Last week a client asked me to meet with them to discuss the options for selling their current home. This client is a very nice, 30-something couple here in Lititz, PA. About three weeks prior to contacting me, they met with another real estate agent. The agent met with them and everything, and then went completely missing and hadn’t even so much as texted them anything ever since. They also noted that he was entirely unprepared for their meeting- no sales comps, no paperwork, nothing!
As they were giving me a thorough tour of the downstairs, the client and I briefly went over the things that interested them. During that time, they also shared their fears about what might go wrong during the selling process.
The roof is old. It was old when they bought it 7 years ago, and they’ve patched it several times throughout the years. The yard is small. The garage is detached from the house. They fear that because it’s an old house, so much could go wrong with the selling process. The real estate agent agent before me must have scared them so much, they were afraid that a buyer will have a home inspection and then completely walk away due to the inspection. I assured them that their older home is actually very well kept and that the buyer would come to them first to ask for major repairs before just walking away. We discussed the roof, which can be one of the larger sticking points, and decided that putting a brand new roof on the house will be their best option in regards to a smooth selling process.
I then asked if they had spoken to their lender yet about how much house they can afford when they upgrade. They hadn’t spoken to anyone yet. Apparently the previous agent also scared them away from this process and significantly decreased their confidence level in regards to getting a loan. We talked about a payment that they feel comfortable with, and I mentioned to them about asking the lender what sale price they can get for that payment amount. Interest rates and taxes will always affect the amount they will loan for each property, but the lender will be able to give them a ballpark number, and a mortgage pre-approval letter so they know exactly what their price range is when they start looking. I also suggested they ask the lender how much they would qualify for without selling their current home in the event they close on their current home in the morning and then their future home a few short hours later.
A little later in the conversation, I showed them comps that have recently sold in their neighborhood and broke down each comp in as much detail needed in order to help them understand how I came up with the proposed list price. I broke down the estimated seller’s net cost sheet as well. My goal here was to help the couple understand which fees are involved in the closing costs and approximately how much money they will walk away with when they sell their home. We discussed plans A, B, and C so they knew what the process would look like when selling and then buying. We talked about what the perfect situation would look like all the way to the worst case scenario.
After discussing the serious numbers, they took me on a full tour of their home and discussed upgrades they made to the property over the past 7 years. They made the kitchen larger and painted the entire house in beautiful grays, whites, and accent blacks. We talked about what they like in their current home and what they would like to improve on. This is one of my favorite parts of helping people find a realtor. I feel like the process of visualizing your dream home is so important in helping you get the kind of home you want.
I had a great time with these guys- the conversation was flowing so well, I have to admit we got a bit carried away with sharing exciting events in each other’s lives. After leaving the listing meeting, I could feel that many of the concerns they had when I first walked in had either decreased significantly or gone away entirely!
The next day, they began to contact roofers for quotes and contacted their current lender. Their lender was able to give them a loan pre-approval and I spoke directly with the lender about the prices of the houses we can look at in order to keep them within their desired monthly budget. We pin-pointed a few locations in the Lititz and Manheim, PA areas to search for their next dream home!
This is what is so fulfilling to me about what I do for a living. I love helping people move up in the world- and I really, really love when I can help someone find the JOY in the buying or selling process. It can be really hard to find a realtor to sell your home who really cares, and I feel like that’s exactly what I’m here to do!