Being Happy With 90 Percent
When you’re in a relationship, there will be little quirks that your partner has that you would prefer he or she not have. But you live with them and it’s ok. Because 90 percent of the time, your partner is perfect.
Whether you are buying or selling, you will never have a perfect experience. I would love to tell you that everything will be sunshine and rainbows, but this is the real world. While we do everything possible to minimize unexpected hiccups and stress, we can’t control everything. Therefore, it is useful to accept these facts up front so that you aren’t unnecessarily disappointed when something doesn’t go according to the ideal plan.
If you are a buyer, you are never going to get 100 percent of what you want. For example, you might get your ideal location but have to concede the walk-in closets and granite countertops. The important thing is to set priorities. Your agent should know and understand what is most important to you so that he or she can figure out the best compromise when it is necessary.
I typically walk through a home with buyers and raise questions and objections. For example, they need to think about the salability of their home in the future. When you are laying out your priorities, consider how long you plan to be in the house. What are your immediate and future needs?
As they say in the market, “location, location, location.” This proves to be a major key in home hunting. This is not to say that a house on a busy corner is a bad one; it just might not produce the same market as one on a quiet street. The values for two exact homes in different locations could be vastly different.
Think of buying a home like going shopping. You can buy the $1,000 dress, but then you might not have enough money left to buy shoes and jewelry. If money is no object, you might not have this issue. But for the majority of people, you aren’t going to get what you want all the time.
There are some things that I would not call “deal breakers” for buyers because they can be updated or changed relatively easily. These include:
And then there are those things that buyers should not compromise on. For example, you can’t control how your neighbors treat their homes. If the homes are run-down and in poor condition in the neighborhood you’re considering, this is a bright red flag. Look around the neighborhood and see if it is a place you would like to call home. If every other home looks like it is falling down, but the one house you want to see is perfect, it won’t matter in the long run — keep on looking.
Another deal breaker is if the home doesn’t have the space you need now, and you aren’t willing to add on — move on. Also, consider if the home is located next to immovable items. You will forever be next to power lines, water towers, rail road tracks, highways, sewage treatment plants, etc., if those things are in place today.
As a basic point, the right house should meet your criteria for numbers of bedrooms and baths. The overall space should fit your needs. Oftentimes, people tackle their dream list (think four bedrooms, three full baths, finished basement, fully updated, etc.) but don’t want to face the price. You may not get everything on your wish list, but you can certainly find 90 percent.
While you need to stick to your guns only your top priorities, you do have to be flexible on location and price. If you prefer to have it all and not adjust the price, you may have to move to a slightly different area from where you are currently searching. If that isn’t an option and you have a set area, you will likely have to scale back your expectations.
The same 90 percent “rule” applies to sellers as well as buyers. Sellers’ biggest hot-button issue is the inspection. Buyers will likely request inspection items the seller doesn’t want to perform. Repairs the buyer considers important often seem ridiculous to the seller, but you have to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
A major disappointment can also rear its head when there’s just not a buyer for your home. If there isn’t a buyer, you can’t create one. But you can think about how you might be able to improve the situation.
First, consider the facts. If 15 homes have pended in your market over the past month and you haven’t gotten an offer, look at the condition, price and location of your home. You can’t change your location, so you may want to consider improving the condition or lowering your price. If only one house has pended, the market is just soft and there’s not enough evidence to suggest you need to change either your home’s condition or price.
For sellers, the wait for a buyer is the most common headache that makes the selling experience less than perfect. To improve your odds, your agent should make sure the condition and price of your house are done right, looking at statistics and market research to compare.
They should do everything they can to get people in your house. Consider the number of showings you’re getting; this should be a direct reflection of the market. Hold your agent accountable for generating showings.
It often takes patience for the right buyer to come, and when they come, you have to have the best house — priced competitively, right size, right location, the amenities the buyer wants, curb appeal, etc. Or, you have to at least have 90 percent of what they’re looking for in a home.
Whether you’re selling or buying, the Kelly Todd Group can help you have the best experience possible. Contact us to meet.
How Do I Get Paid When I Sell a House?
It’s taboo. We aren’t supposed to talk about religion, politics or money, but I know that many of my clients want to know exactly how and why I earn a commission on a home sale. While I certainly can’t answer this question for every Realtor in Indianapolis, I can speak for myself. If you want more information, I am happy to discuss this “taboo” subject in person.
First of all, I am not paid until your home sells. At the time of closing, after all the work has been completed, I receive a commission.
So how do I earn my commission? With the Kelly Todd Group, you receive a blend of tactics, experience and street smarts to set you up for success. That includes the following:
Asking the right price at the right time for your home is critical to a successful home sale. We know how to carry out a thorough market analysis to establish fair market value. At the Kelly Todd Group, regular market updates help us identify sales and competition to ensure we are competitive for our sellers.
We are checking comparables like a teenager checks her cell phone — constantly. At any given time, we know what’s under contract. We are previewing properties. We know the market to keep you competitive throughout the selling process.
Most of our clients keep very nice homes, but that is not enough when it comes to selling their homes. When you’re selling your house, it needs to look like a model home. As part of our services, we help with staging, from the curb to the coat closet. As a general rule, half of what you have in your house needs to be removed, and the majority of personal items need to be taken out. Deshrine your rooms of too many family photos, but not so much that your home looks sterile. We make sure buyers can see themselves in the house. Your kitchen can’t look like you just made breakfast and walked out the door.
The only tell-tale signs that someone actively lives in your home should be a fully stocked fridge. And even your refrigerator, stove and closets should be immaculate. What’s behind these closed doors is a direct reflection of the overall condition of a home.
Prospective buyers don’t care about how much you paid for it, how much money you put into it or the stuff you have in it. They just care about their needs. We know what it takes to get the best response from your showing and solicit a high offer. This expertise is part of how we earn our money on a home sale.
No seller wants to mishandle the administrative tasks that go along with listing and selling a home. Typically, our sellers simply don’t have the time or interest in dotting all those i’s and crossing all those t’s. As part of our commission, we complete and manage all listing documentation and contracts. We gather feedback from showings and communicate it with our sellers.
We also negotiate the transaction with the buyer’s agent once an offer has been made. Once a sales contract is drawn up, we confirm that all contingencies are completed. We also closely monitor all lender and escrow activities to ensure a successful closing.
We know what works when it comes to marketing your home. To market a home to its fullest potential, we complete the following:
In a nutshell, that’s what you, as the seller, receive from the Kelly Todd Group when you work with us. If you have other questions about our process or services, please contact us. If you want to talk politics and religion now, it might be best if you contact someone else.
What’s inside a woman’s purse says a lot about her. When you go through the home-buying or home-selling process, you get to know a lot about your agent. In the interest of transparency — and the need to purge — I’m sharing the contents of my bag so you can get to know me a little better.
Normally, my purse is filled with receipts, papers from the kids’ school, gum wrappers, etc., so it looks deceivingly spare in this photo compared to its typical state. Don’t let it fool you … it’s usually a disaster. (I couldn’t help but do a little staging.)
I never can find sunglasses or keys, which conveniently always present themselves at the bottom of my bag. Target and Nordstrom Rack are my favorite places to get glasses because, sadly, mine get scratched, bent and completely destroyed all too often.
I’ve been carrying this Tory Burch hobo bag for the past eight months or so and I love it. It is lightweight, has a durable liner and fits perfectly over my shoulder.
While cleaning out my purse, I removed about five toy cars that belong to Cooper, our 3 year old, but managed to miss his orange “shooter,” as he calls it. The shooter is a little rocket dart that fits into a robot hand. Believe it or not, this little dart is one of his favorite things, and you can tell by the size that we are always on the hunt for the shooter.
I typically have random jewelry in my purse such as earrings — usually missing its match — bracelets, etc. I love to put it all on in the morning but get annoyed by it by the end of the day, so it retires to the bag.
My husband doesn’t understand why I carry a “purse within a purse” but come on, doesn’t every woman? In my little Louis Vuitton clutch, I keep all the critical goods:
I work out most days and can’t stand having my hair in my face when doing Pilates or at F3 (Fit, Flex, Fly), so I normally have a few headbands in my purse.
You can typically find supplements and vitamins stuffed randomly in all pockets. My family and friends think I’m a bit crazy, but I do love my vitamins.
My phone case is constantly being put on and taken off of my phone throughout the day. It’s plastic and pulls my hair out when I talk on it, so I remove the case when I’m talking. But the case has to go back on when I pick up the kids from school. They seem to think my phone is their personal toy. Maybe I should ask for a better phone case for Christmas.
I always have my moleskin notebook. I love these books to keep me organized and on task. I just can’t give up actually writing down lists and to-dos. I use my cell phone for calendars, but can’t give up the paper lists.
My wallet goes with me everywhere (clearly) and a checkbook. While I rarely use checks, except for the occasion when I don’t have cash for a babysitter, I never want to be without it.
I usually have a stack of business cards that I receive from people throughout the week. These might be other Realtors, vendors who can provide home-related services to my clients (past and present), buyers or sellers. I’m a big communicator, so if I need to reach someone who isn’t in my contacts list ASAP, I can do it.
I would also normally have a few bars (Larabars are my favorite) as emergencies. I often go through the day living in and out of my car. It’s nice to have something to snack on that is healthy.
I’m a creature of habit, so when I change purses (which I just did this week), everything moves to the new one. (If only moving from one house to the next could be so simple.) With my purse, I like to be organized and feel prepared at all times, and we run the Kelly Todd Group the same way.
I might not invite you to look inside my purse, but I will answer any questions you have about how we work at the Kelly Todd Group. Give me a ring.
Home buying can seem like a mystery until you go through it at least once. Myths abound that can make buyers nervous and skeptical of the whole process. Following are 6 myths I hear from buyers that are mostly bunk.
MYTH: If your inspection is terrible, you’re stuck with a lemon.
FACT: If a major defect is identified during an inspection, and the seller is unwilling to correct the problem to the buyer’s satisfaction, the buyer can typically walk away from the sale. However, both parties have to agree to release the money. This is why your Realtor has to counsel you on the home, especially code-related issues such as grounded outlets, age and functionality of mechanicals, and biological contaminants (e.g. mold, radon, etc.). If and when an inspection turns sour, your Realtor should advise you how to move forward.
MYTH: When you buy a house, you get possession 30 days after closing.
FACT: You get possession of your home when the contract stipulates you get possession. Typically, this is at the closing or within a week of the closing. There is no hard and fast rule, but 30 days isn’t the norm. This longer period was more usual in the earlier years of house sales. In the market, since I’ve known it, it is much more common to receive possession at closing or within a few days after. Some sellers and buyers will negotiate a “rent-back” scenario where a closing will take place and the seller will retain possession of the home, paying the buyer rent based on their agreement. There are some complications with rent-back scenarios, such as liability, insurance, etc. If a seller wants to stay in their home 30 days after a sale, buyers likely won’t bite.
MYTH: When I visit a house, I’m being watched.
FACT: While it is a fact that the owners of a house can have a video camera monitoring activity during an open house or visit by a prospective buyer, this isn’t a given. If you are concerned about being watched, it’s perfectly fine to ask the person who is showing the house if there is surveillance equipment around the house. Oftentimes they will not know the answer, as it doesn’t have to be disclosed by the seller. We like to abide by the rule “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” And simply mind your manners.
MYTH: If I buy an older home, I will have to replace the sewer line.
FACT: A lot of people looking for a home in the Meridian Kessler and Broad Ripple neighborhoods believe that a giant hole dug up in their front yard is in their immediate future. The fact is that it is not! While these areas of Midtown Indianapolis often do suffer older-home ills, you can take steps prior to buying a home to avoid a costly repair. During a home inspection, buyers can have a sewer or plumbing company scope the line to see if there are cracks or breaks. If these are present, you can ask the seller to fix them. Even if they don’t agree to fix them, such an inspection can save you from buying a house that will cost thousands of dollars down the road.
MYTH: I will only need to bring my down payment to closing.
FACT: I wish it were as cut-and-dried as that, but unfortunately there is more involved. There are costs associated with securing a loan and closing at a title company. Both are required for the majority of transactions. If you are paying cash, you can avoid the lender fees, but will still have to pay some title fees. Throughout your purchase agreement negotiation, you will determine different credits and costs.
For example, you will likely receive a pro-rated credit for your property taxes. You might also negotiate for the seller to pay some closing costs on your behalf. These credits, along with your earnest money deposit, will be added to the settlement statement, providing you with a clear picture of your debits and credits. So, at the end of the day, it may be a little less or a little more than your down payment.
Your buyer’s agent should talk you through this agreement before you ever begin to write one. When you are giddy about the huge walk-in closet and Jacuzzi tub, you are likely not paying attention to the legally binding document you are about to sign. I provide copies of all documentation to my buyers in our initial buyer consultation, before we ever look at a home. No one wants a surprise at closing.
MYTH: My Realtor can’t help me if I buy an FSBO (For Sale by Owner) home.
FACT: Good news! As long as an FSBO seller is willing to work with a buyer’s agent (which most are), your agent can definitely help you. There is no charge to use a buyer’s agent. Commission (listing agent and buyer’s agent) is charged to the seller in Indiana. Just be sure to let your buyer’s agent be the liaison to any and all homes. If you have a buyer’s agent, call them and let them reach out to the sellers, FSBO and other listing agents.
What’s the home-buying myth that’s holding you back? Contact the Kelly Todd Group, (317) 258-5253, to find out if it’s true.