With buyers’ remorse on the rise in the real estate industry, REALTOR® Kelly Hanson set out to ensure potential homeowners are aware of potential pitfalls – and stay happy with their purchase.
Buying real estate can be an intimidating scenario, and for those unprepared, they could be in for a rude and confusing awakening that’ll ultimately give sellers the upper hand. A home buyer might be wondering what kinds of questions they should be asking in regards to various topics, like insulation or asbestos.
Idaho REALTOR® Kelly Hanson has heard questions like those tenfold, and hopes to help potential homeowners — as well as sellers and agents — with his new e-book, “Be Smart in Real Estate,” which includes over 999 questions buyers should ask before they buy a home and where to get the answers.
Although Hanson has been writing the book his entire 33-year career, it wasn’t until he took a Keller Williams class that he realized it was the right time to follow through on his guide. “That’s when I really kicked it in the butt. [I] sat down, researched all 50 states, talked to REALTORS® all over the country, and started compiling the content for the book. The hundreds of topics are certainly applicable across the country.”
“They buy the house, move into it, and then they find out the electrical panels are defective, [or] there was a leak in the roof that hadn’t leaked in the house yet, but it’s in the attic. They could’ve known that with a home inspector because a home inspector looks at these things, they know what to look for.”
Hanson explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the dissatisfaction, with buyers opting to only view properties over virtual tours. “You’re not standing there in the front room looking out the window, you’re not looking at the homes across the street.”
“You don’t hear that there’s an airport half a mile away or a football stadium or a high school, where the parking flows into your neighborhood. You don’t see any of that stuff. The book brings these questions to mind!”
Hanson pointed out that some buyers are choosing not to do home inspections, which can have consequential ramifications down the road for all parties in the transaction. Nondisclosure issues by sellers and REALTORS® come to mind. A home warranty does not replace a home inspection he teaches.
Hanson explained his book, with all those questions and sources for the answers, will reduce the likelihood of misinformation about the home, in turn reducing the risk for legal issues for everyone.
“Orientation of the home is important regarding the sun’s positioning on the back deck. I hear all too often, ‘I can’t stand my back deck.’ Well, [that’s] because the deck faces a direction making, either the sun heats the deck up too much, or the deck is in the shade. Both are concerns to be aware of.”
“In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. That’s kind of a common statement, but most people just think it just means where is ‘X’ on the map.” While every topic in Hanson’s book can prove invaluable to readers, he stressed knowing the location of the house — and its surroundings — is crucial for potential buyers.
Hanson used his own house as an example of how seemingly minute details can not only cause buyer’s remorse, but impact the value of a property. “If I had bought [the same house] in a different neighborhood, 33 years ago, that’s just a mile away, my house would be worth about $70,000 more [because] it’s a little better neighborhood, there’s three-car garages in that neighborhood, [while] there’s none in my neighborhood.”
Hanson’s home positioning also factors in. “My house faces North, and we’re up here in snow country. In Idaho, the sun goes down at four in the afternoon in December. So my front deck and my driveway, at that time of year, never sees the sun because the sun is so low in the South. It’s shadowed by the house.”
“I’ll be out there chipping ice off my driveway, where my neighbor across the street, his house — which faces South — has a clear driveway. If I had known that when I bought this house 33 years ago, I might not have bought it.”
“People don’t think about these things when they’re buying homes, and that’s what the book prompts them to think about. There are over 100 topics to consider before they buy. Chose to be informed,” Hanson said.
“Real estate is a people business. It’s a people’s business that happens to sell real estate. So you need to know people.”
The recently published online e-book brings to mind questions most buyers, sellers and REALTORS® do not consider. Lack of home buying/selling experience and agents are not taught this in real estate school. It is only learned from decades of experience, research, or a book like this, Hanson explained.
Hanson brings that experience and research to 150 pages of specific information on all the topics that a buyer and REALTOR® could use. It includes 90 home seller tips to make the seller better prepared for the informed home buyer. Hanson added that the book offers tips for FSBO sellers including a script to qualify buyers just like REALTORS® do.
Taking a look at Hanson’s background comes with surprises, and certainly isn’t the typical starting point for a real estate expert. Having been raised on a cattle ranch, some of his early roles included logging, cattle ranching, truck driving, and sawmill work.
Hanson knocked on 50 doors a day, six days a week for his first year in order to make connections, earning the Rookie of the Year award in the process. During that time, Hanson also discovered his niche for buyers.
“I found that I was very bad at listing homes, but I was really good with buyers.” Eventually, Hanson would become a buyer’s specialist, which wasn’t common at the time. “I was the first REALTOR® to get the Accredited Buyers Specialist designation in North Idaho in 1996 because I was kind of [at] the head of the game.”
“It’s important for REALTORS® to better represent their clients. [For] sellers and buyers, [it’s important] that they’re informed. The content of the book is nothing taught in real estate school anywhere. It’s just usually learned by experience, [the] school of hard knocks.”
Though buyers may be Hanson’s bread and butter, he assured the book will benefit any real estate parties – especially his fellow REALTORS®, who could be at risk of being sued and losing their license if they aren’t aware of legal obligations to educate their client buyers and sellers that Hanson covers. “Our clients expect us to tell them what to watch out for.”
“Realtors today, they’re getting into the business, they don’t know any of this stuff,” Hanson said, adding that some of the REALTORS® who he reached out for consultation said they didn’t know many of the points offered in the book. “[In real estate school], it’s all marketing and sales. It’s not the practical stuff.”
As for what’s next, Hanson plans on coming out with another book – although it won’t be focused on real estate. Instead, it’ll detail him and his wife’s love story, whom he fell in love with in sixth grade. According to Hanson, the book will include details from the hundreds of letters they wrote to each other over a 9-month period when their respective parents separated them due to an old family “feud” from the 1930s they were not aware of.
Hanson said the book will be full of teenage tears, laughter, raging emotions, misunderstandings, fights, and stories outlining the separation resulting in nearly 50 decades of marriage. It became their own version of Romeo and Juliet. “We still have all those letters and haven’t read them in 50 years. The stories they will tell,” Hanson stated.
To learn more about Hanson and to purchase “Be Smart in Real Estate,” you can click here.
Andrew Rhoades is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest based in New York. A Saint Joseph’s University graduate, Rhoades’ reporting includes sports, U.S., and entertainment. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.