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.

Advertisements

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 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.

Put Your House on the Market Now for Best Results!

While there isn’t necessarily a “season” for selling your home it is widely accepted that most people don’t want to move when the weather is bad.  Carrying your selling your homeboxes and furniture through 6 inches of snow and slush is not appealing for anyone.  This is why I am writing this now to let you know that right now is a great time to list your home.  Houses, especially in Pendleton, are in such high demand that the amount of time it would spend on the market is minimal.  With that being said it takes an average of 45-60 days once the home is under contract to settle.  This would put moving day in September when the weather is usually mild and the fall months are beginning, an ideal time to move!

Another reason that selling now is a great idea is that your curb appeal will be in full swing unlike many of the other months.  Any flowers you have are blooming, the grass is green, and the trees are providing ample shade.  During the winter your home (and everyone’s home for that matter) does not look nearly as inviting.

As I mentioned before the demand is high in almost every market with makes for an easier sell.  And with interest rates softening, the supply dwindling, and the demand growing it makes for the perfect storm of home selling.  Be sure to take advantage of this time!

Last but not least if you are considering selling your house it is time to move on.  Whether you want to move closer to family, downsize after the kids leave, or find more space for your growing family it is time to capitalize and take the plunge.  If you have any questions or want a free evaluation on pricing your home feel free to give me a call at 317-572-5589~ I look forward to hearing from you!

Adding More Experience and Dedication to Our Already Amazing Team

We are very excited to announce 2 additions to our growing team.  The first addition is realtor Kevin J. Guion who will serve as our team leader.  Kevin and his kevin and adrian photofamily have lived in Lapel for years until their recent move to Cicero.  With Kevin comes years of experience, he started his real estate career in 1989 with a break in there to follow his career dream of serving the homeless.  His children are now grown and he has reignited his desire to be involved in real estate.  Kevin will be focusing a great deal of his efforts to the Cicero, Noblesville, Lapel, and Pendleton areas.  Almost as important as his experience and dedication is his charisma and innate ability to put people at ease.  We look forward to learning tips and tricks to the real estate market from Kevin and hope you get a chance to meet him as well.

The second new team member we are thrilled to introduce is realtor Adrian Renner.  Adrian lives in Anderson and has been a lifelong Madison County resident.  Adrian has a strong desire to help our community thrive and grow.  She stated that “real estate is the pulse of progress” and brings years of community experience and dedication to the table.  Adrian is the ideal mix of drive and compassion that we need on our team.  She is married with 6 kids which as any mother can attest shows her ability to multi-task, organize, and delegate which is essential in any real estate team.  If you see Adrian make sure to welcome her!

 

 

A Handy Checklist of Things to Look For While Walking Through a Home

It’s easy to get caught up in the ambiance of a house, the energy of an open house, or get focused on one amazing feature in a home that you start the-real-estate-pros-logoto totally ignore some of the essential things that you should be focused on.  That is why I have found that carrying a list such as this one helps you to stay on track, take important notes to hash over later, and be able to do a quick assessment of each home.  This also helps keep houses from running together in your mind.  After the 5th or 6th home you start to forget which house had which problem or which home had most of the amenities that you were looking for.  Next house you visit bring this checklist along:

* Look at the roof.  If it appears to be newer you are probably safe but if it appears to need a bit of work it may end up costing you quite a bit.  Plus if it is a newer roof your homeowners insurance may be lower.

* Open the cabinet below the sink.  This will help you see any leaks or mold issues that could also be costly to repair.

* Walk the exterior of the property.  While most people focus on the house you need to determine if the house is prone to flooding or if the fence needs extensive repairs.

* Turn on everything.  This means light switches, flush toilets, turn on sinks.  You may even want to taste the water.

* Check the hot water system.  You will want to see if it is big enough for your family.  A family will need a bigger system than a single person and so on.  If it’s a gas system check for the systems last servicing.

* Open and shut the windows.  See if they open and close easily.  Replacing windows can be a costly investment.

* Check if there are unusual shaped rooms.  Some of these may prove hard to furnish.

* Check for wall outlets.  In older homes there are sometimes only one or two in the entire room.  This will become a hindrance once you are trying to plug in your computer, tv, phone, ipad, lamp, alarm clock, printer, etc…

Things to Overlook:

* Outdated carpet.  While it makes a big impact on the room it can easily replaced at an affordable price.

* Paint: While exterior paint may be a bit more costly, you can repaint a room in your house for much less and certainly shouldn’t be a reason to not purchase a home if everything else is up to your standards.

* Outdated Kitchen cabinets: Cabinet resurfacing can be done very inexpensively.

* Old or ugly window treatments: It can certainly have an impact on a room but you can easily purchase new window treatments and give the whole room an update!

The Weather Was Frightful but the Housing Recovery Will Be Delightful

I’m sure I am not telling you anything new when I say that the harsh winter we had did not do any favors for the housing market.  In fact, February of housesforsaleposterthis year compared to February of last year the number of closed home sales decreased a whopping 13.1%.  While this is certainly a big decrease it is important to remember that weather really does play a big part in this and the market itself is alive and well.  Low inventory was also a culprit in the negative numbers that hit us this winter but that also can be blamed on many people not wanting to list their home in the snow.  Now that winter is officially over it is a whole new ball game.  The good news is that home values remained in-tact and all predictions point to a booming year in real estate if the inventory increases.

With that being said I cannot stress enough how this is a wonderful year as a seller.  The housing prices are rising so those of you who have wanted to sell but initially thought you were underwater on your mortgage, you may finally be able to get out from under your house.  Putting your house up for sale this spring/summer is definitely a wise idea since it is always hard to determine if the housing market will remain steady next year or the year after.  What we do know is that for now things are looking positive and housing prices have nearly completely recovered from the years and years of the housing market crash.

If you are wondering what your house could be listed for, wanting to know how we can market your home using multiple forms of advertising and social media marketing, or want advice on what to do to get your home ready to sell, my team would be happy to come out and do a free analysis on your home.  Our no pressure approach will allow you to make the best financial decision for you and your family and allow you to make all decisions regarding the sale of your home.  We look forward to hearing from you!