Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 3/20/2018

If you’re searching for a home and are looking for a deal, you may turn to homes that are listed as “For Sale By Owner.” These homes tend to be a great deal for the sellers, but not necessarily the buyer. This makes it all the more important that you hire a buyer’s agent for yourself. Your agent can check a bit of the work that the owner is doing without hiring a real estate agent for himself. When buying a for sale by owner property you’ll want to do all of the same things that you would do if you were buying a property that was for sale through a realtor including:

  • Check the asking price through comps
  • Get a property inspection
  • Make an offer and complete contract negotiations
  •  Check how long the home has been on the market

Just because a home is for sale by an owner, there’s no need to give up on the normal procedures that one goes through in buying a home. You have the right to have a buyer’s agent represent you in the transaction. Beware though as some for sale by owners are not willing to pay commission to any agents including buyers‘ agents. Be sure that the contracts are clear in this area so that you don’t fall in love with a home only to find out that you can’t use your agent in the transaction.

Other Points To Consider In A For Sale By Owner Transaction

You may need to hire an attorney, especially for an estate sale or short sale. 

You still need a home inspection and have the right to back out of the sale if something isn’t satisfactory about the home. The home inspection is important because it can reveal serious problems with a home such as high levels of radon, issues with the furnace, or a possible plumbing disaster waiting to happen.           

You may want a C.L.U.E. Report 

This type of report tells you what kind, if any, insurance claims have been made on the property in the past 5 years. The report will detail the date of the claim, the cause (if a natural disaster) and the amount that was paid to fix the damage. 

You should still get pre-approved

Getting pre-approved before buying a home is just something that should be automatic for buyers. It really lets the seller know that you’re serious about purchasing a property.

Buying a for sale by owner home is the same as purchasing any other property. You’ll just need to be an informed buyer through the process in order to make sure you’re doing what’s right for you.        

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 3/13/2018

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If you’re a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. It’s very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If you’re looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 

First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they can’t tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that there’s strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  

Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.

Good Communicator

A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isn’t active, they will check in, and see where you’re at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that you’re interested in as well. Your buyer’s agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor that’s on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  

Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices

Your buyer’s agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyer’s agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 1/2/2018

If you're selling your home you'll want to take photos that show off both the inside and the outside of the property. Taking photos outside, however, is drastically different than inside. You'll be dealing with a lot more natural light, which you can use to your advantage. However, you'll also have the disadvantage of having to work with the elements: changes in lighting, shadows, weather and climate, and so on. In this article, we'll show you how to take great photos of your home with a digital camera. We'll cover the settings and angles to get you started, and then it will be up to you to experiment to get those stunning exposures you'd see in a magazine.

Step 1: Setting up the yard

As important as how you take the photo is what you're photographing. Even the best photography will fall short if they lack the right subject to shoot. Before you even reach for your camera, you'll need to do some work in the yard. Freshly mown grass is one of the most important aspects of outdoor real estate photography simply for the reason that it takes up so much of the frame. A full, lush yard will pop in the photo, plus it will tell your potential home buyers that the lawn is well-manicured. Aside from the lawn, it's important that other landscaping features be tidied up. That doesn't mean you have to go out and buy new lawn decorations. Simply make sure that the lawn is edged neatly, that any mulch is fresh and not faded looking, and that trees, bushes, and plants have all been pruned and trimmed. It's also a good idea to clean your doors, windows, shutters, and siding of your home. A pressure washer works wonders, but you can often get them clean enough with a good car wash scrubber.

Step 2: Setting up your shot

There are many techniques to photographing the exterior of a home. Some photographers wait until the sun is setting and turn on all the lights in the home creating the sense that the house is the warm center of the property. Other photographers prefer to shoot in the day time with a sunny sky to show of the home's architectural details. Whichever way you choose, there are two important things to remember when taking your photos: First, make sure you have shots with the entire house in the frame. Not only is it more aesthetically pleasing this way, but it also allows potential buyers to see what the house would look like with the naked eye. Second, be sure to take detail photos of any aspects of the home or property that are of particular interest, such as a pool, patio, or excellent view.

Step 3: Camera settings

As a rule, you'll want to take your outdoor shots using a tripod. Camera shake can cause blurry, out of focus photos even indoors. But when you're outside, you also have the wind and uneven ground to deal with. Move around and take shots rom several different angles. You'll likely find that shots taken head-on with the house feel flat, whereas shots taken diagonally create more space, making the home and yard appear larger and more interesting.

Tags: Real estate   home   photography   exterior  
Categories: Real estate   Home   photography   exterior  

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 4/20/2016

Real estate is growing strong in many parts of the country. First-time and entry-level buyers find little inventory but lots of competition, leading to a frustrating seller’s market.

For sellers, this means quicker and easier sales, if they cross their t’s and dot their i’s. For buyers, this means fighting it out with others for their dream home. Here are tips for both sellers and buyers in competitive markets.

Seller: Prepare, inspect, disclose and plan ahead

Although you hold the cards and can call the shots, the market is less forgiving if you make a mistake. Going “back on market” can mean that you will never see the dream deal you had with the first buyer.

The trick is not to lose the first buyer. If you know you have issues, get in front of them. It’s better for you to tell your buyer before they discover it on their own, because once you have a deal, the buyer takes control.

If the roof is old, you have a room that’s not permitted, or you have a small plumbing issue, it’s better for you to tell the buyer in advance, so they can factor that into their offer. Buyers are more forgiving of defects if they are competing with other buyers. But withholding it from them could kill your deal.

Buyer: Be ready to move

Buyers today are aggressive, motivated and quick to act. You must compete with these folks if you are serious about becoming a homeowner in a competitive sellers’ market.

The second a desirable new listing alert hits your phone or email, make a point to see it. If a home goes on the market Tuesday, you can’t expect it will still be available that weekend.

The competitive juices and a strong desire for homeownership will propel a serious buyer to get into a house and make an offer within hours of it listing. If you have a seriously motivated seller, they will work with the buyer and take it off the market. There is nothing more disappointing than to hear a great home is no longer available.

Seller: Have a strategy for dealing with offers

It might seem obvious to take the offer you get two days after going on the market, but are you moving too fast? Will there be others if you wait? You and your agent should know going in what to expect from the market.

There’s no universal approach because each town, county and a market are different. In some, it will make more sense to wait a week to 10 days, have more showings and review any and all offers at once. In others, you might want to act on the offers as they come.

If you take the wrong approach, you might miss out on a better offer to come, or lose the excitement and momentum of your hot-to-trot buyer.

Buyer: Expect to miss out a few times

I always tell buyer that they need to miss out on a few houses to truly appreciate it when the right house comes along.

The process takes buyers in many directions, and is organic in nature. Go with it. You might not offer enough or not act fast enough on one or two homes early on. Missing out motivates you to keep in the market and up the ante.

Plus the more you see homes, the more comfortable you will be with the market and how it works. The first offer you make might be comparable to a home you fall in love with a month later.

Learn from each missed opportunity. Knowing that you lost out once before will motivate you to make the best offer the next time. You don’t know what you don’t know, so be willing to chalk up a loss or two to experience. Plus when you look back, you may realize that a home you thought was perfect wouldn’t have been so great after all.

Seller: Know the competition — and compete

A smart seller will hit the open house circuit weeks before going on the market. Once they are ready to go, they will analyze the “comps” again. The strategic seller will price their home to get the eyeballs and activity.

Chances are you can’t compete with the similar home down the block with the killer kitchen. But price your home well below it, and a buyer sees value and room for improvement in your kitchen.

Today’s buyers like the herd mentality. If someone else wants your home, it must be desirable and valuable, so they want it, too. The well-priced homes that show well will grab the immediate attention of the buyers, and sell faster and for more money.

Be prepared, whether buying or selling

Real estate is expensive, and the process can be stressful. In active markets, both sellers and buyers need to be on their game if they want to successfully buy and sell.

Sellers have the advantage because they can plan in advance of going on the market. They have the luxury of being proactive, and they should use that to their advantage.

Buyers need to be reactive and, as such, they need to be prepared to move on a dime. When all is said and done, life goes back to normal. But prepare for a wild ride in the meantime.

Courtesy of: Zillow

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 9/29/2015

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low?  How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need.  Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save $6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.

JoAnn M. Drabble