What’s Your Home Worth?

What’s Your Home Worth?

The value of real estate is a very hot topic. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world. It can be a world pandemic, tanking economy, or the hottest real estate market in decades. People are interested in real estate. They are more particularly concerned about the value of their own home and there will be a wide range of opinions, depending on who you ask. So, what’s your home worth? You may have seen memes like this and laughed – but they are pretty accurate in their description of how home values are seen. This is important to remember when buying and selling. As Buyers, we can be on two spectrums. It’s our dream home and we will give blood to get it – at all costs. Or, we like it but we like to play hardball and want to nickel & dime the Seller in an attempt to “get a deal.” As Sellers, this is why it is so important to price your home within the market. You need to look at similar properties that are on the market, under contract, and ones that have sold recently. Yes, you may have imported the bathroom tile from Italy and wrapped all your ductwork in allergy reducing material but you need to understand that you may not get your money back, dollar for dollar. We always need to consider other’s opinions of our home value. A lender will rely on an appraiser’s opinion of value and only lend based on that amount. An appraiser will look at comparable properties but they WILL take into consideration upgrades so it is a great idea to have a list ready. Some people will say that a home is worth whatever someone will pay for it. That is true to a degree. If a Buyer has cash, this can be 100% true. If a Buyer does not have the ability to pay all cash or pay the difference between appraised value and purchase price, then they may be willing to pay an arm and a leg for your home, but just not be able to. Also, it is smart to consider the improvements in your home. A pool, for instance, devalues a home due to the safety concerns and insurance liability. For others, they are avid swimmers and would pay top dollar for a house that already has a pool. Hiring a professional Realtor can really help you value your home properly. Pricing your house too high can lengthen the selling time, cause you to have to reduce your price, and possibly lose buyers. Pricing it too low could leave money on the table. Pricing it right within the market will...

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Homeownership and Kittens

Homeownership and Kittens

We recently got a kitten. His name is Charlie. He is a tuxedo cat and has a mustache that favors Charlie Chaplin. He is adorable. And he is a handful. Being a kitten parent can be exhausting. Similarly, being a new homeowner can create many of the same feelings. Here are some sentiments we can have with both: House: It’s so cute!Kitten: He’s so cute!House: I’m in love – let’s get it.Kitten: I’m in love – let’s get him.House: Wow – this is a lot more work than I anticipated.Kitten: Wow – this is a lot more work than I anticipated.House: We need to call a plumber.Kitten: Time to go to the vet.House (at night with mood lighting on): Aaah. (sigh) I am so happy we bought this house.Kitten (while sleeping): Awww. (sigh) I am so happy we got him. Both homeownership and having a kitten are a lot of work. They require constant care. In the same way you wouldn’t neglect a kitten’s health and well-being, you shouldn’t ignore warning signs from your home either. Make sure you are paying attention to what your house needs. A kitten will give you years of love, fun, and entertainment if you treat him right and take care of him. A house will give you years of shelter, a place for fun and entertainment and growth if you treat it right and take care of it. If you’re not ready for the responsibility or don’t have the financial ability to take on a life (regular vet visits, shots, medicines, food, treats, toys, litter, miscellaneous supplies), don’t get a kitten. And if you’re not ready for the responsibility or don’t have the financial ability to own a home, don’t buy! Insurance costs, maintenance costs, new stuff when needed (appliances, furniture, roof, mechanicals, etc), not to mention the monthly mortgage and tax expense are all things that need to be taken into consideration before sign those papers. In the long run, if you decide to take the leap with a house OR a kitten, I think you’ll be pleased. You will realize that the sacrifices you make are more than worth it and that you can’t imagine your life without...

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Are Buyers Really Liars?

Are Buyers Really Liars?

You may have heard that Buyers are liars. A friend, Richard Courtney, even wrote a book about it called, Buyers Are Liars, & Sellers Are Too (link to the book on Amazon). I have heard it, I have believed it, but now I wonder if it’s really true. Are Buyers really liars? We meet with Buyers before going out to look at houses. We talk for about an hour. We ask a ton of questions. We get to know them if we don’t already. They tell us what they are looking for. They give us a list of “must haves” and “nice to haves”. Here is an example: Must HavesNice to Have4 bedroomsNice outdoor space3 bathroomsMan cavekitchen open to living roomShe-Shed2-car garage No HOA – need to park RV in driveway fenced yard for dog 20 minutes from downtown $450,000 maximum budget  So, I put a list together of houses that fit the criteria. They send a few of their own that they found (outside their budget). We pick a day to go see them all and I set the appointments. They fall in love with one. We write an offer. It gets accepted. Closing day comes and they have the keys to their new home. It is beautiful. It is more than they ever thought they could have. It is a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath ranch with a carport. It is in an older, established neighborhood about 30 minutes outside of town. It sits on one acre of land. The fenced backyard is an oasis with a perennial garden and a built-in pool. New roof and HVAC are going to save them a lot of money, which is good because this house set them back $515,000. Another scenario is, a Buyer tells me their criteria but I ask questions to find out motivations and what their dream house would look like. We see some houses but nothing jumps out as special. Then I find a house that’s not on the market yet. It’s perfect. The only problem is that the owner wants $125,000 more than my clients budget will allow. I make the phone call. I tell them that I would never even consider calling because of the price except that from what I know about them, this is their dream home. 5 years later, they are still living in that home, have decorated and added places for animals and a garden to their private estate. Neither one of these Buyers would have been in the home they’re in if we stuck to what they had told me in the beginning. The fact is, they didn’t lie, they just didn’t know what was out there. They didn’t feel like they could stretch...

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The Early Bird – And All That Stuff

The Early Bird – And All That Stuff

Yah, yah, the early bird gets the worm. You snooze, you lose. First come, first served. A day late and a dollar short. I am not a morning person. I repeat, I am NOT a morning person. If you know me well, you don’t call me before 9:00AM. I get my second wind at about 9:00PM and could reorganize my entire closet until 2:00AM. So why did I join a business networking group that met once a week at 7:00AM??? (I asked myself the same question for 10 years…) I did it because I wanted to grow my business and be successful and I knew that group could help get me where I wanted to go. And it did. Procrastination is a deadly habit. It kills dreams. It kills motivation. And it kills success. In the world of real estate, if a Buyer waits to call a lender and they don’t have a pre-approval when they want to write an offer on a house, they probably will not get the house. I’ve quoted him before but, my business coach says, “If you have to sleep on it, you probably won’t sleep in it.” If a Buyer waits to go see a house, or has to ask all their relatives, or they want to see a few more houses first, or, or, or… In this market where houses are under contract in one day and many receive multiple offers, there is no time to wait. As a Seller, if you wait to call that contractor, handyman, or painter to do the few things you need to do to get your house ready to sell, they are likely going to be booked up and you will wait weeks before being able to put it on the market and possibly lose your best selling window. If you wait for a “better offer”, it may cost you thousands of dollars or a sale altogether. If a Seller waits to respond to an offer and misses a deadline, they run the risk of losing the Buyer. Even when you are under contract to purchase a home, if you procrastinate and miss deadlines you can lose the deal or pay some serious consequences. For instance, did you know that if a Buyer misses an inspection period deadline they must purchase the property AS-IS, with no repairs? Bottom line is, we are all busy. We all have a million things vying for our attention. However, if something is important to you, you have to set the alarm, look away from social media, and get it...

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