Beware Of Unrepresented Homebuyers

To some people, the idea of paying third parties to find you a home, close the sale, and later, help you sell your home, seems like a formality they can live without. But there are many more jobs your Fab Real Estate Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network real estate professional performs for you, and the most important is your protection.

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When your home is listed with your real estate professional, it’s marketed worldwide, including to other real estate professionals. The first place it’s listed is in the multiple listing service, which has compensation rules that allow other licensed professionals to bring their qualified homebuyers to see your home. If your home sells under contract, they’re compensated by your real estate professional.
The reason this system has worked so well for decades is that the only homebuyers who will see your home are motivated, understand the process, are willing to take the appropriate steps, and are ready to buy.  Unrepresented homebuyers may come to your door and ask to see your home, but beware. They think your listed home is an open invitation to look around. Other buyers simply aren’t quite ready to buy, or they’d have their own real estate professional. Whatever their reasons, they’re strangers who haven’t been vetted and shouldn’t cross your threshold.  It’s best not to discuss your home, your reasons for selling, or provide other information to unrepresented buyers. Instead, direct them to your Fab Real Estate Team network real estate professional. They’re trained to help both buyers and sellers.

Home Warranty Basics

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Whether you’re a homebuyer or seller, a home warranty can give you peace of mind. Also known as a home service contract, the home warranty typically covers mechanical systems and built-in appliances in the home.

Not to be confused with homeowner’s insurance, which covers damage from external forces, home warranties are designed to fill the gap between the original manufacturer’s warranty and normal wear and tear, according to HomeServiceContract.org.

Here’s how it works. If your AC goes out, or your dishwasher breaks, you contact the home service company and describe the problem. The dispatcher will send the appropriate licensed plumber, electrician, or appliance repair specialist to service the call. Expect to pay a service fee of about $50 or higher for each visit.

Remember that home warranties don’t provide blanket service. They don’t cover repairs or replacement for pre-existing conditions or for elderly mechanicals that are beyond their useful lifespan. But they are good for emergencies if your toddler clogs the toilet trying to “wash” his teddy bear.

For home sellers, home service contracts improve the home’s marketability to homebuyers and diminishes liability. For buyers, warranties can absorb the costs of unexpected repairs or replacements. Extended coverage for non-built-ins such as clothes washers, dryers, and stand-alone refrigerators is usually available.

When you think about the wide range of systems and appliances that it takes to operate your home, a home service contract is a bargain at approximately $400 to $500 and could pay for itself with one use.

Are You Really Ready to Sell?

If you find yourself saying any of the following to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional, you may be hurting your chances of selling your home quickly and for the most money possible.

“I’m not making any repairs.” According to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 47 percent of buyers under the age of 37 purchased new homes to avoid renovations and problems. If many buyers don’t have the will, skill or time to make repairs, you’re eliminating a number of buyers who would otherwise love your home.

“My home has to be worth more than that.” You may believe your home should be worth more than you paid for it and provide you with enough equity to move. Your listing agent will supply you with tools to understand current market value. The comparable market analysis shows what homes have recently sold for and what other sellers are asking for similar homes as yours, as well as price and sales trends.

“Let’s price it higher and see what happens.” Pricing above comparable homes is a real risk. You’ll outprice buyers who would want your home. Buyers who can afford your home will quickly find that your home doesn’t compare to others.

In any of these cases, you’ll be looking at a price adjustment, and have lost valuable marketing time. Realistically, your home is only worth what the most qualified buyer is willing to pay for your hom

Updates You Can Afford To Sell Your Home

Updates You Can Afford To Sell Your Home

A recent poll on Houzz.com found that most people hate carpet, fluorescent lighting, wallpaper, vinyl floors and other things in their homes, so why turn off buyers with these won’t-haves?

If your home is dated, you can do some quick and easy updates that will wow your buyers.

Make it welcoming. You can’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Repaint where needed, but make sure the entry waves hello from the street. Clean, weed and stage your home from the sidewalk to the shrubs to the front door. Buy pots of flowers and a fresh new welcome mat. Make sure that’s not so much as a stray leaf or toy on the front yard.

Make it cool. The new neutrals are a far cry from the yellows and beiges of the Mediterranean era, ‘90s jewel tones, ‘80s pastels, and ‘70s earth tones. Instead, repaint with cooler tones, like gray or icy Scandinavian whites and sky blues.

Make it low-maintenance. Replace worn carpet with a high-grade laminate floor that looks like wood, tile or granite. Replace countertops with easy-clean quartz. Upgrade your heating and cooling with a programmable thermostat. Change out yellowish light bulbs with long-wearing daylight LED bulbs.

Make it show-ready. If you have popcorn ceilings, have them removed. Replace old appliances and dated fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen with new stainless or brushed nickel finish. One of the new touch faucets, an induction range, and an apron sink also add the wow factors you need to impress buyers.

 

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Fabiola Brunache, Real Estate Broker 

 

How Late Payments Impact Credit Scores

How Late Payments Impact Credit Scores

FICO scores, the Fair Isaac Corporation credit-scoring system, are used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness. The lower your scores, the more risk you pose to lenders, resulting in higher interest rates or loan denial.

Scores fluctuate for many reasons, including your debt-to-income ratio, making minimum payments only, credit inquiries and other factors. But nothing impacts credit scores like a missed rent or revolving credit payment. And, for the best-scoring consumers, the drop in credit scores is the most punishing.

Making timely payments is one of the easiest things you can do to show you’re using credit responsibly, which is why your payment history accounts for the largest part of your FICO score—35 percent.

Late payments remain on your credit report seven years from the original delinquency date, regardless if the payment is made and the account is current or if the account is closed and the payment is never received, according to Experian.com.

The more recent the late payment, the more it can impact your scores. If you’re late or missed a payment, make the account current as quickly as possible. The length of time it takes to recover will depend on whether the late payment is an anomaly or part of a habitual pattern.

Establish a current history of on-time payments. Use at least one credit card, paying in full each month to avoid finance charges.

On-time payments will add positive activity to offset negatives from the past, and over time your credit scores will rebound.

Avoid Water Shortages with Xeriscaping

Avoid Water Shortages with Xeriscaping

In many parts of the country, from California to Texas, green lawns are not indigenous to the region. Non-native landscaping contributes heavily to water shortages in many areas, causing watering restrictions.

How can homeowners help? By adopting a concept called Xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is simply creating a landscape that features native plants that don’t require extra water and are capable of withstanding native drought conditions.

While the look of a xeriscaped garden or yard of cacti and hardy shrubs is much different from the lush carpet of St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, you can easily create attractive landscaping that demands less water.

Simply pay attention to your yard’s shape, size, slope, sun, and shade. Choose grasses, plants and flowers that are “native” to your area and can grow on the typical regional annual rainfall without additional watering needed. Group plants and flowers with similar watering requirements in zones, so that any extra watering is more efficient.

Zoned areas may be broken up by walkways, berms (mounds), bits of turf, glass, walls, large boulders, river rocks and other stones. Add mulch to accent the plants and flowers, as well as to provide a healthy root environment, which also reduces the need for extra watering. In some cases, artificial turf may be an option where it can be effectively used in small areas to accent flowers and plants.

The total effect can be quite beautiful. You’ll use less water, lower your costs and maintenance, and your yard will attract fewer pests.

Selling Your Home In a Cooling Market

Homebuyers tend to move like a herd – they stampede together and they graze together. Signs your market is easing may include showings with fewer offers, longer days on the market (tracked by your area’s multiple listing service) and more questions, contingencies and demands from buyers.

We at Fab Realty Group members of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you with sales and staging strategies and bring offers from qualified buyers. So what can you do to help?

Make your home pristine.
There’s a huge difference between a home that’s “move-in ready” and one that “needs work.” Show pride of ownership by putting your home in top move-in condition so that your home is more appealing to buyers than any other home in your area and price range.

Price it right. 
You can expect lower offers in a slower market, but homes that are priced fairly and in pristine condition will be treated with respect and enthusiasm by buyers. Consider pricing slightly below market value or offer to include all appliances to attract more interest from buyers.

Be willing to negotiate.  
Negotiation works best when both parties get what they want. You might take less money in exchange for a cash offer or quick closing. Your buyer may be willing to pay your asking price, but may ask you to pay their closing costs.

You may sell your home for a little less than you were expecting, but you’ll find that a slowing market means you’ll be able to buy your next home for less, too.

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