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How much are HOA dues for Ballard Seattle Condos?

And what's included in Ballard condo HOA dues?

The Ballard neighborhood Seattle has lots of different condo styles. From modern construction with the latest bells and whistles to funky older ones that Don Draper would feel right at home in, and from large units with expanisve views of the Puget Sound to small condos on busy roads. 

But one thing they all have in common is that they ALL pay monthly Home Owner Association (HOA) dues. 

Compared to buying a house, when buying a Ballard condo, or any condo for that matter, you need to do some additional research. Here's a post I previously wrote on The 9 Critical Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo. It's too late to ask after you've closed on the home!

And one of those questions is: "How much are the HOA dues and what do they cover?"

As you will see below, there's a lot of variation in what you might pay from one condo development to another. When looking at condos for sale in Ballard Seattle and calculating your potential monthly mortgage payments make sure to allow for HOA dues.

Here are some numbers on HOA dues for Ballard Seattle condos.

I looked at HOA dues for condos that were either currently for sale, pending or had sold over the past 2 months in the Ballard neighborhood as of the first week of October 2018. I looked at dues for both 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom condos. 

For each, I calculated the average monthly HOA dues and the range (low and high). All data were obtained from the NWMLS. There were 28 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedrooms units.

HOA dues for Ballard Seattle condos...

Why hiring a licensed, bonded and insured contractor is important.

What does licensed, bonded and insured mean?

Need a new roof, a plumber in a hurry or that peeling exterior paint needs to be repainted?

Many a homeowner will ask friends for a referral or be wooed by a "special discount" mailer and hire a contractor willy-nilly without ever checking them out fully.

What does licensed bonded and insured mean?

'"Joyce next door just loved Bob the Builder. That's good enough for me and my home!"

Or you get 3 quotes for those crawl space repairs. Two of them are $4,000 but the 3rd one is only $2,500. Before you leap on #3, ask yourself why it's a lot lower than the other two.

Besides obviously that big fat dollar number on the quote (you did get a quote didn't you?), the most important things to do are (1) check out the company's reputation, ask for referrals and look for any current and past litigation against the company... and (2) determine whether the contractor or service provider is licensed, bonded and insured.

Sure, Bob the Builder seems like a nice guy and even has his own TV series...but is he licensed, bonded and insured? 

 

What does licensed bonded and insured mean, and why are they important?

In this case, we will be focusing on contractors and service providers that you might end up hiring during your course of owning your home.

Let's start with the licensing requirements.

For certain services, each state will require someone who plies their trade in a particular field to get a business license before being able to practice their business. Even your hairdresser is required to have a license. Chemical scalp burn anyone. Same as your electrician,...

Ballard Seattle Real Estate Market Update September 2018

Ballard library in SeattleThe Ballard neighborhood Seattle is a popular choice for many home buyers and like much of Seattle has seen a strong seller's market since the market started heading upward in 2012.

However, over the past few months Ballard real estate, like the rest of Seattle, has started to show signs of slowing down.

So what's the current state of affairs?

If you are interested in Ballard Seattle homes for sale, this post provides you with an update on the most recent numbers and will give you a good idea of how the real estate market is doing in this Seattle neighborhood.

I looked at the sales of both Ballard single-family homes (houses and townhomes) and Ballard condos. For more reliable real estate statistics, it is always better to look at a larger area and longer-term trends than focusing in on any single month. All data was taken from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) and includes the latest data (August 2018).

Note: for the purposes of this post, I combined data for the neighborhoods shown in the map below. Yes, this is not just Ballard but if you look at just Ballard sales in isolation there would have been too few sales to generate reliable statistics. Plus,  these adjacent neighborhoods would be expected to behave in a similar manner to Ballard home sales.

Ballard neighborhood Seattle

First, let's take a look at Ballard home prices.

The graph below shows how the monthly median sale price of both single family homes (houses and townhomes) and condos has varied over the past 10 years.

Ballard Seattle home prices ...

Advice For new Real Estate Bloggers From The Experts

One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons is of two guys chatting at a cocktail party.

One guys says; "I'm writing a book".

The other guys says "Me neither!"

Personally, I love to write. 

I often joke that I'm a writer trapped in a Realtor's body.

Unfortunately, being a full time Realtor in Ballard Seatle  tends to get in the way of, well....writing, or more specifically, blogging about real estate.

But it shouldn't.

Advice for new real estate bloggers from the expertsBlogging is a great way to promote yourself, your business and your own personal brand, no matter what line of business you are in, However, blogging is a beautiful fit for real estate agents. There's an endless number of topics that you can write about to make you stand out from the herd, share your knowledge and educated your buyers and sellers. And yes, get leads too.

Many Realtors are intimidated by the mere thought of starting blogging the first place. Plus many who actually do put finger tips to keyboard quickly give up. They were expecting miracle results and for their phone to start ringing off the hook after that fabulous 200 word post they wrote about their new listing.

I've been blogging consistently inconsistently, or is that inconsistently consistent for the past 2 years. And yes, I have struggled at times to find the time to blog and know I need to improve at certain aspects like promoting my posts. I'm at about a 6.2 out of 10 (10 being a Bill Gassett) of where I really want to be but I'm improving slowly but surely. There's always something new to learn.

And yes, I am making fun of myself with the graphics contained within this...

Real estate is emotional. 'Boring statistics' will keep you rational

As the current saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts!

No matter how tough you think you are or how good you think you are at hiding your emotions, buying or selling a home is an emotional affair. Even hard-nosed property investors will get at least a little miffed at missing out on a deal. When emotions take over, rational thinking can fly out the window….

The joys of real estate statistics

Here are some examples of real estate irrational thinking:

  • My Zesstimate must be right, it’s a computer and it’s higher than what my Realtor said my home is worth!
  • That $25,000 kitchen remodel increased my home’s value by $50,000!
  • I’m not giving my home away for nothing!
  • I’ll never get to buy a home, everyone knows that EVERY home is selling way over asking with multiple offers!
  • That home is way over-priced. I’ll offer $20,000 less than asking (this despite there being 5 other offers).
  • And yes, even we Realtors are not immune to irrational thinking… “I’d be happy to list your way over-priced home!”

When buying or selling a home, it’s wise to get a grip on reality with real numbers. 

Yes, dry and boring real estate statistics they might well be, but they will help you make rational and educated decisions. If you chose to ignore them, good luck relying on your gut or uncle Bob's insights, (he of the perpetual rental status). The same numbers work equally well for both buyers and sellers

Here’s are the real estate numbers to live by... or at least buy and sell...

Ballard Seattle real estate 2007 versus 2017

How does the current Ballard Seattle real estate market compare to the 2007 bubble market?

Around 10 years ago in 2007, the US real estate market began to implode and dragged Seattle along with it. The Seattle market was one of the last major cities to be affected and one of the first to emerge from the bottom of the market in 2012.

Today, the Ballard and Seattle real estate markets are booming, with Seattle consistently being at, or near, the top of US cities for home price increases.

Ballard Seattle is a sought after neighborhood by many home buyers. Ballard has it all! Just like all Seattle neighborhoods, Ballard Seattle homes for sale are attracting multiple offers and about 50% of Ballard homes selling for above list price.

So how does Ballard Seattle real estate in 2018 compare to the last price surge in 2007?

I looked at the following real estate statistics for between 2005 and 2017.

  1. Median sale price.
  2. Number of months of inventory.
  3. Ratio of the sale price to the list price.
  4. The number of homes for sale compared to the number of sold homes.

All data was taken from the North West Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Note that MLS data only goes back to 2005, no data is available for the years prior to that.

Ballard Seattle homes for sale price trend.

The graph below shows how the Ballard real estate market peaked in 2007 with a median sale price of $490,000 and subsequently dropped by 19% to $398,000 by early 2012. 

Ballard Seattle real estate price trend 2007 to 2017...

Virtual staging: Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.

People always overdo the matter when they attempt deception.  Charles Dudley Warner.

Virtual staging and staging a home for saleVirtual staging and (real) home staging are similar but only in that they share the word "staging".

With improvements in virtual staging software, virtual staging has become a cheap “alternative” to hiring a professional company when staging a home.

Staging a home for sale: should you use virtual staging?

There are obvious pros and cons for each of these two options, the biggest one being cost. However, just because virtual home staging costs a lot less does not necessarily make it a good idea. It can be a case of being penny wise, pound foolish.

For the purposes of comparing virtual staging and hiring a professional staging company, I will be comparing the staging of vacant homes where the sellers haveto  move out and the home is completely empty.

What is home staging? 

In general terms, home staging means getting your home ready for market and making it look it’s absolute best….both the interior and exterior. Home staging includes doing all the nitty-gritty stuff like cleaning the home so it’s Q-tip clean, decluttering, doing any needed repairs, landscaping, painting and taking care of curb appeal... and the actual staging with furniture and accessories.

Professional home stagers can put together a home staging checklist for the sellers that includes all the nitty-gritty items that need to be completed. However, for Ballard Seattle real estate at least, the real estate agent usually provides the sellers with home staging tips and an action item list to make sure that the home is properly...

Percentage Of Ballard Seattle Real Estate Selling Over List Price?

How competitive is Ballard Seattle real estate for single Family homes and condos?

In the current strong sellers' real estate market in Seattle, home buyers are having to compete to buy a home.  The housing inventory is, and has been for a few years, acutely low. Home buyers will probably feel like every home is getting multiple offers and  selling for well above list price. Some buyers will give up trying to buy a home and  feel like they will never get  their foot in the home ownership door.

Are all homes for sale in Ballard Seattle WA really selling for above list price with multiple offers?

So, what is the reality of the current Ballard Seattle WA real estate market?

I looked at sale statistics for Ballard single family homes (houses and townhomes) and condos that sold over the 3 month period up to the middle of January 2018.

All data was pulled from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Data was combined for the area covering Ballard, Loyal Heights, Sunset Hill and Whittier Heights neighborhoods.

Note that is the middle of winter when the market is usually "slower" than the spring and summer months.  In this market, slower is a relative term.

Ballard single family homes:

I looked at the sales of single family homes in 3 different price ranges:

  1. Less than $750,000
  2. Between $750,000 and $1,000,000
  3. Above $1,000,000

The percentage of homes that sold for above, below and for list price for the 3 different price ranges is shown below:

Ballard Seattle real estate

When you look at the ratio of the sale price to the list price for all...

Pros and cons of sharing a seller home inspection with buyers

They say don't look a gift horse in the mouth. But when it's a Trojan horse, you do! - Eric Johnson

Usually, as part of the home buying process, the buyer hires a licensed home inspector to inspect the home so they know what they are purchasing. However, sometimes, the seller will pre-inspect the home before listing it for sale and share that home inspection report with interested buyers.

Seller home inspection shared with buyer

There are two specific uses of a seller home inspection:

  1. The sellers do a pre-listing inspection of their home for the purposes of finding and fixing any issues before putting the home on the market.
  2. The sellers do a pre-listing inspection their home for the purposes of finding and fixing any issues before putting the home on the market AND intend to provide a free copy of the home inspection report to potential home buyers as a marketing strategy.

The usual home purchase procedure is for the buyer to do a home inspection AFTER the seller has accepted their offer. The buyer then has about 10 days to complete the inspection and get their home inspection report. The buyer can then either accept the home as-is, request some repairs and/or a price drop, or just walk on the sale and get their earnest money back.

The inspection will include the (1) home itself and the property it sits on (2) the sewer line from the home to the main sewer line in the street (depending on the age of the home) or alternatively (3) the septic system if the home is not connected to the sewer system. Note that in WA State at least, septic inspections are done after mutual acceptance and is paid for by the sellers.

In a hot sellers' market, like the current Seattle real estate market, it is very common for buyers...

How Ballard Seattle home prices vary by sub-neighborhood.

Homes for sale in Ballard Seattle are a popular option with many homeBallard Seattle home prices buyers. Ballard is a great, self-contained neighborhood with lots to keep you occupied but also a quick hop to downtown Seattle.

Home buyers often inquire as to how Ballard Seattle home prices vary in different parts of the neighborhood. The Ballard neighborhood Seattle, or let's say the "greater Ballard area" starts with Whittier Heights to the east and extends to the appropriately named Sunset Hill area to the west, with Loyal Heights in between.

do Ballard Seattle homes prices increase as you move closer to the water? 

I looked at home sales in the following 4 sections of Ballard (see map below):

  1. Between 8th and 15th Ave NW (includes Whittier Heights area).
  2. Between 15th and 24th Ave NW and NW 85th Street. 
  3. Between 24th and 32nd Ave NW (includes Loyal Heights homes).
  4. West of 32nd Ave NW (Sunset Hill area).

All section were bordered by NW 85th Street to the north and NW Market Street to the south. The 4 sections were chosen based on the main north-south arterial roads through the Ballard neighborhood Seattle.

I looked at the sale of all Ballard single family homes (houses and townhomes). The data does not include condos. I looked at homes that sold over the 6 month period from July through December 2017. All data were extracted from the NWMLS.

Ballard Seattle homes for sale prices...

First time home buyer advice to myself from my future Realtor self.

First time home buyer advice from me to me.

If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious sh**!  - Doc, Back To The Future.

First time home buyer advice

I bought my own home in 2003, 5 years before I became a Seattle Realtor.

Was my home purchase flawless, perfect and stress-free? Absolutely not!

Looking back, do I think that I could have done some things better? You betcha! I did some things well but could have done better on others.

When you do something for a living, day in day out, things become second nature. Things seem, well…obvious. Having said that, as a Realtor you are always learning and always need to be learning. But compared to when I was a first time home buyer I’m now a veritable professor of all things real estate.

When I look back with my current Realtor mindset at my home buying experience, there are definitely certain things that I could have done better. 

I love my home. It wasn’t perfect when I bought it, it’s not perfect now and probably never will be. I bought a 3 bedroom red brick Tudor home in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. It was dated and had been on the market for about 5 weeks even though it was a strong, and getting stronger, seller's market. The minute I walked in the front door it was a case of "THIS IS THE ONE! Where do I sign?"

And so, if I had a time machine I could visit my younger self and give myself some first time home buyer advice.......

9 Critical Questions To Ask When Buying A Condo

Learn the questions that will protect you when buying a condo.

The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge  - Thomas Berger.

Condos are a popular option with many first time home buyers mainly because they are more affordable. They are also a good fit for home owners looking to downsize and have someone else take care of all the maintenance hassles.  Or if you want to be close to the hub of downtown life and stroll to bars, cafes an restaurants, then a condo is probably your only option.

Critical questions to ask when buying a condoThere are pros and cons to buying a condo versus a house. However, buying a condo is not the same as buying a house. There's a whole other set of questions you need to ask when buying a condominium.

The answers to these questions will help you decide whether you should even make an offer in the first place or bail on the sale once you get all the facts.

Ideally, you want to get answers to as many of these questions BEFORE you make an offer. You want to avoid wasting your time (and the seller's) getting into a contract when there's a good chance you will bail once you have all the answers.

When it comes to buying a condominium, the problem is that it is not usually possible to get all the answers up front. You might have to make an offer first to get all the nitty-gritty details. This applies in particular to the infamous Resale Certificate, but more on that later.

Here's a list of the most important questions to ask when buying a  condo. And make sure to ask ALL of...

Why many real estate market reports are meaningless.

Statistically speaking, many Realtor market updates should be recycled immediately!

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable - Mark Twain.

Many real estate market reports are meaningless

Probably the most common question Realtors get is "how's the market doing?" Home buyers and home owners are always interested in knowing what direction the market is headed in their particular neighborhood. A Realtor's personal experience in the trenches and good old gut feeling are good, but solid real estate statistics are better at conveying what the real estate market is really doing.

Real estate agents have access to lots of real estate statistics either through their Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or through real estate statistics software like TrendGraphix. However, it's how they select and use that data that matters. Some Realtors produce excellent market upates. However, just as some real estate advertising can be misleading, some real estate statistics are best avoided.

Real estate market reports are everywhere and are probably the most common type of blog post that real estate agents write. The great thing is that you can use the same template as the previous month and just copy and paste the whole thing, remove September's numbers and replace them with Octobers stat's. Then hit the publish button and you're done.

Statistically speaking however, many of those monthly reports that Realtors stick in the mail or mail out to their clients are at best "for amusement purposes only".  Some...

Ballard Seattle Real Estate Update for Ballard Houses November 2017

Ballard real estate market update for houses: May through November 2017

Ballard Seattle real estate market trends May to October 2017

Ballard Seattle is a popular choice for many home buyers and like much of Seattle, has seen a strong sellers market over the past few years. Obviously that's good news for sellers but it makes for a tough market for home buyers looking to get into the Ballard neighborhood.

If you are interetsed in Ballard Seattle homes for sale, or more specifically a Ballard house, here's an update on all the numbers you will need to give you a good idea idea of how the real esate market is doing in this Seattle neighborhood.

I looked at the sales of Ballard single family homes (houses only, excludes townhomes and condos) over the 6 month period covering May through October 2017. For reliable real estate statistics, it is always better to look at larger time periods rather than focusing in on any single month. All data was take form the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). 

This update specifically looks at houses only. Separate updates for Ballard condos and townhomes will follow in sepatate posts.

What's the average sale price of houses in Ballard?

I looked at the sale price of single family homes based on the number of bedrooms. Not unexpectedly, as the number of bedrooms increases, so does the average sale price. As shown below, prices averaged from $684,000 for 2-bedroom homes to $1,043,000 for Ballard houses with 4 or more bedrooms. Three bedroom single family homes sold for $816,000.

Price of Ballard Seattle houses based on number of bedrooms...

Beware Of These 5 Common Real Estate Ads

Beware of real estate advertizing with lots of astericks!

The first law of advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.  John Crosby.

5 common real estate ads to be wary ofAs with all advertising and advertisers' attempts to get you to buy their products and use their services, the real estate world is not immune to, let's say, over embellishing.  In an ocean of advertising, you have to do something to stand out I suppose. They need to hook your attention and hook it quickly before your short attention span, advertising-jaded mind, stumbles to the next exciting, act now offer.

Some embellishment is fine in general, but we're talking about real estate here, not a pair of striped socks for $4.99 on Amazon! This is your home and potentially involves thousands of your dollars, or worse, if you make a bad judgement call.

Here are some common types of real estate advertising targeted mainly at home owners that could potentially lead you down the garden path (and not in a good way).

Ad #1: Increadible low interest rates, refinance today!

The little brightly colored ad in the sidebar on your online newspaper, proclaims it can get you a 30 year fixed rate mortgage of 3.25%.

Amazing, you think to yourself. My bank just quoted me 4.0%. I should check these guys out.

You call the 1-800 number and someone in a state 2,000 miles away answers and then the sale pitch begins..... "Thank you for calling Too Good To Be True Mortgages, my name is Mark. Looks like you saw our great interest rate offer..... yada, yada yada!"

Mark now starts attempting to ingratiate himself to you. Eventually, after pulling teeth for 20 mins with Mark, you realize that the 3.25% rate is never...

10 potential home buyer cold feet warning signs.

Home buyer cold feet symptoms that sellers need to watch out for.

Once I make up my mind, I'm full of indecision!" Oscar Levant.

10 warning signs a home buyer may get cold feetA seller puts their home on the market, gets an early offer and accepts it. A few days later, the home is back on the market. What went wrong?

I call the listing agent and they will say "the buyers got cold feet!"

The home goes back on the market and is now perceived differently by the home buying public. Even if the listing agent emphasizes that the buyer got cold feet and "didn't even do an inspection", it's human nature to suspect that maybe, just maybe, there's something wrong with the home. The home might be perfectly fine but try convincing everyone of that. The home has now lost a little of it's new listing luster. 

So for you home sellers, how do you try and weed out those buyers that are more likely to bail on the sale for a little or no good reason?

There is no foolproof way to tell whether a buyer is guaranteed to bolt or not. However, there are certain warning signs that you should keep an eye open for that potentially will help you identify those buyers that are prone to the condition. You want to try and identify those buyers that are more likely to get buyers remorse and exit stage left BEFORE you get into a contract with them.

Many buyers bail on a sale for legitimate reasons. For example, the inspection revealed a lot of unexpected issues or the appraisal came in well below the sale price and the sellers are unwilling to drop the price. However, you are trying to avoid hitching yourself to a  buyer who will bail on the sale...

Put some FIZZ in your FSBO (for sale by owner)

Some people can rebuilt their car's engine and some of us wouldn’t know even how to replace a dead headlight bulb. For you go-getters out there, who like to go it alone without the middleman, good on ya and kudos for giving it a go… including trying to sell your home without an agent.

However, here’s the reality. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors (yeah, those guys), your chances of successfully selling your home via the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) process is a mere 10%. Allegedly, for those FSBO homes that do sell, they sell for less than agent-assisted sales, however, you will save on agent commissions which will offset some of that diffeence. The odds are stacked against you and there are many reasons whys FSBOs fail to sell.

The focus of this post is not to get you all riled up telling you why you would be better off listing your home with a Realtor. I’ll leave that up to the 10 agents who will call your every day while your home is on the market, each jostling to convince you why you should list your home with them. Prepare to become very popular and screen your calls.

No, the focus of this post is to hopefully help you improve your odds of successfully going it alone and giving youself the opportunity to give us Realtors the proverbial middle finger. The vast majority of homes listed by agents do sell, while the vast majority of FSBOs don’t. So what’s the difference? Well, obviously, Realtors are doing something right and you just need to learn how to copy them.

Selling a home is not rocket science but a least try and do the basics properly so you improve the chances that your rocket will take...

Your home might be less of an asset than you're led to believe

Debt is one person's liability, but another person's asset -  Paul Krugman.

Is my home an asset or a liability?The US real estate market is currently booming and  Seattle real estate is top of the heap.  At the time of writing this, Seattle home prices are up close to 13% year-over-year and a whopping  47% above the previous highs of 2007.

If you own a home, you might be gleefully looking at those newspaper headlines detailing the latest market surges, dwindling inventories and desperate buyers fighting it out trying to buy a home while driving prices upward. While sipping your morning coffee, you'll be silently pondering "I wonder how much my home is worth now?'

Yes indeed, times are great and homeownership is a great investment!

Or is it?

No, this is not an article about whether we are in the midst of another real estate bubble, but rather a look at how the biggest purchase of your life can be an asset or a liability, or neither.  Also, even if you walk away with $200,000 in your checking account after the sale of your home, was your home really an asset / good investment in the strict sense of the word?

A home can be a potential asset or quickly spiral into a financial albatross around your neck. Alternatively, your "investment" can just sit there and do nothing. Some things, like sudden economic changes, are out of your control, but others like taking too much equity out of your home to buy a speedboat are within the realm of human stupidity.

Historically, home prices have gone up in value but it's not a smooth, linear upward trend. Here's the Case-Shiller US home price index, adjusted for inflation, starting way back in 1890. Note that the index measures the changes in the sale price of single family homes that have sold previously (excludes new construction...

Should I go with a mortgage broker or a bank?

One of the most common questions I get from home buyers is; “what do you recommend, should I go with a mortgage broker or should I go with a bank for my home loan?”

"Also, is a mortgage broker the same as a loan officer?"

"Is one better than the other?"

All good questions!

Should I go with a broker or a bank for my home loan?Although yes, finding yourself a good Realtor is vital to ensuring a smooth home purchase, a great mortgage professional is equally important to ensuring a successful closing.

During the home purchase process, you will spend way more time with your Realtor, driving around, looking at homes and a good personality fit helps. For your lender, however, you might see them once or twice, or maybe even never, through the whole purchase. However, they will be busy in the background doing their due diligence to ensure your financing is being taken care of.

For this article, I teamed up with mortgage expert Luke Skar of Inlanta Mortgage and MadisonMortgageGuys.com to help explain the difference between the two main sources for mortgages. We will look at the differences between mortgage brokers and banks, the pros and cons of each and just as importantly, how to find a good lender.

I’ll cover things from the Realtor/home buyer perspective, while Luke will go over the different types of lenders and the pros and cons of each option. Both of us will give you our opinions on how to find a good lender.

From the Realtor's perspective.

The importance of a good mortgage professional:

When I purchased my own home back before I became a Realtor, my agent was...

Yes, strangers will pee in your toilet. A non-essential guide to home selling inconveniences

When you list your home for sale, the objective is to get buyers in the door, make them fall in love with the home and make a great offer for a smooth, hassle-free closing. Obviously, part of the aforementioned formula, is, well, letting people into your beloved home. People who you have never met before and probably never will, will be parading through your home and kicking tires. And yes, some of them will even pee in your pristine, spotless toilet!

Yes strangers will pee in your toilet when you sell your homeThis can be a stressful scenario for some home sellers, especially those who appreciate their privacy and those who keep their homes neater than a pin.

Very few people are willing to buy a home sight. Buyers will want to see your home in person before committing to making an offer and you need to make your home available to them.

Yes, it's your home and you are completely free to control buyer access to it. However, it is important, if at all possible, to make your home as accessible as possible for that first week after you hit the market to maximize your chances of a quick and successful sale. If you overly restrict access to you home, you are reducing your chances of getting the best possible price for it.

Will every buyer respect your home with the same level of respect you show it? To be brutally honest, probably not. It's best to be ready yourself for some minor, short-lived nuisances, but when you close it will be worth it all.

First of all, how do buyers get access to see your home?

The first way buyers come to see your home is by viewing the home with their agent. The Buyer will contact their Realtor and schedule a viewing appointment. If you are...