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The BEST Way To Be Superdad For Your Children During Their Home-Buying Experience

So your kid is out there looking to buy a house.

You think to yourself, “I know she’s not a ‘kid’ anymore…”

But…she’s still your kid.

It’s hard to just stand by and watch. You want to step in and make sure she doesn’t make a mistake or spend too much.

You can’t believe the prices of houses she’s looking at. You felt like the prices were high when you bought your first home, and now…now they’re just crazy. Who can afford these prices?

Everything she’s looking at are absolute money-pits. You feel like most of these houses are basically tear-downs.

And you’re pretty sure the agent she’s working with is just in it for the money…

Pushing her to make a quick decision.
Pushing her to go to the highest price she can afford.
Pushing her to make a decision before you chime in.
Pushing you away…so you can’t chime in and stop your daughter from making a mistake.

You have every right to feel this way

You’re a dad. You’re there for your kids, even once they’re an adult.

You’re there to help pick up the pieces if they fall. But, better yet…you’re there to help avoid pieces ever falling, and needing to be picked up.

And you’re right…

Real estate prices are higher than when you bought your first home. (And, yes, prices were high back then. It’s all relative.)

Many of the homes your kid has to choose from probably do need lots of work. Even the best of them might not be as nice as what you’re able to own and afford.

And, maybe the real estate agent is being “pushy” with your kid.

Annnnd…maybe the agent is pushing you away. Keeping you at arm’s length…

They have a right to feel this way

You aren’t the real estate agent’s client. Their duty is not to you. Your child is their adult client. And they also have a duty to protect them. Even from you (harsh as that may sound)…

Unfortunately, many dads (and, to be fair, many moms, too) have set the precedent.

Dads can be deal-killers. And not in the heroic you-saved-the-day kinda way.

Sometimes agents come across as being pushy but are just expressing a need for urgency in a fast-moving market.

Sometimes agents seem to be “pushing the price up”. It would seem to be for their own benefit from the outsider’s point of view. But it could just be a reality their client needs to deal with. If they don’t go higher in price (even over asking at times), they won’t get the house they are going after. Or any house at all, for that matter.

Sometimes an agent may seem to be ignoring how much work a house needs. That might be because the house is a good deal as-is, or it’s the best location, or just as good as a buyer in that range can expect to find and afford.

Dads tend to swoop in during the moments of decision…coming to see a house their child is about to make an offer on…the house their kid fell in love with.

Dads don’t tend to be around for the entire process and see every house their child saw along the way. Nor are they privy to every conversation they had about the market.

Buying a house is a process

Finding a house to buy is a lot of sifting through houses you don’t end up buying.

It’s a process of getting to know the inventory. Getting a feel for how the market is moving. How quickly other buys scoop things up. Making tentative low offers, and being beaten out by higher ones. Watching prices go above asking…or not. Seeing how few great houses there are to choose from, and being ready to pounce when you come across the “perfect” one (warts and all).

And often enough, buyers want to swing their dad by the “perfect” house to get dad’s opinion, blessing, and approval. (Plus, they’re also just excited to show dad the house they found and want to buy!)

That’s when dads often swoop in, without benefit of the entire process, and cast judgment down upon the house, the neighborhood, the market, and the agent(s)…and put the brakes on. Hard.

It’s usually with all the best intentions. And it’s undoubtedly meant to be good advice.

As a dad, you want to make sure your kid doesn’t make a mistake they regret. And the easiest way to do that is to give riskless advice

“I wouldn’t buy this house. It needs too much work. It’s way overpriced. Wait. Wait for the market to get better. Wait for a better one to come along. Wait and save some money so you can afford a better house.”

Basically any advice but, “Buy this house! And buy it now!”

Because, advising your child not to buy a particular house, can never be proven as bad advice. It’s riskless. No mistake can be made. No pieces need to be picked up. They can’t get hurt if they don’t buy it.

Or can they!?!?!

Don’t get in the way

As much as you may not believe it at times, kids listen to their fathers.

Especially adult kids.

Especially on big decisions.

Even more so if dad has some skin in the game…like, help with the down payment or closing costs. (Which is pretty common.)

Sometimes kids listen simply because they don’t want to make a decision and risk hearing, “I toldja so! Shoulda listened to me!”, the minute there’s an issue with the house.

And listening to dad’s advice can sometimes get in the way of getting the best house they could have because someone else scoops it up while they hem and haw. And now they have to wait for the next needle in a haystack of a house to come along. If ever.

Or, eventually, they have to settle for a house they like less when their back is against the wall of time, because they’re at the end of their lease, or they’re closing on the house they’re selling.

Once time is against them, all hope of negotiating the best deal is pretty much out the window.

That doesn’t mean don’t be involved

You should care.

And if your child wants you involved, you should be involved. Your perspective and advice can be helpful.

Believe it or not, most real estate agents will welcome your involvement. If your help, involvement, and opinion are along for the ride, for the entire ride.

It’s best to be involved from the get-go. Go through the entire process with your child and their agent.

You may not want to go see alllllll of the houses they see in-person, or on-screen, but it’s important.

If you don’t, you lack a full picture and handle on the market that they build over time.

You don’t have to, of course…but then, you can’t just swoop in with your Superdad cape without feeling like you’re fighting your archenemy Superagent. And it’s a silly fight because you’re both trying to protect the same person.

You should both be protecting your child from potential pitfalls…not from each other.

I’ve created a free guide to help my clients properly prepare for purchasing a home. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the near future (or ever…), grab a copy! The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide

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An Open Letter from an Agent to Anyone Considering Selling Their Home

So you’re thinking about selling your home? I realize you didn’t arrive at this decision lightly, and that you might be nervous or scared. There are so many things that are probably going through your head right now. I’d like to help you by offering some advice, and hopefully putting your mind at ease.

First, do some research.
It’s important for you to understand how much money you can expect to get for your home. We need to be realistic. Unfortunately, checking online sites like Zillow or Trulia isn’t going to give you the most accurate picture of your home’s value. This is why it’s important to sit down with a real estate agent that understands the market and will give you a realistic home value estimate by comparing similar properties that have recently sold in your area.

This meme is pretty funny (and rather sarcastic)… but at the same time, it illustrates a painful reality.

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Discuss your situation.
Discussing your situation with a real estate agent will also help you identify any other aspects of the transaction that you might be forgetting. For instance, there might be something glaringly obvious that could get in the way of a smooth home inspection that you might not be considering… or, on the other hand, a unique feature that your home might have which could help maximize its value. Also, discussing the process with an agent will help you understand how much money you can expect to walk away with after the closing.

Considering braving it alone?
If you’re considering selling your home without an agent, remember that you’re doing so at your own risk. There are quite a few things that can go wrong (many of them legal) which an agent is trained and perfectly set up to handle. Also, do you really want to deal with random strangers showing up at random times throughout the day, wondering whether they’re even qualified to buy a house or if they’re just bored and looking for something to do?

Or said a different way…

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Let an agent worry about these things; you’ll thank yourself later.

Pick the right agent.
Working with the right person can mean the difference between a smooth transaction and a less-than-memorable experience. How do you pick the right one?

First, make sure you feel comfortable with the person. You might spend a lot of time with them, so it’s important that you have a rapport.

Secondly, if the agent is giving you some inconvenient feedback or information, don’t dismiss them. The best agents will tell you the truth because they understand that setting the right expectations is more important than promising you the world.

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Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Lastly, ask as many questions as you need to until you feel comfortable with your level of understanding. The right agent will be patient with you and will understand just how big of a deal this is.

Don’t stress!
This might be easier said than done, but try to keep things in perspective. Your home is probably your most valuable asset and the most consequential transaction that you’ll ever work on. But people buy and sell their homes every day, and there’s a very comprehensive system in place that helps facilitate those transactions. Your agent will help guide you through the process and will help you feel at ease. Remember, you’re not the first and you won’t be the last person to feel the stress.

Expect the unexpected.
It would be lovely if I could promise you that everything will go perfectly smooth, but it rarely does. Obstacles almost always come up during a real estate transaction, but that doesn’t mean you should pull your hair out worrying. Agents know there will be bumps in the road, and they’ll also know how to get over them and get your home sold with as little stress for you as possible.

So don’t stress, be realistic, find the right agent to help, and remember that small hiccups are just part of the transaction.

And by the way, feel free to give me a call. 🙂

I’ve created a free guide to help my clients properly prepare their house for sale. If you’re thinking about selling your starter home in the near future (or ever…), grab a copy!  How To Prepare Your House For Sale

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Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home

A lot of people think the best time to buy a house is during the Spring market.

And, it is…

…in the sense that more houses are listed for sale in the Spring. But, there’s also a heck of a lot more buyers trying to buy those listings.

The thing is, some of the houses listed back in the Spring don’t end up selling. (Usually just because they were overpriced.)

Now, it isn’t like new listings don’t happen in the Fall. There are always new listings coming on the market. But it’s not like, just because it’s Fall and not Spring, prices are necessarily going to fall. In other words, new listings aren’t likely to list for a lot lower than you would have seen in the Spring.

However, the homeowners who did list back in the Spring, are much more likely to be anxious (perhaps even desperate) to sell their home. They’ve created their own problem…they missed the boat by pricing too high.

Which is great news for you, if you’re looking to buy a home:

  • Less competition. (Many buyers stop looking at this time of year…for no good reason.)
  • Motivated sellers. (They’re sick of being on the market, and wondering why nobody bought their house.)

But it isn’t always easy to find those listings. They don’t wave a white flag, or lower their price to some ridiculous amount everyone would notice. If only it were that easy…

Just because someone listed their home back in the Spring doesn’t mean they’ll be all that negotiable.

There are certain things a great real estate agent will know to look for.

And I love rolling up my sleeves and finding the ones we can most likely negotiate the best deals on.

So, got anything you want me to roll up my sleeves and look for? Real estate deals won’t just fall in your lap, but I can certainly help you find one this Fall.

Bonus
Want another reason to buy a home in the Fall?

You can take advantage of year-end sales to outfit your home!

Hardly anybody buys a home who doesn’t want (or need) to make improvements, however small. So why not coordinate your purchase with sales on items you’ll need? According to Consumer Reports, September is an ideal time for buying carpet and paint. In October lawn mowers go on sale, and the same goes for appliances and cookware in November.

I’ve created a free guide to help my clients properly prepare for purchasing a home. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the near future (or ever…), grab a copy! The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide