Things to Know Before You Decide to Sell Your Home and Buy Another One

When you decide to sell your home, the next decision is where you will live. If you decide to buy another home, you must consider how you will make the transition. Three things will impact your choices and make the process either more difficult or easier when handled correctly. Know Your Budget You must know how much money you have to put on a new place to live. If you’re currently paying a mortgage, do you have money to take on a second payment? Many lenders won’t approve you for a loan unless your income has increased substantially or your current payment is low.   Know the Market If you’re counting on the sale of your home to pay the down payment of a new home, you’re going to need to have a pretty good idea how much your property is worth. Will the purchase price pay off the mortgage with enough left-over to pay down on a new home? You also have to know the lowest price point you’re willing to take if the buyer doesn’t offer full asking price. When considering the market, you want to know how it is in the area where you’re selling and the area where you want to buy. A buyer’s market will benefit you where you want to buy, but you want a seller’s market in your current neighborhood. The type of market for the area will impact how much negotiation room you have and how fast homes will sell. Know Your Options  Choosing to sell one home and buy another isn’t a straightforward process. You have multiple options for how...

…What Is a Smart Home? It’s 2016: You Should Know by Now.

  The Future is Coming Sooner than Expected.   It’s 2016.  The new year means a lot of different things for real estate professionals:  it’s a time to send out all your “happy new year” emails, brush up on market trends and stats, and check predictions for the new year.  One thing we didn’t expect:  It’s a time to brush up on real estate tech. Imagine waking up in bed and hitting the alarm.  After peaking out your window, it’s looking a little gloomy outside.  You yell out loud “Amy, is it going to rain today?” A voice replies “Yes, rain is expected in your city today; average temperature in your area will be 61 degrees.”  Pretty informative:  but “Amy” isn’t the name of your wife or daughter; it’s the name (which you can change) you’ve given your smart house, a Siri-like technology built into your ceilings and walls, created to streamline how we live at home. Coldwell Banker Real Estate polled 4,000+ Americans last year, revealing that just about half of Americans plan to purchase some form of smart home technology in 2016, or own smart home tech already.  The survey also showed that if they were planning on selling their homes, more than 50% of Americans would purchase and install smart home tech in their home if they thought it would help them sell faster.     What Do Smart Homes Do?   The term “smart home” covers a variety of technologies.  Smart home entertainment systems, like speakers and televisions, are usually voice activated throughout your home.  By simply saying aloud “Amy, play christmas music”, your home would...
How to Suggest Comps to Real Estate Appraisers The Right Way

How to Suggest Comps to Real Estate Appraisers The Right Way

In our experience, real estate agents and real estate appraisers have different motives when searching for comparables. Appraisers always search for comps that are most similar to the subject property in a variety of ways- size, location, construction, etc.  We do this in order to paint the most accurate picture of what a property is truly worth.  Real estate agents tend to put these rules on the backburner, and search for comps that will best drive up the value of a home. If you want your real estate appraiser to take your comp suggestions seriously, keep these things in mind:     Why Are You Suggesting Comps? Whatever the reason, be sure to state it when handing them over to the appraiser.  If your suggesting comps because you happened across a similar house to the one being appraised and think it might help the appraiser, right on.  If your sole purpose is to offer comps that will help improve the value (which is obvious to a good appraiser), stop right there.   It’s not okay to try and persuade or coerce a real estate appraiser to “hit your mark”, or appraise the property at or above a certain value. Picking sub-par comps in order to encourage positive price adjustments is an obvious ploy.  If you’re not suggesting comps to try and make the appraiser’s job easier or to be generally helpful, it’s doubtful the appraiser will give your comps a second look.       Are the Comps You’re Suggesting Close in Size? This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often we get suggestions that make us think...
The 6 Most Frequent Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make

The 6 Most Frequent Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make

Everyone Makes Mistakes. Real estate is a difficult business to get into, and a more complicated business than most understand-  it’s not uncommon for new real estate agents (and even seasoned ones) to feel overwhelmed or a bit confused from time to time.  Here are a few common mistakes we see both new and experienced real estate professionals make for you to avoid:   1.  Insufficient Funding  Life costs money, and being a real estate agent is no different.  It takes funding to build a business.  Whether that means taking out a business loan, or asking friends/family for help in the beginning- it typically takes a minimum of three months or more of reserve savings before becoming a full time real estate agent is truly viable. 2.  Lack of a Business Plan There are a lot of parallels between becoming a real estate agent and starting your own business- both require a plan.  Having clear goals helps you set a timeline, and having a timeline in mind helps one decide how they plan to accomplish them.  Without a business plan, spending money inefficiently becomes an all-to-common mistake, and one that you usually can’t spot until it’s too late. 3.  Choosing the Wrong Brokerage There are a number of things every agent should consider before picking their broker- how competitive their split percentage is, whether or not they have a good reputation, how many clients they currently have… the list goes on.  What’s important for every real estate professional is whether or not they’re taking the right reasons into consideration.  Regardless of how close to your house your potential new...