Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:
Saturday, May 20th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)
Thursday, May 25th, from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday,June 10th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know. We understand that you have lives, and families, and work. We will work something out that works better with your schedule. Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner! 😀
Happy Mothers Day!
It’s that time again (and again!)… CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENT time… Yay!! 😀
Saturday, June 17 from 3pm-6pm.
Chris Berg & I would like to invite our clients to come watch a movie with us. Didn’t we just have one? Well, yes…yes, we did and we had so much fun that we want to do it again!
Which one now? Well, it involves some Disney, a red car, a tow truck, some really good music, and really good friends along Route 66 . Come join us for Cars 3!!
This is just our small way of saying, “THANK YOU” for your continued support, friendship, and oh yes, referrals. We appreciate YOU so much. Come watch a movie with us! There’s always room for friends and family too. 🙂
We do need rsvp’s, and those can be made via Facebook or email to either Chris Berg (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tracie DeMars (email@example.com) for right now.
We are always excited for the client appreciation events, and it’s almost as exciting for us as getting someone’s offer accepted on their dream home… or getting an offer signed around on the home they’re selling. I know people think that Real Estate is about houses, and while, yes…that is correct, it isn’t really correct. 😀 Real Estate is more about the relationships we form with our clients, and assisting them with their goals. Once we get an offer signed around…there’s so much more that needs to happens before we get keys. So, let’s talk about that for a bit…
Now…on to our weekly home buyer education! We are going to talk about Buyers Due Diligence, and why this is so important for you.
I saw a very interesting home this week that was right across the street from a cemetery. Now, that wouldn’t bother me, but for some folks…that would be a BIG thing. My clients liked the land but did not like the house…the house was … interesting. 🙂 It was a 1925 home, that had been ‘worked’ on over the years, and probably not professionally. When I am showing homes to clients, I get asked many questions about the home….some I can answer and some I can’t. Some of the answers we can find out, and some…well, you never really ‘know’ a home until you are the one living in it. So, what are some questions I can not answer… is the home haunted? Um….I don’t know? Has there been a violent crime in the home or in the area? Um…I don’t know? Believe it or not, that isn’t considered a relevant fact when listing the home as it doesn’t actually affect the home.
When selling a home, the seller (and sellers agent) is only obligated to disclose known material facts about the home on the sellers disclosure, and this is only about the home during the current sellers ownership. So what is a ‘material fact’? A ‘material fact’ is considered to be something that structurally affects the home. The sellers disclosure is about 6 pages long and the seller is ‘supposed to’ disclose all known facts about the home on it. However, if anyone has teenagers you know how often ‘supposed to’ gets done. Some sellers will disclose ALL facts about the homes….even those items that have been repaired, some sellers will only disclose those items that they haven’t gotten around to fixing, and some sellers just have no idea about anything in their home. Of course, this is why we do a home inspection. It isn’t that you can’t trust the sellers, but when it comes down to it, most sellers don’t know anything about their home. This is called ‘Buyers Due Diligence’. A buyer does have some responsibility for doing some research on the home, and area, that they are wanting, or trying to, buy in. If your buyers agent knows anything about the home or area then we have to legal responsibility to disclose it. In Washington, all sellers are required to fill out the 6 page sellers disclosure on their own. Their Realtor can not do it for them, or help them fill it out.….however, if the seller is a bank, or it is an estate, or an investor then there won’t be any sellers disclosures, or if there is, most questions will be answered with “don’t know”. For every question on the sellers disclosures, the sellers have 4 choices to answer… “yes, no, don’t know, or NA”, and every question must be answered….no empty boxes. When you receive a copy of the sellers disclosure though…remember to take it with a grain of salt, and hire a good inspector. Many sellers now will even just put a majority of ‘don’t know’ answers on the sellers disclosure so as to not have any liability. The majority of sellers aren’t trying to ‘hide’ anything about the home, they just truly don’t know. A realtor will hand the sellers disclosure to their client, the seller, and that is it. We, real estate agents, can not help the seller fill out the sellers disclosure at all. If you have any questions regarding anything on the sellers disclosure, your Realtor can request more information (if there is any) from the sellers through their sellers agent. Make sure you also address any concern you have regarding the homes condition to the home inspector you hire. He (or she) should be able to help you with that. The inspector I usually refer out encourages the buyer to walk with him during the home inspection so that the buyer is part of that inspection. I like to call it a ‘crash course in homeowning’. 🙂 By the time he is done with the inspection, my client usually knows more about the home than the current owner does! I can’t stress it enough….ask questions! You are paying for the home inspection, so walk around with the home inspector, ask questions, learn about what the inspector is checking, and be a part of the home inspection.
Your realtor will help you find out as much about the home as possible. Your agent should be present at your home inspection, and so should you. However, whether or not the home is haunted or not, we really can’t help you with. Whether or not there has been a violent crime in the home or area is another thing that we really can’t help you with, but we CAN help you by providing some places where you can do some research. Has anyone died in the home? Again….I don’t know…, but if it is an older home, and/or an estate? Maybe you should leave out some milk and cookies occasionally? 🙂
What about that new building being built in the neighborhood? Your Realtor probably doesn’t know what it is, and honestly we shouldn’t guess. That is something that a buyer will want to do some research on. Is that garage conversion permitted? Call the city/county. Your Realtor will help you find the information, but when it comes down to it, because of past legal problems, we are now limited on the extent that we can delve into everything….but we can help you get there still. It is weird, but there it is. There is a lot your Realtor can, and will do for you, and we will do all that we can to make sure that you are getting the best customer service possible. Your Realtor should help you to make sure that you are performing your buyers due diligence to make sure that you won’t get any unexpected surprises later. I am a huge fan of talking with neighbors….neighbors are a great source of information on a home. 🙂 Please remember that you are not just buying the home, you are buying the neighborhood. One of the questions I always ask my clients is if they have thought about the area they want to move to? Have they looked into schools, if that is important. Have they considered locations regarding work, or family/friends? I encourage my clients to drive around, and check out the neighborhoods they’re interested in. Drive by the homes you are interested in seeing, look at the neighbors, yards, parks, cars, etc… check out those things that are important to you. Vancouver doesn’t really have a ‘good side’, or ‘bad side’…Clark county has a lot of ‘pocket neighborhoods’. In a two mile radius you can have million dollar homes, new developments, ‘sketchy’ neighborhoods, and established ‘homey’ neighborhoods. Clark County has something for everyone! 🙂 What are you looking for in a home/neighborhood? What are your top 3 things you want (not counting price)? As a realtor we can not ‘steer’ you towards, or away, from any neighborhood. Our job is to help you find the best home we can, in your price range, that fits what you want. As an agent, I will help you get all the information I can, or direct you to places that can help you get that information. For example….census.gov is an excellent site to check out neighborhoods, and schools. Check it out! 🙂
So…buyers due diligence….talk to neighbors, walk around the home, and neighborhood… and write down a list of questions. Ask your inspector about these questions to check out. Ask your real estate agent to help you find out some answers to these questions, or if they can’t find the answers, help you find some places where you can do some research or ask questions. Your Realtor is here to help you! Remember that your Realtor works FOR you. Make sure you know what you are getting into….and any questions? ASK! …and keep asking until you get answers! As always, if you have any questions, please call or email me…I am always here to help. 🙂 Remember…I am a real estate broker, and I look forward to helping you on your home buying adventure…and assisting you to get those keys. 😀 Whether you are buying, or selling your home, my goal is to be the real estate broker you think of. I really want to help you with your first time, and every time. I believe that real estate is about relationships…..and no…that is not a shameless plug! LOL
I hope this helps you this week! Please, if you have any questions, please feel free to call, email, text, or even facebook me anytime. I am always here to help!
Information is power, and I hope that I am help you! Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there…. If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.
I hope that explains this a bit, but if you have any questions, or comments please call or email me anytime! Please remember that while I mean these emails/blogs to be helpful, and educational, I am still hoping that you will call, or email me. I would love to help you with your home buying, or home selling adventure! 🙂
As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one. Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships. Your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. 🙂 We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
….disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…
What if I don’t have a Down Payment? ….. &….
What does an Agent do for me?
Last Week: What happens after the offer is accepted?
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,