Real Estate

Safety tips for home sellers


If you are living in your home while it is listed for sale there are steps you can take to increase your safety and security.

Make sure to begin the process buy hiring a trusted Real Estate Agent who uses an electronic lockbox that makes a record of everyone who enters your home.

Never show your home yourself to someone who knocks on the door.  You have no idea if they are legitimate home buyers, thieves coming to case your home, or worse.  All potential buyers should be prescreened and accompanied by a Real Estate agent during a scheduled an appointment.

Lock up your valuables.  Cash, credit cards, jewelry and other expensive items can be taken.  Fragile items could be broken, even by someone accidently knocking into them.

Remove prescription drugs from the medicine chest.  They can be stored in a safe or even taken with you during showings.

Keep personal data locked up and out of sight.  This includes banking information, credit card statements, social security cards and more.

Never leave weapons in the home.  It’s best to remove all weapons, but at a minimum they should be locked up in a secure safe.

Use security cameras.  Put up a sign that shows they are in use to deter unwanted activity.

Check doors and windows after every showing.  Be sure they are locked for your security.

Following these tips should minimize your security risk while your house is for sale helping to make the experience a pleasurable one.

If you would like to see this blog in video form, please click this link Safety Tips for Sellers

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.




Real Estate

Should a buyer move into a home before closing?


Occasionally a buyer will ask to move into their new home before the final settlement or closing has happened.  Maybe the home they are selling closed a few days earlier or maybe they just want to move a few items into the new house to make their move less complicated.

Should the seller allow the buyer to move into the home before closing?

The short answer is no, absolutely not.  An early move in could have negative consequences for the buyer and the seller.

What happens if something breaks?  Who is responsible for the repair?  The seller normally would be responsible for keeping the home in the same condition it was in when the home went under contract, but what if the seller believes the buyer was the one who broke the item?

What if there is a fire or a pipe burst and the home floods?  Who is responsible?

What if the buyer decides to get a head start on repairing or remodeling the home by removing the carpet or tearing out the cabinets?  If the home does not close the sellers will have to repair the home before they can sell it to another buyer.

What if the buyer suddenly experiences buyer’s remorse?  They may find small things wrong with the house they “didn’t notice before” and ask for new items to be repaired before closing.  They could even decide they no longer want the home, now what?

What if the buyer’s loan is not approved?  Occasionally loans are denied at the last minute.  If that happens how is the seller going to remove the buyer from their home?

It is not in the best interests of the sellers or the buyers to allow an early move in.  If both parties decide they want to allow an early move in they should consult an attorney to draft a “pre-occupancy” agreement detailing the responsibilities of each party to protect their best interests.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.




Real Estate

What happens when you inherit a home?

testament-1183175_960_720Have you inherited a home or is there a chance you will inherit one in the future?  Are you prepared to make the decisions will need to be made?

Hopefully the person you inherited the home from left a will explaining what their wishes were.  Not everyone takes this step though.  A recent example of dying without a will happened over the summer when Aretha Franklin died.

If there is no will or trust set up for the estate, an executor is usually appointed to make most of these decisions along with members of the family.

These decisions include-

  1. Will you keep the property, rent it out, or sell it?
  2. If you decide to keep the property, can you care for it properly?  If it becomes an investment property, can you manage the estate if it is rented out?
  3. What is the fair market value of the home?  This important information will be needed if one or more of the heirs wish to sell the home and the other heirs want to keep it.  The person who wants to keep the home will have to purchase the interest of the other party.
  4. Is the home in good condition, or does it need to be renovated or repaired before selling?  Often if the original homeowner was elderly or ill they may have not been able to maintain the home.
  5. What happens to the furniture inside the home?  Will it be divided up among the heirs or should it be sold?
  6. What if there is a mortgage on the home?  Can you maintain the mortgage or do you need to sell the home to pay the mortgage?

As you can see there are a lot of decisions that need to be made when you inherit a home.  Hopefully there is a will in place to help guide your decisions.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.