Tag Archives: picking a REALTOR®

Preparing Your Home to Sell


Preparing Your Home to Sell

 In the middle of winter it is hard to imagine that spring will ever arrive, but it will be here sooner than you may think, especially if you are thinking of selling your home this spring.  Here are a few tips to help you get ready to list your home for sale.

One of the best steps you can take to get your home ready to sell is to find the right REALTOR® for you.  No two REALTORS® are alike, but it is important to find an agent that understands the business end of selling and buying real estate.  One of the qualifications that I think is critical is that you and your REALTOR® can communicate well.

That being said, here are four tips to help get your home ready to sell this spring.

Create a Blank Canvas  Your home may be immaculately decorated, but your décor is a reflection of your tastes and preferences – not those of the prospective buyers.  Your goal is to enhance your homes features and space in a way that helps buyers envision it as their own.  Having personnel pictures of your family scattered throughout the house makes it your home, not there’s.  Another tip is to declutter.  I have been in homes where my advice to sellers was three things: declutter, declutter, and then declutter some more.  Renting a storage facility for a few months is probably a good idea.

Spruce Up Curb Appeal  The old adage that you never get another chance to make a first impression is true in real estate.  The image that a potential buyer has of your home as their drive up will lay the ground work of what they see inside.  As a general rule of thumb, you should trim bushes and trees, plant seasonal flowers, reseed or lay sod in bare areas.  The front entrance should be clean and well-lit.  This may cost you a couple of thousand dollars to do it right, but studies have shown that good curb appeal can add 3%-5% to the sale of your home.  For a $250,000 home that would be $7,500 – $12,500 to the bottom line.

Price It Right  This is by far the most important thing to keep in mind.  A home that is not priced right, will more than likely sit on the market for a long period of time.  In real estate, that is the “kiss of death.”  Setting the right price is the key to attracting the right buyer.  Set your price too high, and you deter prospective buyers; too low and you leave money on the table that should be yours.  It is important to work with your agent to determine the best price to list your home for.  If your home has been on the market for longer than the average time in the area, it is a clear indicator that your home is not priced right.

Be Flexible  Without fail, things will go wrong, especially if you have a family with small children.  Often times we will have a client who has flown in from another part of the country and has limited time.  If you have instructed your agent that you do not want showings after a certain time, be flexible enough to understand that buyers also have time constraints – be flexible.

If you are thinking of buying or selling talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at  301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

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Finding the Right Mortgage Officer


Finding the Right Mortgage Officer

Anyone who has bought a house will tell you that finding the right REALTOR® and the right mortgage person is absolutely critical.  If you talk to a REALTOR®, they will tell you that you should select your real estate agent first; if you talk to a mortgage person they will say you should select your mortgage person first.  In reality it doesn’t matter which one you select first as long as you select people who are going to do a good job for you.

There is one factor that is critically important when selecting a mortgage person that I think warrants discussion.  If you are like millions of people in this country who may have less than stellar credit, or do not have a gazillion dollars to put down, it is important to have a mortgage person who can guide you in making those decisions.

All too often I have clients who talk to a mortgage person only to be told that they do not qualify for a mortgage without telling them what they need to do to correct the matter.  The good news is that there are some mortgage officers who have the computer programs and the desire to provide this information to clients.

I have had clients who thought they needed to have no debt in order to buy a house and have used all their money to pay off credit card debt but then did not have the money for closing costs or down payments.

Before you make that decision I would encourage you to talk to a mortgage person or a REALTOR® who can get you in touch with a mortgage officer who can advise you on what to pay down and what not to pay down.  It really does matter.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

Real Estate Agent vs. Dentist


Real Estate Agent vs. Dentist

 As a real estate agent, I get a ridicules amount of emails telling me that if I advertise with their company I will have a boat-load of clients.  That’s a good thing.  However, as we all know, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

As an agent, I can sign up with a company that will enable me to advertise myself as one of the top ten agents in the state of Maryland.  Sounds great – and all I have to do is pay the $295 annual fee and I instantly become one of the top ten agents in the State of Maryland.

Another company will advertise you as a “premier” real estate agent.  You may have never sold a single property but if you pay the required annual fee you are instantly a “premier” agent.

The email I received yesterday, and has prompted this blog posting, was the one that said that “working with a real estate agent is like going to the dentist”,  unless of course you contract with the agents that advertise with their company.

First and foremost, I want to apologize to all the dentist out there.  I’m sure there are folks who have had bad experiences with dental appointments just as there have been buyers and sellers who have had bad experiences with real estate agents. But the criteria to identify the good ones and the bad ones should not, and does not, depend on whom you advertise with.

Quite often, when I talk with people about real estate, they express their frustration with a real estate agent they had worked with.  When we get to the reason why it almost always boils down to communication.  “We signed a contract with the agent, and never heard from them again.”  Communication between real estate agents and clients is the number one complaint that buyers and sellers have with agents.

When you are looking to hire an agent, ignore the fluff and the labels and see how well you communicate with them.  Agents should understand the market conditions and be able to discuss the current trends in real estate, but they should also be able to sit down and talk with you as a client.  If they are not able to communicate effectively with you, how will they ever be able to communicate with buyers or other agents.

I also believe it is important that clients and agents discuss the best way to communicate with each other.  I had some clients that were selling their house and buying another.  The wife wanted emails and the husband wanted text messages.  Without fail, when I sent each of them a communication, the husband would immediately contact the wife to discuss the topic and the wife would get back to me.  It worked for them and it worked for me.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland