That Last Hurdle

That Last Hurdle-1Today was a whirlwind of showings when finding my buyers wanting to look at more homes than they’d already decided upon. Fortunately I was able to get them into all of them. I was again reminded when getting down into the lower price ranges, the pickings are slim and the locations and overall conditions are indeed questionable. At one of the homes I had quite the surprise when finding a tenant in bed who was supposed to be gone. I apologized profusely, but assured the sleeper that the showing had been scheduled the day before. I’m not sure who was blushing more—the tenant or me. This situation has happened other times in the past which makes me all the more careful when opening a closed bedroom door. I certainly stepped on a real land mine when walking into that darkened bedroom thinking the bed was just not made when seeing the covers piled up. When the sheets and blankets started moving, I knew I was in trouble. Oh well, I did get the buyers thru the home without the tenant freaking out on me. I’m sure the listing Realtor got a stinging phone call from the tenant after I left. In the yard of one of the homes I was showing there was what I thought to be a Chinese Chestnut tree with nuts on it. I reached up and took a few that the squirrels weren’t able to get because they were hanging on weak branch ends. I’ll have to look later to see if the outer skins resemble what I find online. One of the craziest of happenings today were honey bees bothering me outside several of the homes. They must’ve thought me to be a flower filled with nectar. One of the buyers even said, “Boy, those bees sure are attracted to you for some reason.” I said, “Yeah, and it’s starting to get creepily annoying.” I showed them one home today which I said would likely sell in the upper 80K range, and the buyer who’s from another city said, “This home would sell for $100K more where we come from and that’s why we want out of there.” It’s just another confirmation that many of our residents have no idea how fortunate they are to be able to buy a clean and well kept home in a good area for $100K less than in many other cities across the United States.

The number of scheduled showings on some of my listings are going up which tells me the market is continuing to chug along. I think everyone is afraid the Federal Reserve is going to raise the interest rates later this month. It will be unfortunate for many of the lenders who’ve been pushing their exceptionally low rates we’ve grown used to. I’m still in disbelief how many solid buyers there are living here who’re continuing to rent instead of purchasing. Many of them have been tenants for well over five years and working at stable companies. My take on it is they’re either heavily debted with high car payments and credit cards, or are filled with fears of making long-term commitments. As many of us know, as we grow older, the years seem to fly past us to where we wonder where those years have gone. I’m still in disbelief I’ve already been at my new location for over six years and just recently said to myself, “Where did those six years suddenly go?” I shared a thought with a buyer today about negotiating on a home to where it becomes six of one and a half dozen of the other when coming to a meeting of the minds with price. I said, “If you’re short on cash to close, raise your offer in the amount of what your closings costs will be, and then ask the seller to pay them so that you’ll not be so strapped for money after closing.” There usually is more than one way to get over that last hurdle to become a new homeowner.

Joe Chodur

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