Managing Stress During House Hunting

There aren’t two ways around it, you’re going to encounter stress when you’re searching for a home. But it’s not just you; everyone experiences it. And why wouldn’t you? This is one of the most significant investments you’ll make in life. I know acknowledging this will make you nervous, but there isn’t any use in denying this while searching for your next living space. But no matter the stress you face, there are ways you can deal with it, and that’s what we’re here for today.

I realize we have brought this up in a lot of our past blogposts, but the best way to drive stress away when doing anything real-estate related is to hire an agent. They know the inner workings of the industry and can assist you in navigating the market as you figure out which house will work best for you and what you can afford. Any pressing questions you have, they can answer, or will get back to you as soon as they can if they need to look for the answer elsewhere. Agents are here to help you carry the work as you house hunt, and they will be there with you from the start of your search to the time you sign those closing documents.

Just like with college essays and projects, the best thing you can do to keep stress at bay is start your search. You probably have a date set for when you want to move, so don’t waste any time. Every minute is essential, and with buying a home being a very important purchase, you can’t afford to wait until the last minute and possibly choosing the wrong house in your haste to grab a property. You don’t want to procrastinate and then find the best homes have been snatched up. It’s best to start early so you can analyze all of your options in order to make an informed decision. Time is fleeting, so don’t let it get away!

As you begin your search, you should know what you want in your home. Although you don’t know which house you will end up buying, you do know what you want it to include. How many bathrooms and bedrooms do you want? Would you like a house with a pool? A two-car garage? A patio? Central air conditioning, or wall units? If you’re looking at homes without knowing what you want, you might as well conduct your search while blindfolded. Looking at homes without knowing exactly what you want may not be the best use of your time.

Here’s a word everyone wants out of their vocabulary: paperwork. Yes, we all would live more peacefully without it, but it’s a necessary evil when it comes to real estate. I’m not trying to alarm you in saying there’s going to be a lot of reading and signing of real estate documents, but to let you know this is something of which you NEED to keep track. With everything that goes into buying a house, such as getting pre-approved for a mortgage, obtaining an insurance plan, and putting in an offer, you can bet there will be paperwork to go with it. You should keep everything together in your home so if you ever need to reference back to a certain document, you’ll know where to find it.

Before you start the procession of purchasing a house, it will benefit you to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You can imagining how frustrating it will be if you find a property you’re interested in, only to find out you won’t be given any financing. It would be in your best interest to get all of the financial aspects in order from the beginning because agents and sellers only want to deal with buyers who have been pre-approved, obviously. What you should do is improve your credit score and get all of your bills paid on time. Doing these things will make you look ready in the eyes of the banks, and having your bank statements and current income records with you will assist lenders in determining your eligibility for a mortgage. Remember what I said not too far back about paperwork? This is why you need it.

As you house hunt, you have to be prepared to fit open houses and private showings into your schedule. I realize you’re busy with work, but going to as many open houses as you can is essential in seeing which houses will meet your needs. If possible, it will be best to see a few houses within a few days. That way, you won’t have an extended period of time between showings, and you won’t be straining to remember what you liked and didn’t like about a house. This will allow you to make easy and thorough comparisons of the homes. Despite having more time over the weekend to attend an open house, it may benefit you to visit a home on a weekday because there’s the possibility of there being less people, which will give you more one-on-one time with the listing agent, and you’ll be able to ask as many questions as you want.

When you’re buying a home, you’ll most likely experience the “fear of missing out,” which is a case when someone else may put in an offer on a house you only just viewed, leaving you compelled to put in an offer as well. This happens particularly in seller’s markets, which occur when there are high prices and low inventory. In such a case, your feelings may get ahead of your rational thoughts, influencing you to put in an offer. However, it’s important you don’t do this unless you’re certain this is the house you want. It may feel discouraging to miss out on a home, but it will feel worse to make a quick decision on a house, only to move in and realize this isn’t the house you wanted after all.

Yes, there is stress that goes into searching for and buying a home, but there are also a lot of ways with which you can combat that stress. Although some unexpected things may come up during the process, you can triumph over it all if you start on time and have a plan and some professionals at the ready. Buying a house is one of the most important things you’ll do, and you shouldn’t let stress get the best of you. At the start of each day, just look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself it’s all going to work out.

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.



Posted on June 5, 2017 at 1:56 pm
Joseph Rand | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

What to Look for When Buying a Condo

condominium-1474381Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to downsize, or want to save money, you may want to consider purchasing a condo. If you’re looking to live in a home with less maintenance, but still want to have some kind of ownership, a condo is a great option. With that, here are some factors to think about when you start your search.

When moving into a condo, you have to remember you may not have as much space as you would in a standard house. There’s also a possibility you won’t have a garage or attic. However, some condos will provide you with storage space, so as you look at different properties, ask the seller or representing real-estate agent if the complex offers residents any space in which to store extra belongings. You don’t want to move with all of your stuff and not have enough room for it, so before you make your final choice, just be sure your most important belongings will fit. If you need to, maybe sell some stuff you don’t use anymore so you have more space in your condo for what you actually need.

You’ll also want to see if the walls between units are thick enough that you won’t be bothered by any noise coming from next door. Having lived in a college dorm, I know how annoying it can get to be able to hear any yelling or loud music coming from the resident right next to you or directly across the hall. If you want don’t want to risk losing your sanity as a condo owner, ask the seller or agent if the walls are soundproof. You have to know if your condo has walls that are thick enough to block out any unwanted noise. This way, you’ll have better knowledge of whether or not you’ll be content with your neighbors.

It’s also important to choose a condo complex that has a wonderful management team. When you visit each complex, take some time to interview the manager and ask them any questions you may have, and also talk to some of the residents to see if they’re happy with the method in which the day-to-day operations are run. Having competent management is essential in confirming the rules of the complex will be enforced, so as to ensure the residents will live pleasant lifestyles. Think of your management team as the equivalent of an RA (resident advisor) in a college dorm. They are there to make sure the community is being taken care of and that its residents are happy.

Speaking of rules and bylaws, you should take a good look at them to make sure they help in offering the kind of living you’re looking for. If you have a pet who will be moving with you, you have to see that the complex allows this for their occupants. You’ll also have to make sure your pet will be happy in a condo environment, such as having enough room to play and run around. If you think you would like to create a little garden on your front lawn, especially with the weather becoming warmer, that’s something you’ll also have to consult the rules and bylaws for as well. In terms of renovating, you don’t always get to decide how you want your condo to appear. If you wish to make any major renovations to your condo, you may have to bring it up with the board or condo association to see if they will approve of your plans, whether they be interior or exterior. If you’re the type of person who likes to make significant changes to your residence every now and then, you may not want to go for a condo.

You have to realize living in a condominium complex is a very social environment. Therefore, you have to make sure your neighbors are welcoming, seeing as these are the people with whom you’ll be living in close proximity. You should do this to make sure the community actually provides a sense of community and that you’ll be able to make friends in your development. Don’t just move to a condo because it offers a comfortable home; move there because you know you’ll connect with those you meet. You want to surround yourself with people who you would invite over for parties or game nights, people who will become sort of an extended family.

Condos also offer a great sense of convenience. If you’re someone who wants to live close to your workplace and local stores, condos are often built in close distance to them, so you won’t have to spend much time in getting to them. And, if you’re next to your town’s shopping and business districts, you can bet it will never get boring, as there will always be activity and liveliness throughout the town. There are also several amenities a condo may provide, such as a playground, tennis court, and pool. Having these features will help you stay active during your residency at the complex, and will also encourage you to meet other individuals in your complex as you spend time outside.

As you look at different complexes, it wouldn’t hurt to ask to see the minutes of the association’s latest board meetings, if available. Doing so will bring you in the loop of any issues that may be experienced within the condo community, such as problematic neighbors, boisterous parties, or trespassing. Having an idea of what goes on in the complex will allow you to sort out the details of the environment and determine if you would like to become a resident in this development, or if you would like to look elsewhere.

Although a condo may be easier than a house in terms of maintenance, there are still many important factors you should consider when looking to purchase a condo. The environment of one may be different from others, so take a close look at the lifestyles of each complex and figure out in which one you can picture yourself living. Once you find the condo that’s perfect for you, you can start enjoying everything the development has to offer!

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.




Posted on March 23, 2016 at 1:11 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Move

Yong Couple Moving In-2Making a move is a task that many of us undertake in our lives. The thought of moving may seem like a difficult and emotional process, but it’s something that you will always remember as a transition from one part of your life to the next. You can make this time of you life a lot less stressful when you know the mistakes you should avoid. With everything that goes into getting ready for a move, it’s easy to have a misstep or two. But, we’re going to give you a heads-up of the mistakes to sidestep on your move.

Taking EVERYTHING with You: Before you move, you need to have a thorough look at what you’re actually going to take with you. This means going through all of your belongings and figuring out what you don’t use anymore. You’re going to need as much room in the movers’ truck as possible, so having any space taken up by stuff you don’t need is going to be a waste. Moving all of those unneeded possessions, only to toss them away when you get to your new house, is not going to be a good use of your time. Get rid of your unwanted items through a yard sale, donations, or simply discarding them if you know nobody will get any use out of them, and then focus on bringing only the stuff you know will be used in your new home.

“One of the best things you can do is purge all of your unwanted junk that’s collected in your house over the years,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.  “I would recommend you do this a few months in advance of the pack and load date.  Most experts will say if something hasn’t been used in about a year and it’s not sentimental, get rid of it. This clean-out can be very liberating and cost effective. Your household-goods weight load will be less, saving you money with the movers, and of course, less items will mean less boxes and packing supplies.  And, if you were to hold a yard sale and possibly sell these items, you can even make some money to help defray some of the cost of moving.”

Using Old Boxes: As you’re packing your stuff away, it’s understandable you’ll want to use some boxes you have around the house, instead of spending money on new ones. However, it would be in your best interest to forgo boxes you’ve stored around the house and purchase unused ones. Any boxes you have around the house are probably dusty and not as strong after having other possessions stored in them. You don’t want to be carrying a box packed with your belongings, only to have them fall through the bottom and possibly break the items or hurt yourself. For any items that are very breakable, make sure to have enough bubble wrap in which to encase them before you place them in a box. With multiple items in any box, you don’t want them hitting against each other and causing damage. After the bubble wrap serves its purpose, you can embrace your inner child and pop the bubbles!

Choosing a Moving Company at the Last Minute: When preparing yourself for a move, you have to take into consideration that the late spring and summer are typically the busy season for moving, especially because you have families with children who want to move to their new home before the start of the next school year. A lot of the best moving companies get filled up with appointments early, so as soon as you know the date, call the moving company to book your move. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of not getting an appointment when you need it, and then you’ll probably have to resort to a lesser company.

“Moving companies get extremely busy at certain points of the year,” said Regan. “The moving season really heats up in the summer from May through Labor Day, and the moving companies can be booked solid. You have corporate transferees and families moving to settle in before the school year starts, as well as government and military personnel moves. I recommend you book with the moving company way in advance. Or, if you’re moving on your own, reserve your rental truck as soon as possible. Targeting mid-week or in the middle of the month may be best in terms of availability. If there are any delays or changes in your moving date, contact the company right away.”

Forgetting to Ask for an Estimate: Before you choose the moving company you would like to work with, it’s important you first receive an estimate, especially because there are two kinds that are offered: binding and non-binding. A non-binding estimate provides you with an idea of how much the move is going to cost, based on how far you’re moving and the mover’s estimates of your contents and the size of your house. The estimate is given in writing, and you can only be charged 10 percent more than the original estimate. With a binding estimate, you have a legal document that explains all of the charges, which can’t be changed unless you ask for add-on services, such as the movers having to climb multiple flights of stairs they didn’t have previous knowledge about. Prior to making your final decision, it’s recommended you receive at least three estimates, and also ask about any hidden fees. If you’re already spending money on the move, you certainly don’t want to be hit with any unexpected expenses. But, don’t be afraid to spend extra money on a reputable mover because if you find a moving company that charges significantly less than others, it’s probably safe to say they don’t offer top service.

Not Asking Your Moving Company If They Have Insurance: You also can’t forget to check that your moving company has insurance. Once you get to your new house, you don’t want to have any problems arise when you’re so close to finally settling in, so if a mover accidentally damages any valuable items upon the move, you want to make sure the company will be able to pay for them. If your moving company has insurance, I guarantee it will allow you to relax more. After you look into the insurance details of your movers, review your home insurance to make sure it covers your possessions as they move from one residence to another. If you need it, moving companies provide customers with deals on any extra insurance you may want. Lastly, you should inquire if your mover has insurance for workers’ compensation. If you have a small moving company helping you out, which typically has less than five employees, there’s a chance they won’t offer this, which means you’ll have to pay for an injury if a mover gets hurt. In the end, find out as much as you can about the moving company’s insurance, and use that as one of the deciding factors as to which company you choose.

Not Checking Out the School District: If you have children, you’ll want to see if the area to which you’re moving has a school district you approve of. Then, if you like it, you have to make sure it has openings, as you don’t want to move to a new neighborhood and have your children be without a school. Once you pick a district you prefer, keep in contact with them to make sure everything is in order for your child to attend come September. A school may be one of the last things on your child’s mind (I should know, as I was young once), but it should be one of the first things on yours. You want your child to have a bright future, and that begins with finding the right school.

Thinking Your Belongings Will Arrive When You Do: This is a mistake to avoid if you’re moving to a whole other part of the country. Don’t assume the movers will be at your doorstep waiting for you when you get there. If you’re relocating a long distance away from your old home and you arrive at your new home well before the movers, it’s best to have an emergency kit on hand that has enough essentials to get you through a few days. You should include toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, extra clothes, and anything else you think you may need to tide you over until the rest of your belongings arrive. It’s an inconvenience to have to wear the same outfit two days in a row, so imagine what it will be like having to do so for longer than that.

Packing Your Tools and Work Gloves Where You Can’t Get to Them: During your move, make sure you have your work gloves and tools easily accessible, instead of having them buried in a box. You won’t only need them for opening boxes, but you may have to remove a door from it’s hinges if you need to get a sizable piece of furniture through. When you arrive to your new home, you want to get all of your belongings inside as quickly as possible, so you don’t want to waste time searching for your tools if they are buried beneath everything else. Having them at the ready will allow you to quickly and efficiently unhinge any doors if necessary.

Not Hiring a Real-Estate Agent: One last mistake to avoid is not using an agent. Having the help of an agent will make the moving process a lot simpler. They have been through hundreds of these cases before, so they will be able to provide you with the information you will need in order to make sure everything goes according to plan during your move. With everything you have to think about when planning a move, it wouldn’t hurt to have some professional help at your side to give you advice. It will help you relax and will give you more assurance that everything will work out.

There’s a lot that goes into planning and making a move, and we know there’s much to remember. But, if you keep a clear head and an optimistic attitude, this task will be easier than anticipated. It’s all about time management, and the more time you allow yourself to prepare, the more focused and less worried you will be about not getting everything done. This is a part of your life that will lead to an exciting change in your life, so despite all of the work that goes into this endeavor, enjoy it!

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.



Posted on March 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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.



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.



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.



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

How to Set the Best Price for Your House


Real estate concept

Establishing a price is one of the most important aspects of the home-selling process. You want to receive as much money as you can for your property, but if you price it too high, you run the risk of driving buyers away. When setting a price, it would be wise to seek advice from a real estate agent, someone who knows the market and can gauge what would be an appropriate price. Although you’ll be using a professional, you’ll probably feel like having some input regarding the price, so here are some tips on how to successfully price your house.

“Setting the right price is like a perfect balancing act between the seller and the prospective buyers,” said Elizabeth Whiston, real estate salesperson for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s office in New Windsor, NY. “Hopefully, the price is acceptable. But, if the seller would like to start at a higher point and it is not totally unreasonable, I would list their property at the higher price. I would have an open house the first weekend after taking the listing with the understanding that if no one shows up for the open house and no one has called about the property, the price should be adjusted.”

Before you settle on a price, it’s important to study the housing market, which will tell you what you need to know about current real estate trends. A working knowledge of the market is one of the best tools you can use when determining an acceptable price. Of course, your agent will have a lot of information to offer regarding the market, due to their considerable experience in the real estate industry. Because of the kaleidoscopic nature of the housing market, it’s recommended you seek the help of an agent to assist you with pricing because they will always be on top of the present changes within the industry.

In terms of agents, it would be more beneficial to use one who’s local. That way, you will be working with someone who is familiar with your neighborhood and those around it, and they will be able to compare the prices from other properties on sale and gauge what some buyers are currently paying. A local agent will have an extensive knowledge of what houses typically sell for in a given area, so they will be able to provide you with a price range that may be attractive to local buyers.

It will also help to be patient. After all, it’s a virtue. Don’t rush your house to the market with the highest price you think the property is worth. If you use a high price first, buyers will feel apprehensive about considering your house. This will cause your property to stay on the market longer. The trick is to wait until you and your agent have figured out an appropriate price for your house, and then place it on the market. There’s always room for your agent to negotiate if a potential buyer thinks the asking price is still a little high, but at least it will look better if you establish a realistic price right at the beginning, instead of trying your luck first with a price that won’t be appealing to buyers.

Setting a price for your house isn’t just important, but it can also be fairly tricky. You may be split between pricing the house for however much you think it’s worth and how much it’s actually worth. The price you set for your house is going to either make or break the success of the sale, so by using your and your agent’s combined knowledge of the real estate market, you can figure out the best possible price for your house. Like a fish to a worm, once you hook the potential buyers with an attractive price, you’ll start reeling them in!

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.



Posted on November 25, 2015 at 11:21 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.



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

Why You Should Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Young family celebrate buying a new homeBelieve it or not, there are some people who might choose to search for a new house without assistance from a real estate professional. While it may seem like the ideal route, I want to explain why working with a buyer’s agent is the way to go. There is a lot of work involved when purchasing a new house, and a professional will be there to guide you through the intricacies as seamlessly as possible from your initial search, all the way through your closing.

When you’re buying a house, especially if this is your first time, you’ll want to have an agent with you who can answer whatever questions you may have. In the rare chance they’re not sure of the answer, they will find it for you and get back to you as soon as possible. Agents are very conscientious when it comes to keeping in touch with their clients, so if they have to get back to you on certain questions or have other bits of valuable information to share, you can be sure they will contact you in a timely fashion. The dedication of a realtor is the best tool you can have when looking for a house, so working with a professional who can help make the home buying process simpler is a huge benefit.

Speaking of questions, you’ll probably have a few regarding the paperwork when it comes time to close on a house. I know “paperwork” is a word that causes some apprehension, but for a task as big as buying a house, it’s a necessary evil. While going through the paperwork, you’ll want to have an agent in case you require any help. If you need clarification on anything mentioned in the documents, you’ll be thankful your agent will be with you to help clear anything up because you want to make sure not to sign anything unless you have a full understanding of what’s been written. With everything the paperwork includes, it might be somewhat intimidating, but keep in mind that countless other people have gone through this same process, so you should have confidence that you’ll get through the procedure as well.

Regarding the home’s cost, agents are up to date and experts in the market, so they know the current price trends and the true value of a house. With a professional backing you up, they can help negotiate with the selling party a price that will work for both you and the seller. Because buying a house is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make, you want to be sure you pay a fair price and don’t get taken advantage of by the selling party. The negotiation process can be very tricky, so having a buyer’s agent at the table to discuss a fair deal with the seller’s agent is essential for a smooth transaction.

When you have an agent, they will be able to assist you in narrowing down your choice of houses to the ones that fit your financial situation. Given your busy schedule, there isn’t any point in visiting houses that are out of your price range, no matter how nice they look, so using an agent will help you focus on which houses are more financially attainable. Besides finding houses that fit your budget, agents will also get to know what kind of features you’re looking for in a house. With an agent knowing the cost and qualities you want for your new house, they may find a suitable house you overlooked in your search, a house that may even become one of your final choices.

Moving into a new house is one of the best moments you can experience. But, to get there, you have to make sure you avoid difficulties during the home buying process. With an agent involved, they will work hard to get you through the transaction as easily as possible, and you’ll be happy to have them.

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.



Posted on November 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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.



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