Talking Real Estate
What If There’s No Supply? | Do Sellers Have to Do Repairs? | Five Ways to Prevent Weeds
What If There’s No Supply?
By the end of 2020, the number of homes listed for sale in the U.S. reached an all-time low. Supply sank below 700,000 homes nationwide, according to realtor.com®'s Monthly Housing Trends Report, and that was before the availability of COVID-19 vaccines. With consumers euphoric, it’s possible the spring homebuying season could have even less inventory available. If you want to buy a home, what do you do if there’s little to no supply? Follow these suggestions:
Trust your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional. Having a good relationship with a knowledgeable agent is your best chance at finding a home to buy. He or she has resources you don’t have including personal or networking knowledge of people who are interested in selling their homes. He or she can search for bank foreclosures or rental properties through their contacts and show you homes that aren’t on the multiple listing service. Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy a home before it comes to the market?
Be flexible. You’re lucky if you come close to finding the perfect home, but most homebuyers compromise on something – size, area, price, of features. Let your agent show you some alternatives that could work well for you. A smaller home can be expanded to suit your needs, for example.
Be patient. After more than a decade of rising home prices, including double-digit price increases in 2020, demand looks unlikely to end, so trust the process and know it’s just as challenging for other homebuyers.
Do Sellers Have to Do Repairs?
Typically, buyers include a home inspection contingency in their purchase offer that allows them to ask the sellers for repairs and get out of the contract if the seller refuses. The seller can respond in several ways.
- They can readily agree to fix the problem, no matter how expensive.
- They can agree to fix any problem that’s a safety or potential legal issues, such as mold or radon remediation, but decline minor repairs such as filling in and painting over picture hanger holes in the wall.
- They can refuse to fix anything, but risk losing the buyer. For safety or code issues, they’ll have to declare the problem on subsequent seller’s disclosures, which could impact the home’s value to future buyers.
- They can offer to lower the price of the home to cover the cost of the repair for the buyer or offer a closing credit to the buyer to pay for the repair without lowering the price of the home. That way the buyer can complete the repair to their liking.
- They can ask the buyer to meet them halfway, such as paying more for the home if the seller repairs something major, or replaces the roof.
- They can ask the buyer to waive additional repair requests if the seller will fix the worst or most expensive problem.
Sellers should know that FHA, VA and other government-guaranteed loans have stricter requirements for home safety and that some repairs are mandatory for the buyer’s loan to close.
Five Ways to Prevent Weeds
According to Gilmour.com, weeds “compete with grass and garden plants for space, light, water and soil nutrients.” They germinate quickly and can carry diseases and insects that hurt your plants. Here are six ways to prevent weeds in your lawn and garden:
Apply pre-emergent weed killer. Pre-emergent target specific weeds and their families. They’re activated with water, so be generous and soak your garden and lawn to prevent weed germination.
Use a weed barrier. Weed barriers work best in vegetable gardens where they can be rolled up and reused after harvest. Just roll the weed cloth over your garden area, cutting holes out for plants you want to keep. Shape the edges of the cloth to your garden, and then cover it with mulch, bark or gravel.
Mow your lawn correctly. Scalping weakens the integrity and defense system of your grass. That allows weeds to come in and take over. Set your lawnmower’s blade height to a level that cuts only the top third of your grass’s growth.
Aerate your lawn. Aerating is a simple process where you punch holes in heavily trafficked soil to alleviate congestion and allow for better air and water flow. This helps with weeds like crabgrass, chickweed and plantain.
Keep your yard weeded. Pluck weeds out of the ground as soon as you spot them, preferably before they come to seed. Remove the entire root ball, reminds mahalo.com, as doing so ensures that the weed will not be able to reproduce.