Jim Valentine: Assorted real-world questions
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates
Should we change the carpet or give a carpet allowance?
When listing homes, we are often asked about giving the buyer credits for things such as carpet, paint, roof, etc. They are visual things that can have an impact on value if they are in need of replacement, but it can be chancy if you make the change in other than neutral colors. There is also the risk that whatever you put in they will replace anyway, so the chances of recovering the money you put into the changes are reduced.
Giving the buyer a credit for such needed changes can be good for both parties and it shows the seller is aware of the deficiency and is crediting it so the buyer can mitigate the item with the colors and quality of buyer’s choice. You can also simply reduce the price accordingly. An active buyer will recognize the price is favorable and there are costly items that must be addressed. In such situations, the buyer’s agent might call to confirm with the listing agent that the price was adjusted due to the need for a new roof, or whatever the case may be. The ensuing conversation helps the agents establish their position for the base of the negotiations.
Should we leave the refrigerator and washer/dryer?
That will vary according to the actual appliances. If you have a large Sub-Zero fridge that matches the home, you will likely leave that. If you are moving across the country, you might want to buy a new one at your destination instead of moving it. If it looks good and will help the home sell, leave it. You can discuss options with your agent. You might not include it in your listing agreement, but would consider leaving it on the right terms.
Regardless, they are personal property and are not a part of the real estate transaction unless specifically included by the listing offering or the offer negotiations.
Can we just use the MLS printout to include personal property in the sale?
No, it is information provided for people to see what the seller is offering, but if you want to include things that are mentioned in it, i.e. the riding lawn mower, etc., be sure to include it in your offer contract. Some agents attach the MLS printout to the contract, but things change so it is best to be specific in your contract and not rely on something that may not reflect the property’s condition on the day you saw it. Contract for what you saw when you viewed the home.
There is another offer, what should we do?
Do what is best for you and your family. If you want to write an offer, do so and make it as good as you are comfortable with. Don’t get caught up in auction frenzy. Try to give yourself some separation from the market, but don’t chase it unless it is underpriced or there are other redeeming values that you are willing to pay for. If you get beat out, consider making a backup offer. Things happen and you might just find yourself in the primary position before you know it.
Should we stay or leave during a showing?
That can go either way. Some properties are a bit complicated and having an owner around can be helpful. Some buyers want to look in the closets and drawers but are reluctant to do so with the owner home. It is going to be property- and person-specific. Some sellers help their situation. Others really hurt themselves. Don’t follow the buyer around panting like you are desperate to sell. Be quiet and self-absorbed, readily available. If they have a question, they’ll ask and you can engage in conversation.
Our advice: The only stupid question is the one not asked. No two situations in real estate are the same. Always look at the options and consult your agent about which may be the best thing for you to do. If you are clear in your purpose, wants, and needs, the right thing will happen for you and your family.
If you are thinking of a question, it is likely others have thought of the same thing. Ask your agent and process the answer for your circumstances.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs … Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.carsonvalleyland.com.