Jeffery Barr's Blog
If you want to buy or sell a home, hiring a real estate agent is a must. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble getting the best results.
A real estate agent can teach you the ins and outs of the housing market and ensure you can make informed buying or selling decisions. In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you throughout each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey.
Although many real estate agents are available nationwide, it is important to remember that not all of these housing market professionals possess the same communication skills. And if you hire a real estate agent who is an ineffective communicator, you may miss out on opportunities to buy your dream home or get the best price for your current residence.
Ultimately, there are many signs that a real estate agent is a great communicator, including:
1. A real estate agent keeps in touch with clients via emails, phone calls and texts.
A real estate agent who understands the importance of effective communication will be able to stay in contact with you via emails, phone calls and texts. This housing market professional is happy to work with you in any way possible, and as such, is ready to lend a helping hand time and time again.
Furthermore, a great communicator understands the importance of timely, accurate messages. This means a real estate agent who strives to maintain open lines of communication should have no trouble keeping you informed throughout the homebuying or home selling cycle.
2. A real estate agent listens to your concerns and questions.
Let's face it – buying or selling a home can be stressful, particularly if you're operating in a competitive housing market. Lucky for you, a real estate agent who acts as a great communicator can listen to your concerns and questions and help you alleviate stress.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to assist a homebuyer or home seller. He or she also recognizes the importance of active listening and respond to your concerns and queries instantly. That way, this housing market professional can do whatever it takes to help you remain calm, cool and collected as you buy or sell a home.
3. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest.
Although the homebuying or home selling journey should be simple, problems sometimes may arise. However, a real estate agent who serves as a great communicator will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you overcome any challenges.
A real estate agent is proud to assist his or her clients. At the same time, this housing market professional is unafraid to deliver bad news. Therefore, a real estate agent who is an effective communicator can share good and bad news with clients, provide consistent support and help clients mitigate homebuying or home selling problems as quickly as possible.
Employ a real estate agent who is a great communicator, and you can work with a housing market professional who can help you overcome the challenges associated with buying or selling a home.
Once you’re ready to sell your home, you want to be sure that your home is smelling fresh. There’s a few sneaky odors that can creep into your home for various reasons. The consequences of horrible smells when you’re selling your home are really not good. Read on to prevent funky odors from turning off buyers from your home.
Food That’s Past Fresh
Whether your garbage disposal is a bit clogged and could use a cleaning or your fridge hasn’t been purged in awhile, these things could be causing a stink. Make sure you stay on top of leftovers and take care of anything that may be in the refrigerator for too long.
Clean your garbage disposal often. It’s simple to make a “volcano” by throwing some baking soda down there and then pouring vinegar over it, allowing everything in the disposal to bubble up. You can even put a lemon or lemon juice in the disposal in order keep a good smell going.
That Wet Dog Smell
Any kind of animal will leave some sort of odor in your home. Whether you have a dog, a hamster, birds, or cats, you’re going to need to freshen up your space. Keep the litter box changed and add some baking soda for a bit of freshness. Make sure to remove any stains on your carpets or floors as well. If a piece of furniture or a carpet is to blame for the strong odors, you may need to remove that piece from your home completely to get the stench out.
Your Air Conditioning Smells Bad
Since water can build up inside of your air conditioning unit, sometimes, a bit of maintenance is necessary. AC units must be cleaned regularly in order to keep strange smells away.
Something Smells Musty
A musty smell usually spells a water leak. Whether it’s in your basement or under your sink, you need to correct leaks in order to get to the root cause of musty smells.
Clean A Carpet With Vodka
You can put some cheap vodka in a spray bottle in order to clean a carpet. This technique can be used for more troublesome areas of the rug. As the alcohol evaporates, so won’t the odors that are filling your home.
The Air In Your Home Is Stagnant
When the air in your home smells kind of stale, you’ll need to get the air circulation back in the house again. This can be easily remedied just by opening the windows. Even if it’s cold outside, it’s good to get the air circulating in your house again. This simple action effectively changes the air in your home without any fancy chemicals or techniques.
The process of closing on a home can seem lengthy and complex if it’s your first time buying or selling a house. There are several costs and fees required to close on a home, and while it’s up to the individuals to decide who covers what costs, there are some conventions to follow.
In this article, we’re going to talk about closing costs for selling a house and signing on a mortgage. We’ll discuss who pays what, and whether there is room for negotiation within the various fees and expenses.
But first, let’s talk a little bit about what closing costs are and what to expect when you start the process of buying or selling a home.
Closing costs, simplified
If you’re just now entering the real estate market, the good news is you can often estimate your closing costs based on the value of the property in question. You can ask your real estate agent relatively early on in the process for a ballpark figure of your costs.
Closing costs will vary depending on the circumstances of your sale and the area you live in. In some cases, closing costs can be bundled into your mortgage, such as in “No Closing Cost Mortgages.” However, avoiding having to deal with closing costs often comes at the expense of a slightly higher interest rate.
If you are planning to buy a house and have recently applied for a mortgage, laws require that your lender sends you an estimate of your closing costs within a few days of your application.
Now that we know how closing costs work, let’s take a look at who plays what.
Buyer closing costs
In terms of the sheer number of closing costs, buyers tend to have the most to deal with. Fortunately, your real estate agent will help you navigate these costs and simplify the process.
They can range from two to five percent of the cost of the sale price of the home. However, be sure to check with your lender for the closest estimate of your closing costs. It’s a good idea to shop around for mortgage lenders based on interest rates as well as closing costs charged by the lender.
Here are some of the costs you might be asked to pay as a home buyer:
Prepaid interest or discount points
Home inspection fee
Insurance and Escrow deposits
Seller Closing Costs
While the seller pays a larger amount of closing costs, sellers still have obligations at closing that can be just as expensive. The biggest expense for sellers is to pay the real estate commission. Commission usually falls in the vicinity of 6% of the sale price of the home. This covers the commission of both the seller’s and the buyer’s real estate agents.
The main takeaway? Buyers and sellers both share the burden of closing costs. While the buyer has more expenses to take care of, the seller pays for the largest costs.
Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that all home sellers can live without. However, removing clutter before you list your house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal.
Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the decluttering process. That way, you can speed up the process of improving your house's appearance and get your residence show-ready.
To better understand how to effectively declutter your home, let's take a look at three best practices for decluttering:
1. Organize Your Belongings
Old electronics, broken exercise equipment and other items can take up lots of space in your home. If you take a look at all of your belongings, you can differentiate clutter from items that you'd like to keep.
If you haven't used an item in several years or an item simply takes up space in your house, this item likely is clutter. As such, you should eliminate this item from your premises as soon as possible.
On the other hand, items that you use regularly or items that have sentimental value may prove to be keepers. With these items, you should store and maintain them properly to reduce the risk of deterioration.
2. Get Rid of Items That You No Longer Need
There may be a wide range of clutter scattered throughout your house. Although your first instinct might tell you to throw out excess items, it is important to consider whether these items could be sold or donated.
Even though a particular item no longer serves your needs, you may be able to sell this item to the highest bidder. Thus, if you post an item online or host a garage sell, you could earn extra cash by selling your clutter.
In addition, many charities will accept items that you no longer need. If you have excess items that are working properly, reach out to local charities, and these organizations may be able to pick them up at your convenience.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you plan to list your home in the next few weeks, consulting with a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional can offer expert decluttering recommendations and help you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, evaluate your house and learn about your home selling goals. He or she also will explain the home selling process and ensure you know what to expect before you list your residence.
In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, notify you about offers on your house and provide various home selling recommendations and suggestions. Plus, if you ever have questions about decluttering your home or other home selling topics, a real estate agent can provide immediate answers.
Simplify the process of decluttering your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remove clutter from your residence in no time at all.
In a competitive selling market, it’s vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.
Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if you’re on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in today’s seller’s market.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.
1. Paint the front door ($30)
One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.
2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)
Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.
3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)
They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.
For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.
4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)
Whether it’s the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.
Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.
5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)
Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.
6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)
Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.
7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)
Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.
8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)
Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isn’t all that easy to clean.
You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.