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Selling our home.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Pallet Pete, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Bottom line, something is worth only what someone else will pay for it. Sale prices have dropped, true, but that also means the home you are buying will be lower priced, too.

    Good for you for resisting the high pressure realtor.

    When your house is on the market, your valuables should be stored elsewhere. People often pose as buyers to "case the joint", or outright steal items while the realtor is distracted (if he even cares). I'm not trying to add to your stress, but that's a fact of life today.

    Case in point: My MIL (86 years old) got a high pressure call yesterday for someone to come over today to clean her chimney. She buckled and said yes. We notified the police, and they will be looking for these guys. Dirtbags are everywhere, just looking for an opportunity.

    So, all of your valuables, including prescription drugs, should be secured.
    ScotO and Pallet Pete like this.

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  2. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    good luck, Pete....I hope all works out for you. Are you taking your wood hoard with you? If not, that massive pile has GOT to be worth a few thousand on the final sale of the house!!;)

    It just sucks that you have to sell the house after all the work (insulation, stove, etc) you've put into it in the past couple of years......
    PapaDave, Pallet Pete and raybonz like this.
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Wow it costs that much for a big shed here lol..
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    That is totally true!!

    At least the house you may buy down the road also got slammed!

    Banks will sometimes require and appraisal of the house. But that all depends on how much downpayment the buyer has. The financial institution will simply want to try and cover their rear ends to make sure that should someone foreclose on a house, they can get their money back (or most of it).

    Good luck Pete, you seem to have your ducks lined up!

    Andrew
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  5. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I second the independent appraisal. If there was a bidding war for property, a realtor might promise you more than the house is worth. However, when they're is an abundance of listings the same unscrupulous behavior will flip the other way. My own experience with realtors is less than encouraging. We bought + sold with the same realtor 5 years ago and if i had taken her "professional opinion" I would have lost 40k on the sale of my house and paid 35k more for the house we bought. She was MORE THAN $75,000.00 off, and she was the best realtor I've ever hired. Many are a lot worse. My advice to you is there is nothing (NOTHING!) he/she can do for you that you can't do for yourself in about 3-4 hours with an internet connection. At the very least you need to know if they know what they're doing.

    Something to check out before hiring an appraiser.

    1.) Go to the town assessor and find out what the houses in your neighborhood average per square foot. Your town knows how much your house is worth compared to your neighbors. Then take an honest assessment of your own property. Add/subtract accordingly. If you know what it costs for a new deck, a pool, a bad roof, etc. The math isn't rocket science.
    2.) You can also find out recent sales in your area to give you the "going rate" for your home. Unless you're talking acreage or waterfront, this is the #1 consideration when pricing the home.
    3.) They (assessors) look for "direct comparisons, and the house is the house. However, someone on a dead end street or cul-de-sac has a much better location than someone on the main street. Ask for the comps and then drive by those houses. You'd be AMAZED sometimes what a difference that can make when the realtor is informed that the house he/she used as a comp was adjacent to the sewer plant.

    Your realtor may indeed know his/her business, and may be giving you sound advice regarding the short sale. However, be weary of anyone promising you a deal when your house is not listed on the open market. Friends know friends at the bank, and those friends know other people who buy houses. Sometimes they're even married to them! Shady business......

    Good luck with the move.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  6. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Ok...we're in NY so it will vary. We were both realtors for a brief period, it's a NASTY business. and hard to pay the bills with, with crappy hours to boot.

    We had to take extensive training. There are a lot of laws to comply with. For instance, lead based paint and property condition disclosures.

    We bought the cottage FSBO...well, sort of. We wrote the owner a letter and asked if he wanted to sell and he did. The PO actually failed to provide certain documents he legally was supposed to AND he had an attorney. We didn't bother with it though, we knew what we were buying. Ours didn't catch it either, lol.

    FSBO can be done. You will need to do showing when asked, and agents will try not to show them. ALTHOUGH if you agree to pay buyers agent fees, they might be ok with it. Sellers usually pay the commission, with FSBOs a lot of times, they won't which is why agents don't like showing them. If you want to go that route, I would use a service with guarantees that they will provide you the correct documentation as well as support.

    Agents only make money when they sell a house. If you want to go with a agent, dump that one. A new agent might be better in your situation, they are anxious to get a listing. Short sales are a PITA for agents too, I'm surprised she pushed you that way.

    Ask to see comps, and see if you can check on some yourself. Check out houses in your area for sale.

    As far as the house, staging is important. Clean, neat and tidy. Remove clutter, personal stuff. Neutral colors.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  7. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    +1 on the appraisal.

    Tax credit for the loss on your residence? No way. Nor can you deduct the loss. See IRS pub 523. Download a copy so you know the tax implications and consequences of selling and buying.

    An attorney can be a never ending money sucking hole. Things to watch out for when FSBO:

    Buyer insists on using a contract drawn up by his attorney. The attorney naturally slants the contract in all manner of ways in order to protect his client. You will either have to negotiate it yourself or pay your lawyer to do it for you. Figure $200 an hour or more. Your lawyer better be a real estate attorney too, or you will get screwed. Even if he is a real estate attorney, you might still get screwed.

    Buyer's lawyer wants you to sign lots of disclosures that aren't required by law. Bend over first if you do.

    Your lawyer has to travel to the courthouse, settlement location, or elsewhere on your behalf. That will be at his billable rate plus expenses, both ways. Get a local real estate attorney. The closer his office is to the courthouse, the better.

    Buyer's lawyer (or worse, your lawyer) wants to negotiate the deal lawyer to lawyer, all at the billable rate, of course. Some lawyers bill brief phone calls at 25% of the hourly billable rate. A few calls can run up quite a bill.

    Buyer's lawyer owns the title company and/or escrow/closing agency. Expect paperwork you know nothing about to be put in front of you at closing time. You will either have to walk or sign it without legal advice. If the buyer's lawyer owns the escrow agency, the buyer will effectively control the earnest money.

    I have run into every one of these situations. Fortunately, I know how to read a contract and have been able to negotiate the deal without my lawyer being involved. Only when everything is negotiated and the buyer has signed do I run it by my attorney. So far, I have come out smelling like a rose, because I insisted on doing it my way. And I have walked out of a closing because they tried to pull a last minute stunt.

    I suggest you interview at least two more agents. The standard recommendation is to interview three. There are more than a few bad agents out there.

    Oh, lastly, as an example of a really stupid thing to do, someone I know once hired a real estate attorney who was located 90 miles away, because he was an important and powerful lawyer in the big city. The travel bills alone were staggering.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  8. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. IMO, putting pictures of your home out there and opening it up to strangers is the risk, regardless of who is listing it.
    eclecticcottage and Pallet Pete like this.
  9. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Due to the overwhelming support for an indapendant appraisal I am going to set one up for the near future before we go any farther with this. I will keep you all posted !

    Thanks guys
    Pete
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  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Good call Pete. It seems these people have sold houses on numerous occasions and have learned from it. I think their advice is great!

    A
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  11. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest


    Our intention is to put everything we don't need in storage so we don't have any issues with major theft. O ya one more selling point we have an insanely loud alarm system !

    Pete
    heat seeker, ScotO and raybonz like this.
  12. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    Not trying to beat a dead horse, but my point is the FSBO will present a risk without opening it up to strangers. The Realtor listed home does not.
  13. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Please explain ?

    Pete
  14. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    Will that include your furniture? Bare houses are much harder to sell than those that have furniture in them.
  15. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    No we will live here until it sells so the essentials will be here but not all our belongings.

    Pet
  16. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    With a Realtor listed house, the owner's work and/or travel habits should never be discussed with a potential buyer. There is no way that the listing itself informs would be thieves that no one will be home at any given time, nor does scheduling a showing. All the buyer knows is part of the Realtors schedule, not the seller's.

    However, a FSBO requires that the owner discuss the time or times that the house will be available for showing with a total stranger, since the owner must be present to show it. This will be done over the phone. The seller has no way to know if the caller is legitimate or not. Would be thieves can easily use that information to infer or outright know when the house will be vacant. It's simple deductive reasoning. Note that the would be thief accomplishes this without ever seeing the house or revealing his true identify ahead of time.

    Of course the seller could insist on face to face meeting with the buyer in neutral place (coffee shop or such) before discussing a showing, but that would put off most potential buyers.
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If nothing else I would get another realtor involved to see what he/she says and gives you for a price . . . here where I live there are two real estate companies in town: one is very low-key and has prices that are realistic and properties move quickly while the other is more corporate with consistently higher price tags. Two very different companies that I have no doubt in my mind would give me two very different appraisals for the same home.
  18. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    And I happen to disagree. Easy enough to drive by your house periodically and learn your habits if someone is hell bent on breaking into your house. In fact, it's leaving far less evidence than if they actually called you. If you're listing in on various sites, the address is already known.

    I lived in a neighborhood where breaking into my home undetected would have been damn near impossible. Now, I've got an alarm on my home. If you've got some statistics to support your assertion that home sold by owners vs homes sold by realtors are more prone to burglaries, I'll concede the point.

    Pick times that work for you to show the place and stick with those and don't offer anything more than that unless it's follow up visits. You have control over the information you disseminate.
  19. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    After reading all these posts I need Prozac! I think I am losing my mind.. I would find a reputable realtor and negotiate a percentage with them then go from there. This is way more complicated than it needs to be! Pete I am sure your home is worth more than 40K$ hell my land is worth more than this alone, MUCH more! In a lean market you have much more leverage as a consumer (seller) and it makes sense for the realtor to get as much as possible to increase their profits! Shop and ask around and you should find someone to get the job done for a reasonable price.. I think Hogz nailed it down perfectly!

    Ray
  20. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I disagree. A thief is a thief is a thief. When it's on the market, there are pics. It's not hard to figure out when someone isn't home. If you're going FSBO, ask for prequal letter or proof of funds up front. Don't get into scheduling a showing until they can provide that. It's not just a matter of dealing with potential thieves, but lookie looes that can't afford it or just feel like looking at it with no real intention of buying.

    Our lawyer gave us an upfront rate for closing. There were no additional billable hours, etc.

    If you do go FSBO, don't let the lawyers do all the negotiating. We had an issue with the PO's and our lawyers getting into it over the septic test. Each was trying to protect their respective client's interest, but all it ended up doing was getting us and the PO frustrated. Luckily we were in contact with him, so we went around the lawyers and negotiated a solution we were both happy with. He thanked us for contacting him because he was getting frustrated and thought we were behind the issue, when it was our lawyer. He wasn't emotionally attached, but still, he didn't want to feel like he was getting screwed.

    Home buying and selling is pretty emotional. That's the hardest part of FSBOs as a buyer. We made an offer on a one that was really hard, because it had been hers/her husbands and he did a lot of work-before he passed away. She was asking too much $$, because her emotional attachment was built into the price. That was a hard offer to make, to try to word it carefully. It was rejected...and I think it's rented now and she never sold it.
    jdp1152 likes this.
  21. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Find one that charges a flat fee, ours did. Also, in NY, you legally need one for closing. I don't think we paid a lot more for closing on the Cottage than our Old House and we used an agent for our old house.

    Also, carefully read any contract a realtor asks you to sign when listing. Sometimes you will be locked in with them for a year, whether or not they work hard for you.
  22. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Location, location, location. It might be what his area sells for. We're on the lake and our land is assessed below $40k. People come from NYC and Toronto to buy up property here because it's cheap compared to what they are used to. Usually the way overpriced properties sell to out of towners because even over priced, they seem cheap, lol. Michigan took a heavy beating when the market dropped.
    raybonz likes this.
  23. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Maybe the CL add for free Red Maple down south Massachusetts way will calm you down. Don't recall exactly where, just too far for me to venture to get it.
  24. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I agree location IS everything! I'd rather have a crappy home in a good neighborhood than a great home in a bad neighborhood anyday! Timing is also very important when you buy and/or sell..

    Ray
  25. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    LOL sounds good where is it located?

    Ray
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