Working With Real Estate Agents
August 28, 2016
In today’s world, many buyers wonder if its necessary to use a real estate agent. Why pay them when you find most of the houses yourself anyway? With the internet available to buyers, they usually find homes that the like and ask the realtor when they can see them. Sure, a real estate agent has access to the MLS, but websites such as Zillow and Trulia show many more houses than the MLS listings the realtor emails them. However, you should be aware that real estate agents have knowledge of houses that haven’t been listed yet that might fit your needs.
Aside from the fact, that they know more about the market value than you do, as well as how to negotiate. Negotiation is one of the most important tools when it comes to buying a home. Also, some of the listings you find online can be outdated, which means you might spend hours finding homes that have been sold. Other times, you find homes that you like but don’t know much about the area.
When you show the home to your realtor, she lets you know that the home is in one of the worst areas in town. A realtor can save you a lot of time. The issue with todays buyers is that they are so “afraid of missing out” and want to see everything that is out there, and the internet is a great tool for that. But do not underestimate the value of working with a real estate agent. If you opt to work with one, you’ll be spending lots of time together on the phone, through e-mail, and in person. Here are some things you should be aware of when working with one.
Real estate agents get paid on commission. They are only paid if your house sells, or if you buy a house. There are so many buyers that act like they are going to buy a house but don’t plan to. This is why realtors can be skeptical of you. It’s nothing personal, its just that they get burned a lot. They have a life too and are also trying to make money. Be sure that you know your budget, and do not ask your realtor to show you homes that you know you cannot afford.
Make sure you are reliable. You aren’t your realtors only client! They need more than one client to make a decent income. They have to sell many houses in order to make a comfortable living. When they make time for you, be present, and available.
Be sure to choose a good realtor, as you’ll be working very closely with them for a while. Set communication expectations before you begin working together. Let them know whether you prefer to talk through the phone, or e-mail. See what they prefer as well. Also be sure to not “cheat” on your realtor. It is not wise to go to other realtors for help. The real estate community is small, and most of the agents all know each other in some way or the other, and you can bet that your realtor will catch wind of it.
Pools: Safety, Liability, and the Homeowner’s Warranty
August 28, 2016
Tread lightly (no pun intended!) when purchasing a home with a pool. You should never, ever assume that the pool currently meets the homeowner’s association requirements. This is very important if you wish to have coverage, and you definitely do.
Be sure that the pool meets regulations regarding safety, as well. For example, one safety requirement was introduced about a decade back that states that drain covers must be fitted in order to avoid any injuries. Perhaps the pool in the house you are looking at does not meet that requirement. Do not assume that the pool is up-to-date regarding regulations.
Having a pool means that you are going to have to take extra precaution when trying to get home insurance. You must make sure that the coverage is enough to pay for any repairs that your pool might need. It’s important to read the fine print; don’t skim over it! You must also get liability coverage, as accidents can happen anywhere at any time; and the pool is not exempt from that chance.
Also find out whether the current homeowner has had any maintenance problems with the pool. You don’t want to purchase the house, and then find out that there are problems with it. If you aren’t crazy about the design of the pool, renovation is always an option if you really love the house and the idea of the pool.
The moral of the story here, is to collect as much information as possible about the history and current condition of the pool before moving forward with the purchase of the home.
Does No Garage Make Resale Impossible?
August 28, 2016
There is no certain way to answer to this question. However, buyers do love to see a nice garage. If you don’t have one, it doesn’t mean that your house will never sell, but it can affect that. Every house has different components. One buyer may be willing to sacrifice a garage if there is a master bathroom that they are obsessed with. It depends on which things are important to a buyer. On the other hand, if they’re interested in your house, but aren’t “in love,” a garage could sway their mind in a positive direction. You really never know.
Also, if the home is in a ‘shadier’ neighborhood, a garage will definitely help the sale. It will make the buyer feel more at ease, as they know they won’t be walking to and from their car on the street. Here are a few other positive aspects of having a garage:
1) This means a potential extra bedroom, which can sometimes add thousands to the purchase price of the house
2) This new first floor bedroom would appeal to buyers who may have in-laws living with them, for example
3) Even better if there are washer and dryer hookups. Many buyers prefer to have them in the garage, as it means more space on the inside of the house
4) Means an additional living space, which can also add a lot of money to the price
Many buyers have a general idea of what their ‘deal breakers’ are when they begin their house hunt. These days, buyers want roomy master bedroom suites, an updated kitchen, and newly renovated bathrooms. But what about a garage? While you may never have considered this, there are many homebuyers that will not consider a home without a garage.
If you’re getting down, remember this fact: you purchased your home when it didn’t have a garage, so there’s a good chance someone else out there will too. Don’t fret! If a buyer loves the house but is disappointed that there is not a garage, consider offering them a credit. This way, they can build their own if they want. Be flexible; if you want to get your house sold, don’t lose the sale over a garage credit. You’ll have to look at the market. If most of the current homes on the market have a garage, you’re certainly at a disadvantage.
Design Your House to Sell: DIY
August 28, 2016
First impressions last forever. First impressions of a home are determined by how the buyer ‘feels’ when they see the home. What they see and therefore fell, will have a significant impact on that buyer.
Home staging is a tool that you should utilize which will show your home in its best light. It is a psychological secret that will help your home look nicer than it is, which will appeal to buyers subconscious mind. The goal is to make an atmosphere in which the buyer will envision his or herself living there. Here are some great ways to do this:
Now is as good a time as any to begin clearing out your home. Think about it: yore going to have to do it anyway, so why not get a lot of it done now, which will help you sell your house. Pack anything you aren’t using right now. For example, that ski equipment in the garage can go into storage or into your new home if you’ve already purchased it.
Focus most on the most visible areas
The most important rooms to stage are the den, master bedroom, entryway, and kitchen. The foyer is actually the second most important to curb appeal, as it is the first thing a buyer will see when you walk in to the house. Also remember to remove any items that personalize your style.
Plants and flowers are a wonderful way to make an impression of the buyer without them even realizing it. Many sellers don’t even take this trick into account. Its a great idea to have a beautiful vase of peonies for when the buyer walks in to see the home.
Clear out your junk drawer!
Time to do what every homeowner avoids..cleaning out their cabinets and junk drawers! This is particularly irritating for homeowners to do, because these are the areas where we tend to stuff things that we don’t know where else to put. This is why it tends to take so long to clean these areas out. If you don’t have time to, that’s fine. Grab a trash bag, throw it all in there, and keep it somewhere else. Buyers need to see how much space the home has to store their items.
Hire a housekeeper
Your home should be ready to show at all times. If you are really busy, and don’t have time to clean every day, consider hiring a housekeeper to come very frequently, just while you are selling your house. Again, this is only if you are a very messy person without a lot of time on your hands. Otherwise, there’s not much excuse for you to not have your pets toys and your dirty laundry put away.
Set the dining table
Classic home staging tool. Staging the table allows buyers to imagine themselves having a dinner or birthday party. Don’t be afraid to bring out your fine china.
Let the light in
Be sure to draw open all blinds or curtains during the day. A well-lit home makes the rooms appear larger, and also adds a more positive vibe, whereas walking into a dark, dim home with the curtains closed can be a bit depressing.