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Choosing the Right Agent

by Karen Picarello

When you are preparing to sell your home, one of the most important decisions you can make is the selection of the agent who will be helping you to close a deal on one of the largest transactions you will ever be a part of. They say that experience is the best teacher, but you don’t want to be saying “well I will do better next time” after selling a property. Most people will only do this a few times in their life, and it could be decades before you sell again. In the meantime, you will be living with the consequences. Particularly with how money compounds over time when invested, making an extra few thousand or tens of thousands of dollars earlier in life can make a massive difference later on.

Your real estate agent has three primary jobs. The first is to save you money. This means that they will be working to get the best possible offers for your property. You want to find an agent who will be able to assist in the transformation of the property to make it more marketable, and who will then know exactly how and where to advertise your specific property. An experienced real estate agent will be able to give you advice about where to spend your money to get the best possible value out of the sale. If you can invest a few thousand dollars before the sale with an expected return of ten thousand or more in the asking price, it will be absolutely worth it. Conversely, you don’t want to spend excessive amounts on expensive repairs or stylistic changes that will not change the property value very much.

The second job your agent has is to save you time. We understand that you are busy, you have plans, and would like to move on. Selling a property quickly yet for a fair price will require effective advertising and marketing. Choose an agent who has an active online presence, and who clearly understands how to market different properties effectively.

Finally, your agent is there to save you effort and hassle. There is a lot of paperwork to do when selling a property, and having someone who can walk you through the process will drastically change your perception of the experience. Knowing what will need to be signed and when not an intuitive part of the sale. A good agent will help you feel comfortable and keep you up to date on all of your paperwork.

Why RE/MAX?

by Karen Picarello

Trust Our Reputation, Count On Our Character!

The numbers prove it: RE/MAX agents continue to have leading productivity. 

RE/MAX associates once again outperformed agents with other real estate brands in the 2018 REAL Trends 500 survey. For the eighth consecutive year, RE/MAX agents in the survey on average outsold competing agents – averaging more than twice as many closed sales than agents at other participating brokerages.

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Avoiding Common Homeowner Pitfalls

by Karen Picarello

So, you found your dream home. The loan went through, you were approved, the move went smoothly (unlikely), and now you are settled in. Now what? The hard part is over, right? You have your dream home, now you just enjoy it for a few decades before maybe retiring and moving away. Dead wrong.

Your home will likely be the largest asset you ever own. Unless you are in a very small and wealthy subset of the population, this house will be one of the largest financial obligations you ever have. And while land and the housing market typically gains value over time, a smart homeowner understands that this increase in value will not come if the house is allowed to slowly fall apart. Unless some other factor makes the land suddenly incredibly valuable, your best bet when investing in your home is to take very good care of it.

Some of what will be needed in upkeeping a house will require a substantial financial commitment. The roof, the electrical system, and the HVAC systems will need to be maintained, and replaced periodically. Some of these will last longer than others, but all share a common trait. If you fail to keep them safe and functioning well, the rest of the property can quickly lose value. A leaky roof will cost more than just replacing it if it is ignored for a period of time. Water damage, mold, and other problems can quickly snowball, turning an already reasonably expensive process into a huge financial disaster. If you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter, failing to keep the house heated can lead to frozen pipes, potentially causing flooding and other damage when they thaw. A poorly maintained electrical system is a huge fire risk, and this is not only a financial, but a safety concern.

A smart homeowner will budget for all of these repairs, and put money away in years where repairs are not needed. Spending this excess on a new television might seem tempting, but the year you realize you need to replace the roof, the refrigerator, and redo the plumbing you will be happy that you had it saved away. Eventually, when you go to sell the house, having a record which shows your frequent maintenance will go a long way to convince potential buyers that this home will not end up costing them more than they expect, both in money and in headache. 

Timing Your Sale

by Karen Picarello


One challenging obstacle to people who own a house but are considering moving is the timing of their purchase. When looking to change homes, it is critical that your timing be correct. The two main factors in a sale are ensuring that you are not without a house for too long, and that you are able to get the funds from your old house in a timely manner. If you are unable to sell your old house, or end up struggling to buy a new one, you could end up in a sticky situation.

 

While it would be unpleasant to end up out of a home for a period of time, this is a better situation than having a home you are attempting to buy but being unable to sell your old one. Thankfully, there can be provisions in any contract which stipulate the contingency that your other plans go through. For this reason, it is recommended that you begin the process of finding a new home once you have listed the home that you own. Then, you can include clauses which stipulate that you must find a new home in x number of days in order for the sale to be completed.


This also gives you additional negotiating power when looking to purchase your new home. If you have the cash from the sale of your old home ready, you can use that fluidity to strengthen your offer. The reverse of this situation means that you will be desperate to close the sale on your old house, weakening your ability to negotiate for the highest price. So it is almost always best to list your old house before taking steps to purchase a new one. Once you are confident in the selling of your owned property, you can move forward easily and comfortably onto the purchase of a new property.

 

Additionally, it is important to have an idea of what the local housing market looks like. Understanding whether buyers or sellers have an advantage will help you to negotiate your contracts and plan your listings properly. In this situation, it is best to get professional advice from an experienced realtor. A strong understanding of the local housing market and current market conditions will put you in a much better position when negotiating. Therefore, before taking any steps, it is important to find an experienced realtor who will be able to guide you through the process.

 

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Karen Picarello

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

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TeamPicarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
888-548-8713
Fax: (480)860-8755