Robert Bodemer's Blog
Ready to buy or sell a house? With the right real estate agent at your disposal, you should have no trouble acquiring a new home or selling your current residence.
Ultimately, it is important to assess a variety of real estate agents. This will enable you to find the right housing market professional to guide you along the homebuying or home selling journey and ensure you can get the best results possible.
Comparing and contrasting several real estate agents may seem difficult at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of hiring the ideal real estate agent.
Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider as you evaluate real estate agents.
1. Industry Experience
An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. As such, he or she can offer comprehensive housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Take a look at a real estate agent's background and education. By doing so, you can learn more about this housing market professional's experience and determine whether this individual is the right person to guide you along the homebuying or home selling journey.
2. Communication Skills
Is a real estate agent an effective negotiator? Meet with a real estate agent, and you can learn about his or her communication skills.
A real estate agent should possess the communication skills to succeed in any housing market, at any time. He or she should be able to help you make sense of the housing market and respond to your concerns or questions as the homebuying or home selling journey progresses.
Furthermore, a real estate agent should be unafraid to be honest with you – without exception. This housing market professional will provide you with the support you need throughout the homebuying or home selling process. That way, you can reap the benefits of a fast, seamless homebuying or home selling journey.
3. Client Referrals
What are past clients saying about a real estate agent? Ask a real estate agent for client referrals, and you can gain first-hand knowledge about how a particular housing market professional supports his or her clients.
Typically, a real estate agent should be able to provide you with multiple client referrals. As a homebuyer or home seller, it is your responsibility to reach out to these past clients and use their insights to make an informed decision about a real estate agent.
Client referrals are exceedingly valuable because they can help you better understand what it's like to work with a real estate agent. They also can give you a glimpse into whether a particular real estate agent can provide you with the assistance you need to accomplish your homebuying or home selling goals.
Allocate the necessary time and resources to compare and contrast several real estate agents – you'll be glad you did. If you find the right real estate agent today, you can move one step closer to enjoying an unforgettable homebuying or home selling experience.
For those who are on the lookout for a great house, it may be beneficial to explore homes in small towns. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a small town residence, and these include:
1. You can avoid the hustle and bustle of big city living.
Purchasing a house in the city may prove to be difficult. In many instances, competition for houses near city attractions and landmarks is fierce. Also, owning a home in the city may require you to pay high costs for taxes, parking and more.
Comparatively, small town living often provides a breath of fresh air, particularly for those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of a big city. Small town homes are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Perhaps best of all, purchasing a small town house typically won't force you to break your budget.
2. You can live close to loved ones.
If family members and friends live in a small town, it may be beneficial to join them. And if you kick off a search for a home in the small town of your choice, you can live near loved ones.
Of course, prior to starting a small town home search, you may want to learn about the local housing market. If you possess housing market data and insights, you can tailor your property buying strategy accordingly.
3. You can find a superior house at a budget-friendly price.
Small town homes may be more affordable than their big city counterparts. Therefore, a buyer who wants to find the best value for a home may want to narrow his or her house search to properties in small towns.
When it comes to searching for a small town home, there are lots of exceptional options available across the United States. As such, determining exactly where to pursue a small town home sometimes can be challenging.
Thankfully, hiring a real estate agent is a viable option for all buyers, at all times. A real estate agent can teach a buyer about the housing market in any small town. By doing so, this housing market professional can help a buyer take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a small town residence.
A real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance at each stage of the property buying journey. He or she will set up small town home showings and keep a buyer up to date about properties that match this individual's criteria. Plus, if a buyer finds his or her ideal small town residence, a real estate agent will help this individual submit a competitive offer to purchase.
For those who want to pursue a small town residence, there is no reason to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can receive extensive support as you conduct a search for a home in the small town of your choice.
While they have become ubiquitous with the emergence of suburban neighborhoods and townhouses, homeowners associations (HOA, for short) are a relatively new phenomenon.
In modern America, there are many ways to live: apartments, condominiums, houses, townhouses, and now even “tiny houses” are gaining traction. But it wasn’t until the late 1900s that property owners began to experiment with alternative ways of living that revolved around share, “common spaces.”
What constitutes a common area?
Whether you live in an apartment, a house, or in your RV you likely experience common areas every day that are owned by the government. Roads, bridges, and parks are all common areas in that they are used by multiple people and their upkeep is paid for with taxes.
If you take that analogy and apply it to the greenways and lobbies of a condominium, or the streets and sidewalks of a gated community, there are few differences.
What is a homeowners association?
When a developer plans a new community they will often create a homeowners association that will be managed by the people who move into the houses or condominiums. Once a certain number of people have moved into the development and joined the HOA the developer will typically hand over ownership to the HOA and relinquish their legal rights and responsibilities of the land. From there, the HOA typically has complete control over management. Though it should be noted that states have their own HOA related laws with varying levels of oversight.
What does an HOA do?
The most common thing we associate with HOAs is fees and rules. People who move into a community governed by a homeowners association are typically required to join the HOA and are therefore obligated to pay fees and adhere to the guidelines set down by the HOA board.
The fees you pay will go towards maintenance and development of the common areas of your community. That usually amounts to landscaping, maintaining pools and fitness complexes. Fees can range from anywhere between $200 and $450 per month depending on where you live.
HOAs also enforce regulations that homeowners must follow. These vary depending on the community but often include building restrictions for things like fences and additions, as well as other ways that homeowners can customize their homes such as paint and vinyl color. Some homeowners associations go so far as to regulate whether or not a homeowner may fly the flag on their favorite sports team over their door.
Advantages and disadvantages
So what are the advantages and disadvantages you can expect when you belong to a homeowners association? Let’s start with the clear disadvantages. If you are a tinkerer or someone who relishes the freedom to do what they want with their property, living in an HOA-run community might not be right for you. If your salary isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, the cost of living in an HOA neighborhood, along with the monthly fees, might be a bit more than you’re comfortable with.
What about the advantages? First, you can expect that the neighborhood will be well-maintained. This brings about another advantage in that you can expect your property value to grow or at least remain stable thanks to the quality of the neighborhood being carefully managed.
Selling a home may seem simple at first, but negotiating with a homebuyer sometimes can be problematic. Fortunately, home sellers who understand the art of negotiation may be better equipped than others to accelerate the home selling process and optimize the value of their residences.
What does it take to become an expert home selling negotiator? Here are three negotiation tips for home sellers:
1. Stay Patient
It is easy to become emotionally attached to your residence, especially if you have lived in a home for many years. However, a home seller will need to do everything possible to keep his or her emotions in check during negotiations with a homebuyer.
In some instances, emotions can get the best of a home seller. And if this happens, a potential deal with a homebuyer may collapse.
For home sellers, the goal of a home selling negotiation is to maximize the value of a residence. Keep this goal in mind as you navigate negotiations with a homebuyer. By doing so, you may be able to maintain a calm, patient approach as you work toward selling your house.
2. Evaluate the Real Estate Market
Although you've allocated substantial time and resources to enhance your home over the years, the value of your residence may fluctuate based on the current real estate market's conditions. But if you conduct plenty of housing market research before you enter negotiations with a homebuyer, you can understand exactly what your home is worth today.
Conducting a home appraisal usually is a good idea. This appraisal will enable you to learn about your home's pros and cons and identify potential issues that may prevent you from maximizing the value of your property.
Furthermore, study the prices of comparable homes in your area. With this housing market insights at your disposal, you can enter a home selling negotiation with the information that you need to make data-based decisions.
3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Home selling negotiations can be tricky, and for home sellers who want extra help, hiring an experienced real estate agent is essential.
An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of home selling negotiations. As such, he or she will share expert negotiation insights with you to ensure that you can get the optimal price for your residence.
Your real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions throughout the home selling process and may even help you avoid negotiations altogether. Plus, this real estate professional is happy to negotiate on your behalf. That way, you can avoid the stress and anxiety commonly associated with negotiating directly with a homebuyer.
With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you may be able to accelerate your journey through the home selling process. Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about offers on your home and ensure you can get the best results possible.
Employ an experienced real estate agent, and ultimately, you can boost your chances of stress-free home selling negotiations.
Many hopeful homebuyers seek to save money by buying a fixer-upper and doing most of the renovations themselves. This is a proven method for those who have a knack for home improvement and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
However, estimating the cost of a remodel can be difficult. There are many costs you may not be aware of, and others that are easy to go over budget on.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the cost of an average remodel, and some lesser-known costs that you might be forgetting to factor into your budget.
Average remodeling costs
As you might guess, the cost of a remodel can vary greatly. Things like the size of the home, the number of rooms you’re remodeling, and the type of repairs you’ll be making all factor into the equation.
Some repairs can be quite costly. Septic system replacements can cost several thousands of dollars depending on the type of system you need. And, if you’re buying an old home, you’ll need to look out for expensive fixes like asbestos removal and foundation damage.
According to one report, most Americans spent between $17,000 and $61,000 on their remodel, with the average renovation cost being around $37,000.
If you’re hiring a contractor for the bulk of your remodel, expect them to charge between 10% and 15% of the total cost.
Lesser known costs of a home renovation
Remodeling a home isn’t as simple as looking up a contractor and telling them to give you the bill once it’s finished, and that’s probably a good thing because odds are you would be shocked by the cost.
First, you’ll pay a contractor to do a walkthrough and estimate costs. Next, you’ll need to get any permits that are required for your renovations.
If you plan on doing the renovations yourself, there are a few costs you’ll need to consider. First, understand that you likely won’t be able to take advantage of all of the discounts that contractors can, meaning your building materials may be more expensive than expected. Similarly, the cost of tools for the project adds up quickly. And, when you make mistakes--we all do, we’re only human--you’ll be paying for it out of pocket.
Knowing your long term goals
An important consideration for a remodel is to look toward the future. Do you want to sell your home within the next few years? If so, you might consider going with less expensive materials--such as generic kitchen cabinets rather than custom-built--to save money while still increasing the value of the home.
However, if you plan on being in this home for decades or more, it may be worth the extra money now to make sure you are happy with your home for years to come.
Remodeling a home can be a memorable and rewarding endeavor. You get the chance to take a house that you see potential in and make it truly your own. Now that you know the costs, you’ll be better prepared for planning your home renovation.