sponsored:-couple’s-neighbors-give-them-a-hard-time-about-fixing-up-their-home-before-putting-it-on-the-market;-doesn’t-that-lead-to-a-successful-sale?

Q: The confounded neighbors are emailing and calling, inquiring as to why we have a fumigation tent over our house if we are planning to move. We are staying at a hotel during the termite remediation process and the rebuilding of the shower stall. The subflooring under our leaky shower pan is seriously damaged and in need of replacing. Upon returning to the home, we will make a series of repairs to the roof, chimney, electrical and plumbing referenced in the pre-listing inspections that our seller’s agent ordered. When I informed inquiring members of the neighborhood that we resolutely decided that our home will be in good repair for the next owners, they poked fun at the idea. These prying neighbors also mocked the idea of investing money into a house that we are selling. They all contend homebuyers pay for the inspections and purchase their properties in as-is condition. We are not about to explain ourselves to others, but would you agree that the hubris of our nosy neighbors’ assertions are inducing procedural barriers into a successful home sale instead of removing them?

A: Yes, I do. The neighbors describe a problematic 1980s style of residential real estate brokerage that still takes place outside of Silicon Valley’s west Santa Clara County and the southern San Francisco Peninsula. Recently, I took a two-hour real estate class from a reputable online educational website that promoted the idea of tracking the economics of sale homes. The out-of-area instructor kept referencing to, and warning of, the foreboding R.F.R. (request for repairs) and how property sellers and their agents must “budget it in.” In other words, go through all the trouble of preparing a home for sale, place it on the market, eventually receive an offer, then wait for anxious homebuyers to conduct inspections and issue a “demand” for repairs. It is a spectacularly counterproductive and outdated standard of practice.

Conversely, sellers who assemble and provide presale inspections for prospective homebuyers and their agents are wielding marketing power while seizing control of future transactions. They also strengthen their negotiating positioning and sales price by conducting repairs and enhancements based on their reports. These proactive sellers are purposely providing themselves with an abundance of risk management that pays enormous dividends. Not only do they reduce the chances of an in-progress sale falling apart or in-escrow renegotiations, but most importantly, post-sale litigation.

Otherwise, sellers who do no presale due diligence will see these California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) R.F.R. forms flying back and forth, jeopardizing their sales. You, like my seller clients, will not receive a Request For Repair No.____ Or the Corrective Action C.A.R. Form R.R. from a buyer’s agent one or two weeks into a home sale.  Nor will you have to issue through your seller’s agent the Seller Response and Buyer Reply to Request for Repair No.____ Or other Corrective Action Form RRRR.  Prepared sellers need to map out a property’s listing and sale and then drive it right through escrow to a successful finish. Unprepared sellers can let homebuyers slip behind the wheel and take them for a ride.

Questions? Realtor Pat Kapowich is a career-long consumer protection advocate and Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager. 408-245-7700 Pat@SiliconValleyBroker.com DRE# 00979413 www.SiliconValleyBroker.com YouTube.com/PatKapowich

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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