Posts Tagged as Buyer Tips

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Bed Bug Issues in Real Estate Sales

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Bed Bug Issues in Real Estate Sales

It’s a nightmare scenario. A buyer moves into their would-be dream home, only to find uninvited residents: bed bugs. As infestations rise nationwide, bed bugs are increasingly affecting real estate sales transactions.

Know the Signs

Bed bugs are equal opportunity pests and “dirty” has nothing to do with it. These masterful menaces hitchhike their way into luxury apartments, suburban homes, even the local library and theater. Though not known to carry disease, their nighttime shenanigans are cause for severe physical and psychological discomfort. How can you identify these pests?

– Like mosquitoes, they come out at night to drink blood, leaving behind itchy red welts on their victims.

– With apple-seed-like bodies, bed bugs hide in the nooks and crannies of mattresses and sheets.

– They often leave behind dark fecal/blood stains on linens, mattresses, box springs, and carpets.

– Pearly-white, pea-sized egg deposits may be found along headboards, electrical plates, baseboards, and window casings.

– White, rice-like, exoskeletons from moltings are often found under area rugs.

Discuss Disclosure Dilemmas:

Seller Beware

Though real estate sales agreements are broad, and don’t typically list bed-bug-specific issues, this doesn’t mean sellers are off the hook. Failure to list a bed bug infestation could be seen as a breach of disclosure of latent defects, leaving sellers liable for litigation.

Buyer Beware

Until states begin to incorporate bed-bug-specific realty regulations, hiring a pest control company, in addition to the typical home inspection, could be money well-spent.

Don’t Delay

If home sellers or new residents come across bed bugs, advise residents to seek professional help ASAP. Some home remedies are dangerous, and tossing bug-ridden items spreads bed bugs to neighbors. Bed bugs reproduce rapidly, and infestations can be costly to treat: $250-900 per room, and up to $5,000 for extreme infestations. Timely treatment is imperative.

Don’t let your career fall victim to bed bug bites. Stay informed on the latest issues effecting real estate sales with Properties Online today.

Real Estate Trends

What to Know About Regions Where Home Prices Are Increasing Faster Than Incomes

It’s no news to agents, real estate trends point to the continued appreciation of home prices. What does this mean for sales?

A Shortage of ‘FOR SALE’ Signs Drives Prices Higher
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Chief Economist noted a lack of listings in the housing market is driving prices higher. Despite already high prices, bidding wars are not uncommon.

Wage Stagnation Complicates Matters
American wage growth is being left far in the rearview, with home prices increasing at staggering levels twice that of income growth. On an annual basis, wages are growing just 2.6%, with a less than expected 0.1% rise in February. Stubbornly stuck, lackluster hourly earnings have been well-documented on government employment reports.

Prices Now Higher than the 2006 Peak Before the Housing Crisis
To add insult to injury for income-strapped buyers, national home prices have risen 6.2% annually based on the most recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller survey, to levels now 6% higher than their peak before the housing crisis.

Lack of Supply Lags On
A housing shortage continues to constrain the market, with the absolute number of units on the market nearing record-low levels. Though homebuyers have tried to step up the pace, new homes are not filling market shelves fast enough. And this insatiable demand is horrifyingly happening before the peak of Millennials entering the housing market.

Mortgage Interest Rate Rises but a Minor Speedbump
In current market conditions, the fact that mortgage rates are at around 4-year highs isn’t offering much relief. Those hoping rising prices are among passing real estate trends are out of luck.

The wave of increased housing demand is expected to continue, bolstering steady growth and affecting the economy over the next 4-5 years. The supply crisis is not letting up, and neither are gains in home values.

What real estate trends are taking their toll on your bottom line? Stay in the game with the help of Properties Online today.

Is Your Home Buying Walk Through Taped for Intel?

Is Your Home Buying Walk Through Taped for Intel?

It seems that sellers are getting increasingly overbearing these days. Real estate trends point to eyes and ears – both literally and figuratively – on potential home buyers. How bad is it? Holy privacy violations and paranoia, Batman, creepy clients are everywhere…

A Sneak Peek

As it turns out, clients nationwide are becoming a bit too voyeuristic. Perhaps social media has the average Sally Seller thinking privacy is relative, but it is now commonplace for a seller to follow a prospective buyer through the home on a home tour, and even install ‘nanny cams’ and other digital security devices in efforts to track potential buyer conversations and actions. Post-Facebook privacy invasion drama, this rise of seller shenanigans is seriously stirring the pot.

Creepy or Crime?

With home media and security devices becoming more prevalent, including ‘smart’ devices like Siri and Alexa keeping an eye on things, it pays to keep clients in the know – even if it means an uncomfortable conversation. Until such time as the legality of such practices comes to the forefront, advising clients to watch their comments is key. You never know what might be recorded – for posterity or bargaining power.

Tips to Avoid Overseeing – and Overpayment

To prevent sellers from potentially using a client’s desire for a home against them in the bargaining process, creating an organizational-wide guide for sellers touring homes is ideal, noting such surveillance devices. On the seller side of the coin? Ask each seller about the presence of equipment, being certain you completely understand the privacy laws in your area.

Hanging a sign on the door forewarning of surveillance is strongly recommended. Because of this real estate trend’s prevalence, the NAR now offers a best practices tutorial on the subject, with state-specific legislation.

Are you keeping an eye on the latest in real estate trends and technology? Keep your career in focus with Properties Online today.

Five Times Bargain Hunting Leads to Buyers Remorse

How to Narrow Your Buyers Choices and Lower Home Shows Before Even Leaving the Office

Tired of driving drudgery? We’ve got the real estate buyer’s agent tips you need to put a stop to those endless showings. Clients may love looking at houses, but you deserve to live a life outside the office.

How Can You Cut Down on the Property Parade?
We’ll look at common scenarios, and workarounds friendly but firm in putting an end to unnecessary showings in these real estate buyer’s agent tips:

Trimming the Looky-Loo List
Clients often want to look at 10-20 homes before deciding on one. Gently explain while pre-Internet that was the way to shop, today’s technology makes it easier to browse properties right from home, with HD photos and video tours increasingly the norm.

Let clients know in today’s market, homes are flying off the shelf fast, putting them at a disadvantage if they kick too may tires. Send them home with a list of homes, having them narrow it down to their top 10, so they don’t waste precious time and lose an opportunity. From there, have them pick the top 5, performing a drive-by. ‘Because smart clients can instantly assess if an area is right for them.’ This will narrow the list further, ensuring a faster offer and better shot at a house your clients will love.

Homing-In on the Details
Before you go, ask clients to speak aloud about their likes/dislikes, so you can better help them eliminate homes from their list. Go over this list when leaving the first home, deciding whether to keep that home on ‘the list.’ Repeat the process, each time weeding out the bottom contender.

Beating the Competition
Remind customers if they continue to look, they may lose their favorite home to competing buyers, stressing the need for a backup home choice.

Put down the keys, and pick up your life with the help of these and other real estate buyer’s agent tips and technology from Properties Online today.

How to Care for Your Buyers

Danger Zones: What You Don’t Know May Just Hurt You

From gas explosions to sinkholes and neighborhood crime, it’s a jungle out there. And whether you’re helping sellers list or helping buyers find the perfect home, it pays to get the details. Failing to do so could come at the expense of your reputation.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Get the 4-1-1 On Home Safety
Use these real estate buying tips to distinguish homes in the danger zone…

• Crime Rates
Check Trulia’s neighborhood guides to detect high crime rates – or simply ask neighbors, who are often a cornucopia of information.

• Flood Zones
Seek out flood zone maps, and beware of ground pitch under homes. Soil should be graded to slope gently away from the home to prevent flooding in storms. Homes located at the bottom of a hill are at additional risk.

• Gas
Contact the local utility to find out if/where larger gas lines are buried in relation to the home.

• Natural Disasters
Contact a local insurance carrier to inquire which natural disasters are common to a potential home site. A move of even a few miles could make a major difference.

• Trees
Often overlooked, trees can cause a good deal of damage, turning a simple rainstorm into a waterfall over a home. Luckily, local arborists or tree specialists often provide free consultations to homeowners/buyers, and can point out issues.

• Seller Disclosures
Though legally required disclosures vary somewhat by state, carefully review disclosure documents, which typically require disclosures regarding:
– Lead paint
– Water damage & mold
– Drainage issues (basement floods, standing water)
– Significant physical issues (foundation, roof leaks, asbestos, radon, etc.)
– Pests (snakes, mice, bats, bedbugs…)
– Neighbor disputes (boundary issues)
– Emotional defects (murder, suicide, violent crime, paranormal activity)

Do you have the real estate buying tips you need to safeguard your clients – and your reputation? Protect yourself with the help of Properties Online today.