Our Real Estate Blog
- Experience: The length of time they've been in the real estate business and the number of clients they've represented in the past year can be useful points of reference in comparing qualifications.
- Knowledge: Your initial meeting should reveal a lot to you about the agent's familiarity with the local housing market and their comfort level with topics like mortgage providers, the application process, property inspections, closing costs, and marketing strategies for your property.
- Track record: A couple useful pieces of information you can request are examples of how long their listings have stayed on the market before being sold and how much the final sale price differed from the initial asking price.
- Availability and communication style: Although you certainly wouldn't want to be an agent's only client, it's nice to feel that you're among their top priorities. While it might be unrealistic to expect daily progress reports, you do want to hear from them on a regular basis. Responsiveness is also the mark of a superior real estate agent. Let's face it: Selling a house or looking for a new home can be stressful enough, without having to wonder if your agent is looking out for your best interests and providing you with top-notch service. Key takeaway: Asking them how long they typically take to respond to phone messages and emails is a good question to raise in your first meeting.
StairsStairs are the most obvious and most important thing to consider when making your home senior friendly. You probably have at least three sets of stairs in your home, but some people have many more. When it comes to making stairs safe for seniors and those with limited mobility you have three main options: Chair lift - If someone needs to get up a long flight of stairs, chair lifts are the most useful item to have in your home. These are expensive additions to a home, however, so you probably wouldn't want to invest in one unless it is a permanent alteration. Ramp - Ramps are great for outside stairways. At the very least you should have one ramp leading to your house. These can be assembled temporarily as well, which makes having a ramp a good option if you have a house guest with limited mobility. Alter current stairs - All stairs that remain in your home should have sturdy rails. If your stairways don't have any, installing rails is a good idea in general. Steps should have nonstick surfaces. You can buy an adhesive grip at most hardware stores. Rearrange - If your house guest is only staying for a short while it doesn't make sense to build ramps or buy an expensive chair lift. Instead, make sure they can access their bedroom and bathroom all on the ground floor. If that means switching bedrooms for a week, it's a much safer option that making them risk stairways daily.
Bathroom safetyThere are a number of small changes you can make in your bathroom to make it more accessible to those with limited mobility. Here are a few that every homeowner should make:
- Use slip resistant grip in the tub
- Leave bathroom lights on overnight to avoid trips
- Install a medical alert button in the bathroom within reach of the tub
- Make sure your bathroom door locks can be opened from both sides in case of emergency
- Practice good communication and awareness
General home safetyAside from stairs and bathrooms, the home has a number of other dangers that we often take for granted. Some good practices include:
- Remove slippery rugs from floors
- Clear walking spaces of clutter, moving furniture if you have to
- Have your guest let you know or accompany them when they're walking outside on dangerous surfaces
- Make your guest aware of things like fire extinguishers, telephones, and first aid kits
The home selling journey is an exciting time, and for good reason. Ultimately, the home selling journey represents a period of endless possibilities. And for those who start planning ahead for the home selling journey today, they may be able to enjoy immense profits down the line.
What does it take to reap the benefits of a profitable home selling journey? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Understand the Real Estate Market
The housing market may seem like a moving target at times. However, home sellers who analyze the real estate sector closely can identify patterns and trends and plan accordingly.
Home sellers can look at the prices of recently sold houses in their cities and towns to better understand the current state of the housing market. Then, these home sellers may be able to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market.
Also, home sellers can assess the prices of available homes that appear similar to their own. This housing market data enables a home seller to understand how his or her residence stacks up against the competition.
2. Assess Your Home Both Inside and Out
It never hurts to upgrade your residence, especially if you want to optimize your house's value. Fortunately, a home appraisal makes it simple to assess your house's interior and exterior so you can determine a competitive price for your residence.
A home appraisal requires a property inspector to look at a house's interior and exterior. Following the appraisal, a property inspector will provide a home seller with a report that details the condition of a house.
For home sellers, it is important to review all of a property inspector's findings. This will enable home sellers to identify opportunities to enhance their residences and prioritize various home improvement projects.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to enjoying a profitable home selling journey, it pays to go above and beyond the call of duty. With a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of selling your home and move closer to getting the best price for your residence.
A real estate agent is committed to client satisfaction, and as such, will go the extra mile to promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers. That way, you can boost your chances of receiving multiple offers on your home as soon as it hits the market.
Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf. He or she will even provide expert home selling recommendations at each stage of the home selling journey. As a result, a real estate agent will help you streamline the process of selling your house and maximizing your residence's value.
Don't miss out on an opportunity to enjoy a profitable home selling journey. Instead, use these tips, and you can improve your chances of selling your home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.
When you buy a home, there’s more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when you’re in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, you’ll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while you’re in the process of buying a home.
Do You Offer Any Special Programs?
Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you don’t feel that it is a good fit for you.
Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?
If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, you’re in good hands. If the type of loan that you’re looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs.
Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?
The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.
What Are The Mortgage Rates?
You’ll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. It’s not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan.
Do You Help With Down Payments?
There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that you’re able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.
Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?
In hot real estate markets, you’re going to need some proof that you’re pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount.
Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. It’s just another part of the home buying process!
Want to find your dream house quickly and effortlessly? You're not alone. In fact, many homebuyers across the United States browse the real estate market regularly in the hopes of finding their perfect residence.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways for homebuyers to accelerate the process of purchasing a house, and here are three tips to help homebuyers discover their dream houses without delay.
1. Set Realistic Expectations for Your Home.
When it comes to finding a residence, it is important to note that every house has its strengths and weaknesses. Thus, you'll want to set realistic expectations before you begin your search for the perfect home and differentiate the must-haves from the must-wants.
For example, you will need electricity, hot water and other utilities at your new home. On the other hand, you may want a house that features an indoor swimming pool, a fenced-in backyard and other deluxe amenities, but you need to keep in mind that you can live without these features as well.
Make a checklist of what you need and what you want from a future house. By doing so, you can simplify your home search and move one step closer to checking out houses that fulfill your needs perfectly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.
What good is finding your dream home if you are unable to afford it? Instead, get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your home search – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to establish a budget for your home search and browse properties accordingly.
Don't forget to consult with multiple lenders as you explore your mortgage options. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can find out about all of the financing options that are available.
Furthermore, be sure to check your credit score and get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the major reporting bureaus annually. And if you obtain a copy of your credit report, you can find out your credit score, work to improve it and boost your chances of securing a mortgage.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent.
Hiring a real estate agent is essential for those who want to accelerate the homebuying process, and for good reason. With a friendly, professionally trained real estate agent at your side, you can learn about new homes that are available, submit offers on residences and more.
Your real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. As such, he or she will work on your behalf to ensure you can purchase your dream home as quickly as possible.
Find a real estate agent to help you move along the homebuying process. This housing market expert will be happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries, and ultimately, make it easy to navigate each step of the homebuying journey.