June 12, 2013
“Not everything is about you,” is almost an over-used phrase today. You have likely been on the receiving and giving end of it, too. I have said it to my children and I know my husband has wanted to say it to me on my particularly selfish days. And, truth is, we all have selfish days or moments. There are times when we all want a situation or circumstance to go our way or benefit us. Sometimes we get what we want and other times we just don’t. As adults, we understand it’s not all about us, but boy, it sure is nice when it is!
Some things, though, should be all about you and choosing your REALTOR® is one of them. The real estate professional that fits your neighbor may, or may not, be the right fit for you. It’s about you and who you can work with, connect with and communicate with.
One of the best compliments I have received in my career as a real estate professional came recently from a seller. She told me their intention was to interview numerous candidates to list their home, but stopped the search after they met me. They just knew. And, I knew too. I knew I could deliver the service they were looking for. So, how do you know? Below are some basic tips:
- Seek advice. Ask friends and those you know who have recently sold. If they have had a positive experience with an agent then perhaps you will, too. Add that person to your “potential” list.
- Curiosity is a good thing. If you are curious about a certain agent – search away! In today’s technology based world you can find details right at your finger tips.
- Time is a teller. Are they newly licensed or are they a “seasoned” agent? Don’t discard a newer agent, though. He or she may have skills and an energy level that is right for you.
- Savvy says. Your agent must be knowledgeable and current in today’s market. Educated. Are they involved in their profession? An agent who is invested and moving up in their career of choice is an agent who will take your need seriously.
- O.H.I.O! Meaning the Ohio Division of Real Estate and other associations. A good agent will have good standings with the Division and the Ohio Association of REALTORS® as well as local Boards such as the Midwestern Ohio Association of REALTORS® and Dayton Area Board of REALTORS®.
- Ready, set, compete! A little competition never hurt anyone. Interview more than one. A minimum of two. One, perhaps, that was a referral from a friend or neighbor, and another of your own choosing and research. Let them know they are competing for your business. This alone will tell you about the character and assertiveness of the agent. You want an agent who is confident and assertive enough to win your business.
- Signed and sealed. Make sure your agent respects and appreciates your wishes and that you get it in writing. Your agent should be able to promptly and efficiently explain the forms and walk you through them with ease.
A home sale and/or purchase is the biggest transaction, dollar wise, most of us make. It’s a big deal. Do your homework, take your time, interview more than one and ultimately – go with who is right for you – because this truly is all about YOU! If you have additional questions or for a list of potential interview questions you may contact Robin Banas, Office Manager at Bruns Realty Group at 937-332-8537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 6, 2013
Okay, maybe not the sky, but close – and it could ruin your deal. Let me explain. When you place your home on the market with your REALTOR® the world sort of shifts on its axis. Things don’t seem quite normal. And, to be fair, they’re not. The papers are signed, the list price is determined, the signs have been placed, ads have been run, open houses have been scheduled, and pictures have been posted. Then, you wait… and you worry. When will showings begin? Will we find a buyer? Will the buyer bid a decent price and can we come to terms? A lot of things are on your mind when your home is listed – and that doesn’t even include the question – where are we going after our home is sold? We’ll cover that at another time!
But finally, the day has come (and it could be sooner rather than later – Troy, Tipp City and, really, the whole Miami Valley are experiencing shorter days on the market on average). The buyer has been found, the deal is signed and now you wait again. You wait for appraisals to be ordered and performed, for inspections to be done and completed. Here is where the sky may fall. Inspections. A bad inspection has the ability to compromise your entire deal.
An inspector is hired by the buyer and so, therefore, works for the buyer in determining the condition of your home. They point out little items to your buyer such as a loose handle on a drawer or a moisture concern between the window panes. Items your buyer is to be concerned about are items that could affect habitability. You likely will not know about them. It can be a great source of anxiety and concern when an agreed upon purchase price has been made and then, suddenly, the inspector finds that the chimney is improperly vented and the electrical box is not up to code…not to mention, costly.
To prevent this, I suggest having your home pre-inspected by a qualified home inspector. He will be able to point out items that you may not know about and you can then address these items as you plan for listing your home. When you find out ahead of time, this can give you the advantage of doing the upgrades at your pace; finding a contractor that you desire and that can give you the best deal. Finding out when time is of the essence to get the transaction closed can result in more costly repairs because things happen at a faster pace and emotions are high – you just want the deal done!
Home Inspections vary in price depending on what you want done, but are generally between $250-$325 and they are a worthwhile expense for your peace of mind when preparing to list. If you would like a list of preferred inspectors in the Miami Valley, you may contact me, Robin Banas, at Bruns Realty Group by email: email@example.com or 937-332-8537. To list your home and begin the selling process you may contact one of our qualified Bruns Real Estate Agents at 937-339-2300.
May 30, 2013
It really is true – it’s a great time to buy and this story is the perfect example of that. Joe (name changed to protect privacy) came to me as a referral from an associate of mine. He was pre-qualified for a loan of up to $85,000. Joe did not have much cash to put down, but he did have a credit score of 640 and a full time job. The mortgage banker suggested he would be a perfect candidate for the USDA loan program. In qualifying areas – right here in the Miami Valley – buyers can qualify for this zero money down program.
But, there are lots of fees associated with buying a home, right? Well, yes… and no. Joe and I searched high and low for the perfect home to meet his needs. Once we found it, I wrote the offer. This home had been listed for a little while and comparable homes were selling for a little less. In the offer, I asked the seller to cover my buyers closing costs, points and/or pre-paid items. (These are costs associated with the loan and differ based on circumstances). In this case, my buyer asked for assistance in the amount of $3500 from the seller.
After a little countering back and forth on the purchase price, my buyer and the seller came to terms.
Once an accepted offer is reached, the banker will require money from the buyer for the appraisal. In this case, that amount was $350. Joe also opted to have home inspections for which he paid $320. So far, Joe is out $670.
“We wanted to make this process as painless as possible for Joe”, said Kurt Eberhardt of American Mortgage Service Company, “at closing we rebated the entire $350 appraisal fee, so he received that back at closing. Additionally, there was a reduction in the mortgage amount of $225.20.” Thus, balancing his out-of-pocket expenses vs. his rebates and reductions to $94.80! That, to me, seems like a happy ending to a lovely story, but it gets even better.
Joe’s mortgage payment is $125 less per month than his cost of rent and that amount includes his taxes and insurance costs! He is now a homeowner, with more square feet than his 2 bedroom rental, and has a two car garage along with a fenced-in yard for his puppy to play in.
If you think owning a home is out of your reach you may want to think again. For more information on financing you can contact your local, hometown banker. To begin your home search, you may Bruns Realty Group at 937-339-2300. For a free sheet with 10 points on how to prepare for home ownership you may contact Robin Banas at Bruns Realty Group at 937-332-8537 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Country living is the preferred choice for some people! Fresh air, space to roam, open land. It brings an easy relaxing feeling to many who want to escape out of town to their own private retreat after a long hard day.
Purchasing a home with acreage is easier than ever with the USDA Loan Program. Parts of Miami County, the Miami Valley and all of Shelby County may qualify for zero money down making this option even more appealing and “do-able.”
This past week, I had the privilege of working with one such buyer who wanted his own private piece of earth. It was all rolling smooth – and then – the well. Yes, the actual well. Turns out my buyer’s piece of heaven did not pass the test.
You may or may not know that a water quality sample is required when closing on your country property. Basically, in a nutshell, the bacteria in your water must test below a certain level or the home is not saleable by loan. That means buyer has to come up with cash (not likely), seller will have to find a cash only buyer who doesn’t mind consuming higher levels of bacteria than our county deems acceptable (also not as likely), or the problem will have to be remedied. Thus, closing the deal and making everyone happy.
REALTORS® are in the business of making people smile and demonstrating positive customer service to our clients. We like to fix problems. But, we also want to make sure our client and family is safe. So, I did my research. I spoke with a local business man who installs wells for a living. As it goes, a brand new well can, in fact, fail a water test! After that I spoke with a very nice gentleman from our Miami County water department and he calmed my fears.
Turns out, disinfecting a well, is a process that can be fairly simple. In fact, the county even has instructions on line! In our case, we opted for professional disinfection. (We are under terms of a contract that has imposed deadlines and wanted to be sure the process was completed in a timely manner and under supervision of a professional.)
What I would like to share with you today is this: If your property has a well; it’s best to disinfect it on a regular basis and certainly before you sell. This will keep the loan process rolling smoothly, not to mention, give you peace of mind that you and your family is consuming healthy water. But, should you find yourself in this position, your local professionals can walk you through to solutions to your well problems.
For more information on country living in the Miami Valley contact a Bruns Real Estate Professional at 937-339-2300. For a downloadable sheet on how to disinfect your well you may go to the county website. For a list of items that may be required when selling or purchasing your country home, you may contact Robin Banas at Bruns Realty Group at 937-332-8537 or email me at email@example.com.
May 8, 2013
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a buyer looking for a ranch home. A ranch home is a common type home that buyers are looking for. It is the specifics that differentiate one ranch from another. These buyers, like all, had a list of criteria that led me into numerous homes in beautiful Miami County specific to their needs.
Seeing one 3 bedroom ranch after the other I was pleased to walk into one, in particular, that caught my eye. After the showing, and in this certain instance, I had the opportunity to talk directly with the seller. I told her how charming I felt her home is and what a pleasure it was to show. Her reply was “Aw, just your typical ranch”. She was being humble. And maybe to her, since it is her home, she thought she had nothing special, but that’s not what I saw. I saw something special and here is why.
Her lawn was mowed, shrubs were trimmed, and weeds were gone. Her lawn décor was present, but minimal. The sidewalks were edged, the front mat was swept and the door was fresh and had a simple wreath announcing “Spring!”
Entering the home I was welcomed by a pleasant, fresh smell of a well-kept home. The floors were polished. The décor was tasteful and minimal and the colors were those that showed personality, but yet would appeal to most buyers. The whole home was warm and inviting. Uncluttered and uncomplicated. You could feel that this was a home where a family lived, but also one where a buyer would want to live.
The lights were on in every room, the drapes were open letting the outside in. The garage was clean and kept, the pantry was tidy.
And, I’ll tell you what else, the kitchen appliances were updated and they stayed with the home – an added bonus to any buyer!
This home, as it turns out, was not “the one” for my buyers, but it’s my thought that this home won’t last long. Your typical ranch? I think not, this one was special for all the reasons above and then some.
If you would like more information on 3 bedroom ranch homes in Troy, Tipp City, Piqua or anywhere in the Miami Valley you can contact a Bruns Real Estate Professional at 937-339-2300. For more information on how your home can stand out and make a statement by being staged to sell, you may contact Robin Banas, Office Manager at Bruns Realty Group at 937-332-8537 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 24, 2013
Buyers today are looking for homes that are “move-in ready”. At Bruns Realty Group, our real estate professionals help our sellers feel comfortable in that knowledge. In order to be competitive in today’s market, sellers are going to need to de-clutter, freshen up the paint and clean, clean, clean.
Often times, though, sellers try to reason away exterior investments as something the buyer will enjoy doing and making their own.
Now, more than ever, buyers are paying attention to outdoor spaces. In Miami County and surrounding areas, we try to squeeze in every opportunity to be outside and enjoy our limited supply of warm, sunny days. Spring is in the air and we want to smell the smells and fire up our grills! Outside is important and, make no mistake, your buyer is checking out your exterior space as well.
Investing in your curb appeal does not have to be an extremely costly venture. There are numerous things you can do in a weekend that can create valuable results for you. Tasks such as keeping lawn mowed and sidewalks edged. Make sure mulch beds are fresh and weeds are pulled. Put patio umbrellas out and cushions on. If you have a pet, make sure the yard is clear of pet waste. The local market has large ferns or plants for reasonable prices right now. Buy two and put one on each side of your front door if space allows. Paint your front door and sweep your porches, patios, decks and sidewalks. Open blinds and curtains inside – it makes both the outside and inside more inviting. Also, keep bushes and trees trimmed and away from impeding the walk space or encroaching on your roof.
Just as clutter inside is a no-no, the same goes for the exterior. You want your property to feel fresh, cared for and also open enough for buyers to envision their own tastes. Keep these things in mind and you’ll have yet another advantage in getting your home sold!
If you have questions regarding how to prepare your home for sale and get maximum value you may contact a Bruns Real Estate Professional at 937-339-2300. For a free check list on both interior and exterior staging tips you may email Robin Banas at email@example.com or call 937-332-8537.
April 18, 2013
At Bruns Realty!