4 Potential Surprises When Buying a Home

No. 1: Low inventory means you have to act fast …

In many cities around the U.S., inventories are tight, meaning there are too few homes on the market for potential homebuyers. Homes in good condition that are priced appropriately sell fast. The competitive market means buyers may find a home and make a serious offer in just a few days (sometimes 24 hours!). In extremely low inventory markets like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco, buyers may end up in bidding wars, paying more than the home’s asking price.

Professional real estate agents understand the unique trends in your market and can help buyers zero in on the right house and act quickly.

No. 2: … But closing takes longer than you think

According to Realtor.com, the average home sale takes approximately 50 days from the moment your offer is accepted to the time you move in, but this is contingent on a variety of things. As the days tick by during this comprehensive process of inspections and appraisals, you may find yourself impatient to move in and add Pinterest-worthy decor.

The good news? Advanced technology has helped streamline the exchange of a vast amount of paperwork. And, an experienced real estate agent will be able to set expectations and keep you informed every step of the way.

While you anxiously await the keys to your new place, you can occupy yourself by preparing your things for the move and planning an epic housewarming party.

No. 3: Home inspections leave nothing uncovered

For the benefit and protection of a new buyer, most home inspectors conduct a very thorough inspection of your new home, leaving a detailed and often intimidating list of recommended repairs and improvements. Remember, not every item on the list may need to be repaired for the home to be safe or for you to take possession. Yet again, your real estate agent will be able to walk you through this lengthy report, advising you on what you can and should ask the sellers to consider fixing.

No. 4: Closing costs may leave you asking: “I owe WHAT?”

Just when you think you know the bottom line, some additional closing costs can sneak up on you. Things like loan origination fees, prepaid property taxes, title insurance and more can add up at the end of the process. In fact, on average, closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of your home’s purchase price.

Now that you know, you can ask your agent for more details and factor this in when you prepare to buy. If you or someone you know is considering a purchase or sale, I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

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7 Things to Never, Ever Do When Buying a Home

Buying a home is exciting and terrifying. After all, this is the biggest financial move most people ever make. As such, there’s a lot of room for error, and even tiny mistakes can translate to tens of thousands of dollars.

The lesson here: Even the most intrepid home buyer should get some guidance not only on what to do, but also what not to do. Look no further than this list, which highlights the most common mistakes buyers make so you can avoid the same fate.

8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t Buy a Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your first—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters might waste money on “magical” weight-loss pills or silly exercise equipment, misguided home buyers could be doing far more serious damage—like undermining their ability to purchase a house at all. Don’t be one of them! Realtor.com asked real estate agents to shed light on some of the dumbest reasons people can’t buy a home. The good news? These flubs are easily avoidable. Read on and beware…

In It to Win It: Land Your Dream Home by Avoiding These 7 Mistakes on Your Offer

You’ve seen every house on the market and you’ve finally found the spot you can’t wait to call home. In fact, you’ve mentally decorated it and planned your new life, down to the barbecues and block parties you’ll have with your awesome new neighbors. Sweet!

Slow down there, dear buyer. As you know, you still have one giant hurdle to overcome: You’ve got to make the offer that wins the house. And in a highly competitive housing market, that can be easier said than done. Don’t blow your chances with any of these common home offer mistakes.

Finding Time for Fun in Real Estate

When you hire a real estate professional to help buy or sell a home, they can help free up time you would otherwise spend on sorting through listings, scheduling showings, or trying to figure out paperwork. You might even have time to focus on the fun parts of moving, such as:

  1. Building a Pinterest board of décor inspiration

Don’t have a particular design style in mind? No problem. Check out the RE/MAX Pinterest page for ideas.

  1. Clearing out the clutter with a yard sale

Remember, each thing you sell is one less thing you’ll have to pack – and unpack. Here are some top yard sale tips.

  1. Planning your housewarming party

You’ll want to show off the new place – especially after you’ve made it Pinterest perfect. Put together a Facebook event and start thinking about party favors to thank friends who helped you move in.

  1. Bargain shopping for furniture

There are plenty of options for you to furnish your new nest without breaking the bank. Here are six places to find furniture within your budget.

It’s easier to find time to prepare for your move if your agent does the heavy lifting. I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

The Internet Didn’t Take Down Real Estate

The internet may have entered more aspects of a real estate transaction over the past decade, but consumers haven’t abandoned their desire for a real estate professional’s assistance, according to Steve Murray, president of the consulting firm Real Trends, who has been tracking for 40 years how real estate agents conduct their jobs. In fact, consumers are willing to pay even more for real estate agents’ services. The average real estate commission paid to real estate agents has risen slightly since 2005, according to Murray.

Real estate agent jobs have stayed firm, while the internet has disrupted other industries, like travel agents and stock brokers.

“There’s not a shred of evidence that the internet is having an impact,” Murray says.

The internet may have changed how agents work—like in automating several tasks–but it hasn’t taken their jobs, he adds. The number of real estate professionals has increased 60 percent in the past two decades, Murray notes.

It’s the opposite of what so many predicted.

Read more…

The Early Bird’s Guide to Buying a Home

Planning to buy a home this spring? Then right now—yes, during these last days of winter—is the time to get rolling.

Follow these steps and you’ll be way ahead of the pack once the spring home-buying season heats up.