Boise Home Sellers: Your $300,000 Dog

I had an experience last weekend that reminded me why Boise home sellers should remove their dogs during showings.

I showed a qualified, pre-approved buyer a home that they had asked to see.

When I set the showing appointment, the seller informed me that their “friendly” dog would be in the house, would bark, but would be okay.

I arrived early to turn on lights and prepare for the showing and found Fido in the kitchen/family room behind a child gate that had been wedged into the hallway door with a rag to make it fit.

When I tried to remove the child’s gate, it became apparent that it would be difficult to reinstall, so I left it in place.

That meant that my clients and I had to climb over the child gate to enter the kitchen and family room.

And, my clients also had to hoist their two boys over the gate to enter and leave that area of the house.

Because I’ve been bitten twice by “friendly” dogs, and out of concern for the safety of my buyers, I began the showing by telling my buyers and their boys not to pet Fido.

Despite Fido’s attempts to escape into the back yard and the garage, we were able to contain him, albeit with a lot of distraction and concerns.

My advice?

If you’re a seller, remove your dog during showings if you want to sell your home.

In addition to creating an uncomfortable environment during showings, you’re also risking considerable legal liability if your dog decides to nip at cute little Courtney, the buyer’s 3-year old daughter, during a showing.

Leaving your dog loose in your home during showings is enough to cost you a sale.

If you insist on leaving your dog loose during showings of your $300,000 home, you should realize that you have a $300,000 dog.

 

How To Choose The Wrong Listing Agent

Here’s my list of the top 10 reasons home sellers choose the wrong listing agent.

10) She’s your niece, new in real estate, and you want to help her.

9)   She promises you the highest asking price for your home.

8)   She says she has a buyer for your home.

7)   She says her company is #1.

6)  She promises to hold open houses.

5)   She promises to advertise your home in a real estate magazine.

4)   She’s excited and “thinks positive”.

3)   She has a team of 15 agents.

2)   She won the office listing contest last month.

And, the winner is . . .

1)   She has “Million Dollar Producer” license frames on her car!  😯 

 

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
208-573-6940

 

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:

 

Securing Your Home When You List

There’s much to consider when you list your home.

There’s much to do, including cleaning, de-cluttering, moving extra furniture to storage, paint touch-up, and other tasks.

But, the one thing that’s often overlooked is securing your home before you allow a world of complete strangers to enter it.

Sellers usually don’t think about it and agents don’t mention it because they want everything to remain “positive” during the listing process.

Here are a few tips on how to secure your home when you list it.

Personal Financial Information

Put away checkbooks, your supply of checks, coin jars, and purses/wallets.

You should also put away your financial information, such as bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage statements, and brokerage account statements,.

I have personally shown homes with all of that information in plain sight.

Do you really want a potential buyer to know your bank account balances or see that PAST DUE credit card statement lying on your counter?

You should also consider activating password protection for the personal files on your computer(s).

Prescription Drugs

It’s impossible for a buyer’s agent to keep an eye on buyers at all times when showing your home.

Leaving your prescription drugs on the bathroom counter or in your medicine cabinet is an open invitation for someone to help themselves to your drugs.

Potent painkiller drugs and anti-anxiety drugs are very tempting targets if left out in the open.

Jewelry

Consider how easy it is for someone to pocket that ring, necklace, or other valuable jewelry.

Jewelry left in plain sight is incredibly tempting because it’s small, easy to take, and may not be missed until later.

Put that jewelry box away, or better yet, lock your jewelry in a safe (if you have one).

Firearms

Lock up your guns and ammunition in your gun safe if you have one.

Leaving guns in plain sight, or unsecured on a shelf, is both unsafe and dangerous.

What if a potential buyer’s child finds your loaded gun during the showing, points it at someone, and pulls the trigger?

What if the buyer isn’t really a buyer, but instead is “casing” your home for a return visit at a later time?

Yeah, I know ~ this probably sounds a little extreme and paranoid for some of you.

But, trust me, I’ve experienced some very interesting situations over the years.

It’s always a good idea to secure your home when you list it.