Yesterday was "caravan day" for real estate agents in Zephyrhills. That is the day when many agents go from new listing to new listing to see what homes have come onto the market. Often they find one that they think will please buyers that they are working with.
I had a new mobile home listing that I was showing, so I made homemade soups and bought a deli tray of sandwiches to attract the agents. In this buyers market there are so many new listings each week, unless you offer food, you may get passed by. As it was, I had a very good turnout.
In between agent visits, I happened to check out the air filter on the heating/AC unit. This is often where buyers and/or their inspectors will look. A filthy filter often tells them how good or bad the care of the home may have been. In my case the filter was pretty bad, so I replaced it. While doing this I heard a sound that was like the crinkling of those plastic grocery bags. I looked down the cold air intake duct and discovered that the duct had split and was actually sucking in outside air instead of drawing all of its air from the interior of the home via the filter. When I got home I called the owner and I explained that we could leave it or repair it. My advice was to fix it since the cost will be minimal. He readily agreed. When the home finds a buyer and the inspector looks under the home he will find no problem at all.
It just so happened that later on the same day I was showing some buyers a different mobile home in the same park. It looked very neat and they were very tempted to make a good offer on it. However, the listing agent (being an honest and ethical person) gave me the results of an inspection that had been done two months previously by another potential buyer. It stated that the mobile home's straps that secured it to the ground had rusted away and the home was no longer fastened to the ground at all. He also mentioned severe problems with the roof and with amateur wiring. My buyers declined to make an offer and lost all interest in the home.
I spoke with the other agent to let her know. She said that she had tried to convince the owner to fix these important problems, but so far he had refused. Is there any doubt as to why this home has been on the market for over 6 months and will likely spend much more time as an orphan property? To keep some money in his pocket, this seller will likely lose money in the end.
So if your home has items that need repair: a dripping faucet, a roof leak, a cracked electrical outlet plate, a dead light fixture, a stuck patio door, etc., get them fixed. Do not leave them for the buyers to discover and repair. And trust me, either they or their inspectors WILL discover them! With so many homes now on the market, it is very likely that your buyer can find a well-maintained home that is similar at the same price and will cross yours quickly off their lists. A home in disrepair literally screams at the buyers "Wait until you find the problems I have that you cannot see!".
The choice is yours. Save a few dollars now and lose thousands later, or take care of repairs and get that home sold quicker at a better price!
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