The Last Time We Sold a House. . . .

. . . . we didn’t have to do that! Or . . . . it wasn’t like that! I hear this sentiment at some point in almost every transaction that we close these days. The reason things seem so different than the last time you sold a home is because things are very much different, even if you just sold a home two or three years ago. Below are some specific examples of how things have changed.

Changes in the regulations: With the onset of TRID (which stands for the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Act and of course only the government could make an acronym out of acronyms) now requires that the buyer receive the Closing Disclosure Statement (formerly the HUD 1 settlement statement) at least 3 days before the actual closing. Sounds like a great idea right? Well let’s dig a little deeper. If anything changes of significance, the Closing Disclosure must be reissued and the 3 days begin again. Not a great situation if the buyer has all of their belongings sitting on a truck. Furthermore, the buyer cannot waive this requirement except in the case of foreclosure on the subject property. All in all, this results in much more delays in closings for both buyers and sellers.

Changes in Appraisal Guidelines: Not to bore you with the details but appraisals, although coming in at value, condition items requiring a $150 to $200 re-inspection fee are becoming increasingly more common. Items such as peeling paint, trip hazards, dog excrement, smoke detectors and an entire list of other small items may trigger a condition on the appraisal which requires a re-inspection by the appraiser. Again, done under the premise of consumer protection, the cynic in me cries that this is just done for the re-inspection fee because the appraisers under the appraisal management system do not make as much money but many times it is legitimate. Admittedly the old appraisal system needed to be changed to the point that agents and lenders could not influence the outcome. This swing of the pendulum now makes it harder than ever to legitimately challenge the appraiser’s opinion of value. Last year, we successfully appealed value on 4 different homes.

Changes in the Market Place: While our market continues to be very strong, the absence of demand from cash heavy investors or an in-flux of buyers from areas of the country with more inflated home prices has led to a slight change in the market. Most if not all buyer’s in today’s market need or possibly even expect the seller to provide some form closing cost assistance. I actually had an agent get angry with me last year for not listing a home with enough room to pay closing costs. Of course, we took the superior offer that was not asking for any concessions. This is very much a judgment call of the immediate temperature and status of the real estate market which can only be

obtained from an agent that sells multiple homes per month in your market. It is also greatly dependent on the market’s response to the pricing, condition and location of your home.

Changes in Property Condition Requirements: This area is continuously evolving but at the same time stays the same. Requirements such those required for a clean termite report have been around for a long time but pop up more often than you would imagine. Earth to wood contact such as trees touching the house, excessive moisture such as that stain under the bathroom sink, and faulty grade that slopes rock or dirt against the house are all conditions conducive to termites and must be corrected for many loan programs. Additionally, dry rot, which is a wood destroying organism also must be corrected.

Other condition issues become more and more of a problem. Pigeons, but mostly what they leave behind, is a condition that commonly must be corrected for the buyer to purchase a home. The cleanup of their “residue” is a significant and hazardous endeavor which should only be handled by a professional. Preventative measures are also common requests from buyers. Of course mold, radon gas and a host of other potential problems also rare their heads occasional but each of them could be an entire article.

I know this seems like a lot of different areas to be an expert in but years of experience, a professional team of contractors and many, many transactions under my belt give me the expertise to navigate each of these areas as efficiently and affordably as possible for you as my client.

Expertise, Reputation, Experience and Honesty! What more could you ask for in an agent?