Harold (Buddy) Pope's Blog
You've won!Congratulations! By reading this article you've won an all-expenses paid trip to the destination of your dreams. One of the most common scams affecting homeowners come in the form of phone calls, mail, or even door-knockers informing you that you've won some kind of prize. Unless you've specifically entered to win a certain prize, you can almost be certain that this is a scam.
Identity crisisWe've often heard of the dangers of identity theft, but homeowners in particular are an at-risk demographic. Identity thieves attempt to steal your personal information in order to commit fraud or crimes. To avoid identity theft, be responsible with your mail. Always shred mail with personal data and be sure to have someone take care of your mail for you when away from home for extended periods.
I noticed your roof needs to be repairedMany scams come in the form of people knocking on your door to offer a great deal on a service. People who solicit you and ask to be let into your home or onto your property to "inspect" part of your home should never be allowed in. They may actually be a roofer attempting to convince you to repair your roof (regardless of whether it needs to be repaired). Or, they could be a would-be burglar scoping out your residence. These scammers will attempt to sell you anything from "subsidized" and "energy efficient" home energy products all the way down to fixing imagined water/moisture issues in your basement.
Make $60k a year working from home!Work-from-home jobs do exist, and they're growing in number as technology makes it easier and more efficient than traveling. However, some job offers are too good to be true. Be wary of job offers that require you to enter personal information like your social security number before ever having met the employer. Many of these "too good to be true" jobs can be spotted when they ask you for money to get started. They may say to need to pay for your own training but then can make thousands, or will ask for a company buy-in that will pay off later. Regardless, never give money to a potential employer.
I came to read the metersSomeone in a safety vest with a name tag and clipboard knocks on your door and says they're from the energy company, water company, etc. They seem legitimate and tell you how important it is to have your meter read. The might even say you're eligible for a refund or subsidy. It's important to always ask representatives to show you their ID or ask them to call and make an appointment before letting them enter your home.
When it’s time to list your home, you probably have two main questions in mind for your real estate agent. The first is how much can I get for my home? The second is how much commission do you take? Obviously, you want to get the most money in return for your investment.
Many sellers hire the very first agent they meet and this isn’t necessarily the right process. Selling a home is a huge undertaking. As a seller, you’ll want to dig a bit deeper in order to find the agent who is right for you.
What Experience Do You Have?
It sounds like such an obvious question, but many sellers fail to ask their real estate agents what kind of experience they have. Homes are very expensive business transactions. You want someone who has some experience under their belt to help you get the most bang for your buck in the sale of your home. While there’s no amount of experience that’s “required,” your agent should have some experience selling homes. The ability of an agent to handle deals is very important.
How Will You Market My Home?
You can’t really sell anything without some kind of marketing efforts. There are many different ways to market a home including direct mailing, online advertising and sending the property to the MLS for wide search availability. It’s important that your real estate agent knows how to market a home.
How Will We Communicate
This is an important question. You don’t want to hire a real estate agent just to find that they are often unavailable and leaving you wondering what’s happening in the sale of your home. In this age, it’s important to remember how many different ways that we can communicate. There’s e-mail, texting and of course old fashioned phone calling. You want to make sure that the agent you choose to help you sell your home will be open to communicating in the ways that are most convenient for you.
Will You Be Representing Both Sides Of The Transaction?
Agents have the ability to represent both the buyer and the seller if the buyer doesn’t have their own agent to represent them. This is normal and expected especially in special cases. Dual agency is possible and it is legal. However, sometimes you may want someone who is purely “on your side.” If an agent is getting commission from both transactions, you may think it’s hard for them to be working for both the buyer and the seller without trying too hard to make a deal. You don’t want your best interest to be compromised when you’re selling a home.
If you've recently put your home on the market -- or are considering doing so in the near future -- home staging is a priority which will soon take front and center!
Since "presentation is everything" when trying to catch the interest of prospective buyers, it's crucial to be able to see things through their eyes.
Unfortunately, being able to accomplish that objective is next to impossible because, as a homeowner, you're looking at your home and property through a completely different lens than the rest of the world. The longer you've lived in your home, the more your objectivity is compromised.
Here are a few reasons why it's really difficult to "see the forest for the trees" when it comes to home staging:
First of all, there's the emotional aspect of owning a home and seeing your life unfold there over a period of years. That's especially true for first-time homeowners, parents of growing children, and people who have sunk a lot of money, time, and energy into improvements and customization. Once you've added personal touches to your home to reflect your own tastes, personality, and lifestyle, you're viewing your home through a unique perspective that may cloud your objectivity as a home seller.
Solution: Think Like a Business Owner
For the same reason business owners and executives hire outside consultants to tell them how to improve management efficiency or profitability, home sellers often need professional marketing guidance from a real estate agent or home staging consultant. Getting input from home decorators, landscapers, or home improvement contractors may also provide you with helpful ideas, but their recommendations may not always be the most economical and cost effective.
When staging your home to enhance eye appeal and attract the most potential buyers, a good guiding principle to keep in mind is ROI or "return on investment." While you don't want to sink more money into sprucing up and staging your home than necessary, you do want to cast it in its best possible light. Depending on how recently your home has been updated or improved, your investment in home staging may be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, if you haven't updated, repaired, or made improvements for more years than you care to remember, the cost of making your home irresistible to buyers may be a lot higher!
One More Scenario
If your tastes could be described as eclectic, "off the wall", or otherwise out of the mainstream, you might need to consider a major overall in the look and feel of your property. Unless you're lucky enough to have it be a "sellers' market" at the time you're putting your house up for sale, it's generally advisable to make your home appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. An experienced real estate professional is usually in the best position to provide the guidance you need to accomplish that key objective.