From first dates to job interviews, first impressions matter. When it comes to selling your home, that initial glimpse of its exterior, aka curb appeal, is a big deal. In fact, according to a 2020 study done by the University of Texas at Arlington and published in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, curb appeal can contribute to up to 7 percent of the home’s selling price (and even as much as 14 percent in certain real estate markets). That’s why it’s important to put your home’s best face forward. What does curb appeal mean? Curb appeal is the way your home looks from the outside or from the street, and how attractive it is to anyone who visits or drives past. To assess your home’s curb appeal, look at the front of your home and take it in from the perspective of someone seeing it for the first time. The color and condition of your home’s exterior, the landscaping and the overall maintenance of the outside of the property all contribute to its curb appeal. Improving your home’s exterior and environs before listing it for sale is important. “Curb appeal is probably one of the most important and effective tools in selling a home,” explains Yawar Charlie, a Los Angeles-based estate director with the Aaron Kirman Group of real estate firm Compass. If people love the look of your home from the outside, they’re more likely to feel open and enthusiastic as they tour the interior. 8 ways to boost curb appeal Here are tips on how to improve curb appeal, bring in the buyers and get top dollar for your home: 1. Painting the house If your home’s exterior is looking dingy, it can be less appealing to potential buyers. One of the best ways to refresh it is with a new coat of paint. “A full exterior paint job can go a long way, especially if the paint has faded or is chipping,” says Reese Stewart of RE/MAX Properties SW in Florida. “While this can be costly, it can make all the difference if the home is overdue for a fresh paint coat.” According to Thumbtack, a home services/contractors search website, Spring + Summer Trend Guide, requests for exterior painting services were up significantly (by 166 percent) in the spring of 2022. “Warm and earthy neutrals are said to be the hottest trend,” notes David Steckel, a home expert at Thumbtack. “Organic shades that mimic colors in the environment will compliment your lawn tastefully and highlight all of the different factors boosting your curb appeal.” Cost: On average, expect to pay about $5,360 to paint the exterior of a 1,500-square-foot home, according to Fixr, a home remodeling resource. 2. Cleaning windows Cleaning your doors and windows gives the impression that your home has been well taken care of. If a potential buyer is put off by filthy windows, they may not want to see what sits behind them, even if the interior of your home is actually kempt. “Giving windows a good scrubbing is an easy and inexpensive way to remove any grime and give your home that sparkling look,” says Stewart. Cost: If you DIY, this project will cost you nothing but water, cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease. To have them cleaned professionally, Fixr advises the cost will be about $300. 3. Repainting doors Like a full exterior paint job, freshening up outside entryways with new paint can go a long way. According to an analysis by Zillow, painting your door black or charcoal gray could even contribute to a higher sale price. The real estate company found that homes with doors in these colors sold for an average of $6,000 more than expected. “Painting just the front door or the garages can help spruce up the entry point, since it’s one of the first things potential buyers see,” says Stewart. Cost: While you could hire a pro to do this job at an average cost of $275, according to Fixr, most homeowners do it themselves, with exterior acrylic latex paint costing between $20 and $50 per gallon. Your local paint shop can help you estimate how much paint you’ll need based on the size and scope of the doors in question. 4. Refreshing landscaping Seventy-four percent of Realtors recommend sellers revisit their landscaping before listing their home on the market, and 17 percent say doing so leads to a successful sale, according to the National Association of Realtors. If that’s not enough to convince you to call a gardener, consider that your home could yield a price tag up to 20% more when you’re ready to sell. “Take a step back and see if you need to repot some flowers or replace some bushes,” says Stewart. “Even some new mulch can go a long way.” Lawn- and yardwise, “turf has become a popular alternative to traditional grass as have drought-resistant plantings,” Steckel adds.The Thumbtack trend guide saw demands for landscaping service demands jump 144 percent in spring of 2022. In general, “we’re moving away from a sea of grass and towards spending time creating different spaces for different uses,” says Steckel. While yard features such as gazebos and pergolas are popular, it’s not worth going to the expense of adding these elements just for curb appeal, of course. But if you already have a patio or a deck, do spring for washing it, tidying it, and making sure it’s in good condition. Cost: The average cost for a professional landscape design, new soil, grading, grass seed, plants, patio and a walkway of a full front yard (the most important for curb appeal) is between $4,000 and $6,000; as high as $10,000 for the whole property, according to Fixr. If you have a rake and lawn mower, however, you can spruce things up for almost nothing. Paying for clean-up services — weeding, tree- and shrub-trimming, stump removal — range from $65 to $750, depending on the size of the yard and the task. Another quick and easy option is to add a few pre-potted plants to the walkway or porch. At a cost of no more than $100 or $200 (depending on the plants), you’ll add color and pop to the entry area, and can take the plants with you after you sell. 5. Power washing the driveway Leaves, rain and snow can wreak havoc on the surface of a driveway, especially a concrete one. “If your driveway is discolored, get it power washed,” Charlie recommends. If there are a lot of unsightly dings, bumps, gouges and cracks, you might even want to spring for having it resealed (especially if it’s been three to five years since you last did so). Cost: On average, the cost to pressure-wash a 600-square-foot driveway is $225, according to Fixr. If you want to do it yourself, you can rent an electric pressure washer for $39 per day, with a deposit, from Home Depot. Sealants cost anywhere from $15 to $165 per five gallons, according to Angi. 6. Hitting the lights Clean, functioning and well-placed exterior lighting not only looks nice, but also can be an important safety/security feature. At the very least, inspect and refurbish what lighting you have. “Make sure that it is clear of cobwebs and dust and that [all] the bulbs are still working,” Stewart says. “It can ensure your home is well-lit if any potential buyers visit around sunset or drive by at night.” And in terms of new lighting? “To boost curb appeal, I would suggest taking an ambient approach and including both uplighting and downlighting,” says Steckel. He adds that “most folks are going with a softer color like 2400 or 2700 Kelvin and a lower wattage because this light is less disruptive to the animals and insects that share the neighborhood.” No need to go overboard. Mainly, all you need is “smaller, softer lighting to help define space, highlight features and of course make it safe to traverse,” Steckel adds. “String lighting is a simple and cost-effective way to do this.” Cost: This DIY project can cost you nothing, unless you need to install the lights or purchase replacement bulbs. According to Fixr, you should budget an average of $400 for outdoor motion sensor lights and about $200 for ambient string lighting. 7. Fixing the roof The condition of your roof can be a sticking point for buyers. If there are broken shingles or tiles or other issues, it’s best to take care of them with the help of a professional roofer before they come up during the home inspection. Cost: For minor repairs (such as repairing links and replacing 100 square feet of asphalt shingles), the average cost for a professional repair is $750, according to Fixr. This can vary depending on the type of roof and the extent of the repairs. 8. Upgrading the mailbox It’s small but significant. The mailbox is one of the first things a prospective buyer will see when they arrive at your home. “If your mailbox is faded or is looking worse for the wear, it’s time for an upgrade,” Stewart says. “It might be a small project, but it’s one that can help improve overall curb appeal.” Cost: If your mailbox just needs to be cleaned or painted, the cost is next to nothing. If it needs to be replaced, you can find mailbox and post kits at Lowe’s starting as low as $29. Common curb appeal mistakes Once you have an idea of which curb appeal ideas to tackle, you don’t want to waste time or money. Here are some curb appeal goofs to avoid: Going overboard – Don’t get caught up in making every upgrade possible. “One of the common mistakes I find when it comes to curb appeal is a homeowner doing too much,” Charlie says. “There can be [such] a thing as too many trees or too many flowers.” Stewart agrees: “While a full garden may look beautiful to a seller, potential buyers may see it as difficult for upkeep.” Investing in projects with no return on investment (ROI) – A feature you may love could be seen as a liability to the next potential owner. One prime example is the installation of a lawn water feature like a fountain. “Fountains are beautiful to look at and create a very relaxing environment through their natural auditory appeal, but they technically cost more and are a recurring cost through [their water] consumption,” Steckel explains. “There is no ROI to a fountain but there is a significant ROI to saving water from a cost and planet perspective.” Making bold changes – Stick to neutral shades, especially for exterior paint. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is painting their homes a loud, outrageous color,” Charlie says. “Veer towards more of a classic look that will appeal to a variety of people.” Not consulting your HOA – If you live in a home governed by a homeowners association, confirm that your planned upgrades are within its rules. “Sellers should check the bylaws before making any improvements that must go through the HOA for review,” Stewart says. https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/add-curb-appeal/
Miguel Ángel Aragonés explains use of color and light in exclusive interview A 7,500-square-foot Trousdale Estates house remodeled by a well-known architect, has listed for $20 million, or $2,667 per square foot. Mexican architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés and his son Rafael, both of the Taller Aragonés headquartered in Mexico City, revamped the 62-year-old, one-story house at 510 Arkell Drive in the exclusive Trousdale Estates enclave. According to the coffee table book “Miguel Ángel Aragonés: Reinventing Minimalism,” which was published in 2020, his style is best known for modernist inspiration and the creative use of light. The Arkell Drive project embodies the Aragonés’ technique. After dusk, the house’s LED lights use cast blue, red, magenta and cyan light inside and outside of the house, Miguel Ángel and Rafael Aragonés told The Real Deal in an exclusive interview. “Color is inherent to many examples of Mexican architecture for hundreds of years. A natural step for us is to use contemporary technology to play with this element at night,” Rafael Aragonés said. “The house and its walls are transformed through LED-colored lighting, transporting you to a different mood and context.” Miguel Ángel Aragonés said the house also works with Los Angeles’ natural light. But night is a different story. “Architectural projects which mimic daylight make a big mistake. You will never be able to mimic nature. The approach of different colors tells a story that is different from the day,” he explained. The four-bed, five-bath Arkell Drive house is topped off with a roof level that has a permit for an outdoor kitchen and dining room. The house also includes a spa and blue turquoise pool. Formerly owned by real estate developer Aaron Rivani of Global Investment & Development and his wife Janet, the house is now owned by 510 Arkell LLC, which is backed by Taller Aragonés. The house’s listing agents are Yawar Charlie and Karen Sanchez of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass, Ben Becal at Revel Real Estate and Ethan Peskowitz at Westside Estate Agency. The Arkell Drive property is the second Los Angeles home designed by Miguel Ángel Aragonés. The architect also designed 1106 North Hillcrest Drive in Beverly Hills. The house was listed for $8.4 million on June 3, according to the Redfin property listing site. Comparable Trousdale Estates houses that recently sold include 521 Chalette Drive, a 4,076-square-foot home that traded for $13 million or $3,189 per square foot; and 1120 Wallace Ridge, 6,426-square-foot property that fetched house that $19.5 million or $3.035 per square foot, according to Redfin. https://therealdeal.com/la/2022/07/08/trousdale-estates-home-remodeled-by-mexican-architect-lists-for-20m/
Bryan Singer, the embattled director behind films such as “The Usual Suspects” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” who faced multiple sexual misconduct accusations in the last few years, has sold his coastal retreat on Malibu’s Point Dume for $13.75 million. The deal closed on Christmas Eve, records show. Singer owned the estate for more than a decade, paying $8.5 million for the one-acre spread in 2010. In April, he listed it for $16.5 million before trimming the tag to $15.5 million over the summer. Two structures occupy the leafy grounds: a main house with a screening room and a guesthouse with a gym. A pair of flagstone patios are found outside; one overlooks the ocean, the other features tall bamboo and palm trees around a swimming pool and spa.
Baby Boomers—the generation born between 1946 and 1964—handed in their resignations at record rates in 2020. On average, 2 million boomers have retired each year since 2011, according to an analysis by Pew Research Center. But in 2020, that number rose to 3.2 million people. Researchers speculate the pandemic might have sped up retirement decisions for some. If boomers’ jobs (or decision to leave the workforce) were influenced by Covid-19, so were their home values. As most boomers are homeowners, they likely benefited from the staggering upsurge in home prices across the country. In the fourth quarter of 2020, 88% of the housing markets in the U.S. had double-digit home price appreciation, while national median prices rose 14.9% year-over-year to $315,900. For homeowners, this was a welcome gain to their bottom line. Today’s homeowners who want to cash in on that equity without taking out a home equity loan have to downsize, move to a cheaper area or find other living arrangements that don’t necessitate getting back into a hot seller’s market. “Some Baby Boomers are selling, but others are buying vacation homes. They’re downsizing, for the most part,” says Rich Schulhoff, CEO of Brooklyn MLS, a New York real estate listing service. “Another trend is that South Carolina and Florida are attracting large numbers of Baby Boomers, as well.” Home Ownership Rates by Age Older Baby Boomers Made Up the Largest Share of Sellers Baby Boomers aged 65 to 73, or the older segment of that generation, sold their homes at a higher rate than any other age group in 2020. They were also the group most likely to move the furthest distance after selling, with the median distance being around 40 miles. “Most retirees make their decision about where to move based on where their children live. Oftentimes I find that clients want to move closer to their children or grandchildren,” says Yawar Charlie, real estate agent at the Aaron Kirman Group in Los Angeles. “However, if the couple doesn’t have children, they don’t really feel the need to live that close to their immediate family, they really want their dream retirement home. Usually, this is near or on a golf course, a beach or warm-weather destination.” The top 10 most popular places for seniors to search for homes were, unsurprisingly, all in Florida. Sunshine State areas that attracted homebuyers were all in proximity to beaches except for Ocala, located in the center of the state, according to an analysis by Realtor.com. The site looked at for-sale listing views to homes across the country originated from residents of 371 postal codes with at least 40% of the population 65 or older. In 2020, markets in the Carolinas and Georgia saw a greater increase in popularity than some traditional Florida retiree markets. 4 Things to Consider Before You Sell Your Home Whether you’re selling your home and moving down the street or across the country, there are some serious factors homeowners should keep in mind before planting a “for sale” sign in the front yard. From getting your house ready for prospective buyers to financial questions you should ask before moving, experts offer their best advice for retirees looking for their next dream home. 1. Do a Cost-of-living Analysis if You Plan to Leave Your City Ready to swap snow boots for flip flops? Experts say that before you make a move outside of your city, examine what it will mean for your wallet. Homebuyers should talk to their real estate agent in the new area about local property taxes, insurance costs, homeowners association fees and any other expenses related to your new area and home. Average power and water bills also can vary by state. “Insurance considerations can also be discussed with their Realtor to determine the flood zone, fire hazard zone and other insurance-related issues which can create cost variances for property insurance. Of course, any other tax differentials should be discussed with their tax accountant for full clarity,” says Mary Lee Blaylock, president and chief executive officer at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. For folks moving from the suburbs to urban centers (or vice versa), there might be a cost difference. Apartments and condos in urban centers typically cost more per square foot than houses in the suburbs, but those higher costs might be offset by not needing a car (which could mean savings on car payments and insurance). “Social Security benefits are not taxed, but for partial retirees or those who have income from investments, the state and local tax rate in the new area is important to consider,” says Erin Sykes, chief economist at Nest Seekers International. “Similarly, it is important to research if there is a death tax in the new area as that can diminish the amount of inheritance that you could pass on to your family.”
When you’re bidding on a home in a super competitive housing market (like the one we’re in today!), it can feel as though you’re a contestant on a game show—and that’s putting in fun terms. Truthfully, submitting an offer (and waiting to hear if it was accepted) is undoubtedly a high-stress, high-stakes situation. Come in too low, and your offer won’t be entertained. Come in too high, and the home may not appraise for what you’re willing to spend, which could cause your financing to fall through. To help you arrive at a sweet spot, your real estate agent is busy gathering intel via conversations with the seller’s agent and analyzing recent comparable sales in the area. But did you know that the strongest offers go beyond the actual dollar amount you’re willing to pay for a home, and also involve some strategic clauses that could woo the seller? Here, real estate agents share with House Beautiful how to make an offer—and tips for doing so in a seller’s market. You May Need to Bid Over the List Price A combination of factors have made home buying in 2021 extra competitive. Record-low interest rates are bringing out buyers in droves. But there’s a shortage of homes on the market, which is compounded by a delay in new construction homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The result? A lot of buyers shopping for a limited number of homes. To put it another way, now isn’t the time to lowball an offer. First things first, if you’re financing the purchase (i.e. not buying a home with all cash!), make sure you have a preapproval letter and proof of funds, says realtor Yawar Charlie, Director of the Estates Division at Aaron Kirman Group in Los Angeles and a regular on CNBC’s “Listing Impossible.” In markets where demand is high and inventory is low, most properties are selling for at, or above, the asking price, Charlie says. “Depending on the competitive nature of your housing market, you might need to come over the asking price just a little bit,” he explains. “Don’t take this as a sign you are overpaying for your house. Look at it like you are paying next year’s price now in order to get the home of your dreams.” To further assuage your concerns about coming in over asking, historically low interest rates that are available now can translate to lower monthly mortgage payments (and less interest paid on your loan over time)—meaning that extra cash up front may well even out in the long run.
Even in a buyer’s market, it turns out that homebuyers are picky. They know that a home is probably the biggest investment they’ll ever make, and when spending that much money, they have certain expectations. And since you only get one chance to make a good first impression, you can’t afford to blow that opportunity. Buyers understand that a home may not check every single box on their wish list – but some things are downright deal breakers. Our experienced realtors reveal nine issues that will stop buyers in their tracks, and make them decide that they don’t want to buy your home. Water damage will likely be exposed during a home inspection. But buyers may never even get to that phase of the homebuying process. “Water damage will make buyers run like rats abandoning a sinking ship,” says Chuck Vander Stelt, Valparaiso, IN-based real estate agent and owner of Quadwalls. Before you put your home on the market, he says you need to correct the condition causing ongoing water damage – and then you need to repair any signs of past water damage. “This is true regardless of how long ago the damaged occurred or what you have done to prevent a reoccurrence,” Vander Stelt explains. “Water damage can include a spot on a ceiling or ceiling tile, discolored door or window casings, or staining on wall surfaces, floors, or trim.” MOLD According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, exposure to mold can cause upper respiratory tract infections, coughing, and wheezing. So, why would buyers want to pay to live in a home that contains mold? “If there is direct evidence of any kind of mold, especially black mold, this is a huge red flag for buyers,” warns Yawar Charlie, director of estates division at Aaron Kirman Group, Compass, and a series regular on CNBC’s, “Listing Impossible.” Even if mold can be fixed, it won’t matter. Charlie says buyers will be freaked out and will turn and run away from your home. OK, noise is heard, not seen. However, buyers can see evidence of noise. How? Take, for example, the neighbor’s dog. “Regardless of how adorable Fido may be, if it’s the kind of dog that barks quite a bit, and decides to act up when a showing is going on, trust me, a buyer will think twice before moving forward on that purchase,” Charlie explains. “They don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night or deal with a barking dog all day long.” A LACK OF PRIVACY Unless the buyers are looking for a communal home, they don’t plan on spending time with the neighbors (aside from perhaps an occasional BBQ). “One of the quickest turn-offs for any buyer is a lack of privacy when it comes to interior or exterior backyard space,” Charlie says. So, if the neighbor’s window looks directly into your yard, or worse, into a bedroom, he says this can be a huge turn off for a potential buyer. “For the most part, privacy issues can be overcome - and I tell my clients they can plant a tree, or install a shade to solve this.” But Charlie says a lack of privacy is always a red flag.
Buying or selling a home is a very big deal. Most people only go through this process a handful of times in their life — if that — but real estate agents guide clients through it for a living. Therefore, they’ve seen just about everything on both sides of the transaction and have plenty of wisdom to impart to their clients. No matter which side you’re on, it’s important to trust the agent you’ve enlisted to help and listen to their advice. For example, when searching for a new home, buyers often rely on price estimates from real estate sites like Redfin and Zillow to understand what different properties are worth. However, Mary Fitzgerald, a real estate agent with The Oppenheim Group, based in West Hollywood, California, said this isn’t the best approach. “[Buyers] cannot rely on Zillow ‘Zestimates’ as they don’t take in account remodel work that has been done since the last sale, and also can’t differentiate between types and values on view homes,” she said. Like many other parts of the country, Fitzgerald, who also stars on the Netflix reality television series “Selling Sunset,” said Los Angeles is currently experiencing a sellers’ market in the $2 million-$3 million range and under. “Sellers should price aggressively and get the most traction as possible for the initial property launch,” she said. “With low inventory, buyers are fighting over properties and nine times out of 10 the seller will land at a higher sale price in a multiple offer scenario than if they list high and sit on the market.” Of course, presentation is also hugely important in real estate, so Fitzgerald advises sellers to make sure their home looks its best. “Staging, even if minor, is extremely important,” she said. “Many sellers don’t want to absorb the cost for this, but it is essential in many homes and sellers will almost always get this money back plus some — while gaining more buyers’ attention to the property and higher offers.” Yawar Charlie, director of the estates division at Aaron Kirman Group, Compass, based in Los Angeles, reiterated that sellers need to make sure their home is ready to be presented to the world in its best light. “Always remember, buying houses like going on a first date,” said Charlie, who is also a series regular on the CNBC reality series “Listing Impossible.” “First impressions matter.” He said it’s important to make sure the curb appeal is nice, noting that little touches go a long way. “If the house needs a fresh coat of paint, do it,” he said. “If the grass needs to be planted in a certain area, do it.”
Yawar Charlie has made his mark in two different careers: as an actor and a real estate agent. He combined those two on the CNBC show Listing Impossible, where agents work to convince clients to follow their plan to make difficult million-dollar properties sell. Charlie is the grandson of Noor Mohammed Charlie, a Bollywood pioneer and film legend. After dozens of movie and television roles, the younger Charlie turned his focus to real estate and now is with the Aaron Kirman Group. Below, he shares insight about how he makes it all work and what he sees in the real estate market around him. So, what do you like better: acting or real estate? Be honest! And tell us why. I fell in love with real estate as a long-term career after buying my first home and thinking of ways to make the process better. I was getting typecast in stereotypical TV roles because of my ethnicity, so after helping friends with their real estate needs as a hobby, I decided to become a licensed Realtor. I was lucky enough to have found a second career in real estate where I was able to use my creative communication skills. I used my entertainment connections and started a very successful career. Now I'm really in charge of my own destiny. As I like to joke around and tell my clients and friends, my acting degree did not go to waste because I use those skills every day in real estate! You always must be on, focused, and ready to roll with the punches no matter what stands in your way. Much like acting! What was your favorite role as an actor, and why? I would say my favorite role as an actor was one of the last theater tours that I did where I played Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Often when you look how I look, you get typecast as the villain, and this was one of the first opportunities I had to show the romantic leading man side of my personality. What was your favorite transaction as a Realtor, and why? That would be my first deal. I sold my best friend's parents a home, and let's just say my friend's father was less than pleasant to work with. He put me through the paces, and the transaction was a court-approval probate transaction, and I had never done a deal before. So not only was it educational, but I had to be on my toes because I had a very difficult client to deal with. But I'm happy to say that I got the deal done, got him a great deal, and even got some referral business after it. I told myself if I can do this, I can do any transaction! When did you buy your first home for yourself, and when did you buy or sell your first home as a Realtor? How do you compare the experiences? I bought my first home after I had just appeared on a soap opera and saved up enough money for a down payment. I used a casual friend who happened to be a real estate agent and unfortunately, he was bad at his job. I found that I was doing a lot of the research on my own, and that's where I developed my interest for real estate. Once that transaction was over, I realized that this would be a great supplemental career to my acting. But within a year, the real estate took over and I've been doing it full time ever since. I remember how hard it was as an artist to save up my money for my first down payment, and I've never lost that feeling. I try to carry that feeling forward to every transaction, so when I hand my clients the keys to their new home, I know the thrill they must be experiencing, and I'm very thankful to have been part of the experience. When I sold my first property, I remember again being so aware that this was a very personal experience for the seller, and I wanted to respect their space. I wanted to find them a good client to take over the home that they showed so much love to. Overall, the experiences are very similar because at the end of the day, if you're trying to create abundance for your clients, your approach to buying and selling are the same. Do you do more work with sellers or buyers? I feel like organically it comes in waves. There are times of the year I have nothing but buyers, and then suddenly I'll have multiple listings going at the same time. There's no rhyme or reason, but I will tell you that right now with interest rates so low, I do have a lot of buyers trying to get into the market. How does the work you do on camera with Listing Impossible reflect real-life real estate agent work? Be honest! Do you have to redo takes, for instance? And is it hard to get clients and others to agree to be on the air? The great thing about working on Listing Impossible is that it's a very accurate portrayal of what it takes to sell real estate in Los Angeles. When you work in the ultra-luxury market, inevitably there's going to be challenges with selling that home. Our show accurately depicts the challenges of selling homes that have been sitting on the market or are problematic in other ways. It's called Listing Impossible for a reason. Everything you see on screen happened, and the personalities you see are exactly how they are in real life. The production company handled the coordination of the clients and houses that you see on TV, but each of us had personal relationships with the people that we represented on the show. We're giving our clients the opportunity to appear on camera. Some of them opted to do it, and obviously some opted not to. But again, what you see is what you got.
Before putting their homes on the market, some sellers make expensive renovations that may or may not significantly improve the home’s resale value. Other sellers don’t want the hassle and expense of spiffing up their properties, and decide to market a home “as is.” When you see a home that’s being sold in “as is” condition, what exactly does that mean—should you be worried that the property is a money pit? Is an as-is listing a wise strategy for sellers? Here’s what all parties need to know about these two little words. What does “as is” mean, anyway? Historically speaking, when a house was sold “as is” the home was in disrepair, says Katie Falk, partner at the Falk Ruvin Gallagher Team of Keller Williams Realty in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. In the current seller’s market, however, the term is not necessarily as negative as it once was. “Selling a house ‘as is,’” Falk explains, “typically means that the seller wants the buyer to accept the condition of the home as it is upon writing an offer to purchase.” This means that the seller does not want to fix anything that may come up during the inspection, she says, nor do they want to engage in negotiations with the buyer. However, buyers who engage in as-is transactions are not necessarily stuck if problems arise. “There are times where an inspection is performed after the offer is accepted on an ‘as is’ property,” Falk says, that “reveal issues that the seller was not aware of, such as a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace or leaks in the basement in an obscure corner.” In those scenarios, she explains, buyers who agreed to purchase a property as-is may request that newly discovered problems be corrected. As Is: The Upside For sellers, the advantage to marketing a house “as is” is they avoid the hassle of costly and time-consuming repairs on the home they’re selling—and buyers know this in advance. Sellers may be “aware of siding that may need to be replaced, masonry work needing repair…scratched hardwood floors, and a need for an exterior paint job,” explains Ellen Schwartz, a licensed associate real estate broker for Compass who works with clients in Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Offering the home “as is,” however, is the seller’s way of acknowledging up front that the house needs work, but they’re not willing to deal with those repairs themselves. Buyers know that the inspection is only for informational purposes, Schwartz adds. Since an as-is home is not necessarily in disrepair, says Falk, sellers can benefit from adding this description to their home’s listing—particularly in a seller’s market, when it’s common to receive offers from multiple buyers. “Along with price and terms is the inspection contingency,” she says. “The seller does not want [the inspection] to be a contingency at all.” In other words, if the inspection reveals problems with the home, the seller still isn’t willing to negotiate the buyer’s original offer. Buyers who willingly enter into as-is deals should be careful about making too many demands of sellers. A real estate transaction “can become prickly,” Falk warns, “if the buyer is requesting repairs and the seller is adamant about not making any changes.”