Comprehensive Real Estate
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Managing Broker / Owner
Around the mid 2000’s I decided that while I enjoyed the mortgage industry as a whole, I was getting tired of refinancing someone’s home to save them a few dollars or shorten their mortgage term. At the same time I really enjoyed the purchase side of the business so I decided to shift my focus from the mortgage side of the transaction to actually helping the buyer find their new home.
My initial clientele mainly consisted of buyers. I assume this is because I had always worked with the buyer in the mortgage industry and that is where my expertise was. When I moved over to the realty side of the business I found that while most people want to become home owners, many didn’t have any idea where to start – especially when it came to their asset and credit management. So, over time I developed a unique system designed to turn renters into homeowners that focuses on the financial end of the transaction. We still use this system today, and are constantly tweaking it to meet the needs of today’s buyer.
Our early first time buyers are now turning into move up buyers. This, coupled with our unique ability to develop buyers, has really helped our listing side of the business as well. More and more we are finding that the seller wants and demands more than just putting their listing in the MLS. They want their home advertised in all media at all times and we accommodate them.
Housing expectations for 2018
The NAR publishes some great data every year in regards to housing expectations.
Existing Home Sales:
Median Home Prices:
Potential speed bumps
Tight inventory conditions
Increasing home prices
Rising mortgage rates
Waning consumer confidence
*The Case for Optimism
New housing starts are only now returning to levels seen previous to the last major housing downturn, resulting in low inventory conditions that persist in single family home resales. Expect home prices to continue to climb throughout 2018.
7 things you need to know when selling a home.
Whether you are selling in a hurry, or selling at your convenience, be aware of the major influences that the market and the terms of your sale can have on the resale value and amount of money you keep in your pocket.
Determine an accurate fair market value
Take the time to work closely with a reputable buyers agent who can create a thorough Comparative Market Analysis for you. You’ll need to get a good look at comparable properties in your area that have been appraised recently.
Find out what kind of buyer your property will draw
This will have an effect on what kinds of repairs you may elect to do, as well as determine what kind of financing a buyer can utilize when purchasing the home.
Get a pulse on the overall market conditions
Home sale ratios, buyer activity levels, and neighborhood competition can all influence the value of your property, as well as how long it may be on the market.
Perform all improvements that have a net positive on your resale value
Regardless of home condition, there are always improvements that can positively influence your re-sale value. Smells are highly important to focus on, as well as cleanliness.
Choose the right agent for your transaction
A passionate, knowledgeable local expert who intimately knows your neighborhood and market is important. Equally important is their communication, organization, and timeliness.
Prepare your home for those buyer showings
The cosmetic appeal of a property highly influences it’s value. To the untrained eye (like your average buyer), cleanliness is a proxy for how well the home was cared for. Be sure to send the right message with a bright & clean experience free of unwanted odors.
Get feedback from every buyer if possible
Your buyer’s agent can typically follow up with agent’s who show your home to their clients. Get feedback on the home condition, showing highlights, and make changes if needed to improve desirability.
"Reality TV" versus real world conditions
You‘ll need a credit report to make sure your score and reporting are accurate. Work directly with a lender on your credit score. They can help provide recommendations, work with scoring agencies, and improve your score when you obtain your loan.
Reality TV myths
Buyers only look at three homes before they make a decision to purchase.
It's all staged for TV. Most homes viewed are sold or off market already.
When you flip a home, all you have to worry about is repair expenses when calculating profit.
The home sells during it's first open house on the market.
Real estate agents live lavish lives on $100,000 plus incomes.
Real world conditions
Most buyers look at considerably more than three homes.
The homes being chosen from are still active on the market and available for sale.
Reality TV ignore taxes, insurance, interest, utilities, closing costs and commissions.
Properties typically sell after a showing with their buying agent.
Most real estate agents make much less. Their take home pay is far lower after all their overhead is calculated.
Quick tips for would be property investors
Buying Takes Time
Don't rush into a deal just because you are excited. Take your time to locate the best deal.
TV shows tend to gloss over complex topics that influence profitability. Your budget needs to be accurate.
Calculate PITI payments
Property taxes and insurance can add a significant amount to your monthly payment
Find a great agent
You'll need an absolute professional experienced in your specific market
Meet your average first time home buyer
If you are selling a home that would make a good first time home purchase in the area, you'll want to better understand today's first time home buyer needs.
What kind of house do they want?
Move in ready homes
Upwards of 68% of buyers are looking to purchase a move-in ready property.
43% are looking to buy in a suburban area outside of a city.
Energy efficient and smart technologies
Younger buyers make up a larger and larger market share, and are willing to pay premiums for upgrades they perceive to be good for the environment, or capable of reducing their energy footprint.
Large entertainer style kitchens and bright open floor plans are very popular. New homes are being built with large bedrooms and baths.
Common types of first time home buyers
20% of consumers overall are actively looking to purchase their first home.
46% of millennials will be looking to buy their first home in the next 1-2 years.
38% of hispanics are actively looking and planning to buy their first home in the next 1-2 years.
When to invest in your house
Home ownership is one of the largest obligations you can place on yourself, and with it comes a slew of costs and responsibilities. Even when selling your home, you may want to consider which investments to make in order to get the most out of your transaction.
Property exterior could use improvements.
Property exterior looks great from all angles.
The carpets have stains and/or wear and tear.
The carpeting is near new or like new.
The home smells like pets, smoke or garbage
The house has no strong odors at it's entrance.
Kitchens & baths
These rooms need repairs, improvements or replacements.
Kitchen & baths
These rooms are attractive, modern, clean and inviting.
I do not have any options for covering the cost of repairs.
I have capital that could be used to invest in the property.
8 Popular home remodeling trends
When selling a home, it's important to compare properties in your area to better understand what a competing property may offer buyers in value and convenience. You may want to consider some of the following upgrades to add value and interest to your home once it goes on the market.
Use materials and products in upgrades that are friendly to the environment.
Soaking tubs, large showers, and bold flooring choices are in vogue.
Hardwood floors, as well as faux or engineered hardwood floors are common.
Updated appliances in the kitchen do a lot to add perceived value.
Single-bowl deep sinks, copper lighting, and solid surface counter tops.
Textures, natural wood, reclaimed barnwood and other materials can add style.
Improve lighting fixtures and overall light balance throughout the home.
Add plants, keep flower beds weeded & grass cut. Paint that front door.
Accepting the right offer from a buyer
A national survey by Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate found that baby boomers are providing financial support to help their children and grandchildren become homeowners.
There is no more crucial time in your home sale than when you are considering multiple offers and exploring their various terms. Not all offers are equal, and the highest priced offer is not necessarily the best overall offer. The right offer to accept is one that incorporates both highest price and the best terms.
All Cash offers
An offer in all cash has the benefit of being able to close more quickly than a financed offer. This is because there is no lender or loan terms for the buyer to work through.
First time home buyer programs
In some states, first time home buyers have additional financing opportunities available to encourage home ownership. These programs typically do not add any additional burden to a seller.
VA Loan programs
VA loans will typically have an escrow period the same length as a conventional loan. Appraisal standards can sometimes be more strict, so if your home has questionable comps or needs repairs this can complicate the sale.
The vast majority of offers you will receive are from buyers taking out a conventional loan. Expect an average 30 day escrow period and an earnest money deposit.
At times, you may be presented with an offer that is contingent on the sale of another residence. While this does not automatically make this an inferior offer, it does often result in a longer than a 30 day escrow period. If a quick sale is a requirement, this can be a than ideal candidate.
Earnest Money Deposit
If your buyer is serious about a purchase, and is confident in their ability to close escrow, they will have no problem with providing a down payment in good faith. This is typically around $1,000. Should the deal fall through after they have removed contingencies, they forfeit this deposit.
Closing Cost Requests
It is not uncommon for a buyer to request funds back as part of the terms of sale. This can apply to anything from repairs on the home, to help with the loan closing costs. This amount reduces the net proceeds from the sale of the home.
Why you need an experienced listing agent
FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2016. The typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales
The more exposure through marketing and onsite visits from participating agents will result in a better chance of receiving multiple offers on your property, which will help add leverage when selecting the offer that most accurately meets your goals.
The results should be measurable
Increase your visibility to buyers
Buyers increasingly are utilizing real estate agents and starting their searches for property online. A listing represented on the MLS in your area will increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Real estate agent
Yard sign/open house sign
Friend, relative or neighbor
Home builder or their agent
Directly from sellers/Knew the sellers
Print newspaper advertisement
Explaining your closing costs
Your total net proceeds are reduced by a number of costs that are typically associated with a property sale. It's important to know the basics about these. It is recommended that you sit down with a real estate agent who can walk you through a net proceeds estimate to determine your equity at close of escrow.
1/2 of title & escrow
Expect to pay for approximately half of the transfer taxes, title insurance, notary fees and other miscellaneous costs associated with transferring the title.
As the seller you will pay for the listing agent and buyer agent commissions. There is no typical listing percentage or split.
Any outstanding mortgage balance you may still carry on the property will need to be satisfied at closing.
Your tax responsibility will be prorated to the date of sale, and any outstanding balance will be need to be paid in order to transfer the title and record the sale.
Expect to have pest and roof inspections performed on the property, as well as optionally a full home inspection as part of the sale. While this can vary, typically this is paid for by the buyer.
Regardless of the type of offer you have accepted, you may still be asked by the buyer for home repairs as part of the sale once the results of the inspections are known. Some repairs are required by certain mortgage programs prior to funding.
Typically prorated, any outstanding balance up to the date of sale will need to be satisfied prior to close of escrow.
After the closing
An ongoing relationship with my clients
Despite closing escrow marking the end of the property sale process, it also marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship. Keeping in touch with the agent allows you to continue to use this value able resource of information whenever you need.
Your referrals are key!
Maintaining an ongoing client relationship is just part of an overall commitment to provide a level of service well above and beyond expectations. Your agent relies on word of mouth referrals for additional business, and good referrals allow the agent to devote more time to helping clients and less time to finding them. If your experience is amazing, be sure to tell your friends!
Drop us a note
I greatly enjoy working with buyers and helping them purchase their dream homes. If you’re looking to conduct your home search soon and find a new residence, please get in touch with me via email or phone today.