What's the Number One Mistake When Selling Your Home?Hello from Real Estate Land!
I was with friends from out of town last night and they asked me, “what's the number one mistake we can make in selling our home?”
And I said, Well, of course, I want you to hire me. But… they live in Chicago, so that's OK.
The number one mistake you can make is not having a plan. Real estate is full of emotion. Full of anxiety. If you have a plan, it allows you to think logically through all of these major decisions. Every one of my clients that I meet with, we sit down from day one and discuss “what is the plan?” The plan starts from the first meeting to the last day. And that plan is ever-changing. And every plan is different.
But taking the time to know where we're headed, how we're going to get there, what does the roadmap look like... That is what enables our success. So if nothing else, have a plan before you put that sign in the yard.
And let me know your thoughts! Maybe you've had better success with no plan (I'd love to hear that).
Should You Sell Now Or Wait Until Spring?Hello From Real Estate Land!
I had a great question from Shelley over in Brookside. She said that she's noticed several homes come on the market... should she wait to go on the market in the Spring or start now?
And I said, “Oh, Shelly, stay bubbled up in your PJ’s… light another fire in the fireplace. Money's flying out the window. But don't let that stop you.”
January has been hot. Best January of my entire career! Every listing I put on the market had multiple offers and we sold it immediately. I'm even seeing more buyers come out of the woodwork than before. It's what we call an “Early Market” this year in 2020.
Spring will be busy, but jump in now while the buyers are in a frenzy. I can't believe the number of buyers I’ve had out with me. Let me know. Jump on my plan. Leave a comment below and we'll tell your story of success soon.
Is The Market Slowing Down?Hello from Real Estate Land.
I got a great question from my friend Tom in Lenexa last night: "Is the real estate market slowing down?"
It's not slowing down. Fall is here.
The number of homes that come on the market are fewer, but the number of buyers that are out there, although it's fewer as well... they're serious.
Most people are not in a frenzy to pack up and move during the fall season. However, the number of homes out there is still attractive, and the number of buyers out there is still attractive.
If you're thinking of selling a home during the fall season, is it a great time? Absolutely.
If they show up at your door to show your house, they're serious buyers.
Am I putting seven homes on the market every seven minutes during the fall? No. But are my days on market still low, do we use the same plan to get the most money for your house? Absolutely.
So is it a little slower? Sure. But is it a great time to sell? Absolutely. Call me. I'll bring a sign over today.
Blake Nelson How Much Is My House Worth?Hello from Real Estate Land!
There’s a great question that keeps popping up when I'm at an event socially.
A person will walk up and say, “hey, what's my house worth!?”
And I say, “oh, one point five million for sure. I mean, every house is.” Just kidding.
But if you want to find out why your house is worth, put a sign in the yard and put it on the market... that's a pretty quick way to find out what it's worth!
To find out what your house is worth, call a real estate professional and have them assess it. Call me. I'll assess it in a heartbeat!
There are many factors that follow in to determine what the house is worth. A lot of people love to talk about those zestimates. It's a fun word to say, “zestimate.” It's an algorithm based on products and knowledge that really doesn't factor in the unique characteristics of your home. But, it's a neat idea.
Most importantly, the factors that determine the value of your home: floor plan, condition, location, cleanliness, updates, surrounding homes and recent sales. Those are the top components to determine what your house is worth. But they all carry different weight and they all carry different weights at different times of the year. So, I always say “in real estate, the value is a moving target.”
But if you want to know your value, call me! I'll be over in a heartbeat to help.
How Quickly Can I Buy a House?Hello from Real Estate Land!
I got another great question this week. Tiffany, one of my past clients from Leawood, called and her friend wants to know “how quickly can I buy a home?”
Well, I break this down to a couple of categories.
How much time do you need from the day you start looking until the day you move in? It's broken into two sections.
One, how much time do you need to find a home? I would say on average, I've taken clients out and found a home in one day, or maybe we've taken one month. But on average, that time frame is allotted.
Secondly, once you're under contract, the most common question is “How much time does it take from the minute I'm under contract until the day I get the keys?”
The average answer? 30 to 45 days.
That's the most common response you'll find. Once we go under contract, we then perform inspections. Once were acceptable to inspections, we go to appraisal. Once the appraisal is complete, we let the lender wrap up the final details. I like to say we're on third place headed home — and that's usually the 30 to 45 day window.
So can you buy a house tomorrow, and close the next week? You can, but it’s a little trickier.
Great question, Tiffany. I appreciate it. Thanks so much.
What Is A Short Sale?Hello from Real Estate Land!
I had Stephanie email me with another question that I thought was a great question.
“What is a short sale?”
Very commonly asked. A short sale is most simply defined as a situation when a seller, for example, wants to sell their house and they owe $375,000 on the house. However, the house is only worth $350,000. So the house gets sold, it sells for $345,000, and the bank has to be willing to write off the difference. They have to be willing to be shorted so that the seller can move forward with no future liability of the mortgage, yet also still pass along a clear title to the buyer.
So, in a nutshell, the bank has to willingly agree to be shorted even though they're owed more money on the home. A little bit confusing - but once you kind of map it all out makes more sense.
Thanks, Stephanie. Great question! Leave me a comment below.
Should I Do an Inspection?Hello from Real Estate Land!
Got another great question. One of my past client's Tim from Lenexa called me and said, “Hey my buddy wants to know if he has to do an inspection?”
I said “Well, buddy... you don't have to do inspections... but you don't actually have to walk through the home, you don’t even have to see them home before you buy it!”
But to answer your question, yes, you need to do inspections. I won’t represent a client if they're not willing to do inspections. You're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home. What's six-or-seven hundred dollars to create a checklist of future repairs you might want to make? That checklist is that same checklist that you can send back to the seller and explain to them that your not willing to move forward on their home until these are taken care of.
So, absolutely you need to do inspections. I will not represent a client without one. Let me know your questions, I love the questions! Leave me a comment below.
How Much Do I Need to Put Down?Hello from Real Estate Land!
Andrew from Overland Park sent me a message last night with a great question: “How much do I have to put down on a house?” Great, great question. I would love to tell you that I am the official end all be all expert on that answer... but it’s a little bit up to your mortgage broker.
Your mortgage broker is someone who will sit down with you, tell you the ins and outs, the appropriate things to do with the mortgage, and through that conversation, you will best understand if you should I put 5 percent down, 10 percent down, or even 20 percent down.
As a general rule, to answer the question, three and a half percent down is the down payment required for an FHA mortgage. A conventional mortgage ranges anywhere from 5 percent up to 20 percent. Now, if you feel a little aggressive and you want to put 30 percent down, you can do that as well. Once you cross that 20 percent down threshold you no longer pay PMI known as private mortgage insurance. That is a separate insurance policy to protect the lender (the mortgage holder actually) to make sure the home does a drop in value.
Great, great question. You can put three and a half up to 20 percent down. There are a few little programs that are zero down but they're a little trickier to qualify for. Thanks so much for the question, Andrew. I hope you leave me a comment below.
Can I Include a Carpet Allowance?Hello from Real Estate Land, we had a great question this morning.
Lauren of Leawood's question was “my carpet’s pretty rough, can I just give a carpet allowance?” I get this question all the time. The answer is No.
A carpet allowance signifies to the buyer that we one, did not maintain our home; two, we're not willing to change it out and make it impressive for the buyer; and three, illustrates that it's not a good home to buy. A carpet allowance, like I tell many clients, is like checking into a hotel room and saying “can I get a discount for dirty sheets, please?” No, not an option.
If you want to follow the Plan, and if you want to get across the finish line to get your house sold, we put in new carpet. I can also put a strobe light on your ceiling or your rooftop and indicate this is a bad house with bad carpet and draw attention to it because in the remarks it says ‘three thousand dollar carpet allowance’. My first question is what about the furnace? What about the rug? What else didn't you maintain? So, can you do a carpet allowance? Not on my Plan.
But my Plan sells houses. Thanks, Lauren.
Do I Need a Relocation Specialist?Hello from Real Estate Land!
Great question this week. Emily from California emailed me on Monday and said “I'm moving from California. Do I need a Relocation Specialist?”
My answer is you don't have to have a Relocation Specialist with a certain qualification or code at the end of their name.
What you need is an advocate.
You need someone that understands the trials, tribulations, and stresses of moving from California to Kansas City. Someone that takes you from start to finish. And I don't just mean move in to the house and give you keys.
We specialize in our client concierge level of service that is over the top. We have done more relocation than most agents do in a career, and we just did that last year. And we love it.
If you need a dog groomer in Blue Springs, I've got it. You want to meet the principal in the Shawnee Mission School District? Call me! You want to know the history of the Plaza and be on the inside scoop of the restaurant scene that's up and coming? Go with me!
So do you need a Relocation Specialist?
You need someone that specializes in your interests and has absolute knowledge of our city. Great question, Emily. And, by the way, I look forward to picking you up at the airport next week!
What is an FHA Mortgage?Hello again from Real Estate Land.
Great question this week. I get this question all the time. Ashley from Lawrence sent me a text this morning, “What is an FHA mortgage?” This is a great question.
First off FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration. Most people think it stands for First Time Homebuyers. It stands for Federal Housing Administration. Three important bullets to know about this type of mortgage.
One: it allows a lower credit score. So your credit score can be less than par and still get a mortgage.
Two: It allows for a higher debt to income ratio. So for example, if you're coming out of college your income hasn't skyrocketed yet but you still have some college debt, you can still get a mortgage.
And then, of course, the third thing is that it allows for a gift. So mom, dad, brother, uncle could gift you the three and a half percent down mandatory down payment. So it's only three and a half percent down and that can be a gift. So the argument virtually is you can buy a house with nothing down. If somebody gifts you the downpayment, your debt to income ratios are a little askew, your credit score is a little bit lower... you're still buying a house and I'm still your agent.
So call me! An FHA mortgage does come with additional terms and most consumers fear the inspection requirements. They're no different than anything else. If it's so bad that we can't get an FHA mortgage on it, I'm not selling you the house anyway. Call me.
Can Real Estate Agents Lie?Hello from Real Estate Land! We've got a great question this week. Jason following his instructions left a comment below and had a great question. If you have a question you’d like Blake to answer, please leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to do that for you!
So this week, the question is, can a real estate agent lie?
Well, the answer is I guess so. I mean anybody can lie. That's not what we're searching for in our industry! If you feel like your agent has lied to you confront them. Start right upfront with them. If that is not successful go to their broker. The Broker is like the parents of the office if you will. They oversee the agents make sure everything is being done correctly.
If for some reason, the Broker is not successful in resolving your complaint, there are two entities you can turn to:
The Missouri Real Estate Commission and the Kansas Real Estate Commission.
Nobody likes to get a phone call from those people, it's not fun!
These Real Estate Commissions are entities designed to protect the consumer. If you have an issue or you have a concern go to them.
If that doesn't solve it, call me. Let's talk about it! Let's get to the bottom of it! It's amazing what an outside party can do in terms of research and the number one detrimental effect an agent has if they lie is their reputation. I know agents that lie and I watch them and they're destroying their reputation on a daily basis.
We love your questions and answers, visit www.blakenelson.com for the latest on Kansas City real estate, or leave a comment below with your Real Estate questions!