Please enjoy this article that Penny Kice found for you on www.keepcurrentmatters.com
Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.
At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.
Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.
One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers. <<MORE>>
Penny Kice Welles Bowen Realtors2460 N Reynolds Rd Toledo, OH43615
Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests
By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon/Published: November 14, 2011
Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion.
I’m lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.
Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.
The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.
If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.
Light the way: Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.
Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.
Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.
Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.
Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow.
Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.
Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.
To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.
If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house.
To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.
Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.
If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.
Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).
What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?
Professional and Personal Qualifications
My Pledge To You…
I pride myself with providing my clients with the utmost attention to their real estate needs. From selling your home to finding your dream home, I promise to assist my clients from start to finish!
Bill had to sell his house quickly.
He was being transferred out of state, and the company wasn’t footing the bill. Instead, they offered him a higher salary. Now he had to sell quickly or risk paying two mortgages.
But Bill wasn’t sweating it. After all, his house was in a great neighborhood in a desirable part of town. He hired a real estate agent, confident that once the “for sale” sign went up, the buyers would come knocking. He’d get a quick sale at asking price, no problem.
Only a month went by, and there were zero offers. Bill had to move soon and was getting nervous about those double mortgage payments, but no one was interested. Then, to really rub salt in the wound, buyers were leavings tons of negative comments!
So what was the problem?
Moving into your first home is exciting! But it also means you’ve got work to do.
When I bought my first house in May, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.
I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time home owners should know.
Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.
1. Change the locks. You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith – if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20-$30 per lock for labor.
2. Check for plumbing leaks (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/plumbing/plumbing-leaks-8-smart-tips-stop-them/). Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.
Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/water-heaters/water-heater-maintenance/) for signs of a leak (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/plumbing/fix-a-leak-week-2012/).
Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a 2-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
3. Steam clean carpets (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-improvement/carpet-or-hardwood/). Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh, clean start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service – you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out – or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.
4. Wipe out your cabinets. Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner (http://www.houselogic.com/green-living/green-cleaning/), and replace contact paper if necessary.
When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets (http://www.houselogic.com/home-topics/cabinets/), I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip …
5. Give critters the heave-ho. That includes mice, rats (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/Need-to-Get-Rid-of-Rats-Its-a-Community-Effort/), bats (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/attic-pest-removal/), termites (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/detect-termites-other-wood-destroying-insects/), roaches (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/roach-home-removal-tips/), and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100-$300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.
For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/pest-control/how-help-snake-slither-out-your-house/) that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.
6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve. My first experience with electrical wiring (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/electrical/when-time-for-electrical-wiring-upgrade/) was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself.
It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”
You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane (http://www.houselogic.com/protect-your-home/hurricanes/) or tornado (http://www.houselogic.com/protect-your-home/tornadoes-severe-storms/) is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve – it could be inside or outside your house – and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.
What were the first maintenance projects you did when you moved into your first home?
From Realtor Mag
24/7 Wall St. recently asked real estate experts and several real estate organizations to weigh in on how sellers can get their house sold at the best price and in the shortest amount of time.
Here’s what they had to say as some of the best ways to get the “sold” sign out this spring:
Pay attention to “curb appeal”: First impressions are critical, and homes with inviting landscapes and exteriors tend to sell better, agents say. Pay attention that the driveway is in good condition, lawn well-kept, and the house looks freshly painted.
Set the right price: Real estate professionals know how to set the price and prepare a home for sale. Agents use comparable sales of homes sold in the last 60 days to help set the most realistic price for the sales price of a home. By setting a realistic price from the beginning, sellers should be reminded that this will prevent having to drop the price of the home several times before getting it sold and having it linger on the market. If no recent comps are available, some experts recommended sellers get an appraisal, which will also offer a realistic price that the bank may be willing to take when a buyer tries to qualify for financing the home.
Want to read the rest of the article, click this link to visit the Realtor Magazine site
From the Zillow Blog.
Here is a snippet of a good article on what a lender looks for when you are applying for a loan. We hope this helps. If you would like to apply for a mortgage loan please call either of our very talented loan officers by going to our Mortgage page.
If you are thinking about buying a home, one of the first things you should do is go to a lender to get pre-approved. This will determine how much money you can borrow on a mortgage. This will also help you filter your home search by sale price, which will narrow your choices within your financing range.
So how does a lender evaluate — called underwriting — and determine how much you can borrow? It involves the three C’s: Credit, capacity and collateral!
The first item a lender will review is your credit profile, also known as your credit score or FICO score. This can range from 350 – 850. This is where all the decisions you’ve made in the past regarding will be reflected, such as:
Lenders used to allow much lower credit scores for borrowing purposes, but they’ve gone up the past few years. You need, in general, at least a 640 FICO score to borrow on a loan. The optimal score is 740-760 or above. The lower your score, the higher your interest rate and points on your mortgage loan.
The rest of this article can be found by going to the Zillow blog website.
This is posted on the Toledo Board of Realtors site along with other great articles, check it out here
1. A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
2. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with someone who speaks that language.
3. REALTORS have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. That’s why having an expert on your side is critical.
4. REALTORS provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, homeselling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.
5. REALTORS are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, a trade organization of more than 1 million members nationwide. REALTORS subscribe to a stringent code of ethics that helps guarantee the highest level of service and integrity.
1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job? (While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate, like many other professions, is mostly learned on the job.)
2. What designations do you hold? (Designations, such as GRI and CRS, which require that real estate professionals take additional, specialized real estate training, are held by only about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.)
3. How many homes did you and your company sell last year?
4. How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that compare to the overall market?
5. How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices?
6. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? (Look for someone who has aggressive, innovative approaches, not just someone who’s going to put a sign in the yard and hope for the best.)
7. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction? (While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, it’s important to understand where the practitioner’s obligations lie. A good practitioner will explain the agency relationship to you and describe the rights of each party. It’s also possible to insist that the practitioner represent you exclusively.)
8. Can you recommend service providers who can assist me in obtaining a mortgage, making repairs on my home, and other things I need done? (Keep in mind here that real estate professionals should generally recommend more than one provider and should tell you if they receive any compensation from any provider.)
9. What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide to you? (Having resources, such as in-house support staff, access to a real estate attorney, or assistance with technology, can help a real estate professional sell your home.)
10. What’s your business philosophy? (While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the real estate practitioner-fast sales, service, etc.-and determine how closely the practitioner’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.)
11. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Using what media? (Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but that one reflects your desires. Do you want updates twice a week or don’t want to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?)
12. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients?
ABR – Accredited Buyer’s Representative
BA - Bathroom
BATVAD – Buyer’s agent to verify all data
BR - Bedroom
BTVEBCOE – Buyer to verify everything before close of escrow
CCRM - Certified California Residential Manager
CE – Continued Education
CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist
CMA - Competitive Market Analysis
CNE - Certified Negotiation Expert
CO - Certificate of Occupancy
DOM - Days On Market
DPA - Down Payment Assistance
e-Pro – Electronic Professional
EAL - Exclusive Agency Listing
FC - Foreclosure
FDR - Formal Dining Room
FHA - Federal Housing Administration
FM RM - Family Room
FROG - Finished Room Over Garage
FSBO - For Sale By Owner
GFE – Good Faith Estimate
GRE – Graduate Record Exam
GRI - Graduate, Realtor Institute
GYWRFTK - Giant Yard With Room For The Kids
KTB – Known to Broker
MLS - Multiple Listing Service
MVA - Market Value Analysis
NNN - Triple Net (Lease)
OBO - Or Best Offer
PMDT - Purchase Money Deed of Trust
POT - Possession on Title
PW - Present Worth
REO – Real Estate Owned
SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist
SS – Short Sale
WCR – Women’s Council of Realtors
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