes have rental restrictions. You will make sure you have covered all these before proceeding.

 

If you choose a home that needs a lot of repairs you will get more phone calls from the tenants, and you may have more liability if protections like smoke detectors, safe electrical systems, etc are not in the home.

 

Choose your strategy. Generally, you get good cash flow or better appreciation. Homes in suburbs of SLC tend to cash flow better because of lower price points but do not go up in value as much as areas like downtown, sugar house, near universities, etc.

If you limit or deny pets, you will limit your pool of potential renters. If you allow pets, be sure to get pet deposits and pet rent.

Summer Housing Trends

The climate of the current housing market it still a positive one. Housing trends that we have seen in the past year will continue for the most part especially these highlighted trends. According to reports, unemployment is low and the overall economy is in good shape, making home ownership still a viable option.

 

Home Prices Are Rising Slowly: Part of the reason is due to increased mortgage rates and the overall economy. Uncertainty tends to discourage buyers who may already been on the fence. In addition, over the past few years, home prices increased as buyers competed for fewer homes.

Interest Rates May Be on the Rise: After years at a standstill, interest rates are forecasted to increase an average of 5% on a 30-year mortgage. The Federal Reserve raises the rates to help stabilize the economy and controlling inflation. Rising rates make homes less affordable.

Majority of Home Buyers Are Millennials: Most are in stable careers and with getting older, they are looking to buy their first homes in middle to upper-middle class neighborhoods. Baby boomers are retiring and downsizing, thrusting the millennials into leading the market.

Home Equity Will Still Increase-In 2018 the estimated equity increase was 2-6%, that is predicted to continue into 2020.

Urban Centers & Main Metro Areas are Getting Expensive: Cities that adjourn or are within easy commuting distance of main urban areas are suddenly seeing HUGE growth on the market. Here in Salt Lake, that means we are seeing areas like Murray, Millcreek, Holladay, Rose Park and Sandy explode!