Saturday, February 9, 2008

Home Maintenance & Improvements

Home ownership is the biggest investment most people ever make. But owning and buying a home is just the beginning. Below are some of the factors to think about and include in your homeowner's budget.

  • Utility costs can add up to 25% of a household budget, sometimes even more. That includes heating, electricity, water, sewer, telephone, internet, cable and garbage collection. (Don't forget to check the “CPOL Buyer's Binder” on the homes you view for samples of each listing's electric and water bills. Knowing this ahead of time will help you budget accordingly.)

  • Set aside money for maintenance and repairs. You should aim to save 1% to 3% of the value of the home annually. This number is about the average cost of home maintenance and repairs. (Don’t forget, many Certified Pre-Owned Listings have already completed repairs for you and others have completely disclosed the issues needing attention, helping you better prepare your budget!)

  • Use the “CPOL Buyer’s Binder” you receive at closing as a home maintenance log. This will help you stay organized and keep everything in one place. Keep track of the dates of repairs and maintenance tasks completed.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Agent Takes Control of Her Listings

(Ft. Pierce, FL) - Dale Sorenson Real Estate agent Deborah Lyon was tired of watching her sellers get taken to the cleaners with unrealistic buyer demands. So she decided to do something about it. Require her sellers to disclose everything about the home up front with a recently launched program: Certified Pre-Owned Listing™, found at

Today, buyers come along making lowball offers on listings that are almost stale because of the current market conditions. Sellers in these instances are extremely motivated and accept because they want/need to sell. The seller is happy because they have sold their home at long last.

Or so they thought. Enter the buyer’s inspector. Those minor issues with every home like leaky faucets and cracked tiles are suddenly major problems. The buyer then brings the report to the seller to renegotiate the already accepted contract.

The seller has just realized that they have accepted an offer with contingencies that they now know could have been easily dealt with before a contract was ever accepted. Traditionally, this is what most agents have encouraged their sellers to do. But in a buyer’s market, this can be suicidal.

Michael Rowan, CEO of Certified Pre-Owned Listing™ has spoken to numerous agents and all have come to the same conclusion: Agents today can no longer rely on traditional methods to market and sell their homes. Not conducting a pre-listing inspection in today’s market is a disservice to your sellers.

The local CPOL-approved inspector, Pete Campbell, has seen how the program works for everyone first-hand and partnered with Lyon to conduct the first Certified Pre-Owned Listing™ inspection in the Ft. Pierce area.

The home inspected passed the rating system and now appears on the website as a Certified Pre-Owned Listing™. Agents and sellers are emailed leads for all potential buyers who view their listing documents. A sign rider and buyer’s binder are also part of the program.

“A $500-600 inspection done now, will save my clients thousands in contract renegotiations or repairs later,” said Campbell. “I am proud to offer this service to agents and excited to help them regain some control in the market conditions today.”

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sell faster, buy smarter

In today’s market, agents MUST be proactive about their marketing approaches in order to sell.

With current inventory up as much as 64% in some regions, what are you doing as agents to bring more traffic to your listings and sell them faster? Several recent articles on discussed the market conditions and what sellers could do to improve the chances of their home selling faster. Every article said to get an inspection BEFORE the home is listed. I often find myself asking Realtors and sellers how much a home inspection will cost the seller, but what I really should be asking is how much it will cost to leave the inspection up to the buyer. Certified Pre-Owned Listing, a new marketing program, incorporates a prelisting inspection in its packages.

Without a prelisting inspection, buyers have complete control of the contract, and they are using their inspection report to get the seller to repair EVERY item listed. In many cases, the seller is being taken to the cleaners on conditions that in all likelihood could have been curtailed had the seller taken a bit of proactive action. Considering these factors, the average cost of an inspection to the seller could easily be thousands of dollars if it is left up to the buyer after contract.

As a seller today, one of the most important factors is to stay in control of the sale. To do this, it is important to know what conditions will be found in an inspection BEFORE your buyer, so as not to be cornered after the contract. Having access to this information prior to the start of negotiations gives the seller an edge he/she didn’t have before. Now the seller has options before negotiations have even begun. With the findings of the inspection, the seller can elect to do any of the following:
1. Remove the defective component altogether – as long as it does not affect the value or attractiveness of the home, e.g. a defective disposal.
2. Replace the defective component.
3. Repair the defective component.
4. Disclose the condition prior to contract.

Enter a new marketing tool geared towards Realtors and sellers that choose to take this approach: This technology will rate pre-inspected homes based on the conditions that are found. If the minimum requirements are not met after an inspection, the seller has the option to correct the problems and have an inspector re-rate their home. Discovering that a roof replacement is needed, for example, could give the seller the opportunity to competitively price contractors before a buyer even enters the picture, presumably saving the seller thousands in the final sale of the home. Certified Pre-Owned Listing also offers your sellers a 120-day warranty to cover any breakdowns after the inspection.

If the seller agrees to publish the inspection reports on this web site, buyers and agents will be able to access the reports once they become registered members. By requiring registration, sellers and agents will be given the valuable information of knowing who is looking at their listing as well as when they are looking at it, generating leads automatically. You can take control of the sale back into your own hands.

It is important to keep the three key components that guide the buyer in the purchase of a new home in mind; price, condition and location. With, the buyer can determine his/her price range in a select location and narrow down his/her prospects based on the condition of the property. Never before have buyers been given the opportunity to search for all three factors in one place. Never before has disclosure on the seller’s part been so beneficial. This service will be favorable to both buyer and seller and will indisputably be a success in the current market.

For questions about the program, please contact Certified Pre-Owned Listing at 866.499.4918. Agent registration is free, so log on today to be listed online.