Planning on buying or selling a home? We asked a Realtor to share some real estate tips – both for those on the market for a new home, as well as those looking to sell.

Buying or selling a home can feel overwhelming. It involves one of the largest investments you have (or will) make! What if you overlook something important or make a mistake? Stay calm; we’re here to help! We enlisted the help of The Woodlands, Texas-based realtor, Bev Schulz (The Step-by-Step Realty Team at Zarco Properties), to give her best real estate tips for home buyers and sellers. (NOTE: Bev’s tips are outlined in blue below.)

  • What are 3 things you advise buyers or sellers to be mindful of?

1 – “For sellers, upgrading and updating your home may be a good idea…or not! If you do upgrade, keep in mind that an upgrade rarely raises the value of the house dollar for dollar spent. A new floor for $10,000 isn’t going to necessarily increase the price by $10,000. It might increase the price by half that but you may also sell the house more quickly.”

 

2 – “DIY work can save a lot of money up front, but professional work with a warranty has a better chance of appealing to buyers and will generally stand up to professional inspections with better results.”

 

3 – “Buyers and Sellers can both be surprised at how many things show up on an inspection report, but both need to realize [that] not everything there needs to be fixed. Building codes change, many items are informational only, and some repairs are very minor. Your inspector will help you understand which are serious issues and which are simply normal wear and tear on a house.”

  • Should a brand new house be inspected?

“Buyers often think it isn’t necessary, but we highly recommend it! Inspectors often find issues that were overlooked or need to be completed that a homeowner might not notice. Builders provide excellent warranties, and they’ll fix the things that are wrong, but only if they know about them.”

  • How about a remodeled or recently updated home?

“Remodeling and updates help sell a house and many sellers put time and money into improvements, but sometimes they choose to do the work themselves. An inspector can help pinpoint areas that may not be up to code, might need a little more work, or that have created other problems. Inspecting any home you’re going to make an offer on gives you a stronger position [from which] to negotiate with facts and details.”

  • In general, what are 3 things you want buyers or sellers to understand about home inspections?

1 – “It may seem like you don’t need to spend the money for an inspection, but in most every case, an inspection report allows your realtor to negotiate the price down or have repairs done. In most cases, you’ll save more than you spend on the inspection.”

 

2 – “Home inspectors don’t have x-ray vision and can’t inspect things they can’t see or know what may happen the day after you close, so it’s not a guarantee that everything is perfect. A home warranty (often paid for by the seller) goes hand-in-hand with a good inspection.”

 

3 – “Home inspections are negotiating tools for realtors. They don’t guarantee that everything will be fixed, but they will provide a documented basis for repair contributions by the sellers or a reduction in the overall price. And, if only minor items are mentioned, you have peace of mind that your home is in good shape!”

  • What is your advice for negotiating after a home inspection?

“Negotiating means finding a place where both parties can agree to make the sale! Rarely does everyone get what they want at the detail level, but we hope both are able to meet the big goal of selling and buying the property. Expectations that there will be negotiations after an inspection are very helpful. Sellers should plan on contributing to some repairs, and buyers should realize they are taking on home ownership that will include ongoing repairs and maintenance.”

  • What do you wish buyers would NOT do?

“There is so much value to a buyer in finding a realtor that will support them in their long-term search! Working with a variety of listing agents leaves no room for personal support because listing agents are required to represent the sellers to be the best of their ability (not the buyer!)”

  • Ok, so how about sellers?

“DIY repairs!”

Home inspections, although not required, have become a critical step during the home buying process. You’re not just buying that amazing chef’s kitchen or perfect master bath. “You will be buying any problem issues that you likely would never have found during your tour of the home,” says Texas home inspector, Micah Stephens of SafeShield Inspections, LLC. The inspection is your opportunity to gain insight into the current condition of the home and use the material to make informed decisions moving forward.

Your future deserves the attention of a professional. If you have questions or would like more information on a home inspection, please contact Micah Stephens with SafeShield Inspections, LLC at (832) 953-6992 or email Micah@SafeShieldInspections.com.

Are you an agent, Realtor, or an experienced buyer or seller? Do you have additional tips for buyers or sellers? Share your advice in the comments below!

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About Bev Schulz

Bev Schulz discovered The Woodlands in 1999, when she and her family moved to a small townhome. Over the last 19 years, She’s bought and sold a number of homes, including rental and investment property, raised her family, and enjoyed the emergence of The Woodlands into a first-class planned community.

With two grown sons, a lovely daughter-in-law, and three grandsons all here in The Woodlands, she thoroughly appreciates everything the area has to offer.

As a professional photographer, she enjoys real estate photography as well as sales, and enjoys helping people find just the right home for their next season of life.

Having lived in Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and on the East Coast, she’s delighted to call The Woodlands home and is excited to share her hometown knowledge with new residents as well as those relocating within the area.

Contact Bev at Bev@ZarcoProperties.com or call at 936-217-2427.

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