Lower Interest Rates. How They Affect You

With interest rates falling to all time lows, this can benefit you as a seller. How? The lower payment now opens an opportunity for a new pool of homebuyers by creating an overall lower mortgage payment. This allows the buyer to increase their buying power for homes that were previously unattainable. 

When getting a pre-approval letter, make sure your lender has confirmed the buyer qualifies for your home specifically, including your property taxes and HOA fees. 

In addition, if you are considering home improvements for a future sale, this may be a great time to speak to a lender regarding a cash out refinance or a home equity line. For additional information please contact me.

Contact me for additional information

Safety Measures for your Home and Valuables When Selling

I am very protective of my home sellers and caution them when listing. While I have never had any issues, I also ask all of my sellers to be proactive protecting themselves.

You will have a multitude of people coming through your home. Buyers should always be accompanied by an agent. However, during an open house or showings, it can be difficult to have eyes on everyone. 

As a homeowner, keep in mind there will be families with small children coming through your home. To eliminate any issues 

  • collectibles, valuables and fragile items should be out of reach, as they can be very tempting to touch
  • medications should be securely put away and not easily visible
  • all jewelry should be put away and out of sight
  • personal documents, including business paperwork should be tucked away
  • dangerous weapons, large knives and guns should be taken out of the home

While all of these recommendations seem like common sense, it’s easy to overlook them since we all live very busy lives. I have personally seen all of these issues while touring homes with buyers. For additional information, please contact me.

Additional questions? Please contact me.

How to Keep your Pets Safe While Moving

Moving can be very stressful for pets! Prepare ahead of time. Start by having an ID tag with current contact information. Your pet should also be microchipped. If any contact infomation changed, it’s a good idea to have it updated ahead of time.

Keep a photograph available in case your pet gets lost, you’ll have something to show neighbors. A carrier or crate can come in handy as a “safe place” for pets when they are stressed. Have copies of your veterinarian records for a new vet.

On moving day, keep your pets in a quiet room with the door shut, send to a friends or a pet sitter. This will make it easier on everyone and there won’t be worries about them escaping while the movers are loading.

Try to keep your pets routine as normal as possible and prepare a bag with easily accessible necessities for the first couple of days in your
new home. For additional information, please contact me.

Additional questions? Please contact me.

Have You Ever Wondered What “As-is” Condition Means when Buying a Home?

“As-is” denotes that the seller is selling and the buyer is buying the home in whatever condition presently exists. The buyer is accepting the home “with all flaws” and is foregoing the opportunity to request seller make repairs or offer credits for issues with the property.

Under an “As-is” contract with an inspection contingency the buyer will have a time period to obtain inspections and decide whether he wants to move forward with the transaction. With an “As-is” home purchase, it is crucial that a buyer perform due diligence by doing all necessary home inspections. 

Also consider obtaining a Home Warranty for extra piece of mind.

Consult with your broker agent and attorney to determine what avenues are available in your state and under the terms of your contract. Additional questions? For a complimentary consultation, please contact me.

Additional questions? Please contact me for a complimentary consultation.

6 Things to Create Instant Curb Appeal

Many homeowners never walk in their front door or take a look at their curb appeal from a buyers perspective. Here are a few ways to enhance your curb appeal.

FRONT DOOR

Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Consider painting the front door in “today’s colors” to give it a fresh welcoming look.

HARDWARE

If needed replace house numbers, mailbox, outdoor lighting and lockset. Combining these elements will add appeal when they function collectively.

GARDEN BEDS

Edge garden beds along with adding a fresh layer of mulch. Trim trees and shrubs as needed.

CONTAINER GARDENS

Create an instant garden and welcoming look with large pots of seasonal flowers.

DRIVEWAY

Power wash concrete driveways. Repair and sealcoat asphalt driveways.

WINDOWS

Clean windows inside and out.

Additional questions? Please contact me for additional information.

Additional questions? Please contact me for additional information.

7 Tips to Freshen up your Kitchen this Spring

Start your spring cleaning by taking these points into consideration says Suburban Real Estate Expert Terri Christian.

Windows

A squeegee and a microfiber cloth are great for cleaning windows. Make sure you clean windows on an overcast day to avoid sun streaking.

Garbage Disposal

While there are many products you can purchase to clean a disposal, try placing ice cubes along with lemon in your disposal, then run. This will eliminate all the odors.

Microwave

Place a microwave safe bowl filled with a cup of water, a few tablespoons of vinegar and sliced lemons. Microwave the solution until boiling, let cool and wipe clean.

Refrigerator 

Remove shelving and drawers. Wipe down with warm soap solution.

Pantry

Remove and reorganize items. This is a great time to check for expired products.

Cabinetry

Cooking residue and dust build up on cabinets. Wipe down with a recommended cleaner. Organize and clean cabinets and drawers.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Use a microfiber cloth, dish soap and hot water. Rinse and dry to make your stainless steel sparkle.

Additional questions? Please contact me for a complimentary consultation.

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

Don’t make an offer without taking these points into consideration.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Carefully consider the commute time to your workplace, school, daycare, as well as travel time to the train stations and expressways.

KNOW WHAT MAINTENANCE WILL BE NEEDED IN THE HOME

It is very important to know the age and condition of big ticket items in the home. Roof, windows and major mechanicals. An inspection will provide insight to the condition of these components.

Consider the age and replacement cost.  With a savings plan you will be ready when the time comes to replace them. 

MAKE A PRIORITY LIST

Sit down and know ahead of time what is truly important to your family. Write a priority list starting with non negotiable items and continue with items you may have flexibility with. It’s very hard to find the “perfect home”, but having your priorities will keep you on the right track. Keep in mind what items can’t be changed in a home and make sure you can live with them. 

Additional questions? For a complimentary consultation contact me.

Featured

5 Questions You Should Always Ask Your New Real Estate Agent

Are you in the market for a new home? Here are some questions to ask your Realtor. 

1. Are you a full time agent?  

A full-time agent will have more flexibility with a buyer’s busy schedule along with having more transaction and negotiating experience.

2. What areas do you work in?

Familiarity with the area is very important! If an agent doesn’t work in the area you are considering buying in, it may be in the buyers best interest to get a referral for another agent.

3. How will you keep me updated?

Communication is key throughout a transaction. How will they communicate with you during the process? Your agent should send listings and communicate with the lender and attorney.

4. What fees are involved?

In most transactions, sellers pay commission. Your agent should discuss what inspection fee, attorney and lender fees you can expect. 

5. Will I be working directly with you?

Many agents work on teams, have a buyers agent or licensed assistant. If working with a specific agent is important to you, make sure you know this ahead of time. 

How to avoid sabotaging your home sale

Are you concerned about sabotaging the sale of your home? Read these tips below to ensure a smooth transaction.

  • Overpricing a home is the most common mistake sellers make. Often times a seller will want to inflate the price to “price in” negotiating room or test the waters. This tactic often backfires and results in selling the competition. Buyers are very savvy and have a wealth of information at their fingertips and understand the value of homes. Overpricing can lead to longer days on the market as well as create a stigmatized home. 
  • Showing availability is crucial. While it may be inconvenient, not having the home available when there is a showing request will often result in the prospective buyer not making another attempt to view the property. Ideally a home seller should have the property “show ready” on a daily basis.
  • Going on the market before the home is ready. Don’t assume buyers will look past pending improvements. Your home should be a shiny penny when it hits the market. It’s truly in the sellers best interest to maximize the appeal of the home to expedite a quick sale for top dollar. 
  • Lacking flexibility while negotiating. Home sales contracts consist of many terms to be negotiated: sales price, closing date, mortgage & home sale/close contingency, personal property and home warranty to name a few. All parties want to feel good about the transaction. It’s best to stay flexible during negotiating. As a seller you may have to consider terns that weren’t expected.

Additional questions? For a complimentary consultation contact me.

Additional questions? For a complimentary consultation contact me.

Ask Terri: When is the best time to buy a house?

Dear Terri:

When is the best time to buy a house?

Betty C.

Dear Betty,

The best time to purchase a home may depend on your location, weather tends to play a big role.

In the Midwest, the spring market will bring many new listings to the market. You still have the greatest number of homes to choose from. Along with the vast selection, there will be the largest amount of buyers out at this time, creating a competitive market. This is also when homes will sell the fastest, leaving less negotiating room and possible multiple offers on a property. 

As we approach back-to-school, there tend to be more price reductions as well as less inventory. While there are less choices, the combination of a smaller pool of buyers and less choices can work to your advantage negotiating purchase price. Additional questions? For a complimentary consultation contact me

Have you ever wondered when is the best time to buy a house? Suburban Chicago Real Estate Expert Terri Christian has the answer for you.
Additional questions? For a complimentary consultation contact me