COVID Norms Meet Normal Norms

COVID Norms Meet Normal Norms

  • Victoria Merchant
  • 11/16/21

Last Saturday I worked my tush off. It felt amazing. I was showing houses and taking listing appointments from 8:30 in the morning to after 7 at night and loving every normal minute of it. I almost forgot we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

Remember last week when I was saying how nice it would be to fill my gas tank? Well, I had to do that and the excitement was palpable. I went to Westcliffe, Sedalia, Elizebeth, and Franktown. What. A. Day. (Okay, I’m sure you get it by now- I’m excited to be out and about working.)

Even better, my amazing clients (both teachers) fell in love with a sweet cabin in Westcliffe and put an offer in right away. Better still, that offer was accepted (full asking price).

We almost didn’t get to put the offer in due to being unable to get into the house to see it. When we arrived at the home after a three-hour drive, the lockbox was gone. Oi. We looked all over the property. Nada. And of course, none of us had any cell service to make a call, so I had to jump in my car to try to find some to call the listing agent. Luckily, on my way out, I noticed the neighbor was outside, I asked to use his phone and he was very kind and let me. After speaking to the listing agent, I found out that they hid the lockbox, so I looked where I was directed, and, again, it was gone. The listing agent called the sellers and found out that they had taken the lockbox with them to their new house. It was ridiculous, true, but we all got a kick out of it. 

Again, luck was on our side and the homeowner remembered that the other neighbor had a key to the house and we were able to get in (after the key-holding neighbors returned from an ATV ride).

Obviously, it all worked out and the inspection has been completed and I’ll tell you how it went next week! I’m also happy to report that I just took on two more clients and am really looking forward to working with them (they’re horse people looking for horse property and selling a horse property as matter of fact; I'm a sucker for horses).

So, as if last week couldn’t get any better, we found out summer camp is still on for the boys. A big round of applause here. I’m so stoked. The camp is through the Evergreen Rec Center and they’re taking a bit of a different approach. For instance, groups will be smaller than usual and each kid goes the whole week to ensure the same group of kids stay together, minimizing risk. The bummer is that we have to do registration all over again on Monday the 18th.  

Maybe I can talk them into making it a sleepover camp. Just to be extra safe. I love my boys, of course, but I’m so done with trying to be a good mom right now. If they want to watch TV all day, fine by me. Just give me some space. I need it. I feel bad, but you know what’s more important than forcing them to play nicely and quietly together so I can focus on work? My sanity. That’s what. Because once that’s gone, things get real bad. So, watch TV to your heart’s content and give me some peace. Speaking of peace, Tag’s taking them camping next weekend. FREEDOM! (I’ll be headed to Gardner and Pagosa Springs for work, so I’ll be missing this adventure.) FREEDOM!! (Did I say that already?) Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Realtorly Advice

It’s still a super hot seller’s market for houses under $500K. Everyone who’s looking to sell or buy is super serious, there are really no looky-loos around at the moment and I’m cool with that.

Something a bit different during COVID-house-selling times: we need to sanitize every house we show between every show. Honestly, I’m not clear on, because the state’s not clear on, whose responsibility this is (listing agent or buying agent), but we get it done. We can also only have a couple of people in the house at a time and they need to be wearing masks and gloves. So, only people purchasing the home can go inside it (no kids, friends, grandparents, etc.). On top of that, we have to log all who come in and out for any reason to limit contacts. Oh, and no use of the bathroom. At all. So, go before you go.

Also, I have two really nice horse properties coming up to list. I’ll keep you posted on them. One is in Elizabeth and the other is in Franktown. And another listing in Pine and one in Harvey Park coming up too. All four have very diligent owners who are making sure every last thing is in tip-top shape, so as soon as they are ready you all will know about it first! 

Week Seven of The Home Buying Process

Next step in the process: inspection objection.

I like to go to inspections. Usually, just the buyer’s agent goes, sometimes the buyers come at the end of the inspection for questions, etc. But, it can take a few hours and it’s best to let the inspector have the space to do the thing without interruption.

A general inspection is based on the size of the house, so expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $1000. But, don’t forget about any extra tests you want to have done (radon, well, etc.), those will cost you extra.

You’ll usually get your report back the same day or the following day and the buyer should quickly and properly review it so they know of any issues. There are so many different and creative ways to remedy any inspection objections. Just make sure they are okay with the buyer’s lender first. Sometimes the seller will offer to go down in price in order to cover major repairs, or the seller may go ahead and fix them prior to closing. These are just two possibilities among a multitude of others.

It’s safe to assume every house will have some issues, but don’t get too nit-picky. You can replace light bulbs and switch plates. Know that certain loans (VA and FHA) require certain types of home maintenance to be completed by the seller, such as fixing chipped paint or purchasing replacements for missing window screens.

With a conventional loan, the buyer may not care about easy-to-fix repairs and it’s not necessary for the seller to fix anything that the buyer and seller didn’t agree to.

If you decide to have the seller pay for some items, concessions can be made. This is money given to the buyer to go towards their closing costs for the purpose of freeing up other money to fix found problems with the house. Note that if the concession amount is greater than the total closing costs amount for the buyer, any leftover money goes back to the sellers. So, make sure all of it is spent responsibly. Ways you can spend extra concession money are by buying a home warranty or paying down the buyer’s points which will get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

Okay, folks, that’s all I have for now. Looking forward to another exciting week and I hope you are, too! Take care of yourself and Happy Belated Mother’s Day!


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