Tag Archives: real estate

10 Strangest Questions Buyers Have Ever Asked About a House

 May 17, 2017

Long before home buyers decide a certain place must be theirs, it behooves them to ask a lot of questions. For example: “How’s the neighborhood?” or “How old is that water heater, anyway?” Ask away! Such queries help you pare down your options, so don’t be bashful; real estate agents have heard them all.

However, the adage “There’s no such thing as a stupid question” isn’t always true. As proof, just check out this list of the strangest questions real estate agents have ever heard about a house. Cue the “Twilight Zone” music—things are about to get very, very weird.

1. ‘How do you keep alligators from coming up into the toilet?’

Michael Lyons, a real estate broker with Lyons Realty Group in Hollywood, FL, has certainly heard his share of concerns about alligators lurking in yards, ponds, and swimming pools. But sneaking into the house? Through a toilet? That left him stumped.

“I couldn’t answer that question seriously,” he said. “So I made up some weird solution. I told them, ‘pour vinegar down the toilet once a month, they hate it.'”

This seemed to appease the buyers, who ended up purchasing the house. No word on whether or not the vinegar trick worked.

2. ‘Do any swingers live in the neighborhood?’

“They said they were swingers and that’s something they were looking for,” she said.

Unsure what to say, she countered with, “drive around the neighborhood and see.” After all, aren’t swingers very friendly?

3. ‘Does the car in the driveway come with the house?’

Chike Uzoka, a real estate agent with Weichert in Newark, NJ, has heard of buyers asking whether many things “come with the house,” from chandeliers and furniture to appliances and pool equipment. But a car?

The only way he could answer such a question was with sarcasm: “If the attorney doesn’t catch it in attorney review, then yes it does!”

4. ‘Is anyone buried in the backyard?’

Larry Prigal, a real estate agent with Re/Max in Gaithersburg, MD, had no reason to believe the house he was selling had any corpses stashed 6 feet under. “So I joked, ‘I’m not aware of anyone buried here, but you can dig it up after you’ve settled on the property.’”

Who knows? Maybe the buyers were worried about our next point…

5. ‘Are there any ghosts in the house?’

When Chris Dossman, a real estate agent with Century 21 in Indianapolis, holds open houses at older homes, it’s not uncommon to hear creaks or creepy noises. That prompts a superstitious few to pop the ghost question.

“I usually respond jokingly at first that there are ghosts but that they’re friendly, but then immediately follow with ‘just kidding,’ because people can be really weird about those things,” Dossman said. “Cellars and basements can be especially freaky, even to me.”

Nonetheless, a haunted house is, in fact, a selling point for some home buyers. Go figure.

6. ‘I really like this house, but I need to pray about it. Is that OK?’

Kimberly Sands, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, in Wilmington, NC, said she gets this question (or some variation of it) a fair amount, so she wasn’t alarmed, at first.

“I thought the would-be buyer would go home and pray about it and then decide, so I said ‘sure.'” That’s when things got weird.

“All of the sudden she drops to her knees and starts flailing her arms and yelling at the top of her lungs: ‘Dear Jesus, please send me a sign, Jesus, a sign that I should buy this house!’ Meanwhile, I slowly started inching toward the door planning a hasty escape. I ended up waiting outside on the curb for her to come out for about 15 minutes. When she came out, she was cool, composed, and had her answer: no.”

7. ‘Do you think the homeowner would give me the house without a down payment?’

Taken aback, Julie McDonough, a real estate agent with AmeriSell, in Southern California, told the buyer, “I can’t imagine they would.”

The buyer went on to explain that he’d taken a seminar on how to get the seller to deed the buyer the property without any credit or money.

“So I asked him, ‘How is that going? Has anyone deeded you a property yet?’” McDonough recalled. “He said, ‘No, but it’s a numbers game.’”

8. ‘Can I come back at midnight to see how the moon here affects my soul?’

The question threw Pate Stevens for a loop, but then he figured there was no harm.

“Although a strange request, I drove over to the home at midnight to let him in,” said Stevens, a real estate agent with Nourmand & Associates, in Beverly Hills, CA.

The outcome? “He didn’t buy the house because the moon ‘didn’t feel right’ to him.”

9. ‘Why is the garage unfurnished?’

Um. “Because the sellers use it for their cars, not as a living space,” replied Benny Kang, a real estate agent with Uniti Realty, in Irvine, CA, to which the buyer said, “Oh, you’re right.”

“When I heard that question, I thought, ‘This is going to be a long tour,'” Kang said.

10. ‘Can we close all the blinds and doors and turn off the lights? I just need to see the space at its darkest.’

“I was pretty sure this was the end for me,” said a Brooklyn real estate agent who was holding an open house. “After I said OK, I stood by the front door with my hand on the doorknob.”

Fortunately, the agent, who asked not to be identified, made it out unscathed. “[The buyer] was this eccentric guy who I later found out was the CEO of a big startup.”

By  – Daniel Bortz is a Realtor in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, who has written for Money magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, CNNMoney, and more.
photo by; DNY59/iStock; shironosov/iStock

196 Wind River, Chehalis Washington

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$237,000

Start packing! This 2366 sqft home has 4 bedrooms 2 1/2 baths and is move in ready! Extremely well maintained, like new! Lots of extras added; Heat pump, shop, gas fire place and a extra large covered back patio area for your outdoor entertaining. Open floor plan, large bonus room upstairs. All on a fully fenced private corner lot with a shop in back! Enjoy living in an established residential neighborhood and still have a shop for your projects.

 

 

[srp_profile lat=”” lng=”” address=”196″ city=”Chehalis” state=”WA” zip_code=”98532″]

 

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699 Oppelt Road, Onalaska WA – SOLD!

Photo by Stuart Miles -  Image ID 100247789

SOLD!! 


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$195,000 | 3 BEDROOMS | 2 (2 full ) BATHROOMS | 1080 SQUARE FEET

Immaculate and well maintained! 3 bdrms 2 baths, an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings gives this home its spaciousness. Privacy and Wilderness! Located at the end of Oppelt Rd, this fully fenced 5 acre parcel is surrounded by 1000s + acres of Weyerhaeuser forest land. Outbuildings include a new 2 car garage and a full height RV storage shop, Detached extra building for hobbies or guests with a loft. Raised gardens and with a planting shed.

Photo by Stuart Miles - Image ID 100247789

What is your home really worth?

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How Much Is Your Home Really Worth?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may be fantasizing about the profit you’ll reap from the sale or calculating exactly how much you’ll need to pay off your current mortgage and have enough left over for a down payment on the next house.

Before your fantasies run amok you need to realize that, while you can estimate the value of your home in a variety of ways, the true value is only what a buyer will pay for it. That said, there are several ways to get a strong idea of how much a buyer will pay for the property in current market conditions.

What Your Home Isn’t Worth

Many homeowners find it confusing that there are various numbers floating around that indicate their home value. Here are a few:

Property tax assessment. Each jurisdiction uses a formula to establish home values for a tax assessment, but this price rarely correlates with the market value of your home. Your tax assessment can be higher or lower than the current market value.
Homeowners insurance value. Insurance estimates are based on the cost of replacing your home without the land, so this value is skewed compared to market value.
Mortgage balance. Your mortgage balance simply reflects your home loan. The difference between your loan payoff and the market value of your home is your equity.
Neighbor’s home value. Even if your neighbor’s home is similar to yours, it’s not likely to be identical. A REALTOR® can help you evaluate your home’s worth in the context of other nearby properties.
Cost when you purchased the home. Regardless of how long ago you purchased your property, the value can have gone up or down.
Desired value. You can always try to put your home on the market for your desired price, but if you’ve over- or under-priced it, you’re shortchanging yourself. because you’re either selling too low or your house could sit on the market and eventually sell for less than if you priced it correctly in the beginning.
Comparative Market Analysis

A REALTOR® can do a comparative market analysis with recent market data to help you estimate your home value. When you sell your home, an appraisal will be required by the buyers’ lender, so keep in mind that your home has to appraise for the selling price or, depending on how your contract is written, you’ll have to renegotiate the sale or the buyers will need to come up with extra cash.

A CMA is both an art and a science. While it’s based on data, it also requires local market knowledge and intuition about which homes to compare and how to interpret the prices. Most REALTORS® will look for recent sales of homes that are similar to yours, preferably within the past two or three months, up to about six months. In addition, a REALTOR® can look at other homes currently on the market and homes that didn’t sell that were taken off the market to compare values.

The comparison of your home with others should include not only the size and the number of bedrooms and baths, but also the condition of your home, the neighborhood and the proximity to amenities. If you do not understand the comparisons a REALTOR® is making, ask to see some of the homes currently on the market or look online at photos of the properties.

While it may be tempting to list your home with the REALTOR® who tells you it can sell at the highest price, a smarter way to sell your home is to price it as accurately as possible from the beginning. Studies show that an overpriced home that lingers on the market will end up selling for less than the estimated correct price.

 

Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.  Reprinted with permission.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/how-much-is-your-home-really-worth/

 

Fix Air Leaks Around Windows | Stopping Door Air Leaks | HouseLogic

An average home loses up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through air leaks. The most significant air leaks tend to occur around windows and doors. To stop air leaks and prevent your home heating and cooling dollars from vanishing in the wind, it’s important to seal any air leaks around windows and doors.

Check for air leaks

With windows and doors closed, hold a lit stick of incense near window and door frames where drafts might sneak in. Watch for smoke movement. Note what sources need caulk, sealant, and weather-stripping.

Seal air leaks around windows

If you have old windows, caulking and adding new weatherstripping goes a long way toward tightening them up.

Bronze weatherstripping ($12 for 17 feet) lasts for decades but is time-consuming to install.

Self-stick plastic types are easy to put on but don’t last very long.

Adhesive-backed EPDM rubber ($8 for 10 feet) is a good compromise, rated to last at least 10 years.

Nifty gadgets called pulley seals ($9 a pair) block air from streaming though the holes where cords disappear into the frames.

Seal air leaks around doors

Check for air leaks, and replace old door weatherstripping with new.

Foam-type tape has an adhesive backing; it’s inexpensive and easy to install. If it comes loose, reinforce it with staples.

Felt is either adhesive-backed or comes with flexible metal reinforcement. it must be tacked or glued into place. It’s cheap and easy to install, but it has low durability.

Tubular rubber, vinyl, and silicone weatherstripping is relatively expensive and tricky to install, but it provides an excellent seal. Some types come with a flange designed to fit into pre-cut grooves in the jambs of newer doors; check your existing weatherstripping and replace with a similar style.

Check exterior trim for any gaps between the trim and your door frames, and the trim and your siding. Caulk gaps with an exterior latex caulk ($5 for a 10-ounce tube).

Seal door bottoms

If a draft comes in at the bottom, check the condition of the threshold gasket. Replace worn gaskets. If you can see daylight under the door, you may need to install a new threshold with a taller gasket ($25 for a 36-inch door). Or, install a weather-resistant door sweep designed for exterior doors ($9). Door sweeps attach directly to the door and are easy to install.

By: Jeanne Huber