OK! So I was gearing up to do an open house on one of our Distinctive Properties in Draper, Utah. I had my hors d'oeuvres out. (Chocolates, Cookies and bottled water.) The Lights were on. It only took me 15 minutes to turn on every light in the home because it is 8,500 s.f. Also, installed new toilet paper in the guest powder room along with turning on the fireplace, opening the French country large double doors in the great room, opened the blinds and made sure all the directional signs were put in place. Now, I wait to see who comes in through the door?
As far as open houses are concerned, I've never done one by myself. I felt confident enough; however, because my 4 years working for a builder (which is like having an ongoing open house from Monday through Saturday.) should have prepared me for what the buyers coming into the house were going to ask me.
Not only are we selling this $1.7 million beauty, in the most exclusive community in Draper, we are also selling the 1/3 of an acre lot adjacent to the property where we were hosting the open house. It is the last buildable lot in this community with gorgeous views of the Salt Lake Valley below. I wasn't prepared to start sending over buyers to that property, but the truth is, once I told buyers about it, they wanted to know more. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for the questions that would be hurled my way at a breakneck pace.
The point of this blog is to inform you about the questions I received that day and compare them with the questions that you too should have. Here they are in random order:
#1- Has this property had a soils test completed? This is such a good question because where we were at is on the foothills of draper and we are on a fault line. If I had that soils test in hand, I could have been better prepared to build confidence in the buyer that this was a solid location to build their next mansion on. However, I got 100% of nothing that day because I didn't have that test done. Lesson learned. Get a soils test. Here in Utah you can get that accomplished somewhere in the ballpark of $400-$2500 depending on who does it and what tests you need.
#2- "We have an awesome plan that we would love to build. Do you know the setbacks?" Duh!! I should have seen this coming from miles away. How did I forget my training? No matter. I failed that test. I called up my Title gal and she had her team send over the plat map and lot map within minutes. This showed me the front, side and backyard linear footage along with the setbacks. Cool thing is, I could also see the setbacks of the neighbors homes and the home we were doing an open house on too.
#3- "Along with that plat map, can you find out what the CC and R's are?" Duh duh duh!! Of course buyers are going to need to know what restrictions are placed on the home they could build. Again, I hopped on the phone and had my title gal send me over the CC and R's. I read through them and found out that there is also a reservation amount that the buyer has to pay at settlement and then every year thereafter on 1st day of January. Good to know.
#4- I noticed that having my list of custom builders was a pretty handy thing to have out as well. This allowed some options for the out of state buyers to become acquainted with who the heavy hitters were in terms of who to trust for home building luxury homes.
#5- Know the taxes and HOA. Not much to say here about taxes. Uncle Sams little brother "The School District" gets his fair share of funds. But the HOA (Home Owners Association) could have reassessment fees, dues and their stipulating factors that could be a positive or a negative.
So, in the end, even if you start with these 5 things to ask a listing agent, you're going to be miles ahead of the process if you do decide to hire a draftsman or general contractor to generate plans and build your dream home. And, like me, if you come across an agent that doesn't know these things. It's not that I don't care about selling the home, I do; it's that I haven't totally done my homework either. Or that I've forgotten all that I have previously learned through my general contracting and new home sales experience. I'm glad I learned (again), and my buyers will be more prepared going into a transaction in the future when they're working with me.