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Top 10 Myths That Trip Up First-Time Home Buyers

by Lorna Calder


If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably received your share of advice from family and friends. Add to that the constant stream of TV shows, news segments, and social media posts that over-simplify the home buying process for easy entertainment.

With so much information to sift through, it can be tough to distinguish fact from fiction. That’s why we’re revealing the truth behind some of the most common home buyer myths and misconceptions.

Buying a home is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. If you arm yourself with knowledge and a qualified team of support professionals, you’ll be well equipped to make the right choices for your family and financial future.

 

DON’T FALL FOR THESE COMMON HOME BUYER MYTHS

 

Myth #1: You need a 20% down payment.

Plenty of buyers are purchasing homes with down payments that are much less than 20% of the total cost of the property. Today, you can buy a home with as little as 3-5% down.

There are multiple programs out there that allow you to have a lower down payment, and a lender or mortgage broker can talk you through which option is the best for you. Since you’re putting less money down, you’re a riskier borrower to your lender than people who put down a full 20%. Because of this, you will most likely need to pay mortgage insurance as part of your monthly payment.

Myth #2: Real estate agents are expensive.

Your agent is with you every step of the way throughout your home buying journey, and he or she spends countless hours working on your behalf. It sounds like having an agent is expensive, right? Well, not for you. Buyers usually don’t pay a real estate agent’s commission. Your agent’s fee is paid for at closing by the seller of the home you’re buying.1 The seller knows to factor this cost into the property’s total purchase price.

Myth #3: Don’t call a real estate agent until you're ready to buy.

The earlier you bring in an agent to help with the purchasing process, the better. Even if you’re in the very early stages of casually browsing Zillow, a real estate professional can be a huge help.

They can create a search for you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so you get notifications for every house that meets your criteria as soon as it hits the market. The MLS is typically more up-to-date than popular home search sites like Zillow and Trulia. Setting up a search a few months before you’re considering buying gives you a good idea of what’s out there in your town that’s in your budget. Reviewing the MLS and speaking with an agent as soon as possible can help you set realistic expectations for when you actually start the house hunting process.


Myth #4: Fixer-uppers are more budget friendly.

We’ve all watched the shows on HGTV that encourage people to go after fixer-uppers because they’re more affordable and allow buyers to eventually renovate the home to include everything on their wishlist. But, this isn’t always the case.


Sometimes, homes that need a lot of work also require a lot of money. Big renovations, like add-ons, a total kitchen remodel, or installing a pool, take a lot longer than it looks on TV. If you’re really interested in a fixer-upper, ask your agent to show you a mix of newer homes and older homes. If you fall in love with an older home that needs a lot of work, get some quotes from contractors before you buy so you know the real cost of the renovations and see if you can work them into your budget.

Myth #5: Your only upfront cost is your down payment.

Your down payment is big, but it isn’t the only money you’ll spend during the home buying process. At closing, you’ll pay your down payment, but you’ll also bring closing costs to the table. Closing costs are typically anywhere from 2-4% of the total purchase price of the home.2 This amount includes the cost for items like homeowners insurance, title fees, and more.

You’ll also need to pay for an inspection before closing, which usually costs a few hundred dollars. This price will be higher or lower based on the size of your new property. Your lender will also require an appraisal. An appraiser will come in and inspect the home to determine how much it’s worth. Depending on your lender, you may have to pay this when the appraisal is conducted or it might be rolled into your closing costs.

Myth #6: You need a high credit score to buy a house.

You don’t need perfect credit to buy the perfect home. There are loans out there that buyers with lower credit scores can qualify for. These are good options for people who have had credit issues in the past, but some of them come with additional fees you will need to pay. Speak to a few local lenders or mortgage brokers to talk through which options might be best for you.


Myth #7: You can't qualify for a mortgage if you're still paying off student loans.

While some buyers may feel more comfortable paying off their existing debts before taking the leap into homeownership, it’s not a requirement. When you’re applying for a mortgage, the lender takes a close look at your debt-to-income ratio.3 If you want to calculate this on your own, add up all of your monthly debt payments and divide those by your monthly income. When you’re lender does this, they’re trying to make sure that you will be able to afford your monthly mortgage payments along with your other existing payments. If your income is high enough to allow you to make all of these payments each month, having a student loan will most likely not stop you from getting a mortgage.

Myth #8: You should base your budget on what your lender approves.

How much house you qualify for and how much you can afford are two totally different numbers. When you prequalify for a mortgage, your lender will look at your income, debt, assets, credit score, and financial history to determine how much money you might qualify for.4 For some people, this number might be much higher than you thought because lenders tend to approve for the highest amount they think you can afford. But that doesn’t mean that’s how much you should borrow.

Instead, figure out how much house you can actually afford. An online mortgage calculator can be a good first step in determining this number. We recommend thinking about what you want your monthly payment to be as a starting point. And remember to include your principal, interest, taxes, and, insurance. You should also think about ownership expenses that aren’t part of your monthly payment, like HOA dues and maintenance.


Myth #9: It's all about location.

You’ve heard the phrase. Location, location, location is basically the real estate industry’s motto, but we’ll let you in on a little known secret: It’s not always true. Yes, location is great to consider when it comes to school districts and commute times, but you also need to think about how the home will function for you and/or your family’s lifestyle. If a family of five is choosing between a one bedroom condo in the bustling city center and a 4-bedroom home out in the suburbs, the latter is probably the best, most functional choice for them. Also, by buying in a less sought after neighborhood, your property taxes will most likely be much lower!

Obviously, you might still want to choose an area with great resale potential, and this is something that your agent can speak to you about. They’re an expert in your city and are constantly monitoring buying and selling trends.

Myth #10: If you look hard enough, you'll find a home that checks every box on your wishlist.

You’ve seen that famous house hunting show. And while we have our suspicions about how real it is, the one thing they get right is that almost every buyer needs to compromise on something. Yes, the perfect house that meets every item on your wishlist is probably out there, but it’s also probably double or triple your budget.

A long wishlist can be a great starting point for figuring out what you want and don’t want, but we recommend narrowing that wishlist down to the top five things that are important to you in order of priority. We also recommend noting on your wishlist what your absolute deal breakers are, like “must have a yard for our dog,” and noting what you can live without, like “heated bathroom floors.”

This is a great list to discuss when you first start talking to an agent. A good real estate agent will be able to look at your list and find properties that might work for you. By coming to that first meeting with realistic expectations and knowledge about home buying rather than a bunch of myths heard here and there, you’ll be able to start the process off on the right foot and be in your new house in no time.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, there’s no reason to go through the home buying process without an advocate on your side. We’re here to answer your questions and do the hard work for you, so you can spend your time dreaming about your new home. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Get a FREE copy of our Home Buyer’s Guide to Getting Mortgage Ready

Now that we’ve cleared up these common homebuyer myths, find out if you know the steps you should take to prepare financially before you apply for a mortgage. Contact us to request a complimentary copy of our “Home Buyer’s Guide to Getting Mortgage Ready.”


Sources:

  1. Realtor.com - https://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/realtor-fees-closing-costs/
  2. The Balance - https://www.thebalance.com/buyer-s-closing-costs-1798422
  3. StudentLoanHero - https://studentloanhero.com/featured/student-loans-buying-house/
  4. Zillow - https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/pre-qualification-vs-pre-approval

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

by Lorna Calder

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowners insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be financially protected if disaster strikes.

A homeowners insurance policy covers your home—as well as the belongings in it—in case of theft, accidental damage, or certain natural disasters. In fact, most financial institutions require that you purchase homeowners insurance before they issue a mortgage. While coverage varies, most policies also help to protect you from liability should someone outside your household become injured on your property. And that liability coverage is often extended to include damage you (or anyone living in your household) may do to someone else’s property.1

With all the protection offered, it’s equally important to understand what a home insurance policy does NOT cover. For example, homeowners insurance won’t pay to repair malfunctioning systems and appliances within your home. And terms vary, but standard policies typically exclude coverage related to floods, earthquakes, slow leaks, power failure, neglect, aging, faulty repairs or construction materials, and acts of war.2

Homeowners Insurance Covers Things Like:

  • Structure
  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Furniture/Personal Belongings
  • Liability for Non-Residents Injured on Property
  • Liability for Damage or Injury Caused by You or Your Pets

Most Standard Policies DON’T Cover:

  • Malfunctioning Systems & Appliances
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Slow Leaks
  • Power Failures
  • Neglect or Aging
  • Faulty Repairs
  • Acts of War

NARROWING THE COVERAGE GAP

So how do you minimize your risk when so many potential issues are excluded from a standard homeowners policy? Many insurers offer supplemental coverage options that can be tacked on to a basic policy. We explore this further in the section below on “7 Tips for Purchasing Homeowners Insurance.”

Some homeowners also choose to purchase a home warranty, which covers many of the systems and appliances in your home that are NOT covered by homeowners insurance. Home warranties are separate from homeowners insurance, so if interested you’ll need to seek out a policy through a dedicated provider.

While terms vary, a home warranty will often pay to repair or replace components of your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and some appliances that fail due to age or typical wear and tear. Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties aren’t required by mortgage companies. But many homeowners like the added financial protection and peace of mind that home warranties provide.3

Keep in mind, if you do purchase a home warranty, you will still be responsible for paying a service fee, or deductible, every time you use it. And you will be limited to using service providers who are contracted through your home warranty company.
 

7 TIPS FOR PURCHASING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

Whether you’re shopping for a new policy on your first home or you’re considering switching providers on an existing policy, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not all insurance policies—or providers—are created equal. A little due diligence can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

  1. Prioritize Service and Value

When choosing an insurance provider, ask around for recommendations. Check with neighbors, friends, and family members, particularly those who have filed an insurance claim in the past. Find out if they had a positive or negative experience. Read online reviews. Ask your real estate agent for a referral to a reputable insurance broker who can help you compare your options.

Don’t just choose the cheapest policy. Instead, search for one that offers excellent client service and provides the best coverage for the cost.

  1. Choose the Right Level of Coverage

Your policy limits should be high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Don’t make the common mistake of insuring your home for the price you paid for it. The cost to rebuild could be higher or lower, depending on the value of your land, your home’s unique features, market factors, new building codes, and local construction costs.4

Also, consider whether you need a higher level of liability insurance to protect your assets. If your investments and savings exceed the liability limits in your policy, you may need to purchase an excess liability or umbrella policy.

Ultimately, you should make sure your coverage is adequate to mitigate your losses—but don’t pay for excess insurance you don’t need.

  1. Inquire About Additional Coverage

Ask your insurance agent about additional coverage options that can help close any gaps you have in your policy.

For example, if you’re in a flood or earthquake-prone area, experts strongly recommend that you add those coverages to your policy. In fact, flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard, and a significant percentage of insurance payouts are for homes outside “flood zones,” or areas known to be at risk of flooding. So even if your home is not technically located in a flood zone, you may want to add flood coverage to your policy, just in case.5

Expensive jewelry, furs, collectibles, or artwork may not be fully insured by a standard policy. Ask about raising your limits for any items of particular value, or check with a specialty insurer about a separate policy for such items.

  1. Decide on “Replacement Cost” or “Actual Cash Value”

Insurers can use a variety of methods to determine how much they will pay to reimburse you for a loss, but the two most common are “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.”

If your seven-year-old sofa is damaged in a fire, replacement cost coverage will pay you the cost to purchase a new, comparable sofa at today’s prices. Actual cash value coverage will pay you for the depreciated value of the sofa you lost—so what you would pay to buy a seven-year-old sofa rather than a new one.6

While a replacement cost coverage policy will result in a bigger payoff if you suffer a loss, it will probably require a larger annual premium. Compare both options to find out which is the better fit for you.

  1. Consider a Higher Deductible

A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying on a loss before your insurance company will pay a claim. Opting for a higher deductible can reduce your premiums.

Note that in some cases, your insurance policy may have a separate or higher deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by floods, windstorms, hail, or earthquakes.

While a higher deductible can save you money on your premiums, opt for one that is still affordable given your current financial situation.

  1. Try Bundling Your Coverage

Combining your home, automobile, and other policies under one insurer can often result in a significant discount. And some insurers offer additional benefits, such as a single deductible if property insured by multiple policies is damaged. For instance, if a fire destroys your home and your car, you may only have to pay the higher of the two deductibles. Bundling can also make payment and renewal of your policies more convenient.7


However, bundling isn't always the best or least expensive option. In some cases, you may find better coverage options, service, and/or pricing if you split your policies between multiple insurers. So be sure to consider all of your options before making a final decision.
 

  1. Reassess Your Policy Each Year

Even if you’ve done all your due diligence before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, don’t set your annual renewal on autopilot. Instead, when it comes time to renew, take some time to consider factors that have changed over the past year.

For example, have you made any home improvements that would require you to raise your coverage limits? Have you made any security or safety improvements that qualify you for a discount on your premiums?8

Has there been a shift in market conditions that would make it more or less expensive to rebuild your home now? If so, you may need to adjust your coverage levels accordingly.

If you’ve made any changes to how you use your home, you may need to adjust your policy, as well. For example, if you’ve started a home-based business or occasionally rent out your home on a home-sharing site, you may not be fully covered by your existing policy.9

Finally, consider any changes to your financial situation that may require increased liability coverage limits. If you’ve grown your investments or inherited property, it may be time to purchase additional coverage to protect your expanding asset base.

 

MINIMIZE RISK, MAXIMIZE VALUE

Now that you understand the basics of homeowners insurance, you should be ready to start shopping for a policy that best fits your needs and budget. Your goal should be to minimize your risk while maximizing the value your policy provides.

While you never want to leave yourself without a safety net should disaster strike, you also don’t want to overpay for insurance you don’t need (and will hopefully rarely use). Aim to strike a balance that will provide you with adequate protection at an affordable price.

 

NEED MORE GUIDANCE? WE CAN HELP

If you’re in the market to purchase homeowners insurance or a home warranty, give us a call! We get a lot of feedback from clients on the best (and worst) providers and are happy to share what we know.

We can also put you in touch with a trusted insurance professional who can answer your questions and help you find the best policy to meet your needs.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial or insurance advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

  1. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-standard-homeowners-policy
  2. Insure.com -
    https://www.insure.com/home-insurance/exclusions.html
  3. American Home Shield -
    https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/cost-savers/whats-the-difference-homeowners-insurance-vs-home-warranty
  4. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/how-much-homeowners-insurance-do-you-need
  5. Realtor.com -
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/buying-home-insurance
  6. Texas Department of Insurance -
    http://www.helpinsure.com/home/documents/acvvsreplace.pdf
  7. Insure.com -
    https://www.insure.com/home-insurance-faq/bundle-insurance-policies.html
  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners -
    https://www.insureuonline.org/consumer_homeowners_ten_tips.htm
  9. HomeAway -
    https://help.homeaway.com/articles/Do-I-need-a-special-vacation-rental-insurance-policy-for-my-property

You Don't Need Luck to Find Your Dream Home

by Lorna Calder

You don't need luck to find your Dream Home! Let The Lorna Calder Team guide you through the process step by step!

Step One:

Give us a call today! 281-361-2280

Step Two:

Our team of professionals can help you with the first steps of getting pre-approved with a reputable mortgage lender.

Step Three:

We can then start the search for your dream home in Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita and and Houston area.

Step Four:

We will handle all the paperwork and use our proven negotiation techniques to help get you the best deal for the perfect home.

Step Five:

You get to move in! Its that easy. We simplify the process so you don't have to sweat the small stuff.

Read our past clients' reviews and see what they had to say about us here.
 

5 Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Transation

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this year?

Here are a few ideas to help you get through the Real Estate process. 

 

1. Don't let timing consume you. A lot of sellers and buyers attempt to anticipate the actions of the market so they can properly time their purchase or listing correctly. When you're ready to buy or sell, is the time when you are ready. Simple as that. Instead of obsessing about the ideal perfect time, focus on making sure YOU are ready!

 

2. Check your Expectations. TV shows and experiences of your friends and family may fog your perception of the reality behind the buying and selling process. Absolutely everyone's experience WILL be different! Having your agent explain to you the process and state of the market will help you set more realistic expectations. 

 

3. Keep control of your emotions. Yes, buying a home is a HUGE investment and home buyers may put extra pressure on themselves to get that perfect home that checks everything on their list. Furthermore, selling home can be extremely emotional, you put a lot of time and money into making your home the perfect home for you and have made so many memories. It's easy to make a rash decision when emotions are involved. Trying to stay calm and focused will help you to feel more in control. 

 

4. Do your research. When you're thinking of buying, it's a good idea to check out the neighborhood you may want to live in, write down your must-haves and how long you want to live in that home. 

 

5. Rely on a Real Estate Professional. You don't have to be alone on this adventure! I'm here to answer any of your questions, to ease your concerns and guide you through the process. I'm never to busy to answer any of your questions so please feel free to call me anytime! 

 

Click HERE for a PDF of this information!

 

© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY EREPORT S

Why Sell? Why Buy?

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of Buying or Selling? 

WHY BUY?

1. It is a part of your financial plan this year. To make the property your home, you have the freedom to make the move and are financially ready.

 

2. Your circumstances are correct. Your circumstances may have contrived you to buy, whether it was a relocation for your job or you may have just sold your home.

 

3. There are many homes for sale in your desired area. If it is a buyer's market in your desired area of town then now would be a great time to make the move!

 

 

WHY SELL?

1. You have outgrown your home. It may be time to sell your home and move to a larger one if you have a growing family or an adult child or parent has moved in with you. 

 

2. You want to live closer to family and friends. If you desire to be closer to your friends or family then it may be a good idea to sell your home and move closer to them.

 

3. Job relocation is moving you. If you have found your dream job or your current job is transferring you, that may cause you to list your home for sale. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can we expect from 2017's Housing Market?!

by Lorna Calder

What does the future hold for the 2017 housing market?

One thing is for sure, says experts, the housing market is set to HEAT UP!

 

 

PRICES ARE ALMOST AT PRE-RECESSION HIGHS

Nationally speaking, the market is expected to normalize with healthy sales and moderate price growth.1 However, some expects predict modest price declines because wages aren't keeping up with the home prices.

The median home price has increased 43% from 2010, while wages have only increased 5%.2 

 

HOME SALES ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

Existing home sales are up from 5.8 million in 2016, expected to reach 6 million.3 

Projections for total single family home sales for 20174

  • National Association of Realtors 6 million
  • Frannie Mae 6.2 million
  • Freddie Mac 6.2 million
  • Mortgage Bankers Association 6.5 million

​​

MAKE WAY FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS

Millennials are expected to strengthen home and condo sales into 2020.3

Sales by first-time buyers reached a four-year high in September at 34%.3

 

HOUSING APPRECIATION IS UP

Most markets report an increase in home appreciation, with the increases hitting near 10% in the hottest markets, which have growing populations and tight supply.5

Top 3 Markets for Home Appreciation6

  • ​Seattle, WA (up 11.2%)
  • Portland, OR (up 11.1%)
  • Denver, CO (up 9.9%)

 

RENT WILL KEEP GETTING HIGHER

Rental affordability is one of the biggest factors for first-time buyers deciding to buy.1

 

THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2017 IS EXPECTED TO BE FUELED BY HIGH DEMAND FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION. 

 

To download this PDF, click here!

 

 

Sources:

  1. 1. The Mortgage Reports
  2. 2. Dun & Bradstreet
  3. 3. NAR
  4. 4. Keeping Matters Current
  5. 5. REALTOR Magazine
  6. 6. BusinessWire

​​

© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK MARCH S

7 Signs that you chose the right Real Estate Agent for YOU!

by Lorna Calder

When you are selling or buying a home, it can be a stressful ordeal with lots of moving pieces that would surprise you if you are not privy to a lot of real estate transactions.  These things are why having an amazing Real Estate agent is SO important!

When you go to choose the right Real Estate Agent, it may not be easy at first but once you have found the one there are definitely signs that let you know, THIS IS THE ONE!

 

 

1. You actually like spending time around them

We aren't saying you need to be gaga over your Agent, but you should be able to enjoy being around them. There is so much communication that goes on during the process and after, so having that great relationship helps immensely. There is no worse feeling than hanging around someone you cant stand to be around especially if things get a bit rough. 

 

2. They are available and quick to respond

Obviously, this is a non-negotiable one! A competent Real Estate Agent will never leave you in the dark waiting for their answer, they will make themselves available for your needs. There is something defiantly wrong if you feel like your agent is ghosting you. A truly competent Agent will understand the importance and seriousness of a Real Estate transaction and will always make sure you are priority.

 

3. They have asked you to get Pre-Approved

THIS ONE IS HUGE! If you are a buyer and haven't talked to a mortgage lender before going out and looking at home, then you will not be taken seriously and a good agent knows this. This is a benefit to you and all involved in the transaction to make things start quick yet smooth. There is also a great amount of things you may discover about your financial situation during the Pre-approval process that you may have never thought of or known, this is a VERY important step!

 

4. A good agent is Pro-active, not reactive

Here is a great gauge that will help set the right agent apart from all other agents. The right agent will be ahead of the game, finding issues before they even arise and already having a solution in place or a plan. As an example, a good agent will always be on the hunt for properties suiting your every need instead of you sending ones over that you like. This is a true sign of a great Real Estate professional. 

 

5. Even if you don't want to hear it, they are honest with you

Honesty is an integral part of ANY type of relationship, whether it be business or personal. Even if its inconvenient for them, a good agent will let tell you the truth. It takes a lot of gusto to be honest especially if it is costing them money, but it's ethical and a good agent will take in account honesty and integrity over a few bucks. 

 

6. A good agent NEVER gives up easily

They will go down fighting for you, tooth and nail. These days a Real Estate transaction rarely ever goes awry but when it doesn't it can feel like the universe if punishing you and it's so much easier to just throw your hands up and give up but the right agent won't give up until EVERY avenue and path is tried and tested. The right agent will fight for you!

 

7. They care about you and want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you have chosen the right agent comes before and after a transaction when they are building a relationship with you. Before, they want to know who YOU are, what YOUR wants and needs are. And after, they want to stay in touch, wondering how you are enjoying your home, if there is anything else they can do for you, recommending vendors for various home improvements, etc. A good agent doesn't play a disappearing act when the transaction is over, they will ALWAYS be there for you!

 

 

 

 

 

9 Reasons you need an Agent to help you Buy or Sell a home!

by Lorna Calder

Whether you're selling your first or fourth home, buying  an existing property or building a new home, there;'s one thing you need: a reputable agent. While some may say you can buy or sell a home on your own, if you're not familiar with the whole process, it will lead to more frustration and aggravation than it's worth. Why go at it alone when you can have an experienced professional by your side to help you every step of the way?

 

 

1. An Agent will represent you.

When you buy a home, you may be tempted to work with the seller's agent, but that agent is loyal to their client - the seller or builder. A buyer's agent will keep you best interests in mind. They'll explain the process, negotiate with the seller or builder and help you purchase the home of your dreams. Likewise, if you're selling, make sure you're working with a trustworthy agent who can expertly represent you with the buyer's agent.

 

2. An Agent will guide you through the process.

Since agents deal with the buying and selling process every day, they understand its nuances. They can explain often complicated contractual language, handle requests from the other side and spot potential issues before they become problems. 

 

3. An Agent knows what to look for.

They'll see things you may not know to look for, such as wear and tear, issues or the condition of the roof or wiring. If you're buying a home, they'll help you assess the state of the home you're viewing. If you're selling a home, they'll help you decide what updates to make before you list. 

 

4. An Agent is objective.

If you're selling your home, an agent can offer advice about how to position your home in the local market to attract the right buyers. If you're buying a home, they can offer objective insight into the homes you're viewing and help you find the one that's right for you. 

 

5. An Agent is an expert in your local area. 

If you're moving to a new area, an agent can give you the scoop on the best schools and neighborhoods, as well as warn you about areas prone to flooding, located near busy roads or are future hot spots for city redevelopment plans. Similarly, they understand the local market and can give you tips to help your home stand out and sell quickly. 

 

6. An Agent offers advice based on experience. 

Agents rely on their experience to give you tips in regards to inspections, price reductions and other issues that may arise during the course of the transaction. 

 

7. An Agent works on your behalf. 

Whether it's negotiating the sale, handling challenges or objections that may arise, or acting as a liaison, an agent uses their expertise and skill to communicate your best interests with the other party. 

 

8. An Agent will continue to serve after closing. 

Sometimes issues arise in the first year following a home purchase, An agent will help you resolve these issues and connect you with reputable tradespeople in their networks. 

 

9. Going at it alone may end up costing you!

Sellers often make a big mistake when trying to sell their own home by pricing it too high. A home that's not priced well will sit on the market for weeks. Enlisting the aid of an agent will help you price your home to sell so that it piques the attention on the right buyers. 

 

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What else can WE do for you? Lots!

by Lorna Calder

Since I work by referral, your business and referrals are essential to my continued success. Remember I'm always here to serve you, whether you have questions about your home's current value, or need a referral to a reputable roofer, check out the 4 ways my services are extended!

 

 

Get the scoop on the local market. 

What's going on in our market? Is now a good time to buy or sell? How much is your home worth? I can help with these questions and more. Since I keep my finger on the pulse of the local market, I can answer all of your questions and give you a market analysis of your property. 

 

Have all of your Real Estate questions answered.

Whether it's your first time buying or selling a home, or you haven't bought or sold in several years, I can walk you through the process and set proper expectations. Whenever you have a question or concern, be sure to contact me for honest and transparent answers and advice. The more you know about the process, the more confident you'll be. 

 

Need the name of a reliable local professional?

My profession puts me in contact with great professional trade and service people throughout our local community. Whether you need the name of a home maintenance professional, such as a plumber or electrician, or you'd like the name of a reputable pool service company, give me a call. I'd love to connect you with a professional who will provide you with the high-quality service you deserve.

 

Thinking of moving out of the area?

If you decide to move, I'll be sad to see you go; however, I can still help by connecting you with a real estate professional in your desired area who will offer the same great service you've come to expect. I'm part of a network of Real Estate professionals who also work by referral. They will go above and beyond to provide you with high-level service and aid in making your move as smooth as possible. 

 

If you would like to download a color PDF, CLICK HERE!

 

2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK NOVEMBER EREPORT S

 

What it takes to get your Home ready for Listing Photos!

by Lorna Calder

 

 

Let's get your Home marketed the best we can with these simple tips!

See below!

                                     

Below is a great comprehensive list for what a Seller can expect to be asked to do when it comes time for the Listing photos. We market your home with the utmost care and consideration. In turn we ask that you help us to get your Home seen as many times as we can by doing these simple things. 

 

Inside

General Areas of the House

  • Have all light bulbs working and turned on prior to the photographer’s arrival
  • Turn all fans off
  • Blinds down and open/window treatments pulled back
  • Hide pet related items including bowls, kennels, beds, toys, etc.
  • Place pets in a separate room or garage
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

Kitchen

  • Remove all magnets, photos, etc. from refrigerators
  • Hide garbages
  • Empty the sink and remove dish soap and cleaning supplies
  • Turn on lights above the sink, stove and under cabinets
  • Clear the kitchen counters, less is more

Bathroom

  • Hide all toiletries (shampoo/conditioners, soaps, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • Hide robes, dirty clothes and scales
  • Remove all rugs in the master bathroom

​​

Outside

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house so they can’t be seen from inside the house
  • Absolutely no contractors can be working outside or inside the property at the time of the shoot
  • Mow grass and remove all debris from the sidewalks and driveways
  • Remove pet waste
  • Remove children’s toys including larger items such as trampolines, playhouses, sandboxes, etc.
  • Put garbage and recycling cans inside the garage
  • Roll up or store hoses
  • Hide any pet related items like chains, bowls, toys, etc.
  • Neatly arrange patio furniture
  • Remove and store pool cleaner, nets and chemical bottles
  • Cover or clean exterior of grills
  • Make sure water sprinklers do not run for two hours before (we need driveways and patios dry)
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

 

Twilight Photos

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house
  • Turn all lights on inside and outside the house including pool and spa (no flood lights)
  • Turn all fans off on the inside and the outside of the house
  • Spa and water features on
  • Outdoor fire areas lit

 

Approximate times for photo shoots

Under 2,000 sq ft: 30 to 45 min
2,000 – 2,999 sq ft: 45 min
3,000 – 3,999 sq ft: 45 min to 1 hour
4,000 – 4,999 sq ft: 1 to 1.5 hours
5,000 – 5,999 sq ft: 1.5 to 2 hours
6,000 – 6,999 sq ft: 2 to 2.5 hours
7,000+ sq ft: 2 to 3 hours

 

When you are ready to put your home on the Market, please give us a call. We are ready to help you sell your home quickly and for the most money. With great photos, it will only make it easier! (281) 361-2280

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