3 Traits to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

Let’s face it – selecting a real estate agent can be difficult, particularly for home sellers who are afraid to say “No.”

As a home seller, it is your responsibility to find a real estate agent who can help you maximize the value of your residence. At the same time, it is important to hire a real estate agent who will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and do whatever it takes to streamline the process of selling your house.

Ultimately, there are three key traits to consider when you search for a real estate agent:

1. Creativity

Your real estate agent should understand that no two homes are identical. Thus, this professional will be unafraid to think outside the box and consider a wide range of solutions to any problem.

Typically, a creative real estate agent will approach problems with an open mind. By doing so, this professional can consider every opportunity and offer a variety of recommendations to ensure you can find the right solution to any problem, at any time.

Ask a real estate agent how he or she has approached unforeseen challenges in the past. This will give you a glimpse into whether a real estate agent embraces challenges or shies away from them. Plus, you may be able to find out if a real estate agent will think creatively to resolve problems throughout the home selling process.

2. Expertise

Ideally, you’ll want to find a real estate agent who possesses the skills and know-how to sell your home in a buyer’s or seller’s market. If this professional boasts many years of experience, and as such, he or she likely has helped numerous home sellers get the best offers for their residences consistently.

Be sure to get references from a real estate agent. This will allow you to contact past clients and learn how a real estate agent helped them sell their residences.

3. Honesty

Although many real estate agents may claim to be honest and forthright with clients, it is paramount to employ a real estate agent who will help you set realistic expectations for the home selling process.

For example, your real estate agent should be able to offer advice and suggestions to enhance your house’s interior and exterior. And if your real estate agent notices a glaring problem with your residence that may damage its value, he or she should be ready to notify you about this issue right away.

Furthermore, your real estate agent should be able to keep you updated throughout each stage of the home selling process. He or she also will be prepared to share homebuyers’ feedback about your home, regardless of whether this feedback is positive or negative.

With an honest real estate agent at your side, you’ll be able to get the support you need to simplify the home selling cycle. As such, you should have no trouble navigating each stage of the home selling process.

LED Lighting

Life expectancy of LED lighting is the game changer. Replacing light bulbs is a full time job. It would be great if it was a harmonious moment of changing light bulbs, but no, random black outs, in random rooms is the basic game plan when it comes to lighting replacement. An LED light lasts 3x’s as long as a regular light bulb, talk about making a conscience effort to participate in the green effort of our planet. Think of the footprint.

Pricing is the next decision. Let’s not forget the life expectancy of the LED while standing in the isle trying to decide which light bulb to purchase. Our suggestion, go right to the LED section. The local warehouse most likely has the best pricing. Don’t forget Contractors come to this warehouse when they need to fill a new order. They fill numerous orders weekly, sometimes daily and they know what is needed for proper lighting. Your best bet would be to stop one of the contractors and tell them the basics of your lighting upgrade. Bet you receive a small education of LED lighting vs. the same old.

Lighting is the key to your home and happiness. Whether you know it or not, it is the item you need most- morning, noon and night. If you can make your life brighter, easier, and participate in the footprint of our planet, why wouldn’t you?

Here’s What Affects Your Home Value

You may have looked up what the estimate of your home’s value is online. This is purely a number based on what other homes in the neighborhood are selling for. There are some obvious factors that you need to know to calculate your home’s value. These include: how many bedrooms, how much square footage and how much land the home resides on. There are some not so obvious factors that are included in calculating the value of a home. Here’s some things that typically affect a home’s value:

The Street Name

As bizarre as this sounds, it’s true. Whatever suffix that your street name ends in can have an impact on the price of a home. “Street” is less expensive than Boulevard, Road or others. You may even be lucky enough to live on Park Place or Boardwalk!   

Your House Number

People have superstitions and varying beliefs. Whether it’s numerology or the fact that you live at an infamously unlucky number house, buyers will be less attracted to your place. This is another one of the stranger factors you must keep in mind when it comes to valuing your home. 

The Neighbors

If you live close to any neighbors, they will play a factor in how much you can get for your home. If your next door neighbor has strange taste in paint color or has built an eccentric shrine in his front yard, potential buyers may be turned off. You can’t pick your family. However, if you’re moving you do have a say as to what kind of neighbors you’ll surround yourself with. Be prepared for this to affcet your home value if this is the case.   

Trees

Did you know that trees increase the value of your property? When properties are being built, trees are often cleared away. If you have trees around your property that have grown, you’ll find that you can get a bit more for your home. Want to add value to your home? Get planting!   

Crown Moldings Are King

People love crown molding. You can put in crown molding as an easy way to add value to your home and be more attractive to buyers. While buyers look for high ceilings, crown molding can certainly be a deal breaker. 

Your Hobbies Are A Buyer’s Hobby

If you have anything in your home that buyers love, they’re more likely to want to buy the home. If you’re a huge football fan, and a buyer comes along with matching interest, you could add some more attention to your home. The reason is that buyers can easily see themselves there due to the shared interest. But, this also has a reverse effect. Not everyone is a football fan. If you want to appeal to a larger pool of buyers, (which you probably do) you may want to get the extensive hobby paraphernalia out of your home before it’s shown.

A Crime On The Property

If there was a death on the property or a significant crime, people will be turned off. This will significantly affect the value of your property. You’ll most likely have to reveal the death or the crime in the buyer’s disclosure as well based on legal requirements. 

What’s Nearby?

Whatever is nearby could have a significant effect on your home’s value. Whichever kind of grocery store or restaurants are nearby can really help the value of your home. People love their daily coffee! If there’s a unique coffee shop down the street, or a popular grocery chain, you could be looking at potential gains on the value of your home.

Preparing Your Children for Home Ownership

The numbers of adult children still living at home with their parents has increased. Reasons why adult children are staying at home longer vary. Some reasons why children are choosing to continue to live with their parents after they graduate from high school or college include lack of employment, not enough income to pay rent or a mortgage and student loans.

Other adult children opt to stay at home with their parents due to physical, psychological or emotional challenges. Fear of failure could also play a factor in why children stay in the nest. As a parent, there are steps that you can take to prepare your children to move out and succeed on their own.

Give your adult children the tools to own their home

Start taking actions to prepare your children for home ownership early. Also, let your children know that they have options. For example, if your children don’t want to buy a house, they could rent. The important thing is that your adult children have the confidence to launch.

To teach your children to be confident, allow your children to pick out their own school clothes, starting as early as four or five years old. Listen to your children when they share opinions that differ from your own. Ask your children open-ended questions. Engage them in non-threatening debates to strengthen their ability to research facts and communicate a point of view. Also, encourage your children to make friends and to build their own circle of social and emotional support.

Teach your children how to create a budget. You could show your children how to budget to save money for a new video game or a bike. Don’t give your children everything. Let them use their creativity to devise positive ways to get what they want. For example, your children could barter or exchange toys with their friends. They could also sell old video games to game stores, earning enough credits to buy that new game that they really want. They could also operate a lemonade stand, sell newspapers or mow lawns. The important thing is that your children learn early that they can figure out how to generate income and manage money.Knowing that you can generate income and manage money is not enough. Your children have to see that they can succeed at that themselves.

Introduce your children to the stock market. Some schools teach about the stock market by participating in national stock market essays. On your own, you can review nightly market reports with your children. You can also ask your children to research stocks, bonds, equities and treasuries.

Take your children apartment and house shopping. You don’t have to buy or rent. What you want is to expose your children to the apartment or house shopping process.Teach your children how to negotiate housing prices and what’s involved in the house buying process. You could start doing this when your children are in the ninth grade. Let them know about closing costs and the difference between fixed and adjustable mortgages.

Make your adult children pay rent to stay at your home. Charge rent similar to what an apartment would charge for a studio apartment. This helps your adult children to learn how to budget in real time. If you notice that your adult children are having difficult launching, consider raising the rent. Also, let your adult children pay for their own cell phone, food, clothes, car note, car insurance, entertainment and utilities.

As much as you may want to, you might not be able to support your adult children for the remainder of their lives. By teaching your adult children to exercise courage and to be self-confident, you could set your adult children up for success. This can take a lot of pressure and worry off of you. It can also give your children the tools to step into careers that they are passionate about, manage their finances and rent or buy homes that support their lifestyle.