Tag Archives: Home Buying

The Top Ways that Real Estate Agents SAVE You Money

YoungCoupleSaveMoneyMovingThe beauty of hiring an experienced real estate agent is that they make the process of selling your property look easy.  However, the truth of the matter is that it takes a lot of work and knowledge to get a home through the closing process, which is worth remembering when the desire to stick a “For Sale by Owner” sign in your yard rears its ugly head.

Plain and simple, while you may cringe when thinking about the standard 6% commission that your agent will get when your home finally sells, it’s important to think about all of the advantages they bring to the table, especially when you find yourself in a tight spot.

FREE MARKETING – When it comes to selling, marketing is key. Effective sales strategies include marketing materials that will not only cost you some serious out-of-pocket cash, but require professional-looking design skills, which—let’s face it—most of us lack.

Instead, a great agent will not only provide you with an abundance of professional photographs, brochures, mailings, and advertisements, but will make sure your listing is seen by the right contacts.  Often times, finding a buyer is about numbers.  If no one is seeing your home, no one will buy it.

THEY’LL PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD – When it comes to staging, most of us have our furniture and belongings organized for function; however, while comfortable, chances are good that your layout may not be what’s best for the look of the room. If the goal is to show things in best light possible, you’ll need an agent who can objectively assess your space and help you decide what to keep and what to place in storage. Clearly, buyers will be looking for aesthetic appeal, so having someone on hand to redistribute your furniture, make recommendations, and increase your home’s flair is crucial.

THEY KNOW PEOPLE – A solid agent will have a solid team working behind them—which includes everything from honest lenders, plumbers, electricians, inspectors, contractors, brokers, designers, landscapers, etc. Whether selling your home will require a bit of a backyard cleanup or a few coats of fresh paint, your agent should be able to recommend someone who will not only do a great job, but give you a fair price.

When attempting to sell your home on your own, it’s easy to cave and throw money at the problem; however, an agent will save you from spending your hard-earned money when not absolutely necessary.

MORE MONEY AT CLOSING – Whether you always understand it, a great agent will approach the home selling process with a strategy, which means they’re going to work their magic to get you the most money for your home. Whether that means under-pricing to stage a bidding war or showing your property before listing to entice that super-motivated buyer, they know exactly how to play things so that you get more money.

TIME IS MONEY – Plain and simple, agents do things what you cannot. Unless you went to school for real estate or regularly spend your time researching trends in the local market, chances are good that they have a better understanding of what it takes to get a home sold in as little time as possible. The longer your home stays on the market, the more money you lose, so it’s important to have someone in your corner who can do the heavy lifting and move the process along.

In the end, regardless of the season or time of year, if you’re looking to sell your current home, I can help.  My background is extensive and I know how to move homes from market to close.

To learn more about what I can do for you and your family, please feel free to contact me.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Strategies for Tackling Buyer’s Remorse

CLbqPpjXAAASWnqFor some, any major—or even small—purchase will elicit feelings of anxiety, regret, and even doom; however, even though you may be someone who is generally inclined to a bit of hand-wringing, when purchasing a home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

YOU CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING

For starters, let’s just address the obvious.  Yes, purchasing a home is a huge commitment, both in terms of finances and time.  Still, while a large part of that process may feel overwhelming and beyond your control, remember try to remember that it is often our need to feel like we must control everything that gets us into trouble.

Instead of fixating on everything that frightens you about owning your new home—or a home in general—remind yourself of all the reasons you made the decision to purchase in the first place.  Whether you were tired of landlords or simply loved the possibility of having a big backyard, chances are good that you put in a lot of time, effort, and money to get to where you are.

As with most things in life, if you spend more time focusing on the good instead of ruminating over the bad, you’re likely to be a much happier person.  Overcoming buyer’s remorse is no different.  Fixate on the possibilities, the potential, and the parts that simply feel like home.

STOP AND THINK

All-too-often, we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed without taking the time to assess what we’re truly feeling.  Where are those thoughts of buyer’s remorse coming from?  Are you afraid that you won’t be able to afford the mortgage?  Is there a lot of work that still needs to be done?  Do you feel like it may be smaller than you expected?

Instead of standing still and continuing to stress, make a list of your worries and start by addressing what you can, one thing at a time.  Take a Saturday to paint the guest room.  Replace the lighting in the kitchen.  By slowly crossing items off your list, you’re likely to feel that sense of dread lift, ever so slightly.

SHOW IT OFF

Hey!  You just bought a home!  That’s great!  …and let’s be honest, it really is great!  Not everyone is in a position to do that—no matter how much they’d like to be—so why not celebrate?

Throw a housewarming party, barbeque, or dinner and gather your loved ones for a celebration.  Chances are better than good that everyone will be more than excited for you, so let a little bit of those good vibes remind you of how fantastic your new place is.

TAKE SOME TIME TO CREATE YOUR SPOT

Part of learning to love something requires finding a bright spot in what may otherwise be somewhat dim.  When you take the time to appreciate one area of your home, chances are good that those warm feelings will spread.

Set aside a few spare moments to just sit in your new space—every day—and appreciate the things you love about your little corner of comfort.  Whether it’s soft light at sunrise or open French doors, let this part of your house feel like home and hopefully, the rest will follow.

If you’d like to find your dream home and want some assistance with the buying process, I’d love to offer my services.  Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

The Fed Announces Imminent Interest Rate Hike: What it Means for Buyers

101711088-182695069.530x298You may have recently heard that the Federal Reserve has plans to raise interest rates; however, at this point in time, there’s no definite time frame for the shift.  The decision, which is expected to be announced later this year—experts are suggesting the possibility of mid-September—is the result of a healthier economy that no longer needs the buffer that interest rates close to zero have provided over the last 9 years.

In essence, returning rates to historically “normal” levels will not only help keep future inflation from rising too quickly, but will also ensure the vitality of the lending market.

While this type of rate increase often leads to a bit of temporary instability in the market, which can lead to negative issues such as slowed economic recovery and stagnant employee wages, it can also signal higher returns for consumers who consistently save their money.

Still, if you are someone who is looking to borrow the necessary funds for a new home, you’re bound to find yourself in a tight spot if you fail to lock in today’s low rates.  At this point in time, an average 30-year mortgage carries a 3.8% interest rate, which is down from 4.3% about a year ago, so experts suggest that if you’re thinking of buying a home, now is the time to push for loan approval.

If you’re on the hunt for a new home or are simply looking for a competent mortgage professional, I’d be happy to provide referrals and offer guidance along the way.  Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Why You Need a Realtor When Buying New Construction

new-constructionAs the economy has improved, so too has the construction of new homes.  What were once sad, empty parcels of land are now beautiful new developments, so it’s no surprise that sales in these neighborhoods have increased as buyers have returned to the market.

Building your dream home can be exhilarating, especially if given the opportunity to not only pick your lot and layout, but everything from your interior finishes to your upgrades as well.  While today’s homebuilders work hard to make the process as easy as possible for potential buyers, it’s still important to remember that purchasing a home involves a large financial transaction that can have an abundance of financial implications if handled incorrectly.

Therefore, while most new housing developments have their own agents on site to assist future homeowners in procuring a home, it’s still extremely important for buyers to maintain their own representation as well.

BUILDER REPS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO THE BUILDER—NOT YOU.

While builder reps help detail things like the difference between various models and floorplans, as well as upgrades and available financing, it’s imperative to remember that those reps are still contractually obligated to place the interests of the builder first.  Therefore, in order to be sure that your total wellbeing is given priority, buyers should seriously consider utilizing the services of an experienced Realtor who can make sure their wants and needs are placed at the forefront of the deal.

While you may think that you can easily go forth without an agent, especially in the hopes that the builder will negotiate the 3% agent fee back into your pocket, the reality is that they’ll probably keep it unless you have the representation of a Realtor who can research how much negotiating can be done.  Without this outside assurance, chances are good that you may find yourself over paying for your property.

FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY.

Real estate transactions involve a good deal of paperwork and legal considerations which can be difficult to navigate if you are not completely sure how the process should work.  If you’re making the decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, you need to make sure that someone is looking out for your best financial interest.  A Realtor will not only be contractually obligated to protect you, but can help you navigate the various clauses, riders, and upgrade options embedded in the final new-construction contract.

SMOOTH NEGOTIATION PROCESS.

Part of the buying process involves the negotiation of terms, upgrade options, and closing costs, as well as selecting the best financing for your needs.  A Realtor will be able to present other attractive options for financing or will be able to work directly with the builder’s lender to secure a better rate for your mortgage.

A GUIDING HAND FROM SEARCH TO CLOSE.

From here, it’s important to remember that buying a new home is more than the fun process of selecting your finishes and signing on the dotted line.  It also involves everything from working with title companies to attending numerous inspections, so it’s worth having a Realtor on your side who can manage the overall process and ensure you’re not missing anything before the home is completely yours.

Therefore, if you’re in the market for a new home and would like some help navigating the waters, I’d love to make my services available.  Please call me for more information or to set up a meeting.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Mortgage Rates are Rising, So It’s Time to Buy!

mortgage ratesWhile most of us are happy to see the end of the foreclosure crisis and an improved national economy, the truth of the matter is that, while buyers were able to land some amazing deals during the recession, their current situation isn’t looking as promising.  Plain and simple, in the majority of markets, the number of people searching for homes far exceeds the available inventory, which means many buyers are having a difficult time finding a home that truly meets their needs.

In the last few years, buyers were able to score big with low mortgage rates; however, the real estate industry—as well as the federal government—made no secret of the fact that rates were expected to go up in 2015.

As it stands right now, mortgages are up 30 to 40 points from last year’s low.  While the actual math behind these numbers may prove confusing, suffice it to say that a higher mortgage rate will increase your monthly payment, which may potentially limit the type of home you can purchase.  Present numbers would suggest that most buyers can expect an additional $40 on their monthly statement, which may prove to be a lot for many middle- and lower-income households.

Therefore, if your goal is to secure a suitable home at the lowest price possible, it’s worth entering the real estate market sooner rather than later since rates are expected to keep going up.  To get things moving, it’s important to utilize the services of an experienced real estate agent, as well as a reputable mortgage lender who can help you look for discounts, government programs, and other savings during the application process.

With increasing mortgage rates, you’ll need all the savings you can get, so surrounding yourself with a solid team is extremely important.

To learn more about finding your dream home before the mortgage rates get even higher, please feel free to contact me.  I’d love to offer my advice or provide you with referrals for several qualified mortgage professionals.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789