Today on the Buzz we are discussing contingency's and negotiation with Michelle Guth of Diversified Mortage, as well as the importance of your lender and real estate agent being in close communication. Later on we'll hear from Thom Dallman and Dave Burnett about how to get your home ready to sell in our current market.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman, of Core Group Realty ... coregrouprealty.com, the website. 933-7777. Let me correct that ... 208-933-7777.
Thom Dallman: Can't forget that 208, now.
Dave Burnett: You gotta put the 208-933-7777 and you can get in touch with Core Group Realty at any time. They have a customer service agent ready to help you to figure out ... to navigate the website, to answer questions about what we have talked about. Anything you need to know, you can call there and they'll get you directed the right way.
Thom Dallman: Yep, that we sure do. We have people standing by, so give us a call with whatever questions you have and we'll get answers for you.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. You know, Thom we've been dealing with a lot of smoke in the valley, which may slow some people down from trying to get out, but it won't slow them down from getting online at coregrouprealty.com, to check out the homes.
Thom Dallman: Checking things out. Yeah, yeah ... it's a great ... well, as we've always said about 90 percent of the population out there starts their research online nowadays. For whatever they're purchasing, but real estate, in particular ... it starts mostly online. People kinda going to different websites, checking things out ... zillow.com, realtor.com, local sites as well, so the advantage to that is that you get to see all the homes that are out there available. The disadvantage for some of the more national ones is that they're not updated as frequently ... like we've talked about. So, Core Group Realty, when you go to their search site, that one actually has the most updated information. It feeds every fifteen minutes from our MLS. So, you're getting true, current active information. So ...
Dave Burnett: And let me answer a question that somebody asked me ... I think it was two weeks ago they asked me this ... said ... well, you know, I can see the homes that Core Group has ... No, you can see all the homes. Not just the listings that Core Group has, you can see those featured listings, but you have access to MLS, so it's kinda one-stop shopping. You can check out everything, right there at coregrouprealty.com.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, check it out. For sure, so ...
Dave Burnett: Speaking for Core Group properties there's something new online.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we’ve got a new listing that we wanted to bring up. Just came online this week ... 8810 Deer Sky Ranch Trail in Nampa, Idaho. This is a huge home, it's 4,358 square feet. 5 bedrooms. 4 bath. It does have below grade ... or a basement area that walks out onto a patio. The downstairs has a full rec room with bar, so it's a great entertaining spot for, you know, family, friends, for anybody you want to come over. It's got beautiful views of Lake Lowell and valley to the north. Just a beautiful ... it's on 1.27 acres, so you've got some land there, to kinda putter around in and do what you want with and so forth. A great, stunning property ... check it out. It's 8810 Deer Sky Ranch Trail. It's listed, right now at $465,000 ... so really good price point for that large of a home, for 5 bedrooms. 4 baths. So ...
Dave Burnett: What you think about if you have family of five ...if you have five kids it's ideal. I have two daughters raising them in my home and I ... we had 23 ...2400 square feet, which was a good fit for two kids. You have five kids, you need a lot room, or you need to really like each other a lot.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, you have the room will definitely help from the sibling squabbles that can happen. Send them to each corner of the acreage ... property.
Dave Burnett: You can check that out at coregrouprealty.com, yeah ... with that acreage ...
Thom Dallman: Featured listings.
Dave Burnett: ... that'll work for the kids ...
Thom Dallman: Exactly, yeah, keeping the ... what is it ... the idle hands or ...
Dave Burnett: Or the devil's whatcha ma- ... whatever you want to call it. So ...
Thom Dallman: Keeping 'em going. So ...
Dave Burnett: Check that out at coregrouprealty.com. The other thing with 933-7777, if you do want to set up a viewing, and go take a look at the property in person, you can do that.
Thom Dallman: Yep, yep, we have a whole team of buyer’s agents standing by that are ready to go show property, as quick as possible, so there's usually someone available to get you out there and open up the door and check it out. So ...
Dave Burnett: You know we always talk about the fact that this show is not designed just to sell property, but it's about informing and educating the listener, so that when they are ready to buy ... when they are ready to sell ... which isn't all the time, but when you are, you'll have more knowledge to work with, but sales is part of the business and you have some numbers from the past months or so ... very interesting ...
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, it was ... as always I'm always kinda looking at numbers and trying to see what's happening in the marketplace and we had a really interesting July ... in the fact that we had ... for the first time actually, in quite a long time ... we actually had a slight dip, I guess you could say, in the median price ... price point. It actually dropped from 2727 to 2725, so, it's the first time ...
Dave Burnett: Not huge ...
Thom Dallman: Not huge, it's a very slight decrease, but it was an interesting little tweak that happened in July, as well as sales ... sales dropped ... from 1662 sales in June to 1381 sales in July. That is a significant drop in sales ...
Dave Burnett: Yeah, about 300 units ...
Thom Dallman: But weirdly enough that in June there were more contracts written ... then they had been over the last, probably, a good year ... not since June of last year ... 614 last year to 676 this year, in pendings and sold. So, the June numbers continued to go up and then dropped in July ... so, during our ... before we started you asked me what my thoughts were on ... [crosstalk 00:06:10] my theory on that ... and all I can really say and what I'm kinda hearing out there is ... A. The price is increasing so much that we ran into a little bit of time there where the appraisers and appraisals weren't coming in. People were overbidding on homes and then appraisals weren't coming in where they needed to be. So a lot of deals were being dropped, because of that. We've noticed a lot of deals just kind of falling through, because when it comes to the inspection reports and stuff ... sellers keep hearing that it's a seller's market, you can get your home sold as is and for top dollar, but there still needs to be certain things that need to be fixed and some sellers ...
Dave Burnett: That as is would be the caveat ...
Thom Dallman: Exactly, There's still things that need to be fixed for certain listings, in order for it to get approved for certain lending guidelines and stuff like that, and so, sellers kinda get stuck in their head that ... we don't have to fix anything cause it's a seller's market ...
Dave Burnett: Just throw a sign up in the yard ...
Thom Dallman: Exactly, and so deals have kinda fallen apart because of stubborn sellers and stubborn buyers and so forth ... so, that's the only thing that I've really noticed in the market that would have caused that kind of tweak, if you will. But the interesting thing is how many sold and pendings went in July, so August sales ... I'm anticipating should jump up pretty drastically for August because there ... I'm assuming all those people that lost out in June wrote contracts in July.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, probably re-wrote ...
Thom Dallman: Now there's like a whole bunch of stuff happening for August, so ...
Dave Burnett: A little side bar on this conversation ... that is ... if you are thinking about putting your home up for sale, you can go to coregrouprealty.com and you have a list of vendors, different people you work with, that can-do home ... kind of inspect the home, tell you what needs to be done and get your home ready to sell.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, we have a whole plethora of people that we've worked with and have great relationships with, that we've have experiences ... our clients have had great experiences with and that list is always expanding. We're always looking for good representation, in the different trades and stuff like that, so ... even if you don't find someone on that list, if you want to give us a call, we can usually come up with ... between all the agents here and all the years of experience we've had other vendors that may not particularly be on the list that we can still get you in contact with. Could be some guidance there ...
Dave Burnett: I think for the average homeowner, you know is like ... is my air conditioning ... is it up for approval ... that it would pass or do I need a new roof, do I need to paint, does my fence need repaired, is my foundation ... am I okay under the house ... Yeah, I don't know how many people crawl ...
Thom Dallman: The crawl space is huge ...
Dave Burnett: Under there with those creepy crawlies ... That's a ... that's a ...
Thom Dallman: Not very many.
Dave Burnett: That's a big point. Do you have water that perhaps during the winter seeped in and started mold ... you don't know ... those are things that if you're thinking about selling you need to get those fixed ... so ... go to the website. coregrouprealty.com or call 933-7777 and they can get you started in the right direction to make sure when you're ready to sell that home that it passes with flying colors.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, we're more than happy to come out and do a no cost, no obligation consultation ... just walk through your house, give you an idea of kinda the current market value, as well as give you some helpful hints and tips on what you might want to do to get prepared if you're thinking about listing next few months and stuff like that ...
Dave Burnett: And a key phrase there was no obligation. You're not gonna pressure ...hand them the paper now ...
Thom Dallman: We're not gonna pressure. No.
Dave Burnett: So the marketplace had a little bit strange in June and July ...
Thom Dallman: Yeah, June and July were kind of an anomaly, a little bit ... from what we can see, so ... we're curious to see what progresses through August and going into the school year. You know, schools gonna be starting up here soon, and for some of the year-round schools, they've already started up. So ...
Dave Burnett: In my neighborhood, there were 2 homes I can specifically speak to that they had pending signs go up on them and then they had pending signs go down on them and talking to the people selling the houses because they didn't get the amount approved for a loan that they had before, so one of them lowered the price ...sold ...done. They had two weeks to get and the other one still has a pending hanging on it. They're hanging onto that price ...
Thom Dallman: It's interesting we've ... one of our listing we've actually had a couple of ups and downs with, just more ...this was just more buyers financing kinda falling though for various reasons. One gentleman got shipped overseas, actually, cause his job decided to transfer him to Australia, so ... it's just been a weird combination of different things out there that kind of seem to be happening in our marketplace, so ...
Dave Burnett: I know this, Thom Dallman, it is a great time to buy or sell a home right now.
Thom Dallman: It still is. All time low rates for lending, so ... Prices may be up, but they're still really low and affordable comparative to the rest of the ...
Dave Burnett: The rest of the northwest ...
Thom Dallman: The rest of the world ...
Dave Burnett: You just look in the northwest. I recently took a trip to Seaside and looking in the Portland area or Seattle area where we have some friends, the prices of homes in Seattle is crazy. So ...
Thom Dallman: [crosstalk 00:11:45] So that's why people are moving here is because it's still so affordable to live here. So ...
Dave Burnett: Take advantage of it now.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Speaking of loan rates, speaking of financing we'll be talking to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage coming up this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. Call 933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core".
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage joining us once again, as we talk about all the things that make it happen when it comes to home, and that would be the financial side. Diversified Mortgage, which is an equal opportunity lender. Did I get that right?
Michelle Guth: Morning, Dave. You nailed it. Good job.
Dave Burnett: All right, equal opportunity lender. You know, something that I have seen personally in my neighborhood, and that is two homes that went up, and had pendings, and then came down. Evidently, they offered too much for the house, more than the bank was willing to go. And another one where they were trying to make it contingent with this and that, so they could time everything out.Got a couple things I want to talk to you about lending. One is that pending, are homes being overpriced right now? Are people bidding more than lenders are willing to give, or what's happening with that?
Michelle Guth: We have seen some bidding wars on certain properties, certain areas, so yes, there has been several occasions where we do see the final sales price ends up being higher than the original list price, so we are seeing that in our market currently.
Dave Burnett: Can that delay and/or totally wipe out a deal then?
Michelle Guth: It can. If we have, for example, a value that does not meet the agreed upon price, and the seller is not willing to drop the price, or the buyer does not have the capability of bringing in the difference, then yes, it's going to kill the transaction.
Dave Burnett: Puts you back to square zero.
Thom Dallman: It does. It does. Yeah, it puts everybody back into ... The seller has to try to get it on the market and find someone who can then, at that point, pay ... find someone that can pay cash for it. Because a lot of times when they have an appraisal already done on the house, that appraisal sticks with it, depending on what loan the original buyers were using. For example, if it's an FHA ... Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't it six months that the appraisal sticks with the property? Any other FHA loans that come through, they're going to base it off of that appraisal, as well.
Michelle Guth: Yeah, there's about a four-month window, where they will transfer that appraisal as the case number is attached to the property itself, so that is a transferable item.
Dave Burnett: Is there a way to avoid that situation going into it, or you just don't know?
Michelle Guth: With the lack of inventory and the aggressive market that we're in, in many cases, it can't be avoided, if that is the house that our client really wants. They, in many cases, do have to go over list price, in order to get that property. But that's where I think the counsel is so important in the beginning, by both the lender and the realtor, to explain to them these are the ramifications if it doesn't appraise, so they at least know what they're walking into.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Michelle Guth: Where we're running into a few more issues is when they have contingent offers upon the sale of their home. We're seeing that on a good majority of our transactions. Thankfully, a lot of sellers are being more apt to take the contingencies, whereas I would say in the spring, they were hesitant to take them, because there was so many buyers.
Dave Burnett: Okay, let me stop everything right here.
Michelle Guth: Sure.
Dave Burnett: A contingency on an offer, what does that mean?
Michelle Guth: The most common scenario we're seeing is that you'll want to buy ... Maybe you're moving up in your home size, but you have to sell your property in order to qualify for the new house, for whatever reason, whether it be your debt-to-income ratio, or you need to pull the equity out of that home to buy the next property.
Dave Burnett: So basically, you're having a deal written, and the lender's having to deal with, we will do this, if this happens and that happens, and we can go forward and do that.
Michelle Guth: Exactly, so you have that domino effect. If you have a contingent offer where buyer number A is buying property number B, and then property B is buying a house, as well. If number A falls through, it could end up impacting three transactions. You have to definitely know what you're walking into, because one deal falls, you literally have that domino effect.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: How does that affect you as a lender at Diversified?
Michelle Guth: It gives me a headache, Dave.
Thom Dallman: Sometimes it can be a real nail-biter, too.
Michelle Guth: It is.
Dave Burnett: I had a neighbor recently that he made an offer on a place, and I'm assuming then it was contingent upon his selling, but he was really concerned about the timing, that will it all work out. Then it turned out that the people that bought his house gave him two weeks to get out. He's basically packing everything up and just holding it in a moving truck for a week, and then moving it in. But I am assuming that's one of those contingency things that can make it uncomfortable for the buyer or seller, as well.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely, especially if you're at the beginning of the transaction. You're one of the first people to sell your house, and then you're up to number three, and you're waiting for all of those transactions to come together. Trying to coordinate them all at the same time can be very challenging, but we do do it quite frequently, where we'll have a simultaneous closing. What that means is, they're signing on the sale of their home and the purchase of their home the same day. They both close and fund on the same day, so they literally can vacate one and go directly into the other.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, that takes a little bit of negotiation [crosstalk 00:05:02]
Michelle Guth: And a lot of coordinating.
Thom Dallman: And a lot of coordinating, because this situation just happened recently where the buyers ... technically he's my brother-in-law. He was doing that same thing. He was coordinating this simultaneous transaction to buy or sell his house and move into a new one. The buyers had planned and wanted to have stuff done on the next morning that the transaction was happening, and so he couldn't stay late and get things moved over. Then the sellers of the house that he was buying also had stuff. They were like, "No, we're going to be there up until the day of closing to get things moved out," into their new home. He literally had a small window of the afternoon into the evening of the one day that it funded and recorded, and everything moved across, or moved out into the new house.
Yeah, it's a little tricky having to negotiate that time frame of giving them options to be able to move out and stuff, and move their stuff into the new house.
Dave Burnett: Michelle, at Diversified Mortgage, and I'm assuming that what I'm hearing is, communication is key. How do you, as the owner/operator of Diversified Mortgage, what do you use, and how do you keep that communication open?
Michelle Guth: We have a multitude of ways that we communicate. Obviously, we're going to be doing a lot through email, phone calls, and so forth. I'm thankful that in working with Core Group Realty, we have a great internet-based system that we can have basically real-time communication that's popping up in their queue all the time. That makes our service, I think, really streamlined, when dealing with both Core Group and Diversified, in making sure that that communication is going back and forth. Typically, what we are going to do is we're going to be making lots of phone calls, lots of emails, trying to coordinate to make sure everybody's on the same page.
Dave Burnett: In other words, you can communicate with Core Group and say, "Hey, it appears that this deal's going to come through. What's the status of your person?"
Michelle Guth: Exactly, and vice versa. If there's something going awry on the other side, they're letting me know that potentially property number B's going to be delayed a week, so that we can try to coordinate our closing documents, our funding time frame, and so forth. In those cases, you typically have multiple title companies, as well. We are coordinating with the title companies to make sure that title company A knows they have to have their proceeds over to title company B, in order to fund. There's all the timing of getting the wires in place, getting the funding’s in place, because everything has deadlines. It definitely takes a lot of communication.
Dave Burnett: I guess, to me, as a consumer, it points out to me the importance of making sure you have a company that is communicating. Nothing could be worse than going into this process and going, "I haven't heard from my lender in a while. What's going on?"
Thom Dallman: [crosstalk 00:07:49]
Dave Burnett: It would make me feel more secure getting the email, or the text, or the phone call, letting me know what's happening in the process.
Michelle Guth: Yeah, and I think taking a proactive stance, just even early in the transaction, letting everybody know these are our time lines, and these are the transactions we're working with, so everybody's on the same page, from title, to realty, to the sellers, the buyers, the full gamut.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: For me, let me run down a couple things here. For Diversified Mortgage, if I'm getting ready to buy a house, pre-approval is key. It's very important to get pre-approval, correct?
Michelle Guth: First and foremost.
Dave Burnett: Then what would be a couple of other key points for me, as a consumer, for this process?
Michelle Guth: Getting set up with a reputable realtor, so you can get out and start the home-buying process. Making sure that you've introduced your lender to your realtor, so they know the terms of your approval, so they can work within those parameters when they're doing a home search.
Dave Burnett: Do I have to have a title company, or is it something that ... I don't know. Do I have to have a title company, or do you make recommendations?
Michelle Guth: We definitely utilize title companies for both title insurance to protect the consumer to make sure they're getting clear title, and they also act as the closing agent when we're ready to do all the closing documents. Every consumer should have a disinterested third party handling the transaction at the tail end.
Dave Burnett: Is that something I pick out, or is that something you offer?
Michelle Guth: You can give a recommendation to your lender. You have a right to pick the title company of your choosing, but for the real estate side, usually the realtors will have some recommendations to give to the buyer. They'll make that suggestion on the contract when it's written.
Dave Burnett: Is that a part, Thom, just because of the communication factor?
Thom Dallman: Yes. Yeah, we usually recommend the title companies that we've had really good experiences with, that we know that are going to be there, that are knowledgeable in everything that they do, title officers that have been in the business. One of the ones that I recommend, she's been in business for 25 plus years, and stuff, and know their ins and outs of what are going to show up in a title report, and stuff like that. I think it's a huge factor, as the third part of the process, is that closing person, that escrow officer, to make sure that all the title stuff is clear, ready for people to take ownership of the home.
Michelle Guth: Especially with the proficiencies with title, that coordinating at the tail end, they have to be on top of it just as well as everybody else does-
Thom Dallman: And make sure [crosstalk 00:10:06]
Michelle Guth: To ensure that all those funding’s take place, and that they're coordinating with the other title companies.
Dave Burnett: Experience and communication, two keys in operations here.
Michelle Guth: It makes the world go around, Dave.
Thom Dallman: It really does.
Dave Burnett: Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage. Michelle, if somebody wants to get hold of you to set up an appointment, maybe to talk about the process, to talk about how to go through this, just to talk with you, how do they get hold of you?
Michelle Guth: Call us at 853-7878, or visit our website, dmgloans.com.
Dave Burnett: Before you do anything, get pre-approved.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: Don't waste time by not getting that done.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. We'll continue on the other side, being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. Call 933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett, along with Thom Dallman, of Core Group Realty, coregrouprealty.com. That's the website to go to for all things real estate to find out what's happening here in the Treasure Valley, or you can call 933-7777. An agent is standing by, a customer care service agent, to answer all of your questions as well. You know, Thom, we talk on kind of a regular basis. Maybe once a quarter we talk about getting your home ready to sell.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, each season kind of has its unique situations or points where you want to ... have to think of things you have to think about when you get your house prepped and ready for getting it listed and stuff like that. And then there's some things that just, all year round, you should always think about when you're thinking about listing and getting your home ready for sale.
Dave Burnett: So, let's talk a little bit about that.
Thom Dallman: Sure.
Dave Burnett: We're in the dog days of Summer, getting your home ready to sell. What are some of the tips you have?
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. Well, let's start with the, I guess, inside the house. One of those tips that I always, always, always start with is depersonalize your house. Most people have family photos, most people have their knick-knacks and all their little collections and what not up on the shelves.
Dave Burnett: Cat collections, or elephant collections, or whatever it may be.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly. In my case I do actually like cows, so.
Dave Burnett: Oh, you're a cow collector?
Thom Dallman: Yes, and no. But anyways, yeah, the concept of un-cluttering your house and depersonalizing it and getting those little things into boxes and out of the way so that as buyers come through, they have a neutral palate to the house and get that feel of what they can do with it and personalize it for themselves. There are a lot of buyers out there that have a hard time seeing through personal stuff and they get into this mind frame that they might be invading space, and so it kind of turns them off a little bit for some homes, if it's too personalized and stuff like that so ... That includes colors. Colors and wallpapers and things like that.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, if you love bright orange.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Not necessarily everybody likes that.
Thom Dallman: Not necessarily everybody's choice. And it's, once again, difficult for buyers to think about the fact that for just a couple cans of paint to throw up on the wall to paint over that color it will look very different.
Dave Burnett: A true story on that.
Thom Dallman: I love true stories.
Dave Burnett: I knew a person, they had their house for sale and their bathroom was blue and orange. Not their main bathroom, but one of them.
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh. Like BSU blue and orange?
Dave Burnett: Yes. One of the back bathrooms was blue and orange, one coming out of the back yard. It was a guy's bathroom, blue and orange, had it done up Broncos. An Idaho Vandal fan was looking at the house, and it turned the deal.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: Okay, now I know that's crazy.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, that's ...
Dave Burnett: But it turned the deal.
Thom Dallman: It's a little bit ... It just goes to show that people get kind of weird, sometimes, about those things. You have to definitely remember you want a neutral palate for your client, or for the buyers to really be able to personalize it themselves. With that being said, you also want to, what they say is, give a room a purpose. If you have rooms that are a little bit awkward, or a little bit different, you may want some furniture in just to show how you can arrange furniture and stuff to get the best use of the home, and staging-
Dave Burnett: Are you talking about the secret junk room that everybody has?
Thom Dallman: And the secret junk room, yes. Declutter that secret junk room.
Dave Burnett: Because we all have one.
Thom Dallman: And give it a purpose, maybe make it into a craft room or something like that.
Dave Burnett: So, this is a case of, and I just want to clarify that, renting a storage unit and or storing it at somebody else's house is probably the way to do it. I don't want to take any everything out and then throw it in the garage and make the garage look smaller.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, because that will, yeah, that would definitely decrease the appeal for the garage, and there are, once again, buyers out there that love their garage space.
Dave Burnett: Oh yeah.
Thom Dallman: Love being able to put everything up in the garage and hang out in the garage and everything. So, definitely, definitely worth an investment for sixty bucks, seventy bucks a month, to go get a small storage unit to put some of that clutter in for a month or two.
Dave Burnett: And if you can't afford that, that's the time to take advantage of your sister, or your in-laws, or somebody, say, "Can I take the corner of your third bay of your garage and store all my stuff there?"
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Just to get it out of the house.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So, yeah. Remember to open up your blinds, too. People, we're in a society where we like our privacy. We have our windows drawn so that, keeping people, the peeping Toms out, if you will. If you're leaving the house for a showing, go through, open up all your blinds, open up your curtains, let the light in. If you have a darker room, there's ways to situate mirrors so that it reflects the light off of what windows you do have to make the room feel brighter and bigger and stuff. Taking a good critical look at things like that.
Dave Burnett: But with that, you've got to make sure your windows are clean.
Thom Dallman: Yep, windows are clean, yeah. We always recommend getting your windows cleaned inside and out before you get listed. We recommend taking a power sprayer to the outside of the house, just to get rid of all those cobwebs, and ...
Dave Burnett: Wasp nests.
Thom Dallman: Wasp nests, yeah, definitely wasp nests.
Dave Burnett: Plenty of those out there.
Thom Dallman: I've been stung out while showing property before. Get rid of those. Throw that hose down on the driveway and the sidewalks. There's a lot of debris that catches in between the cracks and stuff like that, or driveways and sidewalks, that you can clean out, and just make it that much more of a better curb appeal when they pull up. Remember, the curb appeal is the most important thing, because that's the first impression that people get when they pull up to a house. Making sure your landscaping is good, this time of year.
Dave Burnett: How important, though, is it that your concrete, you're talking about cracks. I'm not talking about cracks or the lines they put in them, but if you have concrete that's got cracks in it from the weather, how important is it to get those patched up and fixed?
Thom Dallman: I guess it really depends on the cracks.
Dave Burnett: How bad?
Thom Dallman: Obviously, if there's an edge or more of a lip there, that's a safety issue then, at that point, a tripping issue and stuff like that. Those definitely need to be addressed and fixed. But for the most part, if there's just a basic winter crack, people can overlook those. They obviously show a lot more if they've got dirt in them, and debris, they've got weeds growing out of them and stuff.
Dave Burnett: You got three years of weeds growing out of them, that's bad.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So, yeah. Especially this time of year, the weeds in the flowerbeds and stuff like that are growing pretty crazy, so get in there, cut back, or trim, or pull the weeds in the flowerbeds, and throw down some Preen or whatnot, so they won't grow anymore. Getting those little bit of greenery that grows in between the cracks in the sidewalks will help to get that curb appeal going.
Clean out your garage, we talked about that a little bit. Make sure that your garage is organized so that the garage-lovers can see their own stuff in there. Always recommend getting rid of lawn ornaments. If you're one of those pink flamingo-
Dave Burnett: The yard gnomes.
Thom Dallman: Or, yeah, gnome collectors, maybe you want to store those until you get to your new house, because once again, it's all about the curb appeal of people pulling up to the house, and with excessive lawn ornaments and stuff like that, people can get kind of put off by that. But on the other side of things, If you have a bare spot in your back yard, maybe you want to put a little bench in, just to give it some character and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: But we're also talking about a time of year where it's difficult to keep your yard green.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Dave Burnett: So, a little extra watering-
Thom Dallman: All this heat. Yeah. I totally recommend throwing a little bit of extra water. It may cost you a little bit more, but ...
Dave Burnett: Nothing better than pulling up in front of a house with a beautiful lawn.
Thom Dallman: Nice green lawn, yeah.
Dave Burnett: Check with your local landscaper, or your Home Depot or Zamzows, because they have products you can put on-
Thom Dallman: Some weed killer.
Dave Burnett: Because you don't want to fertilize your lawn right now. You'll burn it.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Burnett: So you want to put some sort of an iron supplement on there to help that out. It's important to do.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, it's very important, because once again, if your yard's like mine, we're always struggling with those dry spots. Checking your sprinklers to make sure that those are going right, and stuff like that. You can actually throw a little pop of color out there in your yard, too. Do some little creative pots with flowers just to amp the curb appeal as well, just don't go excessive on it, of course.
Make sure all your light bulbs are replaced, that's another thing.
Dave Burnett: Oh, good call.
Thom Dallman: I've got about ten light bulbs in my house right now that are out. One of these days I'm going to get through and get those changed.
Dave Burnett: Nothing worse, though, to go into a closet, and you flip on a switch and nothing comes on.
Thom Dallman: And nothing comes on, yeah.
Dave Burnett: I think, "What else isn't being taken care of in this house?"
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: I mean, honestly. And I would think, too, that the air conditioning is important, that you don't have people walk into a hot, stuffy home.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. Make sure that your temperatures are at comfortable levels. There are some people that like their homes warm, or shut off their air conditioning during the day when they're out of town- When they're out at work, and stuff like that. Yeah, making sure that the house is comfortable, at a comfortable temperature level. If you do have windows that do tend to heat up during the day because of the sun and where it's located, maybe you want to draw those blinds, make an arrangement with someone, maybe if you have a good, friendly neighbor that could come over and open them real quick before a showing, and stuff like that, just to keep the house cool before someone comes in. Doing things like that really makes a difference in the feel of a house.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: I've had people walk into, we've walked into houses before that have been really, super warm, and they're like, "Is there something wrong with the air? Maybe we'll just go on to the next house."
Dave Burnett: Honestly, if you're looking at a house, and it's August, you're in a hot heat. Even if you're just coming from an air conditioned car, walking up the driveway, to walk into a nice, cool, brisk home, that's a great feeling.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. It really is.
Dave Burnett: You know the air conditioner works good in here, and this house really feels good, let's hang out here a little while.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Let's not walk out into the heat.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. So it's a way of getting somebody into the home longer.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question: The old tricks of baking cookies or bread, does that really work? Does that help?
Thom Dallman: Yes and no. I was going to say, one of the things I would recommend is if you have cats, make sure that the litter box is clean.
Dave Burnett: Oh, yeah.
Thom Dallman: Obviously.
Dave Burnett: Or out.
Thom Dallman: Or out, if you can. Making sure your trash is emptied, things like that. Yes, I think that the baking stuff ... I don't think you necessarily need to bake stuff, because they've got so many fragrance stuff that you can use out there. Scentsy, all those little candle things and stuff like that, that you can create that warm feeling of baked goods. But you can also go too much with it. I've had clients walk into homes that had so much fragrance and stuff going on that they're turned off completely.
Dave Burnett: What are you trying to hide?
Thom Dallman: Exactly. You want to be really, super careful with that, make sure that it's just a nice, moderate smell, and not to excessive and stuff. Make sure that you're clearing the trash. Make sure that you're clearing those laundry bins, and stuff like that. Make sure your teenage kids have their smell stinky clothes washed and put away, and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: I guess one of the nice sayings is, if you're getting ready to sell your home, and you're going, "Whoa, that seems like a lot of stuff to do," you can contact Core Group Realty, and your folks would be happy to talk with them, and help teach them how to prep a house and get it ready to sell. And that's something that all your agents do work with, with their clients, to make sure their house is presentable.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yep. We will ... And sometimes, it kind of creates a little of an uncomfortable feeling for some people, if you're hearing that, "Oh, maybe you should paint that bright colored wall so much."
Dave Burnett: "Maybe my shot glass collection should be put away."
Thom Dallman: Exactly. But it's all in a ... Remember, at Core Group, we're here to help you get the most money you can, and to get your house marketed the best way we possibly can, so we're going to give helpful hints, and we're going to give you tips like that that will lead to a better experience when it comes to selling the house.
Dave Burnett: The singing fish plaque will have to go.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. What is that, the singing bass?
Dave Burnett: Exactly. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Now, if you have questions, you can always go to the website, or call 933-7777. That is Core Group's number. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage, and Core Group Realty, coregrouprealty.com, the website. 933-7777, that's the phone number you can call to find out why you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett, along with Thom Dallman of Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com is the website, 933-7777, you can call that number right now. You can test it out right now to call, and they can answer your questions about the show, about the website, and get you in touch with a real estate agent today, if there's a home you want to look at.
Thom, one of the things that we are seeing more and more of, and that is smart homes, whether from your cell phone, you can adjust the heat, turn lights on. You can even see who's at your front door. It's a high-tech world, and that's-
Thom Dallman: And nanny cams. Don't forget the nanny cams to like-
Dave Burnett: Absolutely.
Thom Dallman: Make sure your nannies are behaving themselves, or make sure the kids are behaving themselves.
Dave Burnett: But I pause on that, because a nanny cam is something that could be a little dangerous.
Thom Dallman: Well, interestingly enough, just recently, in July of every year, the Real Estate Commission and the local MLS goes through our forms, and updates them, and adds things, as they see lawsuits happening, and things like that, that they feel is important for people to know. One of the newest additions this last July that just happened on our agency disclosure, which is just a quick sheet that lets people know what agency means, what you can expect from an agent when you sign up with them, and stuff like that. But on that sheet at the very bottom, it actually has a disclosure now that says "Buyers be aware that sellers may have surveillance equipment monitoring their homes as you're going through on showing appointments."
Dave Burnett: On one hand, I could understand for security, that nobody's picking something up out of my medicine cabinet.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Or going through my drawers. I get that for the security.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: But it could be used for more than that.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, yeah. What people don't realize is that they can see your motivation. If you all are walking through a house [crosstalk 00:02:06]
Dave Burnett: Not only see, but hear.
Thom Dallman: And hear, yeah, yeah. And all of a sudden, you're like, "Oh my God, this is the house of my dreams. I'll do anything to get this house," and the seller hears that, there's no negotiating at that point. The seller knows that they're going to be able to get whatever they want out of you, because you've now disclosed that. A lot of people go to the security or just monitoring their house, and what not. I've had people say, "Oh gosh, I got to make sure I don't pick my nose."
Dave Burnett: That's true.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, if you think about it, I think that the motivation and the disclosure of such motivation is a huge deterrent for buyers, and the fact that they could lose out, and lose that negotiating ability. That's interesting.
Dave Burnett: And it suddenly dawned on me that not only can you video it, but you can watch it live. I know somebody that has ... they have nanny cams in their house. They can watch it and listen live in their house, so they could be sitting out in their car a block away watching on their smartphone as you go through, talking about, "We've got to get a bid on this. How low can we go?"
Thom Dallman: On the reverse side, you can really offend a seller, too, like, "Oh, God, I hate this furniture they chose. I can't believe they picked this furniture," and stuff.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: If you end up, "I like the house, though. I want to still put an offer in on the house," the seller's going to remember that you were the ones that insulted their taste, and so forth.
Dave Burnett: If you're in a bidding war, that could cost you.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, it could cost you the deal, if there's another offer on the table.
Dave Burnett: What a different age we live in now-
Thom Dallman: Right, isn't it crazy?
Dave Burnett: To where you're having to worry about somebody watching and monitoring you. Some of these new cams, the nanny cams, they're so hard to see. They could be there, and you'd never know it.
Thom Dallman: You'd never know. You'd never know.
Dave Burnett: It's just a little pinhole camera that's out there, and you suddenly have tipped your hand as to what you're going to do on your deal.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Let's be honest. Even though it's an emotional deal, it's still a business transaction.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. It is, most definitely. I actually have had, surprisingly enough, this conversation's come up before. I've had one of our employees, actually, said that when they listed their house a while back. They had a camera that they had put in their house, and so they activated it. She said it was uncomfortable watching, because there were some buyers that walked through the house carrying her cat.
Dave Burnett: Oh my.
Thom Dallman: She was like, "It was the most uncomfortable thing-"
Dave Burnett: Put my cat down.
Thom Dallman: "Knowing that this stranger was walking through my house, carrying a cat."
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. There was an interesting ... I went to a class that talked about, too, that it's happened recently where the buyers were walking through the house, and were in love with an antique something. It might have been a clock in the house. They were like, "Wow, this is a beautiful clock. I'd love to have this clock." All of a sudden, a voice came on and said, "You can buy it for $750." They're all like, "What the heck?" Talk about an unnerving situation. All of a sudden this voice comes on saying-
Dave Burnett: Comes out of nowhere.
Thom Dallman: Comes out of nowhere saying, "Yeah, you can buy this." Can you imagine, as someone going through someone's house and getting that-
Dave Burnett: I'd be ready to leave right now.
Thom Dallman: I'd be like, "Okay, I'm leaving. This house is haunted."
Dave Burnett: Now though, if somebody has a nanny cam, allegedly, they're supposed to declare that, so you know when you go in, as an agent. You can tell your people, "By the way, they do have a nanny cam."
Thom Dallman: No, I'll have to look into that, because as far as I know, that disclosure does not have to happen.
Dave Burnett: It does not.
Thom Dallman: There's no requirements for sellers. It's personal property. It's their own personal home.
Dave Burnett: Because I know with a business, they have to tell you if videotaping is going on on…Private, you don't.
Thom Dallman: Commercials, yeah. Commercial properties, yes.
Dave Burnett: Private, you don't.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, but private, you don't have to disclose that currently. I don't doubt that eventually that's going to be disclosed, or need to be disclosed. But as of right now, there's no rules or regulations that we know of that are requiring that.
Dave Burnett: You've been doing this long enough. What are some of the crazy things you have seen going on in homes?
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh, so many different things out there. We have ... One house I went and showed to some clients, and we walked into the house and immediately saw this big cage across the living room. Come to find out, they had a couple tarantulas. Then we walked into one of the bedrooms, and in the bedroom, was three big tanks with boa constrictors, these three big ginormous snakes.
Dave Burnett: Talk about needing.
Thom Dallman: I'm sorry, there was two snakes. One of the tanks was empty, and of course the buyer immediately went to, "Was there another snake somewhere in this house?" They got super uncomfortable. We're like, "Let's leave." We're worried that there might be another snake running around here with that empty tank.
Dave Burnett: That might be. That might be something you want to clear out of your house.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. I would probably recommend that if you can, probably remove those-
Dave Burnett: Ask someone to babysit your snakes.
Thom Dallman: Family, friend, or something like that to watch your snakes.
Gosh, we've walked into homes where they have had complete rooms dedicated to their hunting skills, if you will, so yeah, walking into a huge room, whether it's a bonus room, or whether it's a den, or whatever, and have all these dead animals hanging on the walls.
Dave Burnett: To animal lovers, that might be a little scary.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, so that's put buyers off, too. Whoa, this is kind of creepy with all these animals looking down.
Dave Burnett: From jackalopes to bears on your wall.
Thom Dallman: And of course, on occasion, you've walked into someone's bedroom and found personal items laying out on their dressers, or stuff that you're just like-
Dave Burnett: You might want to put those in the drawer.
Thom Dallman: They probably should've went through and cleaned up a little bit before. Oh gosh, we've had agents that have walked in on naked people sleeping, or on naked people in the shower.
Dave Burnett: Whoops.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: Somebody didn't get the message.
Thom Dallman: There's a huge communication gap between the husbands and wives sometimes when it comes to letting each other know when the house is being shown. Yeah, or maybe it's accidental, like forgot to tell them what time or what not. But we have literally had agents walk in, and open up a bedroom door, and find someone laying there sleeping in the buff. He wakes up. They wake up screaming. The agent's uncomfortable. The buyers are uncomfortable and exit as fast as possible.
Dave Burnett: And the deal isn't going to go through.
Thom Dallman: And stuff like that. Yeah, the stories can go on and on.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: And stuff like that. A lot of times there's tenants or even owners that are very particular about their home, and so they decide that they're going to stick around, which also creates an awkward-
Dave Burnett: They stand in the corner.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, they lurk in the corner.
Dave Burnett: Watching.
Thom Dallman: Or even worse, I've shown a property before where the owner and his son just sat there watching TV, like just sat in the living room, wouldn't even like just-
Dave Burnett: He says, "Help yourself."
Thom Dallman: Basically said, "Hi, and just walk around." It was uncomfortable walking through the house while they were just sitting there watching their TV show.
Dave Burnett: That gets back to our original issue. If there's a nanny cam, it makes it uncomfortable to share openly with a real estate agent, or with a husband or wife. It's like you being there. I don't feel open to talk about, "We should knock out this wall and do this."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: You don't feel comfortable doing that. Just be aware of the fact in this day and age with smart homes, that you may be in one that has a cam in the house.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. You just want to keep tabs on what you're saying when you're walking throughout.
Dave Burnett: What you're doing and what you're saying.
Thom Dallman: Wait until you leave the property and get out to the street, or in the car, to talk about your excitement.
Dave Burnett: Then go, "Woo-hoo. I'll do anything to get this house."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Thom Dallman, thanks so much for being with us again for this edition of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. We do this every Saturday at 2:00. We'd love for you to tune in again. If you know somebody who's buying or selling a home, be sure to let them know about it so that way they can be informed and keep up to date on the latest in real estate in the Treasure Valley and latest trends. It's the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, brought to you by Diversified Mortgage, and of course, the folks at Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website, 933-7777. Call and find out why you get more with Core.
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