Sabrina Carr's Blog
If you’re looking for a home, your budget is probably one of your biggest concerns. With all the costs associated with a home purchase, spending more money to hire a real estate agent might feel like adding unnecessary expense. However, there are some serious benefits to hiring a real estate agent to help you in your home search. Here are some of the major reasons real estate agents benefit homebuyers:
Many homebuyers shy away from the idea of hiring a real estate agent on top of the other expenses for a home. However, most times a real estate agent can actually get a better purchase price than if you were to do your home search on your own. Not only do agents have access to exclusive listings you don’t see on portal sites like Zillow or Trulia, but they’re professional negotiators. When you find a house you love they will help you decide on an offer that’s fair and within your budget. Your budget is their priority and they have all the skills and savvy to negotiate in your favor.
Real estate agents have access to their local multiple listing service (MLS). This giant database of property listings can sometimes include hundreds of homes you won’t find anywhere else on the internet. Agents also have experience in navigating the MLS and know exactly what to search for in order to find the best options. Sometimes agents can suggest off-market listings that will soon be available or properties that for whatever reason wouldn’t show up in a web search. A real estate agent truly provides an advantage in your search.
Help With Paperwork
Buying a home involves a lot of paperwork. With all the contracts, tax forms and other documentation it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, a real estate agent can do the complicated work for you and explain it in ways that are easy to understand. Rather than just ask you to sign off on contracts blindly, they can go over the meaning behind the jargon and other potentially confusing details. This can save hours of extra work and stress in an already daunting process.
The real estate market is constantly changing. Depending on where you’re looking for a home, things like price and mortgage rates can fluctuate seemingly without reason. An excellent advantage to working with a real estate agent is that they are watching the market and keeping track of changes that could affect you. They will give you information about the current state of the market in your local area and on a national level. This can help with aspects of the process like price negotiations and availability of properties for sale.
Real estate agents are experts in more than just the local market. They also know information about schools, business, infrastructure and other details important to your home decision. They can provide you with valuable advice about the best neighborhoods or any potential issues with areas you might be interested in. This is especially important if you’re moving to a brand new city or region. Coming into a brand new place with the right information and guidance will help you find the best home for the best price.
The cost of hiring a real estate agent varies based on their personal fees and commission rates. Regardless, the benefits of working with an agent to find a home make it well worth factoring into your home buying budget.
Many buyers are searching for a home with an attached garage. It helps to keep cars out of the sun, rain, and snow. An attached garage allows you to walk directly from your vehicle into your home without worry.
Garages used to be detached. These structures offered many benefits to homeowners that seem to be forgotten. As cars became more popular and larger, families began to own two cars at their properties. When this became common, so too did the attached garage.
While an attached garage is seen as a luxury and often a necessity, the good points a detached garage have shouldn’t be overlooked.
Attached garages can be converted into living spaces. This affords you as a homeowner much more room without the need to move. Homeowners can then build a detached garage for storage or the placement of a vehicle.
Other Advantages To Detached Garages
A detached garage adds character to a home. Many buyers complain of tired suburban architecture, where the garage often becomes somewhat of a focal point for the front of the home. Detached garages can be more pleasing to look at.
You’ll also have a bit more wiggle room as to how you design your home. If you build a detached garage, it can be placed at an angle on the property. The garage can also be hidden in the backyard, or designed to look like a smaller version of the larger house. A path can even be built through the yard to the garage to bring a design to the entire yard.
Another advantage to a detached garage is that toxic fumes from your vehicle won’t get into the house. Homes with detached garages can often receive green points for environmentally friendly building practices. There’s also less of a risk posed to you and your family for things like carbon monoxide poisoning. You can’t leave a vehicle running very long in an attached garage without that risk.
A detached garage also affords the possibility of adding living space above the garage. It can be a great play space for kids or a game room for adults. You can even build a home office in the upstairs portion of the garage. The area will indeed be quiet if placed strategically. If the attached garage is new construction, you can run wild with it. The design is up to you and the possibilities are truly endless.
While many buyers search for a home with an attached garage, detached garages can have many pros and allow great flexibility to you as a homeowner.
When you want to fix up your bathroom without having to spend a lot of time and money, simple changes are the way to go. Remodeling projects that are smaller in scope can boost your home value and enhance your bathroom’s appearance while being budget-friendly and less time-consuming. Whether you want to make several minor changes to your bathroom or just a few, the following projects are easy ones to consider doing.
Refinish the Tub
When your bathtub has seen better days, you don’t have to replace it with a new one, which is both a costly and complex project. Instead, you can refinish your tub to remove stains, discolorations and other flaws. Refinishing your tub gives it a fresh appearance without the worry of needing to have plumbing work done, as you would when having a new tub installed. You can refinish your tub on your own using a DIY kit or have your tub refinished professionally. Either way, you’ll have a tub that looks as good as new again.
Replace the Faucet
Giving your bathroom an updated look doesn’t have to involve replacing the entire sink. An easier and faster way to remodel is replacing the faucet only. Putting in a new faucet can spruce up your sink and bathroom overall, especially if you’re replacing an older one. Keep in mind that you’ll need to choose a new faucet that fits your current setup, For example, you’ll need to choose another single-hole faucet if that’s what you currently have. Changing to another faucet setup would mean having to replace the sink so it fits. When choosing a finish for your faucet, consider brushed finishes for easier maintenance or polished finishes for a more elegant look.
Switch to a Low-Flow Shower Head
A slight change that can have a big impact on your utility bills is changing to a low-flow showerhead. These showerheads reduce the amount of water you use when taking a shower, which can add up to significant savings. Having a low-flow showerhead can also help increase your home’s value. When choosing a low-flow shower head, you can look for unique features, such as massage settings, rain settings and mist sprays.
Refinish Bathroom Cabinets
Bathroom cabinets that show signs of wear and tear or have an older style can make your bathroom look less attractive overall. Completely replacing these cabinets is an extensive project that can end up being expensive. Instead of replacing them, you can give them a new finish to make them look new again. When choosing a finish, look for one that complements your bathroom counters or contrasts with them for a dramatic effect. You can also choose to paint your bathroom cabinets rather than refinish them to spruce up their appearance.
If your bathroom walls are looking somewhat plain, you can dress them up with wainscoting. Adding wainscoting to the lower part of bathroom walls can enhance the room’s appearance while protecting your walls from water damage. You can install wainscoting that goes all the way around your bathroom walls, including the walls around your tub if you have a freestanding one. Wainscoting can blend in with the rest of your bathroom or have a different tone that adds some color for visual interest.
Purchasing a condo should be fast and easy. However, negotiations with a condo seller can quickly become stressful and may put your chances to acquire your dream condo in danger.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the process of negotiating with a condo seller to ensure you can purchase your ideal property.
Here are three tips to help you navigate tough negotiations with a condo seller.
1. Consider the Condo Seller's Perspective
Think about the condo seller's perspective and try to find common ground with this individual. By doing so, you and the condo seller may be able to agree to terms that meet the needs of both sides.
When you initially submit an offer on a condo, ensure your proposal accounts for the condo's condition and the current state of the real estate market. That way, you'll be able to avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" offer that falls below a condo seller's expectations.
Also, maintain open lines of communication throughout the negotiation process. This will allow you to listen to a condo seller's concerns and respond accordingly.
2. Collect Plenty of Housing Market Data
If a condo seller believes you are unwilling to pay a sufficient price for his or her condo, it is always a good idea to present housing market data to back up your offer.
Explore the housing market closely to learn about the prices of comparable condos in nearby cities and towns. This will allow you to see how a particular condo stacks up against similar properties in terms of price and condition.
In addition, check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area to identify housing market patterns and trends. With this real estate market information at your disposal, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether to continue to negotiate with a condo seller or consider other properties.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent will negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf. Therefore, he or she will help you minimize the stress and anxiety that is commonly associated with condo negotiations.
Typically, a real estate agent will submit an offer on a condo and wait to hear back from a condo seller. If a condo seller decides to negotiate, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the negotiation process.
A real estate agent will listen to your condo buying concerns and questions and respond immediately. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed decisions during negotiations with a condo seller. This real estate professional will even share your concerns with a condo seller to help you get the best results possible.
When it comes to a negotiating with a condo seller, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of condo negotiations. And ultimately, you may be able to move one step closer to buying a condo that meets or exceeds your expectations.