Selling Your Home Fast

Hello Everyone,

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, a person can generally sell a house faster by lowering the price. But there are other ways to enhance a home’s attractiveness besides lowering the asking price. If you’re looking to sell your home in a cooling real estate market, read on for some tips on how to generate interest and get the best price possible.

Differentiate From the Neighbors
In order to attract attention and to make your home more memorable, consider custom designs or additions, such as landscaping, high-grade windows or a new roof. This can help improve the home’s aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home. Any improvements should be practical and use colors and designs that will appeal to the widest audience. In addition, they should complement the home and its other amenities, such as building a deck or patio adjacent to an outdoor swimming pool.

However, while it can pay to spice up your home, don’t over-improve it. According to a 2013 article in Realtor Magazine, some renovations, such as adding a bathroom or putting new shingles on a roof, might not always pay. The data suggests that the nationwide average amount recouped for a bathroom remodel is about 58%. For a new roof, it’s even less. If you’re going to invest in home improvements, do your research and be sure to put your money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. In addition, if you have added any custom features that you think buyers will be interested in, make sure they are included in the home’s listing information. More than ever, in a down market you should take every small edge you can get.Clean the Clutter
It is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This might include removing some furniture to make rooms look bigger, and putting away family photographs and personal items. You may even want to hire a stager to help you make better use of the space. Staging costs can range from a couple hundred dollars for a basic consultation to several thousand dollars, particularly if you rent modern, neutral furniture for showing your home. Many people feel that stagers can make a home more salable, so hiring one deserves some consideration.

Sweeten the Deal
Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot. For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or offer to pay closing costs entirely will in some cases receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes. In a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they’re getting one.

Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which can cost $300 to $400 for a one-year policy and will cover appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that fail. Depending on the policy, other appliances and house gadgets may be covered as well. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that he or she will be covered against such problems, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.

Finally, it’s important to note that some buyers are motivated by the option to close in a short amount of time. If it is possible for you to close on the home within 30 to 60 days, this may set your deal apart and get you a contract.

Improve Curb Appeal
Sellers often overlook the importance of their home’s curb appeal. The first thing a buyer sees is a home’s external appearance and the way it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. Try to make certain that the exterior has a fresh coat of paint, and that the bushes and lawn are well manicured. In real estate, appearances mean a lot. What better way to set your home apart than to make it attractive at first glance?

Get Your Home in “Move In” Condition
Aesthetics are important, but it’s also important that doors, appliances and electrical and plumbing fixtures be in compliance with current building codes and in working order. Again, the idea is to have the home in move in condition and to give potential buyers the impression that they will be able to move right in and start enjoying their new home, rather than spending time and money fixing it up.

Pricing It Right
Regardless of how well you renovate and stage your home, it is still important to price the home appropriately. Consult a local real estate agent, read the newspapers and go to online real estate sites to see what comparable homes are going for in your area.

It’s not always imperative to be the lowest priced home on the block, particularly when aesthetic and other significant improvements have been made. However, it is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market. Try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and then determine what a fair price might be. Have friends, neighbors and real estate professionals tour the home and weigh in as well.

The Bottom Line
Selling a home in a down market requires a little extra work. Do everything you can to get the home in excellent shape and be prepared to make some small concessions at closing. These tips, coupled with an attractive price, will increase the odds of getting your home sold.

Please give us a call to speak to one of our Real Estate professionals today!

Sincerely,
Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors
(210) 479-1222

The Home Inspection

Hello Everyone,

Today I wanted to share some information regarding the Home Inspection process. It is very important to understand what to look for and how to avoid a meltdown when problems come up. The Home inspection can either make or break your contract if you are not careful and if you are not aware to look out for. Below are some of the importnant things to watch out for during your home inspection.

THE BIG PICTURE

The first step in inspecting a home is to examine the big picture for the home. Notice the area the home is located in. Are there other homes of similar age and construction details relative to the home you are inspecting? A comparison will give you a general idea of the up keep of the home. Have there been significant modifications to the exterior of the building and if so, how is the workmanship?

EXTERIOR

Start at the exterior front of the house and work your way around the house (clockwise or counter-clockwise) at a distance which allows you to view a complete face comfortably. On each face (front, sides, rear) start your visual inspection at the top of the structure and work your way down to the ground and lot area. As an example, you would start at the front and note the roof and chimneys, the gutters, fascia and soffit’s. Then, moving down the exterior wall coverings (brick, wood, aluminum), noting windows, doors, etc. Examine any porches or decks down to the foundation, then the grade or slope of the lot area, followed by any coverings, such as flower beds, walkway’s, interlocking brick, driveways, etc. Move closer to the house, to examine more closely any details which may have attracted your attention, without skipping any items. Having completed the front, move to the side of the house and start the same procedure (roof to ground).

INTERIOR

On the interior, begin your inspection in the basement and then follow the system throughout each floor in the house. The system for inspecting the interior is to begin with the floor, go to the walls and then the ceiling, and then consider any appliances or other items in the room. Move from room to room, always in the same direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) so as to not miss any areas. If you see a door, open it!
In the utility room in the basement, first notice the floor, the walls (possibly the foundation walls are visible here), then the ceiling (floor joists may be visible), then go to the furnace, hot water heater, electrical panel, plumbing system, etc. When inspecting the floors, walls and ceilings, scan the entire areathat is visible, not just one section.
In a finished room you would notice the floors, walls (including windows) and ceiling. Next look for the heat sources, electrical outlets and switches, fireplaces, closets etc. In bathroom or kitchen, notice the floor, walls and ceiling, then the plumbing fixtures.

CONDITION

While performing the inspection, whether at the exterior, the interior or one of the mechanical systems, note the system first, then its relative condition. For example, if you were inspecting a wall on the interior of the home you would first note that the wall is plaster, and then examine the wall for cracks and irregularities.

PROBLEMS

The following are some typical problems or occurrences to look for in the major components and systems of the home.

ROOF
Is the ridge (peak) showing a sag, or is it straight and level?
Is the roof sagging between the rafters or trusses?
Are there any signs of deterioration of asphalt shingles, such as curling, warping, broken edges, rounded corners or key holes(slits) becoming wider that normal?
Any loose flashing’s, at the chimney, roof-to-wall connection or elsewhere?
Does the wooden roof deck appear rotten or delaminate under the last row of shingles?
Are there any roof vents visible?

CHIMNEYS
Is the masonry cap cracked or broken?
Are any bricks flaking or missing? Mortar missing?
Is the chimney leaning?

SOFFITS AND FASCIA
Note whether the soffit and fascia are wood, aluminum or plastic.
Any loose or missing sections?
If wood, are there any paint problems? Any visible rot?

GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
Ensure gutters slope down toward downspouts.
Any rust or peeling paint?
Apparent leaks or loose/sagging sections?
Are the downspouts extended away from the foundations?

WALL COVERINGS
Look for missing mortar
Are the bricks flaking or cracking?
Look for loose, missing or rotten siding, deteriorated paint.>
Does the siding appear new? Does it hide the foundation wall?
Exterior walls bowed, bulged or leaning?

WINDOWS AND DOORS
Look for problems with paint or caulking, and rotted wood components.
Are the windows new or older? Are they the original windows? How old are they?

PORCHES AND DECKS
Cracking or flaking masonry?
Check for paint problems, rotted wood, and wood-earth contact.
Note any settlement or separation from the house.
Inspect the underside, if accessible.

FOUNDATIONS
Check for cracks, flaking or damaged masonry.
Note any water markings and efflorescence (whitish, chalky substance)
Any bowing, bulging or other irregularities?
Soft mortar?

LOT AREA
Does the grade slope away from the house?
Any settled/low areas next to the foundation, or cracked walks/driveway?
Is the property lower than the street or neighboring properties?

BASEMENT
Note any evidence of water penetration (stains, mildew/odors, efflorescence, loose tiles etc.)

FLOORS
Check for deteriorated coverings or cracked ceramics.
Any water staining or other damage?
Sloping or sagging?

WALLS
Randomly sample to check that the windows and doors work.
Are the walls straight vertically and horizontally?
Look for cracked or loose plaster.
Look for stains, physical damage or previous repair evidence.
Any drywall seams or nails showing?

CEILINGS
Check for cracks in the plaster or loose, sagging plaster.
Look for stains, mechanical damage or evidence of previous repair.
Seams or nails showing?

BATHROOMS AND KITCHENS
Check that all fixtures are secure.
Are there any cracks in the fixtures? Are the faucets working? Do they leak? Sufficient water pressure?
Note the condition of the tiles and caulking in the tub/shower area.

Look for staining and rot under the counter-tops
Randomly sample the operation of the cabinet doors and drawers.

ELECTRO-MECHANICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Type, style and age of heating & cooling systems. When were they last inspected or serviced?
Type of water supply piping and drains – any visible rust and corrosion?
Size and age of electrical service – are the outlets grounded? Visible wiring in good condition?
Have there been any upgrades?

Remember, when going over your home inspection realize that all homes, even new homes will have something that is quite not 100%. It’s important to understand what you need fixed before move-n and what can be done yourself after closing. I really hope this blog helps and if you have any questions rememeber we are only a phone call away!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors
(210) 479-1222C21 Black Bkgnd

The Importance of Homeowners Insurance

Hello Everyone,

This morning I would like to share an article that talks about the importance of Homeowners Insurance and why we need it.

Insurance takes care of our misfortunes when they happen, home insurance may not be mandatory but the dangers of not having this kind of cover are there for every one to see. We have situations where houses are broken into, fire gutting down the house taking with it all our possessions, misfortunes such as hurricanes, floods befall people every year. These are just a few things that can happen to anybody out there, but one who has taken a home insurance cover will be in a better position despite the misfortunes. Home insurance cover basically protects us from financial loss when we are visited by misfortunes like the one mentioned above. Investing in a home insurance policy is a basically a form of protection against misfortunes.

Imagine a situation where the burglars break into your house take all the important possession like electronics as well as furniture. With the kind of economic situation that is prevailing in the country today buying new electronics and furniture may be a tall order to a majority of the people. When you have a home insurance policy where the stolen stuff is covered the insurance company after investigation is mandated to compensate for the loss. You might not go back to the level where you were before the theft but the compensation that you get from the insurance company ensures that the you continue to enjoy the kind of life that you had. For the person who had not taken a home insurance cover, such a theft will leave a huge dent financially in an attempt to furnish the house in order to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle that prevailed before burglary occurred. Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and earth quakes are common nowadays. No one knows when these disasters can strike; it is equally evident that when these disasters occur they cause serious damage.

A person who has insured his or her house and property against such natural disaster will be at peace when they occur, the insurance company will be obliged to compensate the policy holder in an event of such eventuality. Home insurance not only gives us a peace mind but also allows us to continue enjoying the same kind of lifestyle that we had even before misfortune befall us. One can only ignore this kind of insurance at own peril. Disasters can strike at any time and anywhere for that matter, you may be rich and living comfortable today but within a short time everything might be swept away.

It is advisable that when these misfortunes occur we should be on the right side, under the insurance cover which will protect us from financial disaster. When you are living in a house which is ensured, you have a peace of mind and at the same time confident that in case of any eventuality your financial status will not be affected. All that is needed is to ensure that you have taken the right home insurance policy, one that covers most of the property as well as inclusion of most of the perils.

Please give us a call today to help with all your Real Estate needs!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors
(210) 479-1222c21

New Home vs. Pre-owned

Hello Everyone,

At first when starting to consider your next home purchase your Agent will ask you have you considered a new home or a pre-owned home? So, today I kind of wanted to share some information regarding the pro’s and cons.

Picture the home you’d like to live in. Chances are it bears a passing resemblance to the one you grew up in. A traditional “Leave It to Beaver” colonial or, perhaps, a brownstone townhouse straight out of “The Cosby Show.” Then again, maybe that is not what you are looking for. Maybe you’d prefer something newer, something with contemporary style, the latest amenities and a lot less maintenance. Or maybe you’re not ready for that whole “3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1.5 kids” thing at all, and a condominium or co-op fits the bill. When it comes to home buying, one size does not fit all. But it does pay to understand the differences when it comes to options between an older house and a new construction.

New House, New You?

Unless you are looking at a custom-built house on an individual lot, most new homes are built in developments with a unified style. These developments can be as small as a cul-de-sac, or as massive as a former farm field filled with dozens, if not hundreds of homes. Built to the latest codes and standards, they tend to be contemporary styled, energy efficient and often are more expensive than resale homes of a similar size. Sometimes, these types of developments can represent a savings over established developments with existing homes. Either way, the decision about whether to forgo an establish community is worth taking time to consider. Specific details vary, of course, but consider the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of New Construction

PROS
•Contemporary style
•Some flexibility on design during construction phase
•Cheaper to maintain (new appliances = fewer repairs)
•Cheaper to operate (energy-efficient construction)
•Extended warranties
•Cohesive neighborhood (consistent layout, common areas)
•Frequently have a homeowners association (helps protect resale value)
•It’s brand-new!

CONS
•Cookie-cutter design
•Limited negotiating room on price
•Potential for homeowners association dues
•Frequently less character, or homogenous design
•Frequently have a homeowners association (can put limits on how you use your property)

Of course, one home buyer’s pro (“No one has lived in it before us, so we won’t inherit any problems.”) can be another’s con (“No one has lived in it before us, so we have no way of knowing about any problems.”). Fortunately, there are ways to make sure the house you’re buying is really the house you want:
•Check the builder’s track record. What else has the company built? Were previous projects completed on time, on budget and without bad blood between the builder and buyers?
•Walk the streets. If you live nearby and previous stages of the development are occupied, ask the residents if the builder did quality work and lived up to contractual commitments.
•Picture your home, not the model home. You can certainly have the granite counters, surround-sound home theater and jetted tub you saw in the model home, but they’re not included in the base price. You will pay extra for them.
•Bring your own agent. If the builder has a real estate agent on site, the agent will be more than happy to help you. But, on-site agents work for the builders who hire them. Their best interests will be for the builder, not you.

Finally, consider the intangibles. Similarly styled homes attract like-minded buyers, and most developments are built with families in mind. Depending on your point of view, the consistency, conformity and kids playing in the street can be a blessing or a curse.

With new developments springing up seemingly overnight, it’s obvious that new construction is popular. And yet, most people buy a resale home; i.e., a home that someone else has lived in but is now on the market again. Call them used if you must — existing home sounds better — but they’re the kind of houses that many people would like to call home.

Of course, there are pros and cons with existing homes, too. (That darling farmhouse with the big windows? It can be mighty drafty come winter.) Generally speaking, resale homes tend to be more available and less expensive than new homes, but they are also full of surprises.

The Pros and Cons of Resale Homes

Pros
•Availability: More choices, more styles to choose from
•Price may be more negotiable
•Track record: Known issues will be revealed in disclosure documents
•Established neighborhood
•Could contain more charm and character

Cons
•More maintenance: Things break or wear out
•Less energy-efficient: More costly to operate
•Dated design, older appliances and amenities
•It’s been lived in!

As with new construction, there are ways to make buying a resale home less scary:
•Have the home inspected. You do not want to find out the foundation is cracked or the roof needs to be replaced after you move in.
•Consider a counter-offer. If the inspection reveals fixable flaws, propose the seller do the repairs or lower the price.
•Expect the unexpected. Pipes leak, electrical work becomes outdated and furnaces fail — get used to it.
•Be honest with yourself. If major repairs are required, you’ll either have to do them yourself or bring in the professionals. Some people can handle the disruption; others can’t.

The bottom line on resale homes is this: Don’t buy someone else’s problems unless you can tackle the solutions. Find a house you like, consider its pros and cons — objectively, as well as emotionally — and think about the compromises you’re willing to make. The more logically you approach buying the house, the more you’re going to love living in it.

Whether your going to buy a new home or a pre-owned home remember that having a Century 21 agent on your side will cost you nothing for all of the services that we offer helping you move into that new or pre-owned home.

Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors
(210) 479-1222sa1

A Few Things To Know About Going Real Estate Shopping!

Hello,

How many times have you passed by a home you like and cant help but think how much they are asking for the property and how much will the seller actually accept?

Having a good Agent can help you evaluate the property as well as work with the Listing Agent and seller on negotiating a fair price for all parties.  To help  buyer Agents determine what the sellers might accept for the property, agents generally look at :

1.) Who actually owns the home (whether a banking institution or a private seller).

2.)How long has the property been on the market?

3.) What have other similar homes sold for recently (usually within the last 3 months)

Once Buyer agents can get a better idea of the sellers situation your Buyers Agent can recommend a fair asking price.

A good real estate agent is going to be key. They will be your go-between, and the person that does all the dirty work for you. You can discuss everything that you are looking for in a space with them, and they can help you find it! Also key is to remember how important the appraisal process is. This process is a bit different from residential appraisal in that it involves a lot more than actual inspection. There is a lot more involved, such as research of the client demographic, zoning records, the price of similar companies, etc..

Another important thing to remember is that nothing is set in stone. When you are working with the owner of the property that you wish to buy or lease, every thing is negotiable. Make sure to voice your needs and concerns so that everything can be worked out beforehand. A Letter Of Intent is what you will file when you are ready to express interest in the property. Your agent will help you to file this paperwork. You are able to negotiate rental prices, terms, expenses, maintenance and repair issues, etc. Think of everything you can before you commit.

Your real estate agent can help you decide what the proper steps will be in your unique situation. There are several different types of leases, and they are pretty confusing. This is why it is so important to have someone that you trust in your corner to help you navigate through this process!

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com

Top Duties of your Real Estate Agent

Hello ,

A few Days ago in our previous blog we talked about Tips on what to do first for the First Time Homebuyer. Many may not be aware but choosing an experienced agent can significantly increase your chances of a smooth and stress free Transaction. Today I wanted to share with everyone the responsibilities of your Realtor .

The Buyers Agent checklist:

  • Pursue the interests of the Buyer Client
  • Agency Agreement, it’s like a basic job description
  • Helps explain the process, sequence, contracts, mortgages, pre-approvals, closings
  • Reviews Closing Costs on a HUD-1 Estimated Worksheet
  • Explain Earnest Money Deposits, Escrow, and Default
  • Listen and answer questions
  • Shows client homes that client found on the internet or agent found doing research
  • Generates comparable data for Buyer to understand current pricing
  • Reviews and explains the Regional Sales Contract, Jurisdictional Addendum, Disclaimer Form, Contingencies Addendum, Additional Clause Addendum
  • Completes, with Buyer, and presents any offer to Seller or Seller’s Agent
  • Explains counter-offers, makes sure contract is ratified
  • Helps schedule home inspections, radon tests, termite inspections etc.
  • On new homes, schedule option selections
  • Gets contract to mortgage lender and settlement company
  • Gives Buyer insight into home owners insurance, locking mortgage rate
  • Makes sure appraisal has been ordered within time frame
  • Reviews Home Owner’s Association or Condo Documents and presents them to Buyer for review
  • Contacts Title Company for updates, such as title or survey issues
  • Contacts mortgage lender to make sure loan is in process, and provide any missing information
  • Helps resolve Buyer or Seller issues that may delay closing or void the contract
  • Schedules contractors to evaluate or any repair issues from inspections
  • On new homes, contact builders rep for estimated closing date
  • Schedule closing time, walk-through inspections, walk-through issues
  • Review “rent-back” agreement if necessary
  • Confirm with Title Company that Buyer’s loan documents and Seller documents are ready to be signed
  • Ensure Buyer has Certified Funds for amount due at closing
  • Be available at closing.

Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors Office offers buyers a unique prospective and outlook on effective Home-Buying.

Please call our office to discuss the Details and process for purchasing your new home today!

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner (210) 479-1222 or Toll Free (888) 868-1222
email : Scott.Myers@Century21.com

What’s in a Name? – Is Your Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?

If you are working with a real estate agent, do you know if your agent is a REALTOR®? Did you know that not all real estate agents are REALTORS®, and do you know the difference?

 

Both are licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission, but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is an exclusive and distinctive designation for those agents who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). In the San Antonio area, REALTORS® are also members of the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR) and the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR). SABOR is the largest professional trade organization in San Antonio and represents more than 7,000 REALTOR® members. SABOR is one of more than 1,600 local boards and 54 state and territory organizations of REALTORS® nationwide that make up the NAR.

 

So – what’s in a name? Being a REALTOR® connotes business competence and high standards of business conduct. Each member pledges to observe a strict Code of Ethics written by the NAR. The pre-amble of the Code calls for every REALTOR® to work for the preservation of the free enterprise system and the protection of private property ownership.

 

The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® provides its members with the education they need to achieve the highest degree of professionalism in their fields. It is one of the few Boards in Texas that is certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission to operate a real estate school. All the courses offered are accredited for broker or salesman licensure. SABOR’s various committees’ also present seminars covering all areas of real estate from financing to equal opportunity in housing.

 

REALTORS® keep themselves informed on matters affecting real estate in their community, state and nation so that they may contribute responsibly to public thinking. SABOR monitors the legislation and public policy affecting the real estate industry. The National Association of REALTORS® keeps REALTORS® informed on decisions by the United States Congress and engages them with electronic “Calls to Action” regarding private property rights and real estate related issues.

 

Community involvement is also important to REALTORS® in San Antonio. SABOR’s charity of choice is SAM Ministries.

 

All of the real estate agents at Century 21 Scott Myers are REALTORS®, assuring you that the service we provide is of the highest quality with regard to both business competence and professionalism. To learn more about my company and my agents, visit my Web Site, e-mail me or give me a call.

 

Scott Myers, Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

Email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com