Understanding fixtures and personal property in a real estate sale

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That perfect light fixture set off just the look you were aiming for when you when redecorated your living room.  As you are getting your home ready for the market you become reluctant to pack it up even though you have no plans of leaving it.

Now you are torn between the “staging effect” it can have on a buyer and the possibility of the light fixture becoming a negotiable item even though you state in your owners disclosure that it is not remaining and will be replaced with another fixture of the buyers choice within a stated allowance.

My suggestion is to remove it, because it may become the one item that tipped a buyer in your favor, and chances are they would have still offered to buy your home without it because the most important things like size, price and location are what they are really shopping for. Once a buyer sees it and likes it they will want it.

A stand alone lamp in the same room would be considered personal property but since the overhead light is attached by permanent wires it is considered a fixture and the buyer may assume it is included.

Both buyers and sellers alike overlook items and get surprised at a final walk though when they discover something must stay or go.  Some of the most common items I have re-negotiated at a final hour of closing the sale are:

  • Light fixtures
  • Mailboxes
  • Flowers and trees
  • Flower pots
  • Garden trellises
  • Fireplace mantles
  • Appliances
  • Portable appliances such as a water softeners, floor heaters , window unit air conditioner, humidifiers
  • Room size area rugs
  • Shelving units and bookcases that stand alone
  • Decorative light switch plates
  • Window treatments (blinds may stay but the curtains are removed)
  • Decorative faucets
  • Lawn ornaments
  • Window flower boxes
  • Garden hoses
  • Outdoor buildings (sheds)
  • Security systems (the owner may be obligated to a lease)

The easy solution to avoid these misunderstandings is a careful review of the checklist on a  owners disclosure statement regarding the items remaining with a home.  Also, a review of any exclusions on the Real Estate agents listing sheet, and always address any item of question in the purchase and sale agreement.  If there is an item of personal property that works well with a home a buyer can always ask for it or purchase it from the owner and note it on a personal property agreement.

Happy home buying and selling…:)

photo compliments of :https://pixabay.com/en/users/ChellyRika-3711680/

 

 

 

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Not so scary haunted homes

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Most people enjoy a frightening fireside story about a haunted house.  Stretch your imagination a bit let’s talk about the friendly ghost in a home that occupants typically learn to live with and accept their presence.

Yes, they can be disruptive walking around the house at night turning on lights or opening doors and cabinets but other than that most folks get used to having them around.

Some people say that they follow a family if they move, others say they act up when a new family moves in just to claim their spot.

Whatever your ghost story, take it as a compliment because if you were not a “good spirit” they would not want to be there with you.

Happy Halloween, stay kind you never know who might pop in for a visit.

For more information on the most Haunted homes in America: http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/holidays/americas-scariest-homes-real-life-haunted-houses-pictures

photo compliments of: https://pixabay.com/en/halloween-haunted-house-ghosts-149222/

 

 

 

 

Life is good on the farm

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Old homes are such a treat to tour.  It’s just so cool to see how folks managed without all the modern improvements. If I lived here the porch just might be my favorite place, especially in the rain with the pitter patter of a good southern rain storm.

 

For sale or “on sale”, when is a good time to buy or sell a home

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The first thing that came to my mind when I read a post by a local real estate agent on social media  saying that we were in a “hot market”, was to take my sign down.  I still had packing , downsizing and could not get out that quick.  Real estate markets vary by location and are driven mostly by economic factors in an area that influence supply and demand.

Here are my tips to make it easy for you to know how your area is performing.

Hot market

  • Real estate agents in your area have ready, willing and able buyers just waiting for a new listing to hit the MLS, due to very low inventory
  • The list price is generally the starting price and buyers bid up
  • Quick closings, as buyers are mortgage ready or have cash, closing within 30 days
  • Buyers are scouting the neighborhood and when your sign goes up they leave a note on your door with an offer
  • Your agent will hold a “public open house” and state a time and date that you are open to review offers
  • Buyers will make an offer without coming into town or viewing the home

Sellers market

  • Homes sell at list price
  • Prices are stable or increasing
  • Buyer incentives paid by seller are added onto the list price
  • Seller offers few repairs only necessary to obtain financing and may ask buyer for a contribution
  • Low inventory
  • Start of the selling season, defined by your local area trends
  • Average days on the market are less than 60

Buyers market

  • Prices decreasing in an area
  • Average days on the market are more than 60
  • Sellers are advertising price reductions
  • Sellers are offering buyer incentives such as loan closing fees without increasing the price
  • Sellers are offering other incentives such as new appliances, repairs and cosmetic updates
  • Homes on the market at the end of a selling season, like late fall or the beginning of a school year depending on your area trends

Working with a real estate professional and having a market analysis prepared for the area you are planning  to buy or sell will easily give you this information.

Happy home buying and selling 🙂 It’s a piece of cake

 

 

Shopping for real estate in inclement weather ☔️

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A poor weather forecast may be one of the best times to look at a property that you have an interest in  purchasing.  An abundance of information may be clearly noticed during different types of extreme weather.  During the buying  process knowing these things ahead of time will enable you to budget for issues that may need attention early in your ownership.

Here are some things you can easily discover:

  • Leaks in the roof, chimney, ceiling vents or around the windows
  • Water intrusion in a basement, garage, or enclosed porch areas
  • A sagging roof from the weight of snow
  • Loose roofing shingles during heavy wind
  • Insufficient drainage on the property
  • Air drafts in the fireplace, door and window areas
  • Heating and cooling units not efficiently adjusting the room temperature
  • Slow plumbing drainage
  • Instability of the ground , wash outs
  • Crackling tree limbs with high winds
  • Exterior sloping of driveways and sidewalks that may be difficult to manage with ice and snow

If you are working with a real estate agent ask them what issues are commonly found in the area.  They can help you work through any concerns and ask your home inspector to make suggestions of areas that you can keep an eye on to avoid common problems. You will also be able to make an informative decision on any extra insurance that you may want to carry.

Happy puddle jumping 🙂

 

The high and low tides of owning a beach rental

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Like many vacationers you probably have visited one of the beautiful coastlines in the USA. It’s so hard to leave when the week is over, so here are some tips to get you on the path to owning your own little piece of paradise.

To begin you have to decide where to buy.  I like to suggest somewhere that is easily accessible to your home since you will want to enjoy it as much as possible for yourself.
Decide on a price point within your budget and prepare for cost that you would not consider when purchasing a primary home. After those decisions are made determine your short and long term goals especially if this will eventually be a retirement home. There are many vacation rental sites that can offer assistance to determine market value of seasonal rates for selected areas.
Owner expenses to consider:
Mortgage fees may be higher and a larger down payment may be required for a second home and real estate investments.
State and Local property taxes
Resort taxes
Tourism taxes
Parking permit fees
Homeowners association or Owners Regime membership dues
Property Insurance that may include flood and wind
Special assessments for compliance of exterior maintenance and architecturally approved appearance
Utility cost
Mandatory utility charges such as a community wifi and or cable company
Recreation use fees for yourself or your visitors
Permit fees for repair or remodeling contractors
Business license fees if you are going to use your property for short term rentals
Local taxes on the rental income you receive
Advertising cost for your rental
Cleaning and laundry fees

Reserve for replacing appliances and furnishings as needed
Rental management fees
Reserve for vacancies and cancellations

Not all of the above may apply but are noted to assist you in making an informed purchase

Owner benefits:

Collect the rent and pay the bills!

With good planning you’ll own a piece of your vacation paradise with no reservation required!

“Old Fashioned” way to sell still works

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Throughout the years techniques used to attract home buyers continuously changed with new trends coming in a old ideas never leaving.
Since real estate internet sites have now surpassed the “for sale sign” as the most effective way for a buyer to find a property listing a lot of effort is put into making the ad look attractive.
The use of photography has evolved from a front view placed in the newspaper, on to virtually tours and now the use of cameras on a drone to showcase a listing.
All of these methods are definite time savers for a buyer
and can easily shorten their “must see” list.
If you are the seller of a property keep in mind that whatever is photographed does not go to a limited audience. Once it hits the internet not only prospective buyers are looking at what you have to sell.  Co-workers, relatives, your neighbors, school friends, church friends and on and on will be able to step into your personal space.  Take the time to discuss this with your agent and consider areas of your home or property that you would not be comfortable with anyone other than a prospective buyer viewing.
Regardless of how the property is presented the one thing that never changes is the price being in balance with the value. A property that is priced in line with the current market values for the location and condition is the most effective way to have a successful sale in a reasonable amount of time.  Over priced properties will be a great challenge to sell for the asking price regardless of how many billboards, magazine ads, virtual tours, websites they are advertised on….

Advertised pricing based on the condition and location= sold!