Do you have questions on how appraisals work or how and when earnest honey comes in to play? Perhaps you're thinking about selling your home and you aren't sure how to spruce up your curb appeal? Well if any or all questions apply to you, than we have the show for you. We hope you enjoy Dave Burnett, Michelle Guth and Thom Dallman discussing all of these topics.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker, of Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website, and 933-7777, that is the phone number to call. We talk about all the time the fact that the purpose of this show is not to sell homes. Core Group can do that. They've got that down. They've got that mastered. This is about giving you power and information, because with that knowledge comes the ability to make wise decisions when it comes to buying and selling your home. Thom Dallman, that's why we're here is to just give information for folks.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, we like to educate everybody, because it is, as we've said time and time again, one of the most important purchases you'll make in your life, is purchasing a house, or investing in real estate, if that's the route you're going. It's important to be well educated, and well informed, and to have all your ducks in a row, and your trusted advisors around you.
Dave Burnett: If you're the average person, you have two and a half kids, and what, every five, six years, you buy or sell a house.
Thom Dallman: Yep, yep, I think that average is popping up a little bit more to like seven to eight years. People are staying in homes a little bit longer.
Dave Burnett: It is kind of like riding a bike. You don't forget how it works, but so many things have changed in the last seven years-
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: As far as how homes are sold, how you go about selling homes, and how everything's done. That's the purpose of this show is to get you updated on that.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, there's so much that's changed, even in two years, when it comes to regards of internet presence. There's so much talk about Facebook advertising and making sure that your homes are being posted on Facebook, just so much of that social media internet presence part of selling a home. That's key and super important to making sure you have that wide expanse of internet viewing, if you will.
Dave Burnett: You need a broad footprint.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Burnett: I think maybe that might be the term you're looking for. It's not just a case ... There was a time where you put a sign in the yard, you'd run an ad in the Sunday or Saturday, Saturday is cars, Sunday newspaper-
Thom Dallman: Sunday paper, yeah.
Dave Burnett: And then people would sit down, read the paper, and circle the houses they thought were worth looking at. They'd get a hold of their real estate agent, and they go drive around, and spend all day driving to look at four or five homes.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: That's not the way it works.
Thom Dallman: Or back in the day, the realtors used to have books that they would get each weekend with all the new listings and everything in it. They'd have to scroll through the book, and try to do things. Now it's just everything being on the internet, it's so much easier to find those things.
Dave Burnett: Correct.
Thom Dallman: But it's easy for everybody to find it, so you got a lot more competition.
Dave Burnett: And we're living in an age right now, it may change in a couple weeks, but right now, there is a shortage of homes out there.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: So, every competitive edge you can get when it comes to buying and/or selling your home, you want.
Thom Dallman: Definitely, yeah. You want to make sure that you're going with a real estate agent that has the capability and ability to get it out as many places on the internet, because they're saying 90% of home searches are starting on the internet these days. People are savvy enough to be able to go onto the Zillows, Realtor.com, places like that to start their searching, and so you want someone who has a big presence in those places, as well as just those people that attract buyers.
Dave Burnett: I think it's that way with everything. I don't think ... My past two or three cars, I know what I wanted before I started. I talked to somebody here the other day that sells appliances, and they said there was a time where somebody would come in, and, "What's the entry level refrigerator?" And you'd work them up from there. Now they come in, he said 85% of the people know exactly what they want. There's just filling the order.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah, I went to a seminar a couple weeks ago, where they talked about now it's not just sitting down to watch TV, because people skip commercials, so it's not about the commercials anymore. But when they see something that they are interested or curious about on TV, most people are sitting there with their phones nowadays. They literally will take their laptop or their phone and start Googling whatever's talked about on a sitcom, whatever's talked about on the Today show, or any of those programming’s. All of a sudden, people are on their phones at the same time that they're watching TV, Googling, searching for, whatever it is, the topic that interests them at that moment.
Dave Burnett: Yep, so if you're selling a home, and you just have a sign in the yard, you're at a huge disadvantage.
Thom Dallman: Very huge.
Dave Burnett: One of the things Core Group Realty prides themselves on, and that is their website, coregrouprealty.com. The Coming Soon page, or that Secret Listing-
Thom Dallman: Secret Listings, yes, Secret Listings.
Dave Burnett: They've got a couple of them this week.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. Just touching base on the Secret Listing aspect of things, we like that, because it really helps to generate the interest beforehand. A point, in fact, the last couple weeks, we've actually had a couple of success stories with a couple homes, one in Nampa, and one in Emmett, that we actually received offers before it even went live on the MLS so that we could pretty much start negotiating a contract, as soon as it went live on the MLS. There are definitely buyers out there that are savvy enough and interested enough to put in offers before they even go live.
Dave Burnett: What are the homes you have on the Coming Soon [crosstalk 00:05:50]
Thom Dallman: Sure, sure. One of my Secret Listings, one we're really super excited about over off of the Maple Grove Amity area in South Boise is 9524 West Wright Street, that's W-R-I-G-H-T Street. This is in the Harvey Burnett acreage subdivision.
Dave Burnett: No relation.
Thom Dallman: No relation. I already asked that at break.
Dave Burnett: Yep, no relation.
Thom Dallman: But this is a four bed, three baths, single level, 2,600 square feet, house with a three-car garage, sitting on 1.86 acres.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: Nice big lot. It's one of the few places in Boise that still allow for chicken and horses. It's got garden space. It's got a nice big shop with electricity to it. Got a nice RV parking spot on it, as well. It's got two master bedrooms, so, as we talked about, the trending that we're going to for multi-generational families in a property together, this is a perfect opportunity for that, with the two masters. Jetted tub, recently renovated, just a great property to check out and view. Nice big space, and it's coming on at $425,000 and should be live this next week.
Dave Burnett: All right, very good, so we'll watch for that one again. It's under the Coming Soon tab at coregrouprealty.com.
Thom Dallman: We've actually changed that to the Secret Listing tab.
Dave Burnett: You did? It does say Secret Listing, okay.
Thom Dallman: It says Secret Listing now.
Dave Burnett: Secret Listing tab, formerly the Coming Soon-
Thom Dallman: Coming Soon tab.
Dave Burnett: Get that secret listing, and you get a head start, and look at that. You have another one on there, as well?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. This one is in Meridian. This is 1571 West Idaho Court in the Westlawn addition subdivision. It's a two bed, two bath, 1,100 square feet, two car garage, breakfast bar, tile countertops. It's on a cul-de-sac, so it's got a nice private front yard, if you will. This one is coming on at $160,000 for that two bedroom, two bath.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: Nice little starter home, investment home, or if you're looking for a rental property, and so forth, this is a great option for that, as well.
Dave Burnett: All right, both of those on the Secret Listing, so check those out. If you're interested and want more information about it, you can call 933-7777, and the cusThomer care agent will get you in touch with somebody who can give you more details.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, for sure. There's someone standing by, if you wanted to get into one of these properties. We can try to see if the sellers are willing to. Most of the time when they're in this Coming Soon, they're holding off until they get it cleaned up, and pictures taken, and all that fun stuff. But yeah, there's definitely something to ask about.
Dave Burnett: You have one that just went live. They were ready to go, so you just went live.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, this one just went live. They were ready to go. They were just like, "We don't need to go through that waiting period." This one's at 2525 South Legal Avenue in Meridian. This is the Sutherland Farms subdivision. This is a two bed, two bath, 1,100 square foot home, single level. It's a patio home, so a great place for, once again, empty nesters, for beginner home, for starter family, for any family, really, to get in there, with its two-car garage. This house has granite countertops, covered patio on the back, great opportunity for just about anybody at $200,000, in Meridian.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: 2525 South Legal Avenue, live.
Dave Burnett: I can't stress enough, if you are paying rent right now, unless you're planning on moving, but if you are paying rent, you really need to take a look at this, because the amount of money you're paying in rent, probably very similar to your house payment.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. I would definitely recommend reaching out to a lender to find out what you're qualified for, you can get pre-qualified for, because yeah, there's some loan payments that are almost cheaper than rents right now.
Dave Burnett: That's amazing. Again, I want to stress that is in the live listings right now that you can find the featured listings, and the other ones are ... They've changed the name of the tab, but is it your Secret ... What is it again? Secret?
Thom Dallman: Secret Listings
Dave Burnett: Listings.
Thom Dallman: Technically still Coming Soon.
Dave Burnett: All right. We'll get those down, but some of the homes you can look for, and of course anything that's under the MLS, is available for you to look at, as well. As you head out this afternoon, or maybe around this evening, Thomorrow morning, check those out. Take a look at the website, and go to coregrouprealty.com, and find those out.
Anything else you have listed you want to talk about?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we have our 1807 Silver Drive in Nampa that is live. That's a three bed, two bath, once again, another great starter home at $125,000.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: $125,000, which is pretty rare right now in our marketplace.
Dave Burnett: Somebody could put that on their VISA card.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, right. That one is a three car garage. That just got listed, as well. Definitely worth checking out, 1807 Silver Drive out in Nampa.
Dave Burnett: One of the things I've always wanted to talk to Michelle about is, how you could become a landlord.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Maybe we'll talk to her one of these weeks about that, about how you get started buying one rental, and how do you roll that into a second, how do you roll that into a third.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: I'm sure there's got to be a system to it, but we'll ask Michelle about that one of these days.
Thom Dallman: We can talk about that, for sure.
Dave Burnett: That'd be perfect. All right, this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Speaking of Michelle Guth, we'll be talking to her in just a few minutes. Appraisal, or ... What's the other?
Thom Dallman: Inspection.
Dave Burnett: Inspection. Appraisal and ... What's the difference? Do you know the difference? When we get done, you will know the difference, as we continue with the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman, here on 580 KIDO and FM 107.5.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett along with Michelle Guth. The diversified mortgage equal opportunity lender, Michelle, right here in the Treasure Valley. Accompanying this air, ready to help you through the financial transaction of buying a home, which, Thom Dallman as we know that's where the nuts and the bolts come together.
Thom Dallman: That's where it starts.
Dave Burnett: When the money hits the bank, the deal can be done.
Michelle Guth: That is the goal.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Michelle, we talked about this awhile back, and there was a question again about appraisals. And I recently, in full disclosure, went through a diversified mortgage, got my loan redone. And we had to have an appraisal, and I'm glad you want to bring it up again because I had several questions for you about appraisals. But explain again the difference between appraisals, and -
Michelle Guth: Home inspection?
Thom Dallman: The home inspection.
Dave Burnett: The home inspection, they're not the same thing.
Michelle Guth: They are not, in fact, I'll let Thom Dallman go ahead and touch on the purpose of the home inspection.
Thom Dallman: Completely different.
Michelle Guth: Which is typically something that the client and the agent are going to coordinate, and get set up, which is not a requirement of lending, but certainly encouraged by the lender and the agent.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Michelle Guth: So, if you could touch on that, Thom Dallman, that'd be great.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, for sure. The home inspection is the process where we're going through and insuring the soundness and safety of the property for the buyers to make sure that they're buying a safe and sound house. And looking for those items that would hold up the appraiser that may need to be repaired or fixed in order for it to get through the appraisal process. This is for the buyers to be able to go through and make sure that they are 100% happy with what the condition of the house is in its current state. So that's the inspection.
Dave Burnett: And that the lending institution would be happy too.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah.
Dave Burnett: They're the ones with the restrictions.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. We're going to be looking for those items that the appraiser might catch and say, "Uh, uh, can't buy this house unless this is fixed." So, we want to try and catch those things up front.
Dave Burnett: So, some of those things might be like the roof or paint, or foundation, structural more than anything.
Thom Dallman: Peeling paint.
Michelle Guth: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: Flooring that's peeled up, and could cause a trip hazard, exposed wiring, things like that. Mold issues in the crawl space of the attics, things that -
Dave Burnett: And just being up to code.
Thom Dallman: And just being, yeah, yeah, for sure.
Dave Burnett: Which is different. The things that were code ten years ago, may not be code today.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. I recently saw an inspection contingency that showed that some really crazy wiring that someone went in and did before selling the property.
Michelle Guth: A DIY project.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Michelle Guth: We love those.
Thom Dallman: That needed to be fixed and brought up to code.
Dave Burnett: But appraisal is different.
Michelle Guth: Very different. So again, the reason as Thom mentioned, we want the inspection is ideally the client's going to have that assurance that the home meets, basically meets the criteria they're expecting for property condition. We want that step done before we order the appraisal, because there's costs associated with the appraisal and we don't want to have them incur that expense until we know that we are moving forward with the inspection. So, we will typically delay ordering that appraisal until we get notification from the agent that we're done with negotiations on repair items, let's go ahead and move forward with the appraisal.
Dave Burnett: Okay, now so the appraisal is it something that I as a buyer of the home that I ask for? Who does that?
Michelle Guth: I'm glad you asked that question, Dave. Let me tell you.
Dave Burnett: That's why I'm here.
Michelle Guth: I have also gotten that question from people that are doing refinances or even thinking of selling their home. They say, "You know what, I'm just going to get an appraisal. We'll know what it's worth for sure, and then we can just use it when we sell the home." That is not a transferrable item. If it's not ordered by the lender, we can't use it. So, it is something that has to be ordered by the lender that you're working with, and it's done through an appraisal management company. That's something that went into law several years ago, where they wanted to ensure that there was no collusion between the lenders and appraisers. So, it is handled by a third-party vendor, which is an appraisal management company. And they will basically farm out your appraisal request to a panel of appraisers.
Dave Burnett: Now, I know when we got our appraisal done, we got it ordered up. I said, "Yeah, some gal's coming over." You said, "Oh. Is it -," he listed out four or five names. I said, "I don't remember who it is." Because you know who they are, but you don't know who's going to be actually doing the appraisal.
Michelle Guth: In many cases. So, the appraisers typically, as a lender, we're going to go through a pretty extensive vetting process to determine ideally who we'd like to see on our panel. Again, we have no agreements with them or anything else, it's just people that have been in the industry for many years who have a great proven track record of turning in high quality reports.
Dave Burnett: That's my question for you. How do you know you're not getting somebody who's going out and saying, "Hmm, yeah, that's worth 10,000." How do you know that that person is getting an honest evaluation? How do they go about it?
Michelle Guth: Well, for the appraiser, it's not in their best interest to not follow the parameters of what they should put in a report, because if they are over valuing something, for example, it still has to go through the underwriting process, and they're going to also really look at what did they use for adjustments to determine that value. Because if they're showing comparable sales of a like house that sold for 20,000 under what they're trying to appraise this, and there's really not much for validity in why they made these big adjustments. Maybe the interior finishers are the same, the lot size's the same, it's like how can you justify for a comp that sold a month ago that has almost identical finishes, lot size, and this house is worth 20,000 more? We are going to underwrite that appraisal, and if we see something that poses a concern, we can ask for an appraisal review process.
Dave Burnett: Do they get an old appraisal as well? Do they have access to old appraisals?
Michelle Guth: They do not. So, what they will see is the history of the property, when it last sold and so forth, but they do not have access to previous appraisals on the property.
Dave Burnett: Okay. I'm just kind of curious, because of several questions that my appraiser asked me about the house, "Oh, you've upgraded your floors. You have ceramic tile floors in the bathroom."
Michelle Guth: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: How did she know that?
Michelle Guth: Well, she could see the finishes on it. So, you can generally tell if these are original items that came with the house, or things that potentially have been upgraded. So, they want to know how long ago did you do it? Because when they are determining value, those are things that they're looking at when they're doing their adjustments.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Michelle Guth: So, the house next door that maybe hasn't had any upgrades, has all original flooring, they're going to make some adjustments on your value to help determine a greater -
Dave Burnett: Gotcha. I was curious as to whether she had an old appraisal or something, because it was like, "How'd she know we got that done?" And there were several things in the home that were that way. Fair warning to people, they come through, they take pictures of the rooms, we have one backroom that's a room everybody has, it's got -
Michelle Guth: The catch-all room?
Dave Burnett: Yes, the catch-all room. It's like, "Really? You want to take a picture of that? That's not good." "Nope, got to take a picture." So, they do take pictures of everything, and they measure things, so.
Michelle Guth: They do. And Thom brought up a good point about the inspector getting in, and doing in-depth verification of the property because depend upon the financing type you're getting, whether it be a government or a conventional loan, for government loans, the appraiser has to poke their head up in the attic, and they have to poke their head down in the crawl space, and basically, see if anything pops out at them. But they're not getting up in the attic and walking around, so if you had mold way back in the corner, they're probably not going to see it. They're poking their head up in the crawl space looking for something obvious in the attic, in the crawl space.
Dave Burnett: If you want an actual appraiser or inspection, you need to get an inspection done
Michelle Guth: Absolutely.
Thom Dallman: That's the importance of an inspection.
Michelle Guth: Because they are literally crawling all over under the house, up in the attic. The appraiser's not going to do that, they're just looking for obvious signs of issues.
Dave Burnett: From the time an appraisal is ordered, how long does it take until it happens?
Michelle Guth: Well, again, it depends on the program. Typically, a standard appraiser from the time we order it until it's in our hand, is anywhere from seven to ten days. They have to upload the report to the appraisal management company. They're then going to go through a quality control review as well to see if there's any corrections that they want request of the appraiser before it's released to us. It is not until that point in time that the appraisal is uploaded to us as the lender that we even know who appraised the property. And again, the reason for that is to protect the consumer that there's no collusion between the lender and the appraiser.
Dave Burnett: So, that law was put in place to keep me from hiring a buddy of mine to inspect the house; or for you, as a lender, to hire somebody that you know you're going to get a good, favorable.
Michelle Guth: Exactly. I mean, back at the height of the market, we could call any appraiser we wanted, and say, "Hey, John Doe appraiser, I'm doing a refinance. We're hoping the values at 280,000. Let me know what you think."
Dave Burnett: It's worth 280,000.
Michelle Guth: They don't want that happening, obviously. They want him going in completely with an unbiased expectation of value. When they have a purchase, they have the purchase contract. So, they know they have a target price, but if the comps adjustments don't support it, they will come under value. And we're seeing that a lot more frequently now, because of the recent appreciation in home prices.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. It was interesting. I was there during the appraisal. I don't know if I was supposed to be there, or not there, but I was there, and answered some questions. But you kind of, I will be honest, it's a little intimidating, somebody kind of poking through. "Don't look in that closet!" You know?
Michelle Guth: It's like, "Do you mind?"
Dave Burnett: "There may be dead bodies in there, don't open that." So, in some ways, it was intimidating to have that done.
Michelle Guth: A little intrusive?
Dave Burnett: A little bit. It was that back bedroom, that was the deal. It was like, "No, don't open that. The doors always closed in that room." But the appraisal came out good.
Michelle Guth: Yeah?
Dave Burnett: It came out fine. We were able to get the refinance done, and we're happy to have it done. Hey, by the way, and I can't remember the gal's name who did the appraisal, very nice. She was a very nice lady, and did a great job. Made it as painless as possible, despite of my embarrassment.
Thom Dallman: There you go.
Dave Burnett: Michelle, if somebody wants to get a hold of you at Diversified Mortgage, and talk to you about appraisals, or talk to you about their credit, talk about maybe refinancing still rates incredibly low right now.
Michelle Guth: Oh, they're fantastic time to buy. Absolutely. I would say, "Do not delay."
Dave Burnett: And how should we get ahold of you?
Michelle Guth: Give us a call at 853-7878, or visit our website, which is dmgloans.com, or just come by and see us, we're right there on Marigold and Glenwood. So, we love pop-ins as well.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Diversified Mortgage, you will not be disappointed in the service, and the quality of people that they have there working for them. I know that's why you're involved with them.
Thom Dallman: Yep. That's why we're partners with them.
Dave Burnett: They're quality people. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, we will continue on the other side talking about several different things today, including, we're going to be talking a little bit about curb appeal as we continue right here on 580 KIDO, and FM 107.5.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom. Thom is a co-owner and the designated broker of Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty .com is the website. 933-7777 if you have any questions about anything that happens during the course of this show or about Core Group, give them a call. In fact, somebody's standing by right now and they can answer those questions. Which is the nice thing, Thom, is you have those customer care agents there ready to go.
Thom Dallman: Yep, we have someone standing by ready to answer your question and we love answering questions whether it is what's the weather like in Boise to what's a great subdivision to look at. Yeah, we cover the gambit for whatever real estate question you have or just local question that you have.
Dave Burnett: Well, one of the questions that some people have is some of the terminology, and I know for like you and Michelle and people who are always in the business, there's terms that you just use you don't even think about.
Thom Dallman: Oh yes.
Dave Burnett: But for some of us, you drop some of these terms and it's like, "Okay, not what exactly does that mean?" One of those terms is earnest money.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: It has nothing to do with earnest.
Thom Dallman: No, well a little bit. It has a little bit about how earnest you are on purchasing a home, so that's kind of where that came from. It's a, the upfront almost kind of like a down payment, if you will, that goes along with the contracts over to sellers to show how earnest the buyers are on the purchasing a property.
Dave Burnett: I guess maybe it's because the word earnest is kind of an old word we don't use anymore.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. You don't hear it very often except for stuff like this. But that's what it was originally designed for and it was a show of good faith to the sellers that you truly want to purchase this property and what you're willing to put up up front.
Dave Burnett: So, at what point does earnest money come in to the deal? When do you pay earnest money?
Thom Dallman: Well, it depends on the contract, but most of the Idaho purchase and sale agreements are actually a receipt of earnest money for a brokerage. So, that earnest money check is usually written right when you go to sit down to write an offer to a seller and is turned in to the brokerage representing the buyers.
Dave Burnett: Okay, so they hold possession of the check.
Thom Dallman: Depending on their situation yeah. Some brokerages, they hold possession of the check until whatever is clarified in the contract is stipulated or when you reach that mark. For example, at Core Group, we have a policy that all of our buyer’s contracts are written with a five day, to be deposited with a trust account within five days.
We do all of our trust accounts through a title company to keep it clean and fair, so the title company actually holds it but it doesn't go to the title company until we actually have that five days upon acceptance by both parties to get that turned over to the title company to hold on to for us, ar to hold on for us.
So, it kind of really depends on the brokerage and the certain situation of the contracts on what they've written into it. Some brokerages do immediate deposit into a trust account that the brokerage has, the brokerage manages those trust accounts and will deposit that right away upon acceptance.
Dave Burnett: I'm gonna divert just a little bit here, but is that a way of knowing that you are dealing with a reputable real estate company? In other words, if somebody goes, "Well, we'll take your earnest money." And that check just kind of disappears. You don't know where it goes, you know you might not have a real good deal.
Thom Dallman: Well yeah, you should probably be asking your agent like, "What exactly is your trust account situation?" I don't think that it really, whether it's a like us, where we have, we don't have a trust account, we do everything through the title companies, or whether it's a brokerage that does have a trust account, I don't think that that's a particularly a bad sign or a good sign either way.
Dave Burnett: But it's accountable.
Thom Dallman: It's accountable. To be holding accountable and when you have a trust account, that's where our, every two years we get audited from the Real Estate Commission and they double check that trust account if you're in the business of having a trust account. They go through and audit that pretty particularly because they do not allow for the co-mingling of funds. So you can't take earnest money from a trust account and accidentally deposit it into your company's regular savings account or whatnot and vice versa. Because that's co-mingling of funds so you get in a lot of trouble for that.
Dave Burnett: Well let me ask you this. Does it ever go bad? On earnest money, can I lose my money?
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah. There's earnest money disputes that do happen on occasion. As a matter of fact, just this week we're kind of dealing with two situations where the contract very specifically states that the earnest money becomes nonrefundable at a certain point. And the buyers, for whatever reason, didn't read the fine print or didn't realize that, and so they're trying to not pay their portion of the earnest money to the sellers for that nonrefundable. And it's really super important in this current market that we're in with the way that the people are kind of competing. Buyer's agents are encouraging buyers to make an earnest money nonrefundable, and not really instructing them on what that actually means. One of the deals that we are dealing with this week, or that we dealt with this week, was an earnest money dispute over someone who was not living in state, they decided to put an offer in on one of our listings, and they were doing a substantial earnest money. So the sellers, but the offer was contingent on them actually coming to view the property. The sellers and the selling agent, or listing agent, said, "Well, let's do this. We'll go ahead and take it off the market for you, but we want a quarter of your earnest money to be nonrefundable." Which the buyers agreed to, they signed off on it. That contingency was once they viewed the property, they had the opportunity to view the property and everything, and terminated the contract, if they terminated the contract then that quarter is nonrefundable. They're now saying, "Well, we viewed the property and we're terminating the contract because that was in the contract to do that, but we don't feel like we really need to give you that nonrefundable earnest money that we agreed to." On the basis of couple different things that they're claiming that they weren't aware of, neighboring power lines or something along that line. But that was all stuff part of what they had to do for their visual inspection and part of the contract allowing for them. At the end of the day, that quarter of that earnest money was nonrefundable.
Dave Burnett: So, it is important that when you get to that earnest money part of the deal, that you talk to your agent to know exactly is it refundable, is it not refundable. What are the circumstances where I would not be getting this money back. Make sure you understand that.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, yep, Yeah, I think that's so key to make sure that you're asking that question when you hear nonrefundable earnest money. What does that mean, exactly? Because for some reason, people hear nonrefundable earnest money but still think that there's gonna be some point where you get it back, if the deal doesn't work out. Like, "I shouldn't have to give you money if I, if it doesn't work out." But the reason why that they're doing nonrefundable earnest money is because it does cost sellers to take it off the market because that's literally what they're doing in the timeframe that you may be doing your two-week inspection, or whatever it is. That's taking it off the market, marketing time and costing the sellers money.
Dave Burnett: We circle all the way back around to how earnest you are about buying this house.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly.
Dave Burnett: You were telling me during the break, it doesn't necessarily have to be money for earnest money.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, in the past, it has been known that you can actually use, for example, a wedding ring, a car, people have used cars as earnest money. Yeah, there are various ways that you can do earnest money without actually giving money, it just requires an appraisal to get the assessed value of the item and very clear documentation. Doesn't, does it happen? I have not seen it in the time that I've been licensed, but-
Dave Burnett: I was gonna say, somehow I can just see an odd look if you said, "I got two chickens and a goat."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: I want to put those up for earnest money.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, but back in the day that was actually common form of kind of earnest money to show that you're really serious about buying a property, is people would kind of write a, if it was an automobile, the deed over to the sellers. If it didn't come together and stuff, so.
Dave Burnett: So that earnest money that you're paying, let's say it's a thousand dollars, that's pretty typical, a thousand?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, it depends on the price point, but I usually encourage people to do about 1% of the purchase price rounding up or down.
Dave Burnett: So that thousand dollars is put into a trust fund, or it's held, and the deal goes through. So that thousand then counts towards the purchase of the house?
Thom Dallman: It usually counts towards, yeah, towards the down payment, if you're getting a loan program. If you're paying cash, that thousand dollars gets applied back to the closing costs and the closing process. It goes back to the buyer as part of their closing process and so forth. It does come back to the buyers, in one form or another during the closing process.
Dave Burnett: Earnest money. Write that down, there'll be a quiz later. No, there won't be any quiz but if you hear it, it's a term and maybe you're very familiar with it, if you've bought a home before as far as providing that earnest money and getting that done early on in the deal. If you have any questions about it, you can always call Core Group Realty at 933-7777, just ask them, "What's the average and how that works." And if whoever answers the phone cannot answer those questions, they'll get somebody who can.
Thom Dallman: Yep, for sure. Someone's always standing by.
Dave Burnett: Thom Dallman with Core Group Realty. Thank you so much. Appreciate a little bit of education along the way and the process of doing earnest money. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. We will continue coming up here on 580 KIDO and AM 107.5. It is KIDO and the Idaho Real Estate Buzz.
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, that is the phone number. I think for the first time, I think we had a week of Spring and Summer like weather.
Thom Dallman: Yay. It got so nice and warm earlier this week.
Dave Burnett: It took a while to get around to it but I think it is finally here.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: You know, it does boast the question for me, it's a time where right now, with the plants, you get your annuals planted and everything going.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's the time you can really curb appeal rip roaring on your house.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, just two weekends ago we started kind of getting our planters together and hitting the Home Depot, the Garden Center to get some beautiful flowers going and stuff like that so it's definitely the time of year to get plants going.
Dave Burnett: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Just so you know, annuals, if you're shopping, those are the ones that come up once a year, you get your annuals. Perennials are the ones that will come back year, after year, after year.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I always get them mixed up. I always think the annuals should be annually.
Dave Burnett: But those are the perennials that will keep going so the annuals are just once a year that they'll come up but those are the ones where you get your violets, you get your plants that you put in the planter bed and they look so good.
Thom Dallman: Oh gosh, so good.
Dave Burnett: And really can make a house sharp.
Thom Dallman: And if you don't have garden space, like there are some clever ideas out there for ways of creating planter boxes or ways to put planters into what space you do have.
Dave Burnett: Yep. I saw one, not to divert from this but I saw it and I want to do it, if you want to plant peas or green beans, you take two, two by fours and then you just screw them into your fence at an angle and then you go get cut in half a PVC pipe, fill those with dirt and make shelves of them.
Thom Dallman: Oh.
Dave Burnett: And then you plant the plants so they fall down and so within a very small amount of space, it's kind of like a stair step.
Thom Dallman: How interesting.
Dave Burnett: All of those plants are right there.
Thom Dallman: Gosh, I love that idea.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. I thought, "Wow," in 10 square feet in your backyard-
Thom Dallman: You can actually have like-
Dave Burnett: All the peas you want.
Thom Dallman: That's interesting. I have not seen that one. I'm one of those people that whenever those little things pop up on Pinterest or on Facebook, I get all fascinated by it. My favorite video that I saw was people who had taken some cinder blocks and they had taken some acrylic paints and painted each cinder block with an intricate design on the front of them and then stacked them in a staircase way, in a corner and then they took the ends pieces where you have the little hole in the cinder block and they lined it with some kind of cloth and then filled them with dirt and did flowers, beautiful flowers all the way up to the top of the cinder block wall that they had created and stuff and so with the combination of the flowers and the acrylic paints, the vibrant colors and patterns, created such a great little corner landscape item. Eye catching and talk about curb appeal, wow.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question because I know if we're selling a house, and by the way curb appeal; you can have even if your house isn't for sale.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: You are always a proponent of on the inside of the house, less is more.
Thom Dallman: Less is more.
Dave Burnett: Is it the same way on curb appeal on the outside of your house? Can you do too much?
Thom Dallman: I think you can do too much because then people get intimidated and feel like, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to be spending every night and weekend gardening if I buy this house," so you don't want to go overboard with it. You want to do things that are subtle and easy to maintain and for those annuals to replace next year and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Right.
Thom Dallman: If you have a whole backyard full of plants and stuff that they have to go and replace next year or change out the landscaping completely, it may not appeal to some buyers. I think there's definitely a fine balance between how much you want to do.
Dave Burnett: Of course. Absolutely crazy.
Thom Dallman: And disclosing if you're taking it or leaving it, I think is a key part too. For example, that whole cinder block planter wall, like technically the sellers could pack that up and move it on with them so that might not come with the house.
Dave Burnett: Cause it's not attached.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. It's not one of those attached items so it's definitely something to think about if you're going to do those planter boxes. Are you leaving those? If not, make sure that you're disclosing to the buyers that they're not going to be staying.
Dave Burnett: If you're thinking about selling your home and we've talked about this in the past, if December, it's January, your grass is brown or buried under snow, the trees have no leaves on them, is it a good idea that if you're thinking about it, about taking pictures now for staging for selling your home or what do you think?
Thom Dallman: I don't think it ever hurts to have pictures of your home for various reasons; insurance purposes, you know if you were to have a fire and you wanted to have the home rebuilt and stuff; but just to always have some crisp, clean summer pictures, if definitely helps if you do decide to roll into Summer and decide, you know what, I think it's time to sell but I don't have any good pictures, we can definitely use those.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Thom Dallman: So, it's never a bad idea to take a couple pictures of the front of your house every so often.
Dave Burnett: Just to have them?
Thom Dallman: Just to have them.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. Some of the other curb appeal ideas that are out there, of course, plants are a big one but what's amazing is bark mulch.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: Which is really cheap if you go to the big box stores right now, they are cheap. They come in black, they come in red, they come in brown, they come in all kinds of different colors now.
Thom Dallman: Yeah and now they come in the recycled rubber.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: Mulch, as well. Yeah, that's a great way to just ... Cause that bark, especially the bark mulch, it fades after a couple of years or a couple of strong winters. So, just throwing that splash of color with some of that red mulch and stuff like that can change the curb appeal so drastically when you get that laid down and freshen that up. Definitely a great way to create some great curb appeal.
Dave Burnett: Other things to think about right now when it comes to your home and that is, it is also the time of year where wasps and bees, not necessarily bees but wasps and yellow jackets like to make their nests and it's a good time to go around and make sure you get those all taken care of and knocked down and out of there.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. Knock those down and spray them with-
Dave Burnett: Spider webs too.
Thom Dallman: Spray them with insecticide first to make sure that there's nothing that's going to come after you and stuff but yeah. Running a hose over the outside of your house periodically through the summer obviously will clear most of that stuff out and make sure that you don't have cobwebs dangling and things like that.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: It's also a good time of the year to go through and double check ... The winter was really harsh this year so like at my house particularly, I've got a couple of spots in our stucco that has cracked due to the winter and stuff like that so good time to get some of that stuff fixed up as well.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, I was thinking about, looking at my house going, "You know, we're almost to that point to need to paint," in fact I probably could paint it but by next Spring I will definitely be painting the house again. It's a good time to kind of take in, walk around the house, looking at the stucco. Also, a good time, and try to remember this, Stan always tells us this as well, with your vents, during the Spring and Summer, you want them open.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: So that the house is breathing underneath.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah. Go through and make sure that they're open. Also, just double checking your dyer vents, making sure that you get those blown out, as well as your furnace. It's a good time of the year to get your furnace ducting and all that stuff cleaned out as well, when you turn on the air conditioners.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, we did that for the first time this week, we actually turned the air conditioner on in the house.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Started the air and it worked.
Thom Dallman: So did we. I left my frigid house.
Dave Burnett: I hate air conditioning.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: I really don't, I would just assume not have it but it is that time of year where you kind of have to have it around here.
Thom Dallman: I'm one of those air-conditioned house, right to the air-conditioned car and to my air-conditioned office.
Dave Burnett: The sun is out there.
Thom Dallman: Yeah it is.
Dave Burnett: We beg and wait for the sun and then we hide from it.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Explain that one.
Thom Dallman: I only like to go out there when I'm swimming.
Dave Burnett: So, it's that time of year where you might want to try to get out and really for a minimal amount of money, I think the bark mulches right now are four or five bags for 10 bucks.
Thom Dallman: Pretty inexpensive.
Dave Burnett: You could go invest $20, you could go get plants are reasonable right now.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. If you have an old ... I saw this one person that took an old ladder and did some of those little hanging plants, propped it up against the wall and did some hanging plants from it just to create kind of that nice little wall of flowers growing outside of their house.
Dave Burnett: It makes a difference.
Thom Dallman: Just kind of different things out there.
Dave Burnett: Truly does. So, it's that time of year that you can do that and as I said, curb appeal doesn't necessarily mean you're selling the house, but it is important when you talk to your real estate agent, if you're selling your house to say, "What can we do to give this the best curb appeal," because you really just have a matter of seconds.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, it's the first impression when people pull up to the house so that's the impression that's going to last the longest is what it looks like when they pull up.
Dave Burnett: If it looks like the Adam's Family, [inaudible 00:09:43] Lester's, you're probably not going to sell it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Or if it looks like a jungle, they may be like, "Uh, maybe not."
Dave Burnett: And that's the thing, if it looks like too much work, some people may not want to do that.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Thom, we appreciate it, every week we get together and do this. It's called the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. It's to give you power and knowledge and understanding when it comes to buying and selling real estate. Not just to sell homes. CORE Group Realty can do that. It's to empower you with knowledge. If you have any questions you've heard or talked about, check out the website, coregrouprealty.com Thom Dallman has some blogs on there talking about different things we've talked about in the past and of course you can call 933-7777 that is the phone number to call if you have questions about Core Group and about the homes that we've talked about during the course of the day. We'll continue again next Saturday, we do it every Saturday at two o'clock, we'll do it again right here on 580 KIDO and 107.5 FM. It is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz.
Core Group Realty