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4 Steps to Launch the Home Buying Process

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You’ve decided you’re ready to buy your own home­ – now what? Start with these initial steps:

1. Get your financial ducks in a row.
Calculate how much money you have in savings and assets, your total annual income and your expenses. Know how much of it you can allocate toward a downpayment and other expenses. Check your credit report and fix any errors. This will help you determine what type of loan you qualify for, and the price range of homes you want to look at.

2. Determine how much house you can afford.
A common rule is that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent of your pre-tax income. You can plug your information into an online mortgage calculator to get a starting idea of exactly how much you’ll pay each month with different interest rates and terms.

3. Find a real estate agent.
Interview several agents to find one that specializes in the communities you’re interested in and has experience representing buyers with the type of home you’re looking for. Search for a local agent now.

4. Shop!
It’s important that you keep an open mind and look at a wide range of properties. Go to open houses. Cruise the Internet. Peruse different neighborhoods. Your agent will also help by finding properties that match as many of your “wants” and “needs” as possible. When you fall in love with a house and are ready to make it official, your agent can help you navigate the process from putting in an offer to the closing table.

Whether you’re buying, selling or looking to make your house a home, you can find more advice on the RE/MAX blog.

4 Things That Only A Realtor Knows

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According to the National Association of Realtors, 42 percent of homebuyers start their home search online, and 92 percent use the Web during the home search process. While the Internet can be a good place to start looking, there are things real estate agents know about the process of buying and selling a home that can’t be found in any Web browser.

Here are a few.

1. How to price a home

When setting a listing price, agents consider scores of factors, from local and national market trends and neighborhood development activity to the latest buyer preferences for kitchen appliances and landscaping. Every home is unique, and an agent with a track record of success knows how to price it attractively in the market.

The Internet isn’t always much help when it comes to comparison shopping, either. Many of the same factors that help an agent set an appropriate listing price aren’t available in an algorithm, so online estimators aren’t always accurate – and could be costly if you purchase without consulting a real, live professional.

2. Marketing offline

While online marketing can certainly be valuable, agents have networks of contacts and years of experience to round out their marketing plans.

And, for buyers, agents often can tap into their network to learn about great properties before they hit the real estate websites or even the MLS.

3. Key points in the process

If you find a home you love online, the website won’t be there to guide you through a mortgage application, find a home inspector or advise you what to do if an inspection reveals issues.

4. How to negotiate

Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you’re buying or selling. A website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it can’t evaluate whether that’s a great price or not.

One way the Web is helpful in real estate? Finding a great agent to work with. Start your search here.

5 Things to Know About Your Neighbors Before You Sell

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Considering selling your home? You may be competing against your neighbors. Here are some things to look at with an agent before you list:

1. Who’s remodeled?

Tap into the neighborhood grapevine to find out who’s remodeled their kitchen and upgraded their bathroom. An agent can look up the listing and sale price of those homes to find out if updates made a difference.

2. How fast are homes selling?

Keep an eye on how quickly neighborhood homes have been moving off the market. A low inventory may mean you can set a higher listing price. Your realtor can add valuable pricing insight.

3. Take inventory of the inventory

It’s difficult to fetch a competitive price when you’re competing for buyers. If several homes are for sale on your street, waiting a season may prevent your home from languishing on the market. Talk to your Realtor about market trends in your area.

4. Stay current on planning and zoning news

Keep tabs on upcoming public projects that could impact the timing of your sale. Is major road construction planned that may deter buyers? An agent can discuss selling strategies to work around issues.

5. Get the scoop on your hood from an expert

A Realtor familiar with your unique market can put it all in perspective if you’re considering a sale. Find an agent here.

May Housing Report

With the 2016 home-buying season just starting, April sales saw a 7.5% increase over March and a 3.2% rise over April last year, which nearly matches the average year-over-year sales increase of 4.3% so far in 2016. The Median Sales Price in April was $215,000, which was 5.4% higher than one year ago and 7.5% above the median price in March. The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many markets across the country, with the April inventory 15.2% lower than April 2015. At the rate of home sales in April, the national Months Supply of Inventory was 3.2, down from 3.7 in March.

The May 2016 Housing Report infograph can be found here.

RE/MAX All-Pro Open House Showcase

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Don’t forget to come out to our Open House Showcase this Sunday! 17 homes will be shown, with more than a dozen of our agents hosting!

View Listings >

 

4 Things Agents Consider When Setting Listing Prices

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There’s no online calculator for setting the perfect listing price for your home. It takes experience, market savvy, and even a bit of psychology. A strong listing agent can help you set the right, most competitive price for your home. Here are a few things they might look at:

1. The competition
Your agent will look at the prices of similar homes in your area that either are currently listed or sold during the past few months. They’ll take into account how many days the properties were on the market, and how the listing prices for those homes differed from the final sale prices.

2. Market trends
What’s affecting the market in your neighborhood, and your region? Your agent will consider national factors that shape the real estate market, such as possible rising interest rates, as well as local factors, like whether the average home price in your neighborhood has been rising or falling. They’ll also think about things such as new companies moving to the area in the near future, or plans for improving local amenities, like parks and shopping districts. All can increase the value of your home to a buyer.

3. Your neighbors
Although a home the same size and age recently sold for a high price, your own place might not fetch the exact same fortune if, say, junky cars continue to proliferate in your neighbor’s driveway. On the flipside, if the grass is in fact greener on the other side of the fence, your home’s value may be higher due to your neighbors’ curb appeal.

4. The Goldilocks price
Listing your home at a price that’s “just right” from the start is critical to selling it quickly, for the best price. Overpricing your home, and then dropping the price a few times while it sits on the market, could lead to a lower final sales price than if the home was priced appropriately from the beginning. And, of course, setting a price that’s too low leaves money on the table.

Wondering how much your home might be worth in today’s market? Find a local RE/MAX agent who can explain how these and other considerations could factor into a pricing strategy for your home.

April Housing Report

The 2016 home buying season began in March with a 33.4% jump in sales from February among the 53 metro areas surveyed for the RE/MAX National Housing Report, which is a little better than the 31.0% seven-year average of February to March increases. March sales were also 3.6% greater than sales one year ago. So far in 2016, the average year-over-year increase in home sales has been 4.9%. The median price among the Median Sales Prices of the markets in the survey in March was $204,000, which was the same median price reported in March 2015. The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many markets across the country, with March seeing a level that is 13.3% lower than a year ago, the exact same difference seen in February. At the rate of home sales in March, the national Months Supply of inventory was 3.2, down from 3.7 in March 2015.

The April 2016 Housing Report infograph can be found here.

Sellers: How to Decide Between Multiple Home Offers

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What a splendid dilemma! You’ve received several offers on your property. Which one should you choose? It’s not always the highest one.

Here are just some of the areas your agent could ask you to pay particularly close attention to as you’re weighing the options.

1. Do the math
This goes beyond simply calculating the dollar difference between the various offer prices. Before you do that, be sure to do all the math. Subtract things like closing costs, fees and potential repairs to determine the net proceeds of each offer.

2. Consider the financing
Can the buyer provide proof from the bank that there are funds to back the offer? Your agent can help verify this – and help you understand the terms of the buyer’s financing.

3. Motivation
Do the buyers have a baby-sitting parent in the neighborhood? A new job just around the corner? Buyers with extra motivation to purchase your home are less likely to press for concessions and more likely to work harder to close the deal. Some buyers even include a personal letter with their offer to explain why they want the home. These letters can be particularly helpful in multiple-offer situations.

4. Timeline
Note the closing date each offer proposes. You’ll want a closing date that best meets your needs. You can always counter a closing date, too, if the best offer doesn’t quite meet your timeline.

Weighing the pros and cons of each offer can be tricky. An experienced agent can help you clarify, calculate and secure the very best deal for you. Find a local RE/MAX agent who can help.

Ways to Help Kids Adapt to a Move

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We all know that moving can be stressful. Add to that the confusion and anxiety that a child may feel at leaving their familiar little world, and all of a sudden moving into that new place can be downright traumatic.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a list of some things you can do to ease your child’s transition to a new home.

  • Look for children’s books about packing, moving and getting used to a new house. See what’s available at your local library, or search online for titles. There’s plenty to choose from.
  • Talk to your kids. Explain why you’re moving in an age-appropriate way. Keep it simple and clear. An older child will understand the concept of a job transfer but a younger child might find the idea of moving to a place with more room to play a more compelling explanation. Understanding the reason behind a move will help your child better absorb the reality.
  • Changing schools as the result of a move presents its own special challenges. If you have elementary-school age children, try to visit the new school with your child before he or she starts attending. Ask to meet the teachers, tour the classrooms, and maybe spend some time at the school with your youngster. Encourage your older children to do some online research into their new school; help them explore its academic opportunities, clubs and athletics.
  • Whenever possible, involve children in some of the decisions. If you’re looking at homes for sale together, ask them for their opinions. Ask where they’d place a bed and toys in their new room, or have them pick a new paint color.
  • You might be ready for new furniture and decor, but young children might have an easier time adjusting to a new home if some familiar pieces from the previous home stick around. So don’t rush to redecorate. Familiar items may ease your youngster’s transition.
  • Try to set up your child’s new room as soon as possible, even before the rest of the house is under control. Order, calm and your child’s favorite toys easily within reach will go a long way in making him or her feel settled.
  • If possible, revisit your former neighborhood or invite your child’s friends from there to your new place. That reconnection with the past, even if it’s brief, can help your child move forward.

RE/MAX All Pro agents…get the job done.

RMX Power of the brandYour home is one of your largest assets! When it comes time to choose a real estate company, rest assured by putting your trust in a RE/MAX All-Pro agents hands your property will have the highest exposure the industry has to offer. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. When it comes to buying or selling our agents have the experience to get the job done in today’s market. When you deal with RE/MAX All-Pro agents you will experience the highest level of service. Everything we do is designed to make home buying and selling easier for you. The market is on the rise, and you may have more equity than you think. Contact a RE/MAX agent or visit http://remaxallpro.com for a FREE market analysis to determine your homes current value.

For all the things that move you there’s RE/MAX All-Pro.