Category Archives: Selling Your Home

What does Back to School mean to the Real Estate Market?

It’s that time of year when kids fill their backpacks and wave goodbye to Mom and Dad as they board the school bus or are dropped off in the carpool lane. Summer vacation for the most part is over.  The last thing on most family’s minds is packing and moving.

Typically, when school starts, the housing market slows down, but with this tumultuous market, it is hard to predict.  Many are still looking for homes in this seller’s market.  If there is a lull, it will be short-lived.  After Labor Day there is usually an uptick as it is the unofficial start of the fall season. Sellers and buyers will now want to buy and close quickly to get settled before the holiday season.

It is still a good time to sell as there is still a shortage of inventory.  If you have a plan in mind as to where you’re going to live once your home sells.  Many sellers have gotten creative.

Here are some possible solutions:

  • Do you have rental property? Many sellers are moving into one of their rentals until they can find their next home
  • Do you have vacation property? Same scenario.
  • Move in with relatives.
  • Find a short-term rental – Those who do have rental property who are willing to take a month-to-month lease situation are offering this alternative until the sellers can find their next home.
  • I’ve even seen some move into their RV or houseboat until they find their next home. You might have to store your household belongings for a while, but if you do, consider using a pod, that way you don’t have to have a moving company move you twice.
  • Buy before you sell. Some have taken their equity out of their current home and used it as a down payment on the new home.
  • New Construction. When the new home is move-in ready, then you list yours.

In this area, the market is extremely hot, because of the great schools, which is great.  The good news is homes bring a premium price tag.  The bad news is, it makes buying a home in the school district you want a little challenging, but not impossible.  Another reason you need a seasoned agent.

If you’re thinking about selling or buying, give me a call and let’s devise a plan that will work for you and your family.

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence!

Prepping Your Pet for Your Big Move

Your moving day is set and it’s time to start preparing. As you’re making your lists and checking them twice, don’t forget to factor in your 4 legged family members.

Moving can be stressful for all of us, but pets often experience stress that they can’t communicate leading up to a big move. Our pets are perceptive, and they notice when big changes are happening, but they don’t understand why we’re packing up. Then, once you’ve arrived at your new home, they have to get comfortable with new sights, sounds, and smells before they can settle in. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help get your family pet get ready for a big move and reduce their stress.

Here are some tips for making sure the process goes smoothly.

Medical records. When moving to a different city or state, one of the main things you need to take into consideration is finding a new veterinarian that is the right fit for you and your pet. If you have family or friends in the area, ask for recommendations or do your own research by reading reviews and news articles. Once you find one, contact your current vet to initiate a transfer of medical records. Then schedule a “get to know you” appointment shortly after your move.

Have Collars and Paperwork Handy. While you’re preparing, it’s also a good idea to have all paperwork and contact information handy. Make sure cats and dogs are wearing a collar with your phone number on it, as well as their rabies tags and any other relevant information. If there is a mishap during your move and one of your pets escapes through an open door, you want to be able to find them. If they aren’t already microchipped, now is a good time to have this simple procedure done.

Don’t Overfeed. Some animals have a tendency to overeat when they are stressed, especially if they believe you are going to be leaving them alone for a while. Make sure to watch your animals in the days leading up to the move and avoid overfeeding them. Cats especially are likely to get sick from stress and anxiety if they have overeaten and then gone for a car ride. Dogs are somewhat less likely to react negatively in the car, but each pet has its own limits.

Transportation. Whether it’s a short drive or a long plane ride, the safest way to relocate a nervous pet is with a crate.  However, if you’re in a hurry on moving day and you shove your pet into a crate and slam the door, you’re only going to make matters worse. Instead, you need to bring the crate inside your home several weeks in advance so they can smell it and explore it in a low-stress environment.  For most pets, this is a foreign concept, and they require time to get comfortable with it. Start acclimating your pet as early as possible and use comfort items like treats and favorite toys and blankets to make the experience is a positive one for your pet.

Prepare a Place for them. Pad your moving schedule with ample time to get your dog or cat acclimated to their new home. Cats and dogs react to new spaces differently, but when it comes to moving day, you’ll probably want them out of the way while you finish unloading the furniture and heavy boxes. The easiest way to manage this is to have food, water, and their favorite toys already set up in a spare bedroom or bathroom so you can open their crate and let them explore in a quiet corner of the house. Once all your other furniture is moved in, you can open the bedroom door and let them see more, but the first few hours should be quiet and calm. Once all the moving of furniture and boxes is done, make sure to clear anything that could be dangerous and block off areas as necessary then let them free to get a lay of the land on their own.

Walk Through the new House with Your Pet on a Leash. Your pet picks up on many sounds and smells that you can’t. As a result, they may react to certain scents left behind by the previous owner, or new sounds from the HVAC unit or neighborhood traffic. The best way to handle this introduction is with a leash so your pet can explore without getting beyond your reach. Help them explore inside the house, room by room, and set clear boundaries if they are not allowed in certain spaces. Likewise, walk the front and backyard slowly with a leash attached so you can inspect the fence and handle any interactions with wayward animals or children.

All of these tips will help your pet handle move-in day as peacefully as possible. Just remember, your pet will likely need a few days to adjust to the new space, and having plenty of familiar items and toys around can help them make that adjustment.

Hope you found these tips helpful.

Sincerely,

Marie

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

Fees to be Aware of When Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home is arguably one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, don’t forget there will be other costs associated with your purchase than the price of the home. This is valuable information, especially for first-time homebuyers. These are all good reasons to hire an experienced Real Estate Agent to help navigate you through the process, plus the fact of multiple offers and homes now selling above listing price.

Here are 5 fees to keep in mind as you begin to budget.

  1. Home inspection. This is a crucial step in the home buying process. The findings that come from the inspection can help you negotiate price and repairs. Generally, you can expect to pay between $300 to $500 depending on the home and the location.
  2. Title services. Title services encompass the transfer of the title from the seller and a thorough search of the property’s records to ensure to no one will pop up with a claim to the property. Additionally, you may need to buy title insurance which will protect the lender or your investment in the home.
  3. Appraisal fee. Before getting a loan, you will likely be required to get an appraisal of the home to determine its estimated value. This will be conducted by a third-party company and the cost can land anywhere between $300 and $1,000, depending on the size of the home.
  4. HOA fees. Many communities have a homeowners’ association that enforces monthly fees. This money is used for general maintenance and updates to areas like pools, parks, and more. Typical HOA fees are around $200 per month.
  5. Taxes. The taxes each buyer pays at the closing table differ, but it is not uncommon for it to be up to two months’ worth of county and city property taxes. Additionally, there may be taxes for the transfer of the home title.

I would be happy to talk with you as you prepare to buy or sell and devise a plan to help you transition as smoothly as possible.

Sincerely,

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

Feeling Grateful

Despite such a challenging year of 2020, with the Pandemic, low inventory of homes, etc. we are very honored to have been among those achieving the Circle of Excellence Award from the 400 North Board of Realtors.

While it’s an honor and I’m very grateful to receive these accolades, honors, and awards, it’s not necessarily my goal that I set out to achieve each year. My goals are to give my clients the best possible service possible, whether it is to help them list, stage, and get the best price for their home or to find them their perfect new home.  My passion is helping people.  As a result, by providing this high level of service, I have many repeat clients as well as referrals of friends and family over my 19-year real estate career.  For this, I am truly grateful for their trust and confidence.

One of the other ways I service my clients is my knowledge of the market.  I ensure I am well versed in all matters of real estate.  As a realtor, we are tasked each year to accomplish so many education units.  I typically go beyond what is required.  I have been certified in negotiating, probate, distressed property, luxury home market, iRep Pro, etc.  So, please know whatever someone’s real estate needs are, I will always do my very best to deliver the ultimate service experience.

For a list of certifications and awards, please see our ‘About’ page.

In Appreciation,

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

What Is A Seller’s Market?

A seller’s market happens when demand exceeds supply. When there are more buyers, but real estate inventory is low. Since there are fewer homes available, sellers are at an advantage. We have definitely been in a Seller’s Market for many months now.

In a seller’s market, homes sell faster, and buyers compete in order to score a property. These market conditions often make buyers willing to spend more on a home than they would otherwise. Therefore, sellers can raise their asking prices. Furthermore, the increased interest means that buyers rarely have the power to negotiate and are more willing to accept properties as-is.

Due to the shortage of housing, these conditions often lead to multiple offers. During these bidding wars, buyers will make competing offers and drive up the price, typically above what the seller initially asked for.

Tips For Buyers

 Whenever there is a low inventory of houses on the market and an abundance of buyers, timing is crucial.

Act fast: If you find your dream home during a seller’s market, you will have to act fast. If you hem and haw over a house you want to buy, you may find that it’s no longer available by the time you make an offer. You should get preapproved for a loan ahead of time, so your financing is in order when you need it.

Know that you’re at a disadvantage: When it comes to making an offer, keep in mind that you’re the one at a disadvantage. A seller’s market is not the time to try to push contingencies, concessions, specific closing dates or repairs. Focus your attention on what’s most important to you. If there are certain stipulations you want written into the contract, think hard about whether they are worth losing the property over. If you can make an all-cash offer, you should. Sellers prefer buyers who are willing to pay in cash because they don’t have to worry about the deal falling through due to issues with financing.

Be patient: If you find that you keep losing out on the homes you’re interested in, it’s crucial to be patient and not get discouraged. Many buyers end up suffering during a seller’s market because they get frustrated. Inexperienced buyers caught up in multiple offers will often offer more money than a home is actually worth – or they feel comfortable spending – in order to get the home they want. That’s always a mistake.

Don’t settle: On the flip side, some buyers will end up making offers on homes they otherwise wouldn’t be interested in because they’re tired of losing out. Remember, buying any property is a huge investment and often a 30-year commitment. Don’t settle on a home just because it’s cheaper. Unless you have to move immediately, it’s a much better idea to wait it out and resume your home search after the market cools down.

Tips For Sellers

Since sellers must compete to attract buyers in a seller’s market, it’s helpful to know how to increase interest in your property.

Clean and organize: To begin, make sure that your home is in good condition and has been cleaned and organized before you list, market, or show the property.

Price fairly: Even though homes tend to sell for more money in a seller’s market, it still helps to price your home fairly. If you set your asking price at or slightly below fair market value, you are likely to attract more interested buyers. Some sellers choose to list their homes for slightly less than the assessed value in order to encourage multiple offers.

Carefully consider offers: It’s even more important during a seller’s market that you carefully review the offers you receive. Sellers are often so focused on choosing the highest offer that they fail to examine the financial strength of each buyer. Just because buyers say they’ll pay a certain amount for your home doesn’t guarantee they’ll actually be able to obtain those funds. Lenders will not allow buyers to borrow more than the assessed value of your home.

The last thing you want is to accept an unrealistic offer and be forced to put your home back on the market when the deal falls through. The longer your home is on the market, the more questionable it will seem to buyers, and the more power they will have when negotiating. For ALL these reasons, is why you need an experienced real estate agent.

Ensure preapproval: For any buyers who require financing, you should ensure that they have been preapproved for a loan. Preapproval requires that buyers’ finances and credit history are verified, making it far more likely they’ll ultimately be able to obtain a loan for a specific amount of money. Prequalification, on the other hand, is just an estimate of buyers’ finances.

Be aware of contingencies: Also, be on the lookout for offers that include contingencies. Offers that include stipulations, like mortgage contingencies, home sale contingencies, appraisal contingencies, and inspection contingencies, enable buyers to back out of sales contracts if certain conditions aren’t met.

Is It A Buyer’s Market Or A Seller’s Market?

In the North Georgia area, it is definitely a Seller’s Market.  The inventory of homes for sale is at an all-time low which is preventing some potential sellers to list their property.  Here are some things to consider if you are one of those sellers:

  • Consider new construction. Often times you will have a more definitive timeframe and have somewhere to move.
  • Consider renting for a while. Yes, it may require two moves, but will also give you time to find just the right property.
  • Consider moving in with family. Not the most ideal situation, but some have the extra space and would agree for a limited time.
  • Go on an extended vacation. Have an RV or rent one? With work from anywhere situations, this might be the opportunity to travel until the market has more inventory.
  • If you have a beach/mountain rental, use it until you find your next forever home.

Bottom line is, if you can be flexible, you can take advantage of getting top dollar for your current home and still find your next home.  Give me a call and let’s work out a plan for you.

Best Regards,

Marie Dinsmore

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence