Category Archives: Housing

The Best Day to List Your House

Turns out the best day of the week to list your house is on a Friday. Homes listed on Fridays tend to bring the seller a higher percent of their asking price than on any other day of the week, according to research done by the real estate brokerage Redfin. Homes listed on Fridays usually sell the quickest as well. The majority of the property showings occur Friday through Sunday, so it makes perfectly good sense that Fridays would rate high.

Another good day to list your home is on a Tuesday. Tuesdays generate the most interest for home tours. Tuesday is often a big planning day for many people as they make plans for properties to view over the upcoming weekend.

Wondering what’s the worst day of the week is to list a house? Well; it’s on Sunday.

You can sign the listing paperwork with your REALTOR® on any day of the week, but ask your REALTOR® to time the marketing of your home so that you get maximum exposure. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so why not make the best of it.

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Avoid These During the Mortgage Process

1. Make large undocumented bank deposits
2. Fail to disclose you are on probation, disability or maternity leave with your employer
3. Close credit accounts with a zero balance
4. Co-sign a loan for anyone else
5. Change your job status from full to part time
6. Spend your down payment or closing cost money
7. Apply for new loans or credit
8. Stop paying your bills on time
9. Get married or divorced
10. Quit your job

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Should I Get a Home Inspection?

There are many good reasons why both a buyer and a seller should get a home inspection. The buyer wants to know if there are any problems with the property that might prevent them from purchasing it. The seller needs to find out if there are any issues that should be fixed prior to placing their home on the market.

Here are some of the more common problems discovered by home inspectors:

Roofing – Many roofs are found to be beyond there normal life expectancy. Most lenders require that a roof have at least three to five years of life remaining, so many times a new roof will be required in order to meet this standard. More minor issues could be popped nail heads or flashing issues around a chimney or in a valley.

Ceiling damage – Most ceiling damage is caused by water. Either rain water that’s leaked through the roof, or a plumbing leak. The source of the leak will need to be determined and fixed prior to repairing and/or painting the ceiling.

Electrical – The most dangerous problems discovered at home inspections can be attributed to electrical issues. Many of the problems found are overloaded circuits, connections not in junction boxes, improper grounding, and no GFI’s to name a few.

Drainage – Improper drainage around a house often leads to water intrusion into the basement area, which can cause wood rot, mold, mildew, fungi and the like.

Wood rot – This is caused by wood being exposed to water for extended periods of time. The wood will eventually loose its supporting strength, and it will need to be replaced.

Fireplaces – Many of the issues with fireplaces and chimneys have to do with firebox deterioration, damper doors not opening and closing properly, improper venting, and masonry cracks. 

Plumbing – The majority of the plumbing issues are usually fairly minor in nature. Many times it’s leaking faucets, toilets, and drain lines. Another common problem is too much water pressure, which is caused by a faulty pressure reducing valve.

Water heaters – Most water heater problems found are improper electrical connections, pop off valve lines not properly routed, and the water temperature set too high.

Mold & Radon – These can be two of the biggest deal killers. You’ll need to hire a professional to test for these items to determine if there is a problem. Once you have the results you can then decide if any action is needed, and what the costs would be to correct it.

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Why Choose a LeadingRE Firm?

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a network of over 500 of the very best real estate firms that are located in over 40 countries. These firms have 4,000 offices with 120,000 sales associates. In 2012 these firms had sales of $272 billion dollars representing over one million transactions, which placed Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® #1 in sales volume in the United States.

Sales volume numbers for 2012 were as follows:
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® – $272 billion
Coldwell Banker – $200 billion
Re/Max – $188 billion
Prudential – $126 billion
Keller Williams – $119 billion
Century 21 – $107 billion
Sotheby’s $53 billion
Real Living – $37 billion
ERA – $23 billion
Realty Executives – $17 billion
Better Homes & Gardens – $11 billion

Firms affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® can offer sellers global exposure of their home in addition to strong marketing expertise at the local level. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has the resources to market your property to the highest possible number of potential buyers. With 120,000 talented associates around the world, they expose your property to buyers on six continents ensuring more eyes are on your property. In addition they receive inbound clients from other affiliates around the globe who are interested in purchasing a home.

If you are looking for the best real estate firm to sell your home, then you need to consider a firm that’s affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.

Source: Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

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Make Your Home Stand-out When Selling

When selling your home you need to highlight its strengths and focus on its features. Here’s a list of places to start:

1. Make a lasting first impression – Curb appeal is extremely important. Make sure your lawn and shrubbery are neatly trimmed. The front door should be clean and dust free. If it needs a fresh coat of paint, then paint it.

2. Don’t hesitate to decorate – Faded walls and worn woodwork won’t sell your home. A small investment in paint will do wonders.

3.  Let the sun shine in – Open drapes and curtains. Clean the windows. Home buyers are drawn to bright, cheery interiors.

4. Bathrooms are big sellers – Make bathrooms shine. Clean the sinks and toilets thoroughly. Re-caulk vanity tops and tile as needed. Make sure that you are displaying fresh neatly folded towels.

5. Wake up your bedrooms – Remove excess furniture. Use colorful sheets and bed spreads. Open the drapes and let the light in.

6. Pay close attention to the details – Loose door knobs, sticking drawers, wobbly hinges and stuck windows can all cost you the sale.

7. Call the plumber – Have those leaky faucets fixed. Make sure the drains are running free and clear. Clean those rust stains from the tub and bowls.

8. Buyers love big closets – They look even bigger when they are clean, neat and well organized. Remove as much as possible. Either give it away or place it in storage.

9. Lighten up – By day let the sun shine in. By night turn on all lighting in advance of  showings. Make sure that you replace any bulbs that are not working. Add accent lighting to wall hangings, fireplaces and other unique features of the home.

10. Leave it to the professionals – Let your REALTOR® handle the showings and negotiations. They’ve been carefully trained and will look out for your best interest.

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Views on Housing Vary by Age Group

Younger Americans are more likely to think owning a home is attainable but not necessarily a good investment, while older Americans believe the opposite, according to a Country Financial Security Index survey.

Here’s a breakdown on the survey results:

Think owning a home is attainable for a typical middle-income family by age group 
18-29 / 49%
30-39 / 50%
40-49 / 45%
50-64 / 43%
65 and over / 36%

Think buying a home is the best investment families can make by age group –
18-29 / 37%
30-39 / 37%
40-49 / 44%
50-64 / 48%
65 and over / 51%

Source: Council of Residential Specialists

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Avoid These Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Here are seven things that a seller should avoid when selling their home:

1. Putting the home on the market before it’s ready – Make sure you have the home in top notch condition and free of clutter. Impressions are everything when selling, so get yours ready before putting it up for sale.

2. Over improving for the neighborhood – When making improvements to your home, be careful not to go overboard. You want to keep your home’s size and materials used similar to the other homes in your immediate area. 

3. Pricing the home based upon what the seller wants to net – Following this practice will almost always lead to failure. If a home is not priced in-line with other similar homes, then it will receive few if any showings, and will attract mostly low ball offers. After a while the home will become what is termed as “market worn”.

4. Hiring an agent based on non-business factors – Make sure that your hiring the best person for the job and not a friend or family member who’s in the business.

5. Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home – Once you decide to sell your home you need to become emotionally unattached to the house, it’s now a commodity and it needs to be treated as such.

6. Trying to cover up problems and not disclosing them – Most states require a written seller property disclosure report that you as the seller must complete as part of the selling process. Make sure that you complete this form with great care and detail. If you don’t properly disclose an issue that you have knowledge of, then you open yourself up for possible liability at a later date.

7. Not getting everything in order before selling – Research such things as new financing, terms of your existing mortgage, market conditions and etc. By having a better understanding the process and what to expect, you can hopefully sell your home and purchase a new one with less stress and fewer hassles.

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VA Loans Post Record Year in 2013

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that the number of loans it guaranteed reached a record high in 2013.

The VA guaranteed almost 630,000 mortgage loans in 2013 according to Mike Frueh, the director of the VA’s Loan Guaranty Program.

An overall tight lending environment is making VA loans more attractive to current and past service members.

VA loans do not require a downpayment. Roughly 90 percent of all VA loans for home purchases are made with no money. These loans do not require private mortgage insurance to be purchased, as with most other high loan to value mortgages.

States that have seen the largest increase in VA loans within the past year are Arizona (up 40 percent in 2013 over 2012), Ohio (30 percent) and Connecticut (30 percent).

Sources: The New York Times and REALTOR®Mag

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Tips for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Buying real estate is complex, and it’s important for you to select an agent who is competent, honest and knowledgeable, and will represent  your best interests throughout the entire process of either buying or selling a property.

Here are some key areas to look for when selecting an agent:

Experience
Ideally you want an agent who works in the business on a full time basis, and closes at least five to ten sales per year. The more closings an agent has under their belt, the better prepared they will be to help you through the many twists and turns of a real estate transaction.

Time to work with you
You want an agent that will spend the time with you that will be needed. If an agent seems too busy, maybe you should look for one that’s less busy.

Location
Generally you will be better served if you pick an agent that has sold a number of properties within your neighborhood. They will be most familiar with the property values and issues unique to your neighborhood. Additionally they will often have a pool of prospective buyers that are interested in the area.

Help you protect yourself
You want to pick an agent that will help you to make smart decisions. This agent should be well-versed enough to advise you on a number of issues, such as, financing, negotiations, inspections, closing and etc. 

Someone you feel comfortable with
The working relationship between you and your agent will be one that will usually last several months from beginning to end, so make sure you feel comfortable with who you choose. 

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