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DO YOU EVER HAVE REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS AND AREN’T QUITE SURE WHO TO ASK? Even if you’ve purchased a dozen homes, you may have questions. Perhaps you are interested in selling your first home and buying a new one.
Following are a few of the questions we’ve been asked over the years. Please let me know if you have a question that isn’t covered here. Email me anytime. Question: “We’re planning to move to a new home soon. What steps can we take now to make our move go more smoothly?”
Our suggestion: Moving can be very stressful, but there are ways to help you tackle the task. Here are six quick tips to make your next move go more smoothly: 1. Have a garage sale well before you begin packing. That way you won’t be taking unnecessary items to your new home. (Here’s your chance to unload all the things you don’t want or don’t need any longer. You’ll be glad you did.) 2. Use sturdy, reinforced boxes. Go to a professional moving company to get the right boxes. Your grocer’s boxes just won’t do. Remember to pack your boxes carefully. 3. Use towels, blankets and pillows to separate pictures and fragile items. Pack all your glass items and dishes vertically and with packing materials to prevent any breakage. 4. Label all your boxes. Mark boxes with FRAGILE ITEMS on the outside. 5. Pack one box with essential items: coffee, tea, soap, toiletries, flashlight, plastic ware, snacks, paper towels that you can open when you arrive. Mark this box OPEN ME FIRST…that way you’ll have the essentials when you arrive at your new home. 6. Lastly, work with your moving company. Be sure to have your shipment’s registration number, and let the company know how to reach you at all times.
If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at (434) 981-0871, or email me anytime!
Question: “My wife and I are undecided…should we add on to our existing Charlottesville home, or buy a larger home?”
Our suggestion: There are several questions both of you need to consider before you make your decision:
1. First, what additional space do you need? Secondly, do you have room to expand on the ground level? Does the existing foundation of your house support adding a second story? 2. Do you have the money available to remodel your home either through savings, or will you obtain a home improvement loan? 3. How much equity do you have in the house? 4. Do the local zoning and building ordinances allow you to enlarge your current house? 5.Will your neighborhood home values support your extra expenditure? 6. Are there properties for sale in other nice neighborhoods that are affordable and meet your needs? 7. Finally, is your current neighborhood where you want to live? Would remodeling add the most value? Would the work involved in a remodel be worth the time and effort?
After you answer these questions, you’ll know the best option.
If you are in the market for a buying or selling a Charlottesville home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at (434) 981-0871, or email me anytime!
Question: “We’re looking to purchase a home, but aren’t sure where to begin. What are pros of buying a new house vs. an existing one?”
Our suggestion: Buying a brand new house offers some real advantages to a home buyer. There are fewer repairs on heating and cooling units, and you’ll have new appliances that are less likely to need service.
Most newer homes have garages—a real plus! New homes also have some technology benefits. Most are pre-wired for computer systems, entertainment, and modern appliances and conveniences.
Conversely, existing or older homes have their advantages too. These homes are located in established neighborhoods and near conveniences like parks, libraries, schools, and shopping centers. You’ll also have mature vegetation from large trees, to greenery, and shade…another big plus. New homes and new neighborhoods just can’t offer that.
Older homes may have more architectural charm and style. Older homes may have hardwood floors, alcoves, built-in bookcases, and amenities not found in newer homes. They also may have larger lot sizes, giving your family a little more room to roam.
Consider the new neighborhood… how many years will the developer be building? Remember that you will be living in the midst of that construction. Also, if you need to sell in a few years, consider whether you will be competing with new construction.
It really comes down to what you want in a home, and where you want to live. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at (434) 981-0871, or email me anytime!
Question: “We are considering selling our home. How do we find the right real estate agent to help us?”
Our suggestion: Hiring the wrong person to help you with a large financial transaction can cost you thousands of dollars and cause you nothing but stress. Whether you are selling or buying a home, following are some insightful questions you should ask when you have your face-to-face interview:
1. How long have you been practicing real estate, and what services would you provide? You want to hire an experienced professional (not just a “friend of a friend”), and this is a good conversation starter. 2. Tell me about your company. Most REALTORS® will say their companies are #1 in this or that category. Ask for details on the company’s track record and reputation. For example, ask how many homes the company sells per year compared with other companies and the average sales price compared with other companies. 3. Have you sold any homes in this area? An experienced REALTOR® should be prepared to give you a comparative market analysis, or listing of homes currently for sale or recently sold in your area. You want to hire someone who is a specialist is the specific area where you want to buy or sell a home. 4. Why should I list my home with you? Not all real estate agents are alike! If you’re going to hire this person to sell your home, he or she should be very good at answering this question and selling themselves. 5. How would you market my home? This is key. You are looking for a complete, innovative marketing plan that only starts with listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service. The right REALTOR® should go beyond traditional methods like open houses and use all possible advertising avenues, including the Internet (statistics show it’s used to find a home 88 percent of the time) and social media. Ask to see samples of sales materials this person has used for other clients. One of the advantages of using a REALTOR® is his or her experience and ability to provide exposure – to buyers and to other REALTORS® who may be working with potential buyers. What particular media does this REALTOR® find most effective in today’s market? 6. How would you keep me informed about buyer activity and feedback (if you’re a seller) and homes on the market (if you’re a buyer)? Communication is important and you should discuss how much you want to know and how often you want to talk in advance. 7. What is your average length of time from listing to SOLD? A short time isn’t necessarily good (homes could be underpriced). You want a REALTOR® who is good at helping you determine the asking price and selling your home close to that price, in as short a time as possible. Ask them what their typical “days on market” is for a listing in your area. 8. Can you refer me to a reputable mortgage lender, banker, appraiser or real estate lawyer? This question will tell you how well connected the REALTOR® is, which can help you save time if they can introduce you to great service providers. 9. Would you provide a list of references? Of course the REALTOR® will give you good references, but you should still call some of them, including past clients, and ask what it was like to work with this person.
10. Can I cancel my listing contract if I am not satisfied? The REALTOR® should release you from a listing agreement prior to its expiration upon request.
Charlottesville Area Homes and Real Estate for Sale
VIRGINIA GARDNER Certified Residential Specialist Sales Associate, Roy Wheeler Realty Co. (434) 981-0871 Virginia@CharlottesvilleHOME.com