All posts by Roland Low

Roland Low

What Does It Mean to Sell a Home “As-Is?”


What Does It Mean to Sell a Home “As-Is?”

 All too often I see homes listed as being sold “as is”.  There are certainly pros and cons of listing a home as-is.  And buyers and sellers need to know what that truly means.

I have seen listings that proclaim this property is “turn key” ready or “shows well”.  And then it indicates that the property is “as-is”. The seller’s version of an as-is property is that the seller does not intend to make any repairs to the property. This may or may not be a wise move. Some repairs are relatively simple and certainly should not get in the way of closing a deal.

The buyer’s version of an as-is property is that there must be something wrong with the property – and they are most likely correct.  It also tells the buyer that there is something wrong with the property and I’m not telling you (buyer) about it.  It takes us back to the days of “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware).

But sellers and buyers need to understand that by simply checking off a box that says, “as-is” it does not relieve the seller of revealing latent defects.  Latent defects are faults in a property that could not have been discovered by a reasonably thorough inspection before the sale. Whether a property is being sold as-is or not, these defects must be disclosed to a potential buyer.

Certified Home Inspectors have come a long way in detecting defects in a property, but there are still many latent defects that can go unnoticed.  One example of a latent defect is a septic system that is no longer in use.  Even though the tank may be empty, in time, the concrete will fail and there will be a section of land that will sink into the old septic tank.  Many of the older properties did not record where the septic tanks were located, and it is possible that current home owners have no knowledge of the old tank.  Nevertheless, if the seller has knowledge, it is incumbent upon the seller to disclose that fact.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

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Fun Facts and Inspiration for March 26


Fun Facts and Inspiration for March 26

Inspiration…
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”        Buddha

Did you know that…
In order to calculate massive quantities, American Edward Kasner coined the word googol, which is the number one, followed by 100 zeros. But for today’s calculations they use the googolplex which is the number one followed by 1 billion zeros, which allows us to calculate the number of electrons passing through a 40-watt light bulb in one minute. To give you an idea of how massive a googolplex is, it equates to roughly the number of drops of water flowing over Niagara Falls in a century.

In the early days of business written records, the record keeper of the meeting took notes to document what transpired. Because of the amount of information, the record keeper wrote in shorthand and abbreviations. The word used to describe these notes were called minute, as in ‘my-noot’, meaning small. Today we refer to the notes as minutes of a meeting.

During the American Civil War massive numbers of young and untrained soldiers were rushed into battle, causing major problems with discipline. The veterans called this incompetent soldiers “reckies”, rather than recruits. The word “reckies” evolved to include anyone new to an organization who lacked training and required training to become “rookies”.

In the early 1700’s, English playwright John Dennis introduced a metallic device that imitated the sound of thunder. The production it was created for failed and the thunder device was forgotten until several months later, he heard the thunder sound in another play. Dennis raised a public outcry that someone had stolen his idea. Today we refer to such an act as “stealing my thunder.”

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

PLEASE VISIT AND SHARE MY REAL ESTATE BLOG AT
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Selling a Home Should Make Good Scents


Selling a Home Should Make Good Scents

Putting your home on the market takes a lot of work. Getting the house ready to list and then having everything pristine when you leave for the day in case there is a showing that day is a full-time job in and of itself.

Undoubtedly your REALTOR® will give you sound advice about what is important for showings. The house needs to be spotless; beds made every day; absolutely no dirty dishes left in the sink and on and on and on. The temperature needs to be comfortable and the lights should all be on.

When potential buyers come in the house for a showing, you want them to be able to visualize the house as theirs. Unfortunately, if something is awry in the house, such as the temperature too hot or too cold, that is what they will remember about the property. Potential buyers talking about the showing later will refer to the house as, “Remember the house that was so cold”? That is why it is so critically important for sellers to maintain their house at a level that soothes the senses; sight, sound, touch (feeling the temperature), and smell.

The one sense that does not get the credit it deserves is the sense of smell. The sense of smell triggers an emotional reaction, and then an identifier. The other senses, on the other hand elicit the factual response first, and then the emotional response. Not only that, but people can recall smells with 65% accuracy after a year; visual recall is about 50% accurate after three months.

This has become such an important issue that companies are investing large sums of money for scent marketing. Westin Hotels & Resorts hired a company that created a signature scent for its’ global properties. The scent was called “white tea” that was a fragrance described as a blend of white tea and vanilla with cedar notes. The scent is found in the lobbies, soaps, and lotions to enhance its’ brand recognition.

The cost of creating a brand scent from scratch can cost around $25,000 and $200 to $500 to properly maintain the scent throughout.

The good news for home sellers is that they do not need to go to that extreme. It is important however, to maintain a clean smell in your home. And by clean smell we are generally referring to no smell. Scented candles or plug-ins are an absolute no-no. Generally what one person likes, another may detest. It also gives the impression that you are trying to cover up a pet odor. It much safer to eliminate odors all together.

In days gone by, agents would suggest that the seller bake fresh cookies or bread before a showing to provide an early version of “scent marketing”. But today, sellers simply do not have time to bake cookies or bread before a showing or open house. The best advice today is to have no odor.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

PLEASE VISIT AND SHARE MY REAL ESTATE BLOGS AT
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What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About “Loose Lips Sink Ships”


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About
“Loose Lips Sink Ships”

During the World Wars, posters were placed in key locations reminding military personnel and contractors that unguarded conversations could divulge information to the enemy that would give them the upper hand in combat. Some information, however minor, could be the missing link to the enemy. In real estate, “loose lips, sink ships” may not actually sink a ship, but it can sink a real estate transaction.

I have said this many times before, and will undoubtedly say many more times: If you are in the market to buy a home, you need to sign a buyers’ representative contract with a REALTOR®. That agent will work diligently on your behalf. You can have confidential conversations with your buyer’s agent, and you can rest assured they will keep the information confidential.

When you are house-hunting, attending open houses is a good way to see what is in the market. If you have already signed a buyers contract with an agent, let the agent at the open house know your agents name as soon as they greet you. The open house agent should respect that relationship. They can certainly provide basic information about the house and answer any questions you may have but, should not inquire about any financial arrangements you may have for a mortgage.

All too often, I see potential buyers come into an open house and start a dialogue with the agent hosting the open house. Inevitably, the question will come up if they are pre-approved for a mortgage and what price of home are they looking for. The conversation takes a bad turn when the buyer(s) make the comment that they are looking for a home “no higher than $500,000”, but because they want the listing agent to know they are solid buyers if they make an offer, the buyer(s) will add, “But we’ve been pre-approved for $600,000.” That information will go from the buyer(s) lips to the seller’s ears in a nanosecond. And if you decide to make an offer on that house – or any house with that listing agent – there will be little room for negotiation.

Another example is if the buyers’ really like the house, and they are under the gun to find a home because they have given notice at their apartment and it has already been rented to a new tenant.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

PLEASE VISIT AND SHARE MY REAL ESTATE BLOGS AT
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How Buyers Can Get the Upper Hand in Multiple Offers on Homes


A dear seller letter is one thing that can give the buyer a distinctive edge in a seller’s market.  Like many parts of the country, listing inventory is low and buyers find themselves competing for a limited number of available properties for sale. When competing for a home, there are many ways to make your offer attractive to the seller. When a seller is reviewing multiple offers on their home that may be very close in price and terms, you want them to feel an emotional connection to you. A well-written dear seller letter can create that connection.

Here are some tips on how to write the perfect dear seller letter:

You want the seller to know who you are: Start out your letter by introducing yourself and let the seller know who will be living in the house. They might be thrilled to know that you are, for example, recently married, first-time buyers who work in a field like theirs. It’s all about making that personal connection.

Tell the seller why you are moving: Helping the seller understand your motivation for buying their house can make a difference too. Sellers might be more motivated to sell the house to a family who is weeks away from the birth of a third child and desperately needs the fourth bedroom their house offers.

Explain to the seller why you love the house: Chances are the seller originally purchased the property because, like you, they felt an emotional attachment to the home. Let them know the distinct characteristics that drew you to the house; whether it’s the beautifully remodeled kitchen or the hardwood oak floors they may have painstakingly just refinished. Sellers will appreciate knowing the details that make their home special to you.

Use social media to learn a little bit about the sellers: Checkout the seller’s Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to make some connections. If the seller has frequent posts about races they’ve run and you’re a runner too, include that in your letter. For example, you can’t wait to establish a new running route through the beautiful tree-lined streets of the neighborhood. Perhaps you discover on LinkedIn that you and the seller attended the same university; be sure to mention that you’re an alum.

You should also remember and mention things about the house that show your common interests like evidence of pets, kids, or hobbies. If you know the seller has a dog and you have one too, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate, for example, the fenced-in back yard that will be perfect for your beloved pet.

Compliment, Compliment, Compliment: Lastly, every good dear seller letter should include lots of compliments and seller love letters are no exception. Make sure your letter is full of sincere praise. Did the sellers custom-build the home? Let them know how much you appreciate their design aesthetic. Is the lower level recently finished? Let them know how much your family will enjoy the space. Did you notice a copy of a classic novel on their kid’s nightstand? Mention how, as an English teacher, that impressed you!

Everyone needs a little love and home sellers are no different. If you find yourself competing for your dream house, using these tips to write the perfect dear seller letter may give you a edge. It’s also always a good idea to get the help of an experienced real estate professional to help you navigate through the home buying process.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

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What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Defects in a Home


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About

Defects in a Home

Buying a home is a major step for the vast majority of people and making sure you have expert help along the way is critically important. Having a home inspection by a qualified, certified home inspector is truly a must.

Home inspection

When it comes to buying a home there are two types of defects that home buyers need to be aware of – patent defects and latent defects. The first defect is a patent defect: For example, you walk into a house and you notice a dripping faucet. Although no one truly wants a dripping faucet it is clearly visible to a potential buyer. The buyer came either negotiate having the faucet fixed or they can take care of it themselves once they have closed on the property.

The more serious of the two defects is a latent defect. A latent defect is a defect that is not visible to the naked eye to a normal person. For example: A crawl space under the house that has a leaking water pipe that has resulted in mold. Few potential buyers would go under the crawl space to have a look.

This is why potential buyers should always have a home inspection conducted by a qualified, certified, licensed home inspector. This does not include a relative who once worked on a construction project. This is money well spent as it can save you from buying a home with problems or at least negotiating the repairs.

The home inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the property and provide the buyer with a detailed, written report of their findings. They will identify patent and latent defects and make recommendations on how it should be corrected. It is important to note that not all latent defects may be observable to the inspector, but they will report those items that they can.

There is one more step that should help to protect potential home buyers. Latent defects that cannot be identified by a normal person, and that the seller or real estate agent has knowledge of, must be reported to a potential buyer. Sellers who fail to report latent defects that they had knowledge of may be liable to the buyer after the closing.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

PLEASE VISIT AND SHARE MY REAL ESTATE BLOGS AT
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What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Seller’s Settlement Fees


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About

Seller’s Settlement Fees

Anyone who has ever sold a home, soon learns that there are a lot of fees associated with sellers and buyers. Although the buyers’ typically have more fees, the sellers have more dollars involved because of the real estate commission. But there is one fee that sellers often times question.

Most of the fees are self-explanatory. For example: the real estate commission of 6.0% to 7.0% is established prior to signing the listing contract. Sellers can quickly compute the cost of the commission.

The seller’s settlement fee is one that often times sellers will question yet is probably one of the most critical fees. In order to understand the settlement fee, you need to understand what the title company does for closing.

The title company represents the “transaction”. It does not represent the seller or the buyer; the title company works on behalf of both the seller and buyer to execute the agreed upon terms and conditions of the purchase contract.

The cost of the settlement fee usually ranges from $400 – $500. This amount may vary depending on how the title company presents its fees. For example: One title company may give a base fee for a closing, whereas another company may break it down for copies, courier services, etc. Nevertheless, the fees will range in this vicinity.

The fees cover a wide range of activity that the title company handles on behalf of the seller. Some examples are:

• Ordering the payoff for any mortgage, including any second home mortgage that may be in effect.
• Tracking down any liens and obtaining a lien release.
• Conducting the actual closing on behalf of the seller
• Wire transfer funds to mortgage companies or any other lien holders that need to be paid.
• Wiring net settlement funds to the seller’s financial account.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland
REALTOR®

Whether you are a first time home buyer, moving up, scaling down or an investor in real estate, this blog has something for you!

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