Archive | September, 2013

Seven Home Buying Tips

27 Sep

Seven Home Buying Tips

Welcome back to my video blog!

I know that buying your first home, or any home for that matter, is a stressful time.  That’s why I wanted to share with you seven home buying tips to eliminate that stress!

1.    Find a good agent. Having an agent you trust and who can communicate effectively with you is the first step in finding your dream home. And guess what, I know a guy for that!

2.    Check out prices. There’s a plethora of resources online such as http://www.findhomelistingsinlouisville.com or http://www.homesinthebluegrass.com to find prices that are comparable to the home you want.

3.    Get pre-approved. You want the seller to know you are a serious and qualified buyer. If you don’t know what you qualify for, give me a call. I can put you in contact with some great people who can answer your financial questions.

4.    Explore your neighborhood. If you find a home you like, find out what’s around: schools, shopping or emergency centers. Visit the home during different times of the day.

5.    Put your best foot forward first. Because we have such a hot market, it’s not unusual for sellers to get multiple offers. To make sure you stand out, make a competitive and fair offer with a list of comparables for support.

6.    Get it inspected. When your offer is accepted, make sure to get your new home inspected by a professional and follow up with any further inspections suggested: termite, structural, etc.

7.    Speak up! After the home buying consultation, don’t be afraid to ask us any questions you may have.

I hope these home buying tips make things easier for you when searching for your dream home!

How to Evaluate an Offer on Your Home

27 Sep

How to Evaluate an Offer on Your Home

Multiple offer situations have become the norm in our market today: over the asking price, under the asking price, cash offers, etc. As a seller it can be hard to decide which one is best for you.

The first mistake many sellers make is choosing the highest offer without doing any research. Does that buyer have the funds or financing to make such an offer?

Find out which buyers are preapproved. Preapproval is different than a prequalification letter. When someone is preapproved, they have worked with the lender, given the proper documentation, filled out an online application and income has been verified. Prequalification is when a lender tells a buyer what they would qualify for if the information given, such as income, assets, etc., is correct and verified.

Once you know they are preapproved, what type of loan is it? How are they making their down payment? Some buyers will have contingency, where they must sell their home first in order to close with you.  There is nothing wrong with this, but it’s important to know you could face potential problems if their home doesn’t sell.

Another thing to consider is the closing date. Is it long period or short period and why is this? Closing a home typically takes 30-45 days. Is there a reason they need more or less time?

What about cash offers? Just as you want to make sure someone has the financing by preapproval, find out if the seller has the funds. This can be done by seeing a bank statement.

If you have any questions on multiple offer situations or how to get preapproved, please call me 502.220.4663 or email me at toddmartin@realtor.com

4 Tips to Preparing Your House for Sale

27 Sep

 

4 Tips to Preparing Your House for Sale

Google “selling a home” and you’ll end up with millions of hits with tips, tricks, to-dos and what not to-dos. But if you can see past all the fluff and get right down to the bottom line, you confirm that all you really want as a seller is top dollar and you want it fast. 

I know the business of selling homes and I’ve been through it in all types of markets. Buyer-centric markets tend to make it necessary for sellers to pull out all stops while a sellers’ market like we are experiencing these days dictates something else altogether.

Here is my four-point strategy that I think you need to be doing to prepare your house for sale. Nothing else. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Being in the amazing market that we are in right now – you don’t have to do that much!

Bring It Up to Code

Read up online (or ask me) to find out the standard items that home inspectors look for – then go get it done in your house. Make sure the home complies with safety and building code and if not, hire a contractor to get it done. Some things are easily resolved yourself such as replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or ensuring your water heater is properly strapped in place.

Let There Be Light (and Air)

One of the first things buyers look for is the flow of a house. Not only does this apply to the floor plan but also in terms of how much light and air flows through the space. The last thing you want to do is to have a buyer walk away because they were unable to see the potential in a home if it wasn’t set up right. Make sure you open windows, highlight open spaces and stage the house so buyers can see all that it has to offer.

Break Out the Broom

Have you ever walked into a dirty or cluttered space and felt good? Of course not! So when you’re selling your home keep buyers’ impressions in mind as walk through the house. Are there piles of stuff lying around everywhere? Make your home inviting and welcoming with the simple step of cleaning it up, making it fresh and allowing buyers to visualize their own lives in the space.

Don’t Go Into Overdrive

One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is to renovate, rebuild and remodel before selling their home. The problem with that is that buyers may or may not like your choices. Rather than the money being recovered in your sale price as you would have wanted, renovating often backfires and turns buyers off. No need for overkill – just sprucing up the place with some simple decorating and staging changes will do the trick. And if there is a serious need for updating – reflect it in the price so buyers can make their own design choices. 

Aside from the obvious steps to take when preparing your home for sale – the most important thing you can do is to align yourself with a really strong real estate agent that will get the job done! Contact me today for a free home value report and for a walk-through with some more suggestions for your home.