By Tammie White
We have spent the last two weeks working with a couple who were looking to purchase a Franklin home on acreage. Our inventory is limited and many of these properties are over-priced but that is a subject of another blog post. The buyers thought
they'd finally found something that checked all their boxes.
There was only one issue that seemed to be of concern; many of the windows needed to be repaired/replaced. The sellers were offering an $8,000 credit towards the repair of these windows so the buyers decided to write an offer.
As the sellers should have expected, the buyers requested the $8,000 credit but they also asked for a riding lawnmower.
In turn, the buyers made a full-price offer. The other terms of the offer were excellent with a quick closing in three weeks. Given that the house was vacant, you'd think the sellers would have jumped on our offer. They did not. Instead, they countered.
In the meantime, Mrs. Buyer, moving here from Florida where hurricanes are common, got it into her head the window damage was caused by high winds. Knowing that the windows were 25 years old, I told her, in all likelihood, it was just due to age. That didn't matter to her. She was convinced that high-impact windows would need to be installed on all 20 windows. She made a call to Pella. Even though Mrs. Buyer didn't have window sizes, a sales rep threw out a number of $40,000 for high impact windows. That was it for Mrs. Buyer. That $8,000 credit was no longer sufficient. Suspecting the sellers were trying to pull a fast one on them, they walked away from this purchase.
Had the sellers done the repairs prior to listing their home, this situation would never have come up. The buyers would have written an offer for the full list price plus the mower and, I believe, we'd all be on our way to closing right now. Once the sellers countered, Mrs. Buyer was certain the repair hadn't been made because the cost would far exceed the $8,000 offered. She didn't understand why the windows hadn't been repaired if it were really only $8,000. Once she came to this conclusion, there was no convincing her otherwise.
I wish we could say this was a one time occurrence, it is not. Buyers are often concerned a credit offered isn't sufficient for repairs. Which is why we suggest homeowners make repairs prior to listing. The sellers then have total control over the cost of the repair without getting into a debate with buyers about the quality.
For example, one of the most common credits we see offered to buyers is for carpet replacement. Sellers believe they are doing the right thing by allowing the buyers to choose the color and style of a carpet. Unfortunately, buyers look at that number and always think it's not enough. It's just better for the sellers to choose a neutral, mid-grade carpet and have it installed. We never hear buyers say, "I wish they hadn't replaced the carpet and offered a credit." Instead we hear, "I love that the carpet is new."
The same is true when replacing light fixtures or granite. Buyers would rather have the work complete than worry that the credit isn't enough to make the improvements. This doesn't mean sellers should go crazy with improvements. We would be happy to advise you on the updates that buyers most often desire. Repairs such as windows should always be made prior to listing.
Last year, we had a seller who had a few broken seals on windows. We referred him to a very reputable local window company. The cost to the sellers was $600. Our property condition disclosure stated that three windows had been repaired. We even included a copy of the invoice with the disclosure. It never became an issue.
The buyers never questioned the repair. They were thrilled the work had already been done. I can tell you, if the sellers had decided to offer a $600 credit toward repairing those windows, buyers would have worried that $600 wasn't enough. Once again, proving it's better to just make the repair or update prior to selling.
When you're ready to sell, trust the agents who know how to sell your home quickly for top dollar. One hundred percent of our listing have sold in the last four years. Call Franklin Homes Realty LLC now at (615) 495-0752.
Selling your Franklin TN home? Make repairs prior to listing.
About Tammie White, Franklin TN REALTOR®
Tammie White is a REALTOR® and Principal Broker/Owner of Franklin Homes Realty LLC in Franklin TN. Tammie works with relocation buyers looking to purchase a home in Franklin and the surrounding Williamson County area. She understands the way buyers search for homes making her an invaluable asset to Franklin home sellers. Tammie's website, www.FranklinHomesRealty.com, has become the premiere search tool for buyers relocating to Franklin TN. She has been writing a real estate blog since 2009 and quoted in various publications including the LA Times, Skype.com, The Tennessean and Williamson Source.