- Having lived in the Columbus, Ohio area 14 years. I have owned a few properties in Columbus, Dublin, and Galena, Ohio. Most recently; sold two houses in 2020 and purchased another.
- I have partnered with Nth Degree on purchases and selling the properties. The are a lot of real estate agents and Nth Degree provides staging, amazing marketing, and personal connection that makes the difference in real estate transactions. Growing up in a family business of building houses and selling houses; I have been consistently blown away with Neal and Jeff (and their team) on transformation and advice on selling and buying.
- In case you don’t know how sites like Zillow and Realtor.com work: Realtors pay (and pay BIG ) to get in the rotation for Zillow. They buy a portion of a zip code/s and in turn when you call Zillow to get information on a listing, they farm it out on rotation to one of the realtors who “owns” that zip code. If you already have a realtor that you are going to use or work with, please call them and not Zillow! The realtor who answers your call and potentially takes you out to look at a house, does so with the hope that you will buy something using them and therefore get a commission from the sale. That’s how it works. Zillow does not pay any realtor to answer Zillow calls or questions or show a house requested through Zillow. This kind of situation is high on the list of realtor frustrations! If you have a realtor, call them or a member of their team.
- If you are buying a house, you do not want to talk to the listing agent! Why would you? The listing agent has a fiduciary duty to the Seller. A Buyer needs to have an advocate for them. It is a big challenge for an agent to put the needs of two clients with opposing agendas both first! This is called Dual Agency and it happens and some Realtors even encourage it because it is most likely financially beneficial to them, but if you have been brainwashed into thinking you only want to talk to the listing agent realtor, you need to de-program yourself and make the better decision to get yourself a good Buyers agent who will represent YOU and YOUR interests above their Seller whom they already have a contract with!
- Writing a contract in 2020
- If you are looking to buy a home today, there is a good chance that you are going to be in a bidding war. We used to say this only applied to a certain price points but not necessarily so anymore. Inventory is low and interest rates are the lowest they have ever been. At this point the old rule of supply and demand kicks in and causes multiple interests in many homes.
- If you are going to write a contract, consider addressing these points:
- Can you pay cash? Cash offers always take a priority with a Seller
- Expect to pay more then the asking price. That’s just how it is! I recently had a great property that was fully updated in a nice neighborhood. There were 42 showings over 3 days and 20 offers!
- Expect to react FAST. Be prepared. If you are financing this purchase, make sure you are pre-approved with a reputable lender. Many homes today are going into contract in less then 48 hours. You no longer have the pleasure of scheduling second or third showings and “thinking” about it. If you want it, you will need to react quickly!
- Expect there to be multiple offers
- Buying a property “As Is”. If it makes sense, you may consider writing a purchase contract “As Is”. You still will want to do an inspection. If the inspection results produce normal minor items to be repaired, you forgo that and absorb the cost yourself. If something is alarming or unexpected, you can still terminate the contract based on the inspection results but the Seller will know that they are not going to be asked to repair multiple items possibly totaling thousands of dollars.
- Waiving the appraisal or a willingness to cover a shortage in an appraisal. If you are able to bring cash to the closing in case the home appraises for less then the purchase price, you may want to do this. In today’s bidding wars, there is a greater possibility that the home may not appraise for the contract purchase price. If that happens in a financed deal, you may need to cover the difference between the purchase price and the appraised number, re-negotiate the purchase price, or cancel the contract.
- Escalation clauses are very popular these days. Some Realtors hate them and refuse to allow them. In an escalation clause, you write the contract for a certain price and then agree to offer an amount above the highest offer up to your max number. The Realtor has to be able to provide the competing offer that engaged the escalation. You will need to be comfortable paying the max price in case it goes all the way to that number which may be $20 – 30,000 or more then your original bid based on the number of competitive offers!
- Home Warrantees. You can always get a home warranty but this may not be the time to ask the Seller to pay for one – you may need to absorb that cost yourself.
- Offering some time after closing for the Seller to vacate. You may not be able to take possession at closing which has been common recently. This is a Sellers market so they are going to be calling most of the shots. It is more convenient for the Seller to have a few days after the closing and they have their money in hand to move out.
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