Boise Homes For Sale: Secure Your Lockbox

Sent To All Ada County Realtors Last Week

If you’re  a seller who’s setting your lockbox out vs. securing it to your home, you are at risk!

There are roughly 2,300 Boise homes for sale now and many sellers opt to set their lockbox out for showings vs. securing it to their home.

Our Intermountain MLS Supra lockboxes are amazingly strong, but they can be defeated by those with criminal intent, especially when they can take the lockbox with them.

If you’re a seller who thinks you’re limiting access to your home by setting out your lockbox for showings, you’re actually creating additional risk by not securing the lockbox to your home.

Setting your lockbox out for showings make it easy for those with criminal intent because they can simply take your lockbox with them, crush it at their leisure, and gain access to your keys.

Here’s the notice from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office:


Dear Idaho REALTORS®;
Detectives with the Property Crime Division of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office have recently encountered a security issue with houses for sale we’d like to bring to your attention.
We are finding people are stealing key lock boxes that aren’t properly secured to unoccupied homes. That makes it much easier for those thieves to break into the boxes and get the keys out. They then enter the homes.
A good way for REALTORS® to help fight back and prevent similar crimes in the future is to make sure they secure the lock boxes to the residence by the use of a cable lock or direct attachment to the home. This isn’t a cure-all but we suspect it will make it much harder for criminals to break in to the homes of your clients.
Thank you for taking this into consideration. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Detective J. Lloyd #4464

Ada County Sheriff’s Office
7200 Barrister Drive
Boise, Idaho 83704

Boise Homes: 2015 Pending Sales Trends

Pending sales of Boise homes are an indicator of future closed sales.

Here’s a breakdown of 2015 year-to-date pending sales.

  • January: 703
    % Change: (baseline number)
  • February: 878
    % Change: +24.9%
  • March: 1,025
    % Change: +16.7%
  • April: 1,246
    % Change: +21.6%
  • May: 1,486
    % Change: +19.3%

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.  

Data does not include condo or townhome properties.

Data pulled from Intermountain MLS at the beginning of each month.


My Home Flooding Update

I’ve learned more about home flooding over the past four weeks than I ever wanted to know.

I remain amazed at the amount of damage a few minutes’ overflowing water can cause.

It all began when our 10-year old Maytag Atlantis washer failed to shut off while filling with water.

First, there was the call to my insurance agent who called in his disaster cleanup specialists.

They arrived within two hours, pulled up flooring, removed baseboards, and set up numerous high-powered fans to begin the drying process.

It took about a week to dry things out and, wow ~ those fans are loud!

Next, I got bids from two contractors and learned much about the repair process with its myriad considerations and decisions for materials, labor, and scheduling.

Along the way, I learned that everything gets marked up at multiple levels.

After getting bids, I decided that I needed to become my own general contractor to take control of the process and the costs.

During this time, I also worked with the insurance adjustor to arrive at a settlement.

One sticking point was damaged 15-year old Red Birch hardwood.

My insurance company wanted to replace only the damaged wood and try to refinish it to match.

The contractors disagreed with that approach and thought it would be impossible to match new wood with 15-year old wood.

Ultimately, we were able to reach agreement on replacing additional hardwood and settle the claim.

When I got my settlement check, it was made payable to both myself and my lender, requiring the lender’s endorsement on the check before I could cash it.

Then, I learned that the settlement payment would include two separate checks, requiring my lender’s endorsements on both checks.

I’m still waiting to get the second check back from my lender.

To make life more interesting, the flooding occurred a few days prior to closing my refi loan.

Thankfully, the appraiser was here three days before the house flooded and my refi closed without any problems.

Now, four weeks after the flooding, most of the new flooring has been installed after enormous disruption and inconvenience.

Over the past four weeks, we’ve walked on subfloors coated with original construction dust (that’s impossible to vacuum), ground that dust into the carpets, collected a thick coating of dust throughout the house, dealt with disconnected toilets (one at a time!), and endured considerable noise while working from home.

We also had to remove the dishwasher, gas range, and refrigerator to facilitate replacing the kitchen hardwood, which meant moving those appliances into the Great Room with no way to cook at home.

The rest of the flooring will go in this week, then the final task will be replacing the baseboards that were destroyed while replacing damaged flooring.

Baseboard replacement will include buying the baseboard, having it painted, and having a finish carpenter install it.

Fortunately, we were able to apply the insurance settlement toward some upgrades that we had wanted to do anyway.

After more than a month of disruption, the house should be back to normal in the next week or two.

Lessons Learned

  • Keep a close eye on any appliance that is connected to water.
  • Never leave your home when an appliance connected to water is running.
  • Install water warning sensors near appliances connected to water (they cost around $30 and are similar to a smoke detector).

I hope you never experience what I’ve experienced in the past month!


8 Ways Home Sellers Scare Away Buyers

Some sellers are their own worst enemy when they’re trying to sell their home.

Here are 8 ways home sellers scare away buyers:

1)  Poor Curb Appeal

That old saying “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression” was intended for people who are trying to sell their home.

If your home doesn’t make a favorable impression during a drive-by, buyers won’t bother to look at the inside of your home.

2)  Overpricing

Today’s buyers have more information than ever, thanks to the internet.

I routinely encounter buyers who know more about property values than most Realtors®.

If your home is overpriced, it will remain unsold until you price it correctly.

Worse yet, your negotiating power declines the longer your home remains unsold.

Buyers and their agents love to lowball homes that have been on the market for a long time with several price reductions.

3)  Difficult To Show

Buyer’s agents tend to show homes that are easy to show.

That means having a lockbox and being willing to accommodate showings on short notice.

No lockbox, requiring an appointment through the (unresponsive) listing agent, and/or requiring lengthy notice to show will discourage showings.

4)  Photography That Sucks

The only thing worse than no photos or only one photo in MLS is bad photography.

Photos of bathrooms with the toilet seat up, Fluffy’s litter box, kitchen sinks with dirty dishes, and photos of other “features” will ensure that your home won’t get shown or sold.

Your listing agent should have a good camera with a bounce flash unit and know how to use it.

Better yet, your listing agent can hire a professional real estate photographer at a modest cost to showcase your home at its best.

Good photography will help sell your home for top dollar.

BTW – Smartphones are great for selfies, but not so much for real estate photography.

Then, there’s video.

If your listing agent uses video to promote your home, make sure it’s good video.

A video of your home, shot by your listing agent while walking through the home, stating “this is the kitchen” is really bad, amateurish video.

Bad video is worse than no video.

5)  Dark and Dreary

Buyers like homes that are bright, cheery, and well-lit.

Before you list your home, replace missing and burned-out light bulbs with larger bulbs that provide ample light.

Low-wattage bulbs and CFL bulbs often lack adequate brightness.

It’s also a good idea to open your blinds and turn all the lights on before your home is shown.

6)  Dirty

Clean homes sell faster than dirty homes.

And, they usually sell for more money too.

Before you list, deep-clean your home and make it look like you don’t live there.

That means having your carpets cleaned, windows cleaned, blinds cleaned, and making sure that your home sparkles.

7)  Clutter

Very few buyers are able to overlook clutter.

If a buyer can’t “see” your home, they won’t buy it.

Remove unneeded items from every room and put them away or throw them away before you list.

It’s especially important to remove furniture that makes a room look small.

8)  Pets

I understand that Fluffy’s adorable and Brutus is man’s best friend, but many buyers are allergic to pet hair and dander.

Nothing will turn off a buyer faster than Fluffy’s hairballs and her overflowing litter box.

Brutus may be loving and affectionate with you, but intimidate a potential buyer.

And, if Brutus decides to nip at little Susie when she tries to pet him during a showing, you’ll have bigger problems than not selling your home.

Some buyers and their agents will avoid your home if they see MLS agent remarks indicating the presence of an unfriendly dog.

Despite being a dog person, I’m one of those agents because I’ve been bitten more than once while showing homes.

Interestingly, there’s a listing in our local MLS now (for a home that hasn’t sold in more than a year) with “dog kenneled in garage, please keep hands & fingers away from kennel” in the agent remarks.  :roll:


Boise Idaho Real Estate Stats – April 2015

Here’s a snapshot of April’s activity for Boise, Idaho real estate (Ada County):

Boise Idaho Available Homes

  • # Available: 2,321
  • Average Asking Price: $337,609
  • Median Asking Price: $275,000
  • Months’ Supply: 3.3

Boise Idaho Pending Sales

  • # Pending: 1,486
  • Average Asking Price: $281,559
  • Median Asking Price: $245,000

Boise Idaho Closed Sales – April 2014

  • # Closed: 686
  • Average Sales Price: $235,705
  • Median Sales Price: $207,900

Boise Idaho Closed Sales – April 2015

  • # Closed: 821
    % Change: +19.7%
  • Average Sales Price: $252,686
    % Change: +7.2%
  • Median Sales Price: $217,000
    % Change: +4.4%

Data taken from Intermountain MLS on 5/10/15 and pertains to Ada County, Idaho single-family residences on lot or acreage.

Data does not include condominiums or townhomes.

Months’ Supply = available listings divided by average monthly closed sales for the past twelve months.