A running commentary on the Wenatchee real estate market in and around North Central Washington 98801. Hints and tips on buying Wenatchee homes, selling homes and finding the home you want. Real estate sales in Wenatchee to Leavenworth. Home buying? Home selling? Looking for Wenatchee Real Estate? Stop by here.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Writing an offer is not just a simple exercise. At least writing a successful offer isn't.

It helps to take a few minutes to assess the goals of both the buyer and seller and conform the offer to them. This is especially true if there are multiple offers.

There are order takers in this industry and there are also good agents. The order taker does just that, takes (writes) the order and faxes it off to never-never land. A good agent goes a lot further (with a lot more success).

Lets assume an asking price of 150,000 and multiple offers (in our area there are homes readily available at this price and they get a lot of interest). You can just write it up and fax over or really work the transaction. First a call to the listing agent. What can/will they tell you about the seller and also about the competing offer (many agents will tell you about the competing offer, if their client ok's it). Now sit down and design a plan, with your client, on what makes a strong offer and what is the best way to get your offer on the table. Here are some ways to shape your offer or questions to consider:
PRICE: With multiple offers price may not be the only factor. But, just in case, does it make sense to lowball with another offer on the table? Should you go over the asking price (is the house worth it)?
EXPENSES: Do you ask for closing costs? Or if you do how do you weave that into the price equation? On lower priced properties it is not uncommon to see the seller asked to pay closing costs. So if you have a strong buyer can you use that to advantage? If you need costs paid what can you do to make your offer stronger?
EARNEST MONEY: The reality is that there are enough loopholes in a standard agreement that the buyer can get out without loosing their earnest money (especially if the agent writes a good agreement). However, sellers view an earnest money as a way to gauge how strong an agreement is. So put as much money down as the buyer can afford. Just because $1,000 may get by and is often used, you may find that $5,000 attracts attention.
CLOSING DATE: Depending on financing here is where you can give the seller something that won't hurt the buyer either. In your conversation with the other agent you learned about competing offers and also that the seller needs to move (for example). Tailor your closing dates to accommodate the seller. This will make it easier for the seller to accept your offer over a plain 30 day close (yes, it needs to work for your client but this is an easy give up).
FINANCING: As strong as possible. Here you work both sides of the aisle. If your buyer can afford a down payment (and in the 150K price about 50% can't) include it in the offer. Your client may always accept lesser terms (and get that 100% financing) but with a down payment the offer may appear stronger than an offer without one. Limit the amount of money the seller is expected to pay for required inspections and repairs (if it is exceeded it becomes negotiable.. 20 days into a sale with closing 10 days away will a seller refuse to accept an additional 250 in cost or kill the deal? You might get the concession but at the time of the original offer you might kill the offer over the 250).

These are a few brief ideas. There are many, many more! These steps coupled with presenting the offer in person where you can sell the strong points, make your buyer appear real and assess the seller will all work to your favor!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Home Inspection

So, you are buying a home and think you don't need an inspection? Don't want to pay for one? Well lets see... in our area the median home is about $215,000. A home inspection is about $350.00. Based upon what you are willing to pay for a home an inspection on a purely financial basis isn't much.

How much do you really look at a home before you buy? Did you turn the stove on? Try the dishwasher? Or did you check the electric panel to see if all connections are done, aluminum wires are pigtailed and no doubles? No? Well an inspector will. All this and much, much more!

I can't encourage a buyer enough to make this added expenditure. Most inspections go quite well. Almost everyone uncovers some detail that needs attention. Occasionally they save the purchaser literally thousands. So when your agent asks about an inspection. Say YES!