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Inspections, Inspectors, and Common Mistakes

There are different types of house inspections available to perform.

General or residential inspections will observe and give an evaluation of the house elements and systems.

The list below may be enhanced, or some of the points may be excluded. Nevertheless, it will give you an idea of what should be examined.

  • Exterior (quality of water drainage, and condition of the outside elements: yard, trees, pathways, fences, decks, stairs, cosmetic issues, etc.)
  • Structural elements (visible foundation and framing condition, structure’s upright position, etc.)
  • Roof (installation quality, visible damages, shingles and gutters condition, etc.)
  • Plumbing system (looking for any leaks, checking the water pressure, faucets, showers, material and aging of pipes, etc.)
  • Electrical system (checking fuses, any visible wiring, its type and condition, safety issues, etc.)
  • HVAC – heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (inspection of chimneys, vents, house insulation, ducting, etc., checking if all the systems work properly)
  • Laundry room (ventilation and dryer systems, search for possible leaks and potential fire hazards)
  • Bathrooms (proper ventilation, leaks, water heater condition and other possible issues)
  • Kitchen appliances (proper working devices and their correct installation)
  • Fire safety (checking the smoke detectors, fireplaces, and stoves)

Pest inspection will determine the presence of the wood boring insects, different kinds of insects, molds, and fungi.

You need to know how much damage a termite population can cause, in addition to mold in wet basements and the health hazards that it produces, so it is necessary that you do the inspection.

If you live in specific risk areas, it would be wise to order an additional service, for example, earthquake, tornado, or flood inspection.

The specialist will help you to estimate the resistance of the property during the natural disasters, if they have a high probability of occurring in your region.

Your inspector will most likely recommend that you ask for a second opinion and another inspection if he has any doubts or additional concerns.

Do not procrastinate and wait for the last moment to follow his advice. There have been a lot of situations whereby the closing meeting have to be postponed because of failure to deal with the discovered issues properly and in time.

When the problem appears during the closure, it might be hard to resolve them during that time, especially if both the buyer and the seller have strong opinions about them.

Choosing the right inspector is the key to a thorough and honest report.

You may look for him or her online (most real estate websites have a list of professionals with their ratings and reviews), or ask your friends and family for a recommendation.

The inspector makes the conclusion regarding the scale of the problem if some items need service or replacement and if some issues are not yet full-blown but there is a good chance that they may, which means that they should be watched.

A good expert is hard to find, but it won’t be necessary for you to control each step. You just need to make sure that he looks at all the surroundings during rain or snow, and examines the attic.

It is quite common to have interviews with several inspectors to find out, in person, how many houses he had looked at. You will have the chance to determine if you are comfortable with his approaches and manner of speech.

A lot of buyers neglect to visit the house during the inspection and look only at the report that the company provides. This is one of the most obvious mistakes during the home inspection process.

Seeing letters and numbers is not the same as seeing the real situation. It is one of your first opportunities to fully take a tour around the house and see its actual appearance.

The second most common mistake is to go to the inspection and be too afraid to ask questions about what you see. Inspectors do their job, and some things that are common knowledge to them might be new to you.

Do not be intimidated about asking for an explanation if you do not understand what is going on. You are the one who is paying for his work, and you have the right to do it.

Another mistake that buyers make is to leave without checking the utilities. They may be off, but you should ask for them to be turned back on in order to make sure that there are no leaks, and that everything is connected correctly.

All the house inspection conditions apply to new homes as well as old ones.

Believe it or not, newly built houses can also have issues. Buying a house may be the biggest purchase in your life, and it is not the time to gamble with such a big amount of money being at stake.

Contact Real Estate Agent & Attorney, Arthur Simpson

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Common Negotiating Mistakes

Let’s start with some negotiating mistakes to avoid. After all, what you don’t do is going to be more important than what you do! One slip of the tongue can result in a negotiating mistake (and hurt your pocketbook too!)

Common Negotiating Mistake #1:

Not learning the other party’s motivation.

Price isn’t the only reason people buy. They may really like a certain feature your home has. They might be willing to pay more because of that feature.

Sometimes they might absolutely love that feature. They have been hunting for a while and finally found a home meeting their needs completely. That means they are willing to pay more for your home.

If you meet the buyers, you should ask them why they are buying a home. They might tell you they are being transferred and have to find a home by a certain date.

If you know that, you will be able to negotiate a higher sales price. If the buyers have an agent, ask the agent for information. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Why do the buyers like this home?
  • Where are they moving from?
  • How does this home compare to other homes?

You shouldn’t be as blunt as that. However, you can often find the answers to these questions in a roundabout way.

For example, you could say, “You will love our town because of the X (insert a unique feature of your town.) Do they have an X where you live now?”

That will start the conversation about where they are moving from. You can learn a lot from what they say. It will be helpful during the negotiations. You would be amazed at what some people will tell you.

Common Negotiating Mistake #2:

Meeting in the middle.

(This is the most common mistake novice home sellers make.) It’s the easiest way to sell your home for $10,000 less than you should. I don’t want to come across as cocky, but meeting in the middle is really lame.

It’s the most common thing everyone does and the problem is everyone thinks they have to do it. That’s a big mistake. There is no rule book that says you have to “meet in the middle.”

Here is a quick story that illustrates this. A home was on the market. The buyers made an offer $20,000 less than the listing.

The agent told the seller to reject the offer and told the other agent they should come back with a better offer. (The house had only been on the market for 2 days.)

The buyer came back and “Met in the middle. The agent knew they were serious buyers and really wanted the house.

The seller thought the buyer was being a good person by “meeting in the middle.” He was willing to accept the middle offer.

The agent told him to give a little, but not “meet in the middle.” He recommended that he counter at $2,500 under the asking price and see what happened.

The buyers came back with the middle price and after some more negotiations the buyer and seller agreed on new offer. So, what can you take from this?

Don’t meet in the middle. Instead, give 10-20% and let the other guy give 50%. You’ll gain a little more in each round of negotiations.

Common Negotiating Mistake #3:

Talking too much.

This is the worst sin of negotiating. Don’t tell the buyers or their agent your life’s story.

What do you think would pop into a buyer’s head if they heard this out of a seller’s mouth? “We must sell the home because it is in foreclosure, and if we don’t sell it by June 23rd, then the bank will foreclose on it.”

Immediately they will think, “I wonder what they owe on the house. Because if it doesn’t sell, they will have a foreclosure. The sellers probably just want to get what they owe on the home so they can avoid foreclosure.”

This is an extreme example, but it shows you how a simple slip of the tongue could cause a seller to lose a large amount of their hard earned equity.

A seller facing foreclosure in that situation might be desperate enough to “get out” with none of their equity just to avoid foreclosure.

But, what if the buyer was willing to pay the market value for the home? That seller just lost all of their equity! When a buyer asks why you are selling, answer them without giving away any extra information.

You could say, “Oh, we would like to move to Omaha.” (Or whatever place you are moving to.) You don’t need to say much more than that. And don’t tell them you have a job transfer!

Common Negotiating Mistake #4:

Making the first move.

Many buyers will ask what your bottom line is. They know they can usually negotiate a home seller down to an even lower price.

Don’t fall for it. You’ve already made the first move by setting a price for your home. Tell the buyers you need to think it over and get back to them.

Then, ask them what they like about your home. If they tell you, you can determine their motivation to buy your home. After that, ask them what they are thinking of offering on your home.

The reason this rule is so important is in some negotiations, you may offer more at the beginning than the other party is willing to accept.

Here is an example of this. A person I know was trying to buy something. He had a price in mind he was willing to pay. He thought the best price he could get was $1,500, but he was willing to pay up to $2,000.

He asked the seller what he wanted for the item. The seller responded he didn’t know what he wanted. He offered the seller $1,500 and the seller accepted it.

He later learned that the seller was desperate. The seller had a price in mind of $800 to $1,000.

If the seller had mentioned an opening price first, he would have saved $500! Instead he lost $500.

Common Negotiating Mistake #5:

Letting your ego get involved.

What is your final goal? You want to sell your property quickly for top dollar, right? Keep that goal in mind during the entire negotiation.

I have seen people kill a potential top dollar sale simply because they didn’t like the buyer. Or, the buyer started negotiations with a low ball offer and the seller got offended.

“I refuse to negotiate with someone who insulted me with that lowball offer”, they said. And a good buyer moved on to buy another house.

Most lowball offers can be negotiated to a higher price.

Some buyers have a big ego and think they are great negotiators (when they actually aren’t.) Their definition of a great negotiator?

Someone with a big ego that tells people off and walks around like they own the world. They think being abrasive and rude will get them a better deal. They’ll throw around “take it or leave it” offers.

I can tell you from personal experience most buyers are willing to pay more than their “take it or leave it” offer.

You just have to keep the negotiations going, even though you might be a little unhappy or angry with what they are doing.

I have seen home sellers tell off a buyer that said something rude. That buyer could have bought their house. The buyer might actually be a very nice person. Keep your eye on the goal and don’t get distracted by petty things. You want to sell your house for top dollar.

Let anything a buyer says that is rude, or otherwise offensive, roll off like water off a duck’s back. It means more money for you in the end. That is the best feeling of all, far better than telling them off!

Common Negotiating Mistake #6:

Failing to take time on the counter offer.

Many times you will be pressured to reply right away to an offer. Buyers are impatient and if they really like your house, they will want an answer to their offer right away. But, do you know what else that means?

They are probably willing to pay more for your property.

Take the time to talk to your Realtor. You need to take a little time and consider the situation.

Have you been able to find out any information on the buyers? Use that to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. A little space and an objective third party will lead to more effective decision making.

Sell your home today with Simpson & Associates.

Contact a local Simpson & Associates Agent today.

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What Stops Perfect Homes From Selling

Have you ever wondered why no one bought your house? I know exactly why no one bought your house… and I’ll explain why in the following story explains a big reason why.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door?” Even though the saying might appear to be correct – at least on the surface – it’s false.

Over 4,400 people have invented what they thought was a better mousetrap. At least that is how many patents have been filed with the U.S. Patent Office.

But, despite all of the new mousetrap inventions, the classic mousetrap (first patented in 1894) is still the best selling design.

I’m sure every single one of those inventors is frustrated.

“Why won’t anyone buy my mousetrap? It’s genius!” They say to themselves. They’re frustrated, no doubt.

I’m sure you can relate to their frustration.

Have you ever thought the following, “Why won’t anyone buy my house? It’s a great house!” Fortunately, there is an answer to this question:

“One Cannot Throw a Great Product

Out On the Street and Expect

People to Gobble It Up.”

This rule applies to inventions, homes, and even movies. Yes, even great movies need to be sold. Here is an example of a great movie that didn’t do well when it was first released.

On Sept. 23, 1994, the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption” was released to the world. Adapted from a short story from legendary author Stephen King, the feature film centered on a pair of imprisoned men.

The film, based in a prison but built on the idea of friendship and of hope and of dreams, was nominated for seven Oscars and won more than a dozen awards.

The film was immediately a critic’s favorite.

Twenty years later, “The Shawshank Redemption” is now considered one of the greatest movies of all time.

In fact, on respected website Internet Movie Database (, it is ranked as the best movie in cinema history, ahead of the likes of “The Godfather,” “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “Schindler’s List.”

Another action movie came out that year

The Flintstones, a live-action remake of the 1960s cartoon, starred John Goodman and Rick Moranis.

It, perhaps needless to say, was not nominated for Best Film at the Oscars. “It falls flatter than a granite slab,” noted a national film critic.

Though the film was praised for its costume and set design, it also won “Razzie Awards” for Worst Female Performance and Worst Screenplay and a nominee for Worst Movie of 1994.

Its user reviews are roughly half that of “The Shawshank Redemption” and is rated by users as one of the worst movie of the 1990s.

The true power of targeted marketing.

The Flintstones, behind a team of salespeople, masterfully marketed the film to its targeted demographics. The film grossed $131 million in the U.S. and $358 million worldwide.

The people at Universal Studios, who promoted “The Shawshank Redemption,” admitted they couldn’t figure out how to sell the movie to the public.

They had a great product,

but they didn’t know how to sell it.

It grossed $28 million in the U.S. box office and $60 million worldwide.  It ranked 51st in box office success in 1994 – two spots behind “In the Army Now” starring Pauly Shore.

Look at those numbers, then look at them again. Still don’t believe good marketing and salesmanship doesn’t matter?

The folks at Universal learned their lesson:

Even the best products need to be “sold.”

Is your home a great product that wasn’t marketed properly?

Selling a home for top dollar fast

is actually pretty simple.

You just have to find the one person who is willing to pay more for your home than anyone else. If they want it more than anyone else, then they will be willing to pay a higher price than anyone else.

Sell your home today with Simpson & Associates Real Estate.

Contact a local Simpson & Associates Agent today.