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Do You Hate When Real Estate Agents Ask You This Question?

 

 

Have you ever gone to an open house? Or called a real estate agent about a listing you see? Maybe e-mail an agent about a property he/she has listed?

You just want to check out a house. Maybe you’re just curious. Or, maybe you’re even pretty serious about buying a house. Doesn’t matter. All you’re doing is wondering about a house. That’s it. That’s what you want to talk to the agent about…the house you came to see, or called about.

And it seems like one of the first questions an agent asks you is, “Do you have a house to sell?

It’s a seemingly odd question, right? It doesn’t make sense for them to ask that question…at least not at that moment.

It seems a bit “cart-before-the-horse”, doesn’t it?

It might even come across as kind of pushy and forward, and beside the point.

Whether you have a house to sell or not seems irrelevant at that point. You don’t even know if you like the house, or will buy the house you are looking at. And you aren’t even thinking about selling your house, until and unless you find the house you want and actually have an offer accepted.

So, why do agents bring this up all the time?

You probably figure it’s because they’re hoping you do have a house to sell, so they can list the home you own, sell you this one you are asking about, and get two sales off of you.

Or that they want you to list your home, and get it under contract, so that you have to move…(again, so they can get two sales off of you).

Which makes you feel like they’re just looking to make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, off of you. And, all of your fears and perceptions about real estate agents seem justified…

Whether you have a home to sell or not matters.

It might seem kind of early on for the agent to ask you this. But it’s not.

In fact, this question should be asked, answered, and addressed, before you even look at a house to buy.

Agents need to know this.

You need to know this.

And it has nothing to do with an agent wanting to make more money, or any money at all, off of you.

Because, if you own a home, the chances are…you need to sell your house before you can buy another one.

That doesn’t apply to everyone, of course. But most people can’t buy another home, until and unless the house they currently own is sold…

…which doesn’t sound all that appealing to most people. It begs so many questions. Here’s a few of them…

  • Who wants to sell their home without having lined up the one they are buying first?
  • What if you can’t find a house you want to buy once your home is sold?!
  • Won’t that put you in a tough spot to negotiate the best price of a home you want to buy, since you will be under the pressure of time? Will you have to overpay just to make sure you have a house to move to?

Those are just a few of the most common, and valid concerns.

Maybe You Don’t Need To Sell Your Home First…

Almost everyone an agent meets wants to be able to buy a house, without having to sell the house they already own first.

So, agents are always asked if there are alternatives.

Basically, there’s one that solves this problem every single time.

Do you have enough cash to just buy a house outright!? If so, you are in luck!

Go ahead and look for a house, and buy one. Move out of your house and into the new one. Then sell the old one at your leisure. You have options most people do not.

There are some other options, of course. But they aren’t definitely options for everyone.

For instance:

  • A bank might loan you money to buy your next house without selling your other one first. There are certainly circumstance and products that will allow for this. But this depends heavily on you and your financial picture.
  • You might be able to negotiate a “home sale contingency”…meaning, the owner of the house you want to buy agrees to give you time to sell your home, and your purchase is actually contingent upon getting your house sold. (Tough thing to negotiate in a lot of markets, or with many sellers. It isn’t all that appealing to sellers. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute… Would you agree to that as a seller?)

While you might be able to find an alternate route, other than selling your house first, it’s unlikely. And in many cases, it makes you a less than desirable buyer…which limits your options, and ability to negotiate a good deal.

So many people lose out on the house of their dreams, because they search and find it before they are in position to do anything about it. It’s a recipe for wasted time, aggravation, disappointment, and heartache.

So, what should you do?

First, you should assess what your options are as early on as possible.

Speak to a real estate agent and a mortgage lender.

If you discover that you have options beyond having to sell your place first, awesome!

But if not, don’t feel like you are the only person on earth to ever be put in this position. You have a lot of company.

That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, of course.

What will make it easier for you, and set you apart from everyone else in the same position, is understanding how critical it is to sell your home first. And, having a solid plan and approach to time the sale of your home, and the purchase of the next. (Which a great real estate agent can help you come up with.)

How Important are Reviews to You?

I was wondering what thought a potential buyer or seller puts into the process when deciding which real estate agent  to work with…..

Do you call the agent who has the listing?

Or just the one that happens to answer the phone at the real estate office?

Or do you look at the REVIEWS posted online such as on Zillow.com, Trulia. com, or Realtor.com?

How do REVIEWS play into your decision making??

 

I know when I’m online looking for an appliance, or even a piece of clothing, I look for the reviews and see what others have thought of the product.  When you are shopping for an appliance do YOU read the reviews before looking or buying?

Making a real estate sale or purchase is such a huge event in a person’s life, wouldn’t you want the best?

I challenge you to check out reviews from the agents at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly, MO.   Many of our team has reviews posted on Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com!

Remember Your First Time?

Everyone remembers their firsts– first kiss, first car, first job, first house.  Here’s another one: my first listing.  I remember it well.  Actually it was my first listing with Advantage Real Estate.  You see, I had been licensed with another major franchise prior to that, but that’s another story.  My first listing was a rundown 3 bedroom house in a not-so-expensive part of town. (In this photo, it’s been fixed up a bunch since 20 years ago…)   Word got back to me that “we had found our niche.”   We eventually found the right buyer for it; the wife’s aunt lived right down the street.  Funny thing how “family” brings people back to our town!

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The folks who sold that house bought another one, a much nicer “move-up” house.  And there begins our saga with Advantage Real Estate.  During the first year our office was in business, I kid you not:  someone either called or came by the office in person EVERY DAY Monday through Saturday for a year to say that they were glad we were here!  They told us that this town needed some competition because the ones in business weren’t providing the service they expected.  My step father, who started our office in Moberly had three real estate offices at one time in Houston, TX (before the oil recession), brought a concept with him that we still use today.  It’s a service satisfaction guarantee.  We want folks to know we are serious about good communication.  Serious enough to put it in writing…

 

Back to the “first” story though.  As time went on, we sold the listings we had, many of the sellers moved up to larger homes.  We have grown to represent many, many homes in varying price ranges.  They are ALL important to us.   We always try to value any home we work with as that person’s castle.  It’s the most important thing that family owns.  And we don’t want to forget it.  It’s what our company is based on.  Tell the truth no matter what.  Be nice.  Stay in touch.  Give feedback.

 

Our footprint in this market is continually growing!  In 2015 we represented 275 sides of sale (which means either a seller or a buyer).

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If you know someone who needs advice on how to sell their home quickly and at the best possible price…please give us a call!  660-263-3393

or find us on the web at www.AskAdvantage.com.

 

Best Ways to Spend Your Tax Return

It’s always nice to get a big chunk of money back on your tax return.  How should you spend that money though?

Instead of hitting the mall, here’s some ideas to consider…

 

  1. Update your home’s fixtures.

Updating fixtures goes a long way to giving a modern “look” to a house.  Making the light fixtures and the ceiling fans all match is  what they do in new construction.  How about replacing door handles, hinges, faucets, and bathroom light fixtures to match modern home design trends?

 

  1. Trim and Mouldings

Installing crown moulding, baseboards, or wainscoting is a sure fire way to create a more refined look.

 

  1. Make Kitchen Repairs

Focus on making repairs like a new kitchen faucet, eliminating burn marks on the countertops, maybe repainting your cabinets and installing new hardware with a modern finish.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot.

 

  1. Spruce Up the Exterior

Keep in mind that the curb appeal is the first impression for many buyers online and in person.  Invest in some fertilizer to green up your lawn, even some chemical to get rid of the dandelions!  Trim the shrubs, paint the front door, clean the windows till they shine, set out some seasonal flowers in a flower pot.  These all go a long way to impress!

 

  1. Upgrade the Bathroom

Rather than taking on an expensive renovation, make sure your bathroom is tip-top clean.  Clean the tub and shower (make sure there’s no grungy mildew or soap scum), regrout the tile if needed, and install new fixtures.  Invest in some new towels if it’s been awhile.

 

Whether or not you’re getting ready to sell, these tweaks are cost-effective, and will result in a new look.  They may be small, but will make a huge impact!

For One of Your Biggest Financial Investments – We Are Here to Help

We are rounding the corner with SPRING to soon be here, I am optimistic!  This year Advantage Real Estate will celebrate 20 years in the business in the Moberly, MO area.  What brings the most joy to my heart is helping each of our families get through one of the biggest financial investments of their lives.  Many times when people contact me for the first time, they say, “I’m not sure what to do.” Let me assure you this is perfectly normal because most people simply don’t sell or buy enough homes in a lifetime to know what they need to do, much less be considered an expert.

Sellers need help figuring out what needs to be repaired or updated and many times they don’t know who to call for a handyman, painter, plumber, electrician, deck repair, etc. They are curious about what their home is worth. They don’t know how it works with timing the sale of their current home and then finding the next home. With over 1000 homes sold in my career, we’ll will be with you every step of the way. From getting home repairs done, to providing advice on home staging as well as professional photography, and then advertising the home to the general public and to the real estate community. After that we move to contract signing, home inspections, appraisals, final underwriting, hiring movers. The list goes on and on, but my professional team will be there to answer all of your questions and to insure your success.

Buyers need help understanding how to get pre-approved for a loan. They want to know the elements of the home buying process and what order those need to come in. They know they can search for homes online, but question whether there are other homes available that they’re not seeing (the answer is YES). They want to know how the home inspections and appraisal works and they want a seamless, and dare I say, enjoyable home buying experience. At the close of a sale, I never get tired of hearing our clients say, “That was the smoothest real estate transaction we’ve ever had.”

I invite you to call Advantage Real Estate and see for yourself if we are the real estate group to help you and your family. We will never ask you to sign any contracts up front. We simply want the opportunity to sit down in a relaxed environment and answer your questions, then share some options that might be available for your specific situation. If, after that first consultation, you choose not to move forward, then you owe us nothing and we can part as friends. If you do choose to work with us, then we can discuss the next steps at that time. We’ve found this to be an extremely professional approach and one that our clients seem to appreciate.

Looking forward to hearing from you when the time is right!

Something Old, Something New – How to Decide on New or Existing Construction

Thinking about a new home but not sure whether you want new or existing construction? The best place to start on these kinds of big decisions is a pros and cons list:

New Construction

  • You get a brand-new home with brand-new everything. Your a/c unit is fresh and unused. No one’s food has ever been inside the fridge.
  • In a new home, you can pick certain features and decide on aspects of the home, from details as small as the finishes, to as major as the floor plan or even overall home design, depending on what you buy.
  • Your home has never, ever, been lived in by anyone else. It’s ALL you, baby.
  • You can make it totally your own.
  • There’s no bad “juju” from former owners, no one else has been there to funk up the place with their cooties.
  • New construction homes are often turn-key, move-in ready, with no major renovation work to do, maybe just some finishing touches.

Existing (Old) Construction

  • Older homes are generally more affordable than new homes, which people will pay a premium for new construction.
  • Existing homes are often located on larger lots as newer homes tend to be larger homes on smaller plots of land.
  • Older homes have cool, unique features or specialty craftsmanship from bygone eras that are considered vintage and sought after.
  • You can be a part of a charming, established neighborhood with history and character.
  • The landscaping is already done, with previous owners adding special features over the years. Mature trees and foliage are already in place and you don’t have to do a thing, other than maintain your existing yard.
  • You can buy for a lower price, renovate, and make it your own. If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you’ve definitely seen shows where people have a choice between buying a new home or an older one. The older home almost always can be purchased for significantly less, and even with a renovation budget included, it will be a better buy in the long run.

Either way, we’d love to help you make that decision!  Contact Advantage Real Estate and let us know what we can do!