When you choose a real estate agent, you’re selecting someone to represent you in one of the largest financial transactions you may ever undertake.
As the Internet continues to simplify the way people research buying and selling homes, there are many good reasons to choose an agent who can harness the power of technology to provide you with exceptional service, including:
Sending up-to-date information by email for you to review at your convenience.
Providing you with an online home evaluation to stay on top of current market value.
Emailing new home listings to you as soon as desirable properties hit the market.
Delivering e-newsletters to keep you informed about market trends and other important matters.
Showcasing your home on the Web to help you sell it for top dollar.
Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or simply want to stay informed about the real estate market, using new technology helps me consistently provide you with timely information and outstanding service.
As you prepare your home for the market, one thing to keep in mind is that you have only one chance to make a first impression. It is absolutely vital that prospective buyers form a good impression of your home–beginning the moment they drive up.
You can help create that good first impression by presenting potential buyers with a well-cared-for yard including a mowed lawn. Your front door and porch should be clean and neat, preferably freshly painted.
These first important encounters create a positive impression that carries through to the rest of your home. An inviting atmosphere implies that your house has been well maintained and taken care of. Homes that convey pride of ownership frequently receive the best offers.
If your home appears disheveled or uncared for, prospective buyers may quickly conclude it’s been neglected and is in need of repairs. Such a negative impression can result in a less-than-generous offer–or possibly no offer at all.
Try viewing your home through a potential buyer’s eyes. Would YOU buy your home?
Once the contract has been negotiated and the closing papers are about to be signed, you will need additional items for the transaction to close. When you go in to sign the papers, you will need:
Photo ID, either a driver’s license or passport.
A cashier’s check for the down payment and closing costs. Personal checks are not acceptable because they take time to clear.
A hazard or fire insurance policy ready to put in place upon closing.
Needless delays in closing have been caused by lack of insurance or waiting for a personal check to clear. Many buyers think that they will receive the keys to their new home when they go in to sign and pay their money. But it may take a few days past signing for the paperwork to be processed. Plan your moving date accordingly. Check the possession date on your contract.
When we begin looking for a home, we often get wrapped up in the important details like style, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and square footage. But we don’t always consider the quality of life issues that may impact our ability to enjoy the home. Here are some other things you should keep in mind:
Transportation is an important consideration that’s often overlooked. Consider traffic jams and gas prices, and assess public transportation options and commute times.
Public safety has loomed larger as a factor in our quality of life. Proximity to police, fire and emergency medical services has become more important.
Off-street parking is a factor in many areas. Is there a garage? How many cars will it hold? Is there parking available when you have guests or entertain?
Recreational facilities such as playgrounds, parks, and pools are important to many people. Are they nearby? Is there a fee for these amenities?
Be realistic. There are no perfect homes. Decide what’s most important to you, and make sure you find a home that has the essential features that you require. Be prepared to compromise on some of the items on your wish list.
Buying a home is much more permanent than renting. Purchase a home that you are prepared to keep for a while. Select a home that will be reasonable to maintain, in terms of both utilities and repairs.
The classic dilemma for many homeowners is whether to buy or sell first. There is no “right” answer. It depends on your specific circumstances.
Most homeowners agree that it’s more prudent and less stressful if you sell your existing home before you buy a new one. You can often get top dollar for your home if you are not under pressure to sell. And you’re in a better position to negotiate on the buying side of the transaction. If you have to make an offer contingent on the sale of your home, you often lose negotiating leverage.
If you sell your current home and the home you select isn’t available when you’re ready to move, you may end up with cash in hand in a short-term rental. No one wants to move twice, but it may be well worth it to eliminate risk and have more money to work with.
If you currently own a home I would be happy to provide you with a home valuation so that you know what your home is worth in today’s market. If you provide me with some basic information on your home, I’ll be able to give you a price range. That range will be determined using the information you provide to establish a list of comparable properties in your area as reported by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Or I can provide you with a more precise valuation by briefly visiting your home.
Welcome to my blog about the Real Estate market in the Greater Baltimore Maryland Metropolitan Area. I am Chris Cooke, a full-time REALTOR® & licensed MD Real Estate Agent and Team Leader of the Chris Cooke Team affiliated with RE/MAX Sails. Note: The opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my broker or RE/MAX International.