If you are serious about selling your home, you have to take your listing photo shoot very seriously. If your photos don’t excite buyers, they may not step foot inside.
You should prepare for your photo shoot as much as you would for an open house or private showing. Work alongside an excellent local real estate agent , and follow these tips to make sure your home looks its best.
Never list your home online without photos
Today’s buyers get email and text alerts when a new home that matches their criteria hits the market. There is nothing more frustrating than to see the desired address come across as an alert, only for the listing to be incomplete.
Buyers (and agents) will punish you for jumping the gun. Will they go back later and look again, once you have the photos up? Maybe — but maybe not.
You’re adding an extra step for them, and it comes across like you don’t have your ducks in a row. That’s not a great way to start out with your future customer.
Clean, declutter, organize and remove
You should spend a good amount of time preparing for your photo shoot. This means that you fluff the pillows, put toilet seats down, put Fido’s bowl and toys away, and ensure the home is in impeccable condition.
A tidy home free of clutter appeals to buyers. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.
People can zoom in, zoom out and play with photos in online listings. They’ll notice everything. If your photos don’t show your home well, it sends a message to the buyer that you don’t care, and that you are not a serious seller.
The buyer is your customer. You have a product for sale. Take the time to present it in the best possible light.
Poor photos won’t cut it
Images that are blurry, poorly lit, or distorted are not going to sell your home.
It’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer who will take high-resolution photos, and even bring extra lighting or equipment to enhance their work. They’ll also take dozens of pictures and work tirelessly to show your home in the right light and from the best angles.
Well-lit photos show off your home’s assets. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.
Don’t skimp on the number of photos
When it comes to photos, the more, the merrier. You want to make it easy on buyers to get comfortable with and learn more about your home.
Not only are the listing photos their initial impression, but they serve to help orient the buyer after the first or second showing. Once they have been through the home in person, they are better able to relate to the floor plan and how it flows. Going back to the listing photos allows them to make connections and dig deeper. Encourage them to do so by posting plenty of photos.
Basic guidelines for the first time home buyer and the home buying process, simplified- Home Buying 101.
by Tracy Tkac
Making an offer to purchase a house can be intimidating and scary, it’s a big commitment that will require a chunk of your financial resources. It’s also exciting and wonderful! You will be building equity and getting tax breaks for mortgage payments, but importantly , you will have a place of your own to do with what you wish. Most of all, your home will be the place where you will make memories and entertain friends and family. You will make your house into your lovely home. Below are the basic guidelines and the home buying process simplified or Home Buying 101.
Making an offer
Even though it’s early in the buying process, you still must sign a legally binding contract. With your signature, you’re committing to moving ahead with the seller. Keep in mind you can add contingencies to many real estate contracts. For example, most real estate buying offers will be contingent on a property inspection, radon inspection, loan approval, appraisal and sometimes other matters. Such contingencies enable buyers to opt out of the contract if unexpected problems or concerns pop up.
In most states, sellers are legally required to provide buyers with disclosure documents including any know defects, lead based paint information, real tax bills from the current year and the estimated property tax bill for the next year. In addition, sellers must disclose any known issues that might affect the property’s value or habitability. Usually, in a transfer disclosure statement, sellers must answer a series of “yes” or “no” questions about the property, and provide the neighborhood homeowners association/ or condo information. If there have been leaky windows, work done without permits or plans for a major nearby development, the seller must disclose them. You will have the opportunity to view the areas master plan and the will be provided with a list of nearby airports. The disclosures will need to be signed by the purchaser and will become part of the offer to purchase and then after all terms are agreed to, they will be part of the contract.
Most buyers put a certain amount of money down toward the purchase price. The balance will come in the form of a bank loan (usually). But a bank isn’t going to hand over that money without due diligence. An appraisal is the financial institution’s way of making sure the contract price is the right price. So the lender sends out a third-party appraiser, which the buyer pays for, to confirm that the contract price is in line with the neighborhood’s comparable sales. If it’s not, the bank can deny the loan or change the terms.If a property does not appraise, the contract price can be renegotiated or contract voided.
As part of the real estate contract, you have the right to a property inspection One of the most common, is a “specific” property inspection, in which the inspector checks the home from the foundation to the roof and investigates all major systems and components. As the buyer, you should follow along with the inspector to learn more about the property. For example, you’ll want to know about the components (such as the water heater) and have a plan in place for maintenance.
After the property inspection, the inspector may suggest having a specialist come out. This could be a roofer, electrician, HVAC specialist or even an engineer. Listen to the inspector and have any recommended follow-up inspections. Remember: This is your one chance to approve the property from top to bottom. If issues arise, you may be able to negotiate repair or a buyer credit. If something major arises and it’s not what you signed up for, you can void the contract via your inspection contingency.
Loan approval or commitment
In addition to making certain the property appraises at no less than the contract price, the bank will want to fully approve your credit, debt and income history. The bank will also want to approve the property’s preliminary title report to make sure there are no liens recorded against the property that might affect its value. The bank can take up to 45 days to complete its review, which should result in a loan commitment or full loan approval. Once that’s completed to the bank’s satisfaction, you’re guaranteed a loan, and you’re one step closer to closing. How much money do you need?
Before closing, you will do a final walk through in the property to make sure it’s in the condition it is supposed to be in, if you have negotiated for repairs, check the receipts and repairs to make certain they were done correctly. Make sure the seller didn’t remove any fixtures, make modifications or leave behind garbage or debris. Check the plumbing, air or heat and that everything that is supposed to remain at the property is there- this your your last chance to make sure all is as it should be!
Depending on the market, the closing may happen at an attorney’s office or at a title company. In some situations, the buyer and seller don’t ever meet. Each goes in to sign their closing papers separately. In others, the buyers and sellers sign the closing documents together. Regardless of how a closing happens, if you’re a buyer and getting a loan, plan on signing dozens of documents at closing. You’ll need to show photo ID, as your signature will be notarized. Prior to the closing, your lender will work with the settlement attorney and send you a closing disclosure statement to review at least 3 days previous to the settlement. The statement details your final closing costs and the money you need to bring to the closing. The funds can be wired in or paid with a cashier’s check on closing day.
Enjoy your new home
Don’t be afraid to call your realtor and ask questions, for direction or help. She is a great resource for the big and little things that come up when owning your own home.
It is time to do the Fall Home Maintenance Checklist necessary to get your home ready for winter. Be certain to turn off your hose bibs and perform the other household chores listed below around Halloween time, enjoy the treat of a nice smooth transition into winter rather than the trick to dealing with clogged downspouts and frozen pipes when the weather gets colder.
Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Turn off your house bibs. Locate the outside hose spigot and the corresponding inside area where the pipe comes into the house, most of the time that will be in the basement. Follow the pipe and turn the water supply off by turning the knob to the left or if the turn- off is a lever- pulling the lever to be perpendicular (across it) to the pipe. Then go outside and turn on the hose spigot, water will drain out of the pipe. Go back inside and armed with a cup- loosen the small metal nut next to the turn off handle, water will dribble out into the cup and replace the nut. Repeat with other hose bibs, and you have winterized your outside plumbing!
Clear out your gutters. You can get a ladder and do it yourself or hire a handyman. Cleaning the gutters will prevent ice blockages and water seeping into the house or pulling the gutters off and causing other damage.
Change your furnace filter. This should be done monthly or quarterly depending on the type of filter you install. Also consider having the HVAC system annually services at this time.
Rake the leaves on the yard and mulch. You and your neighbors will appreciate a tidy lawn even when the landscape is barren.
Replace outside lightbulbs. No one wants to get on a ladder in freezing temperatures and winter brings shorter days, you will thank yourself for the exterior lighting when you really need it.
Change the battery in your smoke detectors. Winter is a time of fireplaces, candles and light decorations, take precautions.
Plant the last bulbs in your yard. You will be delighted by the fresh colors and beauty in the spring for the work you did in the fall.
It’s standard practice in real estate to give a home a fresh coat of paint before putting it on the market. Nine out of 10 times, the intention is to show the property at its best. But every so often, the seller paints the house in hopes of covering something up.
In most parts of the country, sellers (and agents) are required to document any known defects — whether current or past — to potential buyers. But some sellers don’t play by the rules and will try to get one past a buyer.
Disclosure statements, which can come in a variety of forms, are the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s experience in it.
Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of leaky windows to work done without the benefit of a permit, to information about a major construction or development project nearby.
Not only do disclosure documents serve to inform buyers, but they can also protect the sellers from future legal action. It is the seller’s chance to reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the property.
How does a seller make a disclosure?
Disclosure laws vary from state to state, even down to the city and county level. California has some of the most stringent disclosure requirements. The law requires that sellers (and their agents) complete or sign off on dozens of documents, such as a Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement, Local and State Transfer Disclosure Statements, Advisories about Market Conditions and even Megan’s Law Disclosures.
Disclosure typically comes in the form of boilerplate documents (put together by the local or state real estate association), where the seller answers a series of yes/no questions about their home and their experience there.
Additionally, sellers must present any documented communication (between neighbors, previous owners, the seller or the agents) about a substantial defect or item that could have an adverse impact on value.
Depending on where you live, sellers can be on the hook for what they disclose (or fail to) for up to 10 years. Sellers should err on the side of caution. If you know it, put it out there. If you try to hide something, it can come back to haunt you in the form of an expensive lawsuit.
What do sellers disclose to potential buyers?
Previous improvements, renovations or upgrades done by sellers are typical disclosures, as well as whether work was done with or without permits.
Buyers should cross check the seller’s disclosures with the city building permit and zoning reports. Work completed without a permit, or approval by the municipality, may not have been performed to code, which could result in a fire or health hazard.
Other standard disclosures include the existence of pets, termite problems, neighborhood nuisances, any history of property line disputes, and defects or malfunctions with major systems or appliances. Disclosure documents often ask sellers if they are involved in bankruptcy proceedings, if there any liens on the property, and so on.
Is a disclosure the same as an inspection?
Disclosure is something given to the buyer by the seller documenting their knowledge of the property. It is not the same thing as an independent inspection by a third party. An examination may reveal defects that the seller may not have been aware of.
The buyer should always do a full property inspection, before moving forward with the purchase. The inspector checks all systems and components from the roof to the basement. Often, in the interest of the ultimate in full disclosure, a seller hires a property inspector before going on the market and supplies the written report to the buyer.
When does the buyer receive disclosure statements?
In most markets, disclosure documents are provided to buyers once the seller has accepted their offer. In addition to their inspections or loan contingency, the buyer has an opportunity to review the seller’s disclosures. If the buyer discovers something negative about the property through disclosure, she can usually back out.
In some markets, sellers provide these disclosures to the customers before an offer. Smart sellers let buyers know everything they need to know up front. It’s smart because it saves everyone time, hassle and expense by preventing deals from falling apart once they’re in escrow.
Buyers must sign off on all disclosures and reports. So it’s important to review them carefully and ask questions if you need to. Full disclosure upfront is the way to go. Providing full disclosure can help a seller. By laying their cards out, sellers can give buyers a sense of comfort or peace of mind, making their home more desirable than a competing one.
It’s natural to feel a little apprehensive when making a major purchase, but home buying shouldn’t scare you out of your wits.
Buyers’ biggest real estate fears sometimes hold them back from buying — not just around Halloween, but throughout the year. The scary thing is, these fears are sometimes well-founded.
Here are some of the issues that commonly keep home buyers awake at night, and what you can do about them.
“The house has a cracked foundation, dry rot, or a leaky roof”
Renovating, fixing and repairing are on few buyers’ wish lists. When faced with the home of their dreams, they fear the inspection. What if there is dry rot, or a roof or foundation issue?
Most homes will need routine maintenance, and a good inspector will point this out. But it’s important not to let your fears get the best of you. Much of what the inspector comes up with during the inspection is for informational purposes only. Every problem does not need to be repaired right away.
The inspector’s job is to point out every issue he sees in the house. Ask him to explain how bad the issue is, and how long it can go before needing replacement or repair.
If an issue arises that needs immediate attention, go back to the seller and see if they will repair or credit you back to repair after you close.
“I’ll lose my deposit”
Buyers typically put in an earnest money deposit with a signed contract. Typically, this is 3 percent of the purchase price. The seller does not cash the check. Instead, the money sits in an escrow account and can’t be released without both parties’ signatures.
It’s nearly impossible for a buyer to lose their deposit. If you have an inspection, disclosure review or loan contingencies, work closely with your real estate agent to mark those timeframes.
If you need to remove these contingencies in writing, plan to firm things up a day in advance. If you are in negotiations around a contingency date, be sure to extend the contingency date to keep yourself under contract.
“I’ll lose the house”
If you find the home of your dreams, you may have to move fast. Particularly in competitive markets, many homes sell before the first open house to quick acting and super-motivated buyers.
If you see a new listing hit the market, be sure to let your agent know right away. Try to make an appointment to see the home as soon as possible.
Also, find out immediately how the seller’s agent plans to handle any offers received. Sometimes they will take the first offer, especially if it’s a good one. More often than not, the seller and the agent will have an offer date to review offers or ask for best and final offers by a certain day.
If you are travelling or busy with work, be sure not to miss out on your dream home. Be in constant contact with your agent, and flag potential homes that look like a great fit.
“My agent doesn’t have my best interest in mind”
Great agents are always on the prowl for new properties, checking out the market and protecting your best interest at all times.
Some buyers fear that their agent might have different motivations, or that they aren’t on the same page. If you have doubts, change agents. Never settle or take any random agent that comes along as your buyer’s agent.
You and your agent should be committed to each other. Sit down before you begin the process and speak to your agent, much like a job interview. And if you have any doubts about your agent’s abilities or motivations, find another agent.
“We’ll never find a house in time for…”
A real estate purchase should never be rushed. If you have a firm deadline creeping up, make a plan B.
For example, many buyers face an expiring lease or a school application deadline. If you are three months out from a deadline and you haven’t found a house, take the pressure off by putting an alternate plan in place.
Home buying is an expensive and complicated transaction. You don’t want to rush into a purchase and make a mistake. It’s much easier and safer to get another rental or find a temporary address or try some out-of-the-box idea. It may be a little inconvenient, but you can handle it.
If something scares you about a home, the buying process, or a third-party involved in the sale, voice your concerns. Listen to your voice of reason, and stick with your gut.
Many home buyers’ initial fears will fall by the wayside as the buyer gets into the market. Take it slow, and don’t be afraid to take a step back to allow time and space to think things through. It’s better to take your time than to let buying your dream home become a nightmare.
Find out as much as you can about the home buying process and the specific property in which you have interest- how long has the home has been on the market, are there other interested buyers, are there other offers on the table currently, and is there a specific day the sellers will review the offers.
Your agent should send you the last six months of recent sales data to review and compare. These “comps” tell about the most recent market and what current buyers/sellers have agreed on for a sale price. Compare the comps with the subject property; square feet, renovations of kitchen, bathrooms, age of systems (HVAC, water heater, septic) roof, windows, and landscaping. The location in the area or neighborhood also will be a factor in determining the property value, a home on a side street or cul-de-sac may be more appealing than one on a busy road or next to commercial space.
Also review the pending sales (homes under contract, but not yet settled) and see if your agent can uncover some information about those transactions. You want to ask about the number of offers they received or a ballpark selling price. The pending sales represent the most up-to-date market statistics. Your agent’s opinion of the home’s value and any other relevant factors can all factor into your offer price.
Call your lender
Your lender should be one of your first contacts in the home buying process to make sure you are are looking in the right price range. Let her know you plan to make an offer on the home. Not only will you need a pre-approval letter with your offer, but you will want an update on mortgage rates and products, since these change daily.
From the time you applied for pre-approval until now, there could have been a massive shift in rates or a new product that could benefit you. For all you know, you can afford more, or that bonus you received last month could mean a higher down payment and qualifying for a better product.
In addition to price and financing, you will need to decide on terms including the settlement date, the settlement company, how much of a earnest money deposit you will put down and any contingencies you will include in the offer to purchase/contract.
Contingencies are the details that have to be satisfied before you and the seller are locked into the commitment to transfer of the property ownership. Each contingency gives you an opportunity to do and inspections, ask for/negotiate repairs, secure financing or void the contract- the seller can also void the contract in some cases. You will need to decide which, if any, contingencies you will include: home inspection, radon inspection, appraisal, financing, home sale, and others.
How long many days will you take for your inspections? Do you want to close quickly or take a longer time? Will you need an appraisal and loan contingency? How long should that be?
The terms of your offer can make or break your deal. If the seller wants a quick close, and you can do it, give it to them. If you are competing with a cash offer, make your offer as stream-lined and with the least amount of contingencies you are comfortable with.
Make the offer!
Once you decide to move forward, do it. Waiting to see what happens in terms of a price reduction or if anyone else if interested is only working against your own best interest. Offer less if you perceive the property to be over- priced instead of waiting for a reduction and certainly don’t wait for the competition.
There are 4 components to an offer;
the contract – with offer price, contingencies, settlement company, financing arrangements and settlement date.
lender letter -stating you are qualified for the purchase price
financial information sheet – a document supplied by your agent detailing your financial situation- and ability to purchase (brag sheet).
earnest money deposit check – customarily 2%-3% of the purchase price- (although it can be more or less).
While you should give your best effort for the home you want, there will be other homes if that one gets away. Make certain you are immediately notified when a home comes on the market in your preferred neighborhoods by having your agent set up an automatic email from the MRIS for you, so you don’t miss anything. Have faith that another great home will come along in the future and- and be ready!
Owning a home can be a big expense, but the good news is some of your expenses are actually tax deductible. Read on to see how you can maximize homeownership write-offs on your tax return. (Note that this information is valid for tax year 2015 only.)
You can deduct all of the mortgage interest (not principal) payments you make on your home, up to a $1-million loan for a couple filing jointly. This applies to your home equity line of credit (on a loan up $100,000) and second mortgage as well.
If you own a second home, such as a vacation cottage or mobile home, you can deduct the mortgage interest for it as well, so long as you reside there for the longer of 14 days per year or 10 percent of the time it is rented out.
Mortgage points and insurance
In addition to the mortgage interest, you can also deduct the points you pay on your mortgage for your main home in the year you pay them, as well as points paid for a home equity loan. Points paid for refinancing your home mortgage generally have to be amortized over the length of the loan.
You can also deduct any premiums paid for private mortgage insurance (PMI) on your loan if you earned less than $109,000 in 2015 and the policy was taken out after 2006.
As strange as it sounds, you can deduct taxes on your taxes! Your property taxes are a deductible expense. Keep your property tax bills and proof of payment.
If you have some sort of home-based business, you may be entitled to a home office deduction on your taxes. There are several hoops to jump through to qualify for the deduction, the two biggest being that your home must be your primary place of business, and that you use the office space only for work. (The IRS spells out the rules for claiming the home office deduction in Publication 587.)
There are two ways to calculate your deduction. Under the simplified option, you can deduct $5 per square foot of your home office’s area, up to a maximum 300 square feet.
The more complex (but often more advantageous) option involves dividing the square footage of your office by the total square footage of your home; this yields the “business percentage” of your home. You then multiply allowable home costs — namely mortgage interest and utilities — by the business percentage to arrive at the deductible amounts.
If you implemented energy-efficient improvements to your home, you can get a credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of those improvements, to a maximum of $500. This covers expenses like new windows and doors, insulation, and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. You could also get a credit for 30 percent of the cost of renewable energy systems, like solar power.
There could also be state tax credits for these items as well which you can stack on top of your federal credit.
Medical home improvements
If you have a medical condition that necessitates home improvements, such as adding a stair lift because you have arthritis or an air filter because your spouse suffers from allergies, you may be able to write off some of these costs as part of your medical deduction.
However, you can deduct only that portion of your medical costs that exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (7.5 percent if you are 65 or older).
And in most cases, you can deduct only the difference between the cost of the equipment and the increase in value to the home from this improvement. Some improvements (such widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair) add no marketable value to the home but are fully deductible if you meet certain income requirements.
If you sold your home in the last year, you could be eligible for some tax savings resulting from that transaction. The costs of your real estate agent’s fees, advertising, and title insurance are deductible expenses. You can also deduct improvements you made to the home in order to sell it, but only if you have a taxable capital gain from the sale.
If your home was damaged by weather, fire, theft, or another disaster, you’ve suffered a casualty loss, a portion of which may be deductible. If your loss was greater than 10 percent of your income and was not covered by insurance, you can deduct the loss. You’ll need to be able to document the value of what was lost, however.
Kevin Perry and his wife, Susanne Nobles, purchased a 90-plus-year-old Craftsman-style single-family home in Petworth. Their home was part of a study of energy and resource-conserving houses. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
What is going “green” worth in Washington home real estate? If you rehab a house to exacting energy and environmental standards, or install a solar-panel array on your roof, does your house command more when you sell?
If you seal up all the energy-leaking areas in your house, install a highly efficient heating and ventilating system, new windows and a long list of other green improvements, will a future buyer pay you a premium price for your efforts?
A new study conducted by national appraisal experts says the answer most probably is yes — often tens of thousands of dollars more.
Funded by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment and assisted by the nonprofit Institute for Market Transformation, the study employed a sophisticated “paired sale” analysis of homes sold in the District between February 2013 and June 2015.
Appraisers matched individual “high-performance” energy and resource-conserving houses against multiple homes similar in type and location but without green improvements. They then calculated the extra dollar increments buyers were willing to pay for the green features and found they ranged from $10,343 to $53,000, or an average premium of 3.46 percent. Some premiums on individual houses ranged as high as 6 percent to 7.7 percent, and were enhanced when properties had photovoltaic solar arrays to slash electricity costs.
The return on investment for going green
Research shows installing high-energy-efficient systems into an old house can pay off big when it’s sold.
According to the study, green features in renovations and new construction represent “a growing trend” in the District. As of September, there were 457 LEED-certified homes and 329 Energy Star homes as of August. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification involves independent evaluation and verification that a building or an entire neighborhood meets high energy efficiency and resource conservation rating standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. Energy Star certified homes must meet rigorous energy-savings standards prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Research published in 2015 documented strong demand for high-performance homes in the District: 18 percent of total residential sales and 29 percent of sales in the Friendship/Chevy Chase area (Zip code 20015) had one or more green features associated with the house. The high-performance homes used for paired sale analysis in the new study were scattered among neighborhoods in Northeast and Northwest and consisted of renovated older row houses, detached single-family homes and one high-rise condo unit. The median sale price was just over $693,000, though two homes sold below $500,000 and one went for $817,000.
The kitchen boasts certified environmentally friendly cabinets as well as Energy Star appliances. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
Perry, who teaches Latin at the National Cathedral School, says he and his wife weren’t even shopping for a house with green features. “We were mainly just looking for something that we could afford and that was old and had a good location,” Perry told me. Though they visited and considered a number of competing, non-green but comparable houses in roughly the same price category, they ultimately found the case for the Petworth property compelling.
“We were really intrigued by the solar panels and with the possibility of savings on utilities,” Perry said. The closer they looked at the green features, the more they saw: energy-efficient new windows, a commercial-grade air exchanger to keep the interior air fresh and recirculated at all times, super-heavy insulation, a heat recapture system that employs waste hot water to save on the energy costs of heating water, to name just a few. The solar array was bigger than the average system used for houses of this size and promised to cut electricity bills drastically, which it has in the months since they moved in. “We really like it,” Perry said, but he conceded that he has not quite figured out the “net metering” system that adjusts their bills based on how much energy they have been contributing to Pepco.
Even better, according to the study, Perry’s five-kilowatt photovoltaic equipment on the roof could be eligible for between five and eight Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) per year over a three-year contract. “Over this time period, the study reported, “the SRECs are valued at $7,500. Besides the energy produced by this [solar] system, the owner may receive income for three years.”
Tanya Topolewski, a D.C.-based green real estate developer who rehabilitated and sold two of the other houses appraisers selected for the study, says it is not surprising that Perry and his wife were not shopping specifically for a high-performance house. “The vast majority of people who come to see our houses are just interested in real estate,” she said in an interview. But once they see the advantages of buying a home with extraordinary energy efficiency, fresh air 24/7 and a positive environmental impact, “it’s kind of a no-brainer.” Topolewski says creating a truly high-performance home can be daunting, especially converting old, leaky rowhouses in the District. Both of her houses in the study are certified LEED Platinum, the highest rating possible.
But, she says, “there’s quite a bit of building science involved when you do a renovation from a low-performance home to a high-performance one. This has a name, actually — a deep energy retrofit” — and it is usually not a do-it-yourself type of project.
The message to buyers: Even though you may pay a modest premium for a high-performance house, it will probably save you substantial money over a period of years in energy costs and almost certainly will be a healthier place to live.
$1695000/ 4br – NEW PRICE!!! LOCATION!!! (Chevy Chase)
4621 DRUMMOND AVE Chevy Chase, MD 20815
4621 Drummond Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
KEY FEATURES Sq Footage: 2082 sqft. Bedrooms: 4 Beds Bathrooms: 2 Baths Parking: 1 Garage Lot Size: 0.28 Acres Property Type: Single Family House
Exceptionally well preserved American Bungalow with classic lines & dramatic, elegant spaces. Plentiful natural light throughout. Wonderful cul-de-sac & within the Village of Drummond. Incredibly private & expansive, sunny grounds,-a gardener’s delight! Walk to metro, Norwood Park and Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights’ own Rodeo Drive! This is an estate sale -“as-is”. Seller reserves the right to accept or reject any and all offers.
4BR / 2Ba available now
open house dates Sunday January 31, 2016 12-3pm
w/d in unit
Contact info: Tracy Tkac
Evers & Company Real Estate
The buyers final walk-through in real estate was designed so that the buyer can confirm the home is in the same condition as when they made their offer and had the home inspected. Its also an opportunity to make sure the seller has actually vacated.
From time to time, a buyer and seller will have negotiated any number of fixes during escrow. The walk-through gives the buyer a chance to make sure all the agreed-upon work has been done to specifications, and that everything is in working order.
Sometimes, buyers are so excited to close that they quickly whisk through the walk-through without taking time to inspect the property. This can lead to small issues once the buyers take ownership. On the other hand, the final walk-through can raise both positive and negative emotions during this final part of the sale process.
It’s smart to take the buyers final walk-through seriously. Don’t see it as simply checking a box. You should run all the faucets and check for leaks. Flush the toilet bowls, open every window and close it and make sure the appliances work.
Here are some tips for buyers to help complete a smooth and effective walk-through.
Don’t do the walk-through the day of closing
A walk-through can uncover repairs that need to be made, but that you didn’t know about before. If you do the walk-through the same day as the closing, there may not be time to get problems remedied.
It’s not uncommon for two walk-throughs to happen. The first identifies some issues for the buyer, and the second makes sure those issues were addressed.
The alternative is to push the closing back to address the issues. The problem here is that your lender may not have approved a delayed closing. It’s better to hammer out any issues in advance.
Use your mobile phone to check the outlets
Plug a phone into all of the outlets to make sure the electricity works. You want to avoid moving in all your stuff, only to realize some outlets don’t work, and you lack light in a bedroom.
Bring your phone and charger to the walk-through and test all the outlets. It’s quick and easy.
Be on the lookout for the sellers’ leftover belongings
Sellers are notorious for leaving junk behind, so take the time to check the garage and attic, and under the deck. The sellers may just assume you want their old paint cans or a propane tank for a future grill.
In fact, they should leave the place completely empty. Some left-behind items, such as the paint, can be toxic or require special provisions for disposal. For example, one seller left behind all kinds of used oil that needed to go to a certain, state-approved car repair shop to be disposed of properly. These unwanted items become yours after you close.
Be emotionally prepared for a surprise
Buyers often fall in love with a home that’s full of furniture, art and belongings. They see it as a home, and remember a warm feeling.
Fast-forward to the close of escrow and you’re faced with an empty home, which can feel cold, sterile or hollow.
Buyers are often surprised by how they feel entering an empty home. Not only is it absent any furniture and “stuff,” but sometimes an empty home shows its imperfections, too.
The sun may have slightly bleached floors, showing the outline of a rug. There may be carpet stains or holes in the wall from a flat-screen TV or paintings. An empty home tends to show poorly, so prepare yourself before the walk-through.
The journey toward homeownership is often a long one, filled with lots of excitement and ups and downs. The final walk-through is one of the very last steps of what could be a multiple-year process.
Consider the walk-through in advance and prepare for it mentally, emotionally and physically. Know what you want to look for, have a checklist, and keep your emotions and feelings in check. Doing so will make for a smooth ride to the close of escrow.
BY BRENDON DESIMONE – Zillow
Evers & Co.
301-437-8722/ 202-364-1700 Real Estate Professional Licensed in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, DC