You’ve gone under contract on your home purchase, finalized financing, passed the home inspection – and now you’re ready to close, right? Not so fast! Before you sit down at the closing table, there is one more important inspection to complete: the Final Walk Through of your home.
Although this inspection will take less time and is often more casual than the formal Home Inspection you hired a professional to conduct, this appointment is no less important. Read on for tips to help you conduct your Final Walk Through right.
- Room by room, inspect ceilings, walls and floors thoroughly now that furniture and wall hangings are gone.
- Flip on lights and ceiling fans in every room.
- Try out the garbage disposal and any exhaust fans in the kitchen.
- Check to see if the fridge is on, or is off and has been defrosted. If it’s off and you are moving in within a few days, you may want to plug it back in in anticipation of your arrival.
- Test all appliances, including in the kitchen and any others included in your transaction.
- Test all outlets. You can pick up an outlet tester like this one at any hardware store.
- Open and close all doors and windows to check for defects.
- Run water in each sink, bathtub or shower. Flush each toilet.
- Check around pipes for obvious signs of leaks.
- Ensure all inclusions are present – washer/dryer, window treatments, etc.
- Test the garage door opener.
- Bonus Tip: Schedule your walk through before the day of closing if possible. If you uncover issues, you’ll want to address them with the seller prior to closing.
Are you excited to start your own home search? Give me a buzz – you’ll need a guide in this fast moving market, and I’d be happy to help – from home search to closing table.
Recently, I talked about words that could hurt your selling price if used to list or promote your property. I’d like to share a list of words and terms that are proven winners in terms of a positive impact on your home’s sales value. This is not a comprehensive list, but these words, and words like them are more engaging for buyers. Work with an experienced agent who knows how to best describe your property in order to capture buyers at the highest possible price point.
Words to highlight include:
Well or Lovingly Maintained
Turn Key or Move In Ready
Landscaped or Professionally Landscaped
Master Suite or Retreat
When it comes to crafting an engaging listing description for your property, the best words can help you achieve the best price. Before your home can speak for itself, the print and online advertising in place must engage potential buyers from the moment they read the property description. Don’t embellish details, but don’t hold back, either! It’s perfectly appropriate to execute a fine humble brag in the effort to sell your home.
Call me – I’d love to help you sell your home in the hot Denver marketplace, or find a savvy deal on your next home.
When it comes to talking Real Estate – words matter. A rose by any other name, such as “that nice affordable flower,” does not equal a rose. And when it comes to selling your property for TOP DOLLAR, you want to make sure you are in the hands of an experienced agent who knows what to say in print, online and on the phone to sell your home for the best possible price.
Just.Don’t.Say. the following things – and find a Real Estate pro who doesn’t waste words, either:
- Great Neighborhood. But, you object, “We do live in a great neighborhood!” Says who? A term like “great neighborhood” only applies to someone who likes the same things you do. Your 3rd grader walks a single block to school? That’s great for you, but for a retired couple, it might mean more noise and traffic in the morning and afternoon as school begins and lets out each day. Buyers these days are savvy, and they know that “great” can actually be a substitute for specific positive information about a property. If your neighborhood is great, there should be very specific information as to why – nearby amenities, rising property values over time, close to public transportation, low crime rates, etc. And be honest – if you can’t back up your claims of greatness, don’t make them.
- Potential. To buyers, a home with potential is really a home that needs work. Statistically, the word “potential” has been shown to limit the potential sales price of your home – by 4.3% on average! (statistic courtesy of Zillow.com)
- Want to lose between 4% and nearly 9% of your home’s potential sales value? Let buyers know your propery needs a little TLC – Tender Loving Care. Similar to “potential,” buyers see this term as a warning that your property requires extra time and expense. Don’t gloss over issues that require disclosure, but don’t focus on them, either. Disclose existing issues in a straightforward and factual manner, and don’t reiterate problem spots in descriptive language.
- Let buyers decide if your property is a Fixer. Homes listed with this term sell for a whopping 11.1% less on average – I guess buyers will use those savings for all the fixes you focused on in your property listing. OUCH!
- But the home only needs Cosmetic updates… Particularly if you are selling a higher priced home, avoid this word, and other words like it. If your home is dates, let buyers decide that on their own. Admitting to issues of this nature in advertising for your home could result in a 7.5% decrease in the final sales price. And how knows? Maybe your buyer will really dig the groovy ’70’s era wallpaper in the basement. Let them be the judge – and don’t give them reasons to bring a lower offer.
- Investment. (see also: Investor) This is a tough one – I’ll admit it! I personally like the idea of a property that is a great investment. Fix-n-Flips are all the rage among savvy investors willing to put in time and effort to gain sweat equity – but when lower-priced properties are listed as “investment” opportunities, they sell for 6.6% less, on average. You might want to buy a property listed as a great investment – but you don’t want to sell one that way!
- Investor. If you are specifically trying to attract flippers, this is a buzz word that’ll do the job. If you are hoping to attract buyers willing to pay top dollar for your home, don’t use this word to promote your listing; this word leads buyers to believe there is room to negotiate the price – and probably more room than you were hoping for.
- Charming. Again – this can be a tough one to get past. After all, who doesn’t want their own home to be charming? But unless your home is a crown prince or an actual palace, don’t call it charming. Describe specific features, such as professional landscaping, new appliances, hardwood flooring, custom kitchen – charming just means “we don’t have anything truly special to offer – but we’re hoping you find the place ‘charming’ enough not to notice!”
- Nice. Raise your hand if your shoulders gave an involuntary shudder at the sight of this word! Nice?! Here’s a tip: If the guy or gal across the table chuckles into his/her hand and says, “Your hair looks, um… nice.” RUN. This is no match made in heaven! Nice is the weakest word you can possibly choose, and if your home is so lackluster as to resort to this one, pull out a thesaurus or consult your high school English teacher. “Nice” is not going to make you money at the closing table – and there’s nothing nice about that!
- Bargain. Clearance Easter candy. 99 cent kids meals at your favorite restaurant. 2-for-1 sweat socks. These are the kinds of items that are aptly described as “bargains.” Unless your ultimate goal is to make less money – don’t describe your home for sale as a bargain. Set a realistic price that can be backed up by a professional analysis of the market, and let the buyers figure out for themselves that your home is a bargain. Tell them that – and they’ll expect a discount on the price as part of the deal.
- Opportunity. If you are an optimist and have enjoyed living in your home, you likely do see owning your home as an excellent opportunity for potential buyers. If your home is high end, you may offer, “an opportunity to live on the golf course” or “an opportunity to live in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Denver.” Those really are opportunities – and go ahead and say so. For homes in a lower price range, the word “opportunity” translates to “investment opportunity” or “fix-n-flip opportunity.” Use this word with caution, and be aware that using this word on a lower end property could result in a lower selling price and a lesser opportunity for you, the seller.
Ready to have a talk about Real Estate? I speak the lingo, and I am happy to help decode the world of Metro Denver Real Estate to help you find your next dream home in today’s competitive market, or sell your current home for top dollar.
Drop me a line or pick up the phone – I’m here to help.