Your relationship with your REALTOR® doesn’t have to end at the closing. By hiring a REALTOR®, you’ve connected with a trusted resource for all things real estate. There are several ways to keep in touch with your REALTOR® after the sale. Followers Welcome You can follow your REALTOR®’s professional social media channels. REALTORS® will often post new listings, market information, and fun content to their platforms. Be sure to leave a review telling others about the great service you received. Just a Message Away Your REALTOR® may also reach out to you to see how you are doing in your new home. Some REALTORS® enjoy checking in periodically to share information and recognize milestones. Other REALTORS® send out email newsletters or postal mail about recent home sales and market conditions. Looking For Answers You may have questions about real estate from time to time that your REALTOR® can answer. Reach out and see if your REALTOR® can point you in the right direction. Recommend a Friend You can also refer your friends and family to your REALTOR®. Introduce them to your expert in the field. They’ll appreciate connecting with a professional you know and trust, and your REALTOR® will love the referral. Teaming Up Again Who knows what the future holds? If you decide to move from your current address, reach out to your REALTOR®. Many REALTORS® rely on repeat business from happy clients like you. Hiring a REALTOR® doesn’t have to be a one-time transaction. The sale could be the first of many future interactions with your dedicated real estate professional.
Whether you’ve purchased a fixer-upper or are tackling projects to get top dollar when you sell, “doing it yourself” can save money. But home improvement projects carry risks—some more than others. Consider these factors before you DIY. Don’t Make a Shocking Discovery Before you tackle any electrical job, you need to shut off power to the circuit you’re working on. Otherwise, you risk getting a nasty shock or worse. Make sure you can access the breaker box and verify which switch controls which area of the house. If you can’t safely work on the circuit or have any doubts at all, call a professional. Test the Waters Plumbing jobs can lead to leaks and flooding. A good first step is to test the water shutoff valve. Sinks and toilets usually have their own valves, but you may have to shut off water to the entire property to work on tubs, showers, and other fixtures. If your project doesn’t turn out as planned, you may need to shut off the water and leave it off until you get assistance. Know Your Limits You can find instructions for thousands of home improvement projects on the internet. But a YouTube video that shows how to build a deck doesn’t make you a carpenter. Before you start any DIY project, be honest about your ability and have a backup plan if things don’t go well. Certain DIY projects can improve your home and save you money. When you have real estate needs, however, trust a professional: Work with a REALTOR®.
Moving doesn’t always mean that you have to hire your own truck or movers. There are other options to relocate your possessions. Share a Truck You may not need a moving truck all to yourself. If you aren’t moving a great deal of possessions, you might be able to share a moving truck with another moving company customer. Ask about this option for interstate moves. Ship By Freight FedEx says that any shipment over 150 pounds is considered freight. You can ship items in bulk by land, air, or sea or some combination. It could be cost effective depending on the circumstances of your move. Portable Storage Containers With portable storage containers, a company drops off a container at your current home. You fill it with your possessions. The company picks it up and ships it to your new home. Remember to ask if portable storage containers are allowed on the property or street of your current and future homes. Replace It Not everything you own is a treasure. Ask yourself if it is worth the cost and effort to move an item. If it isn’t, donate, sell, or dispose of the item and buy another one when you reach your destination. Anything you don’t have to take with you makes the move a little easier and more affordable.
Retirement isn’t just the end of your working days. It’s a time to recalibrate and consider what you’d like to do in your next chapter. You might be wondering: Should I sell my home now that I’m retired? Ask yourself these questions: Does your current home meet your present and future needs? Do you need as much space as you have? Do you need more now that you’ll spend more time at home? Do you think your home will meet your needs 10 years from now? Twenty? Can you afford your current home? For many people, retirement means earning significantly less income than during their careers. If you have a mortgage, will you be able to afford the payments? If you have paid off your home, are you able to afford your property taxes on a lower or fixed income? This is something to consider when deciding whether to move. Where would you go if you sold your home? Your home may be worth a lot more money than you paid for it, but so are the homes you may consider buying if you sold. Where would you like to live? Look at prices in that area. Do they work with your budget? Is your home even ready to sell? Are there any repairs you want to make before you would consider selling? Sometimes even small upgrades or cosmetic changes can make a big difference. Are you ready to move? Moving is a major undertaking. It may take you weeks or months to pack up your belongings, especially if you have lived in your home for several years. Hiring a REALTOR® is always smart when considering any real estate transaction. A REALTOR® can discuss considerations like these to help you make the best decisions. Some REALTORS® even have earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation to help buyers over 50 sort through their options. All REALTORS® pledge to abide by a code of ethics, so you know that you have a professional in your corner who puts your interests first.
Your real estate transaction isn’t the same as anyone else’s, and your REALTOR®’s services should match what you need. Lucky for you, REALTORS® offer many types of business models to guide you through your transaction. Here are three common examples. Traditional Brokerage With a traditional brokerage model, brokers and agents provide a full range of services in exchange for a commission. The commission is negotiable and covers the REALTOR®’s time and efforts on your behalf, whether it’s marketing your home for sale, finding a great space for your business, or locating the perfect home for you and your family. Flat-Fee Brokerage A flat-fee brokerage provides all the services of a traditional brokerage, such as advice on pricing, help with negotiation, and market analysis. But instead of charging a fee equal to a percentage of the sales price, the brokerage charges a negotiable flat fee for its help. A La Carte Brokerage With the a la carte model, clients choose what services they want the brokerage to provide—and only pay for those. For example, a seller may want a REALTOR® to include the home in the multiple listing service and to coordinate showings. However, the seller will handle contracts and negotiations on her own. While these examples are popular business models, they are far from the only ones. No matter what type of model your REALTOR® uses, you will get a professional who follows a strict Code of Ethics to achieve your real estate goals
Staging is a great way to emphasize your home’s best features. But before you stage, there are a handful of low-cost ways you can make updates on your home to help maximize the salability. Go Beyond Dusting Many homebuyers pay special attention to cabinets, walls, closets, and floors when touring a home, so it’s essential to do a deep clean. And don’t forget about washing the windows—letting natural light into the house will make it feel warm and inviting. Freshen With Paint Over time, the walls can start to look dull and dingy. A fresh coat of paint will brighten a room and make it look new. Adding a lighter color to the ceiling will make it appear higher. Repair or Replace Noticeable flaws turn off buyers. Take the time to repair issues such as sticking doors, leaky faucets, or damaged baseboards. Other small ways to make a big transformation are updating the hardware on your cabinets and upgrading light switch covers. Don’t Overwhelm the Senses Homebuyers are looking for a place they can see themselves living, so this is not the time to show off your style or keepsakes. Declutter and move excess decorations into storage. Spruce Up the Yard Since curb appeal is the first impression of the home, don’t underestimate the power of a freshly trimmed lawn and pruned bushes. Go the extra step and rake up leaves, remove weeds, and add a splash of color by planting blooming flowers. Don’t let inexpensive, easy tasks hold you back from getting the best possible offer. A REALTOR® can advise you on other ways to best prepare your home to sell.
Selling a property can be just as stressful as buying one. Your home is where your treasured memories—and probably your largest financial investment—reside. You want every part of the sale to go smoothly. So don’t let incorrect or outdated ideas influence your transaction! Avoid these myths when you put your house on the market: MYTH: Remodeling Projects Always Yield Dividends When You Sell. Your renovation could pay off when it’s time to sell, but many don’t. Some updates may make your property more attractive to buyers, and others do raise appraisal values and sale prices, but don’t count on getting back dollar-for-dollar what you spent. MYTH: Your House is Worth What Your Friend’s or Neighbor’s House Sold For. Many factors determine your home’s value, including property condition and nearby comparable sales. Appraisals aren’t the same as sale prices, either. Just because your neighbor sold her home for $50,000 over asking price doesn’t mean yours will. Every situation is different. MYTH: You’ll Save Money by Selling the Home Yourself. A REALTOR® is a trusted professional who can guide you through each step of the transaction, including pricing your home and assessing offers. A REALTOR® can help you avoid missing important deadlines or making costly mistakes that could threaten the entire sale. Your REALTOR® also may be able to help you attract more and better offers. MYTH: The Highest Offer is Always the Best. Money is important but other factors matter, too. The best offer also works with your timetable and terms. Your REALTOR® can help you navigate multiple offers. MYTH: Don’t Accept the First Offer. Sometimes the first offer is the best offer. Don’t disregard it just because it arrived first. Consider whether it meets your goals and what might happen if you reject it without having other offers in hand. Your REALTOR® can help you separate fact from fiction and guide you to make the best decisions for you.
Cleaning out the clutter and staging your home help make a great first impression. But does that mean you should forego the decorations if you are selling during the holidays? You don’t have to. However, here are four things to keep in mind to not inadvertently turn off buyers. Emphasize the Positives Use holiday décor to draw attention to, not overshadow, your home’s best features. For example, add garland on your mantel to highlight your fireplace, or showcase the entertaining qualities of the large dining room by setting the table for a holiday meal. Avoid Clashing Colors Bold is not better. Choose decorations with colors that complement your current design palette. Use Scents Sparingly Evoking the seasonal spirit with sprigs of spruce or simmering a pot of apples and cinnamon is fine, but don’t go overboard. Too many strong scents can be off-putting. Create Curb Appeal The less-is-more rule applies outside as well. Swap out flashy lights and inflatable décor with a simple string of white lights and a fresh wreath on the front door for an inviting welcome feel. When in doubt, ask your REALTOR® for staging suggestions or a recommendation of a professional home stager in your area.
A simple internet search will tell you what a home is worth. Or will it? Just because a website shows you an estimate of a home’s value doesn’t mean that’s what you can buy or sell the house for. In fact, many home-valuation websites include disclaimers about how inaccurate their information may be. The internet also has plentiful data on median home prices in an area, the number of properties sold, days on market, housing inventory, etc. But even if that data is accurate and up to date (is it?), you may not know how those numbers translate into home values for the property you’re selling or buying. And how do you take into account the differences from one neighborhood to the next or one home to others nearby? Thankfully, your REALTOR® can show you accurate, comprehensive data relevant to your situation and provide the context to help you make sound real estate decisions. REALTORS® have the training and experience to explain what the latest market data mean for your situation. So before you get too excited or distressed about the real estate data you found online, talk to your REALTOR®.
Although there are online options to utilize when buying and selling properties, REALTORS® offer services that you can’t get from a website. Human Connection REALTORS® offer a genuine, in-person connection. They will guide you through the process of buying, selling, or renting all manner of properties and be there for any questions or concerns you may have along the way. Expert Guide Most people don’t buy or sell property often. The process comes with numerous financial and legal documents that can be hard to understand and frequent changes. REALTORS® have the experience and up-to-date knowledge to steer you clear of mistakes and avoid delays. Online platforms can’t always provide that type of help. Ethical Advocate REALTORS® follow a code of ethics that mandates professionalism and puts the clients’ interests first. They want to help you succeed in your real estate transaction and will work to the best of their abilities to make sure you’re satisfied with your experience and result of the transaction. Websites can be a useful tool for real estate, but they are no match for the level of service a REALTOR® can offer. Find your REALTOR® at texasrealestate.com.