The most basic elements of a real estate transaction haven’t changed for hundreds of years. Person A has a property to sell, Person B wants to live in that area; they agree on a price and transfer ownership. But technology has changed many things about the real estate market over the past couple of decades. There are now smartphone apps, publicly available estimate websites, online tour bookings, and more.
One particularly useful asset for home sellers (and buyers) is the video walk-through. Appealing, professional-looking photographs of listings have been standard for a long time, but video walk-throughs are on their way to becoming an expectation, not just a bonus. Think about how often video is used now in advertising, instead of just photography. Do your favorite products catch your attention on social media with just the static image of a flyer, or do you pay more attention when they offer a 360-degree view with commentary?
When a potential buyer is browsing listings online, a short video of the home is more likely to tempt them to schedule a tour than photographs alone. After you’ve visited a place once or twice, you already have a sense of how the property looks and feels—and it’s easy to forget that others don’t have that context. Brief clips of the walk to the front door, a panorama of the back yard, and a zoom from the upstairs balcony can do so much more. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but video makes viewers feel like they’re on site.
You already know it’s your job to present a home in the most flattering way possible. You also probably know that “staging a home” means to set up the rooms with appropriate furniture and décor that have a broad appeal for most people. You know that your photographs of the home shouldn’t highlight just how cramped the broom closet is, or that the bathroom cabinet door is ever so slightly warped. These are unimportant details, but you still don’t want to draw attention to them. Well, promotional video gives you the same ability to “skip over” the less marketable elements, while offering an even more exciting viewer experience.
When a buyer walks in expecting their dream home but instead notices irritating little imperfections, there are consequences. You also know the consequences when—instead of a neutral, “broad appeal” home environment—they notice things that are too specific to the tastes of the previous owner. You’re free to use the power of video framing to exclude those problems until they’re fixed. Help the buyer fall in love with the “feel” and “story” of the house first, before they are exposed to the minor, fixable imperfections.
One realtor tells the story of deciding to take on a house with excellent blueprint design in a lovely neighborhood. The realtor excitedly walked through the house, but found that certain areas were a nightmare. One room had dusty old aquamarine wall hangings, another had tacky, outdated black and gold borders near the ceiling. In the living room, there were ugly murals and a wet bar that had seen better days. The bedroom had a seventy-five pound sculpture of a tiger that would need to find a new home. If someone focused too closely at those details, this particular house would have the most appeal for a low-rent “Scarface” wannabe. It would take a day or two to fix these elements—but by choosing to omit just those elements from her temporary walk-through video, she was still able to get some promotional materials online and build buzz for weekend showings.
The power of a video lens lets you focus on just the appealing parts, leaving the unpopular hangings, borders, and murals off-camera. This is also useful if there are some minor repairs that haven’t been done yet. Someone taking a tour in person will be turned off by those few little holes in the drywall, not realizing they’re a cheap, easy fix. But if the person has already fallen in love with the house via video, they might be more forgiving.
Your walk-through video doesn’t have to be expensively made, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even a final version. No one is expecting a big budget, professionally lit production starring a host in perfect suit and makeup—this isn’t a five million dollar mansion. Providing potential buyers with a more immersive view—carefully curated—may be just the thing that will make them decide to take a chance on attending your open house or tour.
Selling a fixer-upper is not a lost cause; it is possible and there are tips and tricks to making a good deal on your property! In this article we will share with you how to market and sell your fixer-upper to the best of your listing agent’s and your home’s ability!
As a realtor, it is your job to set up a realistic, competitive, and profitable asking price for your client’s home. Here are some things you can do to revamp or prepare your clients fixer-upper for the market.
Small Cosmetic Repairs – This is up to the discretion of the homeowner and realtor but if the fixes are easy and cost-effective, it’s almost always better to have them taken care of before putting the home on the market. It’s important to buyers to know a home is well taken care of, so if the repairs are minor or just cosmetic fixes, they are doing to avoid having them used by the buyer as negotiation tools—or worse, turning them away from the home.
Major Repairs – These are listing price deductors but if the homeowner is not interested in fixing them, then listing the home “as is” may be your best option, although the value of the home may take a hit. The condition of the home will always influence the price, and it is important to make the seller understand the more that needs done to the home means the lower the price will need to be to attract buyers. Forgoing repairs could also mean the home loses its competitive edge compared to other homes—but a sale is a sale.
Rather than focusing on the negatives, make the seller and potential buyers see the value in the home by highlighting the positive aspects of the property. This can make your property more attractive to buyers and allow for good advertising speaking points when selling the home. These can include the location of the home, school zones, acreage, or home size, or that the home can be customized to the buyer’s liking.
As a realtor, you want to keep those honest conversations frequent between you and your client, as well as with potential buyers. While it is important to highlight the positives, be careful not to downplay the negative aspects of the home as well. Keep the buyer informed on what has and has not been done to the home to fix existing problems in the home. If the buyer asks about doing a home inspection, do not hesitate to invite them to do so. Keeping transparency and honesty about the property you are representing on all levels will pay off in the end. This honesty-first practice gives you more credibility as well.
Having a pre-listing inspection done on your fixer-upper can help create a comprehensive list of repairs, from minor cosmetic issues to major and must-do repairs. With an inspection completed before listing the home, you can make recommendations to your client on any repairs that should be done or how they will affect the asking price if they go uncompleted. A pre-listing inspection can also be provided to potential buyers with an “as is” clause on the sale of the home. This helps with open and honest communication between your seller and all potential buyers.
Looking for more information on home inspections or looking to set up an appointment to have your client’s home inspected? A pre-listing home inspection from AcuSystem Inspections can help you and your seller get a better picture of what to expect repair wise and from there determine what to fix, your listing price, and prepare for potential repair or pricing negotiations.
Pre-listing home inspections are not required when listing a home, but they can help to keep any surprises from coming up during the listing process. No matter how long your seller has lived in their home, there could always be an underlying issue hiding within the walls and a pre-listing inspection can help identify them—or put worries to rest.
A certified home inspector performs a pre-listing inspection; it is like any other home inspection, only requested by a seller or the seller’s agent prior to the real estate listing of a home. In most cases of a home sale, a potential buyer requests an inspection (pre-purchase inspection) after making an offer but before signing the final closing documents. A pre-listing inspection is one way for the seller to get ahead of any issues and to assist them in determining an asking price.
If the home is brand new and your seller is the builder, an investor, or other party who has never lived in the home, a new construction inspection is recommended over a pre-listing inspection to ensure all aspects of the home were built according to plans and municipal codes. An AcuSystem Inspections agent can help you determine the best type of inspection for your real estate needs.
The cost of a pre-listing home inspection depends on the size of your home and where you live. It is common for the price to be between $250 and $700—although this amount is purely an industry estimate and not a guaranteed price.
For your seller, the out-of-pocket inspection cost can be worth the investment to have the peace of mind knowing the full condition of their home.
A pre-listing home inspection is identical to a buyer’s home inspection. The inspection includes checking mechanicals, major systems, doors, windows, and looking for signs of mold, water damage, and cracks.
It is up to the homeowner at the time of requesting the home inspection to decide if they want to pay the extra fee(s) for additional, more investigative testing such as radon testing, well-water testing, lead-paint testing, termite/pest inspection, internal mold testing, or an energy audit of the home. These can also provide similar benefits/withdrawals as those mentioned below for a pre-listing inspection.
There are many reasons your seller may want to request a pre-listing inspection—or reasons for you to encourage one to your seller. Some of these include the following worries:
There are many reasons to support your seller in the decision to request a pre-listing inspection or to encourage them to seek one.
During an inspection it is possible issues may be uncovered that may lower the value of the home or be mandatory to repair or disclose to potential buyers.
If an issue uncovered by a pre-listing inspection has been fixed, sellers do not have to inform the buyer there was ever a concern. Not disclosing completed repairs can help keep a buyer from being “spooked” but they can be a great selling point to describe in the listing; for example, the roof was newly replaced, or plumbing was updated.
From a realtor standpoint, certain repairs or recently updated aspects of the home is often attractive to potential buyers and can help to better advertise the home. Some such repairs or upgrades to point out when marketing the home to improve the overall advertisement and sell-ability of the home are:
Florida law requires sellers to disclose (upfront, without being prompted) any known latent defects which can “materially affect the value of the home or property.”
What does that mean?
These issues must be known to exist at the time of listing/sale the home and cannot be readily seen during a regular walk-through of the home. Sellers do not have to disclose obvious and visible issues such as a broken window, missing cabinetry, or holes in the wall.
Examples of qualifying disclosures can include:
If issues go unrepaired, then advertising the home “as is” may be preferred to avoid lower offers or repair negotiations—or your seller should be aware of this as a possibility during the sale process.
When recommending a home inspection company to your real estate client, you’ll want to opt for a home inspector who is licensed by the state and is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). ASHI certified inspectors are held to a higher degree of standards to become a member, which helps you to know you are recommending someone trustworthy.
All inspectors at AcuSystem Inspections are state, InterNACHI, and ASHI certified (as well as holding other awards and certs), plus we have decades of experience in the business and there isn’t much we haven’t seen or uncovered. Each of our home inspection reports includes detailed documentation of the concern, pictures, and recommendations for repairs. Contact us to schedule your home inspection before putting your client’s home up for sale.
So, you’ve placed an offer on a property and it’s been accepted, that’s great! But any good investor knows that that’s not the end of buying a home. Being able to negotiate the results of your property’s home inspection is the next hurdle you face. Negotiating the results of the inspection are very important as an investor and below are some tips for how to best negotiate for repairs or a better deal following your home inspection.
But first, it is important to note what is inspected during a home inspection. A home inspection includes a report of the following aspects of a home:
A home inspection is a visual inspection and there are still many important aspects of the home that are not covered under the inspection, but it does provide a good overall depiction of the condition of the property you are looking to invest in.
Asking the seller to make repairs.
While this option isn’t always recommended for homes that often draw an investor’s eye, repairs are still up for negotiation—especially for major issues such as mold. Sellers may consider making repairs an inconvenience and not worth the effort, causing them to look at other offers if you ask for them to make repairs. So, weigh your options carefully on a home you are looking to invest in, especially if it was described as an “investor special” or “handyman special”; these keywords often indicate the home requires a lot of work and the listing price often reflects this. Also, the repairs are up to the seller’s standards and the buyers have no say in what is done or how it is fixed, so their repairs could affect your plans for the home.
Asking the seller to accept a lower offer on the property.
This can be a more enticing option for the seller compared to above because it does not pile on work for the seller to complete before closing when they are ready to leave the property. As an investor, repairs are commonly needed, so this negotiation tool is best used when the home inspection reveals deeper issues, ones that could eat into your profit, timeline, or plans for the home. If you make a lower offer, be sure to back up the request with the justification the original asking price is too high based on the condition of the home. A home inspection report can help you to do this.
Turn down the deal and continue your search for your ideal investment property.
If you elected to include an inspection contingency with your original offer and contract on the home and are not satisfied with the inspection report—or the seller’s response to your counteroffer requesting repairs or a price reduction—you do have the option to back out of the deal. Investment properties are only a good venture if there will be a return on your investment and the potential for income has to outweigh the cost of repairs and the original purchase amount. So, if the value of the home does not meet this, it may be your sign to look elsewhere.
It is our mission, but we also make it our passion, to thoroughly inspect your home. With over 30 years of building and home inspection experience and industry-recommended certifications on our side, AcuSystem will deliver expert inspection service, so you can make sound judgements in regard to the investment property you are considering.
Here at AcuSystem Inspections, the relationship between our realtors and home inspectors is very important to us! There is research that proves a positive relationship between an inspector and a realtor allows for more homes to be sold through realtors. This info comes from the National Association of Realtors from their experience and numbers in 2016. Buyers have the option to choose their own home inspector, but statistics show that if a realtor can recommend a home inspector to inspect a home, they are more likely to get the job.
Thoroughness, certifications, and schedule are some of realtor’s top criteria for home inspectors.
Any relationship between the realtor and the home inspector is a win for both sides. How attentive both the realtor and inspector are to the detail of the home is a big part of this. A thorough inspections allows for more informed decisions from buyers. Here at AcuSystems Inspections we are so thorough, we can guarantee that attention to detail! We offer a buy-back guarantee, $25,000 Honor Guarantee, and a 90-day warranty. We want our clients as well as our realtor partners to feel secure when allowing us to inspect their home.
Being thorough comes with the certifications needed to show proof of proper training and ability. Here at AcuSystems we pride ourselves on our certifications and how qualified our home inspectors are for the job. Our inspectors are certified in the following associations: the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc (ASHI), the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), mold inspection certified, and pest inspection certified.
Our inspectors are also licensed Florida inspectors. At AcuSystem Inspections we are a part of the GTAR, Greater Tampa REALTORS, and we are held to a high standard by many Tampa real estate agents. We work with other neighboring areas too such as Lakeland, Riverview, and Brandon where we hold a place in the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Riverview Chamber of Commerce and have strong relationships with the Lakeland Realtors Group.
Acusystems Inspections is open 7 AM to 9 PM all week long, including weekends! We also have a 24/7 phone service with 20 certified inspectors to try our best at accommodating any schedule you or your homeowner request.