Susie Uhlich

REALTOR

My Blog

3 Reasons Your Real Estate Agent WANTS You To Bother Them

4/7/2017

 

lighterside-staff-authorBy Lighter Side Staff 

Real estate agents hear this all the time…

“I wish I had called you before. But I just didn’t want to bother you. I know you’re busy…”

…after it is too late.

There are times when you might feel like you shouldn’t “bother” the real estate agent you know. (Could be your friend, a neighbor, your brother-in-law, cousin, your sister…)

Maybe you’re truly trying to be considerate.

But, maybe it’s because you’re not even aware that you should.

Or, you just don’t want to feel obligated or pushed into doing something. (Despite what many people think, most agents are not pushy. Most are the exact opposite.)

So, let’s go over a few times that you should “bother” your real estate agent. Because it really isn’t a bother.

In fact, we’ll get into why it will bother them if you don’t reach out to them for any of these things.

1. You just want to check out a house.

You see a house online. Or a For Sale sign. Maybe even just stumble across and open house.

You’re not all that serious about buying a house. Maybe you’re only just starting to think about it. Or, maybe you have no desire at all to move, and you’re just curious and want to take a peek.

So, you don’t want to “bother” the agent you know to show you the house.

Instead, you call the listing agent. Or some random agent you don’t even know. Or just walk right into the open house.

Next thing you know, you love the house. You’re making an offer. The offer is accepted. And then you regret it. Or problems come up. Or the process is miserable. Or you don’t feel like the agent you’re dealing with is giving you the best advice.

And that’s when you call the agent you know.

Too late. At that point, the agent you know can’t help. (Or at least shouldn’t…) Because now you are represented by another agent. The agent you know can get in a lot of trouble for even giving you friendly advice.

As innocent as it seems, when you just want to go see a house… you are inadvertently making a bigger decision than you think — you are deciding who will represent your interests, advise you, and help you through the process.

Even if you just go see a house with another agent, and before you even make an offer you decide to have the agent you know write up the offer and represent you… the agent who simply showed you the house could claim you as their client. It’s called “procuring cause”. I won’t get into the details here, but it can become messy.

You’re better off calling the agent you know to show you the house in the first place. You won’t be considered a bother.

What will bother him is to have to bite his tongue and not give you the help you want further into the process.

2. You want to know how much your home is worth.

Maybe you’re just curious about how much your home is worth. Or, maybe you’re actually thinking of selling. It might be because you want to get a feel for your net worth.

Nowadays, you can hop online and check out any number of sites that will give you the value of your home.

So, why “bother” the agent you know about this?

Because most of what you will find online is highly inaccurate to begin with. They are “automated” valuations. They are based upon data and algorithms. They have never even seen the inside of your home. They do not take into account your local market conditions.

And if you base your hopes, dreams, and decisions off of an inaccurate value, that can hurt you quite a bit.

Again, asking the agent you know to do an analysis and give you a true market value… not a bother.

But, it would be bothersome to hear that you’ve based important life decisions off of an inaccurate value once it’s too late.

3. You are considering a home improvement project.

The real estate agent you know probably isn’t an architect. Or a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. So, they probably can’t advise you about the ins and outs of a specific project or costs.

But once you have a sense of the proposed cost of a project, before you just pull the trigger and move forward, you really should “bother” your agent for their input.

Putting on an addition? That will surely increase the value.

A kitchen or bathroom remodel? Yep, your house will be worth more.

But will the value increase more than the amount you spent? Will that matter in your situation? Will the choices you make in decor, layout, or fixtures appeal to a buyer down the road? Does that even matter, given your future plans?

All questions and thoughts your agent can get into with you. Before you spend the money and go through the headaches of a huge project.

On the other hand, if you go forward with a home improvement project and spend, let’s say $60,000, and then call your agent…

You could seriously regret how much you spent, or even doing the project at all.

Your agent doesn’t want to break the news to you that your home is only worth $38,000 more after you spent $60,000. There is no joy in that. There is nothing that can be done at that point.

That’s just three examples. There are certainly more. But you get the point…

So, reach out to your agent before you do anything real estate related… and just trust that it isn’t a “bother”.

Decluttering Ideas

3/27/2017

should it stay or should it go?


Whether you’re selling your home or just tackling some serious spring cleaning, decluttering can be both effective, and rewarding. If items you don’t need are taking up precious real estate, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re keeping and why.

Use this guide to help you make the decision. Grab three boxes and label them “Throw Away,” “Put Away,” and “Give Away,” and you’re ready to get started!


What to Throw Away
Throwing away possessions can be hard, stashtrash_inset1but it is a necessary step to maintaining a clutter-free home. Step back and take an objective look at the items in your home. Are you holding on to them for sentimental reasons, or do they actually serve a purpose? Throw away anything that may be broken or has outlived its usefulness
(VCRs, we’re looking at you)!

What to Put Away
Obviously, you will come across items in stashtrash_inset2your home that need to stay. Put items in this box that are in good working order and still serve a practical purpose. Of course, once you put items in this box, you will need to make sure they find a proper place in your home in order to keep the clutter and chaos at bay for good.

What to Give Away
And finally, there is the give away box. stashtrash_inset3Many people find giving away items to be much easier to do than throwing them away, so try to remember someone else will get good use out of your once loved (or not so loved) items. Keep in mind these items should still be in relatively good condition, and be fair with your standards.No broken items or overly
stained or torn clothing.

Once you get going, you will likely find you become more objective, and classifying your belongings gets easier. You’ll be on your way to a clutter-free home in no time! Not sure what to stash and what to trash? Use this printable guide to help you decide!


For more decluttering tips and tricks, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/spring.

- See more at: http://americanlifestylemag.com/should-it-stay-or-should-it-go/#sthash.zleLKlLs.dpuf

 

Introducing...Alpha Loop!

2/25/2017

http://ow.ly/gAem309lGIo

MEGA OPEN HOUSE this Sunday, February 19th, 2pm - 5pm!

2/16/2017

Open House 2/19/2017 2:00PM-5:00PM

418 Rocky Creek Grove Woodstock, GA 30188

Overview

Gorgeous brick traditional on a quiet CUL DE SAC lot! Better than new! Private and pristine! Gleaming hardwood floors! Lots of natural light! Guest room & full bath on main! Full daylight basement & upstairs media room, too! Formal living & dining room. Great room w/wall of windows, & fireplace. Gourmet kitchen w/stainless steel appliances, island, gas cooktop, granite. Yard is completely fenced! Minutes to shopping and Historic Roswell w/advantage of low Cherokee taxes! Great schools! Great value! Awesome swim/tennis community! This is a "feel good" home!

Listing provided courtesy of: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties

General Features

  • ASSOC FEE DESCIncludes Swim/Tennis
  • APPLIANCE DESCDouble Ovens, Dishwasher, Gas Ovn/Rng/Ctop, Microwave, Smoke/Fire Alarm, Sec System Owned, Gas Water Heater, Refrigerator
  • CONSTRUCTIONBrick 3 Sides, Cement Siding - Not Stucco
  • COUNTYCherokee
  • DISTRICT15
  • NEIGHBORHOOD AMENITIESCable Tv Avail, Homeowners Assoc, Park, Swimming Pool, Street Lights, Tennis Lighted, Undergrnd Utils
  • NEIGHBORHOOD SETTINGSwim Community,Tennis Community
  • STORIES2 Stories
  • STYLETraditional
  • SUBDIVISIONEstates of Fernwood creek
  • TAXES5679
  • YEAR BUILT2011

More Information!!!

Buyer Beware!

2/7/2017

BUYER BEWARE: UNDERSTANDING PROPERTY DISCLOSURES

Buying a home can present hidden risks. While sellers must provide prospective buyers with complete and accurate descriptions of properties for sale, each state varies regarding the details sellers must legally disclose to buyers. No matter where you live, smart buyers also exercise personal responsibility, to whatever extent possible and reasonable, to help avoid unpleasant surprises.

The following list outlines numerous issues buyers should consider when purchasing property. Some are addressed by sellers' disclosure documents, others are not. Your buyer's rep can counsel you on the specifics in your state and discuss appropriate steps to discover and remedy potential property concerns.

Home Condition—Structural
- Roof
- Foundation
- Interior/exterior walls
- Fireplace/chimney
- Floors
- Windows/doors
- Ceilings
- Garage
- Patio/deck

Home Condition—Mechanical
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Heating and/or air conditioning
- Sewer and/or septic system
- Built-in appliances
- Other systems and fixtures

Environmental Hazards
- Asbestos
- Lead-based paint*
- Meth lab
- Mold
- Radon

Other Conditions
- Termite or other pest infestation
- Flooding (including federally-designated flood plain*)
- Utility or other easements
- Adjoining private roads (and obligation to maintain)
- Shared driveways, walls, or encroachments from or on adjacent property -
Stigmas (including registered sex offenders)

Legal/Financial Considerations
- Possible or probable short sale or foreclosure
- Violation of building codes, zoning ordinances or other restrictive covenants
- Zoning (restricting buyer's intended use for the property)
- Homeowners association obligations
- Tenancies, judgments or tax liens
- Proposed assessments or zoning changes
- Mechanics' or materialmens' liens

Off-Site Conditions
Odor, smoke, noise, and hazards affecting property due to proximity to:
- Highways
- Railroads
- Commercial/industrial facilities
- Military installations
- Superfund sites
- Toxic waste dumps

Other Off-Site Considerations
- Neighborhood noise (e.g., barking dogs)
- Traffic
- Safety
- Availability of, or consequences from, public parking
- Zoning (impacting how nearby property will be used in the future

Preventive Measures
Buyers can take steps to reveal problems and reduce risk. Ask your buyer's rep about the following options and other appropriate measures. Inspections and other preventive steps are especially important for distressed properties.

Home Inspections—A thorough home inspection should reveal structural or mechanical issues. Certain problems may require a separate evaluation by a trained specialist.

Home Warranties—Home protection plans can cover the cost of future repairs to malfunctioning home appliances or systems. Policy coverage and costs vary.  

C.L.U.E. Reports—Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange reports provide details on insurance claims filed in the past five years, such as wind, water or mold damage—considerations that could impact the cost of insuring the home.

*These items are subject to federal laws and must be disclosed in all states.

What Does the Groundhog Say?

2/3/2017

No Matter What the Groundhog Says, Here are 5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring!

Is spring closer than we think? Depending on which groundhog you listen to today, you may have less time than you think to get your home on the market before the busy spring season.

Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their homes on the market as buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. However, the next six weeks before spring hits also have their own advantages.

Here are five reasons to sell now.

1. Demand is Strong 

Foot traffic refers to the number of people who are out, physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show that the number of buyers out looking for their dream homes in December reached the highest mark since February 2016.

These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now! Take advantage of the strong buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now 

Housing inventory just dropped to a 3.6-month supply, which is well under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices; however, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last four years. Many of these homes will be coming to market soon.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home, while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will increase in the spring. Don’t wait for this other inventory to come to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. There is less overall business done in the winter. Therefore, the process will be less onerous than it will be in the spring. Getting your house sold and closed before the spring delays begin will lend to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to rise by half a percentage point by the end of 2017.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Do you REALLY need that now?

2/1/2017

Tip: Be sure to watch your spending when under contract on a home you absolutely love and are purchasing with a mortgage loan.

 

How Home Inspections Work

1/19/2017

Where the Cost of Your Home Inspection Really Goes

By Brooke Chaplan

 

RISMEDIA, Thursday, January 19, 2017— Home inspections are most commonly ordered by homebuyers before closing on a home, and can also be used by current homeowners who want to learn more about the condition of the property they live in. These home inspection reports are often a dozen pages or more in length, and they contain very detailed information about components that range from the plumbing and electrical system of the home to the foundation, roof and more. However, depending on your location and the size of the home, a property inspection may cost several hundred dollars or more. With closer examination of where this money goes, you will see that this is a fee well worth paying for.
 
The Tools and Equipment an Inspector Uses
Because a property inspector will walk through every room of the home--most will even examine the roof, basement and foundation—a wide range of tools and equipment are needed to complete the task at hand. Common equipment used by all inspectors are flashlights, ladders and screwdrivers. Many will also use electrical testers on each outlet in the home, a thermometer to test the heat level in an oven, moisture testing equipment to look for signs of water leaks and more. If your property inspector conducts additional tests, a mold test kit, an asbestos test kit, a radon test kit and other certified material testing products may also be required.
 
The Time and Experience Required
Each state has different licensing and certification requirements. Some states require a license renewal with continuing education every year or two. The property inspector must pay to maintain and improve his or her level of education, as well as to remain licensed and insured to complete the task that you have asked him or her to do. In addition, there is value in an inspector's time.
 
Depending on the size of the home, a typical property inspection may take two to four hours or more to complete. The price you pay for a home inspection will directly relate to how much time he or she spends at the property, as well as the types of special services he or she provides.
 
Through a home inspection, you can learn about issues that range from mold growth in the home and a cracked foundation to broken support beams in the attic, wiring issues in the walls and even pest infestation. These and other things that are noted in the report can help homebuyers make a more informed decision about which property to buy. They can also be used to help current homeowners take steps to improve the condition of their home. With how beneficial a property inspection report is, you can see that the fee for an inspection report is well worthwhile.
 
This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.
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