House flipping is back in season now that the freeze on production of construction materials is over! Because of that, many first-time flippers are coming face to face with their first buyers.
This can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a background in sales, so it’s important to know how to steer a conversation and how to answer questions so that they’ll trust you. These are some of the most common questions you’ll get asked in this role: and why it’s important to answer as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
How Old is the Roof?
The age of the roof will sway them on whether or not they think buying this property is worth it solely because many buyers don’t want to have to invest the capital in replacing a roof so soon after purchasing a house. It’s a good idea to replace your roof before you list a home, but sometimes it’s not necessary.
Be honest with buyers, and if they ask, tell them the material of the roof, how long that material usually lasts, and then the roof’s age. Doing it in any other order can leave them worried and not listening to you. For instance, if you start by saying the roof is thirty years old, they might panic: lead with the fact that it’s a terracotta roof, which on average can last fifty to seventy years. That gives them twenty to forty years to ignore that the roof is even there.
How Much Does it Cost to Change the Driveway?
If they don’t like the driveway, or it’s cracked, they may ask, “How much does it cost to gravel a driveway?” They may be worried that it’ll cost them a lot and might try to talk you down on the value of the home. The average cost is between $1,500 to $6,000: about $2 to $5 per square foot.
Let them know it’s an inexpensive project to complete: and their response will likely depend on the market. In a buyers’ market, they may ask you to achieve that work or to take it off the house’s value. If you’re in a sellers’ market, they may try to haggle with you, but you’ll have the upper hand and won’t necessarily need to do this.
Can This House Handle the Local Storms?
Stormy weather is scary, especially in the modern-day when you can never tell what’s going on with the weather. Because of this, it’s a good idea to have the home already outfitted with hurricane-grade windows or other items that can protect it against the gusting wind and rain.
If they ask what’s going on with the home’s weather protection, be honest. Some states require you to disclose flooding, while others don’t, but it’s generally better for your trustability, to be honest if it has flooded.
What Type of Siding Does the House Have?
Siding is as large of a question for homes as the roofs are. Buyers want to know that the siding is waterproof, air-tight, and helps block out everything from noise pollution to insect life. Be clear on what type of siding the home has, how much time is left on it, and sell them on why that’s an awesome type of siding. The longer amount of time left on the siding, the better, since that means the buyer doesn’t have to struggle with the idea of possibly replacing it any time soon.
If your siding is out of date, flip the script and let them know this gives them the chance to get whatever type of siding they want, in any color or style, which allows them to customize their home a little bit when they finally move in. This turn of phrase can sometimes help. Otherwise, walking through the cost to install fiber cement siding can help.
Was Liquid Flashing Applied?
Liquid flashing is an awesome way to seal the home fully. It’s generally good practice to apply this, although not every house flipper or construction team does. Be honest about it, and if they want it and you’re in a buyers’ market, consider giving it to them. If you’re in a sellers’ market, offer to up the price of the home to cover it so that they can have it done before they move in.
What Was the Biggest Issue With the Home?
This is a question that can be stressful if you’ve never sold a property before. Right now if you’re selling and you were held up by the supply chain: you can be honest about that! That saves you from naming a problem with the home. Otherwise, try to pick an issue that is easy to fully resolve and has no risk of any lasting problems with the property.
Buyers Will Ask Dozens of Questions
Although you put tons of work and time into this property, it can feel belittling when someone starts picking it apart and asking you dozens of questions. Be attentive, answer every question honestly, and you’ll close the sale in no time.
Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.