Fort Lee NJ Real Estate Blog

Top 10 New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year! 

If you've resolved to ring out the old and start the New Year with clean slate, you're in good company.

Here are the this year's most popular resolutions:

10. Find a new / better job
9. Volunteer / contribute more to charity
8. Learn something new
7. Exercise more
6. Spend more time with family / close friends
5. Do more new / exciting things
4. Quit smoking
3. Make smarter financial decisions
2. Lose weight / eat healthier
1. Buy a home or move
 
All the best to you in the New Year! If you or anyone you know needs help buying or selling a home I can help!

...

Four Great Reasons to Buy A Home This Winter 2018

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Winter!  

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market

Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019. An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your...

10 things you must fix before selling your home

If you’re planning to list your home for sale, now is the perfect time to fix odds and ends.

We’ve learned that there are specific issues that must be fixed before listing because buyers not only will not like the problems, the house will be a heck of a lot harder to sell if the issues aren’t fixed.

(While you’re perusing the list, try to identify the theme…see the last paragraph for the answer!)

01. Mystery switches.

Every switch should operate something, anything.  A switch should not include warning labels (e.g., pull this cord at your own risk)!  Make sure all fixtures have working light bulbs.  It’s important not to leave any questions about the integrity of the electrical system.

02. Water stains.

Water stains are big fat red flags.  Please – don’t try to hide water issues, the truth will always come out.  If you have any concern about water intrusion anywhere, you must resolve the issue and repair damage before listing. 

03. Quirky thrones.

Over the millennia of human innovation, toilets were a pretty trick invention, possibly as nifty as the internal combustion engine.  OK, not really, but toilets are pretty cool when you think about them.  We have seen lots of toilet weirdness, the most prevalent of which includes toilets that never stop running, or toilets that have loose bases, or toilets that require some special knowledge to operate.  The beauty of toilets, other than the fact that they make stinky stuff disappear, is that they’re generally easy to fix before listing.

04. Fire in the hole!

Buyers love fireplaces.  They’re cozy.  They’re for cuddling.  They’re romantic.  And, as a side benefit, they help to reduce energy costs.  But fireplaces can be a source of concern to buyers if there is any uncertainty about condition, especially for buyers...

10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Congratulations, your offer was accepted and you’re going to be a homeowner! After you’ve made all your phone calls to share the big news and sipped on a glass or two of celebratory champagne, it’s time to move on to the next step in the home buying process: the home inspection.

At first glance, property inspections can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never been through the process. That’s where we come in.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections. Give it a glance before you send the inspector out to view your new property. It will give you the ability to go into the transaction feeling more informed and better able to advocate for yourself.

1) Inspections are Optional

To those unfamiliar with real estate, it can seem like inspections are just what’s expected. Watching enough reality TV can give you the impression that everyone completes all of their inspections because they are waiting for a huge problem to arise (right in time for commercial break, of course). In the real world, it’s up to the buyer to decide which inspections they would like completed – if any at all.

Generally speaking, inspections are a great idea. They give you an idea of a home’s problems before you buy it and most times will allow you to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of some repairs. Essentially, they give you an idea of whether or not you’re equipped to handle this property or if you should move onto another that better suit your needs.

However, there are a few possible exceptions: mainly condos and other living situations where the bulk of home maintenance is covered by an association. Before you decide to forgo the inspection, make sure you’re aware of your responsibility...

When Is the Timing Perfect for a Price Reduction?

Do you know the perfect time to reduce the price of your home? Your agent does. Whether you call it a price reduction, improvement, or adjustment, nobody wants to hear about lowering prices except a buyer. In slow markets and buyer's markets, it's not unusual for sellers to point fingers at the agents and agents to point fingers at seller's unrealistic expectations for a price.

Considerations Before Agreeing to Reduce the Price

  • How many hits has your listing received in MLS?
  • Do the marketing comments sell the benefits or features?
  • What kind of direct mail campaign has been launched?
  • How many open houses have been held?
  • How does the house show online; are there a lot of beautiful pictures?
  • Is your signage in a prominent location, contain several phone numbers, plus a Web site?
  • Do you have a virtual tour published?
  • What kind of feedback have you received from agents and buyers?
  • Are you offering enough compensation to selling agents?
  • Have you had showings and how many?

 

Are You Selling in a Buyer's Market and Have Little Motivation?

Maybe you don't have to sell. When the market is slow and inventory is high, demand falls. If that's the case, maybe you should take your home off the market.

It makes no sense to put an overpriced home in MLS that is not receiving any showings because it skews the numbers for market performance. You might be better off renting your house or staying put until the market rebounds if you're not motivated to sell.

Picking the Right Price

If you're too high, you'll need to continually reduce the price until you hit that "magic" number. It's called chasing the market down, which is a bad thing. Buyers will begin to wonder if something is wrong with your house and how much lower will you may be willing to go. Ideally, you want no more than one price reduction, and here are guidelines...

How to Prepare Your House for Sale

Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar, but it takes more than luck to make this happen. It involves careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home so that you'll convince homebuyers to scurry for their checkbooks.

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

Letting go can be difficult. You've lived here, possibly for years, and it's your home. It's become a part of you. But you have to make that emotional break. Tell yourself, "This is not my home. It is a house. It is a product to be sold just like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf."

Make the mental decision to let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners.

Say goodbye to every room. Stand in each doorway and talk out loud about your memories if that's what it takes. Don't look backward. Look to the future.

Depersonalize the Space

Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. You'll have to do it eventually anyway when you move, and buyers tend to have a hard time seeing past personal effects. You don't want your potential buyers to be distracted. You want them to be able to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there.

This goes for furniture items, too, painful as that might be. Not everyone will share your taste, so if you have your bright red sofa screams, "I'm unique!" you might want to remove it for the time being. Try to stick with your more understated pieces.

Depersonalizing Includes Decluttering

People tend to collect an amazing quantity of junk. If you haven't used a certain item in over a year, you probably don't need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Do you really want to go to the trouble of packing it up and carrying it to your next home?

Remove books from...

Things That Your “House Hunting Checklist” Should Have

Hunting for your next home can be both thrilling and overwhelming. You’re bound to come across several properties that you think would be perfect for you and your family. Make your decision easier while avoiding a bad one by doing the following during your hunt:

 

1. Make a must-have list

Before looking around, it’s important to nail down what you want in a home. Get the family together and make a list of features you desire, whether it’s a pool, big garage, or expansive backyard. Searching for homes while you have 3-5 things as top priority will help you stay focused on what you actually want to buy.

 

2. Bring a pen and paper

Depending on how many houses you go out to look, remembering all the details can either be very easy or a challenge. To help you keep track of the small things, bring something to write with so you can jot down how much natural light there is in each room, the storage space, cost per square foot, etc. This will make all the difference when you’re still undecided and have a comparison checklist to help you.

 

3. Walk through once, then a few times again

It’s easy to get excited when exploring a gorgeous home for the first time. This is OK; house hunting should be enjoyable! But after you’ve taken in your first impression, we recommend going back out and walking through again. This time, take that pen and paper we mentioned in our last point and start inspecting the place for any details worth taking down.

 

4. Don’t forget the camera

Or your smartphone, which is probably your go-to device for taking pictures. Once you’ve...

Simple Ideas To Make Your Home More Welcoming To Buyers

It may seem obvious, but many sellers fail to recognize that a home that feels, looks, and smells welcoming and homey will more likely raise a buyer’s interest when they come for a showing. Of course, you think your home is pretty comfortable and welcoming already, but there are a few things you can do to make buyers feel right at home from the moment they walk in the door. Here are a few we have put together.

 

Lead With The Nose

If your home smells good, it will make buyers want to stick around longer. The sense of smell is the strongest of all the five senses in its connection to our emotions. A smell can bring on a flood of memories and even influence a buyer’s mood. Certain smells simply make us feel comfortable and at home no matter where we are. There are a few smells that are almost universal. Try a flameless scented burner that is safe but releases a wonderful fragrance in your home. Choose scents like vanilla or spices, these smells remind people of home cooking and sweet treats.

Be sure your fragrance isn’t overwhelming, however, and don’t use it to mask other odors like cat litter or food smells. Buyers will know right away you are trying to hide something!

 

Let The Light Shine In

Clean your windows and open all of the blinds and curtains to let the sunshine into the home. The warm feeling will make your buyers want to settle in and bask in the glow. A brightly lit home looks bigger, natural light and illumination can fool the eye, while a dark home will appear smaller.

Be sure you replace burnt out light bulbs so your home will be fully lit and have a welcoming glow even in the evening or on a cloudy day. You can change the mood in your home instantly when the buyer flips on a switch. How you light your rooms with artificial light and how much natural light pours into your home can make all the difference.

 

Set The Table

It may seem odd, but a table set as though...

How to Pick and Move to the Best Neighborhood for You and Your Family

Picking a place to raise your children can feel like an enormous decision — after all, it’s a major family milestone and where you live can affect everything from your kids' education to your family's social life. But before you put too much pressure on yourself to make the "right" decision, know that there are loads of wonderful (and very different) family-friendly neighborhoods out there.

The first step: Get the inside scoop. A real-estate agent, especially one with kids, can spill on the best of the 'hood — from preschools to playgrounds to popular mommy-and-me hangouts. Pick up the local paper for the lowdown about what’s going on in town. That'll clue you in on the community's vibe and important info, like the local crime rate (turn to the paper's police blotter for those reports). You can also get the skinny on City-Data.com, a site that compiles stats from numerous sources on everything from the cost of living to air pollution. And don't forget to tap into your network of new parents — friends of friends can give you valuable tips based on real-life experience of what it's like to live where they live.

Next, do some soul searching with your partner to figure out what tops your list of essential features (besides a house in your price range) and what's less of a priority. As you talk it over, consider these family-friendly neighborhood factors that may help make up your mind when it comes to settling on where to settle down.

Does the neighborhood have good public schools nearby? After you've checked out the local schools, consider whether there's one within walking (or, for later on, biking) distance — or whether your child will have to take a school bus. If your day includes a lot of school driving time, you'll want to factor that into your decision.

How many young kids live in the neighborhood? Check the stats, but use your eyes as well. Look for houses with strollers or trikes on the porch, swing sets for tiny tots, or cars...

So you want to be a Realtor®

I love being a REALTOR®. Finding passion in your work will help your business thrive and grow. I enjoy guiding people along the path of moving from one place in life to another. Understanding it is more than simply buying and selling homes allows me the joy of helping people through a significant life transition.

Everyone who comes to me for real estate help is going through something significant in their life. It could be a change in family size, a change in health, a change in job, or even a change in lifestyle desired, such as when someone wants something different like a lake home or horse farm. Understanding these transitions and helping to guide people through a process that can be complex and frustrating in order for them to have a simple and enjoyable experience gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction.

People who go into the real estate profession with a passion for helping others will usually do well. People who go into real estate thinking it is the silver bullet or magic crystal ball to wealth will fail. There is a direct relationship of effort to results, just like in most businesses.

Real Estate Can Be Intense

Agents are on call almost all the time, handling issues for people who are going through a roller coaster of emotions and financial decisions, while staying on top of ever changing laws and trends. Real estate is fast paced and requires investing a lot of hours to grow a successful business.

Beyond a core desire to help people, the traits of a successful real estate professional include a desire to drive one’s own destiny and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The top agents are also competitive, creative, solution oriented, detail oriented, always learning, adaptable, and outgoing.

Successful agents are either single or have a significant other who supports and encourages them, cheering them on to success, and supporting the long and irregular hours needed to achieve success. The support of family and friends is important,...

Are Your Neighbors Affecting Your Home’s Value?

You have put your home up for sale and done everything your agent has advised you to do to prepare your property for sale, but still no offers have come in. If you suspect your neighbor’s property is preventing your home from appealing to potential buyers, there are a few things you can do to remedy this situation. Here are some tips for dealing with problem neighbors while selling your home.

Are Your Neighbors The Problem?

Before banging down the neighbor’s door and blaming them for your home’s lack of appeal, you’ll first want to make sure that is really the problem. Ask your agent what they think the problem is, and whether they agree that the neighbors may be preventing the sale. Also ask other homeowners in the area what they think of any problem neighbors to get perspective before making that visit.

Use Tact When Approaching Neighbors

If you have determined that a particular neighbor is creating a problem that is affecting your home’s value and marketability, your best bet in getting them to agree to make the required changes is to be nice about it. Offer to help them with the cleanup and explain that it is not only for your benefit, but will also increase their home’s value as well. Planning a neighborhood cleanup and renting a junk removal service for the community may encourage them to clean up without even being asked.

Last Resort

If you have asked nicely and your neighbor still refuses to clean their property, there are steps you can take to force the situation. Many municipalities have bylaws concerning the upkeep of property, and getting your local officials involved may be necessary. Also getting other homeowners in the area on your side can make this easier. Remember though, you should always approach the individuals first and ask nicely before reporting them to the authorities.

Messy neighbors can be an obstacle to selling your home, but in most cases a little diplomacy and an offer to...

Moving Tips

Congrats, you’ve made it to the end of the path. The only thing left is the hard part – moving! Whether you’re buying your first home, upgrading to a bigger and better place, or downsizing to simplify your life – you still have to physically move to reach the end goal.

Our Best Moving Advice… Move less Stuff.

We recommend creating 3 Categories of Stuff:

1. Stuff to Give Away

Donate items to local charities. By giving away things you don’t need, you are helping someone else. It is a good way to pay it forward.

2. Stuff to Sell

Some items retain value well or even gain value due to nostalgia or limited availability. We don’t recommend trying to sell everything you don’t need, but pick and choose the items that may earn $100+ on Craigslist, Ebay, or a Private Facebook Group. Anything much less than that is hardly worth the effort and hassle to sell.

3. Stuff to Keep

Now that you’ve donated and sold all the items you don’t truly love or need anymore, your move will be less expensive and much easier to manage.

Make a Plan

The only way to manage a move is to document your plan/checklist.

Whether it’s Word document, handwritten legal pad, or use an app like Trello or Evernote, they key is to make a plan and have a place to document all the details to free yourself of having to remember everything.

Checklist Items to Consider:

  •  Key Dates & Account Numbers
  • Cancel Current Utilities
  • Transfer or Activate Future Utilities
  • Forward Mail
  • Formal Address Change
  • Hire Movers

...

Tips to Ensure a Smooth Closing

The Importance of a Final Walk-Through

The final walk-through prior to closing on a home purchase is just as important as the home inspection.  While the inspection is typically completed during the due diligence period shortly after a purchase contract is binding between buyer and seller, the final walk-through is typically done the day before closing. This final preview of the home gives buyers the opportunity to ensure all required repairs have been completed, all personal property has been removed, and the home has been left clean and free of debris.  Should a buyer find that specified repairs are not completed, personal items remain or a mound of garbage has been left behind, they should alert their Buyer Specialist immediately as these situations need to be addressed prior to closing.

Understanding Potential Closing Challenges

If during the final walk-through repairs are found to be incomplete or any new damage is discovered, buyers can request sellers provide compensation for the repairs or damage. A reasonable request is encouraged to eliminate tension as often these issues are an oversight or accidental, and not intentionally omitted.

One of the most common closing challenges is ensuring funds have made their way from the lender to the title company’s account. Most lenders wire the funds electronically, but it is not uncommon to be sitting at the closing table awaiting funds to arrive. Upon arrival at the closing attorney’s office, it never hurts to ask if funds have been received to encourage follow up on the front end of closing. (Another reason for working with a reputable and service-oriented lender!)

Also, be sure that you have the proper funds wired or a certified check to the closing attorney’s office when you arrive at the closing table.

Buyer Checklist for Closing...

Worried About Selling Your Home Before You Find One To Buy?

Do you worry about selling your home before you find one to buy?

We often hear from potential sellers worried about listing their home and selling too quickly, before they have found a place to buy. Coordinating selling and buying is one of the most valuable skills The Akkus Group team brings to our clients.

We like to start the conversation with understanding the life transition associated with your move, so we can craft a custom solution that fits your unique situation. Depending on your goals and timetable, we can use contract negotiations, financial strategies, and temporary living solutions to provide a smooth move from House A to House B. Sometimes we combine several strategies for our clients, depending on what works best for your situation.

Contract Negotiation Strategies

Negotiate for you to rent your home back from the buyer for up to two months after closing.This way you have your money in the bank to make stronger offers to buy the next home.

Negotiate an extended closing date, like 90-120 days after you have a binding agreement. This gives you more time for new listings to come on the market to give you more options.

Negotiate a reverse due diligence contingency for the seller to find a house to buy. An experienced agent will be familiar with how to craft this stipulation. It gives the seller an option to find a house to buy OR they can terminate the contract to sell their current home.

Negotiate a short term contingency to sell your current home in your offer to buy another home. We can do this with a short 14-21 day contingency if you are ready to put your home on the market quickly. This means you should have your current home ready to list when you start shopping for a new home. To entice a seller to agree to this, you will need to make a strong offer and/or consider non-refundable...

Should Sellers Stay for Showings?

Sellers know their house better than anyone, so it makes sense why they might think it is a good idea for them to be at the showings, along with potential buyers.

In our experience with showing thousands of homes to buyers over the years, we have found the first showing of a home is a more emotional experience and the second showing is more mechanically focused. Understanding these dynamics helps us guide our sellers to create the best environment possible for a buyer to appreciate their home.

 

Why should a seller leave for showings?

The first showing for a buyer at a home is what we call the emotional visit. Buyers need privacy to dream and imagine themselves living in the home, and not feel like they are intruding on someone else’s personal space. Buyers need to be able to talk about what they like and don’t like about the house without having to be careful with their comments so they don’t offend the seller. When a seller is present, the buyer will feel awkward, and not be able to get a detailed look at the house. Imagine how it feels as a buyer to open someone’s kitchen cabinets while the owner is watching or hovering nearby.

If the buyer quickly decides they don’t like the house, they also need to be able to leave and not waste anyone’s time, instead of feeling obligated to look so they don’t hurt the seller’s feelings.

 

Why not have the seller stay nearby to answer questions?

Sometimes a seller will want to sit on a deck or wait in another room, with the goal of being available to answer questions. This approach still makes a buyer feel awkward and not able to fully enjoy looking at the home. The buyer won’t feel comfortable openly discussing the home because they worry the seller is able to hear their...

How to Find a Good Realtor?

It seems like everyone is calling themselves a real estate professional these days.

As the real estate market has heated up in recent years, many newly licensed agents have jumped into the business, while others who quit real estate years ago have decided to give it a try again.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of people who get their real estate license quit in the first year in the business. It is much harder work, with longer hours, and is far more complex and expensive than most new agents realize.

As one of the largest financial and emotional investments a person makes in their lifetime, why would anyone use an agent who has little or no experience, and little or no investment in marketing?

Sometimes inexperienced agents offer a discount broker fee to entice a seller.

A skilled negotiator who knows how to navigate contracts, inspections, title issues, financing options, and the myriad of complexities that arise, and who invests thousands of dollars per month in marketing, will typically net the seller far more on their bottom line.

Online digital real estate marketing is expensive. The No. 1 real estate website in the world is Zillow, and brokers must pay to play on that site, essentially buying back their own listing leads or else those leads are sold to three other agents who likely know nothing about the listing.

If you check reviews before buying a TV or Car, shouldn’t you check real estate reviews?

This may seem like a no brainer, but before working with any agent, check their reviews online. Zillow Reviews show actual confirmed buyer and seller reviews. Also check Facebook and ...

How to choose a listing agent

Hiring a listing agent is vital to your entire experience as a home seller. The person you pick will be involved in arranging your home for sale, figuring out a listing price, marketing your home and facilitating the transaction.

While you might be lured to hire a friend who has real estate experience or your co-worker’s brother, be reminded that the person you enjoy meeting for lunch isn’t always the best listing agent to represent your best interests. That person could turn out to be the right listing agent for you, but before you pick him or her, take the time to get recommendations for some agents and interview them.

Remember the agent who assisted you to buy your home? If you were pleased with this person, consider using him or her to help sell your home (if this agent has experience listing homes). If your previous agent mainly deals with buyers, ask for a recommendations for a seller’s agent.

Family, friends, and co-workers: Make sure these are not just agents who are friends of friends, but listing agents who have experience and recently and successfully sold a home for one of your contacts. Your attorney, accountant or other local professionals: They have probably worked with agents and may have good recommendations.

Search for real estate teams/groups in your area that represents a lot of homes like yours. If you come up with fewer recommendations, you can do some more research online. Look for websites of real estate teams/groups that looks like good prospects based on the number of homes they listed and sold; you can find a lot of details on homes that the they have sold including how long on the market,...

Home Inspections - 5 Things you should know about

If you're hiring someone to inspect the home you want to buy, or you're a seller trying to find out if there are any hidden problems that need fixing before you put your home on the market, here are five things you need to know:

1. You can choose your home inspector.

Your real estate professional can recommend an inspector, or you can find one on your own. Members of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI), must complete an approved home inspector training program, demonstrate experience and competence as a home inspector, complete a written exam, and adhere to the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

2. Home inspections are intended to point out adverse conditions, not cosmetic flaws.

You should attend the inspection and follow the inspector throughout the inspection so you can learn what's important and what's not. No house is perfect and an inspection on any home is bound to uncover faults. A home inspector will point out conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. They won't comment on cosmetic items if they don't impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing.

3. Home inspection reports include only the basics.

A home inspector considers hundreds of items during an average inspection. The home inspection should include the home's exterior, steps, porches, decks, chimneys, roof, windows, and doors. Inside, they will look at attics, electrical components, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement/crawlspaces, and garages.

They report on the working order of items such as faucets to see if they leak, or garage doors to see if they close properly. Inspectors may point out termite damage and suggest that you get a separate pest inspection. The final written report should be concise and easy to understand.

4. Home inspectors work for the party who is paying the fee.

The NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics clearly state that members act as an unbiased third...

11 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your REALTOR®

A home buyer or home seller can get a real estate agent or broker referrals from neighbors, friends, and family members. Or they can use tools like Trulia’s Find an Agent Directory or Zillow reviews to help find highly-recommended agents who know the target neighborhoods and who have a special skill set (e.g., relocation specialists, speaks a foreign language, etc.) to help with a house hunt.

For folks looking to hire a real estate sales professional, it’s important not to pick someone who’s not so close a friend that having a serious, no-nonsense business conversation is impossible. A professional Realtor needs to be someone with whom a buyer or seller can comfortably disagree. And keep in mind that this person will at some point become quite intimate with a buyer or seller’s entire financial picture.

Clients spend a lot of time with their agent so his or her style had better be compatible. Does the client need someone easygoing or someone aggressive? Maybe a seller is a self-proclaimed overachiever and likes the idea of working with someone similar, provided the agent has an easygoing personality and a great sense of humor. Remember too, if a client says, “I may not like him, but he is a real bulldog and will fight for a deal,” might not work either. If the client doesn’t like the agent, chances are no one else will either.

So choosing the most qualified person for the job will be someone who is easy to work with. The ideal person will be an experienced professional who knows the market, acts in an ethical manner, answers every question, addresses every concern, and, most importantly, will listen and be a teammate throughout the entire buying or selling process.

Selling or buying a home can be a time-consuming and emotionally challenging event. Here are some questions you can ask once you start interviewing your candidates.

  1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate...

What do you need to do before you buy a home?

Buying a home is a complicated yet an exciting process especially if you are a first-time buyer. You think you are ready to buy a home, but do you have the knowledge you need when buying a home? There are many things to keep in mind while undergoing this big step of your life. In this article, I wrote some valuable tips you can use to make the home buying experience easier for you.

Credit History

Most likely you would need to get a mortgage to buy a house right? Then you must make sure that your Credit History is clean as much as possible. Before starting your home search, get copies of your credit report and make sure that everything is correct and fix any problems if there is one.

Don’t buy Stuff you Can’t Afford

This makes a lot of sense right? Rule of thumb is you need to look for a home you can really afford. You can buy a house that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. To better handle your income, expenses and debts about this issue, you can use some mortgage calculators that are available online and it’s for free!

Look for a good School District

Who wants to send their kids into a mediocre school? Even if you don’t have school-age kids as of the moment, top priority of many home buyers is a good school district (if time comes you want to sell your house). Having a good school district increases your home value.

Get Pre-approved

By getting pre-approved, your home search would be easier. This gives you an advantage because you can narrow down the list of homes which you can afford. This is also gives a good impression to home sellers because they know that you have the means on financing the house. A home seller does not want to sell their home to people who just promise that they have the ability to pay right?

You also need help

Internet can be very helpful to you when it comes to your home search because of the vast numbers of listings available online. However, a buyer agent can be a very good help especially when it...