Preparing For An Appraisal? Focus On These Projects

An appraisal is an important part of the home selling process; you want your appraisal to accurately reflect your home’s value and your listing price. But if your home appraisal comes in lower than expected, it could cause issues with your home sale and put the deal at risk.

Which is why, as a seller, you want to do everything you can to get your home ready for the appraisal. But what projects should you be focusing on?

recent article from Forbes covered the home projects sellers should tackle before their appraisal, including:

  • Curb appeal. You only get to make a first impression once—so your home’s curb appeal can go a long way in adding value and setting the tone for a great appraisal. Keep any trees, bushes, or shrubs pruned, make sure your grass is mowed and healthy, and, if you have the budget, consider adding flowers or other details to spruce up your outdoor space and add a pop of color.
  • Bathroom upgrades. Simple (and affordable!) bathroom upgrades, like repainting or updating fixtures, can have a major visual impact—and, as such, can have a major impact on your appraisal.
  • Kitchen cabinetry. New cabinets can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen—and, as such, can add serious value. Don’t have the budget for new cabinets? Swapping out the cabinet doors can create the same kind of impact (without the hefty price tag).

There’s no need to do an entire renovation on your house. Simply make sure that what you already have to work with shows in the best light possible. Just spending even a little time and money on things that will catch the eye and attention of an appraiser, should pay off.


Posted on September 2, 2020 at 2:35 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

August Home Buyer Activity Making Up For Lost Spring Market!

In normal years, Spring is the hottest homebuying season of the year.

But we don’t have to tell you that 2020 isn’t a normal year—and as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns, it looks like peak homebuying season is going to hit a little late this year.

According to recent data from realtor.com, pace of sales, demand, and prices in August have all surpassed data from this time last year, with homes selling four days faster than August 2019 and median listing prices up 9.4 percent. And the Housing Market Recovery Index, a realtor.com index that measures the recovery of the real estate market in the US, hit 103.8 for the week ending August 1—which is 3.8 points above the pre-COVID baseline.

The Takeaway:

What does this mean for you? While COVID put a damper on the generally busy Spring home selling season, buyers are hitting the market in droves this August—and because inventory is still an issue, it’s pushing up home prices. So, if you’ve been thinking about selling, now is a great time to make a move.


Posted on August 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

Nearly Half Of Offers In The United States Are Being Made Sight Unseen

 

When COVID-19 first hit, much of the country was under stay-at-home orders, which made it impossible for buyers to get out and see potential homes in person. And while stay-at-home orders have been lifted in most places, many buyers are still wary about hitting open houses or touring homes in person.

But, as it turns out, that’s not stopping them from actually buying homes.

Thanks to video technology like FaceTime tours, buyers are able to get an inside look at properties—without having to physically see the property in person. And for many buyers, that’s enough; according to Redfin data (outlined in a recent article in REALTOR Magazine), 45 percent of buyers who purchased a home in the past year made an offer on the property without ever seeing it in person—the highest percentage since the brokerage started collecting the data in 2015 (and up from 28 percent in 2019).

The Takeaway:

So, what does that mean for you? If you’re not comfortable touring properties in person just yet, that’s ok! A huge percentage of buyers are navigating the home buying process without ever stepping foot into their soon-to-be homes. Talk to your real estate agent about alternate options, like video tours—and start finding the perfect home.


Posted on August 14, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

10 First-Time Home Buyer Blunders To Avoid

Homeownership is one of the central tenets of contemporary life. Most of us dream of a familiar, comfortable place to call our own, and buying a home is a rite of passage into adulthood, and into our own piece of the American Dream.

But until and unless you’ve been through the process at least once, there are plenty of mistakes many people make on their journey to property ownership.

If you’ve made any of these yourself, don’t feel bad—it can happen to the best of us. And if you’re an aspiring homeowner who wants to get ahead of the curve, take a look at the following things NOT to do when buying your first home…so when it’s time to pull the trigger, you’ll be ready to go!

1. Ask an agent to go see houses before getting pre-approved

It’s tempting to visit properties the minute you’ve made up your mind that you want to buy, but putting the cart before the horse can backfire spectacularly.

If you haven’t actually qualified for financing, you should hold off on going to look at houses with a real estate agent (or even going to open houses), since there’s no guarantee that a mortgage company can lend you the money. There’s no greater let down than finding a house you love, and finding out you can’t be approved for a mortgage in the price range of that house.

Besides, many sellers and their agents won’t even consider your offer if you don’t include a pre-approval letter. So, you should have it in hand in order not to lose precious time when you find “the one”.

Bottom line is…getting pre-approved is the first step in the homebuying process, so always start there.

2. Buy a home you don’t feel great about because of pressure from others

We’re all influenced by the people around us, whether it’s friends, parents, significant others, or even people on the internet. But don’t let the opinions of others guide your decision making when it comes to buying a home.

Everyone has their own taste, but at the end of the day, you’re the one that will be paying, and, more importantly, (literally) living in your decision. Make an offer because you want to, not because you think it’s what someone else wants you to do.

3. Pass on the perfect house over a trivial cosmetic feature

Real estate can be quirky, and there are plenty of aesthetic choices homeowners make that won’t work for everyone else. But if everything is great except for some cosmetic features, don’t walk away from the deal over something that can be changed later on.

Location is about the only thing you can’t change about a house, but everything else can be removed, remodeled, and replaced, so don’t pass up something that might be a great fit just because it happens to have an eyesore, or isn’t quite your taste.

4. Get hung up on properties outside your price range

The thing about dream homes is that they’re usually pretty darn expensive. And, it’s just human nature to want as much (or more) than we can afford. So, it’s pretty common for home buyers to find themselves longing for that perfect house that’s usually a few hundred thousand (or million) dollars outside their price range.

Don’t let these properties get you down. If you look hard enough, there’s going to be a great option within your price range. And who knows, maybe sometime in the future, that dream house might actually be within your budget.

5. Assume that your offer will be accepted

Making your first offer is a big deal, and you might think that since you’re putting so much money on the line that there’s no way someone could possibly turn it down. But the reality is a little more complex.

In a competitive market, sellers will often get multiple offers, or hold out for a higher price than you might be willing to go. There are a lot of moving parts, and there’s a good chance that if you saw something you liked about a house, some other buyer might have seen the same thing too. But don’t get discouraged—negotiations are common, and, if it doesn’t work out, another house will eventually come along.

6. Assume that once an offer has been accepted, the deal is done

An accepted offer is an important milestone, but it doesn’t mean the deal is done.

Between an accepted offer and closing, there are lots of moving parts and boxes that need to be checked: from financing, to inspections, to the title search, to seller’s circumstances—and unexpected things can happen throughout the process. While the overwhelming majority of accepted offers turn into closed deals, you should never assume that just because the buyer and seller have agreed, that the deal is finalized.

7. Make a big purchase or take out new debt before the closing

This has been the kiss of death for many real estate transactions. A buyer gets their offer accepted, starts the mortgage process, and then goes out and buys a car, or finances a bunch of new furniture for their new place. Then, once the mortgage company checks the credit report before closing—as they always do—the buyer no longer qualifies for the mortgage since they now have new debt that changes their debt to income ratio.

There’s a simple solution to this potential problem…don’t do it!

8. Forget to get an estimate of how much money you’ll need at closing

Many people do back-of-the-napkin calculations, or use an online calculator, to figure out how much money they’ll need to bring to closing. But it’s important to get accurate estimates from your mortgage lender, because if you don’t, you run the risk of being unpleasantly surprised, or worse, coming up short.

There are many fees associated with a real estate transaction, from closing costs, to state taxes and fees, to attorney’s fees, and you should be aware of all of them well before the closing day. You won’t be able to get an exact amount on your closing costs until you are close to your closing day, but you can and should get a good handle on how much to approximately expect.

9. Try to mislead the mortgage company

Most people wouldn’t do this, of course, but not only do you run the risk of not being approved for financing if you try to mislead your lender, you also might end up facing some legal issues down the road. There are some who—in an effort to get approved—might embellish, or flat-out lie on their mortgage application, but the only one that will ultimately be hurt by these lies is the borrower. Mortgage companies have rigorous screening and validation processes, and they usually uncover deception when it can’t be backed up with the proper documentation. So make sure you tell the truth, it’s the only way to go.

10. Work with an agent who doesn’t care

A real estate transaction is a complicated, sometimes stressful experience that requires a knowledgeable and level-headed professional to help guide you through the process. That’s why picking the wrong agent can have devastating consequences. Even worse than hiring an agent who doesn’t know the answers, is working with someone who doesn’t care. A great agent has empathy, and will make sure you feel good about things as you go through the process. So don’t be flippant about who you decide to work with, because the consequences are more impactful than you might think.

At the end of the day, buying your first home should be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s a rite of passage, and you should be proud of yourself for getting there! If you’re in the market for a home, or are starting to consider it and have any questions you’d like answered, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Posted on August 6, 2020 at 7:10 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

Bidding Wars Are On The Rise

The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdowns across the country forced many potential buyers to put their home search on hold. But for the buyers that did make a purchase during the height of the pandemic, low inventory made for fierce competition—and as the country reopens and restrictions are lifted, that competition is continuing to heat up.

According to data outlined in a recent Housing Wire article, a recent study from Clever found that 42 percent of home buyers between January and May of this year ended up in a bidding war to purchase their home. And according to data outlined in a recent article from REALTOR Magazine, a full 50 percent of offers faced competition in May.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’ve been thinking about selling, now is a great time to make a move; low inventory and renewed buyer interest as coronavirus-related restrictions continue to be lifted can help you fetch top dollar for your home.


Posted on July 9, 2020 at 2:18 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

They Say The Door You Pick Gives Deep Insight About Your Personality. Try It And See.

Analyzing personality usually makes one think of lying down on a leather couch, a therapist asking questions about your long forgotten past, the sounds of scribbling on paper, and perhaps a hefty fee soon after. However, there appears to be some ability to assess personality traits based purely on your reaction to certain things you see in your environment.

So whether or not you enjoy reading horoscopes or taking Myers and Briggs tests, this is a fun little test that seems to be impressing a lot of people.

Here’s how it works. There are six doors to pick from in the following image. All you have to do is choose which one appeals to you the most without overthinking it. Then look below to read what that door says about you.

Ready?

Relax your mind, and feel which door appeals to you the most. Once you have it, read the corresponding description below.


Door Number One:

SaveDicen que según la puerta que elijas tienes un futuro. ¡Compruébalo!Para Los Curiosospuerta casa

Door Number Two:

SaveAzulejos – Portugal – via Onet PodróżeDétours du monde, le blogPASSION FOR TILES

Door Number Three:

SaveThe Door You Pick Can Tell Your Future. Mine Was So Accurate, It’s ScaryHuffPostThe Door U Pick Can Tell Ur Future. If u chose this door u are prepared to go to battle. Whether a legal battle, struggle for power, or promotion at work, u have taken the steps to prepare yourself, and it will pay off. The red symbolizes power, as do the castle walls. Not even iron & sharp edges will frighten you away from claiming what is rightfully yours. You have been locked out from what you wanted for too long, but now that you have crossed the moat, ure ready to take the whole castle.

Door Number Four:

SaveAmerican Custom Design Woodworking was established in 1993 by Bruce Howard. Located in Tilton, NH our 5,000 sq foot bulding includes a custom glass shop.Published byAmerican Custom Woodworking Inc

Door Number Five:

SaveDoor Number Six:Published bySusan Golden

Door Number Six:

SaveMultiple ArchesPublished byPrint a Wallpaper

Door # 1.

You are someone who wants to get the most out of life, materially and socially, and you work hard to get it and enjoy the endeavor. For you, the more challenging it is to achieve your desires, the more you want it. And when you know what you want, you will focus like a laser and no one better get in your way. As a result, you are very likely to accumulate wealth. Be careful not to let your relationships suffer due to such pointed focus.

Door # 2.

You are someone who will seek adventure, and perhaps “go where angels fear to tread.” The fire hydrant is a caution sign, yet the door looks magical and seems to promise adventures untold. Who knows what actually lies beyond? Take your time, and be sure you aren’t being overly impulsive. Seek wisdom from other adventurous types to help you make the best decisions. If you learn to flow with this adventurous instinct properly, and with a sound mind, you will lead a life worth basing a novel on.

Door # 3.

This red door with the castle walls is the door for the warrior. You have a consistent readiness to do battle with any forces that seem to get in the way of what you want. You likely see a fight, subtle or overt, in so many areas. You are likely someone who is mentally defeating a person before ever even getting to really know them, simply because it makes you feel secure. This energy can be wonderful when applied to the right situations. Run amok, and it can keep life in constant strife. Learn where the real fights are, and what is really needed to win them, and you can move mountains through sheer will alone.

Door # 4.

This door is about finding peace with your life. You may have been through enough conflict to finally realize how little most of it means, and how you simply want a life of love and security. At this point, you likely know what you want, so focus all of your attention that way, and seek the path of least resistance to those things. There might be obstacles, but those are part of life. When you feel consistent struggle, that’s the signal to back off and allow a better way to show itself. Once you have learned this, you will have the serenity and satisfaction you desire.

Door # 5.

The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel,” (no, it’s not a train). You’ve been through a lot, yet you are beginning to feel the end of the struggle. You can see the day breaking after the darkest part of the night. Congratulate yourself and get ready to reap the reward for your hard work. You are likely someone who has overcome challenges many have fallen to. Your strength and wisdom will be helpful for inspiring others through their dark times. By this point, you will remember to tell them, the true source of strength always comes from within.

Door # 6.

This is kind of like the cartoon characters in a hallway filled with doors. They go into one only to run out another door on the other side of the hall. Your life is like playful chaos. What door shall you go through? Why not try them all? You don’t mind that things are a constant surprise, and that’s something that makes your life very naturally unique, and perhaps a bit magical. Understand that you may be quite lucky, or you just don’t care about mishaps from your chaotic adventuring. However, be aware of those you love that get caught up in your adventures. Should you wish to build true, nurturing relationships, you must find that balance point between the playful chaos, and consideration of those you care for.


Posted on July 7, 2020 at 3:41 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

When And Why You Should Refer A Real Estate Agen

You probably know a real estate agent or two.

Are you constantly thinking about them?

Are you constantly on the lookout for people you can refer to them, who are buying, selling, or renting real estate?

Are you keeping your ears peeled to hear even the slightest hint of someone making a move?

You’re probably not.

But the real estate agents you know wish you were.

Not everyone is a “connector”

Some people are natural “connectors”, and are always ready to recommend this person or that person to someone looking for some sort of help.

But many people are not.

It’s not like most people are walking around thinking about a real estate agent’s business and needs 24/7. Most people are busy enough with their own days and lives.

It isn’t like you wouldn’t recommend an agent…if the moment came up. It just isn’t the first thing on your mind.

After all, what’s in it for you? (W.I.I.F.Y as it is often referred to…)

It’s totally human and OK to feel that way.

And, given real agents can’t legally compensate you what is in it for you?

Why should you refer an agent?

Four reasons:

1) To look out for your friends, family, and acquaintances

There’s a lot of real estate agents in the field. But not all of them are created equal. Some are better than others.

So, when you know a good real estate agent, make sure to refer your friends, family, and anyone you meet, to that agent.

You’ll save the people you know a lot of time, money, and aggravation.

2) To look out for yourself

It’s hard to understand this until you’ve done it (so just try it and see for yourself), but people really do appreciate a person who hooks them up with a great real estate agent.

Referring a great agent to someone simply makes you look good. It makes you look smart, and in the know. It makes you seem “connected” and hooked up with someone that your friends and family will feel fortunate to have been hooked up with.

Who doesn’t like to look good in the eyes of their friends, family, and peers?

3) To look out for the real estate agent

Real estate is a tough business to succeed in. There’s only so much business to go around, and there’s always a whole lot of agents trying to get enough business to survive, let alone thrive.

Sure, it’s on the agent to prospect, market, and dig up enough business on their own.

But, a huge part of doing that needs to come from people referring them. So, they are probably reaching out to you and reminding you that they are in the business and there for you (and anyone you know) when you buy, sell, or rent real estate.

They aren’t trying to be a pest. They are trying to survive. And ideally, thrive.

Help the agent you know. They want and need it.

4) To look out for the good of the industry

Too many subpar agents exist and flood the field.

When you know a good, trustworthy, honest, and dependable person who is a real estate agent, refer him or her.

It’s for the good of the industry. And, a better real estate industry benefits you, the consumer, in the long run.

Real estate agents and the industry as a whole suffer from a less than stellar perception in the public’s eye. You can help improve and change that by referring the great agent you know, and make it harder for those who are not doing the best job for people to exist.

When should you refer an agent?

Five scenarios:

1) If you have a friend, family member, or coworker moving locally

This is the no-brainer. You know a local agent, and you know someone moving locally…refer them. No need to explain further.

2) If you have a friend, family member, or coworker moving out of area

This one isn’t something you might think to do…

But, if you know a real estate agent you trust, and hear about someone moving outside of the area they specialize in, you should still refer your friend, family member, or acquaintance to that agent.

The agent will then refer the person you know to the best agent in the area they are moving to. Look at this as “birds of a feather”. If you know and trust an agent locally, they’re going to have the resources and be able to refer an agent out of area who does business in a similar manner as they do.

3) Anyone you even hear breathe a word about buying, selling, or renting real estate

It might be in line at Starbucks, or the grocery store. It could be at a cookout, or a wedding. Maybe even a funeral…

The point is, wherever and whenever you hear someone chatting about real estate, make sure to mention the agent you know to whoever is thinking of buying or selling.

(Bonus points if you’re carrying their business card around and can hand one to the person.)

4) You know someone who is trying to “FSBO”

If you know someone trying to “for sale by owner”, and it just isn’t going well, let them know about the agent you trust.

The owner is likely being bombarded by agents calling and knocking, and would probably appreciate having someone just give them the name of a trustworthy agent.

5) You know someone who just needs some real estate advice

Real estate agents give their time, thought, and advice freely. Literally…it’s free. Until and unless a person buys or sells a house through them.

And it’s something most great agents do without hesitation. Without pressure or obligation. A great real estate agent wants to help anyone you know if they have any real estate related questions or concerns — even if they aren’t buying, selling, or renting in the immediate future.

This is a good time for an agent to meet someone and build a long-term relationship, and help someone who needs it.

So, keep your eyes open, and your ears peeled…and refer away. It’ll be appreciated by the agent you know and trust!


Posted on July 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

8 Issues Sellers Should Address BEFORE The Home Inspector Does

You’ve received an offer on your home and you’re thrilled at the prospect of getting the deal done. But first you need to make it through the next hurdle: the home inspection. In most real estate contracts, a home inspection contingency is in place, allowing the buyer a chance to back out should significant mechanical or structural issues come to light during the inspection.

While you may think your home will pass with flying colors, it’s at this stage that many deals fall through. With so much at stake, it makes sense that sellers would want to do as much as they can in advance to get their home in the best possible shape before this top-to-bottom review. By addressing any problems, sellers can assure buyers that the property is in move-in condition and save themselves a lot of negotiating and repair work down the road.

The following are areas where unpleasant surprises often arise and, ultimately, either kill the sale or cost the seller a bundle.

1. The foundation

via GIPHY

As you look around the interior and exterior of your home, check both the ceilings, moldings, and lower portions of walls for any cracks that could indicate a shift in the foundation. If you spot any, find a qualified foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer who can assess the situation and let you know if your issues are cosmetic or require repairs to the foundation. Rule of thumb: The sooner you deal with the issue, the better (and less expensive) it will be.

2. The chimney

Over time, the elements take a toll on a chimney. Just like your foundation, you may start to see cracks emerge. Or, you might not be able to spot them if they’re at the very top. Either way, if there’s a structural issue that makes it unsafe, a home inspector will definitely point this out to your buyers.

3. Water damage

via GIPHY

Just because water isn’t cascading down from the ceiling, that doesn’t mean a home inspector won’t notice if you’ve had a leak that’s caused water damage. Stains on ceilings are often a tell-tale sign of previous problems. While your issue may have been something relatively harmless, like an overflowing toilet, buyers will suspect the worst if they notice signs of trouble. If you have a leak, fix it. Then, remove any reminders of the problem by covering stains with a fresh coat of paint. If you’re dealing with ceiling tiles, water and bleach can go a long way to restoring them to their once-clean appearance.

4. Moisture and mold

via GIPHY

Unfortunately, mold typically follows a leak. And nothing scares away buyers quite like that funky fungus. So be sure your home is mold-free by checking every nook and cranny. For example, are your bathrooms vented properly? In some homes, those helpful ceiling fans are actually sending moist air straight to the attic, causing mold to grow.

If your basement is often damp, be sure to run a dehumidifier and check for mold there as well. Should you discover mold in any location, it’s best to contact a professional who can perform removal and remediation before the inspection. Plus, you’ll feel better — both mentally and physically — once it’s gone.

5. Electrical issues

via GIPHY

Any homeowner who’s tried to take a few shortcuts by not hiring an electrician should make sure the work they’ve done is up to code prior to the inspection as electrical violations are both common and easy to spot. Faulty wiring is a fire hazard so the sooner you address it, the safer for everyone.

6. The roof

As most homeowners know, replacing a roof is not cheap. So it makes sense that home inspectors are going to take this section of the inspection very seriously. If you know your home could benefit from a roof replacement, consider taking care of it before putting your place on the market. Even if you believe the roof has a few good years left in it, hearing that it’s nearing the end of its life is enough to send buyers running.

7. Heating and cooling systems

via GIPHY

Regardless of the season, a home inspector is going to want to see that heating and cooling systems are functioning efficiently. Consider the age of your furnace or HVAC system. Have they been well-maintained over time? If you have an oil tank, buyers may ask you to remove it as these have been known to leak and cause environmental hazards.

8. Plumbing

From leaky faucets and loose toilets to lead in the pipes and low water pressure, plumbing problems can cause your deal to go down the drain. If you’re aware of a problem but put off calling the plumber, now’s the time to take care of it.


Posted on July 7, 2020 at 3:38 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

14 Before & After Photos That Prove the Power of Home Staging

There’s no denying it: Homes that are staged well definitely stand out. Not only does the right amount of decluttering, organizing and accessorizing make your home more attractive, it can actually increase its value.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging Report, about one third of buyers’ agents believe their clients are willing to offer one percent to five percent more for staged homes. What’s more, 77 percent of agents said home staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home.

If that’s not enough to convince you, take a look at these before-and-after photos to really illustrate how powerful home staging can be.

1. Cool kitchen

Attractive barstools and place settings make you want to sit right down for lunch! The hardware upgrade on the cabinets makes a big difference too.

2. Room with a view

This living room went from sad to sophisticated with the help of the right furnishings and accessories. Who could focus on that stunning view with those flimsy outdoor chairs in the way?

3. The personal touch

Homeowners are often advised to keep their rooms neutral and remove many of their personal effects. But by adding a few well-placed items to the countertops, this kitchen just became a lot more enticing.

4. The beauty of decluttered space

Organizing and decluttering go hand-in-hand with home staging. It’s a shame to bury a fireplace behind so much stuff.

5. Updated decor

Many consumers have a hard time envisioning themselves in a space if the decor is too distinctive or distracting. Keeping items current and appealing to all is a way to attract as many buyers as possible.

6. Bedrooms don’t need to be bold

While you may love the idea of an extreme shade, not everyone wants to wake up to dramatic hues. In addition to lightening the wall color, moving the bed away from the window enhances the view.

7. Brighter bathroom

Nothing makes a bathroom sparkle like clean, cream-colored walls. Fresh-flowers, white hand towels, and an elegant soap dispenser take this bathroom from drab to eye-catching without any remodeling required..

8. Gorgeous guest room

This stunning space was packed with potential but failed to live up to it. In addition to new chairs, the right lighting and taking the photo from a better angle transformed this room.

9. Wall art adds a wow factor

The right wall hangings can take a room from comfortable to curated with minimal effort.

10. Less is more

Home stagers will often suggest placing some of your items in a storage unit to make your rooms appear more open and spacious. This photo illustrates why that’s such a smart idea.

11. Accent on color

The walls can stay neutral but adding a pop of color through accent pieces like throw pillows and well-placed chairs pull a room together.

12. Let there be light.

This attic bedroom went to dim and dreary to quaint and cozy with the addition of a nightstand and table lamp. The complementary geometric patterns bring interest to the small space without overwhelming it.

13. Empty just isn’t as appealing

Even if an empty room looks great on its own, showing buyers how to show off the space is inspiring.

14. Every detail counts

In case you needed any additional convincing that home staging makes an enormous difference, this montage of makeovers should do the trick.


Posted on July 7, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

3 Reasons Your Real Estate Agent WANTS You To Bother Them

Real estate agents hear this all the time…

“I wish I had called you before. But I just didn’t want to bother you. I know you’re busy…”

…after it is too late.

There are times when you might feel like you shouldn’t “bother” the real estate agent you know. (Could be your friend, a neighbor, your brother-in-law, cousin, your sister…)

Maybe you’re truly trying to be considerate.

But, maybe it’s because you’re not even aware that you should.

Or, you just don’t want to feel obligated or pushed into doing something. (Despite what many people think, most agents are not pushy. Most are the exact opposite.)

So, let’s go over a few times that you should “bother” your real estate agent. Because it really isn’t a bother.

In fact, we’ll get into why it will bother them if you don’t reach out to them for any of these things.

1. You just want to check out a house.

You see a house online. Or a For Sale sign. Maybe even just stumble across an open house.

You’re not all that serious about buying a house. Maybe you’re only just starting to think about it. Or, maybe you have no desire at all to move, and you’re just curious and want to take a peek.

So, you don’t want to “bother” the agent you know to show you the house.

Instead, you call the listing agent. Or some random agent you don’t even know. Or just walk right into the open house.

Next thing you know, you love the house. You’re making an offer. The offer is accepted. And then you regret it. Or problems come up. Or the process is miserable. Or you don’t feel like the agent you’re dealing with is giving you the best advice.

And that’s when you call the agent you know.

Too late. At that point, the agent you know can’t help. (Or at least shouldn’t…) Because now you are represented by another agent. The agent you know can get in a lot of trouble for even giving you friendly advice.

As innocent as it seems, when you just want to go see a house… you are inadvertently making a bigger decision than you think — you are deciding who will represent your interests, advise you, and help you through the process.

Even if you just go see a house with another agent, and before you even make an offer you decide to have the agent you know write up the offer and represent you… the agent who simply showed you the house could claim you as their client. It’s called “procuring cause”. I won’t get into the details here, but it can become messy.

You’re better off calling the agent you know to show you the house in the first place. You won’t be considered a bother.

What will bother him is to have to bite his tongue and not give you the help you want further into the process.

2. You want to know how much your home is worth.

Maybe you’re just curious about how much your home is worth. Or, maybe you’re actually thinking of selling. It might be because you want to get a feel for your net worth.

Nowadays, you can hop online and check out any number of sites that will give you the value of your home.

So, why “bother” the agent you know about this?

Because most of what you will find online is highly inaccurate to begin with. They are “automated” valuations. They are based upon data and algorithms. They have never even seen the inside of your home. They do not take into account your local market conditions.

And if you base your hopes, dreams, and decisions off of an inaccurate value, that can hurt you quite a bit.

Again, asking the agent you know to do an analysis and give you a true market value… not a bother.

But, it would be bothersome to hear that you’ve based important life decisions off of an inaccurate value once it’s too late.

3. You are considering a home improvement project.

The real estate agent you know probably isn’t an architect. Or a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. So, they probably can’t advise you about the ins and outs of a specific project or costs.

But once you have a sense of the proposed cost of a project, before you just pull the trigger and move forward, you really should “bother” your agent for their input.

Putting on an addition? That will surely increase the value.

A kitchen or bathroom remodel? Yep, your house will be worth more.

But will the value increase more than the amount you spent? Will that matter in your situation? Will the choices you make in decor, layout, or fixtures appeal to a buyer down the road? Does that even matter, given your future plans?

All questions and thoughts your agent can get into with you. Before you spend the money and go through the headaches of a huge project.

On the other hand, if you go forward with a home improvement project and spend, let’s say $60,000, and then call your agent…

You could seriously regret how much you spent, or even doing the project at all.

Your agent doesn’t want to break the news to you that your home is only worth $38,000 more after you spent $60,000. There is no joy in that. There is nothing that can be done at that point.

That’s just three examples. There are certainly more. But you get the point…

So, reach out to your agent before you do anything real estate related… and just trust that it isn’t a “bother”.


Posted on July 7, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Al Brucker | Posted in Uncategorized |

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