Tag Archives: real estate

How to Buy a House in Nashville’s Crazy Market

If you’ve been looking for homes, or even just thinking about purchasing a home in the near future, you may need a little encouragement! Nashville’s real estate market is so hot right now that many buyers are feeling overwhelmed about the prospect of losing their potential dream home to another bidder who is quicker and has more money than they do. But even though we’re fully equipped to help you move into your new home, we aren’t experts at helping you find it.

Collyn Wainwright guest blog for TWO MEN AND A TRUCKThis week, we’ve asked a more qualified guest blogger to give us (and you!) some advice on navigating Nashville’s real estate industry. Collyn Wainwright is a Realtor with Village Real Estate, and we work with her to support the local non-profit Tennessee Respite Coalition. Collyn is dedicated to helping her clients, friends, and community find the place that makes them feel most at home, whatever their circumstances. Thanks for your help, Collyn!

How to Win in a Multiple Offer Situation (It Isn’t ALWAYS Offer Price)

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville first time home buyersNashville is a sellers’ market and it’s hard for buyers to win these days. For the past several years, the Nashville market has seen unprecedented growth, and as everyone has heard by now, the number of people moving to town does not match the amount of housing available in the price ranges needed. The most competitive area is what is considered the “first time home buyers’ market,” which is typically $150-$300k.  Most homes at this price point which are located in an established neighborhood and in good condition will go into a multiple offer situation.

So what does that mean, and how does it affect my bid?

In multiple offers, the seller will need to evaluate each offer, and either set a deadline to review all of the offers at once, or take a “first come first served” approach. The former option is more common, as it allows more buyers time to view the property and submit an offer by a set deadline. When you are submitting a bid in this situation, the agent will tell prospective buyers and/or their agents to bring their “highest and best” by the deadline. That means, for a house listed at $160k, if you really want to offer $175k, but you actually submit an offer for $160k to see if you can negotiate, you might not get the opportunity to negotiate. A seller can only counter one offer at a time, so they will either accept or counter the best offer they have in hand, while the rest of the offers may well expire by the end of the day, making them null and void.

But what if I can’t offer much over the asking price?

There are several tactics you can use to make your offer more appealing to sellers without having to go above your budget.

Always make sure your agent is asking what is important to the seller. Align closing dates with the seller’s needs if possible. Does the seller want a quick close, or do they need more time? Make your offer match what the seller has indicated they want as best as you are able. Sometimes the seller may need to stay in the home 30 days after closing and rent back from the buyer. That might be more important to them than money over the asking price.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK home buying tipsOther times, the seller won’t have time to make repairs, and an “as-is” offer with a pass/fail inspection contingency may make your bid shine. People who are handy can often benefit from agreeing to do repairs themselves instead of asking the seller to do them. I would NEVER suggest anyone buy a home without a professional inspection, but if the repairs required are minor and not of significant cost, this method can be a winning strategy. By completing an inspection, you can discover if there are major costly issues that will exceed your budget, so you do have the opportunity to terminate the contract and get a refund of your earnest money if you find out about the costly problems before the end of the inspection deadline.

What else can I do to look better in a multiple offer situation?

It’s not fair, but having a conventional loan is pretty important in these scenarios. Cash is king to sellers, but let’s be realistic–most buyers need financing, and conventional loans are second best to a cash offer. Government assisted loans like FHA, VA, THDA and USDA loans are a wonderful resource for first-time buyers and those without much cash for a down payment, but they take longer to close, and often require the seller to make repairs. Sadly, offers with this type of financing are usually moved to the bottom of the pile. This doesn’t mean you can’t utilize this type of financing to buy a home; it’s just not the best choice in a multiple offer situation. However, new construction lends itself well to these loans because they are less likely to need repairs!

Don’t ask for closing costs. If you can afford to pay your own closing costs, plan to do so in multiple offer situations. I’ve seen sellers turn down a higher offer from a buyer who asked the seller to cover closing costs in favor of a lower offer from a buyer who could pay for their own closing. Perhaps the sellers are worried the house won’t appraise, and if they have to lower the price, plus pay closing costs in addition to the lower offer, the seller can lose a lot of money.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK home buying tipsWrite a personal letter to the seller. I know it sounds cheesy and corny, but when the seller narrows it down to the three best offers, and one person has written about how great the home is and the life they want to build there…the personal note can put a buyer over the edge of the competition. Selling the home can be very emotional for a homeowner, and they feel better knowing it is getting passed on to someone who loves it as much as they did.

In the end, the best offer lines up with what is important to the seller. 

The key takeaway here is, if you only have $x dollars over asking price to play with, putting that money towards an extra month of rent, repairs, closing costs, or title might be more appealing than just cash on top of the list price. Creativity can win!

Good luck out there!

If you’re looking for a great Realtor who can answer more of your home buying questions, you can contact Collyn through her website! And when you’re ready to move, give us a call or text at 615-248-6288 or visit us online for more information.



Staging Your Home to Sell

10 Steps to Staging Your Home

Nashville has been called “the IT City,” and we’ve all been hearing about how Nashville’s housing market is booming as people from around the country flock to move here!  But putting your house on the market can still be nerve-wracking, and you want to sell quickly for a great price.  One of the best ways to achieve a fast sale at your preferred price is through prepping your home before placing it on the market.  In fact, the National Association of Realtors® found that staging your home helps buyers envision the space as their own and motivates them to schedule a walkthrough after seeing photos online.  So to get you started, we’ve called in the experts and compiled a 10-point checklist for your house-prepping!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville can take care of your packing for you.1. Start packing early.  Realtors will tell you that you need to remove all clutter from your home; even if your home is technically clean, it can look dirty if miscellaneous items are strewn about a room.  By starting your packing process early on, you can begin sorting items into Trash, Donate, and Keep categories that will help cut down on the clutter.  Getting some packing out of the way beforehand can also help prepare you to move sooner when you get the word that you have a buyer!

2. Remove personal items.  If you have valuables, family heirlooms, or anything else personally important to you, remove them from your home before your Open House and walkthrough appointments.  Realtors recommend taking these items away from the home completely, instead of just hiding them in drawers, because potential buyers can sometimes be nosy.  Additionally, if some decor items feel more personal in nature, buyers may have trouble picturing themselves in the home.  An example of personal decorations are family photos.

3. Clean, clean, clean!  This seems obvious, but you’ll want to double- and triple-check your chore list because it can be easy to forget places you often skip over.  For example, dust ceiling fans and the tops of picture frames, wipe down your baseboards, and deep-clean your bathroom.  Also be sure the exterior of your home looks clean–do you need to power wash any of the walls or trim the hedges?

4. Paint, if needed.  Check the interior and exterior of your home for any needed touch-ups; if buyers see peeling or scratched paint, they may believe repairs have not been kept up in your home.  You may also want to paint over any bold-colored walls with a warm, neutral tone that is less likely to put off any buyers.  Even though paint colors are easy to change, you want your buyers to feel as comfortable in your home as possible.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville can move your furniture items.5. Arrange your furniture.  Walk through your home with the mind of a buyer and try to look at each room as an objective bystander.  Does the furniture feel crowded?  Are there too many small accessories on the shelves?  Is there a clear focal point in the main rooms?  Are all pathways accessible?

6. Add some light.  Light plays a key role in emotion.  In the same way that we feel happier and more energetic on a sunny day than on a cloudy one, your buyers will feel more welcome and relaxed if your rooms are well-lit.  Make sure natural light from windows is not being blocked, and consider adding some lamps to brighten corners and other dim spaces.

7. Add some flowers!  House plants, both inside and outside, can help a house feel like a home.  The advantage to plants as decor is that they are natural, rather than personal, and they make a room feel more alive.

8. Consider decor arrangements.  Many homeowners like to keep their wall hangings and shelf decorations in a straight row, instead of experimenting with different levels and groupings.  Consider hanging frames at different heights, and grouping your shelf accessories in a triangular fashion.

Be sure to arrange for your pets to be out of your home.9. Don’t leave your pets.  At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Nashville, we all love our fur babies and we think everyone else should love them too.  Unfortunately, not everyone likes the idea of having fur all over a room or a dog barking in the backyard.  Before letting buyers into your home, try to remove traces of pet hair and make plans outside the home for your pets.  If you can’t bring them with you, arrange for a friend or a “doggy daycare” to keep them for the day.

10. Get help when you need it!  If you don’t have time to deep-clean your home, consider hiring a professional maid before your Open House.  If you’re unsure about your decor choices or furniture arrangements, you can hire certified staging professionals to assist.  These professionals can even bring in their own staging furniture if you need to further depersonalize a room.  And our trained, licensed moving team can take over packing and rearranging furniture for you to save you time and physical exhaustion.  Give us a call (or text) at 615-248-6288 or check out our website for more information!

With this checklist, you’ll be on the way to home-selling success.  Don’t forget to enjoy the experience of finding a brand new home to make memories in!