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What is a Contingency?

  In my last blog I discussed what Pending means in Real Estate and I stated:   Anytime I say Pending, it means the house is under contract. Either with a contingency or not, the house is more than likely going to another buyer. It's just a matter of time until it closes and the new homeowner will be moving in. So what is a contingency?  Well a contingency in a contract is anything that must be first met to allow the sale to continue in the manner in which the contract was written. Most contracts have standard contingencies to include a home inspection, a financial contingency and an appraisal contingency. Other contingencies could include a home sale.  Home Inspection Contingency: This contingency allows the buyer to preform a home inspection (all home inspectors in the state of Virginia must have a license) and the buyer has the opportunity to ask for repairs in order for the contract to move forward. Sellers at this time can a couple of things. Repair all items Repair some it

No One Is Making an Offer--- What Needs Changing When Your House Won't Sell

Your house has been on the market for a couple of months, you have had plenty of showing but no one has made an offer yet. Your neighbor down the street put up a for sale sign in their yard and a couple of days later, a moving truck showed up. Is your agent not doing his or her job? Is something wrong with your house? What gives?

Getting a buyer to tour your home and make an offer are two different things. Nice photos and a cute description will get people in the door but your home must sell itself. A lot of times it is price but condition is high on the list too.

Everyone wants to get a deal--- not just you.

1. Set the Price Right--- The First Time: Analyze comps and listen to what they say. All houses in your area are selling for $150 a square foot? Why is your home worth $185 a square foot then? Buyers and their Agents don't like making offers that require a huge discount to get what they perceive as Fair Market Value. Generally you need to be priced within 5% or so of the right price to get an offer. If a buyer thinks they need to get 10%-15% off the list price, they typically won't make an offer. As a seller, you probably don't want to negotiate with a buyers who takes 15%-20% off. They will ask for everything during the home inspection period.

2. Don't Let Your Listing Get Bought By An Agent:   One of the oldest "Tricks" in the business--- don't be fooled. An agent promises a high price in the beginning to get the exclusive listing and then works you down over time with price. The longer your house is on the market, the more it becomes market worn. Why work with an agent who just wants your listing for their portfolio? Work with a Listing Agent who gets it SOLD!

3. Not Everyone Loves Your House As Much As You Do: You become attached to your memories and those memories have been made in this house you are selling but don't make that the basis of your selling price. Buyers are looking all over not just at your home and yours needs to be the best in their eyes. Swallow your pride and listen to feedback. If it something you can fix, say a gutter is hanging off the house, fix it.

4. If I List It Long Enough, I'll Get The Price I Want: Congratulations! You've paid more taxes, paid more payments to your mortgage company, and extended the life of all the components of your house! You were trying to sell the house correct?

5. Lower the Damn Price:  Every home, no matter how odd or how close to a busy street will sell TODAY! If you are not at that price, you will not sell it. Many sellers think the agent isn't doing enough or needs to market the property more. If the house looks great, and visitors are touring but no offers. The buyers have spoken loud and clear--- You are priced too high.

6. Fix What Needs to Be Fixed: I've had multiple deals fall apart because of home inspection items and the buyer walking away because the seller will not fix them. I've been on the other end with the seller who thinks they will get a better deal the next time and releases on a home inspection. Normally, the first offer is the best. If the roof needs to be replaced, the buyer is going to know. Home Inspectors are going to note that. If the electrical panel is about to blow, a buyer is not going to want to take that on unless it is priced very well. Want top dollar? Fix what needs to be fixed and move on.

7. You Bought It for $50,000 More Five Years Ago: What you paid years ago is no longer relevant in today's market. Buyers could care less about losing a lot of money. Listen to comps and price accordingly.

8. Don't Lose Sight Of the Big Picture: Are you moving across country to be closer to family or need to sell to buy your dream home? You can wait to get what you want on this house you are trying to sell but you could lose out on what you are moving on to. Don't lose sight.