5 Tips For First Time Homebuyers

5 Tips For First Time HomebuyersYou’ve decided that it’s time to stop renting and jump into home ownership but there are a few things that you should do before making that leap. Some of these things need to be done well before you start traipsing through house after house.

The very first thing you should do is check your credit

Not just your credit score, but your credit reports. The “big 3”: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, will give you a complete overview of your credit situation. If there are discrepancies, get them cleared up. This can take weeks or months. If your credit score is low, you may need months or even a year to raise it. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference in how much interest you pay on your mortgage, so it will be worth putting off looking at homes until you are ready and able to buy.

Next, save, save, save

Having a decent or better down payment can mean the difference between getting the house you want or not. 20% is a good figure to shoot for, if you can save more, it will give you a cushion in case you need to fix things in the home or pay any extra fees. Plus it helps raise that credit score too!

Get preapproved for your mortgage

Getting preapproved can and will give you a leg up over other people making offers on the same home as you are. A seller who knows that you can get financing and settle more quickly will favor you over another buyer who doesn’t. It will also mean that you stick to your budget. If you are preapproved for a mortgage that will be comfortable for you to pay each month you will be less likely to be talked into a home that is above your price range.

No large purchases until after settlement

Don’t shop for furniture, cars or make other big purchases until after you have settled on your home and the money has been paid out to all parties. If you make any large, expensive purchases, especially on credit, prior to settlement you may end up without a mortgage when you are ready to settle.

Lastly, find a reputable Realtor to help you find that new home!

Definitely pick one that loves working with first time homebuyers and who will answer all your questions! A great Realtor will help you to get through the whole process safely and find a great fir home!

In This Day And Age Are Real Estate Agents Really Necessary?

With all of the online tools, websites and advice for home sellers and buyers, is it really necessary to hire a Realtor?

The short answer to that question is a resounding yes. The internet can only tell you so much and it certainly can’t show your home, take you to homes to see and In This Day And Age Are Real Estate Agents Really Necessary?facilitate settlement when you sell or buy your home.

As it’s been said, when the going gets tough, hire an expert… or something like that. But really, why would you undertake such a huge financial and legal undertaking without being educated in the ins and outs of such things?

A Realtor knows the local market

They know how to negotiate at all phases of the process. They know how to value a home beyond number of beds, baths and square footage. They understand most types of mortgages and home financing, or know someone who is reliable that can help you should you need that type of assistance.

Now let’s talk time

Do you have the time, over and above your day job, family responsibilities and so on, to stage your home, list it with MLS and other websites like Zillow or Realtor.com, take all the phone calls, schedule showings, read/understand/respond to offers, schedule inspections, schedule settlement and all the paperwork a settlement entails, do the walk-through and finally hand over the keys?

Do you have the time to search the internet for homes to see, call the listing agents, schedule showings, write up an offer, read over the inspection report, renegotiate repairs, review the title report and all of the settlement papers?

Experience Matters

One last thing to think about! In your lifetime you may buy and sell 5-10 houses (maybe a few less, maybe a few more). For some of us, that top end is a really slow YEAR!

Realtors spend all of our time negotiating, researching, talking on the phone and getting educated about real estate. The business of buying and selling homes is our life and when you hire a Realtor, you get some of that dedication and determination just for your home!

Selling Your Home – Be Sure To Pick A Salesman Not A Consultant!

Have you heard the idea that your Realtor needs to be your consultant? Not a good idea. You need your Realtor to be a salesperson. Consulting with you is one thing, but being in consulting mode when you really need a salesperson to represent your interests isn’t a good thing.

A good Realtor

Selling Your Home – Be Sure To Pick A Salesman Not A Consultant!A good Realtor needs to be a good salesperson. Not just to sell your home either. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Yes, they need to be ready to sell, hard sell if necessary, to find the best buyer and get them ready to buy.

From open houses when you have to sell the merits of your home to other agents, to showing your home to prospective buyers, they need to be able to handle questions, handle objections, make them need your home, not just want it.

Once they make an offer the salesperson needs to stay and handle the negotiations. What is a good offer to take and when you should push back for more.

As a buyer you need a strong salesperson as well

Your consultant will listen and then start looking for the best home for you, but then the salesperson must go to work.

They need to help you offer the best price and then push back when the counter offer is too high. They need to push for concessions and get the best deal for you.

After the contract is signed, the salesperson isn’t finished. He or she needs to make sure that they can sell the appraiser the bank sends that the home is worth at least what you offered, if not more. They need to sell the home inspector on the merits and if there is anything found, sell the seller’s agent on the need for more concessions because of the report.

So don’t look for a consultant in your Realtor, find a salesperson!

Why Negotiating Is Such A Key Skill In Real Estate Sales

In real estate sales having good negotiation skills is an important Why Negotiating Is Such A Key Skill In Real Estate Salespart of salesmanship. Once you have the sale completed, the negotiations with the buyer or seller, depending on who you represent, start. If you can’t successfully negotiate a contract that each side can agree with, your sale will disappear.

You don’t have to be a natural negotiator. It is a skill that you can learn and master.

Here are some tips

As a buyer’s agent, you are the one making the first offer. One of the strongest maneuvers when negotiating is to be silent after making your offer. It’s not an easy skill, especially when your clients are probably telling you to keep making new concessions to secure the deal. Being silent will make the other side uncomfortable, which is what you want. So one of the best skills you can have is to keep your mouth shut.

It may just get your client a better counter offer

Negotiating also means getting information, the more, the better. It’s not always just about money. A good example of this is in a home sale. Two people are bidding on the same house. One buyer assumes that the seller would take the highest bid and offers full asking price, but that buyer needs 90 days to settle. The other buyer has his agent ask why the seller is selling. He finds out that the seller has been transferred to another state and has to move quickly. This seller makes an offer under asking price but makes it a cash offer that will settle in 21 days.

Learn more

There is a lot more to negotiating, and getting in touch with a business coach or trainer can help you learn more. As a buyer or seller just knowing that your Realtor is a good negotiator should give you the peace of mind to know that you will end up with the best outcome they can get for you.

5 Fun Colorado Decorating Ideas

Time to change up your décor? Since you live in Colorado, paying homage to the state in your decorating isn’t a bad idea. You don’t have to go totally mountain rustic, but use your imagination in how to weave in bits and pieces of the beauty and history of the state.

If you want to change up room colors, use the beautiful mountains for ideas

5 Fun Colorado Decorating IdeasBeautiful blue skies, slate grey of the high mountains, cool browns of the rich earth and evergreen trees make for amazing inspiration. Just paint alone can give you a great Colorado feel. Calm blue walls, with touches of deep green and brown will give you a mountain feel. The greys and even burgundy streaks of slate can make a room special. Use your imagination and take your cue from your surroundings.

Want more Colorado touches?

Add touches of wood. Beautiful hardwood floors, exposed ceiling beams or wood mantle will make the home feel more rustic. If you have a fireplace that is brick, cover it with slate or stone. You can go as rustic as you want from just a bit here and there to total cabin feel.

Don’t forget the history of Colorado in your décor!

The railroad was huge. Native American tribes and cowboys make the list. Search at estate sales, antique shops or thrift stores to find that perfect piece to tie in Colorado history in your home.

Do some research in your local library to see if there is something special or specific to your town and see how you can make that part of your decorating plan.