Thursday, December 28, 2006

Selling Your Home With Pets

Let me begin by saying that I am a pet lover having had many over my lifetime & enjoying those of friends & family. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that are not pet lovers or at least not of many breeds.

Most of us would not think that this is a problem. But, there are many people that will not go into a home with pets that are 'on the loose.' Additionally, there are many people that will spend less time in a home that has pets that are not of their liking. Too many of us this is surprising and may even sound bizarre, but when you put it into perspective it is quite understandable.

So, therefore, we need to take many things into consideration when selling a home with a pet(s). Now, again as I've said, I love most pets. I will usually play with the pet & keep him/her occupied while my clients are viewing the home. This usually works for the pet as well as the prospective buyers. A lot of times, you will find buyers that have no issue with the pets. And, yes, we all know about those loveable, cute pets that just pull at your heartstrings just by looking at you. They can almost sell the home themselves.

But here are some things to possibly remember & some tips for all of us.

1. If it smells... That in itself is probably enough to be said. Sorry, but I've had cats & very rarely did my litter box smell. Guess what? I don't want to smell yours. Neither does anyone else. Clean that litter box & keep it clean or put it out of the way. But those are not the only smells. Most odors come from dander. You need to deodorize your home often & keep your pet bathed and groomed.

2. Stains. Clean them, there are many good products on the market for 'pet stains.' Clean that carpet before listing your home, or if it is that bad, then consider replacing them. Sorry, but smells, stains, etc. are not going to get you top dollar for your home, nevermind, the length of time on the market needed to sell a home in that condition especially when there are so many other available homes to purchase.

3. Keep Pets from Showings. If it is at all possible, take the pet for a walk while your home is being shown. It will make it a much more pleasant experience for the prospective buyer. Loud barking dogs are not always a pleasing sound & may actually scare potential buyers. This only limits your potential pool of buyers. As your realtor, we are constantly trying to increase this pool for you.

4. First Impressions. The old adage is so very true - First Impressions are Lasting Impressions. This not only includes smells & carpet stains, but also possible gnawed moldings, scratches doors & door jambs, holes in the backyard, poop in the backyard, etc. You obviously get the picture & so will the potential buyer that viewed a home like this. I don't care how pretty the home may be otherwise, it is the total picture that has to be taken into consideration. And, yes, first impressions do last & will most likely have the prospective buyer out of your house quickly if care is not taken to these details.

5. It's all about perception! If someone enters a home & it smells & there are stains on the flooring & scratched door jambs, etc. They should also wonder what else this home holds for them. I'm sorry if this seems harsh, but if I enter a home and see this, I do have to wonder what else hasn't been taken care of & kept up. This is only being realistic & I'm not being mean.

We love our pets & there is no reason that they should hinder a sale. Nor do they have to be responsible for lowering a realistic price on a home. It is our responsibility & this can be taken care of without a great deal of inconvenience to all.

Best Wishes & until next time... Marc It Sold!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Little of This - A Little of That!

Housing costs have risen substantially within the last couple of years. Have wages increased as much? We know the answer there. Now, I'm not going to get on my soapbox. But, we continually each day lock more and more people out of the housing market. Condos are costing in the 100K's; a nice relatively reasonable 3/2 single-family home will run approximately the mid 200's. Enough of that, but it is something that we do have to keep in mind. We should never forget, because that only leads to possibly losing the lesson.

Real Estate has returned to what it was normally. The market is very healthy. We are very lucky in the Greater Orlando area, because we are a destination city. We are also the #2 city in the nation for Conventions, even knocking Chicago out of that position. But, there is a lot of competition out there. There are over 21,000 MLS listings available.

This is going to be a difficult time for For Sale By Owners, unless they are willing to wait, what I would think would be, quite a while. I've even noticed what seems to be more homes going into pre-foreclosure. The summer of '05 is no longer. I'm not saying this for doom & gloom. But this is reality.

In regard to pre-foreclosures, people should speak to their lenders before it is way too late. And by too late, I mean, when they are already starting the papers. It takes several months before a homeowner is served with a pre-foreclosure notice. If you are late, there are some lenders that will allow you to tack on those payments to the end of your loan period. Granted, this will definitely cost you, but what will losing your home cost you? There are also other ways, but you must speak with your lender. You have to understand that the lender does not really wish to own your property. They are not making money on it. They make money from the payments that you send in each month.

Anyway, enough for now. Call me & I'll be more than happy to discuss this and any other topics with you.

Until next time....Marc It Sold!