Home-selling tips: Who is saying what … and what does it mean?
Special to the NNBW
During the real estate acquisition process there is a lot of conversation. A lot. Agents are often gabby folks. Sellers can talk until the sun goes down when they have a buyer in the house if you let them. During all of that, it is important to pay close attention to what is being said and make sure you understand it.
They will talk about the weather, the neighbors, the neighborhood, the HOA, the local government, the repairs they’ve made, remodeling they have considered, the water quality, home operating expenses, competing homes, etc.
We like to look at the best in people, and figure most conversations are well intended. There are times, however, when someone is simply trying to “sell” someone. One would think the days of such sales chicanery are gone with the consumer protection laws and practices, but we see it in the field more than we care to.
Just the other day we were witness to a licensed seller telling our prospective buyers that the home had received a lot of work and was like a new home. This while I am looking at the paint peeling off the garage door molding. The person went on to say that the roof was fairly new. This after I had pointed out the curling/cupping of the shingles to the buyers from the street before we even set foot on the property.
If a seller or agent makes a statement, be sure to understand if they are speaking from absolute knowledge, or simply guessing. If a question is asked and the answer unknown at the moment, everyone should pause and understand that there are very few questions that can’t be answered with a little work.
Make a note and follow up if there is genuine interest in the property. Sometimes there is one questionable item keeping buyers from making an offer. Be diligent in getting an answer so you can go forward if you want. With smartphones, many things can now be answered on the spot in the field. Agents should listen to the buyer and work to provide answers.
Don’t take everything that is said at face value. Sometimes people make a statement and use the wrong word. Real estate has its own vocabulary. Agents will usually understand things based on the proper definition of the word, but not always. If they are in an area that they don’t have knowledge in, i.e. — water rights, public lands, etc. — they may misuse a word themselves.
Check everything out for accuracy. We often hear that agents told someone that the land across the street from them is public land and will never be developed. Sometimes it is just a large privately owned vacant parcel just waiting to be developed.
Public lands, if next to a subdivision, provide no guarantee that they won’t be developed. That is actually the type of land that the government likes to get rid of so they can do things with remote property or conservation programs.
Our advice: Notwithstanding the moral and ethical aspects of someone trying to bamboozle somebody, it usually doesn’t work these days.
Most transactions have inspections and property deficiencies are discovered. If something known to the seller is hidden and not disclosed, Nevada law provides for treble damages.
It’s not worth the risk for the seller to try and compromise a buyer for their own gain. Take notes during the process. When somebody says something, note it.
If you look at a lot of properties reviewing the notes and comments can help during the selection process. If you don’t understand a word that is used, or a concept that was outlined, ask questions.
You deserve answers.
If the chatter blends together, ask your agent to review what was said. Make sure you understand what was actually meant, and then what the reality is. If they match, fine. If not, you know you must proceed with caution.
It doesn’t mean you don’t buy the house, you just need to triple check everything along the way. Your agent is there for that.
Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, work for RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in the Carson Valley. Visit carsonvalleyland.com or call 775-781-5472 for information.
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