How to Manage a Cross-Country Relocation

A cartoon family driving through the desert in a cartoon car carrying a load of tall stack of boxes and a chair that is strapped to the car.

In the past, we’ve focused on things you should consider when planning to move. However, when you’re considering a move across the country, there are several other things you have to think about in order to be fully prepared for the transition. Obviously, moving cross-country is a bigger change than moving to the next state over or merely a few towns away. There’s a lot of planning involved and more factors to take into account to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are some tips to assist you if you’re planning a cross-country move.

At the start of the process, you should ask for help from a professional as early as possible because they will be able to tell you exactly what you need to know as you go forward with preparing for your move.

“A realtor is a great resource and can provide you with a wealth of information about the price of homes in your area of interest and so much more,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “Our relocation department and agents at Rand Realty help our customers and clients find a qualified realtor anywhere in the country by utilizing our own broker network. Having a realtor in place before you visit an area is a key stress-reliever and timesaver. He or she can help you preview homes in your budget and put you in touch with other experts, such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, school and city officials. They are the experts in their respective areas and can provide you with resources to help you in your home search.

“And, if you are planning to finance a purchase, I would also recommend you get pre-qualified by a mortgage lender,” said Regan. “This way, you know what your purchasing power is before you begin your home search. Knowing what you can afford will also help you narrow down your choices.”

When you’re planning a move, you have to figure out how you’re going to pack up all of your belongings. The level of difficulty for this task depends on how far away you plan to move. If you’re only moving a few miles away, or maybe even if you’re moving to the next state over, it will be rather easy to rent a moving truck and some movers, pack up your things, and be on your way. When you’re moving cross-country, however, it’s a little harder. The best thing to do is figure out the essentials you will be needing, but can still fit in the car; and then, you can sell everything else. This way, you don’t have to worry about renting a truck and moving crew to help you, which can cost quite a bit of money if you’re going cross-country. Then, when you arrive at your new home, you can purchase new furniture.

If you plan on bringing a lot more with you to your new home and end up renting a truck, you’ll be packing a lot of your belongings in boxes. Once you finally know what you’ll be bringing, begin taking inventory of your belongings. Given that there’s a lot going on during a preparation for a cross-country move, there’s a probability that some of your stuff may get misplaced. In order to prevent this, take stock in everything you have with you. That way, when it comes time to pack it all up, you know what you’re supposed to have. After you pack everything away, make sure to label your boxes. That way, when the boxes are taken into your new home, you will know in what rooms they should be placed, and you won’t have to waste time going through each box to know where the contents are supposed to go.

You may not have considered this when planning a move, but as you’re doing so, you can expect your calendar to fill up with appointments. Besides going for an appointment with your doctor and/or dentist, there’s the matter of catching up with your friends and family before moving. You don’t want to leave town without saying good-bye to them, so you’ll want to make sure you set aside some time on you calendar for them. I know it’s not like you won’t be seeing them again, but if you’re moving cross-country, you won’t be spending as much time with them, so you should spend time with your friends and family before you make the move.

Speaking of appointments, to-do lists are also important to have. There are so many things to keep track of when you’re planning a cross-country move, such as choosing what you’re going to take with you, hiring movers, forwarding mail, and updating business accounts (Updater, a web application Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty now offers, can assist you with the latter two tasks). I remember to-do lists were a huge help when juggling academics and extracurriculars in college, and one of the great pleasures in life is crossing off tasks you go from day to day. With something as significant as a cross-country move, making a to-do list (or several) is really going to help you in keeping track of what needs to be done. When you consider how much work goes into a move as big as this, it will make this undertaking simpler if you write down all of the tasks that require attention before you get ready to step out the front door and begin your journey to your new destination. You’ll have so much going on during this process, there’s a chance an objective or two may slip your mind, so having a to-do list will help preventing such a risk.

Seeing as there’s so much to plan when coordinating a cross-country move, there’s the matter of giving yourself enough time to get all of the preparations done. In order to do this, it’s recommended you provide yourself with at least two months to get everything in order. There’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than waiting until the last minute to begin work on a time-consuming task, which I’m sure many of us have done one time or another. Makes you nervous to think about, doesn’t it? As soon as you know you’ll be making a cross-country move, start your planning immediately. Don’t procrastinate like you probably did with a term paper or two in college. Get everything you need to get done as soon as you can, and then if you think of anything near the last minute that needs to be done, you’ll have many of the other tasks out of the way at that point.

Moving cross-country is different for families, as opposed to an individual mover. Because of this, it’s important everyone in your family knows what’s going on with the transition.

“Moving is stressful for everyone in the family, including children,” said Regan. “My advice is to talk with your children about the move as far in advance as possible, and also be supportive and patient, as they will need time to adjust. Arrange to take the children on a tour of the new home and neighborhood as soon as possible. Show them all the recreational areas and fun things that the new area has to offer. Setting up playdates for your children and signing them up for sports teams or other fun activities will keep them busy and help them adjust more quickly.”

In conclusion of this blogpost, I’ll leave you with the last important piece of advice: stay calm. Yes, there’s a lot you have to get done when prepping for a cross-country move, but losing your sanity isn’t one of them. As long as you give yourself enough time for the task and have a clear idea of what needs to get done before you’re ready to drive off, you’re sure to have a smooth transition as you make your travels to your new home.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.bhgrelife.com

www.lifehacker.com

www.money.usnews.com

www.apartmentguide.com

www.humoroushomemaking.com

 

Posted on March 4, 2016 at 10:11 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Buying and Selling a Home as a Pet Owner

Beautiful dog lying on the carpet and waiting for the host

If you’re buying or selling a house, there are a few things you have to consider when you have a pet. When you’re buying, you have to look into any pet ordinances in the neighborhood you’re considering, and also find a living arrangement that will work best for you and your pet. If you’re selling, you’ll have to stay on top of your cleaning game and make sure your pet makes as few messes as possible. Either way, you’ll get through it. As a side note, this blogpost is mainly aimed at people who have pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, or any other furry animals you may allow to roam around the house, as opposed to reptilian or amphibious creatures you would keep in a tank most of the time.

Pet owners looking to buy a home should check any local ordinances that may be in place regarding pets. A lot of times, areas enforce leash laws and require people to clean up after their pets in pubic places (You should be cleaning up after your pet, whether or not there are laws enforcing it), and there is usually a fine involved if these rules aren’t obeyed. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, there may also be a rule detailing how many pets you can have. If you own two dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and a hedgehog, or any group of pets, you should check to make sure you will be allowed to bring all of them with you. Although you are given more freedom when you have your own house, you should still check to be safe. Looking into this is especially necessary if you are moving into a condo or apartment complex, seeing as you’ll be living in close quarters to other people who may be allergic to pets or annoyed by their sounds.

When selling your home as a pet owner, you may be asked by state law to disclose a pet has lived with you. However, as you’re preparing your home for the market, you don’t have to leave any evidence in the staging or photos that you have had an animal in your home, so you should remove any photos of your pets and pet toys and store them away so they’re not within sight of the agent and their potential buyer. Before a photographer comes to take pictures of your home, make sure your pet isn’t there to wander into the background; not only is it a distraction from whatever else is in the photo, but some people might not want to think of a pet having lived in their future home.

When buying a home, pay attention to the layout of the house to make sure your pet will be comfortable living in that space. Think about what kind of floors they may be comfortable with, such as carpeted, tile, or wooden. If you and your pet are okay with wooden or tile floors, that may be the best route to go because it will be easier to clean up after your pet. Although you should make sure you and your pet will have enough space indoors, you should check if your pet will have enough fenced-in space outside to run around and get exercise, and also if there’s enough room in the backyard in case you want to include a doghouse. You may also want to see if there are some parks around the area in which you can take your dog for a walk.

While selling your home, you don’t want your pet to be in the way of the buyer’s agent and their client when they’re in the house. During this, either take your pet out with you for a walk, or leave them in a cage with a note taped to the outside notifying the agent and buyer to not disturb your pet. Although you love your pet and think they can’t do any wrong, having them interrupt the showing can possibly cost you the sale. Having “strangers” walking through your home can pose the risk of your pet accidentally scratching or biting the agent or buyer, which will land you in trouble. It can be distracting to the agent and buyer if your pet is walking around the house as they’re trying to focus on the house and get a feel for the settings.

As you’re looking for a house, there are a few others things you may want to consider. You should try and find a house that isn’t located too close to any busy streets. This way, you decrease the chance of your pet running into traffic, because you never know when the mood will strike for them to burst out the front door in a fit of excitement and run into traffic. To help keep your pet clean and healthy, you will also want to see if there are veterinarians, pet stores, and groomers within the vicinity of your potential new home.

Before you have any buyers walk through your home, you should go through every room and see if there are any stains, fur, odors, scratches, or other calling cards your pet may have left behind during their time in the home. As you get closer to your home being shown to potential buyers, you may want to limit the rooms your pet has access to so you have less to maintain and clean up.

Being a pet owner who’s buying or selling a house, you must take your furry pal into consideration. Whether you’re moving in or out of a new home, there are several factors you have to think about when you have a pet. A pet will add a little more work to whichever housing process you go through. But, given how much you love them, I’m sure it will all be worth it when you finish the task.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome

www.homebuying.about.com/od/sellingahouse

www.home.howstuffworks.com

www.localagentfinder.com

www.realtor.com

Posted on January 22, 2016 at 10:02 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Top Real-Estate Myths

Fact Myth Signpost Meaning Correct Or Incorrect Information

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, or a new buyer looking for that place to call home, odds are you have come in contact with your share of real-estate myths. In fact, you may have wished there was a “Myth Busters” type of show that dealt with real estate, to help you separate fact from fiction. While we’re waiting for a show like that to be created, we want to bust some real estate myths based on over 30 years of our experience in the New York and New Jersey real estate industry.

 

The Late Agent

Movies and television often propagate the myth that real-estate agents tend to be late for meetings, but this is simply not true. No matter what your profession is, there isn’t any excuse to be late for appointments. If something has come up and an agent knows they may be behind schedule, they will contact you right away to give you a heads-up. Being on time is a sign you take your career seriously, and an agent will convey that to their clients. Agents are committed to giving you the best real-estate experience possible, but if you sense anything different, it might be time to find a new agent.

 

Try to Get as Much as You Can Upfront

When you’re selling a house, you may have heard you should aim to price your home higher than its market value. In short, this will not work. Not only will this deter potential buyers, but this will undoubtedly force you to reduce your price at some point to get it in line with reality. If you price your home to the market at first, you will get an interested buyer much faster, and your house won’t have to spend more time on the market than it has to. There may still be some negotiating involved, but at least you’ll start engaging with potential buyers earlier and more frequently.

 

Renovate Before Selling

Some say there are two rooms in your home that you should renovate before selling, and they are the kitchen and bathroom. While that may seem like an enticing idea at first, the truth is you don’t know what kind of tastes your potential buyers may have. They may walk into your house and dislike the changes you have made, and they may not want to spend money on big renovations to make the kitchen and bathroom fit their vision. In that case, you have just wasted money on renovations that don’t attract to buyers. If your kitchen and baths work, leave them alone and let the potential buyer have the option to fix it up as they see fit.

 

Modernized and Luxury Homes Don’t Need to Be Staged

Even if your home is in a nice neighborhood and has an eye-pleasing appearance, that doesn’t mean you can forgo staging it. Staging a home is one of the most important things to do when you place your home on the market. A potential buyer is not just going to look at the exterior; they’ll want to walk through the house and envision themselves in those surroundings. If you don’t stage the house to make it look its best, potential buyers won’t be able to get a proper feel for that environment. Take some time to look around your house to see if there’s anything to clean or improve upon before your agent photographs the house. You want buyers to experience the best your home has to offer.

 

Just like ghost stories told around a campfire, you shouldn’t believe in real-estate myths. The real-estate industry is complex enough to understand without having these fallacies thrown in. What you should do is talk to your agent when searching for the truth about the current real-estate market. Doing so will keep you knowledgeable during the buying and selling processes and will save you a great deal of annoyance. Consider these myths “busted”!

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit and “Like” our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.homebuying.about.com

www.money.usnews.com

www.realtormag.realtor.org

www.washingtonpost.com

Posted on January 11, 2016 at 11:52 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What to Expect in 2016’s Real-Estate Industry

Silver 2016 New Year and broken golden Christmas ball with house isolated on white backgroundIt’s hard to believe 2015 is already at a close. But it’s happening, and everyone’s getting ready for the new year and preparing their resolutions. In the real-estate industry, we’re excited for the trends that are predicted to take place in the coming year. This is a business that’s used to big and rapid changes, so we’re looking forward to what the new year has in store for us.

As we enter the new year, there are plenty of agents out there who want to help you with any real estate to-dos you may have.

“2016 looks to be a very lucrative year for real estate,” said Frank DiCocco, manager of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s office in Closter/Alpine, New Jersey. “There is plenty of business out there for our agents. Agents need to hone their skills, and put themselves out there. The years of sellers and buyers falling in our lap are over. It’s the presence, so let’s make one!”

There is also going to be a potential increase in affordable single-family housing. Before 2016, builders were working more on higher-priced homes, which didn’t meet the financial criteria of entry-level buyers. However, with a decrease in new-home prices and improving credit access, builders will be focusing more on constructing homes that are more affordable for new homebuyers. If you have a family, this news couldn’t be better, so if you’re looking for a new home in 2016, keep searching for low home prices throughout the year to see if any fit your financial requirements.

One source’s prediction says home prices may start to decrease, which will influence potential buyers to revisit the market and see if there are any properties they will be able to afford. A lowered price is the best thing a buyer could be given, so 2016 is a year where you’ll want to take advantage of the lowered prices and search for your dream home. With this, you must keep an eye on the market, and also consult with your agent about their views on the industry. Once you have a better idea of the market’s current state, it will be time to dive in.

Although some people believe home prices will lower in 2016, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s third-quarter market report details that home prices will rise in the new year, therefore creating a seller’s market. Because of these increased prices, this will cause more home sellers to list their properties. Home sellers will want to receive as much money as possible from their property, so they will be eager to place their homes on the market.

The real estate industry is more technological than it has ever been before. With smartphones, tablets, computers, and social media, we are given countless options when it comes to exploring potential real-estate investments. It has become difficult to think how we would have managed this in the past without the availability of these digital-age tools. However, despite the tremendous help modern technology provides for those searching for real estate, you can’t forget it’s the human touch that has been in the real-estate industry since the beginning. After all, you’ll be dealing with an agent the entire time, so it’s important to establish a friendly connection with them as you traverse through the ever-changing real estate market. Having someone to speak with who can provide firsthand knowledge of the real estate market is a wonderful service when buying or selling, so you should value the human factor as much as the technological one.

Parking has been an important factor for real-estate clients for decades. After all, who wants to buy a house without a proper place to park their car? However, it may be surprising to know parking will be seen as less of a concern among homebuyers in the new year. Lately, it has appeared an increasing number of buyers are forgoing cars and are instead using public transportation, cycling, and ride-sharing apps, such as Über. This is especially understandable for those looking to live in the city, seeing as parking normally costs extra and is rather difficult to find.

We will also see a greater solidification of generational buying trends. It has been evident lately that millennials make up a significant portion of current homebuyers, and that doesn’t show any sign of stopping. Nearly two million sales in 2015 involved millennial consumers, which equals about one-third of homebuyers. Despite the attention millennials are receiving in regard to the housing market, it should be noted there are two other demographics that will make an impact in the 2016 housing market: Generation Xers recovering from the financial crisis, and retiring baby-boomers who are looking to downsize. With these three very different generations looking for homes in the new year, we will see a surge in both the buying and selling markets, which will surely make for an interesting and lucrative year in the real estate industry.

A new year includes new beginnings, so whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, these are a few trends you’ll want to keep track of. The start of a new year is a perfect time to be optimistic, so let that optimism carry you throughout the year as you work to accomplish any real estate goals you may have. With that being said, I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous 2016!

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.money.cnn.com

www.inman.com

www.realtormag.realtor.org

www.realtor.com

www.marketwatch.com

Posted on December 31, 2015 at 11:38 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tips for Renting Out Your Home

Couple Standing By For Rent Sign Outside Home

Sometimes, if people try to sell their home, they may have trouble attracting a buyer. If you’re one of these people, you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do about it. Maybe you plan on consulting a realtor to change around the marketing, or maybe you’ll choose to take your home off the market for a bit. But, have you ever thought about putting your house up for rent? If you don’t have any interested buyers at the moment, renting out your home can be the next best step. It’s worth a try, so here are some tips on how to prep your home for renters.

When trying to estimate a rental price, you have to realize the market is what establishes it. If you set the price too high, you’ll discourage potential renter from approaching you and expressing interest in the property. Determining the rental price isn’t an arduous task because all you have to do is talk with your realtor and conduct some research on the market, which will show you what prices other rental homes are asking for in your area. If you wish to find a renter in a timely fashion, it’s important to have a fair market price, not a price reflecting how much you think your home is worth. In order to have success when attracting renters, this is something you must remember.

You must also realize, as a landlord, you’re going to have many responsibilities with the property. Although you have the benefits of an occupied home warding off vandals and earning some income from the renters, there are many things you’ll have to focus on in order for your property to stay in the best condition. Maintenance is key to not only keeping your renters pleased with the property, but also to make sure your property remains in top condition for when you finally attract an interested buyer.

It’s important to walk through your home and check for any issues you may have to fix before you have any potential renters look at it. Just as if you’re getting your home ready for a buyer, you have to do the exact same thing for a renter. Check the plumbing, the heating, the electricity, and other amenities the renters will need during their rental period. If you aren’t able to sell the house, renters are the next best option, so you don’t want to drive them away with problems that should have been fixed before advertising your rental property to the public.

When you go through your home to prepare for the renters, make a list of the furnishings you would like to take for yourself and which ones you don’t mind leaving with the renters. Even if the renters are responsible people, you never know if an accident might occur with a favorite furnishing of yours that is left in the house, so if you want that piece of furniture for your new home, you should definitely take it with you before the renters move in. After you pick out the furnishings you want, hire a moving company to take what you want for your new home.

Take some time to find the best tenants. You have to make sure you rent out your property to people you know will take care of and respect your home. When you think you have found a possible tenant, your realtor will put them through a screening process and ask them to complete an application listing their name, employers, past landlords, and references. Once your agent gets in touch with the renter’s contacts, you will have a better idea of who the renter is and if you would like to approve their application. If you rent out your house to the wrong person, this be will pose a risk to your home suffering damage and will have you pulling out your hair with stress. With the hard work it comes from being a landlord, stress is something you don’t need.

If you’re having trouble selling your home, don’t fret over this bump in the road; you still have the option to rent it out. However, you have to remember there’s a considerable amount of preparation you must take to prepare for the renters to move in, just as if you were selling your home to a buyer. At least if you have people renting out your home, there will be less time the house is unoccupied. If you have a responsible individual renting out your home, you will know your home is in good hands until the right buyer comes along.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.realtor.com

www.usaa.com

www.biggerpockets.com

www.investopedia.com

www.homes.com

www.yourfinanciallife.bhoharris.com

Posted on December 23, 2015 at 11:43 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a House

 

Small house for sale on white background. 3d rendered image

Last week, we discussed the mistakes you should sidestep when buying a house. This week, we’ll transition to the other end of the spectrum and talk about the mistakes to dodge when selling a house. With this task being as significant as buying a house, you have to make sure to be every bit as diligent when you place your house on the market.

Curb appeal is essential. As soon as a potential buyer drives up to your property, you want them to feel excited about going into your house. But, if you don’t spruce up the exterior, it may turn away the buyer immediately, and you don’t want a buyer skipping your house before they even place a foot in the door. By neglecting to improve your curb appeal, it may send the buyers a message that you don’t upkeep your property on a regular basis, not just on the outside, but also on the inside. You’ve heard that first impressions are everything when it comes to meeting new people, and this notion applies just as strongly when it comes to properly maintaining your house for a buyer.

Never withhold any information from the buyer, such as your house having issues with pest infestations or leaking pipes. You should always make sure your agent is aware of any and all issues so they can disclose that information to the buyer. Place yourself in the shoes of the buyer and think to yourself that you wouldn’t want a seller keeping any important information to themselves if you were trying to purchase a house. If you choose to keep some details to yourself about the house’s faults, you’re setting yourself up for a very rocky negotiation, and even some possible legal troubles. The final buyer is putting a considerable amount of money into your house, and it will be very unfair to them if they are not given all of the necessary information before making an informed decision on your house.

If you have a pet or child, you know they’re prone to creating a mess every so often. However, you want to make sure your house is clean before an open house or a private showing. It’s important the buyers are able to envision themselves living in the house, but if there is a mess that gives the hint of pets or children, it will take the buyers out of their visualization. When you take your children out of the house during an open house or private showing, either take your pet with you, or place it somewhere in the house where it won’t be in the way of the agent and buyer. With these buyers taking the time to visit your house, it’s your responsibility to clean the house so they can see the house appearing at its best.

Speaking of buyers envisioning themselves in your house, this will be easier for them if you de-clutter your house. When you forego getting rid of your house’s clutter, the buyer won’t get a clear idea of the exact space a certain part of your room may have, such as a buyer taking a look at your closet, but not knowing exactly how the space looks because of your clothing taking up too much room. Although you’re still living in the house when it’s being shown, the buyers don’t want to be constantly reminded of that fact as they are looking around at someone else’s house, so remove any clutter that may prevent a buyer’s ability to imagine themselves in the home. De-cluttering will also allow a buyer to move around more freely without the worry of disturbing anything.

As far as pricing is concerned, this is probably the biggest pitfall of the home-selling process. You must realize you and your buyer are going to view the house’s price differently. Seeing as you don’t want to set a price too high in the beginning and turn away buyers, use your agent to help figure out a realistic market price that will attract buyers.

When you’re selling a house, you want to make sure everything goes right because you’re parting with something that has been an important part of your life. I know these mistakes may be worrisome, but if you take your time during the selling process and seek help where you need it, you’ll be fine. Just collaborate with your agent, establish the best course of action, and sell, sell, sell!

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.realtor.com

www.forbes.com

www.chearsheet.com

www.homebuying.about.com

www.time.com

www.trepryor.realtytimes.com

Posted on November 18, 2015 at 10:34 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House

 

Real Estate, House, Sale.

Buying a house is a life-changing event, so you have to be careful to dodge mistakes that could cause setbacks in the home-buying process.

In the beginning, you have to make sure not to hire the wrong agent. Just because someone might be a niece, nephew, friend, friend of a friend, or have any other connection with you, that doesn’t mean that person will work best for you. If you want the home-buying process to flow smoothly, you want to make sure your agent is communicative and dedicated to their work. Hiring an agent just because you may have a pre-established association with them doesn’t mean they’re the right agent to use, and a mistake like this can derail the process shortly after it begins. You shouldn’t feel obligated to work with someone just because you know them. The home-buying process is a fun, but serious task, and you want to have the most qualified professional on your side to guide you through it.

Although looking at houses is the most fun part of the process, you can’t jump into it right away. First, you have to figure out how much the bank will loan you for a mortgage and get pre-approved. If you visit some properties prior to your pre-approval, you may be disappointed to find out they are out of your price range. I understand you’re excited about house hunting, but getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important task to accomplish before you start visiting houses. Plus, having a pre-approval is a sign of determination that will show sellers you are taking the process seriously, which will help you stand out from other potential buyers.

Similar to when you’re buying a car, never settle with the first “perfect” house you see, no matter how much you like it. If you do this, you’ll likely miss out on other possible houses that might have met your needs and interests. It’s recommended you keep an open mind about the several housing choices you have, instead of lunging at the first house that fits your criteria. I know the home-buying process isn’t something you want to prolong, and ending the process might be tempting if you find your dream house right away, but quickly attaching yourself to a house will likely do more harm than good, so visit a few houses before making your choice. You’ll feel a lot better having done so, and it’s always best to have multiple options.

Speaking of wanting to speed up the buying process, buyers might sometimes choose to skip the home inspection in order to make their offer more appealing to the seller, which the sellers will like if they’re trying to hide any problems. Foregoing the inspection is something you should not do. A home inspection is very important when it comes to buying a house because the inspector will go through the property to make sure everything is in working order. If you skip this step and it turns out the house needs repairs, you’ll have to spend money to fix these problems, on top of having already bought a house for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Please forgive the cliche, but this is a sort of don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover situation because, although you are drawn to the house based on the details that are more apparent, you need a professional to find if there’s something you would have normally missed in your walkthrough.

The real estate market is an unpredictable beast, and no matter how favorable it may look one day, you can never tell how it’s going to present itself the following day. Even if it looks like you’ll be paying a great deal on a house, you might feel compelled to wait and see if the price drops. While you may like playing the odds, waiting for a price reduction may result in hurting your chances on buying your preferred house, or even losing it to another buyer. The housing market is constantly changing, so leaving the possibility of a good price now for a better price later isn’t the wisest choice to make when dealing with something as big as a housing purchase, especially if there’s a chance of someone else swooping in and taking the house you wanted.

When you buy a house, one of the last things you’ll probably think about is selling it at some point down the road. However, considering this actually makes a big difference. When you look at a house, you have to think about the possibility of selling it later on in your life. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You never know, you may need a bigger house to raise a family, maybe you’ll have to move because of a job transfer, or you may find yourself wanting to downsize. In life, anything can happen, and it’s this reason why you should think about the resale value of a house before you purchase it.

As a homebuyer, you want to find a house that’s as close to your liking as possible. While the prospect of searching for a new house is fun, you can’t let that excitement make you forget the important steps you have to take in order to prevent any mistakes from being made. There’s a lot of time that goes into the home-buying process, and diligence is key. If you work hard to evade any blunders that may get in the way of your search for a new house, your commitment to the process will be very worthwhile.

Come back next week when we discuss the mistakes to avoid when selling a house!

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.inman.com

www.money.usnews.com

www.home.howstuffworks.com

www.rismedia.com

www.bankrate.com

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 9:59 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent to Help Sell Your House

Real Estate Agent.

Selling a house is one of the biggest undertakings you can face in your life, which is something I’ve been saying a lot, lately. But, it’s one of those things you really need to realize when you’re about to list your home. As you’re getting ready to do so, you also have to think about contacting an agent. An agent will be a tremendous help during the selling process, so here are some reasons why you should hire a real estate professional.

When you hire an agent, you won’t need to worry about having your time consumed by the responsibility of being available when a potential buyer wishes to see your house. With an agent, you’ll have a lot of assistance because they will be showing the house for you. Besides personal showings, agents will be able to host open houses where buyers and other agents are invited to tour your house. This way, you’ll be able to get multiple potential buyers in your house at one time and obtain a better idea of how much interest your house is generating throughout the community.

When you have an agent on your team, they will be able to gather feedback from the potential buyers about your home. Normally, the buyers will provide their opinions to their agent, who will relay that information to your agent, who will then bring that information to you. This way, any awkwardness is left on the sidelines, and you will be able to receive honest opinions from the buyers because they won’t have the pressure of having to give their feedback directly to you.

Marketing your home properly is extremely important. By having an agent on your team, they will be able to attract attention to your house through their list of contacts and marketing capabilities. As with any line of business, contacts are everything, so if you want to have the best chance at selling your house, hiring an agent with many contacts will give you a shot at meeting the results you’re looking for, and in a timely manner as well. With the technology we have today, the ability to reach hundreds of people is at our fingertips, and an agent will use that digital advantage to notify consumers that your house is on the market and waiting for an offer. Given how most people today use the Internet as their main tool for researching real estate, it’s a no-brainer your agent will work to attract buyers through computers, mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. With online tools, such as MLS websites and social media, your agent is likely to find a wealth of interested buyers. But, although we’re living in a world that’s becoming increasing electronic, additional marketing tools, such as flyers, brochures, and newspaper advertisements still hold power in the real estate industry.

Determining your house’s selling price should be left up to an experienced professional. You will most likely harbor great memories of your house and price it to what you believe the value is based on your emotional attachment. The seller’s agent will come with comps of similar houses in your area, which will show the length of time these homes have been on the market, how much they are listed for, and how much they sold for. All of this will help when determining a realistic market price. Additionally, when you have an agent working with you, they will be able to add positivity to any negative feedback potential buyers may have about the property, and will possibly help with a resolve on a situation.

Real estate agents are professionals, so they know what they’re doing and won’t steer you wrong. They are at your service and will assist you however they can. When selling something as significant as a house, placing it in the care of a real estate professional is the first step to a successful process. If you want to have the best experience you can when selling your house, do yourself a huge favor and hire an agent.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.investopedia.com

www.anthonystokespereira.com

Posted on November 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Home Buying During the Back-to-School Season

Child_Home_From_School_0011We’re already at the end of the second week of September, and the new academic year is in full swing. Parents are adjusting their schedules to fit with their children’s extracurriculars, getting used to an empty nest if their children are starting college, finishing up putting away all of the summer paraphernalia, or if you have recently moved into a new home, you’re probably getting ready for your child to venture into a new school district. If none of these apply to you, and you’re looking to purchase a new home, this is a great time of year to do so.

For families who are moving with young children, switching your child to a new school district is one of the more significant changes you will make upon moving. It also makes your move more of a time-sensitive matter because you want to move to your new home before the academic year begins. When moving before the start of a school year, your child will have a fresh start at a new school, instead of being transitioned into a school that already has its academic year in progress.

For other homebuyers, this is a great time of year to look for a new home because there will be a smaller buyer pool as a result of decreased competition, seeing as families who wanted to move before the school year began have already done so. According to an article from realtor.com, new contract signings were down 12 percent this July from June, which is not out of the ordinary for this time of year, seeing as most contracts that are signed in July won’t close until after the school year begins. As inventory stays on the market longer, pricing will go down, and if you sign a contract in September, you should be able to close before Thanksgiving, which means you can avoid the possibility of hitting a snowstorm in December at the beginning of winter.

“My buyers love looking in the early fall,” said Adam DiFrancesco, manager of business development for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “Besides homes looking their prettiest, there is less competition between buyers. In the spring, all of my buyers are very go-go-go, and many are that way due to wanting to be closed before the start of the school year. In the fall, the process is more relaxed, giving my buyers more leisure in finding their home.”

If you have been waiting for an advantageous time to buy a home, now would be one of those ideal times. You won’t have to contend with the potential buyers who come out in droves during the warmer months of spring and summer, and you won’t have to worry about the snowy and icy traveling conditions of winter. So, if you’re looking to purchase a home, look into doing so during the early fall when you have a better chance at closing on the home you have your eyes on.

To learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

www.realtor.com

Posted on September 11, 2015 at 8:49 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

How to Conduct a Final Walk-Through of Your New Home

Walk-through checklistYou’re almost there. You’re just about ready to close on your new home. While this should be a cause for celebration, you’re not exactly out of the woods just yet because there’s still the matter of having to do the final walk-through to make sure everything is how you want it to be before you close. As you’re doing the walk-through, here are some things you should keep in mind as you’re making sure everything is in order.

One very important aspect about the final walk-through is to try and do it 24 hours before your closing. You shouldn’t allow too much time to pass between conducting your walk-through and closing because you never know if anything might happen to the home during the in-between time, and then you return to do the settlement, only to find that the home has suffered some damage since the day of your walk-through. Once your settlement is finalized, any issues become yours and the previous owners won’t have any obligation to handle them. This is why I recommend you do your walkthrough as close as possible to 24 hours before closing. The last thing you need is more stress when you’re near the end of your home-buying journey, so use this tip to avoid any problems right before you intend to close.

When conducting your walk-through, you should have a checklist in hand concerning what to inspect as you’re going through the home. Turn on the heating and air conditioning for a few minutes to make sure they are operable, because the last thing you want to do is move into a home during the summer without a working air conditioner or the winter without sufficient heating. Also, go through all of the appliances (stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, etc.) to see that they are in working order. Check all of the faucets to make sure you have hot water and water pressure. The smoke detectors must be tested as well. If your home comes equipped with a sprinkler system, test it to make sure it’s functioning. Inspect the basement, attic, and garage to make sure the previous owners have cleaned them out completely. If the garage has an automatic door, test it to make sure it works. Check all of the electrical outlets as well; you can go to your local hardware store and purchase an electrical tester. Given how much modern technology plays a role in our daily lives, you’ll definitely want to make sure you have working outlets in which to plug your laptop, mobile phone, and tablet.

After all of the time it takes to settle into your new home, you don’t want to deal with any home-repair tasks so soon after, so if you find anything major on your walk-through that isn’t working, make sure you ask the previous owners to have it fixed before you move in. If you find a problem in your home, first consider if it’s something that you can handle yourself once you move into your new home, because you don’t want to come across as being pedantic by pointing out easy-to-fix problems that you can take care of upon moving in. There isn’t any point in delaying your settlement over a problem that you can fix yourself, so it’s important to consult with your agent to determine which problems, if you have any, are/aren’t worth going after.

Occasionally, the previous owner won’t move out of the home until the new owners have closed. This is a perfect opportunity for the buyer to ask the owner any questions about the home, which should add some comfort to the buyer because they are communicating with the owner face to face and having their questions answered by the previous occupant. You never know if you’ll need to contact the seller for anything, so you should try to meet them at least once to form a good relationship with them and get to know each other. I’m not saying you have to take them out to dinner, but at least establish a general acquaintance with them.

Although doing a final walk-through might be one of the easier parts about buying a home, you can’t deny the importance of this step. You have to be thorough and attentive to detail when inspecting the home to make sure it meets the standards that you hope for prior to the closing. You have come this close to moving into your new home, so you don’t want to be deterred by problems that you neglected to look for during the walk-through. I know you’re excited to finally move in, but you have to make sure everything in your home is in working order. Once that happens, then you can finally close on the home and celebrate.

To learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Sources

homebuying.about.com

blog.allstate.com

realtor.com

Posted on September 4, 2015 at 1:44 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,