Posts Tagged ‘house’

What Does It Really Mean To Be “Represented” by a REALTOR®?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Loved this article!  I  hope you do too!  We, as Realtors, really DO work hard and care about your home purchase or sale.  Have a great week!  Julie

What Does It Really Mean To Be “Represented” By A REALTOR®?

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 8:05am.

When I started the home buying process for the first time, my wife and I found a home that we wanted to see fairly early on. We called the number listed and talked to someone who said that they would meet us at the property. This was a Realtor. I had no idea what a Realtor actually did. I just knew that they had the keys to the property and I had to contact them to see it in person. My wife was more familiar with real estate at the time, having had a career in the Title Insurance Industry. She explained to me that a Realtor would “represent” us and help us look at all the homes that we were interested in. I never fully understood what the benefit of being “represented” meant.

What does Having a realtor represent you really mean?

Years later I would decide to get my real estate license and pursue a career in real estate. I soon realized that buying and selling real estate can feel like walking through a mine field as a Realtor. There are 99 problems that can go wrong in a real estate transaction. Good Realtors predict problems ahead of time and take care of them so that they never impact their clients. It’s a part of “representing” people. It’s a unique job that requires strong work ethics and a true heart for our clients.

When a Realtor represents you, it means that they put your interests above their own. They use their knowledge and skills to help you in every way that they can. One of the ways that Realtors help consumers is by simplify the process. If a Realtor told you everything that they do behind the scenes, you would get exhausted listening to them. You would be bored half way through as well. We do a lot of researching, coordinating, communicating, and planning behind the scenes. I spend far more time working behind the scenes for my clients than I do when I when I meet with them. I don’t talk to my clients about everything that I do because it’s not about me. It’s about them, 100%. I want to listen to what they have to say and I only interject when I have useful information that may help them.

A good Realtor will make the home buying and selling process feel easy. They will shield you from the internal drama involved with negotiations, inspections, mortgage issues, title issues, and so on. For this reason, some people do not know how well they are being “represented” because it’s all being taken care of for them. That’s why I wanted to write this article. I want to put the spotlight on “representation” by covering some major benefits that are important to understand. It’s a topic that is at the heart of the client/Realtor relationship.

I understand that not all Realtors do a good job of “representing” their clients. I got into this business after having a few bad Realtor experiences myself. The truth is that there are some wonderful Realtors out there. When I had my bad Realtor experiences, it was because I didn’t do my homework and I just settled for the first Realtor that I met. It a common rookie home buyer mistake. In this article, I am going to focus on the traits and characteristics of a GOOD Realtor. There are plenty of good Realtors in your area. You can use this article as a guide to help you determine how good your Realtor is, if you’re not sure. Are you experiencing these 4 benefits mentioned below?

4 Main Benefits of being represented by a realtor


1.) Being Understood

Being Understood By Your Realtor or Real Estate AgentBeing “represented” by a Realtor means that you
have an advocate who is putting themselves in your shoes. They will listen intently to you. They want as much information about your situation as possible so that they can best help you. Good Realtors are competitious. They will do everything they can to earn your respect and win you over so that you will use them again in the future. Understanding our clients needs and wants is essential for success in this business.

We work hard to understand you and your needs. Each of my home buying and selling clients are different. Some may want to list their house for sale and need advice on staging and adding upgrades to get the best value. Others may be relocating due to military orders and need to find a house in the next 7 days. Everyones situation is different. They all require special attention to make sure that their needs are met and their expectations are exceeded. If your Realtor truly understands you and your situation, you are in good hands!

 


2.) Being Protected

Being Protected By Your RealtorBeing “represented” by a Realtor means that your interests are being protected. If you tell your Realtor that you want a house within a certain price range, they’ll make sure to keep you grounded if you start to venture off looking at higher priced homes. They will also remind you of your main home search criteria points if you start to get distracted by less practical homes. They will protect your information and only communicate details to other 3rd parties as you direct them. They will step in anytime there is a problem and resolve it as you advise, protecting you from direct conflict.

I was recently working with some home buyer clients and we were at a builders office. This builder was being pushy and trying to extract too much information from my clients. I stepped in and asked the builder to submit her questions to me in writing and we would go through and answer them as needed later on. Later, my buyers thanked me for doing that. They said they felt cornered and didn’t know how to respond. Good Realtors dedicate their time to learn about their clients. They are serious about protecting them when any threats or complications arise. This allows our clients to feel empowered and confident in the marketplace.

 


3.) Insider Knowledge

Your Realtor is a Library of Local KnowledgeA good Realtor is an experienced professional with many years of insider knowledge. If you have already bought and sold a home before, then you probably learned a lot about the real estate process. Imagine doing that over 50 times every year. Can you image the amount of knowledge you would acquire with each transaction? This is the benefit of having an experienced Realtor. They have insider knowledge from helping hundreds of home buyers and sellers. Ask as many questions as possible and utilize this resource as much as you can. It’s one of the greatest benefits to hiring a good Realtor.

Many think of “insider knowledge” as knowing which neighborhoods have the lowest crime rates, or which schools are best. This is a common misconception. Realtors are not supposed to comment on their opinions of neighborhoods or schools. It’s considered “steering” by the Federal Fair Housing Act. We can direct you to resources to find all the information that you would need to best answer those questions. Our knowledge of the transaction processes, contract preparation, and local real estate statistics are our most valuable assets to you. Understanding how to put a fair offer together to get the best deal is invaluable. Knowing how to negotiate specific details into a transaction are essential. Helping our clients understand current market statistics and what it means for their situation is much appreciated by consumers.

 


4.) Mediator Leverage

Realtor Negotiating LeverageHaving someone “represent” you means that you can sit back and direct them as you choose during negotiations. It’s much easier to make important real estate decisions when you don’t have to deal with the stress and emotion of delivering the information. This is your negotiating leverage when you have a Realtor representing you. Your Realtor will be delivering all the details as you direct them to, using their experience to gain you the best outcome. They are your personal spokesperson for your negotiations and transaction details.

Realtors will also prepare you for the different scenarios that you might expect from the other party, based on your requests. As a home buyer, it’s easy to get greedy and want the best price possible, along with other items in the property that belong to the sellers. As a seller, it’s easy to give in and accept the first offer that comes out of pure exhaustion form the home selling process. A good Realtor will keep you grounded and help you understand your true negotiating position. They will help you to predict how the other party will respond to your requests. They will also package and deliver your requests in such a way that will yield the highest likelyhood of being accepted. It’s a delicate balance that takes years to perfect. Having the leverage of a good Realtor to mediate your transaction can save you thousands of dollars and some unnecessary lost sleep.

 


Final Thoughts

Realtor “representation” was created because people both needed and wanted the service. It will always be a service that people need, whether they know it, or not. Like many consumers, I did not know that I needed these things when I first worked with a Realtor.  Real estate is a tricky business that requires constant learning, serious dedication, and a true heart for the people we work with. If you are being represented by a Realtor, take notice of the four benefits mentioned above. It will help you to know how to best respond to your Realtor throughout the process. When you know what our job is all about, you can use us to your greatest advantage.

Realtors are people just like you. We are happy beyond description when we have raving clients. We are wounded to the core when our clients do not feel like they are getting the best service. We spend a lot of time thinking about consumer needs and how we can better serve them. We are also consumers ourselves and pay attention to business details everywhere we go. Many of us are pillars of the community, serving on local boards and helping to further our areas. Real estate is the most “local” industry that I can think of. It’s all about our area and our city. Realtors who understand this usually collaborate well with each other and enjoy the challenge of this rewarding career. Hiring a good Realtor to “represent” your interests is the greatest resource you have to achieve your real estate goals.

Mother/Daughter–Parallel lives

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

It’s uncanny how lives can be so similar at times.  Two people who live in two different states, going through so many of the same things.  My daughter and I both just moved to new houses and new lives in new towns.

10360244_10152160368227844_3007280055751781245_nMy daughter Jill just graduated from Wayne State College in May.  She and her husband (they just got married last June) picked up and moved to Cambridge, Nebraska.  Cambridge is a small town in western Nebraska with a population of about 1000 people.  Jill’s husband, Dexter, took an Industrial Tech teaching position there at the high school.   Jill, an Elementary Ed teacher, will be substituting this year while waiting for an anticipated opening next year in the same school system.    They just got done moving and unpacking into a cute rental house in town, and are meeting new neighbors and friends as they discover their new surroundings.   Jill is also writing a blog about her moving experiences and trials and tribulations of beginning a new life chapter (like mother, like daughter).   Here is the link to her blog: http://improvisethislife.wordpress.com/.

And of course I just moved to Atlantic last September and started blogging my journey through it.  And just a few weeks ago, Mark and I bought a new house here.  We decided that to truly begin this life together as a couple we should make a fresh start and leave the past in the past.   We are making this new house ours and I love it!   So… the past several weeks have been spent packing, moving and now unpacking just like Jill and Dex.  No wonder I haven’t written a blog post in over a month!    A big shout out to the young men who helped us actually move our stuff from one house to another.  Mark lined up about 6 college-aged guys to do the heavy lifting and they worked hard all day.  We are so grateful for their strong backs and hard work!   It’s still a transition and we will be unpacking for the next several weeks I’m sure, but when I get stressed I just look at the view from our deck and it calms me.

backyard

Jill and I also compare some of the small town-isms and new couple-isms that we both notice.  Dexter is also from a small town, like Mark.  We both notice that the men need ‘meat’ in all of their meals.  Jill and I would be completely content to eat mac and cheese for lunch and call it a meal, but both Dex and Mark would want ham, sausage or at least a hot dog with it!    And Jill was surprised that the grocery store in Cambridge said she could put items ‘on credit’ and pay them off later.  That is unheard of in the big cities we are used to!  Mark does the same thing here at the local hardware store.  Crazy to us city girls and wonderful at the same time!  🙂

It’s fun to have someone going through the adjustment of small town life at the same time so we can compare notes and giggle about it together.  It’s great to know that my daughter understands my life changes and adventures as much as I understand hers.  It’s good we have each other.

Julie

Top-10 List of New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

This is a great article about taking care of your home this year! Enjoy!
Julie

HouseLogic’s Top-10 List of New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

By: John Riha

Published: December 30, 2011

When the new year arrives, promises and resolutions abound. Here’s the top-10 list of what the resolute home owner should accomplish this year.

Ready for 2012? Here it comes:

1. Lose weight (cut energy use)
2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)
3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements)
4. Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)
5. Get organized (de-clutter)
6. Volunteer (support your community)
7. Drink less (curb home water use)
8. Spend more time with the family (share home improvement projects)
9. Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)
10. Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)

1. Lose weight (cut energy use)

Your house is a glutton, gobbling energy like a starved elephant. Gain control by trimming energy use.

A good place to start is your HVAC ductwork. Ducts are notorious energy-wasters, leaking your heating and cooling air through holes and loose connections.

Sealing and insulating your ductwork can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20%, saving you $200 per year or more, according to Energy Star. You’ll make your home more comfortable, and a more-efficient system helps extend the life of your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump.

Because ducts are usually hidden inside walls, ceilings, attics, and crawl spaces, sealing and insulating them may be a difficult and time-consuming DIY job. If you can’t reach all your ducts, concentrate on those that are accessible.

Use duct sealant — called mastic — or metal-backed tape to seal the seams, holes, and connections. Don’t use the confusingly named “duct tape,” which won’t provide a permanent solution. Be sure to seal connections at vents and floor registers — these are likely places for leaks to occur.

After sealing your ducts, wrap them in fiberglass insulation. Most hardware stores and home improvement centers have insulation wrap products made for ducts.

A professional heating and cooling contractor will charge $1,000 to $4,000 for the work, including materials, depending on the size of your home and accessibility to your ducts.

Insulating your ductwork may qualify for a rebate from your state or local municipality. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)

The EPA lists indoor air quality as one of the top environmental health hazards. That’s because indoor air is full of potential contaminants, such as dust, mold spores, pollen, and viruses. The problem is at its worst during winter, when windows and doors are shut tight.

You can help eliminate harmful lung irritants in your home with these maintenance and improvement tips:
Maintain your HVAC system and change furnace filters regularly. Use the highest-quality filters you can afford ($10-$20) and change every month during peak heating and cooling seasons.
Keep indoor air pristine by using low-VOC paints when you remodel your rooms.
Use localized ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms to remove cooking fumes, smoke, and excess humidity. Make sure ventilation systems exhaust air to the outside of your home, rather than your attic crawl space or between ceiling joists.
In fireplaces and wood stoves, burn real firewood rather than pressed wood products that may contain formaldehyde.
Use a portable air cleaner to help cleanse the air in single rooms. Portable air cleaner types include mechanical air filters, electrostatic precipitators, ion generators, and ultraviolet lamps.

Note that each type of air cleaner is designed to remove specific pollutants; no portable air cleaner removes all pollutants. Be wary of air cleaners that generate ozone — a known lung irritant.

3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements)

Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance helps prevent overspending, and encourages you to put aside money for major replacements — such as new roofing or a kitchen appliance — that come up every few years.

Protect your home finances by knowing how much you’ll probably spend each year. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau says that average annual maintenance and home improvement expenditures are about $3,300 per household. Leading lending institutions agree; HSH Associates and LendingTree.com place average costs of yearly maintenance and upkeep at 1% to 3% of your home’s initial price.

That means the owner of a $250,000 home should budget between $2,500 to $7,500 each year for upkeep and replacements. Have extra at the end of the year? Save it for more costly upkeep and replacement items down the road — you’ll probably need it then.

4. Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)

Want a little education that goes a long way toward your financial health? Learning how to improve your insurance score can help you keep your home insurance premiums from getting out of hand. Here are a couple of easy lessons:
Letting credit card debt build up is a black mark on your credit history — and an indicator that you’re likely to file an insurance claim. The more claims, the higher risk you appear to be to insurance agencies, which lowers your insurance score. Low scores mean higher rates for home insurance.
Keep payments on loans up-to-date. Don’t miss payment deadlines; if you do, notify your lender that your payment is forthcoming. Delinquent payments signal insurers that you can’t manage your money — resulting in a lower insurance score.

Need some Home Owner 101? Any time is a good time to bone up on basic home maintenance skills.

5. Get organized (de-clutter)

No excuses — that clutter has got to go! Start by creating more storage space so you can stash stuff easily.

At wit’s end for new storage space? You’ve probably got storage solutions you didn’t know you had. Put up a high shelf between the walls of a narrow hallway, and tuck storage in out-of-the-way nooks, such as under-stairs spaces and between wall studs.

If your small home is pinched for space, don’t despair: There’s still room for storage. Shoe organizers ($20) do more than hold shoes — use them to store keys, notepads, and cell phones. At about $300 per drawer, have a cabinetmaker install drawers in the toe kicks of your kitchen cabinets for napkins, cookie sheets, and appliance manuals.

More: Resolution: Put Your House on a Diet

6. Volunteer (support your community)

In a world that often seems topsy-turvy, a little altruism helps restore balance. You can volunteer your time and energy to help others, and at the same time help promote safety and preserve the value of your neighborhood.
A neighborhood watch program fosters a sense of community and helps stop crime. Set up a meeting with neighbors to discuss concerns and priorities. Gather facts to present at the meeting: What kinds of crimes happen nearby? Are there patterns? Ask a local police representative to come to your first meeting to answer questions.
Start a community garden. Bring together neighbors for bonding, eating healthier, and saving on groceries. A 4-by-16-foot raised bed garden plot provides $200-$600 worth of food annually. As the organizer, you can expect to spend 20-30 per month for six months getting your community garden going.

7. Drink less (curb home water use)

Our houses are thirsty. The average household uses about 400 gallons of water each day, or almost $700 per year in water and sewer costs. Making a few simple changes, such as installing EPA-certified WaterSense products, could trim up to $200 from your annual water bill. Add to that energy savings from reduced costs to heat water, and your yearly savings could reach $300 or more per year.
Low-flow showerheads include technology that reduces the amount of flow yet keeps pressure up, resulting in shower streams that are powerful and satisfying. They cost from $10 to $150, and installation is an easy DIY job that takes only minutes.
Replacing your pre-1994, water-guzzling toilet with a low-flow toilet prevents $90 worth of water costs from being flushed away. HE (high-efficiency) toilets use compressed air and electric water pumps to flush with less than 1 gallon of water; older models required up to 8 gallons.

8. Spend more time with family (share home improvement projects)

Spending quality time with your family takes quality planning — but it’s worth the effort. Rally your family around these fun-to-do projects to make every minute count:
Plant a tree. Pile the clan into the family wagon and shop for a tree that’ll become a new member of your family. Have your kids name it and help care for it. You might have to dig the hole, but everyone can take turns adding mulch and watering it. A bonus: planted where its shade will protect your house from summer sun, a $50-$100 tree cuts your yearly energy bill by $100 to $250.
Make a home emergency preparedness kit. Make a scavenger hunt of gathering up all the necessary supplies, such as flashlights, toilet paper, and duct tape, and assemble your kit during an evening together. It’s a good, non-scary way to teach small children about what to do if there’s an emergency.

9. Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)

Looking to trim a little of the old spare tire? Routine home maintenance and repair is a double win — you’ll burn calories while keeping your house in tip-top shape. Try these essential fix-ups and improvements from CalorieLab:
Building a fence: 340 calories per hour
Caulking windows and doors: 280 calories per hour
Cleaning rain gutters: 272 calories per hour
Installing ceramic tile: 238 calories per hour
Interior painting: 136 calories per hour
Chopping firewood: 340 calories per hour
Mowing the lawn: 306 calories per hour
Planting shrubs: 238 calories per hour
General gardening: 204 calories per hour

10. Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)

If you want less to worry about, install low-maintenance materials and products designed for durability and long, trouble-free service.
Fiber-cement siding lasts for 50 years or more. It’s weather-proof, and resists dents, fire, insects, and rot. It’s exceptionally stable, even with changes in humidity, so that paint jobs last longer than on wood and wood-fiber siding products.
LED bulbs last a phenomenal 20,000 to 50,000 hours between changes, or about 18 to 46 years when used for 3 hours each day. Although the initial cost is high (about $40 per bulb), LED bulbs pay for themselves in energy savings in about 10 years.
Classic ceramic tile comes in many colors and textures, but at its heart it’s incredibly tough, stain-resistant, and impervious to moisture. You can count on ceramic tile’s good looks to last for decades on floors and walls without needing repair or replacement.

5 Things that Turn Home Buyers Off…and What a Seller Can Do to Prevent It!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011


I’ve been showing a lot of homes recently, and it never ceases to amaze me at how some homes ‘show’ to a potential buyer. Sellers need to understand that they are competing in the marketplace with other properties and their home needs to stand out in order to get an offer. Here are 5 big turn-offs that make a potential homebuyer cringe at the thought of your home, and steps you can take to correct it!

1. Dirty, crowded and smelly houses. Ok so this is a no-brainer, but yet I consistently walk into homes that look like they just had a big party with children and pets and didn’t have time to clean up afterward.

What a seller should do: Only show your house in tip-top shape. Think back on when you looked at homes and how one home stood out above the others. Dishes need to be done and the kitchen counter should be free of clutter. Put the coffee maker, mixer or canister set away for now…even store it in the dishwasher during the day if you have to! Dirty laundry should be off the floor. Rooms need to feel open…take out a piece of furniture from a room and store it if it looks too busy. Remove the figurines and knick-knacks from the desk tops. And above all else, control pet odors. I have had buyers step into a house only to turn around and walk out without even looking at the property because of pet smells. We love our pets, but this is a time that you have to be super-diligent. If you can let someone else watch them while you have your house on the market, great! If not, vacuum often. Clean the backyard and litter box every day. Use Febreeze!

2. Seller in the home. I know you personally want to show the buyer how you just painted your bathroom lime green and talk about how great the neighbors are, but buyers want time alone to talk between themselves or their agent. And what you find lovely about your home may be a negative to them.

What a seller should do: Leave the home for showings. Or step onto the back porch or take a walk around the block (take your pet with you) while a potential homebuyer is looking. If they have questions, they will ask their agent and you will be notified through your agent.

3. Irrational pricing. Yes, you want to make money on your home. And yes, you spent a lot for the new landscaping, you want a trip to Europe and you want to get a certain amount of money from the sale of the house to pay for your new dream home. The next buyer doesn’t care. What they see is an overpriced property in a market where the buyer has their pick of homes. They will just move on to the house down the street that IS priced well.

What a seller should do: Do your research. Get real. Get a few opinions from multiple agents. Hire an agent who knows the neighborhood and the market, and don’t take it personally when they suggest a list price that is lower than you expect. If you owe more than your home will most likely sell for, consider working with your bank on a short sale. If your home needs paint or a new roof, don’t price it the same as the one down the street that doesn’t need those things and still expect it to sell. Go look at homes in your neighborhood and see for yourself what other comparable homes are selling for. Does yours compete? Don’t be tempted to price it higher for awhile thinking that a buyer will lowball you anyway. Buyers are smart and will just wait until the price drops and you become ‘desperate’ for any offer. Price it competitively from the beginning.

4. Photographs of your home. Keep them real. Make them relevant. Buyers want to see the home online before they go see it in person and it should look similar when they do!

What a seller should do: Take a lot of pictures of your home, or have your agent or a professional photographer do it. Post them online. Photos should be clear, in focus, and should show a particular feature of the home. Please don’t show the corner of each bedroom so that the buyer can say, “Yep, that’s a corner!” And don’t take a picture of the laundry room with dirty clothes on the floor, or of the kitchen with food or dishes out. I recently saw a picture in the MLS with eggs in a frying pan on the stove. Obviously breakfast was a priority…not selling their home. Make sure there are plenty of pictures of the outside of the house, the kitchen and the living areas. If you live on a lake or walking path, make sure you have pictures of the views from your yard.

5. Ugly home improvements. Not everyone has the same taste in decorating. I’ve had buyers walk into a property expecting to see these great home improvements that were bragged about in the MLS listing only to have their heart sink when they find that the marble flooring in the bathroom is bright pink, or the new carpet in the living room is a lovely shade of kelly green (and the buyer hates golf). I understand that a seller wants to make these improvements with frugality in mind and maybe the carpet was on sale, but there is a point that you are hindering, not helping the selling process.

What a seller should do: If you’re getting the house ready for sale, check with a professional before making any home improvements. Realtors and Stagers have a good feel for what buyers in the current market are wanting when it comes to colors and materials. They may suggest a few minor improvements that will make a big impact over a major remodel. And remember that neutral finishes will appeal to the largest possible range of buyer tastes.

Now I hope I don’t see these mistakes this weekend when I’m out with buyers! Let’s get them sold!

Hidden Fees When Buying a Home

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I often get asked how much it really costs when buying a home. What expenses do I need to plan for?

Well obviously there is the purchase price of the home, generally put into a 30 year loan. Your lender will explain the interest rate, tax and insurance escrows, appraisal fee, PMI, and closing costs. These fees are expected.
What isn’t always expected are the extra fees involved in home ownership.

When you write an offer on a home, you need to give an earnest deposit with your offer. A typical earnest deposit is about 1% or more of the price of the home you are writing an offer on. It’s your money and will be applied to your closing costs at closing unless you decide to walk away from the offer for no reason. In that case, the Seller gets to keep that money.

A home inspection is another cost that is well worth the money. As the Buyer, you will pay for your own home inspection. They can range from $250 to $500 depending on the size of the house. Once you receive the report from the inspector you may ask the seller to make repairs to the property, but they may or may not make those repairs. At that point it is all negotiable between you and the seller. In some instances repair costs are split between the seller and the buyer.

Another cost might be a Radon inspection. This costs about $125 and is done at the time of the home inspection. If Radon levels are found to be high, then you can ask the seller to install a radon mitigation system. Sometimes the cost of the system (about $800) is split between the seller and the buyer.
Home Owner Associations (HOA) charge another annual fee. A lot of subdivisions have these associations in place to make sure that their neighborhoods are well maintained. HOA fees can range from $30/year to several hundred a year, depending on the neighborhood. So this is something you definitely want to ask your Realtor about once you decide on a home. If you are considering a condo, townhome or villa, then there are monthly association fees that pay for lawn care and snow removal as well.

Of course once you get into your home you have your monthly utilities. You will be paying for electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash removal and most likely cable and telephone services. All of which can add up to several hundred dollars per month.

Of course there may be many other little things that come up in the course of buying a home, but being flexible with negotiations helps things move along smoothly. I also strongly recommend working with a buyer’s agent who knows your market and can help guide you through the entire process.

So is it worth it? Absolutely! There is nothing like owning your own home.

Staging DOES make a difference!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Before

After

Before

After

I was talking with fellow agents in my office this week, and I heard an interesting story. One agent who is also a ‘stager’ of homes, had just picked up a listing that was previously on the market for 5 months with another agent. As she walked through the home, she made suggestions to them about how make their home more marketable. She had them tear down any wallpaper and re-paint with a warm neutral color. They replaced all of their shiny brass light fixtures and plumbing hardward with brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. They installed new stainless steel appliances. They also un-cluttered their house by removing a piece of furniture from every room and making sure surfaces like kitchen and bathroom counters were clean and clear of normal everyday ‘stuff’. The results were amazing, and the house has had multiple offers within the first few weeks at a higher price.