Home Improvements May Need ... Improvement

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RealEstate.com

Just as your real estate agent turns the knob on the door of a house you think may finally be “the one,” she mumbles, under her breath, “The seller has done some (cough) improvements.”

Cue the scary organ music here. All of today’s popular home and garden TV shows have everyone convinced they harbor latent DIY skills, and they’re ready to tackle even the toughest home improvement jobs. Like everything else in life, some of us have a knack for carpentry, painting, masonry and the like, and some of us really should pick up a phone and hire a professional.

Each Home Improvement Tells a Story

It’s all there, in the details. Look closely, not at the paint, but the paint job. Sloppy, drippy haphazard painting gives you a clue into the attitude of the seller. If he cared so little about getting paint on the walls, what other aspects of the home have been equally treated so cavalierly? The same holds true when viewing any piece of DIY craftsmanship. Attention to the slightest detail is evidence that someone cared about the home, down the tiniest of its corners.

Green Home Improvements

Interest in "going green" continues to grow, so you may find green home improvements as you view homes. Some of these improvements are minor features, such as replacing showerheads and faucets with new models that have better water conservation properties. However, other green improvements can be extensive, such as installing solar panels. Generally speaking, the larger and more complicated a green home improvement project, the more important it is to make certain everything was done right. If you don’t have the expertise to evaluate these improvements, bring in someone who does.

Using Home Improvements in Price Negotiations

It may well be that the seller’s home improvements need to be removed, either because they weren’t performed up to code, there were no permits taken out for the project, poor workmanship or because the improvements are downright dangerous. While a chartreuse carpet in the master bedroom isn’t really a negotiating chip, more serious items, such as dangerous wiring connections, most definitely are.

Be aware, however, that sellers may be very proud of their home improvements and home maintenance, even if all evidence suggests otherwise. This is where your real estate agent earns his commission check and, if you’ve chosen an agent wisely, set him free to work his negotiating magic on the seller.

Your part in the process is to go into the negotiations with as little emotion as possible. Never allow yourself to fall in love with a home, no matter how almost-perfectly it fits your criteria. Be prepared to walk away from the deal if the sellers are unwilling to either remove or repair improvements to the home, or lower the price to compensate for them. Remember, there will always be other houses out there that are equally as appealing and in more of a move-in condition.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Tags:
negotiation
green
diy
home improvement

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
298,596
Bud & Beth McKinney
RE/MAX UNITED - Cary, NC
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

Good tips, one needs to be careful when performing home improvements so that small errors do not stand out in their work. And make sure you always have the right paperwork and everything is up to snuff!

Jan 11, 2012 07:13 AM #1
Rainer
340,777
Andrew Capelli
Hoover Elementary - Hazel Park, MI

Eric: Great post- Thankfully I am so mechanically un-inclined that I don't have to worry about whether to hire someone to do improvements- I know I need to!  Thanks for sharing!  :)

Jan 11, 2012 07:13 AM #2
Rainer
23,418
go to RealEstateFaster.com & get 20 Listing Appointments per month
Real Estate Faster - Los Angeles, CA

Great points on improvement on home improvement. So true, a sloppy, drippy painting job is not fun to look at.

Jan 11, 2012 07:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
631,319
Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA

And some "improvements" done improperly are worse than just not being a plus....they can be dangerous.

Jan 11, 2012 07:43 AM #4
Rainmaker
39,788
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Thank you everyone for the great feedback!

Jan 11, 2012 07:58 AM #5
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
39,788

Eric Proulx

Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention