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Determining the Market Value of a Home

You’ve decided to sell your home, so what is next? Pricing your home is obviously a key part of the home selling process. A home that is under-priced needlessly costs the client potential return. An over-priced home can remain on the market for an extended amount of time, forcing the seller to either wait out a long listing period or have to adjust down the asking price. Getting the pricing right from the start avoids these potential pitfalls.

To get us started I will prepare for you what is called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your house. This compares your home to others in the area that are either currently listed, under contract, or have recently sold. Other things that can factor into the CMA are supply and demand, craftsmanship, and the amenities of your home.

The CMA will help us to determine the fair market value. What is “fair market value”, you may ask? In short, fair market value is the highest price that an informed buyer will pay for your home. Establishing fair market value will enable us to sit down and discuss in detail the pricing of your home. I want to help you settle on a price that you feel is competitive and consistent with the current market.

I understand that all of this can be a bit overwhelming, so feel free to call or e-mail me at any time. Please also explore my website, it has a lot of information to cover your real estate needs. I’m here not only to sell your home, but also to serve as a resource for you during this exciting time. I would love to be of assistance to you.

 

 

Are you considering the sale of your home?

Are you considering the sale of your home? If so, you may be overwhelmed with terms like:

  • Comparative Market Analysis
  • Fair Market Value
  • Asking Price
  • “Curb Appeal”
  • Home Protection Plans
  • Multiple Listing Service
  • Escrow

A licensed real estate professional can help translate the complex world of real estate for you. After all, selling your home isn’t as simple as mere supply and demand. A good real estate agent understands market trends and knows how to use the most up-to-date technology to sell your home.

I’ll do more than stick a “For Sale” sign on your lawn. I’ll meet with you to learn your expectations, needs, and priorities. I’ll help you form a pricing strategy based on the latest information. Most importantly, I’ll develop and implement a dynamic marketing strategy tailored to you and your home. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way, from consultation through closing and beyond.

Get your home ready for the market place

Often the first step in selling your home is making sure it’s ready for the market in the first place. Some sellers rush a home onto the market without properly preparing it for the public. By considering early on improvements that you may need to make, you can save yourself future headaches.

The amount and kind of work that you should do depends largely on the price you intend to ask, the time you have to sell, and the current condition of the house. If your house is in good condition and you’re pressed for time, do the small things that can make a big cosmetic difference. New paint, re-grouted tile in the bathroom and kitchen, new carpet in the major traffic areas-these are the kinds of things that can be relatively inexpensive for you yet important to potential buyers.

As far as major projects are concerned, avoid making improvements that may come down to a matter of taste. For instance, most buyers will appreciate newly tiled bathroom floors or brand new professional roofing, but not all buyers will be swayed by an expensive swimming pool in the back yard. Make sure that the investment in time and money you make for any project will be recouped in the sale of your house.

I’d be more than happy to help you with any questions you have as you move towards the sale of your home. Please also visit my website, it is a great information resource for real estate. When you are ready to put your property on the market, I can see to it that it is marketed effectively. Please don’t hesitate to call me with any of your real estate needs.

In the present real estate market, you want an agent who will use the Internet to your advantage. As an action-oriented real estate agent, I fully understand how today’s technology can help you sell your home.

 

 

 

 

Tips For First Time Homebuyers Pt 6

Get a home inspection before you sign!

The home buying process is a lengthy one, and many buyers rush through or even forgo the home inspection. It’s important that you don’t make the same mistake! Professional home inspections can save you time and money, or even prevent you from making a disastrous deal. In case you’re not convinced, I’ve compiled a quick list of some serious home defects that can be found during a home inspection:

A magnifying glass hovering over the words Inspection, centering on a house with the word Home inside it
  • Defect #1: Bad FoundationUnless you can negotiate a price reduction to cover cost, walk away.
  • Defect #2: Worn RoofMost likely it will need to be replaced. If the seller will not do so, negotiate a lower price.
  • Defect #3: Termite InfestationThe house is probably in need of expensive structural repairs. Unless the seller is willing to help pay, it’s probably not a good investment.

  • Defect #4: Outdated WiringThis can be expensive to correct, and is a dangerous problem. Negotiate with the seller after getting an estimate from an electrician.
  • Defect #5: Damaged Shower PanGet an estimate from a contractor if you find water under the shower, and negotiate with the seller to cover costs.

Protecting your investment, especially one as special as a new home, is crucial. An expert home inspection is often the most important step in securing that protection. More tips on home buying are available on my website. If you’d like to talk more about home inspections or any of your real estate questions, please call. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Tips For First Time Homebuyers Pt 5

Get prequalified, or get preapproved?

If you’re considering the purchase of a new home, you may be concerned with the issue of finance. Attaining the right mortgage is a key step in the home buying process, but it doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing one. Most lenders offer prequalification, pre-approval or both to help you know where you stand. Let me explain the difference between prequalification and preapproval:

  • Prequalification: Prequalification is a preliminary estimate of how much you can afford to pay for a home based on information you provide. Because credit and employment information aren’t validated for prequalification, it can only be considered a rough idea of a monthly mortgage payment and loan size. This can be a useful guide as you begin the home buying process, however.
  • Preapproval: Preapproval is a written commitment from a lender to finance your home purchase up to a set amount. This indicates that the lender has taken a close look into your financial history and has agreed to lend you a specific amount of money, reliant on certain details like a finalized sales contract and professional inspection. Pre-approval indicates to sellers that you are a serious homebuyer.

Regardless of which option you utilize, or even if you take both steps, you’ll be able to shop with much more confidence. Why wait until you find the perfect home to discover problems with obtaining a mortgage?

If you would like more information on how either process can help you get into the home of your dreams, give me a call. I’d be happy to answer any of your real estate needs.

To Be Continued…

 

Tips for First Time Homebuyers Pt 4

Considerations for selecting a real estate agent

If you’re considering buying or selling a home, selecting a real estate agent is the first important decision you will have to make. While there are many qualified real estate agents out there, it’s important to decide on a professional who will understand your needs and individual preferences, someone who you can respect and trust. Nearly four out of five homebuyers and sellers enlist in the help of a real estate professional or broker.Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or sell the one you’re in, choosing a professional who best fits your needs is vital. Here are some questions to consider when choosing an agent:

  • How long have they been a real estate professional?
  • How long have they been working in this particular area?
  • What type of homes do they usually handle?
  • How much of their business comes from repeat customers or referrals?
  • How many homes did they sell last year?
  • How often can you expect to be updated, regardless of any progress?

Above all you should choose an agent that you feel comfortable with. Your real estate professional will be your guide through the entire process of buying or selling a home, and can be a valuable resource. Make sure that whomever you select is well suited to your demands.

I’d love to hear from you and have the opportunity to discuss why I may be right for you. You may also find it worthwhile to explore my website, it has plenty of information to cover your real estate needs. My site allows you to perform very detailed searches using search fields typically reserved only for real estate agents, so it’s a great place to start.

Don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me with any of your real estate questions, I would be delighted to help you make the process of buying or selling a home a really smooth one.

I always strive to make the home-buying process as smooth as possible. With the Property Research Center you have the tools at your fingertips that can get you started in the right direction. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, I would love to be of assistance.

To Be Continued…

 

Tips for First Time Homebuyers Pt 3

Why use a real estate agent?

If you are currently in the market for your first home, you may be curious as to how a Real Estate Agent can help you. You are about to be making an important decision for your future, a great investment of both money and time. I have a wealth of experience helping first time buyers like you make sound, informed decisions.

Here are some ways that you can benefit from the help of a real estate professional:

  • Agents can help establish a plan for a home that fits your needs. Style, size, amenities, and other preferences will help determine what kind of home is best suited for you.
  • They will help you to determine realistic spending limits. They can often explain alternative financing options or introduce you to a mortgage counselor. Agents can arrange to have you “pre-approved”, which can help improve your positioning in negotiations.

  • Their access to all home listings within the multi-listing system enables them to evaluate based on your affordability and the qualities you desire.
  • They have access to information on taxes, real estate values, utility costs, and municipal services, all of which can aid you in your decision to buy.
  • They provide direct service by working for you as a buyer’s agent, helping to negotiate the best terms and price for you.
  • They can make you comfortable with the closing process and they will obtain closing figures in advance for your review.
  • They can recommend home inspectors, pest inspectors, and surveyors, and can help arrange inspections.

These are just a few ways that a quality real estate agent can help you in your journey towards buying your very first home. More information for first time buyers can be found on my website or by calling me directly. I’m confident that I can provide the kind of exceptional service that will make this process an exciting one. Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have.

I always strive to make the home-buying process as smooth as possible. With the Property Research Center you have the tools at your fingertips that can get you started in the right direction. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, I would love to be of assistance.

To Be Continued…

 

Tips For First Time Homebuyers PT 2

If you are currently in the market for your first home, you probably have lots of questions. You are about to be making an important decision for your future, a great investment of both money and time. I have a wealth of experience helping first time buyers like you make sound, informed decisions. Here are some tips that can help make your home buying process successful:

  • Tip #1: Do Your Homework
    The perfect home won’t find you by itself. The key step in buying a home is doing the proper research. Educate yourself on local schools, neighborhoods, and the kinds of homes available. By reading available materials and talking with experts, you can start to put together your idea of the perfect home.

  • Tip #2: Start Planning
    Most decisions benefit greatly from proper planning, and home buying is certainly no exception. Start a filing system with sections such as home buying, home financing, and service providers. By forming a home buying plan you can more easily focus on the most important factors and help give structure to the entire process. My website is a great resource for property information.

  • Tip #3: Get PreQualified
    Getting prequalified for a loan normally only requires a short phone conversation with a lender, and can greatly help your home search. Prequalification does not guarantee you a loan, but it does provide you with an estimated monthly payment and a price range to use as a guide when shopping for homes. Being prequalified can also often indicate to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer.

  • Tip #4: Look for Value
    When shopping for homes, it’s important to consider potential value. Even if you’re not planning to sell the home some time down the line, it’s a good idea to consider the future value of the home. Protect yourself against things like falling prices and gradual shifts in the nature of the neighborhood. You may not think of a new home as a means to make money, but it’s an important investment that requires caution.

  • Tip #5: Decide What You’re Looking For
    Settle on the home features that are important to you (covered parking, hardwood floors, architectural style, etc.) and make an ordered list. Having well established guidelines will help narrow down your search and will prevent you from being shown properties that lack your key amenities. It can help you make the decision not to buy an attractive property that doesn’t really fit your needs. My website has a search feature that allows you to filter thousands of listings based on attributes that you select. If you know you want a brick house with gas heat and a garage, you can get the results you’re looking for.
  • Tip #6: Relax
    You don’t have to make an offer on the first home you see. Make sure to look at other listings in the area to get a feel for the marketplace. When you decide to make an offer on a house, consult with your real estate professional so that all of your questions are answered.
  • Tip #7: Shop Around for Your Mortgage
    Deciding on the financing for your home can be as important as choosing a home itself. The first step is deciding what kind of loan best fits you: a fixed rate mortgage, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). There are benefits to each form of loan, and your real estate professional can provide you with more information. Next you’ll want to begin to shop around for different lenders.
  • Tip #8: Protect Yourself
    Be careful when signing a contract on a home that allows you to find financing, have the home inspected, and work through any problem areas that may arise. Paying for a quality home inspection is absolutely crucial! You can save yourself thousands in repair costs by being sure of what you’re getting into.

I always strive to make the home-buying process as smooth as possible. With the Property Research Center you have the tools at your fingertips that can get you started in the right direction. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, I would love to be of assistance.

To Be Continued…

 

Tips for First Time Homebuyers Pt 1

You’re not alone…

If you’re thinking of buying a home for the first time, you’re probably a bit overwhelmed by the idea of it all. You have to think about whether or not to use a buyer’s agent, how to secure a mortgage, and what exactly it is that you’re looking for in a home. Most people forget to do one important thing: breathe.

The search for your first home can be stressful, so try not to put it all on your shoulders at once. Even if you haven’t decided whether or not to use a real estate agent, I’d be happy to help you get started. Sometimes the most important thing is getting pointed in the right direction.

Free advanced search tools for home buyers

If you are currently in the market for a home, you will find my website an excellent resource. The site is continually updated with new and valuable information to aid in your decision making process.

The search feature allows you to filter thousands of listings based on attributes that you select. You can simply search for houses in a certain area and price range, or you can look for houses that fit your specific style. If you know you want a brick house with gas heat and a garage, you can get the results you’re looking for. Most real estate websites don’t offer that degree of choice.

By signing up with the Property Research Center, which is free, you have access to features that will help you find and organize the listings that best fit your needs:

  • Saved Searches allow you to preserve your searches for reference at a later time. You can easily maintain lists of properties that match your criteria without having to re-enter any information, and there is no limit to the number of searches you can save.
  • The Favorites Folder allows you to save the individual listings that you find appealing. You can save favorites from different searches into sub-folders, giving you the power to organize your favorite listings however you see fit. This is a great way to put in order those specific listings that interest you most. Again, you may save as many favorites as you wish.
  • With the New Listing Notification service, you can be updated via e-mail as to new listings that match the criteria of any saved search. There is no need to check back for updates to your searches. All you have to do is decide whether you want daily, weekly, or bi-weekly notifications of the most recent listings.

I always strive to make the home-buying process as smooth as possible. With the Property Research Center you have the tools at your fingertips that can get you started in the right direction. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, I would love to be of assistance.

To Be Continued…

 

Questions to Ask at an Open House

Open houses are an excellent way to view a property on a whim. They provide an opportunity to look through the property, and they give buyers a chance to get up close and personal, to glean as much information as they can about the property. If you’re on a search for a new home, and you are looking to attend some open houses, here is a list of important questions to ask while there.

“What is the neighborhood like?”

experienced agent will know and be able to provide information on the neighborhood if asked, and an open house is a great opportunity to ask. Not only are things like safety of the neighborhood, local schools and amenities important, you can also get information on things only locals will know: how the local traffic is during rush hour (and how noisy it is), if there are any parks nearby, if the community is friendly, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask, and if you get a vague answer, it might be worthwhile to ask a neighbor if you get the chance.

“What’s the interest like?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open houses are a great way to judge the popularity of a property, as the number of people present can be a good indicator of interest (although some of those people could be neighbors or people looking with no intent of buying). Asking the agent about the interest on a property is one way to judge any competition from other potential buyers. You can ask the agent about any current interest: if the response is vague, ask if there have been any offers. Tons of interest doesn’t necessarily mean many quality offers. It’s also important to check to see how long the property has been on the market, and if there are offers, ask if any are contingent.

“How much are utilities?”

Utilities make up a large part of a monthly budget, and for some buyers, utility costs may be higher in a new area than in their current property (especially if a renter is looking to buy). When attending an open house, ask the agent how much the monthly utilities cost the current owner. Also find out if the neighborhood or complex has an HOA: how much the monthly fees are, what they cover, and how often the fees are assessed. It’s up to the HOA to decide what the fees go toward, but for many HOAs the fees cover basic maintenance of the community, municipal services (trash removal, water and sewage), and lawn care or maintenance of any shared outdoor spaces (a community greenway or park). If the property is in an exceptional community, it could cover a clubhouse, community pool, fitness center and more (but with these additional items monthly HOA fees can be in the hundreds).

“How motivated is the seller?”

                   Buyers have specific needs when it comes to housing. They may be renters looking to buy and have a date when their current lease ends; they may already own a property and have an offer on their current home; or they could be living with family or friends and looking to buy something as soon as possible. At an open house, ask the agent how motivated the seller is. If the seller wants to be out of the property as soon as possible, he or she may be more willing to negotiate when it comes to offers. If they’re not motivated, or are hoping for a long closing, they may not be as interested in negotiations.

“Have there been any recent improvements?”

                    As a buyer, you want to know if a property has had recent upgrades or any construction done on it. Not only will this tell you what may or may not need to be replaced or upgraded after purchase, it also lets you know if the current owner has taken care of the property. You’ll be able to spot new appliances or modern cosmetic changes, but as a buyer you won’t be able to tell if the furnace is on the fritz, how old the electrical system is, or anything else that may be ‘hidden’ in the property. If any recent additions or large renovations have taken place, you’ll know to ask if the proper permits were obtained from the city, county or other government agency prior to the start of the work.

Sometimes buyers get caught up in the opportunity to look through a house during an open house and forget to use the time to ask important questions. Before you embark on your open house tours, remember your list of questions, as they’ll certainly help you make a decision on whether to pursue a property further or move on to the next one.

Gary Hall

Phone Number

Cell: (847)651-1993
Office Phone: (630)980-4440
Email Address
gary.hall@remax.net