Mistakes To Avoid On Your First Buy/Sell


first buy or sellAre you a first time home buyer about to enter the market, or possibly about to sell your first purchase?   There are a lot of challenges, and sometimes it’s a bit nerve-wracking, but rest assured, having an agent who is responsive to your questions and fears can make all the difference.  Here are some things to think about, and ideas to keep in mind as you move forward.

Pricing a property is a science of its own. There are a lot of components and factors, so many small details, that ultimately lead to the value of a home.  Turning to sites that offer property estimates may give you an idea of the general market, but even the most popular (Zillow) can unfortunately be off by 20% or more, according to their own statistics.  A Realtor will study recent sales and active listings to see how your home compares and can come up with a number that matches the current market.  You do need to know your personal bottom line (how much you owe minus the cost to sell) because this can be helpful when you get ready to negotiate.

If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, hard-set on what you want without exception, you’re going to cause a lot of unnecessary grief and stress for yourself during the sales process.  An experienced agent can help you choose where to compromise and where to stand your ground.   If you’re a buyer, and the seller is unwilling to compromise at all, your agent can help you decide whether to stay in the fight or walk away.   If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you’ll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home.  A great agent can help all parties to the transaction feel like they’ve won – because at the end of the day, if you get through closing – you have!

When you’re purchasing a home, and you want to find a deal, you may need to discuss your budget with your agent to understand about what you might expect within your price range. Sometimes it leads to a bit of compromise, but it can also help you find out what features, locations and other items on your checklist are the most important, and which items may not matter as much. I worked with a family recently who moved here from a more urban (and more expensive!) area. They started out with what I found to be a realistic list of must-haves, but after seeing only a few carefully selected homes; I was able to show them some of the best features of our area, and they have now shifted their focus entirely! You shouldn’t scrap everything you know and love, but being open-minded can sometimes yield surprisingly awesome results.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as they are. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From contract terms and effective negotiation, to finding homes that aren’t even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs un-experienced buyers and sellers may not think about. Avoid the stress of “learning the hard way” and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.

Why You Need an Agent for New Construction

Are you ready to buy a home and considering a new build? It’s not a super complicated  process, and you get to call a lot of the shots in how you want your dream home to be, but there can be considerable risk when it comes to new construction if you are going in blindly. It’s unfortunately not as trouble-free as we’d like to hope, if you don’t have the right representative by your side to help with the things that need to be looked out for from a professional’s eye. Below, we’ll dive into the many reasons you need a professional buyer’s agent representing you in the sale. They are, after all, on your side. And it’s their role to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of by the builders and their representatives in the transaction.   The best news?  Using a buyer’s agent won’t cost you a dime!  The builder/seller pays their commission in most, if not all cases.  You get the benefit without the fee.

The most important part of finding an agent is having a professional’s perspective to finding a builder with a great reputation, and to know which builders to avoid.  Having an agent with a substantial network can lead you to the builder with the right plans, in the right neighborhood or area that really suits your needs and will help you achieve the lifestyle you’re seeking.

The lot you choose to go with in a new build can either be a positive to your new home, or detrimental.  Whether you’re single with pets, or a family with children, the lot location can really make a huge impact. Especially when it comes time to selling it in the future. These are important things your agent will be able to help walk you through, so your decisions work in your favor both now and in the future.

Not only will your agent be able to ensure you get the upgrades and modifications that best suit your lifestyle, but can also guide you on the impact various upgrades may have on the resale value.  They are working for your best interest long-term, and with an agent’s guidance, you can be sure to make changes that end up benefiting you.

Many builders provide their own contract documents, drawn up for them by their lawyers.  It’s always a good idea to have someone you trust look over the terms in a builder’s contract to make sure you know what you are agreeing to.  During the building process, they may contact the builder and even the construction supervisor to check on the progress and to ensure important items on your list are double checked.  Your agent represents only YOU throughout this process.

It is imperative in the purchasing process to have an agent that is able to represent you and negotiate for you. The building process is so much more than having the builder put in your favorite counters and floors. They will be able to get you a price that actually benefits you – not the builder. They will be able to run a comparative market analysis to ensure you are paying a fair price for the property. You don’t want to end up overpaying for the home – it could put you in a tough spot when it comes time to sell. They’ll also be able to negotiate terms around building time frame, closings costs, and so many other aspects of a contract that you may otherwise overlook.
It may seem easy just to pop into an office of a new build, or a builder’s office, and use the on site agent. But keep in mind that this agent works FOR the builder, NOT for you. So they will be working to make sure the builder gets the best deal at the end of the day. By having a buyer’s agent of your own, you can ensure there is a professional on your side that can walk you through the process and avoid being taken advantage of during the transaction. They will also have a better handle on things when you hit bumps along the way. If you end up working with a builder who isn’t holding their end of the deal, they will have the power to make connections that ensure the builder holds their end of the contract terms.

Happy Building!


10 Home Chores to Do Annually

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Sing me some graces, there is such a thing as over-cleaning! Here are ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!

1. Curtains & Drapes

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean the dusting part. You’ll want to dust at least once a month, but when it actually comes time to getting them cleaned, you only really need to do that once a year. You can take them in to get dry cleaned or follow the instructions on their tags if you choose to wash them at home.

2. House Gutters

Gutter guards can be a great investment, especially if you live around trees that shed all year long. These can keep your gutter cleanings minimal, generally about once per year. You’ll want to do this in the autumn when all (or most) of the leaves from the trees have already fallen.

3. Fireplace & Chimney

After the winter, you’ll want to give your wood-burning fireplace a thorough cleaning. You can use a shop vacuum to clean up the embers. Make sure to wash down the fireplace tools as well. Gas fireplaces don’t require as much attention, but you should still make sure it is clean and tidy.

4. Carpets

I wish this meant vacuuming, but that’s pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, I’m referring to a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer.  This is a great time for families with school children, since the kids are back in school, and it’s even better, because your carpets will look their best for the upcoming holidays.

5. Outdoor Furniture

The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes happen while you’re using them, you want to clean the spots right away, so you avoid an accumulation of stains in a short period.

6. Mattress

Mattresses have improved through the years but they still need a little bit of attention. At least once a year, give your mattress a thorough cleaning and change the position of it.

7. Kitchen Cabinets & Pantry

Early November is a great time to clean out kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the food pantry to get them ready for the holidays. Do a section of cabinets at a time and empty them out completely. Wipe down the shelves and reline with shelf paper if needed.

8. Linen Closet

Just once a year, empty out your linen closet and give it a thorough cleaning. Take time to vacuum away dust and spiderwebs and reline any shelves.

9. Garage, Basement, & Attic

No one is expecting you to have a perfect garage, basement, or attic. However, a good cleaning at least once a year can help you keep an eye on things, such as moisture or insect problems. It can also feel good to get rid of junk that tends to accumulate in these hidden spaces.

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you can always give me a call, and I’ll refer over some preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks.