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The seller’s inspection: Inspecting a home before listing can be a good move

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You take good care of your home and when you are ready to sell, why have it inspected? After all, the buyer will have an inspection before the deal.

Should you save the $350 to $500 it costs to have an inspection and hope for the best?

Maybe not. It might well pay for a seller have a home inspection before they list.

Sellers who have owned a home for some years might not recognize problems that have cropped up. If they were to keep their home, they would eventually discover and fix these issues. But, during the sale process, home issues can be a nasty surprise and delay or even kill a deal.

The business of selling a home and buying a new one is tricky enough but when a good offer is on the table, at just the time they are buying a new home, sellers don’t want the deal to fall through. Since most deals are contingent on inspection, a potential buyer can always opt out if their own inspection uncovers issues. That starts the sale process over in a big way, with the seller being forced to address problems and the buyer potentially moving on.

Inspectors take a close look at the home’s inner health in 10 areas: Interior and exterior, structure, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and fireplaces.

These detailed evaluations can identify the kind of problems that are easily fixed, but might cost the seller money and delays after the buyer’s inspection.

On roofs, for example, inspectors study shingles, flashings, roof drainage, skylights and chimneys. A seller might not want to put on a new roof, but repairing the flashings and roof gutters puts your house in a solid light. Buyers might not expect a new roof, but they don’t want to find leaks.

There are a variety of specific things that a home inspection can look for, depending on individual concerns. For example, a radon inspection checks a home for levels of radioactive gas and takes between two and seven days to complete. Termite inspection looks for damage to the wood structures of a home. With homes that have a well for water, well water testing is another option; for homes with a septic or oil tank, examination of those structures may be part of an inspection as well.

A general inspection should consider the condition of the roof, the water pressure and plumbing, electrical outlets and switches, and the crawl space and attic, according to HGTV.

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Warren County Market Report – August 2020

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Seller’s Market continues. Prices remain higher than we have seen in a long time. This month there are not as many new listings, but the number of homes that have CLOSED this month is more than double than last year. With the excitement is a feeling of… oh boy, I hope we steady out soon. Prices can not continue to go up at this pace without serious consequences at a later date (in my opinion).

Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for August 2020. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are DOWN -11.%.
  2. New Pending UP 26.4%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 58.9%
  4. Average Median Sold $265,000
  5. Average Days on Market 40

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com.

Resource: August 2020 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated September 2020

Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”

BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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4 common home pricing adages to ignore

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It can be difficult to price your home. While you’re likely to get a lot of well-meaning advice, here are four commonly shared pricing adages you should ignore.

1. A better offer will always come along
When looking at an offer from a potential buyer, it’s normal to wonder if someone else would be willing to pay more for the house. While it’s possible, it’s not a certainty. In contrast, the offer you’re looking at is real. Unless it’s unfair, it’s better to accept it than to hold out for a higher bid that may never come.

2. A quick offer means the price is too low

It’s likely that your agent put a lot of time and energy into researching the market in order to advise you on pricing. Getting a quick offer doesn’t mean the home was underpriced. Plus, markets usually self-correct when a property is priced too low, which means that if you truly underpriced your home, you’ll likely get many competing and increasingly high bids.

3. You should give yourself room to negotiate
Pricing your home above market value so you have room to negotiate may seem like a good idea. However, most buyers won’t entertain making an offer on a property that’s clearly overpriced. You may ultimately have to drop the amount more than once, which is likely to harm your position for negotiating.

4. You can roll the renovation costs into the price
Sellers sometimes think that renovating a home before putting it on the market will pay for itself. The truth is, flashy kitchen and bathroom remodel will likely have a limited return on investment and the amount isn’t always easy to recoup in the price of the home.

Selling a house is a difficult process. Make it easier by not following bad advice.

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5 problems an attic inspection might reveal

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When it comes to getting a home inspection, the attic isn’t usually a top priority. However, it’s important to get it checked before making an offer. Here are five major attic issues an inspection might reveal.

1. Structural damage. A roof inspection won’t show structural defects in the rafters or trusses. However, cracks in the supports could signal serious issues down the road.

2. Fire damage. An inspection of the rafters might indicate that there was a fire in the past. Scorched, sooty wood is a clear sign, and rafters that have been painted over can also signal that there’s something wrong.

3. Water damage. Water stains on supports or rafters might indicate there’s a leak in the roof. If left alone, this can cause parts of the structure to rot. Extensive repairs may be needed to fix the problem.

4. Poor insulation. Attic insulation is a key component in making a home energy efficient. Ask your inspector to determine if the insulation is properly installed and in good shape.

5. Pests. Animal droppings are a clear sign that the attic is home to critters such as possums or squirrels. Pests can gnaw insulation and wires, thereby causing significant damage.

Remember, not every attic is easy to access. Some sellers may be reluctant to let the inspector check it, but it’s important to get it looked at nonetheless.

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6 things to fix before selling your home

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If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, make sure to fix these six things first. This way you’ll avoid possibly undoing a sale following a home inspection.

1. Foundation issues. Problems with the foundation can undermine a potential sale. Look for cracks in the walls or ceiling as they can indicate that the foundation has shifted. Get problems repaired as soon as possible.

2. Water damage. Any sign of water damage, no matter how benign the cause, is likely to alarm potential buyers. Make sure all stains are removed or painted over once the issue has been resolved.

3. Wiring problems. Home inspectors can easily spot electrical work that isn’t up to code, so you’ll want to make sure everything is in order. Otherwise, you may be asked to pay for repairs.

4. An old roof. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, consider replacing it. Many potential buyers will look elsewhere if the roof needs to be updated.

5. Inefficient heating and cooling. If you have an older heating and cooling system, particularly one that has an oil tank, consider updating it. Many buyers prefer to bid on homes with an energy-efficient system.

6. Plumbing issues. Since even minor plumbing concerns can become big problems, many buyers are unwilling to deal with homes that have them. Get your plumbing inspected — it might save you a lot of trouble.

Bad home inspection surprises can ruin a sale, so be sure to make all essential repairs beforehand.

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Warren County Market Report – July 2020

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Seller’s Market – Moving faster than ever!

You don’t want to miss this month’s market reports. Take the time to review. The market is very strong for listing your home. Houses are selling for top dollar, with multiple offers in the first few days of listing. The market can feel frustrating to qualified buyers because inventory is low compared to the number of buyers who are hunting the market right now. If you have thought about listing, NOW is the time. Be ready to move, the market is fast. How long will it last?

Recommendation to buyers, find yourself an aggressive agent who is available to show and write offers same day if you find the right home. Have your financing in order and a pre-approval letter ready to present with your offer.

Recommendation to sellers, be READY. You will have showings right away. Become educated on loan products so you can pick the right one for your sale if given the options. Don’t hesitate to do your homework and make sure your buyers have solid financing. Lenders are often willing to speak with the seller side to confirm basic questions about their loan and qualifications of the buyer.

Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for July 2020. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 19.6%.
  2. New Pending UP 55.7%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 33.8%
  4. Average Median Sold $275,000
  5. Average Days on Market 44

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com.

Resource: July 2020 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated August 2020

Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”

BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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How to avoid buyer’s remorse

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If you want to buy a home, the fear of regretting your purchase could make it hard to commit to a particular property. Here are some tips for making a good decision and avoiding buyer’s remorse.

Check and double-check your needs list
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you need and want out of a property before you start looking for a new home. When deciding whether to make an offer on a house, check that it meets all of your non-negotiable requirements and that it’s within your budget. Choosing a property that truly meets your needs will help you keep regrets at bay.

Take outside input with a grain of salt

Sometimes avoiding regret means steeling yourself against external influences. Your friends and family probably mean well, but keep in mind that you’re the only one who really knows what you want out of a house.

Trust your real estate agent
One source of advice you should listen to, however, is your realtor. While agents can’t find the right house for you on their own, they can provide you with all the information you need to make a sound choice.

Finally, remember that there’s a difference between wondering if there’s a better house out there and having real concerns. If something about the transaction doesn’t sit well with you or a big issue is uncovered during the inspection, it’s all right to keep looking.

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