Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 16

How to Avoid the Top 8 Home Inspection Mistakes

by Lorna Calder

Top_8_Home_Inspection_Mistakes_Lorna_Calder_Real_Estate_Agent_Kingwood_TX_REMAX

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream house, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, before you make a significant financial commitment, it’s best to know exactly what you’re buying.

When you hire a home inspector, you get a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run, either by warning you away from a bad purchase or by providing a list of deficiencies you can use to negotiate with the sellers.

The inspector’s report will also list minor repairs that, if made, will help to maintain your home over the long term. Additionally, a good inspector can often predict the standard life expectancy of your roof, HVAC, and other big-ticket items so you can start planning for their eventual replacement.

However, many buyers make mistakes during the inspection process that cost them time and money and lead to unnecessary stress. Avoid these eight common buyer blunders to minimize your risk, protect your investment, and give yourself peace of mind and confidence in your new home purchase.

 

MISTAKE 1: Skip Your Own Inspection

Many buyers rely on their home inspector to point out issues with the property. However, by conducting your own visual assessment before you submit an offer, you can factor expected expenses into the offer price. Or, if you suspect major problems, you may choose to move on to a different property altogether.

Examine the walls and ceilings. Are there suspicious cracks, which could point to a foundation issue? Any discoloration? Yellow spots can indicate water damage, while black spots are typically mold. If there’s a basement, look for powdery white deposits along the walls and slab, which can result from water seepage.1

To assess the plumbing, start by turning on a bathroom sink or tub, then flushing the toilet. Check for a drop in water pressure or a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. You can also try running the water in sinks and tubs for several minutes to test for drainage issues. Peak underneath sinks to spot signs of leaks or drain pipes that go into the floor instead of the wall.1

Look for fogged or drafty windows, which may need replacing. Examine the roof for signs of cupped, curled, or cracked shingles. Check siding, decks, and other wooden structures for evidence of rot.

Overall, does the home appear to be well maintained? Unless it’s a highly-competitive seller’s market, consider the overall condition of the property BEFORE you submit an offer. Work with your real estate agent to factor in repairs and updates you know you’ll need to make when you determine your offer price.

 

MISTAKE 2: Hire the Cheapest Inspector

We all love to save money, but not all inspectors are created equal. Before you hire one, do a little research.2 You may even want to start shopping for an inspector before you complete your home search. Inspection periods are typically short, so it never hurts to be prepared.

You can start by asking around for recommendations. Check with friends and family members, as well as your real estate agent. Then contact at least two or three inspectors so you can compare not only price but also levels of experience and service.

Ask about their background, years of experience, and the number of inspections they have completed. Verify their certifications and credentials, and make sure they carry the proper insurance.

Find out what is (and what isn’t) covered in the inspection and if they utilize the latest technology. Ask to see a sample report so you can compare the style and level of detail provided. Finally, make sure you feel confident in the inspector’s abilities and comfortable asking him/her questions.

 

MISTAKE 3: Miss Attending the Inspection

Make every effort to be on-site during the inspection. Buyers who aren’t present during their inspection miss out on a great opportunity to gather valuable information about their new home.

If can attend the inspection, don’t spend all your time picking out paint colors or chatting with your new neighbors. Instead, use your time there to shadow the inspector. It’s the perfect chance to find out where everything is located, ask questions, and see first-hand what repairs and updates may be needed.3

Of course, if you do choose to tag along with your inspector, exercise good judgment. Don’t get in the way, become a distraction, or do anything to jeopardize your (or the inspector’s) safety.

If you can’t make it to the inspection, ask if you can schedule a time to meet in person or speak by phone to go over the report in detail. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions or request clarification about issues in the report you don’t fully understand.

 

MISTAKE 4: Skim Over the Report

Inspection reports can be long and tedious, and it can be tempting to skim over them. However, buyers who do this risk missing crucial information.

Instead, you should read over the report carefully, so you don’t miss anything significant. Now is the time to address any areas of concern. You have a limited window of time to request repairs or negotiate the selling price, so don’t squander it.

Your inspector may also flag some minor items that you wouldn’t typically expect a seller to fix. However, ignoring these small issues can sometimes lead to bigger problems down the road. Make sure you read everything in the report so you can take future action if needed.

 

MISTAKE 5: Avoid Asking Questions

Some buyers are too embarrassed to ask questions when there’s something in the inspection report they don’t understand. Afraid they might look foolish, they avoid asking questions and end up uninformed about important issues that could impact their home purchase.

The reality is, questions are expected. You hired your inspector for their professional expertise, so don’t be shy about tapping into it. For example, you might ask:

  • Would you get this issue fixed in your own home?
  • How urgent is it?
  • What could happen if I don’t fix it?
  • Is this a simple issue I could fix myself?
  • What type of professional should I call?
  • Can you estimate how much it would cost to make this repair?
  • How much longer would you expect this system/structure/appliance to last?
  • What maintenance steps would you recommend?

Don’t bother asking your inspector if you should buy the property, because he/she won’t be able to answer that question for you. Instead, use the information provided to make an informed decision. A skilled real estate agent can help you determine the best path.

 

MISTAKE 6: Expect a Perfect Report

Some buyers get scared off by a lengthy inspection report. But with around 1600 items on an inspector’s checklist, you shouldn’t be surprised if yours uncover a large number of deficiencies.4 The key is to understand which problems require simple fixes, and which ones will require extensive (and costly) repairs.

Your real estate agent can help you decide if and how to approach the sellers about making repairs or reducing the price. Whatever you do, try to focus on the major issues identified in the inspector’s report, and don’t expect the sellers to address every minor item on the list. They will be more receptive if they perceive your requests to be reasonable.

 

MISTAKE 7: Forgo Additional Testing

There are times when an agent or inspector will recommend bringing in a specialist to evaluate a potential issue.5 For example, they may suggest testing for mold or consulting with a roofing expert.

Some buyers get spooked by the possibility of a “red flag” and decide to jump ship. Or, in their haste to close or desire to save money, they choose to ignore the recommendation for additional testing altogether.

Don’t make these potentially costly mistakes. In some cases, the specialist will offer a free evaluation that takes minimal time to schedule. And if not, the small investment you make could provide you with peace of mind or save you a fortune in future repairs.

MISTAKE 8: Skip Re-inspection of Repairs

Most buyers request receipts to prove that repairs have been correctly completed. However, it’s always prudent to go a step further and have negotiated repairs re-evaluated by your inspector or another qualified professional, even if there’s an additional charge.6

While the majority of sellers are forthcoming, some will try to save money by cutting corners, hiring unlicensed technicians, or doing the work themselves. A re-inspection will help ensure the repairs are completed properly now, so you aren’t paying to redo them later.

To avoid having to go back to the sellers, be specific when requesting repairs. Identify the problem, how repairs should be completed, who should complete the work, and how the repairs will be verified.7

Some buyers prefer to avoid this step altogether by completing the work themselves. They either request that the seller fund the repairs or reduce the selling price accordingly. Whichever path you choose, protect yourself and your investment by ensuring the work is done properly.

 

WE CAN HELP

A home inspection can reduce your risk and save you money over the long-term. But to maximize its effectiveness, it must be done properly. Avoid these eight common home inspection mistakes to safeguard your investment.

While these are some of the most common missteps, there are countless others that can trip up home buyers, cost them time and money, and cause undue stress. Fortunately, we have the skills and experience to help you avoid the potential pitfalls.

If you’re in the market to buy a home, we can help you navigate the inspection and all the other steps in the buying process … typically at no cost to you! Tap into our expertise to make the right decisions for your real estate purchase. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

Sources:

  1. Family Handyman -
    https://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/diy-home-inspection-tools/view-all/
  2. HGTV -
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/finding-the-right-home-inspector
  3. The New York Times -
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/realestate/home-inspection.html
  4. Realtor.com -
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/what-does-a-home-inspector-look-for/
  5. Realty Times -
    https://realtytimes.com/advicefromagents/item/37369-top-5-biggest-home-inspection-mistakes
  6. Realtor.com -
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-inspection-mistakes-buyers-should-avoid/
  7. Star Tribune -
    http://www.startribune.com/who-verifies-repairs-after-the-home-inspection/132844523/

According to the National Association of Realtors, staging a home prior to listing it can result in a faster and more profitable sale.1 In fact, the Real Estate Staging Association estimates that professionally staged properties spend 73 percent less time on the market, receive more foot traffic, and typically sell for more money.2


The following are 10 tips you can use to get your home “show ready” prior to hitting the market.

These easy and cost-effective ideas will help your house look its best—and help buyers visualize themselves living there. Even if you’re not currently in the market to sell, you can use these tactics to breathe new life into your existing home decor.

To get a plan customized for your particular property, give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of the buyer preferences in your neighborhood … so you’ll know where to focus your time, money and energy to maximize your results.
 

Source: National Association of Realtors

1. REMOVE CLUTTER

Decluttering is typically the first thing we tell clients to do to prepare their home for sale. And according to the National Association of Realtors, a whopping 93 percent of agents agree.1 Decluttering is the act of removing excess “stuff” from your home to make it appear clean and spacious.

Overflowing closets and cluttered countertops can make your house feel small and cramped. In contrast, sparsely-filled closets and clear countertops will make your home appear larger and assure buyers that there will be plenty of room to store their belongings.

Don’t neglect drawers, cupboards and even your refrigerator in your decluttering efforts. Serious buyers will check out every nook and cranny of your home, so pack up anything you don’t use on a daily basis and store it off site. The same goes for jewelry, sensitive documents, prescription medication, firearms and other items of value. Store them in a locked safe or storage unit before opening your property to buyers.

Make sure any items that remain are clean, tidy and well organized. The good news is, when it comes time to move, a large portion of your packing will be done!

2. DEEP CLEAN AND DEODORIZE

From carpets to bathrooms to appliances, having a clean home is a MUST. If you’ve ever checked into a dirty hotel room, you can imagine how buyers can be turned off by a home that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned.

If you have a large home, or are short on time, you may want to invest in a professional cleaning service. And if you have carpet, we generally recommend you rent a steam cleaner or hire a company to clean your carpets for you.

In addition to cleaning, it’s equally important to neutralize odors in your home that can be off-putting to buyers, especially pet smells and cigarette smoke. If the weather allows, open your windows and let in fresh air. Empty the trash frequently, and especially before a showing. Avoid cooking any strong-smelling food such as fish or heavy spices. You may need to clean (or remove) drapes and upholstery if odors are particularly strong. Try to keep your home in clean, show-ready condition while it’s on the market. You never know when a potential buyer will want to drop by for a viewing.

3. DEPERSONALIZE Your family photos and personal mementos are often your most treasured possessions. For many of us, they are what make a house a home. However, buyers will have a hard time envisioning themselves living in a place if it feels like YOUR home.

โ€‹Pack up any items that are personal to you and your family, such as photos, books, children’s artwork, travel souvenirs and religious items. Collectibles and excessive knickknacks can be distracting to buyers. Instead, keep your decor items minimal and generic to appeal to the largest number of buyers.

4. NEUTRALIZE YOUR COLOR PALETTE Along those same lines, bold color choices may not appeal to all buyers. By incorporating a neutral color palette throughout your home, buyers can better visualize the addition of their own furniture and decor, which may contrast with your current color scheme. But don’t limit yourself to white and beige. Incorporating earth tones and midtone neutrals—like mocha and “greige” (grey-beige)—can add a touch of modern sophistication to your decor.3

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to neutralize your home’s decor is with paint. Walls painted in dark, bold or bright colors can turn off buyers. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color like greige (try Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter) or warm white (such as Kelly-Moore’s Rotunda White) offers a clean palette upon which buyers can visualize adding their own personal touches.4

If your sofa is worn, stained or has a bold pattern, consider purchasing a neutral-colored slipcover. Dated or overly busy window coverings should be taken down or replaced. Instead, bring in tasteful pops of color with throw pillows and accessories.
 

5. INCREASE YOUR CURB APPEAL

You only get one chance to make a first impression. According to a 2017 report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.5 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

Walk around your home and look for any neglected areas that might seem like “red flags” to buyers, such as missing roof shingles or rotted siding. Trim trees and shrubs if needed, and make sure your lawn and flower beds are well maintained. Add some colorful flowers to your front beds and/or flower boxes to brighten up your landscaping.

Make sure the exterior of your home is as clean as the interior. This can often be accomplished with a simple garden hose. But if your siding, walkway, or driveway are stained or dingy, you may want to rent a pressure washer.

Thoroughly wash windows and screens, and remove and store dark solar screens if you have them. Open shutters, curtains and blinds, which will not only make your house look more inviting from the outside, it will brighten the inside.

Consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door, trim and shutters. And small, cosmetic improvements like new house numbers, a colorful wreath and a clean front doormat can have a big impact.6
 

6. FRESHEN KITCHENS AND BATHS

Kitchens and bathrooms will show better and appear larger if all items are cleared from the countertops, except for one or two decorative pieces.7 You should have already packed up non-essentials during your decluttering process, and the remaining items should be neatly stored in pantries and cupboards.

If your cabinets are dingy or outdated, adding a fresh coat of paint and new hardware is an easy and inexpensive way to make them modern and bright. Consider purchasing new shower curtains, bath mats and towels for the bathrooms and new dish towels for the kitchen.

Before each showing, make sure kitchens and baths are spotless and trash cans are empty and out of sight. To add a comforting aroma, try baking cookies, or in the fall, simmer some cinnamon sticks and cloves in a pot of water before you leave the house. In the spring, try a vase of fresh cut lilacs.7

7. SET THE TABLE

Buyers often imagine hosting family gatherings in their new home, and the dining room plays a large role in that vision. If your dining room chairs are stained or outdated, you may want to recover them or use slipcovers. In most cases, an imperfect table can be camouflaged with a neutral and stylish tablecloth.

Be sure the table is centered underneath the chandelier and on the area rug if you’re using one. If your dining room is small, remove all other furniture and leave only four chairs.8

Dress up the table using nice tableware and cloth napkins or a table runner and centerpiece. For a long table, try lining up a series of small vessels down the middle.

โ€‹

8. REARRANGE FURNITURE

Start in your living room and think about what you want to emphasize (and de-emphasize) about the space. For example, do you have a beautiful fireplace or a stunning view? If so, arrange the furniture with that focal point in mind. Use a symmetrical seating arrangement to create a cozy conversation area adjacent to the focal point.

If the room is small, consider removing some of the furniture to make it feel larger, especially oversized pieces. That includes oversized television sets, unless it’s a designated media room. Pulling furniture away from the wall can make the room feel more spacious, and placing your largest furniture piece in the far-left corner (as opposed to near the entry) can create the illusion of a larger space.9

For small bedrooms, remove all the furniture except the bed, bedside tables and a dresser. If it’s a large room, add one or two chairs and a table to create a seating area. Place lamps on the bedside tables and seating area if you have one.10

Make sure each space in your home has a clearly defined purpose. For example, if you’ve been using an extra bedroom as a catch-all storage space, stage it as a guest room or office instead. Turn an awkward alcove into a workstation or a reading corner. Help buyers imagine how they could use the space themselves.3

9. LIGHTEN UP

Lighting can have a drastic impact on the look and feel of a home. Few buyers seek out a dark house; most prefer one that’s light and bright. Make sure windows are clean, and open curtains and blinds to let in the maximum amount of daylight.

Each room should have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (such as a reading lamp or under-cabinet light), and accent (such as a floor or table lamp). Aim for a goal of 100 total watts per 50 square feet.11 If your mounted light fixtures are dated, replacing them with something more modern is an easy and inexpensive upgrade that can have a big impact.

Strategically placed landscape lighting can add a dramatic effect to your home’s exterior. Welcome evening visitors with a lighted walkway, or use a spotlight to accentuate trees or other landscaping features. Solar lights require no wiring; simply place them in a sunny spot and they will turn on automatically at dusk.
 

10. HIGHLIGHT YOUR BACKYARD’S BEST FEATURES

While your home’s interior often takes center stage, don’t forget about staging your home’s outdoor areas to help buyers imagine how they could utilize the space.

Even a small patio can become a selling feature with the addition of a cafe table and chairs. Add a tray of plates and coffee cups to help buyers envision a peaceful breakfast on the back porch. Place chairs and wine glasses around an outdoor firepit or hang a hammock with a book in your favorite shady spot.3 These small, simple additions can help buyers visualize the possibilities your backyard has to offer.


BEFORE YOU GET STARTED

If you’re in the market to sell your home, this list provides a great starting point for your preparations. But nothing beats the trained eye and expertise of a real estate agent. Before you do any work, we recommend consulting a professional for advice about your particular property.

We offer free, no-commitment seller consultations and will walk through your home with you to help you assess which projects and upgrades are worth your time and money, and which ones you can skip.

As local market experts, we are intimately familiar with buyer preferences in your area. We’ll run a comparative market analysis to find out how your home compares to others currently on the market, as well as those that have recently sold. Then we’ll tailor a custom plan to suit your particular property, budget and needs.

Please call or email us today with questions or to schedule a free consultation!

Sources:

 

  1. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/migration_files/reports/2017/2017-profile-of-home-staging-07-06-2017.pdf
  2. Real Estate Staging Association –
    http://www.realestatestagingassociation.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=304550&module_id=164548
  3. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/list/sell-your-home-fast-21-staging-tips
  4. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/10-curb-appeal-tips-from-the-pros-pictures
  5. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf
  6. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/must-try-neutral-paint-colors-797983
  7. HouseLogic –
    https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/
  8. StageMyOwnHome.com –
    http://www.stagemyownhome.com/staging-the-dining-room.html
  9. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/small-living-room-staging-tricks/
  10. SFGATE –
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/stage-master-bedroom-34573.html
  11. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/shows/designed-to-sell/15-secrets-of-home-staging-pictures

2018 Market Insight

by Lorna Calder

 

What’s in store for the market in 2018? While it’s impossible to know  for sure, experts analyze current trends to predict what may happen.

 

Home prices and values are expected  to rise modestly 

Home prices have been increasing around the country, with cities such as Dallas, Portland and Seattle experiencing the  largest year-over-year price gains.1 In fact, Washington has  experienced the fastest rise in housing prices in the United States over the past few years.2 While the National Association of Realtors anticipates 2018 home prices will rise by 3.5  percent, Freddie Mac predicts they’ll increase 4.9 percent.3  This percentage may seem modest, but for cities such as Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego, rising home prices may continue the 2017 trend of creating more pressure in the market.1 The good news is home values in 28 states have risen to above pre-crisis peaks and are at an all-time high.2 


Rental prices are no longer increasing at the rate of home prices in most areas.4 Although the leveling off of rental  prices may take some financial pressure off renters, for  those thinking of buying, it’s a good time to turn their  dream of homeownership into reality.

 

 

Existing home sales have leveled off for now

Experts predict 2018 will spell more of the same for home sales. Many believe this is due to the increase in interest rates in 2017, which may have reduced the purchasing power of many homebuyers. Home purchases are expected to rise a modest 2.8 percent (5.8 million) in 2018.3  


However, patience may pay off for potential buyers. While  the combination of economic recovery, comparatively low mortgage interest rates and job growth may have brought more interested buyers to the market, inventory has been tight over the last few years. In response, homebuilding has been up and new homes are expected to hit the market this year, increasing inventory for potential buyers.5,6 Many experts are predicting 2019 will be a buyers’ market in many areas. 

 

Will 2018 be a banner year for new homes?

Many experts predict that new home sales will drive the  market in 2018.3 A total of 1.33 million housing starts are  expected for 2018, an increase from 1.22 million in 2017.3  While total home sales are expected to increase over two  percent, new home sales are expected to increase eight  percent, reaching 670,000 sales.
 

 

 

 

Sources:  1. Kiplinger 2. Home Buying Institute 3. NAR, Realtor.com 4. CNBC  5. First Tuesday Journal  6. Business Insider  7. Freddie Mac 8. Fannie Mae

© 2018 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY MF S

 

๐Ÿ‚ House Hunting Checklist ๐Ÿ‚

by Lorna Calder

"When I was searching for my First Home, I was starry-eyed with the whole process: "OOOH look at the size of the bathroom, the granite is SO PRETTY, wow the new fixtures are perfect, the home is so cute, the paint color is great!" I wasn't  really looking at the meat and bones of WHERE I was going to be living, WHO I was living by, WHAT was near, etc." - Christina (Client Care Coordinator, The Lorna Calder Team)

 

This is a great start to the home hunting process, although it doesn't replace the eyes and knowledge of a Realtor on The Lorna Calder Team, it's something great to bring along to showings so you can jot down notes and answer questions you may need to be asking yourself. I have attached the PRINTABLE PDF version right below! Enjoy!

 

HOUSE HUNTING CHECKLIST

 

WHY do we work by referral?

by Lorna Calder

Referrals are one of the main sources of business when it comes to Real Estate. It is great to be able to service the needs of our client's friends and family, especially after we had such a great transaction with them! We LOVE to work with referrals.

 

 

We are committed to serving YOU!

We have made a commitment to work by referral to provide our clients with the BEST service whenever we are needed. A long-term relationship is so important to us, we want to be able to knock your socks off with what we can do more than just once!

 

These are a few ways that we can serve you.

  • When you need to be referred to capable service and trade professionals that are trusted like local lenders, legal professionals, pool service companies, roofers, contractors and so much more, just give us a call. We would be happy to give you a list of local vendors that our clients have used and that are recommended in the Real Estate Community. 
  • We can give you up to date information about the Market! It is every changing so dont hesitate to ask, it is part of what we love to do; staying on top of the key trends and local market statistics. 
  • Would you like to know what your home is worth? Would you like to know if those upgrades you want to do will bring true value? We would love to be your trusted advisor. 

 

YOU are important to us.

As our client, we want to make sure you know how much you and your business mean to us. Our primary source of new business is referrals from people who already know and respect the great work that we do. And we are always delighted to build our business by working with such wonderful people like you! Our goal is to impress you SO MUCH that you run to family and friends and tell them about the great experience you had with us. We want to be refreshing, knowledgeable and caring. 

 


 

Just give us a call with your friend or family member's name and number and we will gladly follow up and take great care of them! (281) 361-2280

 

Sincerely, 

The Lorna Calder Team

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. LGK  STARTER EREPORT SC

 

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

โ€‹โ€‹

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

  • โ€‹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

โ€‹โ€‹

© 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!

 

 

 

 

 

Some GREAT tips for Today's Home Seller!!

by Lorna Calder

Especially for first time sellers and/or those who have been in their home for a very long time, selling your home is an emotional process! Whatever your reason for Selling is, here is how to handle it!


FOR ALL SELLERS:

When you are a first time seller, it could be an anxious process because you don't know what to expect! Even experienced sellers could encounter uncertainty with the ever changing market. Follow these tips t help make the process worry-free and be sure to ask us ANY questions that arise, nothing is too silly!

  • Prepare your home. Get your home move-in ready and make an needed repairs. You may also hire a home inspector so you know for sure what to fix!
  • Prepare your mind. See your home as it is, a place to live. Try and remove all sentimental and emotional value from the home. 
  • Make your home available to show during the day. To help agents sell your home faster increase the accessibility of your home. Try to make sure at any time of the day, if someone wants to view it, they can.

 

Before buying another home:

  • Plan ahead to save time and money. If you sell your home before you are able you buy a new one, DONT WORRY! Count on me to find you a new home quick or a short-term lease!
  • Get PRE-APPROVED for a mortgage on your next home BEFORE you even go looking with us!

 

IF YOU'RE TRADING UP:

When families look to trade up, they usually only focus on the size of the home but there are many more factors and unique circumstances to consider while going through the selling process that you should know about. 

  • Buy or Sell first? You are probably thinking, "Should I sell my home first or buy a new home and THEN sell?" Please allow me to discuss the options with you and the outcome of all different choices to ensure you and your family make the MOST informed decision. 
  • Price it right. Many people would like multiple bids on the home so you can pick and choose to get the best and highest. To target the right buyers for your home, the price needs to be just right! To speed up the selling process, setting an accurate asking price will help you move on to the next chapter while still getting the most money!

 

Before buying a larger home:

  • Continue to shop for a home while your home is still currently on the market, never stop looking!
  • Create a list of must have and deal breakers for your next home and that will make your home search a bit more efficient and save time and money.
  • Consider the suburbs. If you want space at a budget price, consider rural or suburban areas where you may be able to get more home for you money!

 

IF YOU'RE DOWNSIZING:

The majority of folks who downsize are those who have retires, but there are many reasons why a home buyer would seek out a smaller home. Some would prefer to save more money on their mortgage and some don't want to deal with the hassle of maintenance. Whatever the reason for scaling down, you may also be focused on selling for profit to pay cash for your next home and stash some of that extra cash into savings!

  • Clear the clutter. Seeing that you are moving into a smaller home it may be a good idea to go through all of your belongings and declutter, tossing or donating items you no longer need or use! Remember, you may not have the storage in your next home that you currently have!
  • Update the interiors. Look, you dont need to go all crazy "fixer upper" on your home. Just the basics like a fresh coat of pain, removing brass fixtures and other small things can make a BIG difference. Also, trust in us! We know the market and what is trending so we can help you to make informed decisions about renovations that will save you money and get you buyers!
  • Hire a professional stager. Let be honest with ourselves, not all of us know how to decorate a home properly to speak to TODAYS buyers! You may not need it and well will let you know but we have references to some amazing and affordable stagers. 

 

Before buying a smaller home:

  • Don't write off a fixer upper. Depending on how much you sell your home for, you may have the money left over to hire a good contractor to improve the look and functionality of a bargain home!
  • Reconsider paying all cash. Instead of using home profits to pay for your new house outright, allocate a large amount for the down payment and take out a small mortgage for the remainder. Doing this gives you the liquid flexibility of cash in your financial plan as you get settled in your new home. 
  • Try before you buy, especially if you are moving out of town or downsizing a considerable amount. Renting a much smaller place in your desired location will help you determine the ideal size and exact place to buy your new home, before making a large investment. 

 

If you would like print outs of the PDFs to use or share click on these pages! PAGE1 or PAGE2

 

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK OCTOBER MF S 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 16

Syndication

Categories

Archives

 Each Office Independently Owned and Operated.