Getting an Inspection Before you Sell

inspectorEarlier last year I wrote a blog about the Necessity of Having a Home Inspection. It has always seemed like a no-brainer to have one done when you’re buying a home. There are so many reasons to have one done but the obvious one is

You need to to know what’s wrong with the home before you purchase.

It’s purely for your protection. But what about turning the tables?

If you’re going to sell your home, should you get an inspection BEFORE you list it?

If you’re not trying to sell a home as a fixer-upper, then it may be a great idea!

Forbes magazine highlights 3 good reasons Why you Should Have Your Home Inspection Before You Sell

  1. It shows your home is an open book: having a pre-inspection shows buyers you’re serious about selling your property
  2. It can save you money in the long run: by knowing what the problems are before hand, sellers can fix them. Then when buyers see the house they know that the sellers are committed to not only selling their property but providing an honest transaction. Without having to renegotiate price and projects after the offer is signed, it can save you money.
  3. It can highlight your home’s assets: buyers will be able to see the great features of your home¬† and things you fixed. Foundation cracks, moisture elimination, plumbing fixes.

There are a lot of good inspection companies out there and each one can perform various levels of service.

So, are you thinking of selling? Maybe you should consider an inspection and get serious!

Seller Beware for Floppers

We’ve all heard of house FLIPPING. It’s a common term in real estate these days and was very popular and easy for investors during the market crisis starting in 2008. Buying a foreclosed property at low prices, fixing it up and selling it for a profit. Nothing illegal about it.beware

This weekend my friend alerted me to a new practice that does have illegal connotations. It’s called FLOPPING.

Maybe you’ve seen those signs at intersections all over the country.

We buy houses cheap…they say along with other promises of buying your property at below market prices. Here’s how it works:

  • a homeowner needs to get out of their property quick
  • along comes a buyer (who does not have a real estate license) promising to buy the property¬† for less money that it’s worth
  • the homeowner agrees
  • the buyer (1) then lines up another buyer (2) to purchase the property at more than buyer (1) should be paying
  • at closing buyer (2) is the actual person who pays for the property and buyer (1) pockets the difference

In our example, not only has buyer (1) brokered a sale illegally, but they were deceitful to all parties involved and made a profit.

You can read more about this shady practice and why officials are keeping an eye on this growing trend in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s article Real Estate Sales Tactic Skates the Line.

Do you have any experience with these buyers or have you attended a seminar to learn about them? Let us know and spread the word to others trying to sell their homes quick.

The Home Search Begins

You never know what other people feel until you are in the same circumstance. That’s my current situation right now, and here’s the scenario.

My wife and I live in an apartment and have for several years. There’s a lot to be said for apartment living. Pool access, maintenance on call, tennis courts, free cookies in the clubhouse…the list goes on. home_listings_search

As a real estate professional I have helped others find new homes, but now it’s my turn. We have started our own home buying process. I have finally gotten the inside scoop on what buyers are feeling and have come away with some advice.

  1. Stay connected to your lender: not only is finding a good lender so important but maintaining contact with them is key. They have so much information on different loans for different properties. They can give you specific property taxes and can give you an estimate on what your mortgage payment can be per property.
  2. Have a good agent: I have an agent friend helping us out and she is fantastic. It’s great getting a second perspective and opinion on the homes we see. Someone objective without the emotion of living in the property is key in my situation.
  3. Try to stay realistic: we found what we thought was the perfect home on the second day of looking. Then we had to be realistic and look at all the variables. It was initially hard on our emotions to say NO to the house but now we don’t regret the decision.
  4. Don’t rush: I understand there are situations where clients need a home fast. If you’re not in one of those situations please take your time. When you first start your search there are a lot of homes to look at. Once you get through the list don’t be anxious. More homes will come on the market in time.

This has been an exciting process to start. I know the steps that need to happen and the best way to go about them, but actually being on the BUYER end of the transaction is a new experience. And I know it will be rewarding in the end.

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

This is a blog I posted last year, and it’s so appropriate I wanted to share it again.

Don’t make New’s Year’s resolutions because, let’s face it, you won’t stick to it anyway. It seems like everyone wants to start the new year off with a promise to themselves that they’re going to do something very generic.

Daily Disney (Explored)
Express Monorail / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

I’m going to lose weight.

I’m going to read more this year.

I’m going to take up a hobby.

I’ve heard so many people make these self-proclaimed promises and not keep them. In fact I’ve made many of these resolutions and after several weeks blown it off completely.

According to Forbes only 8% of people complete their New Year’s Resolution. So now you’re wondering why I’m telling you to not make resolutions. Should you just throw in the towel and go for that extra box of chocolate? Sure, or you can make something more attainable. Try making GOALS.

In his book EntreLeadership, Dave Ramsey suggests that you make goals in 7 key areas of your life.

Career, financial, spiritual, physical, intellectual, family, and social.

Why goals instead of resolutions? Because goals are naturally attainable measurements. And that’s what your goals have to be. Measurable. Dave says to actually meet your goals they have to be:

  • specific
  • measurable
  • with a time limit

It’s not good enough to say: I want to lose weight.

Instead you have to say: I want to lose 10 lbs in 2 months and this is how many times a week I’m going to the gym to accomplish it.

The generic resolution becomes a goal that’s specific, you can measure the progress, and you can see the results in the end.

Try going through those 7 areas of your life and picking one or two that you’d like to focus on this year. Be creative with your goals and be specific!

QUESTION: do you have any goals you’d like to make in the next year? Share them in the comment’s section so we can cheer you on.

Protect Your Home During the Holidays

We all love to travel during the holidays. Christmas is a great time to get together with family and friends and to travel to far off places to visit distant relatives. Being safe on your trip should be your top priority, but what about the home you leave behind?burglar-through-window

Sometimes we don’t think about all the ways our homes can be inviting to the ones we don’t invite. Christmas is particularly a good time for thefts to occur. Before the holiday, all the presents are wrapped neatly under the tree. After Christmas, not only are the presents already unwrapped and laying neatly in front of your window, but the boxes are all lined up on the curb waiting for trash day.

If you’re wondering how you can protect your home and your family from a home invasion check out this helpful post: 9 Ways to Protect your Home from Burglary. Here is a quick rundown of their list but you can check the website for more info on each one.

  1. Prune the shrubbery
  2. Close the blinds and drapes
  3. Don’t advertise your new purchases
  4. Get motion sensors
  5. Set indoor timers
  6. Reinforce entry points
  7. Shield windows near doors
  8. Install deadbolts
  9. Use common sense

My favorite on this list is shielding windows near doors. It mentions using plexiglass as windows at entry points. It keeps people from breaking in and opening the door from the inside.

Which one is your favorite? Please be safe during the holidays!

And Merry Christmas!

2015 New Home Trends

If you are thinking of remodeling in the next year or you just want to spruce up those tired living spaces then you are in luck. Remodeling experts are doing the work for you and they evaluate buying trends in home repairs. coolcolors

No need to guess what will be popular in the years to come. They have done the leg work for you. Check out this blog post from the Real Estate Book called New Home Trends You Should Know About in 2015.

Here is a rundown of the updates that are going to turn heads in the new year:

  1. Vinyl tiling verses ceramic
  2. Painted kitchen cabinets and less stainless steel
  3. Engineered counter tops verses granite
  4. Cooler bathroom colors
  5. Play areas off of the kitchen
  6. Bigger closets and bathrooms

That’s an impressive list! Get more on these projects and how they can fit into your 2015 designs by checking out the link.

Which one is your favorite remodel update? My favorite is cooler bathroom colors.

Top Real Estate Markets in the Country

During the past six years this country has seen housing markets turned upside down. Thankfully since then the markets have slowly recovered, while they may not necessarily be at the levels they once were, this is great news for buyers and sellers alike. 1

In some markets the recovery has benefited sellers with soaring prices. In other markets recovery has benefited investors who are buying for rentals and flips.

In an article from bankrate.com they list the 5 best markets for the 3rd quarter of 2014.

Being in Ohio, I’m very encouraged to see two Ohio cities on the list. Toledo and Dayton both have markets that are in the recovery process, and that’s very exciting!

Check out the article and see if you have a state or city represented.

 

Classy Christmas Decorating

Christmas is the best time of season to decorate. In my house, we have a number of bins that sit in the closet all year only to come out in December to turn our normal home into a holiday wonderland. It’s so exciting!lighted-branch_300

If you checked out my previous post on How to Hang Christmas Lights then you already have the exterior finished. But what about the inside. And a big question for home sellers:

How should I decorate if I’m trying to sell my home and should I even try?

My answer is YES!

You should definitely decorate for the Christmas season, but you have to think about it from a buyer’s perspective.

Check out this great article 12 Easy and Elegant Christmas Decor ideas. In this photo gallery you can find great ideas to add elegance to your home during this festive season.

The tips you find here will put a smile on any buyer’s face. My favorites are coloring light bulbs for a centerpiece and creating your own table runner out of string and foam board. Sure it sounds crafty but it looks fantastic.

After you take a look at the article, let me know which one is your favorite!

Don’t Fear to Refer

You may have heard a Real Estate Professional mention the word “referral.”

You may have read it on a letter sent by a company through the mail.Should-you-be-friends-with-people-at-work

You may even have heard your friend mention it when talking about an agent they recommend.

But maybe you don’t really know what it means or why its so important not only to real estate agents but to any word-of-mouth business.

A referral is just what it sounds like. It is telling a friend, family member, or coworker about the great service that you experienced. The goal being that when they are in a situation to need those services, they will contact your business professional.

This seems pretty simple and not really worth mentioning in a blog, yet it is so important. Referrals become the life-blood of the real estate professional. As an agent, I only know a certain amount of people. Everyday I can network and meet new people, but there is no way I can talk with everyone.

This is where you come in. Here is an example: lets say an agent only knows 5 people (sad) and works with 2 of those people and does a fantastic job selling them a home. Now both of those people also know 5 people each and they tell all their friends. Of those 10 new people that now know about the agent 3 of them contact him/her to buy a home. And naturally the agent does a fantastic job.

What do you think happens next? You guessed it, and the cycle continues! The agent can now reach so many more people and provide fantastic service to them all. Does this meant that the agent can sit back and wait for the phone to ring?

As if! They want to meet more people with which to share their fantastic level of service. And that’s why referrals are so important to the real estate professional.

Is there a friend you can tell about a professional you know?