| Ohio Real Estate Blog |
Tuesday, 24 October 2006
The Top of the List
Assume the role of would-be author for a moment. You have an idea for a great book - one that could change the world. You're sure the readers will be receptive and so you write the book.
Now - how will you get the book into readers' hands? Your first thought is to "self-publish" your book. You could make some phone calls to Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com to stir up some sales. You could also run an ad in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, but the cost will probably be a lot higher than you're expecting.
Do you think your book would hit the "Best Sellers" list with that approach? Probably not. Would your book be more likely to sell millions if you had a literary agent or publicist? Absolutely - without question!
So why would you ever consider trying to sell your home without the professional assistance of a seasoned real estate specialist? Do you want your home to be a "Best Seller" at the top of every buyer's "must see" list - or merely a "wannabe" languishing on the market?
Your real estate representative is a combination of publicist, promoter, publisher, and your protection from harm. The cost of a commission could be minimal compared to the risk a seller might take for failing to comply with disclosure requirements and legal obligations. Maximum exposure to all buyers is the way to ensure that your home sells for the highest possible price. Multiple offers and higher sale prices occur when your property is exposed to more buyers.
Many For Sale By Owner deals fall apart because the buyer isn't qualified. Pre-approval can be accomplished quickly with the help of an experienced agent. They know who to call and which loan officers are true to their word. Also, many of these deals fall apart because neither party has the experience to handle inspection and repair disputes, appraisal problems, and clouds on the title.
Most buyers do not want to negotiate directly with the seller. They want someone to represent their best interests. There is no cost to the buyer to have the representation of an experienced real estate agent, so why would the buyer risk paying too much for the home, or being tied up in a contract that will never close and take the chance of missing out on other homes that will better fit their needs. It just doesn't make much sense, does it?
Kathy Henne Team
1200 Park Ave.
Piqua, Ohio 45356
Wednesday, 18 October 2006
Do you have a flair for staging your home? Here are some tips to consider:
Do you have clutter around your home? Don't move everything into the garage. The buyer will be checking out the garage to make sure their cars, trucks, boat, mower, children's ride-on toys and other items will fit in your garage. If it's overcrowded with clutter, they'll decide your garage is too small for their needs. If you have a large car, truck or SUV, move it out of the garage before showings. It will make the garage feel small.
Keep your bathrooms neat and clean. Lotions, perfume, shampoo bottles, shaving cream, razor blades, etc. are considered clutter and should be out of view. Don't leave piles of dirty clothes in the laundry room. Put away the detergent and fabric softener, or organize it neatly on the shelf. Clean the outside of the bottles. Don't leave clean clothes hanging in the laundry room or hanging out in any other room. The buyer will think you don't have enough closet space. Don't leave dirty or clean dishes in the kitchen sink or on the counter. Organize your child's toys and games to remove the cluttered feel from their bedrooms. Remove newspapers and piles of magazines from the coffee table and end tables.
Don't move the clutter to your closets. Spacious closets are very important to the buyers and a great selling point. Every buyer is looking for more closet space than they currently have. Overloaded closets are a negative to the buyer. Rent a storage unit and get the clutter out of the property.
When should you start packing for your move? As soon as you put the home on the market. Pack up the items you don't need - out-of-season clothing, collections of keepsakes and extra furniture. It's easier for buyers to picture their treasures in your home if they can move around freely. Also, collections of keepsakes are a temptation to small children and could be damaged.
Clean your home from the ceiling to the floor. Make sure all light fixture are clean (remove dust, flies, and moths) and working properly, and they should have the highest wattage bulbs they can handle. Keep the curtains and blinds open. Buyers like bright, light-filled rooms. When your home is dark and gloomy, the buyer may wonder what you're trying to hide.
Give each room a focal point. Set the dining room table with bright placemats, dinnerware, silverware, and napkins. Place a floral arrangement in the living room. Put some attractive pillows on your bed. When accessorizing, use the rule of three by using something high, medium and low to catch their eye. Be careful not to over accessorize.
The best smell a home can have is fresh-baked cookies or homemade bread. It should not smell like a wet dog, the litter box, or heavily-scented cooking spices. Wash the pet bedding, shampoo the carpet, and spray a fabric refresher on the furniture. It's very important to keep on top of the litter box and change the litter more often. Avoid using heavy spices when cooking on showing days.
Bright, dark, or unusual paint colors on your walls may be a real turn off to the buyer. Dark colors also make the room look smaller. Off white or eggshell are the best colors when selling your home. A new coat of paint gives your home a fresh feel.
If your carpet is worn or stained, it's a good idea to replace it. You don't need to buy the top of the line, but a nice durable, neutral-colored carpet may be the reason the buyer chooses you over the competition. Offering a carpet allowance doesn't seem to work. Many times the buyers can't see past the ruined carpet.
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
When you're ready to purchase your next home in Piqua, you'll usually have a mortgage loan. Here are several types of home mortgage loans and their descriptions:
FHA financing means the Federal Housing Administration has insured the repayment of the loan to the lender. Since there is less risk involved for the lender, a smaller down payment is needed. There are many programs out there to help buyers with good credit purchase a home with FHA loans and a seller contribution for the down payment and/or closing costs. Many times the home sells for over the listing price when the buyer needs this type of help from the seller. The home must meet certain criteria to be approved for the FHA loan.
VA financing means the loan is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Qualified veterans can obtain VA financing on their primary residence without a down payment. However, the VA charges the buyer a funding fee. The home must meet certain criteria to be approved for the VA loan.
Conventional loans aren't insured by FHA or guaranteed by VA. The lender usually doesn't require the home meet the criteria of the FHA or VA loans. Some first-time home-buyer loans may require the home meet certain criteria. Many lenders will not make loans on foreclosure properties, so if you're considering purchasing a foreclosure property, it's wise to find this out in the beginning.
With an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), the interest rate changes at certain times during the loan. There are usually caps that will be the highest or lowest the rate can be. Some of these can change at any time. Others change yearly. Still others remain fixed for the first few years and then can change yearly after that. The interest rate of ARM's is usually lower than fixed rate loans.
Fixed rate loans will stay at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. If you have your taxes and insurance escrowed with your payment, your payment may increase when your taxes or insurance go up, but your principal and interest remain the same.
A balloon loan has a fixed rate of interest for the life of the loan. Let's say you have a 7-year balloon loan. At the end of the 7 years, the entire remaining balance is due. At this time you can take out a new loan for the remaining balance. Usually the interest rate on a balloon rate is less than a 30-year fixed rate.
When you're ready to buy your next home, your first stop is your local lender. After you have your pre-approval letter, it's time to shop for that home. Once you've made your selection, its back to your lender. You'll complete a loan application and the lender will require you to pay an application fee to cover the appraisal, credit report, and other expenses. The lender will have the home appraised, check with your employer, and verify the source of your down payment. The underwriting department will look at all the documents and may request more information. Then the lender will contact a title company to perform a title search on the property and prepare the closing documents. Right before closing, the lender will probably re-verify your employment and credit, so don't make any major purchase at this time or you may find you no longer qualify for the loan and you'll loose the house. When this is completed, you go to the closing, sign a huge stack of documents, and purchase your home.