The process of buying, selling, or leasing property can get complicated in countless ways. Just look at the comments on real estate forums and websites. People encounter all manner of issues and are looking for advice about what do when … The seller has a lien he didn’t know about. A person buying a home is thinking of renting out her current home rather than selling it. The seller accepted the buyer’s offer, and now the buyer found a home he likes better. The homebuyer wants to move in before closing and rent the home until the closing date. An inspection revealed costly repairs are needed, and the buyer wants to renegotiate the purchase price. A buyer has a contract to buy a home and learned the seller has another a contract with a second buyer. The buyer and seller disagree about what items should stay with the property after the sale. A buyer of a commercial building doesn’t understand the seller’s reply to his offer. The seller wants to know how to handle multiple offers. The seller didn’t show up to closing, and the buyer doesn’t know what to do. This list could keep going and going. When you “ask the internet,” you don’t know if the answers you get are accurate. On the other hand, a REALTOR® is a professional with the experience and knowledge to help you avoid many problems, deal with those that arise, and help you reach the best possible outcome on your real estate transaction. If you’re not working with a REALTOR®, find one here.
Did you know there are actions you can take to make your home sell swiftly? Here are four tips to do just that: Use a REALTOR® Those owners who hire a REALTOR® sell their homes more quickly than if they tried to sell their home on their own. That’s because REALTORS® know how to market your property so it reaches the right buyers. Make the Price Right An overpriced home is destined to sit on the market. Your REALTOR® will give you accurate information about comparable home prices in your area as well as the current marketplace, so you can choose the right price from the start. Declutter It’s important for potential buyers to see themselves in your home. Make it easier for them by putting away the kid’s playhouse, the dog bed, and your collection of doll heads. Cleaning often and storing items will be worth it for a quicker sale. Fix Lingering Problems People will notice the door that doesn’t quite shut all the way, the scratches on your baseboard, and the rattling ceiling fan. Even small fixes can make a big difference in how attractive your home is to a buyer. Your REALTOR® can give you specific advice for your home that can help you take your property from for sale to sold.
You’ve bought insurance for a worst-case scenario. But having insurance is just one step. Taking an inventory of your possessions is another. Why? In case of theft, loss, or damage due to fire or a weather-related event, you’ll know what to claim—plus, it can prevent a delay in your claim. Here are some questions to consider when creating a record of your home inventory: What Will Your System Be? Besides deciding what you would want to be replaced, figure out what process for cataloging works best for you. For example, you can make a spreadsheet or take videos and pictures using your smartphone. Check with your insurance company; they may have an app or online form available. Where Should You Start? Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Organize your inventory by room. Start with a small closet or the kitchen. Also, make it a habit. When you get something new or get rid of something, update your inventory. What Should You Include? Ask your insurance agent what documentation will be needed to make a claim. You may need to add receipts, purchase contracts, basic descriptions, serial numbers, make and model, and estimated cost in your records. How Can You Keep the Inventory List Safe? Store your inventory in a fireproof safe, an external drive, or an online storage account. Be sure it is a place that is easily accessible. Hopefully, you won’t have an emergency that requires you to file a claim. But if you do, you’ll appreciate that you are prepared.
Moving is rarely stress-free. During this busy time, don’t gloss over the important step of vetting your moving company. Watch out for these red flags. The Basics Aren’t in Writing Be suspicious if your movers don’t provide a written cost estimate or say they will figure out the charges after loading. Think twice if your movers—or a broker who works with movers—gives you an estimate without inspecting your stuff. Does that estimate seem low to you? Is it low compared to other written estimates? Furthermore, watch out if your movers ask you to sign blank documents or claim you have more possessions than the estimate says. Their Details Aren’t Clear Be wary if the company does not have a local address or doesn’t identify themselves when you call them. Do the movers say their insurance will cover your stuff but they don’t ask you to itemize or value your belongings? Are these movers even authorized to be movers? You can look up the company in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Registered Mover Database. Consider checking with the Better Business Bureau, too. They Didn’t Share Required Information Movers and moving brokers are required to give you a copy of the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet and the “Ready to Move” brochure. Did you receive them? Significant Payment Required Up Front Are the movers asking for a large deposit or cash before the move? Some sort of deposit may be required but it shouldn’t be an enormous sum—or ever required in cash. Talk to your REALTOR® about how to make your move as smooth as possible. Your REALTOR® has the knowledge and skills to help you make informed decisions.
December 19, 2023 | Texas REALTORS® Staff
REALTORS® can earn different certifications and designations to increase their expertise. Often, they list the credentials as abbreviations after their name—showcasing their commitment to providing a high level of professionalism through advanced education. Have you seen the letters “GRI” and wondered what they mean? The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation is a nationally accredited program for real estate professionals looking to deepen their understanding of the industry. The 90-hour program consists of 14 intensive training courses in business development, legal and regulatory issues, professional standards, sales processes, and the latest technology. When you hire REALTORS®, you know they will have the skills to navigate the real estate market and achieve your goals.
When thinking of buying or selling a home, you can take actions ahead of time that will pay off even if you’re not quite ready to view homes or put yours on the market. These steps may help you avoid surprises, reduce your stress, and maybe even save a bunch of money. Assemble Your Team You will need several experts to complete any real estate transaction, and the best place to start is with your REALTOR®. No one has a more complete picture of real estate transactions than REALTORS®—the professionals who are involved from start to finish. You also may need to work with lenders, title agents, appraisers, inspectors, surveyors, attorneys, stagers, repair professionals, and others. Your REALTOR® can explain these people’s roles and how they fit into the overall transaction. You may also be able to ask your REALTOR® for referrals to trusted specialists who provide these services. Make a list Whether buying a home, selling, or both, you’ll face plenty of decisions. Prioritizing your goals helps you narrow down your choices so you can focus on the most productive actions. When selling, you might decide that a quick transaction is more important than maximizing your sales price. As a buyer, weighing the relative importance of price, location, and features will help guide your decisions. Your REALTOR® is invaluable here, too, identifying factors to consider and discussing pros and cons of the options you’ll likely face. Take Action When is the right time to start working on your home purchase or sale? Earlier than you may think! If you’re buying, you can work on financing, boosting your credit score, and researching neighborhoods and properties. If you’re selling, you may benefit from decluttering, repairs, and remodeling. Once again, your REALTOR® can provide a wealth of information and resources to start you on a path to success. Whether buying or selling, your REALTOR® is your trusted guide to help you achieve your real estate dreams.
You’ve toured the house. You like what you see. But what is it really like to live there? Practice Daily Life Some of the most important aspects of living in a home never show up during a walkthrough. How is traffic in the area? Ask your REALTOR® what a typical morning commute is like. Are alternate routes available? Better yet: get to the home early and do a practice commute. Drive back at the end of the day, too—congestion may be different. What is the neighborhood like? Your REALTOR® may have sold other properties nearby and can describe the area. Pet-friendly? Do cars tend to speed down the streets? Take some time to wander around. Chat with neighbors and passersby and ask what it’s like to live there. Is it under a flight path? Does noise travel from other properties? Does the area have ongoing wildlife or pest issues? History 101 It’s nice to know a little bit about your future home. Ask your REALTOR® when the property was built and how many previous owners it’s had. Was the home custom-built by the owners or one of the models in the subdivision? You can do your own research online as well. Share Your Concerns Picture yourself living here. How do you feel? What concerns you about the property? Are you worried a sloped backyard will drain into your home? Share your thoughts with your REALTOR®. He or she may be able to address your concerns, or find out who can.
The key to a great neighborhood is: You! Everyone wants to live in a great neighborhood. The good news is that no matter your location or type of property you call home, you can improve the area where you live. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of work. Go First Your instinct might be to wait for the neighbors to introduce themselves, especially if you just moved in. But your neighbors may be taking the same approach. Whether you’re new or an established resident, a simple hello can be the opening you need to start a conversation and, ultimately, a friendship. And when you see a neighbor who needs a hand, offer to help. Chances are that person will return the favor in the future. Get Out There The more interactions you have with neighbors, the greater your chances of forming neighborhood bonds. Work in your yard, walk the neighborhood, hang out at the condo pool, or spend time in the apartment’s fitness center. And when you’re there, remember to make that small effort to break the ice. Look For Ways to Get Involved Many neighborhoods stage events that require volunteers. You may be able to co-host a block party, help set up the Fourth of July parade, pitch in at a park clean-up, or participate in other group activities. Want To Do More? There are many other opportunities to improve your neighborhood if you have the inclination and time. Serve on the board of your neighborhood association or homeowners association. Be the person to start a new event, such as a movie night at the park or in the common area. Organize help for older neighbors who need assistance with things like groceries, medical appointments, pets, and trash. Support local schools and teachers. You can also observe what nearby communities are doing and see if those might fit in your neighborhood. REALTORS® are the experts when it comes to real estate transactions. Your REALTOR® may also know ways you can get more involved in your neighborhood.
People are supposed to put aside emotions in real estate transactions. They are told to focus on whether the property meets their needs and fits their budget.But that’s not the real world. When a buyer falls in love with a house, emotion takes over. Here’s how to appeal to those emotions when you market properties. Focus On Enjoyment Describe ways potential buyers can enjoy aspects of the property: A home theater provides the household a comfortable gathering place to watch movies and TV. A large patio enables homeowners to extend their living area outdoors for relaxing, grilling, and socializing. A nearby greenbelt makes a great place to hike or walk the dog. Share the Owners’ Insights Ask the sellers what they most love about the property and pass it along via your marketing. It could be something simple like how they love being so close to a coffee shop. Maybe the house’s orientation results in a shaded yard and common areas, which make them comfortable in the summer heat. Leverage the current owners’ fond memories and knowledge to help buyers see the property’s best features. Make It Convenient Stress how you or the sellers can make the transaction easy. Maybe the sellers are flexible on a closing date or are willing to leave appliances or furniture. Emphasize that the buyers can save time and effort with this property. Explain Why It’s Great People want reassurance when making big decisions like buying a house. Mention any upgrades or repairs done by the owners. For example, if the sellers replaced the upstairs HVAC and put on a new roof, those are items the buyer can feel good about. Put Buyers in Control Buyers don’t want to feel manipulated or pressured. You’ve set up your marketing to help them form an emotional attachment to the property. Back off and let them make a move. If the house is marketed and priced well, they will feel empowered and realize that they want to purchase your client’s property.