Real Estate from the Seller’s Point of View

I occasionally take listings but the majority of my real estate work is in representing buyers. When working with buyers a lot are sellers at the same time usually in some other part of the country. In the Ocala area buyers often will make an offer contingent on the successful sale of their existing home which would have to be already under contract. Looking at buyers contracts I’m struck by several things.

1. People will accept offers with really low escrow or good faith deposits. There are plenty of people who can afford to walk away from a $1,000-  if they really want to but not many will walk away from $5,000-. Having said that I often write offers with a low escrow deposit and I’m surprised how seldom the seller counters.

2. Don’t seller’s look at their buyers ability to buy their home ? If a buyer makes you an offer with no money down and wants you to pay closing costs isn’t that a weak offer ? As opposed to cash for 30% down for example.

3. Pre approved. You know that doesn’t mean the buyer is 100%  guaranteed to get a loan right ? In some cases this just means a lender asks some questions about their finances. A seller might want to ask if the lender looked at bank statements, tax returns ect. It is the underwriters who approve loans not the banker or mortgage person who initially interviews the buyer. Underwriters are extremely tough these days and do not rubber stamp loans !

4. Some lenders are notorious for not closing on time. This can be a big problem if you are trying to sell one house and buy another at the same time.

These are just a few thoughts about selling your house. They are all things an experienced Realtor should be bringing up before you get an offer.

Why can’t I sell my house here in Ocala Florida ?

I’m out showing houses all the time. I work almost exclusively as a buyers agent here in Ocala but these thoughts apply to homes any where.

Why can’t I sell my house ? It takes time. You need patience. There is a buyer for every house. The average days on the market here in Ocala is currently 120. If you want a fast sale you have to price your home to sell fast.

Maybe the buyer for your house won’t start looking for another 2 months.

Maybe someone who would have bought your house bought another one a month ago.

Maybe someone who likes your home thinks it is over priced compared to others they see on the internet

Maybe someone who would buy your home thinks it needs too much updating for the price.

Although the market is improving it is still a buyers market. Sellers are competing for the buyers attention. The house in the best condition at the best price always wins.


Escrow Deposits how much is enough

When you write an offer on a house you’re expected to make a good faith deposit. That deposit is held in escrow by the title company and can be contingent on things like financing or a home inspection. I usually tell me buyers around $1,000.00 and it’s surprising how many sellers will accept that amount. However from a sellers point of view you have to ask yourself if you wanted to get out of a contract would you walk away from $1,000.00? A lot of people might if they had a good enough reason. But would you walk away from $5,000.00? Probably not. $10,000.00? Pretty much definitely not. A lot of my buyers are also sellers somewhere else. You have to look at things from both points of view depending on which side you are on at the time.

How to not sell a house in Ocala FL

Selling a home in Ocala is pretty tough these days. We are in an extreme buyers market with constant competition from short sales and foreclosures driving down prices.

The subject of this blog post is about the images or lack of them as found on the MLS by buyers. I get a lot more buyers than sellers because of my Ocala Real Estate web site and this blog. That’s just how it works. Most internet leads are buyers and not sellers. I’m not complaining because I sell a lot more houses than the average Realtor in Ocala as a result on my internet efforts.

What I am complaining about is the images I see on MLs listings. I will send listings to my buyers through my Ocala Dream Home Finder and they almost never want to see the ones in person that either have only 1 picture or really bad out of focus pictures. That’s unless the house is a foreclosure or priced like one.

Thinking of selling your house in Ocala or anywhere in Marion County? See my Ocala Home Sellers Advice or email me or call me. I would love to list your house and my advice is free.

You can’t sell a house in it won’t appraise

I drive by this For Sale by Owner almost every day. This poor guy has had his over priced house listed by a couple of Realtors with no luck. The last time it was listed, the house was at least $75,000.00 over priced. I don’t know why an agent would list a home at a price like that. The owner has had a For Sale by Owner sign in his front yard for almost a year.

The thing that the owner doesn’t realize is that he can’t sell his house unless it will appraise. That’s because most buyers need financing. To get financing a lender will order an appraisal. A house that much over priced will fail the appraisal and all real estate contracts have a finance contingency that will let the buyer walk away unless the seller will drop his price to that of the appraisal.

The only way this FSBO could sell that house is to get a cash buyer. A very unsophisticated cash buyer, totally unfamiliar with the Ocala market, who didn’t look at other competing houses either in person or online. What do you think the chances of that happening?

The moral of this story is “You can’t sell a house if it won’t appraise”.