Our Real Estate Blog
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While it's not always possible for conditions to be "perfect" when a real estate agent is showing a home for sale, things usually go more smoothly when homeowners are not present.
There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the family's presence at a real estate showing may make the prospect feel self conscious and uncomfortable.
Among other things, the potential buyer may feel like they're intruding and being an imposition. Some buyers also find it harder to concentrate on the many details they need to focus on to evaluate the home.
The ideal scenario happens when house hunters are able to picture themselves as the future owners of your home -- perhaps imagining what it would feel like to cook dinner in your kitchen, entertain guests in your living room, and relax on the back porch. However, when you and your family are there, it makes it more difficult for them to conjure up those images in their mind. So, to the extent that it's possible, it's often a good idea to take the kids out for ice cream or go on a short trip to the mall when a showing of your home is scheduled.
Granted, it may be a little inconvenient -- especially if the visit was set up at the last minute -- but you don't want to unintentionally dissuade someone from making an offer on your house. You never know what might "upset the apple cart!" There's a lot at stake and every prospect is a potential buyer.
Ideally, prospects should feel unpressured, unhurried, and free to express their opinions about what they're seeing. If they feel like they have to weigh their words carefully and be discreet about every reaction, then their discomfort may spill over into their feelings about the house, itself. Since buying a home is often an emotional decision, any negative feelings in the prospect could potentially derail the chances of a purchase offer being made.
Real estate agents not only serve as knowledgeable "tour guides" and objective sources of information for house hunters, but they're also there to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative aspects of a property. One of their main objectives is to put prospects at ease and help them appreciate all the desirable aspects of your home.
There are dozens of details, property features, unique attributes, and flaws that potential buyers are trying to assimilate and remember, so the fewer distractions there are, the better! That's why it makes sense to keep the atmosphere as uncomplicated as possible. It can be a bit of a delicate balance for real estate agents to maintain, but most have the training, experience, and finesse to keep things on an even keel and moving forward!
When we’re trying to find a new home and planning for the changes that will come with moving, it can seem daunting to also have to think about how you’re going to sell your old home.
Everyone has their own unique situation that they’ll have to account for when selling. Some people choose to buy a new home and move in before selling their old home. For others, this isn’t always possible and they have to rent or stay with family while they wait to close on their new house.
Regardless of your circumstances, there are a few things you can do to make the process of selling your home easier. In today’s post, we’ll teach you how to do just that.
1. Make a timeline
Undoubtedly, you’re going to have a lot going on in your life when selling your home. To keep yourself on track, work with your real estate agent to establish a timeline for accomplishing everything you need to do.
This will help you avoid feeling rushed when it comes to completing the tasks on your list. Whether that includes cleaning, packing, preparing documents, or popping the champagne bottle after your sale, it always pays to have a schedule.
To make this process even easier, be sure that you and your spouse/family are working on the same schedule so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Pack and store
When you’re showing your home to potential buyers, you don’t want it to be cluttered with your personal belongings. Furthermore, all of those belongings will soon have to be packed and transported anyway.
To save yourself time and to increase the appeal of your home while it’s on the market, pack up your items by room and store them until you’re ready to move.
You can do this by renting a storage unit or just packing things neatly in your basement until you can move.
3. Make minor repairs now
Before ever putting your home on the market, it’s a good idea to do a thorough walkthrough of the home to check for small issues that you either haven’t noticed or have been putting off.
When a potential buyer visits your home, you can be sure that they’ll be looking for signs that the how was well-maintained. This is your chance to prove that you’ve been staying on top of things around the house.
Making these repairs in advance if selling your home will relieve some of the workload and stress you’ll be feeling once you get closer to selling.
4. Be available
This last step can be the hardest, especially if you and your spouse work full-time and have children with obligations like sports.
Your real estate agent will do most of the work for you when it comes to showing and preparing the home. However, it’s vital that you’re available to respond quickly at key times. This means answering any questions your agent has for you, gathering paperwork when it’s needed, and discussing offers when they’re made.
If you can pull of these four steps, you’ll be in good shape to sell your home quickly, ensuring a smooth sale and transition for you and your family.
Owning a condo can provide you with the best of both worlds. While you own your unit, ownership of the common areas, land and building are shared. The other members of the condo association share costs with you. Either a property management company or the board of directors is responsible for making any big decisions.
There are a number of advantages of condo living but there are six big ones:
1. No Outside Maintenance
Regardless of the season, there is always outside work that needs to be done. Thankfully, if you live in a condo, then someone else is responsible for mowing the grass, pruning the trees and shoveling the walks. You also won't have to worry about making any repairs to the outside structures. The condo fees that you pay monthly are designed to pay for these services.
2. Customize Your Space
If you rent an apartment, you're usually limited in the ways you can decorate. This isn't the case when it comes to condo living. You can paint the walls to suit your tastes, hang pictures wherever you like and even renovate to create the perfect space.
3. Access to Amenities
Many condo buildings offer amenities that aren't included in many homes or apartment buildings. Tennis courts, a gym, basketball courts and a swimming pool are just a few of the popular options.
4. Prime Location
Living space in a major city can often be difficult to find -- not to mention expensive. Opting for condo living often provides a practical solution to this issue. You'll also be able to enjoy easy access to things like shopping, cultural events, dining, public transportation, work and more.
5. Share Major Costs
Typically, a portion of your condo fees are earmarked for a reserve fund. This is used for major repairs like replacing the roof, renovating the exterior or repaving the parking lot. In the event that the reserve fund isn't sufficient to pay for a needed expense, you won't have to bear the cost alone. Instead, it will be equally shared among all the condo owners.
6. Extra Security
Some condo buildings have a secure entrance, are gated or have a doorman. Having neighbors that live beside you might make you feel safer. If you travel, you won't have to worry about your home as much.
Condo living can allow you to enjoy the freedom of homeownership without the negatives that sometimes go along with it. A local real estate agent can help you find a condo that meets your needs.
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.