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Expert Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Market

My mission at The Queen Team Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, I can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

4 Costs Homebuyers Often Forget About


Today, I’d like to go over four costs you may have forgotten about when making your home buying budget.

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It isn’t cheap to buy a home these days, and I’m not just talking about the price of the home itself. Unexpected out-of-pocket costs can pop up during the process.


It isn’t cheap to buy a home.


Today, I’d like to go over four costs you may have forgotten about when making your home buying budget.

1. The inspection. After you’ve made an offer on a property, you’ll usually need to pay an inspector to take a look at the home. This can run you a few hundred dollars. But, if there are any structural or safety issues, you may have to pay another professional to look specifically at the problem area.

2. Extra costs at the closing table. Beyond the closing costs themselves, there are a few additional expenses that buyers sometimes forget about at the closing table. Many lenders require you to pay a year’s taxes and mortgage up front. If the seller prepaid any of the taxes or fees, you’ll pay a prorated amount for the next of the year.

3. The move. Unless you’ve got some family members who can take care of most of this work for you, moving can be an expensive process. Costs will vary greatly depending on how much you’re moving, how far away you’re moving, where you live, and more. In any case, expect to pay a few thousand dollars.

4. Immediate costs. You may be able to put off new furniture purchases and renovations, but there are a few different expenses to expect right away. For example, you’ll need to hire a locksmith to change the locks in your new home. There could also be deposits or fees associated with setting up or transferring your utilities. Also, remember to plan for both routine and unexpected maintenance costs. Most real estate professionals will tell you that something in your new home is going to break down within the first year. So, set up an emergency savings account with at least six months’ worth of living expenses.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Why Do Some Agents Ask for Exclusivity?


Why do some agents demand a buyer’s exclusivity? Well, most agents don’t want to put in their time and effort without being certain of a buyer’s loyalty.


Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

When are you committed to a real estate agent, why do agents demand exclusivity?

Well, unlike most professionals who receive a steady paycheck, agents usually work on a commission.

Buyer agents who are showing you properties and negotiating on your behalf are basically working for free. So in order for them to devote this kind of time and energy, they’ll want to know you aren’t going to switch to another agent once you get closer to closing.


In order for an agent to devote their time and energy to you, they’ll want to know you aren’t going to switch to another agent once you get closer to closing.


Some agents will ask you to sign a buyer’s rep agreement. This contract binds you and the agent to each other in a mutual working relationship for a given period of time.

Once you sign this agreement, you are legally obligated to work with that specific agent. For this reason, it’s always important to read the contract carefully.

If you sign the agreement and are happy with the agent, you should stick with the contract. However, you can ask the agent to cancel the contract if you are unhappy and don’t want to continue.

Generally speaking, agents won’t want to continue working with a disgruntled client anyway. If you haven’t signed a buyer’s agent agreement, you aren’t legally tied to an agent and can move on whenever you please.

But even if you aren’t technically exclusive with a single agent, people will tend to assume you are working together if you carry out a number of consecutive tasks with that same agent. Voice your expectations from the start to avoid any awkward misunderstandings.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Staging Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays


If you plan on selling your home during the holidays, I have four tips to help you stage and decorate your home without overwhelming potential buyers.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

This time of year, the calendar is packed with holiday parties and budgets are strained by gift giving. A lot of people think that now is not the season for real estate.

The good news is that there are still plenty of brave house hunters out there who do venture out during the holiday season in serious pursuit of buying a house. The right decor and stylish trimmings can make them want to celebrate the holidays in your home.

If you are selling during the holiday season, try these tips to get buyers in the right spirit:

1. Clean and stage before you decorate your home. Your home needs to be staged. If your home is already piled high with clutter, adding ceramic holiday decorations will only increase the sense of overcrowding. Limit yourself to a few items of holiday flair and stash the rest in the basement for now. A few decorations can stir the holiday spirit, but don’t feel obligated to hang every last ornament.

Make sure your decorations are in tune with the feel of your house.

2. Compliment your palette. Before you start untangling cobwebs or tinsel, make sure your holiday decor matches your current decor. If you have an earthy color scheme, focus on decorative accents with rich tones like pumpkins, cranberries, and forest greens and golds. Keep your decorations in tune with the feel of your house.

3. Accentuate the positive. Too many decorations may distract buyers but the right accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features. Hang ghoulish ghosts or dangle a mistletoe in archways or display your menorah in front of bay windows. Don’t block the view with sticky holiday decals or clutter the elegant fireplace with too many personal, seasonal items. We know you love them but not everyone will.

4. Go light on the lights. Step away from the inflatable snowman! Remember, one man’s light is another man’s tacky, so tone down any over-the-top displays while your home is on the market. (No, your neighbors didn’t pay us to say that!) Instead, use simple string lighting to play up your home’s architecture.

I hope these tips help you prepare your home for the market this holiday season. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you!