My Blog

What Does a Buyer's Agent Do

8/13/2020

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After helping many first time home buyers successfully buy their dream home, I noticed something that I want to share with as many future first time home buyers as possible! What I noticed was that several of these buyers weren’t aware that they had the ability to use a buyer’s agent to represent them in one of the biggest purchases they will ever make!

I want to put this out there to help educate as many people as possible that you can and should have an agent who works for you when you are ready to buy a home because let’s be honest, buying a home involves a lot more steps than most people realize! So what does a buyer’s agent do? In a nutshell, they help you, the buyers; navigate the entire home buying process one step at a time. But let’s dive in and break this down! Make sure you read until the end because there is great news waiting for you there!

First things first, a buyer’s agent will start by meeting with you to go over the entire home buying process to get you fully equipped so you know exactly what to expect. They will help you identify your needs and wants in a home including your top priorities as well as your deal breakers. They will then set up a custom home search that will find listings that match your wants and needs only so that you don’t have to filter through hundreds of listings that don’t even fit what you’re looking for.

When you start looking at houses, you’ll notice that they will be listed by a real estate agent. What is great about a buyer’s agent that works for you is they work in your best interest, not the sellers. In addition to helping you find a house that meets your needs, they will also help you understand your options when it comes to writing an offer, advise you on the market, help you determine what price to offer the sellers and most importantly, negotiate on your behalf. If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation, they have strategies to help make your offer stand out while matching the seller’s priorities. Once you have an accepted offer, they maintain strong communication with both you and the listing agent so you will always be kept in the loop and never left wondering what’s next!

A buyer’s agent will remove as much doubt as possible. They will provide you with all the tools necessary to make an informed decision before you take on the investment of owning a home. Think of them as your go-to resource throughout the entire transaction. Not only will they educate you through each step, they will refer you to their trusted vendors. From lenders to home inspectors, title companies, and contractors, there can be so many moving parts in a transaction that you’ll be thankful to have the help of trusted professionals and save time trying to research them on your own. All of this will help you have peace of mind throughout the home buying process and prevent you from falling into the buyer’s remorse trap!

It’s time to fill you in on the best part about hiring a buyer’s agent. Here it is.. it costs you absolutely nothing! You might be thinking this all sounds great and I would love to have someone work on my behalf but how much is someone like this going to cost? Having a buyer’s agent won’t cost you anything because the sellers are responsible for paying the buyer agent’s commission. So if you’re already searching for homes online, googling questions you have about the process and you’re ready to dive in, what are you waiting for? It’s time to find yourself a buyer’s agent who will work for you and walk you through all of this – literally, one house at a time!

Look for a buyer’s agent who you feel is a good fit for helping you through the process of buying a home. When you’re interviewing different agents, you’ll want to make sure you choose someone who not only seems knowledgeable but someone who will be available, willing to educate you, able to communicate the way that you want and most of all, someone you feel comfortable working with!

Three Home Seller Myths You Need to Know

8/13/2020

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Whenever anyone mentions that they’re thinking of putting their house up for sale it seems that everyone wants to give their opinions on the subject. Because of that, a lot of myths have developed that seem to go around like the game, Telephone. Let’s debunk those myths so that when you’re ready to sell, you know the facts!

 MYTH #1: Automated Home Evaluations Are Always Accurate

Have you ever seen an Ad on Facebook that says “CLICK HERE to automatically determine your home’s market value” or something along those lines? If the answer is yes, I promise you’re not alone. The problem with the automated home evaluations is that they are not taking every factor into consideration and can result in false information, causing you to believe that your home value is less than what it actually is or even higher than what is realistic.

The internet doesn’t know if you refinished your hardwood floors, updated all your landscaping, added a brand-new deck or any other update you’ve put your hard earned money and possibly even your own valuable time into to improve your home.

What type of evaluation could give you an accurate answer? One where a LOCAL Real Estate Agent asks you for your contact info so they can conduct a personalized market analysis after asking you for more details about your home. Even better, schedule a consultation so that Agent can see your home in person and give you the MOST accurate answer. Listing Consultations cost you zero dollars and you have no obligation to order the for-sale sign and start signing afterwards.


MYTH #2: If You Don’t Have an Open House, Your Home Won’t Sell

Have you ever heard the actual stats on the success of an Open House? According to a 2017 survey by the National Association of REALTORS, only 7 percent of buyers find the home they buy through an Open House.

This isn’t to say that your home shouldn’t have an Open House when it’s for sale, but, it also isn’t the most effective marketing strategy. Holding an Open House will help increase exposure when your home first hits the market so it’s recommended to have your Agent hold one the first week that your home is on the market in order to drive as much traffic as possible to your listing. However, make sure your Agent has other marketing strategies they use other than standing around your house for a couple of hours every weekend.


MYTH #3: If You Price Your House on the High End, You’ll Have Room to Negotiate

Many sellers believe that if they price their house high, they’ll end up at the price they actually want. The problem with this is, that you’ll be decreasing the demand (number of interested buyers) when you first list your home which will automatically create a mindset that the home is priced too high.

When your home hits the market, you want to make sure you are drawing from the biggest pool of buyers to get as much exposure as possible. Pricing it on the high end will eliminate buyers who can afford the price you actually want because their budget might not go up to the price you’re starting with. Instead, price it at or slightly below the market value to increase demand, competition and ultimately more money in your pocket.

If you’re thinking of listing your home in the near future, you’re already in a better position knowing the truth about these common seller myths. To be even more prepared, make sure you schedule a listing consultation with a Real Estate Agent to find out what else you should know before listing your home for sale.

Top Lifestyle Considerations for Buying a Home

8/6/2020

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You’re not just buying a house, you’re buying a lifestyle! That means when you’re writing out your list of must-have home features and deal breakers, you need to think beyond the “house data” and figure out which features to focus on that will give you the lifestyle you want to live! As a buyer, you might say you’re looking for a 3 bedroom home with a finished basement on at least an acre and with an updated kitchen. An example of what you really might be looking for is a place to raise your growing family, a kitchen that overlooks the private backyard where you can watch your kids play catch while you make dinner, and extra space in the basement for games, toys and movie night! That’s just an example but I think you get the idea. So the lifestyle you are going to have in your new home is something you want to consider when determining which home features are best for your needs.
Number one - LOCATION MATTERS FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE! You hear it all the time in the real estate world – it’s all about the location, location, location, location… and it really is true! Because while you can change paint colors, counter tops and put on that massive deck you’ve always dreamed of, you can’t move your house to a new spot (not without a lot of money anyways).
Think of things like what your work commute will be like, how far of a drive you’re willing to have each day, the features you want in your community, and the school district you want to be in if that is important to you. Do you want to be in walking distance to the downtown? Do you want to be set further back from the road for privacy? What about the size of the city you live in? Do you want the feel of a small town lifestyle or are you happier in a busier city? The location of your home will be something that isn’t going to change so figure out what is essential to you when it comes to the location of your home and the lifestyle it will create!
Now let’s talk about the home features that fit your lifestyle. When you think of home features it’s easy to automatically jump to your running list of criteria such as the size of the garage, how many bedrooms you want, that must have updated kitchen and all of the “house data” like I mentioned. However, you are ultimately buying a lifestyle, not just a house. So I have some things for you to consider when it comes to the type of lifestyle you are ultimately looking for when you make a move! Write down these questions and really think about what your answers are:

  1. Where do you spend most of your time at home? If you love to cook and spend most of your time in the kitchen, you’ll want to prioritize the layout of the kitchen when looking for a home. You can always add in upgraded quartz countertops or that dreamy double oven but the size, layout and location of the kitchen should be a top concern if you don’t want to do any major renovations.

  2. What is something you wish you had in your current home?

  3. What is something you don’t want any longer in your current home? Is your yard a lot to maintain and you want something smaller with a lot less maintenance? Maybe it’s the opposite and your current yard is just too small for the lifestyle you have making one of your top priorities having a bigger yard with privacy.

  4. Which room in your house do you spend the most time in?

  5. How much space do you need to live comfortably and be able to enjoy the things you love the most?

  6. Are you hoping to have enough bathrooms to avoid chaotic mornings?

These questions will help you determine which features could be the most important to focus on when the time comes to look for a new home. Maybe features like hardwood floors aren’t as necessary as having a layout that is perfect for entertaining and hosting holiday parties. You can always swap out flooring later but the layout will be a little harder to change!
Think about how much time you want to put into your house. Do home flipping shows on HGTV resemble your homeownership goals? Many buyers are intent on finding a house they can remodel exactly they want they want which is awesome! However, they often don’t realize how much work, time and money it can take. HGTV can make remodeling and flipping houses look a lot easier than it is in reality. Consider how much time you have to spend on home projects before getting yourself into something that is over your head and potentially over your budget which leads us to…
Your lifestyle budget. Lastly, make sure to budget for your lifestyle, not just your house. It’s important to consider how much you can afford comfortably, not just what you can afford on paper.  Many buyers are pre-approved for a significantly higher amount than what they are actually comfortable spending on a monthly basis. Think about other expenses you have when it comes to your lifestyle – what else is important to you? Do you love to travel or go out to nice dinners on a regular basis? Do you love attending as many games of your favorite football team as possible? What hobbies do you have that cost money every month?  Make sure the amount you spend on your house doesn’t eat up all of your extra funds so you’re glued to the house and can’t have any fun doing the things you love!
There you have it, the top lifestyle considerations for buying a home! Location, home features that fit your lifestyle, how much work you’re willing to do and remember to budget for your lifestyle! If you’re considering buying a new home in the near future and you want to chat more about the type of lifestyle you’re looking for, comment below or send me a direct message so we can set up a time to grab coffee!
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