Some key points to keep in mind when working with out of state sellers. Our friend Jeff Dowler in California brings out a good guideline for Realtor and Sellers.
5 Key Things to Do When Working with Out Of State Sellers
I do a lot of work with out of state sellers who are selling their rental properties or family homes. In some case these sellers are trustees of properties where the owner has moved into assisted living or has passed away. I have also worked with a fiduciary.
Working with out of state sellers can be more challenging because they are not local, may be in a different time zone, and are not there to manage day to day issues that arise during the listing and transaction. In some cases they have not lived there at all and know little about the property. And there may be a house full of furniture to deal with.
Having done this a bunch of times, here are my 5 key things to do when working with out of state sellers.
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
Sure it’s always important to communicate regularly with your sellers, but it’s even more essential when working with a seller who is not there in the home, in particular if you have never met face to face. They need to know you are on the job, taking care of issues, and keeping them apprised of all that is happening since they aren’t there to see it.
You need to anticipate problems and their questions and advise them. Email is important, in my opinion, to have a complete paper trail of all communications so no one forgets what was said and done. Make sure you have all the email addresses and phone numbers needed to stay in touch and find out what works best for the seller.
CHECK ON THE PROPERTY REGULARLY
The sellers aren’t living there so it’s important to check on the property regularly, especially if it’s vacant. I have found unlocked doors, open lock boxes, and other issues inside listings that needed to be addressed, and problems that arise must be communicated to the sellers promptly so appropriate action can be taken.
HAVE A LIST OF TRUSTED VENDORS READY
It’s a good idea to have a list of trusted vendors that you can recommend to the out of state sellers as needed. The home may need some repairs before you go on the market or while the listing is active. What about getting rid of house hold goods? Do you have a reliable estate sale service? How about using 1-800-GOT-JUNK or a similar service? Do you know the local utility providers in case the seller does not? A reliable handy man is a blessing! And be prepared to provide access to the home as needed by professionals upon request and approval from the seller.
USE YOUR DIGITAL AND VIDEO CAMERAS
You had better be well equipped to take photos and/or videos to help the seller make decisions about repairs if needed, staging, getting rid of stuff in the home and other matters. They aren’t around to see the home and perhaps haven’t seen it and its condition for some time. I took pictures of an old stove the trustee was going to replace, and several old light fixtures in another home. I also have taken pictures of repairs once completed to document.
Setting expectations with clients is always important, but even more critical with out of state sellers. It’s important to find out what the sellers’ expectations are, and to set expectations with them regarding what you can and will do, and can not. That becomes a personal decision, of course, and may depend on the sellers’ needs and wants and your willingness and ability to help.
You also need to let them know your expectations and needs. Expectations also include type and timeliness of communication. You must sure you answer your phone, emails and texts, and be sure you communicate your availability during the day and on weekend, and whatever else seems appropriate and necessary to get the job done.
Any other thoughts on some critical things you should be doing when working with out of state sellers?
If I can provide more information about Carlsbad homes and real estate for sale and surrounding areas, the housing market in general (or locally), or otherwise assist you, friends or family in a home search or sale, please contact my mobile office or text me at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JeffDowlerSolutions@gmail.com
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