Remax Country

Month: March 2017

4 Things Only a Realtor (and Not the Internet) Knows About Real Estate

  According to the National Association of Realtors, 42 percent of homebuyers start their home search online, and 92 percent use the Web during the home search process. While the Internet can be a good place to start looking, there are things real estate agents know about the process of buying and selling a home that can't be found in any Web browser. Here are a few. 1. How to price a home When setting a listing price, agents consider scores of factors, from local and national market trends and neighborhood development activity to the latest buyer preferences for kitchen appliances and landscaping. Every home is unique, and an agent with a track record of success knows how to price it attractively in the market. The Internet isn't always much help when it comes to comparison shopping, either. Many of the same factors that help an agent set an appropriate listing price aren't available in an algorithm, so online estimators aren't always accurate – and could be costly if you purchase without consulting a real, live professional. 2. Marketing offline While online marketing can certainly be valuable, agents have networks of contacts and years of experience to round out their marketing plans. And, for buyers, agents often can tap into their network to learn about great properties before they hit the real estate websites or even the MLS. 3. Key points in the process If you find a home you love online, the website won't be there to guide you through a mortgage application, find a home inspector or advise you what to do if an inspection reveals issues. 4. How to negotiate Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you're buying or selling. A website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it can't evaluate whether that's a great price or not. One way the Web is helpful in real estate? Finding a great agent to work with. Start your search here .  

5 Projects to Tackle This Spring Break

  March (hopefully) means the weather is warming up. If you don't have a trip planned to an exotic locale, take some time to get ahead on home maintenance projects. Here are a few projects you can complete during a spring fling of home repair. 1. Fun with water Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle factor, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a machine at your local home improvement store and tackle your siding, deck and driveway. 2. Check your AC Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system can save you bucks in the long term. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system now, before contractors get busy. 3. Go with the flow Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters and check that they're connected securely. 4. Bask in the sun Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning the interior and exterior of your windows. Try a squeegee and skip the paper towels, to avoid looking out through a filter of lint. 5. Hit the fridge Dust and grime on your refrigerator's coils causes the machine to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work. And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break. Thinking about selling your home? Find out if you should be focusing on larger projects by talking to a Realtor. Find an experienced one here: .


Under Contract? 5 Things NOT to Do Before You Close

  The seller has accepted your offer, the inspector didn't find any underground streams or shaky foundations, and the closing date is set. You're in the homestretch! While you can breathe a little easier, remember, the deal's not done until everyone signs all the (zillion) documents at the closing table. And, your lender can still change their mind. Here are some things to avoid in the run-up to the big day. 1. Don't mess with your income-to-debt ratio The ratio of your monthly income to your monthly debts is one of the main factors the lender considered when qualifying you. And your lender will probably run your financials two or three more times before closing. While it's tempting, don't take out a big loan for the new deck you want to install when you move into your new place. Don't sign the lease on the new Audi that will look perfect in your new driveway. The bank looks at lease payments like any other debt payment. 2. Don't disappear Be sure to keep in touch with your lender and be readily available to immediately address any last-minute concerns. 3. Don't change jobs Lenders love stability. Switching jobs right before closing can make them anxious, and you want to give them every reason to feel confident. Most lenders prefer to have a two-year job history in hand, so making a big career move could slow things down, or squash the deal entirely. 4. Don't open new credit cards Yes, you'll be buying furniture to fill those lovely rooms. Yes, you might need a new fridge. And yes, new dishes to match the new kitchen would be splendid. But resist the lure of opening new credit cards until after closing. Doing so can affect your credit score. For now, just open catalogs. 5. Don't be late Even though you may have been riding the real estate roller coaster and life's been chaotic, be sure to stay current with all bill payments. Late payments, too, can affect that all-important credit score. Wondering what else is involved in the final stretches of a home purchase? Your agent will be happy to answer any of your questions. Find an experienced agent here .    

5 Tips for a Neighborhood Game Night

People talk about going home for the holidays, but it's often the traditions of the holidays that create a home wherever you are. In this eight-part series, RE/MAX is taking a look at things that make a house a home and how each one can add to your seasonal celebration. In the colder months, when people are less likely to linger at bus stops or the mailbox, it can be difficult to stay in touch with your neighbors. Rekindle connections by bringing everyone in out of the cold with a game night. Here are a few suggestions for hosting an evening of fun.

1. Try something new

Ask your neighbors to bring over their favorite games. It will help you expand your horizons beyond Monopoly and Clue, and provide variety for your guests throughout the night.

2. Gather the pieces

Double check that your games have all of the pieces before your guests arrive, and that extra paper, pens, die and whatever else games may call for are handy.

3. Serve comfort food

Cooking up chili is an easy way to feed a large group of people and get cozy on a cold winter's night. Make your favorite recipe – and invite neighbors to bring over something of their own.

4. Award the winners

Have a prize or two available to the winners of each game. Consider blue ribbons or trophies, or maybe an inexpensive game from the dollar section of the store.

5. Go beyond the board

Several great games aren't played with a board. Try out Tenzi, played with dice, or pick up a new specialty card game. For $1.99 on iTunes, you can download Heads Up, a guessing game from Ellen Degeneres played by holding your phone to your forehead. In the classic "Game of Life," your decision to buy a house is determined by a spinner. In Real Life, it's a bit more complicated than that. A real estate agent can help you talk through your options – find one to work with here . More from our Centerpiece series: Day 8 - Traditions: 4 Ways to Preserve Family Holiday Traditions Day 1 - Friends: Throw the Ultimate Ugly Sweater Party Day 2 - Memories: How to Try Out the Curated Look  
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