Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Why Should You Hire a Realtor to Sell Your Home?

Selling your home is a complex process and nearly impossible to do on your own. Here are five advantages of hiring a Realtor to assist you.

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

There are many benefits of using a Realtor when it comes to listing your home. Here are five of the most important ones:

1. Pricing.
It’s important to work with a Realtor because they are the expert on what your home can sell for. Working with a Realtor will help you form realistic expectations about what your home may sell for. They will take all of the available online data, interpret it, and make sure that they price your listing right. You don’t want to price too high, as doing so will cause your listing to sit on the market for longer than necessary. When this happens, buyers may begin to suspect that something is wrong with your home. Pricing too low, on the other hand, could prevent you from earning the best possible price. This is why working with a Realtor is so important. Agents are trained to analyze market data and strategize accordingly so that you can price your home just right.

2. Marketing.
I think this is the most important aspect of selling your home. Did you know that 87% of homebuyers start their search online? Because of that fact, you need to make sure that you have a great online presence. Most Realtors stick to the “three p’s”: Placing a sign in the yard, putting the home on the MLS, and praying they get an offer. We do all of that, but also add a fourth “p” — promotion. We do everything we can to get the home out to as many potential buyers as possible so that it gets sold.

It’s not a done deal until it’s a closed deal.

3. Security. When you’re scheduling showings, you don't want just any person to come into your house. By working with a Realtor, most of the time we know exactly who is coming into the home. We know other Realtors in the area and most of the time they will only be showing it to pre-approved buyers.

4. Negotiations.
This is a big one. Buying and selling a home is a very emotional process, especially if you’ve lived in the home for a long time. You see all the memories in the house and while it’s an emotional process for you, at the end of the day it’s a business transaction. It’s important that it’s treated as such to make sure it gets the home sold.

5. Getting you to the closing table. It’s not a done deal until it’s a closed deal. Within the contract, you’re going to have timelines, deadlines, and terms to meet. As Realtors, it’s our job to make sure you do your part and the buyer does their part. Our ultimate goal is to get you to the closing table and get your home sold.

If you have any other questions for me about today's market or want to learn about some more benefits of hiring a Realtor when selling your home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Friday, July 13, 2018

How to Keep Your Home Cool Without Cranking Up the A/C

Want to keep your home cool this summer without having to pay an arm and a leg in utility costs? Here are three alternative ways to cool your home.

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

Temperatures are rising and so are your utility bills, courtesy of that big power hog: your air conditioner. If you want to cut down your cooling costs without having to crank up the A/C, here are three tricks you can try instead:

1. Fans and ice. You can easily make a DIY air conditioner, with nothing more than a box fan and some ice. Simply put the ice into a bowl and place it in front of the running fan. As the ice melts, it cools the air around it. The fan will then disperse that wonderfully cool air all around your home.

Fans can do more than that, though. Another cooling trick is to run your ceiling fans counterclockwise—this will pull up the hot air, leaving you sitting in a cooler space. And installing a whole-house fan can literally pull out all the hot air from your home and siphon it up and out at minimal cost.

2. Green cooling. Plants do a wonderful job absorbing sunshine and reducing the summer heat. If you're planning to stay in your home for a while, it might make sense to plant several deciduous trees on the south side of your home.

Another option is several potted sunflowers, which grow quickly but have large leaves. Climbing vines or foliage on a trellis can keep the front of your home cool, while a green roof will both increase your comfort and reduce your energy bills year-round.

Some of these will actually boost your home’s value.
3. A summertime schedule. For this natural trick, simply open up the windows in the early morning and shut them before you go to work. This will allow you to suck in some cool air and to keep out the hot air later in the day. For even better results, draw the shades during the day and consider getting heat-blocking blackout curtains.

These kinds of simple heat-busting tricks can be effective at reducing the heat during the summer months and lowering your energy bills by 30% to 50%.

Plus, small investments like planting a tree or installing a whole-house fan can also boost the value of your home. I bring this up because the summer is also when the real estate market gets hot.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home any time in the near future, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email today. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Why Your Pre-Approval Should Not Determine Your Home Buying Budget

Just because you’re pre-approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean that you can afford it. Here’s what I mean.

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

Today I wanted to talk to you about a very common question I am asked, “Why am I shopping for less than my pre-approval amount?”

When you are looking to purchase a home, there are a few different things you need to realize. The first one is that the amount that you are pre-approved for is not necessarily the amount that you want to spend on a monthly basis.

This little pointer will help make sure that you stay on budget and do not get overwhelmed by payments.

The max pre-approval amount is unimportant. The max monthly mortgage payment is what you really need to look at. You should be comfortable with the amount you are spending each month on your home. You may be able to get approved for $300,000, but you may not want to deal with the payment that goes along with that price. Find out what you are comfortable spending on your mortgage on a monthly basis, and ask your lender what home price that equates to.

This little pointer will help you stay on budget and make sure that you do not get overwhelmed by your payments. If you have any questions about this or have any other real estate needs that I can help you with, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.