Pricing Your Home the Right Way

It seems that there are 2 methods that some real estate agents use when helping to set a price for a newly listed home.  The first money with texttype of agent you want to avoid is the one that prices your home too high only because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.  They know that most of us as homeowners have put countless time, money, and effort into creating our perfect abode and we are undoubtedly shooting for the highest price possible.  The realtor justifies this method in his or her head by saying that they can eventually come down on the asking price little by little in hopes of garnering interest.  While their intentions to protect your feelings can be admirable the truth is that pricing a house too high is real estate suicide.  Many people will immediately cross it off their list and no amount of “price reductions” will change that.

The second type of agent will push for an absurdly low price.  This is done for one of two reasons.  One,(and I hope that this is not true of many in my profession) is to get a quick sale and therefore a quick commission.  I do believe that this is rare but I think it’s important to be aware that it does happen.  A more likely scenario is that the agent is hoping to drum up a great deal of interest in your property in hopes of a bidding war.  The obvious logic here is the more interest=more offers=more options.  In theory this sounds great but it can also cause unnecessary (and often times useless) hype which doesn’t produce the desired result.

One of the many things that I believe myself and my team do very well is price a home with confidence and accuracy according to the current market.  We analyze the neighborhood, school systems, future plans, and of course the comps. While price reductions, bidding, and alterations are unavoidable in some cases we work hard to ensure the sellers satisfaction.  We find that honest and accurate pricing not only increases the chances of a successful sale but it instills in the general public a confidence in us as a team and a company which will in turn only improve and increase our target audience for our sellers.

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Top Agent for Indiana Selected by Top Agent Magazine for November: No Surprise Here, Heather Upton of The Real Estate Pros Chosen

Heather Upton was nominated for Top Agent Magazines Top Agent of November and ultimately won this coveted recognition. What does she credit all of her success to and what are her plans for the future?

After more than a decade in the business, from working for other agents to starting her own successful team, Heather Upton of Keller Williams and The Real Estate Pros dishes on her secret to success (hint there is no real secret besides hard work and a great team) and talks about her future real estate plans.

PENDLETON, IN – Nov.11, 2014- No one was more surprised to be recognized for her excellence by Top Agent Magazine than Heather [Upton] herself. After top agentsworking for other agents for years she made the bold decision to go out on her own with the small goal of selling one house a month. To her amazement (but not to those around her) her business took off. She has used social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more to help market herself and has been very successful in keeping up with current trends, finding what customers really want, and being an active participant in the community.

While her success may seem like overnight success to an outsider the truth is that she was able to experience real estate from the operations side for years and for that she can contribute some of her success. She says she feels that with that experience she was able to pinpoint what it was that would frustrate clients (lack of communication) and has constructed her business to ensure that every client and every customer has open lines of communication with her and their agent.

Heather has created a team consisting of experienced and beginners alike. She likes to keep the focus on the team as a whole, “The Real Estate Pros,” and as a group they have no intention of slowing down. They intend to continue growing and eventually would like to duplicate their success in another market as well.

To read the entire article visit http://www.topagentmagazine.com/top-agent-magazine-indiana-edition/

How Does a Realtor Get Paid?

This is understandably a common question that I get on a regular basis, “so how do you get paid?”.  This is especially common for first time home buyers who money bag wth logohave not gone through the process before.  And thankfully most first time home buyers are thrilled with my answer that in most U.S. states it is the home seller that covers all of the realtor fees.  While I will delve into the process a bit more extensively below, what this really means is that especially for any first time home buyer there is absolutely no reason for them to find a highly recommended, experienced realtor to guide them through the sometimes tricky home buying process.  I think often times buyers avoid contacting a realtor at the beginning of their search for fear of accruing fees.

Another interesting thing to note is that a realtor does not get paid (not a single dime) until the closing.  This is great for you as the consumer because it ensures that your realtor will stick with you and guide you through the entire process, start to finish.  If for some reason the deal falls apart before the closing then the realtor makes zero money.  To actually follow the money this is the path that it takes…. 1.) The seller pays their listing agents brokerage at closing   2.) The listing agents brokerage pays the listing agent (often times brokerages keep up to 40% of the agents commission)   3.) The listing agent pays the buyers agent brokerage (it’s also common for both agents to split the earnings)   4.) The buyers agents brokerage then pays the buyers agent

 

Not Hiring a Realtor? Are You Crazy?

Have you ever heard the saying, “you’ve got to spend money to make money?”  Well this is never more true than in the ever evolving world of real estate.  It is house money with logoeasy to succumb to the temptation of saving a few bucks and trying to sell your house on your own but at what risk?  I highly suggest talking to someone that has attempted this exact money saving situation and chances are they would never recommend going this route and here’s why….

* Real Estate Agents are Good Marketers:  Sure you can post your home on facebook for your friends and family to see, maybe even have it included in a for sale by owner website but unfortunately the exposure is just not up to par.  Experienced realtors on the other hand know how to advertise and promote the most praised features of your home and gain the most interest.  As a licensed realtor they also have access to putting your home on highly popular sites such as zillow, homefinder, and trulia to name a few.

* Real Estate Agents are Great Negotiators: Negotiations go much beyond just the financial bottom line in real estate.  There are negotiations made almost every step of the way in selling a home ranging from closing costs to necessary repairs and more.  The benefit to having an agent do these is that they are not emotionally involved in the process in the same way you would be about your beloved home.

* Real Estate Agents Have a Knack for Property Pricing: I think each and every one of us probably assume our home is worth more than it is and that every other home on the market is worth less than they are asking.  I’m sure this has to do with the fact that you spent 4 whole weekends retiling your bathroom, or watched your youngest child learn to walk in the dining room, or know the degree of dedication you have had in maintaining your home.  It is hard as home-owners to separate our nostalgia from the black and white lines of the market.  Realtors are able to help determine the best price for your home that ensures you are still happy with not only the financial end of the sale but the speed in which it is accomplished.

* Real Estate Agents Have a Passion for What They Do: It is easy to separate the successful people in life versus the less than successful and the deciding factor usually involves passion.  A realtor that has a true love of the job can make a seemingly painful task such as selling your home into a seamless and enjoyable process.  Plus with a dedication to their job they are sure to work hard as your advocate, going to bat for you whenever the going gets tough.  This will help you avoid the inevitable headaches that come along with the home buying/selling process.

* Last but Certainly Not Least, Real Estate Agents are Experts:  Not just anyone can become a real estate agent and even less can become a successful and respected one.  Realtors know how to read the market, know when to place your home for sale, what improvements are necessary, who the target audience should be, what to price your home, and how to successfully navigate the entire process of selling/buying your home.

The Keller Williams Associate Leadership Council

Have you ever wondered what exactly it is that makes Keller Williams realty such a different and innovative company? Aside from their dedication and councilcommitment to each and every agent, the intensity and follow through of their training to ensure each agent has the opportunity to succeed, is their dynamic idea for their Associate Leadership Council.  This council consists of the top 20% of the agent bodies in the market centers.  The purpose of this council is to give the agents a vehicle for giving direct input as to the operation of our day to day business as well as our overall goals.  And really who knows and understand the needs of their clients better than the agents that serve them.  I am proud to say that I serve on the council as part of the education committee.  Being part of this council has only strengthened my belief in our company and its ability to maintain itself as a powerhouse and the largest real estate company with the most agents.

With all of that being said, it’s no secret that I love my job and you can too!  If you are a self motivated person, someone who desires a flexible schedule, and enjoys being part of a fun and dedicated team then real estate may be the job you’ve been looking for.  If you are interested in a potential career in real estate please contact me to attend a free, informative session to help answer all of your questions! I look forward to hearing from you and hope to have the opportunity to work with you!

Turn-Offs for Potential Buyers

There are a few things that you can have or do to your home that can be a turn off to potential buyers if you are looking to sell.  This is not to say that you dinosaur with logoshouldn’t do them if you and your family will get enjoyment out of it but just to make you aware of the potential negative impact it can have on resell.

* Putting carpet over hardwood floors: Most people prefer hardwood floors over nearly any other type of flooring.  Not only do they look sleeker and more modern but they help the entire house look cleaner.  If you are lucky enough to have hardwood floors throughout your home the last thing you want to do is cover them up.

* A garage turned into something else: Whether you’ve turned your garage into an extra room, a gym, or an artist studio chances are a potential buyer will not be nearly as impressed.  Having a safe and secure place to park a car is a top requirement for many home seekers and the likelihood that they are also interested in an indoor gym is slim.  The garage is also a place that people think of as storage and by eliminating its original use you force buyers to look elsewhere.

* Kids rooms that are overly decorated: Sure little Timmy loves dinosaurs but the big t-rex mural on the wall and the neon carpet may be a bit too loud for a potential home buyer to overlook.  Before putting your home on the market it may be wise to turn your dinosaur oasis into a more muted room.

* An Above ground pool: (or even an in-ground pool):  Unless the potential buyer is an avid pool lover most people see a maintenance issue or a potential liability  when they look at a pool.

* Pet supplies: While we are certainly not advocating getting rid of your four legged friends (they are family after all) when putting your home on the market you may want to keep their toys, bowls, litter boxes, etc a bit more out of site.

* Cigarette smoke: This may be the biggest turn off to date for any potential buyer.  This is because in order to fully get rid of the smell you have to replace carpet, window coverings, paint, etc. which can be an expensive and time consuming project.

Top 3 Reasons to Hire a Realtor to Sell Your Home!

While saving money is usually the smart thing to do you also have to accept that you get what you pay for.  This is especially true when it comes to hiring a house for sale kwrealtor to sell your home.  Sometimes people want to cut corners and take a swing at the real estate market themselves.  Unfortunately this can often result in countless headaches and financial disaster.  Here are the top 3 (of a very long list) of reasons you should hire a realtor to represent you and protect your assets in the entire home selling process.

* Realtors have access to better marketing tools.  We are able to get your home listed on multiple home selling websites that get milllions of viewers that for sale by owner homes do not have access to.  Additionally we are knowledgeable in the best techniques to reach the most potential buyers and therefore ideally get a quicker sell at a higher price.

* Hiring a realtor is also a much safer option.  The realtor is able to help weed out the riffraff when it comes to showing your home.  They are able to find out if the potential buyer is pre-approved and if not then can eliminate any time wasting.  Without the assistance of a realtor you are simply inviting anyone and everyone into your home potentially leaving yourself and your home very vulnerable.

* A realtor knows the tricks of the trade.  We are able to walk into your house and suggest simple improvements or updates that you can do to help your house sell.  We have a great deal more experience than the average home seller and are able to capitalize on our knowledge for your gain!

Top 5 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do

Buying a house is an exciting time but it can also be stressful.  Be sure to follow these 5 tips to ensure a smoother home buying process!  cartoon house with logo

* Get a home inspection!  This will be the smartest money you have ever spent.  Before you invest your hard earned money in a home you want to be entirely sure that the home is sturdy, up to code, safe, and free of need for expensive repairs!

* Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan BEFORE you start house hunting.  There is nothing worse than falling in love with a house out of your price range or having a home bought before you can get the paperwork together for the loan.  Being prepared can make all the difference!

* Make a realistic wish list of what you can afford.  Rank the things that are most important at the top.  The fact is that most homes are not going to meet your every whim but as long as they have the essentials you don’t want to rule it out.

* Get everything in writing.  While you want to believe that you can trust everyone on their word it is simply a smarter business decision to have everything in writing.  Specifically you will want the sellers to put every component of the deal on paper.

* Let your realtor do your talking.  Any communication with the seller should go through your realtor as to avoid any miscommunication or misunderstanding.  Your realtor has experience dealing with sellers and other agents and is better equipped to handle the nitty gritty of the real estate world.

Welcome Mandee Sears to Our Team!

Pendleton, IN: (July 28th, 2014)~ The Real Estate Pros announces the addition of Mandee Sears, Realtor. Based in Pendleton, Indiana, The Real Estate Pros is Mandee Sears with textled by Keller Williams Indy Metro Northeast 2013 Top Selling Agent Heather Upton, who also brings ten years of successful real estate expertise and experience to homebuyers and sellers.

Mandee Sears grew up in a military family and therefore is very familiar with the process of moving from place to place. Once she had her own family she continued to move around and understands what it’s like to be the new kid on the block as well as the person saying good-bye to their beloved home. These experiences have naturally drawn her into a career in real estate.

Mandee and her family recently returned to Pendleton after fifteen years away and couldn’t be happier! Mandee and her husband are both graduates of Pendleton Heights High School so it is like coming home. Madison County is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise your family.

As a team member of The Real Estate Pros, she is committed to assisting you in your home buying or selling and eager to get the positive results that you are looking for. Mandee recognizes that buying or selling your home can be a stressful ordeal and she is here and dedicated to help it go as smooth as possible.

USDA? FHA? Conventional? What are the Differences in the Type of Loan?

If you are starting the home buying process and are confused about the types of loans that are offered, don’t worry you are certainly not alone.  While your  houses with logolender should explain the differences, pros, and cons to each loan here is a quick overview so that you can have an idea before you meet with the lender.

Fixed Rate Mortgage Loan: This is a very common type of loan where the monthly payment amount is amortized (meaning the same) for a set amount of years.  The amount of years can range from a 5 year fixed rate mortgage all the way up to a 50 year mortgage.  In these loans you are paying more of the interest off in the beginning of the loan repayment and that dwindles as you pay more into principle.  In these loans you can shorten the length of the loan by paying a bit more toward principle each month.

FHA Loan: These are especially handy for first time home buyers or those with not-so-great credit since the down payment requirement is minimal and your credit scores are not near as important.  In fact, if your FICO score is 580 or above you only have to put down 3.5%.  These loans are insured by the government through mortgage insurance that is funded into the loan.

USDA Loans: (sometimes called a rural development loan): These mortgages are designed to serve buyers in rural or small towns where credit availability can be tight.

VA Loans: These loans are reserved for active and retired military personnel.

If you quality for the USDA or VA loan than you can get the biggest loan for the least.  Down payments can be as low as zero!

Read this article for more information on specialty loans.