Move-Up vs. Second Home: Which One Is Right For You?

The pandemic has changed the way many of us live, work, and attend school—and those changes have impacted our priorities when it comes to choosing a home.

According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 75% of respondents who have begun working remotely would like to continue doing so—and 66% would consider moving if they no longer had to commute as often. Some of the top reasons were to gain a dedicated office space (31%), a larger home (30%), and more rooms overall (29%).1 

And now that virtual school has become a reality for many families, that need for additional space has only intensified. A growing number of buyers are choosing homes further from town as they seek out more room and less congestion. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 40% of urban dwellers had considered leaving the city because of the COVID-19 outbreak.2

But not everyone is permanently sold on suburban or rural life. Instead, some are choosing to purchase a second home as a co-primary residence or frequent getaway. Without the requirements of a five-day commute, many homeowners feel less tethered to their primary residence and are eager for a change of scenery after spending so much time at home.

If you’re feeling cramped in your current space, you’ve probably considered a move. But what type of home would suit you best: a move-up home or a second home? Let’s explore each option to help you determine which one is right for you.

WHY CHOOSE A MOVE-UP HOME?

A move-up home is typically a larger or nicer home. It’s a great choice for families or individuals who simply need more space, a better location, or want features their current home doesn’t offer—like an inground pool, a different floor plan, or a dedicated home office. 

Most move-up buyers choose to sell their current home and use the proceeds as a downpayment on their next one. If you’re struggling with a lack of functional or outdoor space in your current home, a move-up home can greatly improve your everyday life. And with mortgage rates at their lowest level in history, you may be surprised how much home you can afford to buy without increasing your monthly payment.3,4

To learn more about mortgage rates, contact us for a free copy of our recent report!
“Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers”

One major benefit of choosing a move-up home is that you can typically afford a nicer place if you spend your entire budget on one property. However, if you’re longing for that vacation vibe, a second home may be a better choice for you.

WHY CHOOSE A SECOND HOME?

Once reserved for the ultra-wealthy, second homes have become more mainstream. Home sales are surging in many resort and bedroom communities as city dwellers search for a place to escape the crowds and quarantine in comfort.5 And with air travel on hold for many families, some are channeling their vacation budgets into vacation homes that can be utilized throughout the year. 

A second home can also be a good option if you’re preparing for retirement. By purchasing your retirement home now, you can lock in a low interest rate, start paying down the mortgage, and begin enjoying the perks of retirement living while you’re still fit and active. Plus, it’s easier to qualify for a mortgage while you’re employed, although you may be charged a slightly higher interest rate than on a primary home loan.6

One advantage of choosing a second home is that you can offset a portion of the costs—and in some cases turn a profit—by renting it out on a platform like Airbnb or Vrbo. However, be sure to consult with a real estate professional or rental management company to get a realistic sense of the property’s true income potential.

WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?

You may read this and think: I’d really like both a move-up home AND a second home! But if you’re dealing with a limited budget (aren’t we all?), you’ll probably need to make a choice.  These three tactics can help you decide which option is right for you.

1. Determine Your Time and Financial Budget


You may meet the bank’s qualifications to purchase a home, but do you have the time, energy, and financial resources to maintain it? This is an important question to ask yourself, no matter what type of home you choose.
Most buyers realize that a second home will mean double mortgages, utilities, taxes, and insurance. But consider all the extra time and expense that goes into maintaining two properties. Two lawns to mow. Two houses to clean. Two sets of systems and appliances that can malfunction. Second homes aren’t always a vacation. Make sure you’re prepared for the labor and carrying costs that go into maintaining another residence.
Of course, some move-up homes require more work than a second home. For example, if your move-up option is a major fixer-upper, you’ll probably invest more energy and capital than you would on a small vacation condo by the beach. Have an honest discussion about how much time and money you want to spend on your new property. Would a move-up home or a second home be a better fit given your parameters?

2.Rank Your Priorities

If you’re still undecided, make a wish list of the characteristics you’d like in your new home. Then rank each item from most to least important. This exercise can help you determine your “must-have” features—and which ones you may need to sacrifice or delay. Here’s a sample to help you get started:

FEATURE
Dedicated home office
Extra bedroom
Pool
Walk to the beach
Big backyard
Close to friends and family
Short commute to the office
Investment potential

3.Explore Your Options

Once you’ve determined your parameters and priorities, it’s time to begin your home search. 

If you’re still not sure whether a move-up home or a second home is right for you, we can help.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your options and help you assess the pros and cons of each, given your unique circumstances. 

We can also send you property listings for both move-up homes and second homes within your budget so you can better envision each scenario. Sometimes, viewing listings of homes that meet your criteria can make the decision clear.

LET’S GET MOVING

Whether you’re ready to make a move or need help weighing your options, we’d love to help. We can determine your current home’s value and show you local properties that fit within your budget. Or, if your heart is set on a second home in another market, we can refer you to an agent in your dream locale. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!

Sources:

  1. Zillow –
    https://www.zillow.com/research/coronavirus-remote-work-suburbs-27046/ 
  2. The Harris Poll –
    https://theharrispoll.com/should-you-flee-your-city-almost-40-have-considered-it-during-the-pandemic/
  3. MarketWatch –
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mortgage-rates-keeping-falling-so-will-they-finally-drop-to-0-2020-08-13
  4. Toronto Star –
    https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/08/07/you-can-get-a-fixed-rate-as-low-as-184-per-cent-which-is-unbelievable-low-mortgage-rates-driving-up-home-prices.html
  5. Kiplinger –
    https://www.kiplinger.com/real-estate/buying-a-home/601091/timely-reasons-to-buy-a-vacation-home
  6. The Press-Enterprise –
    https://www.pe.com/2018/11/17/5-tips-on-when-should-you-buy-a-retirement-house-hint-before-you-quit-work/

Buying or Selling in 2022? Look for an Agent with These 10 Qualities

Key Takeaways:

  • In today’s hot market, it’s more important than ever to choose the right agent to help you buy or sell a home.
  • Real estate agents don’t just offer local expertise—their insider knowledge and marketing prowess come in handy, too.
  • Thinking about making a move in the new year? Contact us to start planning now!

Here Are the Top 10 Qualities Every Successful Real Estate Agent Should Have

Did you know that 75% of buyers and sellers work with the first agent they meet? It’s true—but that doesn’t mean it’s the best decision. If you want to come out on top in today’s competitive market, experts often recommend interviewing a few candidates before settling on the right real estate professional for the job. And if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve outlined 10 qualities of a highly successful agent.

They keep up with the latest sold data

Analyzing real estate sold data

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you’ll want to keep up with the latest sold data for your neighborhood of choice. Sold data reports consist of homes that recently sold in your area, as well as their final prices. Not only do these numbers help sellers determine an accurate list price, but they can also be used by buyers to gauge an area’s affordability. A top-notch agent should be willing to provide you with up-to-date data every step of the way.

They know what’s happening in the real estate market

It’s hard to know what the real estate market will look like next year. But with careful forecasting, a local agent should be able to provide some valuable insight. Agents can educate buyers and sellers on everything from price fluctuations to mortgage rates—just make sure they’re using accurate data to back up their predictions.

They’re social media savvy

Real estate agent using social media

Nowadays, home-buying and selling primarily happens on the internet. According to recent research, over 95% of buyers start searching for properties online, which makes it imperative that agents maintain an active presence on their social platforms. Be sure to ask your agent about the virtual tools they offer buyers and sellers, such as access to the MLS, social media promotion, and paid advertising. Bonus points if they have their own website, too!

They have a network of contacts

When it comes to buying or selling a home, it truly takes a village. A well-connected agent can refer you to their network of local contacts, such as plumbers, landscapers, lawyers, and so much more. You’ll rest easy knowing that you can trust their recommendations for local service providers!

Their referrals are positive

Buyer or seller leaving online feedback

If an agent provides legendary customer service, their past clients are more than willing to leave positive feedback—or even refer them to their loved ones! Ask your potential agent about their reviews, or take a look online to see what previous buyers and sellers have to say about working with them.

They’re punctual

This one should be a given! The current real estate market moves faster than ever before, which makes punctuality an even more important quality than usual. If your agent is on-time (or early!) to your appointments, you’ll know they’re treating you like a priority.

It’s easy to get in touch

Scheduling an appointment with a real estate agent

Keeping in touch is key when it comes to real estate, so you’ll want to share the same method of communication as your agent. Tell your agent from the beginning whether you prefer to text, email, or talk on the phone. Not responding in a timely manner is a big red flag.

They’re shrewd negotiators

Buyers and sellers alike should look for an agent with top-notch negotiation skills to get them the best possible price. And if you want to evaluate a real estate agent’s prowess, just ask yourself this question: how well did they negotiate with you to win your business?

They’ve built their own brand

Buyers getting the keys to their new home

Real estate agents don’t just help you buy or sell a home—they need to be expert marketers on both sides of the transaction. Solid branding can help agents rise to the top of the competition and build a reputation that people rely on, trust, and recognize. Exploring an agent’s social media and website can give you a good idea of their personal branding strategies.

You get along with them

When you’re trusting someone with one of your biggest investments, it’s crucial to get along on both a professional and personal level. If you can’t have difficult conversations with your agent—or if you don’t get along with them—consider going with another candidate. Personality can sometimes trump experience!

Find the Right Agent for Your Move

Ready to start planning your 2022 move? Now is the time to find the perfect agent for the job! Contact us today to learn more about what we bring to the table, or explore our other resources to get a head start on buying or selling. We’re always here to offer superior service throughout every step of the transaction!

From Boomers to Zoomers: Home-Buying Tips for Every Generation

Key Takeaways:

  • Buyers throughout all walks of life are wondering how to navigate today’s competitive housing market.
  • Whether you’re a Gen Z first-time buyer or a Baby Boomer looking to downsize, you should consider making a move to lock in your real estate goals.
  • Have questions about buying or selling? Contact us for personalized advice!  

What Every Generation Should Know About Buying a Home

As older members of Gen Z reach home-buying age and Millennials make up the largest share of the housing market, buyers from every generation are wondering if now is the right time to make a move. Buying a home at any stage in life comes with its own unique challenges, so it’s crucial to consider your future and factor finances into your decision.

Looking for advice? We’re here to offer some savvy real estate tips for every generation, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers.

Gen Z: The New Buyers on the Block

Gen Z home buyers

If you’re part of Generation Z, you were probably born after 1997—and the oldest “Zoomers” are just now buying their first homes at 24 and 25. Even though most members of Gen Z aren’t quite ready to tackle homeownership, this socially conscious and highly educated generation is setting goals for themselves when it comes to real estate.

According to a new survey by Homes.com, over 85% of Gen Z plans to buy a home before turning 35. So if you’re a Zoomer, now is the perfect time to begin saving and paying off any debt. Start researching the home-buying process, learning about different loan options, and setting aside as much extra cash as possible to build up your down payment (spoiler alert: it doesn’t have to be the traditional 20%). And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with an agent…it’s okay if you aren’t quite ready to buy!

Millennials: The Market Trendsetters

Millennial couple moving in

Millennials—known for their love of pets and avocado toast—comprise a whopping 37% of today’s total home-buyers. And after witnessing the 2008 market crash, a pandemic, and now record-low interest rates, they’re finally ready to buy.

Compared to other generations, Millennials waited longer to buy their first homes. This surprising shift can be attributed to rising student debt, the Great Recession, as well as a dip in marriage and fertility rates. However, if you’re one of the many Millennials looking to ditch renting and start build equity, it’s worth doing a deep dive on mortgages before beginning your search. Even if you don’t have a traditional 20% down payment saved up, you could take advantage of government backed loans or assistance programs. Remember—knowing exactly what you can afford and getting pre-approved will up your chances of securing your perfect place.

Millennials aren’t just first-time buyers, either—many have also stepped into the role of first-time sellers. If you’re selling a home without much experience, it’s more important than ever to work with the right agent. Don’t be afraid to shop around and interview a few candidates before settling on “the one!”

Gen X: Making a Comeback

Family with children

Gen X—classified as anyone born between 1965 and 1979—makes up around a quarter of today’s total buyers. And while they may not have the same momentum as Millennials, members of Gen X typically aren’t buying their first homes. In fact, many are looking to upgrade and purchase a home at a higher price point than any other generation.

Per a new survey by the National Association of Realtors, Gen X is the highest earning generation, and they tend to buy larger and more expensive homes to accommodate growing households. If you’re one of the many Gen Xers eager to upsize—perhaps even into a multigenerational home—you’ll want to take advantage of the equity you have in your current place. The right agent will be able to help you sell for top dollar and find a new house that checks all your boxes!

Baby Boomers: Downsizing…and Investing!

Senior adults holding a home

Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 now face the reality of retiring and downsizing. This exciting season of life can come with a few challenges, as well as some unexpected opportunities! If you’re one of the many Boomers considering a move to a smaller home, it’s crucial to examine the equity you have in your current property. The average Baby Boomer has stayed in the same home for around 15 years—and in that timeframe, home values have risen by 50% or far more depending on your area. 

So, what should you do with all that extra money once you downsize to a more manageable house? Consider paying all cash for your new place, especially if you want sellers to notice (and accept!) your offer. And as you adjust to retirement, using that leftover equity to purchase an investment property could be an easy way to generate extra income.

Take Advantage of Today’s Once-in-a-Generation Market

No matter where you are in the home-buying process, it pays to work with the right agent. We’d love to help you achieve your buying and selling goals, or just answer any questions you have about today’s hot real estate market. Home prices are on the rise, mortgage rates remain low, and there’s never been a better time to make a move!

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wait Any Longer to Invest in Real Estate

Key Takeaways:

  • Even as home prices continue to climb, there’s never been a better time to get your foot in the door when it comes to real estate investing.
  • You don’t need a lot of money to diversify your portfolio—in fact, you have more options than you might think!
  • Whether you’re an experienced investor or a first-timer, you’ll want to work with the right agent to score a great deal.

What Buyers Need to Know About Real Estate Investing

Even if you haven’t bought or sold a house this year, you’ve probably heard wild predictions and statistics about the real estate market. As prices keep skyrocketing, would-be and experienced investors alike are wondering if now is the right time to add to their portfolios. Believe it or not, now might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase an income-generating property—and there are countless options from which to choose.

Still on the fence? Here are a few quick tips and tricks you need to know before investing in real estate.

Real estate investment isn’t only for the rich

Despite what popular shows on HGTV might tell you, real estate investing is something anyone can accomplish with careful planning and saving. You don’t even need any experience to get started—but having the help of a real estate agent will make all the difference.

Start by working with an agent who knows your local investment market. Based on your budget and goals, they’ll help you select a property that meets your needs and offers a high return on investment. Don’t just limit yourself to fixer-uppers—it’s worth considering land, single- or multi-family homes and condos, office space, or warehouses, too. 

With a little sweat equity, you can easily turn any investment into an income-generating property that will help you pay off your mortgage. The easiest way to do this involves renting your property out to tenants. Over the last decade, the average rent has increased by more than 30%—so if you plan on keeping your property for a long time, you’ll be able to turn an impressive profit while building equity.

Mortgage rates remain low

Approved mortgage application

One of the biggest mistakes that any investor can make is trying to time the market. While it may seem tempting to wait until a recession for prices to decrease, it’s impossible to predict how the market will fluctuate over time. And even as prices continue rising, you’ll want to factor low mortgage rates into the equation.

Lower mortgage rates make real estate investing more affordable. As of November 2021, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovers around 3.4%, which is roughly a full percentage point lower than it was in 2018. Let’s put that into perspective—if you purchase a $400,000 property with a 20% down payment, you’d pay around $1,419 per month. But if you bought the same asset with a 4.4% rate, that monthly payment would skyrocket by more than $200, which adds up over time.

First-timers can start small

First-time real estate investors

Even if you aren’t a current homeowner, real estate investing isn’t out of your reach. Some smart investors actually use their primary residence to generate extra money on the side. Once you establish a cash flow, you can start saving up for an even bigger investment down the line.

Wondering how you can start investing in real estate without a lot of capital? Real estate investment trusts (REITs) let you pool your money together with other investors and earn dividends, so you won’t have to buy or manage your own property. Many millennials have even tried “house hacking,” which involves buying a home and renting out rooms to offset a mortgage. And for an even simpler way to invest, consider land—some plots are available for just a few thousand dollars, and they’ll likely increase in value over time.

Work with Real Estate Investment Experts

Even if you already have a few assets under your belt, now is the time to diversify your investment portfolio! We have ample experience helping investors just like you, and we’d love to help you find an income-generating property that checks all the boxes.

Need to sell an investment property? We can certainly help with that, too!

Explaining the Buzz Around iBuyers—and the Buzzkill

Key Takeaways:

  • Some sellers have turned to iBuyers for instant cash offers on their properties, but they have consequently sacrificed the personalization of their home sale. 
  • iBuyers use outdated algorithms to value properties, whereas real estate agents use to-the-minute statistics to generate accurate, competitive prices. 
  • Work with our team of local agents to expertly price your property—and we can even start crunching the numbers for your updated home value today! 

Here’s What You Need to Know About iBuyers

An iBuyer is a company that makes an offer on your property by using automated value-estimating technology. Rather than partaking in the traditional home sale process, some of today’s sellers are relying on iBuyers to make all-cash offers on their properties. And since iBuyers use automated estimators to price your home, these companies are able to make their offers almost instantly.

Sellers have varying considerations when it comes to their home sales—some prioritize earning top dollar, while others just want to sell as quickly as possible. So depending on your home-selling goals, iBuyers could be a valid option for you. However, no matter what you want out of your home sale, you should always have an expert real estate agent by your side to guide you through the process. 

When pricing your home, you want accuracy—not algorithms

Realtor showing home

As the local market starts showing signs of a shift, there’s never been a more critical time to know your home’s true value. In the real estate industry, agents price your home through a process called a comparative market analysis (CMA). This process compares your property to recently sold listings in the area that share similar features to your own home. Based on the CMA results, our agents are able to generate a competitive price that will have buyers flocking to your door.

On the other hand, iBuyers use a software they refer to as an automation valuation model, which essentially uses an algorithm to quickly process a property’s data and compute an offer price. When setting a list price for your property, you don’t want to rely on automatic estimators that promise instant (but not accurate!) results—entrust a local agent instead! And when you work with us, one of our pricing experts will evaluate your property in-person to pinpoint its value-boosting features and deliver you an accurate price in real-time.  

The ideal timeline of your home sale should be top of mind 

couple planning their moving timeline

This is when your home-selling priorities come into play—if selling your home quickly is your absolute top priority, then working with an iBuyer might best fit your needs. Many iBuyers can make you a cash offer within two days of when they receive your property’s information. Then, if you accept the offer and schedule a home assessment immediately, you could close on your house anywhere from two weeks to two months later, depending on any necessary repairs. 

Although the extraordinarily quick timeline of selling your home to an iBuyer may seem compelling, you also have to consider our local market—it’s still skewed towards sellers. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 87% of properties sold in August 2021 were on the market for less than a month. So with the ball still clearly in sellers’ courts, working with an iBuyer might not guarantee moving any sooner. 

Need Selling Advice? We’re All Ears! 

Ultimately, determining whether you should sell to an iBuyer is a personal decision based on your priorities. And as your local area experts, our agents are here to guide you through the home-selling process no matter which option you choose. Whether you need to sell your home this week or crave a competitive list price that will earn you a profit, you can count on us to accomplish your home-selling goals. 

Are Renovations Worth Risking Your Top-Dollar Home Sale?

Key Takeaways:

  • As a seller, you have to consider which home renovations are worth spending the additional time and money on before you list.
  • The local market is starting to shift towards buyers, so now is the time to sell your home before prices flatten out. 
  • Lean on our expertise to determine which projects will increase your return on investment—we have the seller resources you need to enhance your home sale. 

Does Your Home’s Right Buyer Want a Move-in Ready Home? 

Many sellers are wondering whether they should sell their homes as-is (without any improvements) or delay listing their properties to complete some renovations. With the upcoming market shift, it’s important for sellers to consider which improvements are worth spending additional time on before listing. And while there is no surefire answer, we always recommend relying on your listing agent’s expertise to navigate the home-selling process.

Your listing agent should have insight into the right buyers for your particular home, so consult with them to ensure your property is catering to its target market. According to Rocket Mortgage, the average price of a move-in ready property is $250,495, compared to the discounted $199,819 price tag of the average fixer-upper. So if you’re a homeowner wondering if renovations will attract more buyers, the answer is that it really depends on how much time and effort you want to put in. And while we can’t predict what every buyer’s preference will be, we do have some strategies to determine if certain projects are worth the selling delay. 

Return on investment should be top of mind 

When it comes to selling homes, we always have the same top priority—earning you top dollar. Selling your home for the best possible price should be your ultimate goal; so you have to ask yourself how you’re going to accomplish that. When in doubt, here are two things to consider: which improvements will be worth the additional costs, and which projects will gain the greatest return on your investment. 

To put it plainly, some renovations simply aren’t worth the additional costs. You have to be strategic when deciding which renovations to make—and on the flip side, you also have to consider what buyers want. For instance, a home’s kitchen is always a huge selling point, so that may be a good place to implement some changes. 

Minimal upgrades may be the way to go 

As a seller, you have to consider both your budget and timeline before you list. If you want to sell your home quickly, then you probably shouldn’t tackle a full-fledged kitchen remodel. However, if you’re determined to earn an extra dime by doing a long list of renovations, then you just have to be okay with the selling delay. 

Throughout our years of successful home sales, we’ve noticed a common theme: minor upgrades have huge earning potential. Completing a few short-term projects, such as painting interior walls or sprucing up your landscaping, won’t take long. However, they’ll certainly amp up your home’s appearance. Plus, a few tweaks here and there—replacing door knobs, updating light fixtures, or fixing leaky faucets—will take your home from a work in progress to a move-in ready masterpiece. 

Sell now before the market shifts 

You may be wondering, what’s the big rush? Well, real estate experts are predicting a market shift—so by waiting to sell your home, you could lose out on thousands of dollars of equity. Increased housing inventory and slower price appreciation are just two indicators of the upcoming shift. As new inventory begins to increase, now is the time to list your home before prices level out.

Put Success on Your Side 

In today’s shifting market, you have to move quickly towards what you want. If you’re unsure of what steps to take next, our team is prepared to walk you through the home-selling process—and we’re here to ensure you receive the highest return on your investment. Contact us to learn more about listing your home, or you can always come to us with any selling questions! 

How to Choose a Seasoned Agent for Your Home Sale

Key Takeaways:

  • Selling your home is a chance to maximize your equity, so you owe it to yourself to find the perfect listing agent.  
  • Searching for a listing agent is just as important as your home search, so make sure to meet with at least three candidates before making a decision. 
  • We’re telling you the must-ask questions to track down a listing agent—and now, you can put our team to the test when you list your home with us! 

Home Sellers, Don’t Settle For Second Best

Many sellers are under the impression that any listing agent can sell their home instantly for the best possible price—but that’s simply not the case. Did you know that 77% of home sellers only contact one agent before listing their home? When it comes to trusting someone with your biggest investment, it’s crucial to do plenty of research to find the right fit. And you should never settle for second, which is why we recommend meeting with at least three agents before making your decision. We’ve outlined some must-ask questions to help you track down the perfect listing agent!

What’s your marketing plan? 

tripod set up for property pictures

The best way to sell your home is to expose it to as many prospective buyers as possible, which requires a strategic marketing plan. Ask potential agents about their specific marketing tactics, and you can even have them provide examples from past clients. Just listing your home online and scheduling an open house shouldn’t be the extent of an agent’s marketing plan. As agents who have crafted masterful marketing plans ourselves, we have the data to target your home’s most likely buyers—and even more importantly, we know exactly how to reach them.  

How long have you been working in real estate in my area

realtor walking outside

Almost every agent can boast “decades of combined experience” when it comes to their team’s time working in the real estate industry—but what about selling homes in your specific area? Real estate isn’t the same everywhere, which is why you should choose an agent who is local to your area. This way, you can be confident knowing that your home will be competitively listed in comparison to other properties in the area. And if your agent happens to also work with buyers in the area, then they may be able to direct them to your listing! 

How many active clients do you work with at one time? 

realtor and client meeting

One of the most important things to analyze about your potential agent is their availability. When asking about an agent’s active clients, you want their answer to fall within a sweet spot range—not having many clients can be a red flag, while trying to sell too many properties at once may mean they can’t provide the personalized experience that you deserve. Working with around 10 to 15 clients at once is pretty standard and should still allow for plenty of one-on-one time between you and your potential agent. 

Tell me more about your pricing strategies 

discussing home pricing strategies

As a seller, you want to choose an agent who can deliver a top-dollar home sale. A seasoned agent can determine the value of your home in a snap—during your first meeting, go ahead and give them details about your property and ask them for a competitive list price. By doing this, you’ll be able to gauge the agent’s pricing expertise on the spot and ensure they give you a realistic amount. A qualified agent will take into consideration other recently sold homes in the area and ask about any renovations you’ve completed. 

And finally…what’s your specialty? 

realtors reading property blueprint

While many listing agents have ample experience across the board, many also specialize in certain types of real estate. Whether it be new construction or luxury properties, it’s crucial to see whether an agent’s specific skill set aligns with the features of your home. And don’t be shy about requesting a sold portfolio—this way, you can see if any of the agent’s sold listings are similar to your property. 

Use Our Local Expertise—List Your Home With Us 

When it comes to selling your home, choosing the right agent matters more than you think. If you want to work with professionals who know the local market better than anyone else, then you should contact one of our listing agents. We have a wealth of cutting-edge seller resources, in addition to our unparalleled passion for earning our clients top dollar on their home sales. We’ve clued you in on all the tough questions to ask, and we’re more than ready to share our expertise with you! 

Our Full Guide to This Winter’s Cooled-Down Market

Key Takeaways:

  • According to this winter’s market forecast, there’s going to be a flurry of new housing inventory that benefits both buyers and sellers. 
  • More housing inventory provides additional options for buyers and newfound confidence for sellers who need to find a home after they list.
  • Thinking about making a move? It’s not too early to begin planning—and by starting now, you’ll be settled in your next home by the new year! 

The Winter Weather Forecast Is Calling for a Cooled-Down Market

It might still be the beginning of autumn, but it’s never too early to start planning a successful home sale! If you’re thinking about listing your home this winter, you should expect the market to look a little different by the end of the year. Winter is usually the quietest time for real estate, which means you can look forward to a cooled-down winter market forecast. A slower-moving market will give sellers more time to prepare their listings and peruse the market for their next homes. 

Here’s what more housing inventory means for sellers 

homeowners meeting with realtor

After enduring a red-hot sellers’ market so far in 2021, this year’s winter market forecast is finally calling for increased housing inventory. More homes on the market means two things for sellers: they gain more time to prepare their listings, but they might need to do a little more to stand out from the competition. 

With additional properties expected to hit the market this winter, we want to make sure you get your home listed before our area gets snowed in with sellers. From highlighting your home’s top features to marketing it to targeted buyers, we can sell your property for top dollar in no time. 

Homebuyers, your holiday present is here

homeowners hugging in kitchen

Instead of a present under the tree, what if we could give you a new home instead? Current predictions indicate an onset of new housing inventory this winter, which means more options for buyers. So bundle up buyers—it’s finally going to be your turn to make a move in the market. More housing inventory and continually low interest rates could lead to a long-awaited decrease in home prices, all of which will help create a more balanced market.  

As your local area experts, we know how to land your dream home in just the right community. So whether you’ve been browsing for your next home or already know you’re going to need a house after you sell, you can count on us to find your perfect place. And by using our comprehensive market reports, we can help you secure a home within your budget, too!  

Now’s the time to take advantage of this year’s wintery market mix 

couple meeting with realtor over coffee

While it might be tempting to put off listing your home until after the holiday season, you never know when the market is going to shift again. Trying to time the market is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homeowner, and we’re here to assure you that this winter (or even fall!) is the time to make your real estate move. 

Both buyers and sellers can take advantage of this year’s wintery market mix of competitive listings and increased housing inventory. New properties on the market will provide buyers with more housing options to choose from, and sellers can list their homes knowing that they’ll be able to find a new place after they sell. And if you’re listing soon, you don’t have to worry about making your property stand out—our top-notch agents can handle all the details. 

Ready to Slide Into the Market This Winter?

Hop on your sleds, we’re ready to help you slide into the real estate market this winter! Buying or selling your home—even during the holiday season—doesn’t have to be stressful. Allow us to handle all the details of your real estate transaction for you this winter, so you can be settled in your next home by the new year! 

Here’s How Shopping Small Can Earn You Big Profits

Key Takeaways:

  • When it comes to selling your home, supporting local businesses is one of the most profitable decisions you can make. 
  • Local businesses love to give back to their communities, which can increase your home’s value over time. 
  • We’ve worked with the most reputable businesses around—contact us today, and we’ll pass along our professional recommendations! 

Use Local Businesses as Your Home-Selling Sidekicks

When it comes to selling your home, supporting local businesses can be one of the most profitable decisions you make. Instead of calling upon big-name chains, you can utilize homegrown service providers to save money and make sure the job gets done right. Investing in local businesses has been proven to increase a community’s real estate values—besides, there’s no better return on your investment than a genuine “thank you” from a neighbor! 

For every $100 spent at small businesses, this much stays in the community… 

Local service provider

Small businesses tend to reinvest in their local economies more than chains do, which is great news for homeowners and potential sellers. Plus, small business owners typically work, play, and live in the same communities as their storefronts—so they care more about seeing their hometowns thrive. 

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies found that communities with successful small businesses see property values increase by 50 percent on average. And with home prices appreciating, neighborhoods can benefit from attracting new business investments to spark economic growth. According to research done by The Alliance, $68 stays in the community for every $100 spent at local businesses.

Shopping small provides hyper-local services

Working at the office

Think of shopping local like a community-wide networking event—you strengthen your connections by spreading the word about your positive experiences at businesses in the area. And if you want to know the best providers around, you can just ask your real estate agent. Your local agent doubles as your go-to reference for the most reputable nearby businesses. 

Selling your home is a hyper-local experience, one in which you can benefit from partnering with the most convenient local business of them all: your real estate agent. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of supporting local and giving back to the community, which is why we only recommend our best business partners to our clients.

Here’s why hiring local service providers is the strategic choice 

Laying sod

When you decide to list your property, there’s most likely going to be some projects that need to be completed—things like renovations and repairs, staging for showings, and general maintenance should all be at the top of your to-do list. Hiring homegrown service providers is the strategic choice when it comes to selling your home. Not only will you be guaranteed great service, but you may even receive discounted rates. When real estate agents repeatedly refer their clients to local businesses, companies sometimes provide lower rates in return. 

Invest in small businesses to increase your home value

Florist preparing a bouquet

Wondering which local businesses you should take advantage of when listing your home? Hire a landscaper to spruce up your curb appeal, use a local painter to incorporate a more neutral color palette, or contact a local handyman for repairs. Want to get the inside of your home showing-ready? Your agent can recommend a top-notch florist for a bouquet of local blooms. That’s the thing about shopping small—the owners have local expertise and will go the extra mile to make sure their clients are happy! 

Want to Increase Your Home Value?

It’s simple—when you invest in local businesses, those companies turn back around and invest in your community, which increases your home value! It’s hard to fully understand the positive impact of shopping local, but it becomes easier when you see your property value rise over time. 

We’ve worked with the best businesses in our community, and we know they would love to play a part in your real estate dreams. Just tell us what services you need, and we’ll send our professional recommendations your way! 

Your Comprehensive Guide to Picking the Perfect Neighborhood

Key Takeaways:

  • If you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s important to choose the right neighborhood, especially if you care about resale value.
  • Certain neighborhood features can increase your home value—and make you feel right at home in your new community. 
  • When it comes to your home search, we have some features to keep in the forefront of your mind to make sure you pick the perfect (and most profitable) community! 

Here’s What Affects Your Home Value Every Time

When it comes to your home search, finding a house in the ideal neighborhood is half the battle. Your future community is going to decide how close you are to nearby conveniences, what qualities your home possesses, and the people who are going to be your neighbors. 

A home’s value is determined by how much prospective buyers in the market are willing to pay for your property, but we understand that each buyer is unique. While one buyer may prioritize nearby employment opportunities, another might place more weight on local entertainment or neighborhood amenities. However, property values are always impacted by one component—where they’re located. 

If you’re on the hunt for your next neighborhood, consider this your step-by-step guide on how to pick the perfect community!    

Location, location, location

aerial view of neighborhood homes

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s so important that we have to repeat it—location is everything when it comes to making a good investment in your next home. Think about it: typically, all the homes in a neighborhood, regardless of size or condition, fall within the same price range. Therefore, when it comes to valuing a property, location matters more than even the home’s characteristics.

When an appraiser is assigning a value to a property based on its location, they look at three primary factors—the reputation of local schools, employment opportunities, and proximity to entertainment. In addition to these factors, a home’s distance to everyday necessities, such as highways and public transit systems, play a crucial role in increasing its value.     

Neighborhood amenities are must-haves for more value 

enjoying an outdoor dinner

What could be better than having a host of amenities available right outside your front door? Neighborhood niceties such as community clubhouses, golf courses, and pools are often at the top of buyers’ wishlists when searching for a new home. All these features and more foster a fun, inclusive environment of community involvement. Plus, a spacious clubhouse serves as the prime venue to host events that are sure to bring the neighborhood together! 

In addition to a neighborhood’s current conveniences, you can research any future upgrades your community has coming through its digital planning documents. These documents should outline what improvements are planned for your neighborhood—like nearby shopping centers, schools, or parks—and when they’re going to be completed. Plus, it’s always a good idea to check and see if a neighborhood has a homeowners association. Your HOA will have a hand in maintaining and enhancing the community’s value over time. 

Other conveniences you should consider…

woman smiling on phone

At this point, you’ve probably considered some basic factors like nearby attractions, commute times, and all the amenities a neighborhood has to offer—but what about the everyday conveniences? To take your home search to the next level, you have to think about the seemingly small details. When evaluating your neighborhood’s location, cover your bases by mapping out the distances to the nearest medical centers, airports, and grocery stores—believe us, you’ll be thankful for this when you forget to buy eggs. 

In terms of expenses, everyone has to pay utility bills, so you can save money by looking at who your local providers will be ahead of time. And speaking of planning, we recommend working with your agent to determine how your area’s property taxes will fit into your home-buying budget. 

Ready to Find Your Perfect Fit?

All these features are things you should be on the lookout for during your home search—and remember, the surrounding community is equally as important as the individual home when it comes to finding your perfect fit. As your local real estate agents, we’d be happy to help you find your dream home in just the right neighborhood—all you have to do is give us a call! 

Do You Know the Hidden Costs of New Construction?

Key Takeaways:

  • New construction homes can have hidden costs, which is why you have to pay attention to the details when deciding on a new build. 
  • When touring model homes, always ask the builder about what’s standard and what’s considered an upgraded feature with additional costs.  
  • Buy on your terms and work with our team to navigate the ins and outs of purchasing the new construction home of your dreams!

Don’t Mistake “New Construction” with “All-Inclusive” 

There are many advantages of buying a new construction home—low-maintenance living, brand-new appliances, and minimal repair costs are just a few. Plus, a new build provides a blank slate for buyers to begin making sweet new memories! 

While buyers should be excited about all these benefits, they should also be aware of the potential hidden costs associated with purchasing a new build. We’re here to ensure you know exactly what is included in the overall cost of your new construction home. 

Protect yourself before there’s a problem

Just like an existing home, a brand-new home can have hidden issues that could require repairs. Something as simple as inadequate plumbing or roofing could result in sizable amounts of damage—this is why you have to protect yourself by being proactive in the home-buying process. All builders have their own nuances, which is why you should take the time to research different options before deciding on the right one. If you want some tried and true recommendations, your agent can provide valuable insight. Every home, including new builds, should be checked by an independent home inspector who isn’t affiliated with the builder. 

Before you commit to purchasing a new build, make sure to read the fine print of the home warranty. You may have to rely on your warranty if any issues arise that aren’t covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. And remember, not every warranty is the same, so it’s important to determine exactly what your warranty covers and the length of the coverage. 

Stay true to your non-negotiables

Newly-built homes aren’t guaranteed to include all the necessities, so you need to know what to expect from a standard model. It’s quite common for new builds to come without certain interior items, such as appliances and window treatments, plus exterior fencing and landscaping. 

Before you make an offer, talk to your builder with your agent present and ask about the features included in your future home. Everything from drawer handles to light fixtures could cost extra, so be sure to compile a list of non-negotiables to budget for things you can’t live without.   

Don’t be duped by the mesmerizing model home

The model homes you’ll tour often have all the available upgrades the builder offers—we’re talking gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and open-concept floor plans with beautiful hardwood flooring. However, these top-level features could cost you thousands of dollars more than the builder’s grade basics. 

You can work with your agent to figure out which features are included in the standard model’s base price. Be sure to focus on what originally made you fall in love with the property, not all the bells and whistles you see in the showy model. When contemplating which upgrades are worth the cost, think about the home’s future resale value—will the upgrades increase your return on investment and appeal to a variety of buyers? This is a prime opportunity to lean on your agent’s expertise to determine which upgrades will add the most value to your home.   

Ready to Buy a New Build?

When you buy a new construction home, you always want to have a trusted real estate agent by your side. Remember, the builder’s sales agent has the builder’s best interest in mind—not yours. We have the new construction experience needed to guide you through the negotiation process and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Contact us to learn more about new construction properties in the area, and we’ll get the ball rolling on buying your new home today!