Shawn Box, Broker
4645 Southland Blvd
San Angelo, TX 76904

Seller's Tips

15 Reasons Why Home Owners Sell & Move

Need a Reason to Sell Your Home?


American home owners sell and move, on average, every five to seven years. Why do home owners move? People who have lived in the same home for the past 30 years have a hard time understanding this phenomena. They are shocked that people move so often, but I know one thing for certain: Their day to sell and move will come as well.

1) Home is too small. First-time home buyers often outgrow their "starter" homes. Increased family size is the main reason home owners say they need a larger home.

2) Upgrade. The grass is greener on the other side. People often want what they don't have and long for a bigger, more expensive and grander, upscale home. It's the American way.

3) Fix purchase error. Owners might believe they made a mistake when purchasing their present home and want to rectify that mistake. Maybe they thought they could get by without a back yard but yearn to garden, or the dining room in the center of the house annoys them, or they no longer enjoy the underbelly of planes flying overhead within inches of their face.

4) Job transfer. Relocation makes it necessary for many to pull up roots and move. If the commuting distance exceeds an hour, most people would prefer not to spend two hours in traffic every day.

5) Personal Relationships. Moving in with a partner or getting married can mean one of the parties will need to sell, especially if both owned homes prior to the commitment. On the other hand, break-ups cause owners to sell as well for three basic reasons:

One party may need to buy out the other and not have the cash available.

The home may not be affordable to sustain on one person's income.

The home holds bad memories, making a fresh start desirable.

6) Neighborhood changes. The neighborhood might have changed for the worse, economically, socially or physically. For example, maybe a freeway was constructed nearby. Maybe the next-door neighbors receive visitors who arrive wearing striped pajamas at 2 AM. Or they have hung sheets over their windows while a skunk-like odor permeates the air.

7) Empty nest. The kids have grown up and moved out. The owners want a smaller home. The older you get, the harder it is to keep a big house clean.

8) See family more often. Some people want to be closer to their family as they age and will move to be near relatives. Parents want to be near children. Grandparents, near their children and grandchildren.

9) See family less often. To put more distance between the home owners and relatives. Some might move out of state to keep harmony within the family. Dysfunctional and fractured families have been known to blossom being separated.

10) Retirement. Active-adult communities are attracting many buyers over the age of 55. These planned communities have golf courses, club houses, workout facilities, week-end social gatherings, back-yard barbecue parties and more, all designed for people over 55.

11) Health problems. Physical ailments such as knee or back problems make it difficult for an aging population to climb stairs in a two-story, so a one-story home may be more practical. A trade-off solution for many elderly people who don't require round-the-clock care is to buy a condo or move into assisted living housing.

12) Deferred maintenance. Some people don't want to put on a new roof, replace the siding or buy a new furnace, so it's easier to buy a newer home. When you figure the life of most home systems is about 15 years, it could make sense to get out before everything goes haywire.

13) Home improvement perfection. A small segment enjoys fixing up and selling, spending time, money and effort on remodeling, and once the work is completed, these people become restless because there is nothing left to do. Some of you may call these people obsessed, but for some, it's a way to maintain balance while mastering a hobby.

14) Cash in equity. Some home owners can't stand the fact their home is worth all that money because that money is not in their pocket. These people would prefer to stare at their passbook savings than stare at four walls with empty pockets. They. Just. Want. The. Money.

15) Lifestyle change. Others are simply tired of owning a home and would prefer to travel, pursue a hobby or be less responsible. We used to call these people misfits or boomers, but many past a certain age want to find a calling that is meaningful to them. So, for these people, home ownership loses its priority status and turns into the ticket for realizing dreams.


Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

With so much information readily available online, clients sometimes ask me, "Why should we hire a real estate agent?" They wonder, and rightfully so, if they couldn't buy or sell a home through the Internet or through regular marketing and advertising channels without representation, without a a real estate agent. Some do OK, many don't. So if you've wondered the same thing, here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent.

1. Education & Experience

 You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost about the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

2. Agents are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

3. Neighborhood Knowledge

Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

4. Price Guidance

Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

5. Market Conditions Information

Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.

6. Professional Networking

Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality

Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork

One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!

9. Answer Questions After Closing

Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.

10. Develop Relationships for Future Business

The basis for an agent's success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many will periodically mail market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.