What Do You Hear From Your Agent?

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Of all the complaints real estate consumers voice, the loudest is probably that their agent never communicated with them once the house was listed. They ‘stuck a sign in the yard and we never heard from them again’. It’s hard to overcome this betrayal of trust.

Expectations are an important part of your relationship with your agent.  Set them at your first meeting.  Do you want weekly communication or to simply be informed about feedback from showings, offers, and a closing date?  What’s your preferred method?  A combination of phone, text and emails?  Is it important to minimize work day interruptions and that dastardly game known as phone tag?

A consistent schedule solves many problems.  Perhaps a check in on Mondays to go over weekend showings or open house feedback and Thursdays to do a run-down of the week’s activities and discuss the upcoming weekend schedule.

Allow for some flexibility.  I know texting is easy, but it’s not practical for all updates.  Realtors love to text but since they’re so frequently strapped into their cars, be prepared to wait a bit for a response.  They’re not ignoring you.  They’re attempting to get from A to B without raising their insurance rates.  I like to schedule an occasional visit, as well.  I want you to see my face and know I’m involved.   Continue reading What Do You Hear From Your Agent?

Don’t Close the Door on Your Open House

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Some things are blatantly obvious when preparing for an open house.

  • The home should be spotless.
  • Use higher wattage light bulbs.
  • Pack as if you’re moving – you will be – and clear out closets, laundry rooms, cupboards, pantry, storage areas, and garage to make the spaces seem larger.
  • Minimize clutter on table tops and counters in kitchen and baths.
  • Kennel or crate animals, or, better yet, take them with you for the afternoon when possible.
  • Maximize curb appeal.
  • Make windows, mirrors and glass gleam.
  • Let the sunshine in – open drapes and blinds.
  • Remove any trip hazards.
  • Lock up prescription medications (you just never know).

You want visitors to engage with the house – see themselves enjoying the features and comforts it provides.  Of course, no list of Do’s would ever be complete without its accompanying list of Don’t’s such as: Continue reading Don’t Close the Door on Your Open House

Why Pay More For a Premium Lot?

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When you build a new home there must be a lot for construction.  That’s basic.  How much does the lot cost?  I’ve heard buyers say their lot was included with the purchase of their home.  Nope. Not true.  Never, ever.  The cost may be minimal, but there is a cost.   Why would you pay more  – or less – for a specific lot?

!) The View – Water, city, mountain, park, golf course – these are a few examples of lot views that would command a premium price.   Is there a landfill, factory, or what would be considered a nuisance across the street?  No premium!

2) Traffic – A busy road behind or in front of your lot would decrease the value of your property.  The lot is cheaper.  Homes are usually more difficult to sell when built on a busy thoroughfare.  Sometimes builders offset the location by increasing the lot size as well as setting a lower price.

3) Proximity – Is your site near the park or pool?  The value of a lot so located depends upon your preferences.  Many people don’t want to live next to high traffic areas and a pool in summer is definitely high traffic in Texas.  Others are thrilled with the convenience.  Personal preference plays an important role in the home buying process.  In a neighborhood, proximity to the pool or park may or may not be considered valuable. Depends on the neighborhood involved.   Just remember the same feature you fall in love with may not be desirable to others when you put your home on the market in a few years.  Continue reading Why Pay More For a Premium Lot?