Jane Dunlap - New England R. E. Center, Inc.



Posted by Jane Dunlap on 6/17/2018

If you are preparing to sell your house, you need to be honest with yourself and others. That way, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

Ultimately, it pays to be an honest home seller for a number of reasons, including:

1. You can establish a competitive price for your house.

It is important to understand that what your house is worth today is unlikely to match what you paid for it, regardless of when you bought your home. Fortunately, an honest home seller is realistic about his or her house's value and can plan accordingly.

Generally, an honest home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to conduct a home appraisal. Because with an appraisal report in hand, this home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her house based on actionable data.

2. You can identify home problems before a buyer does.

If a home seller tries to hide home problems from a buyer, the consequences could be significant. In fact, a seller may put a potential home sale in jeopardy if he or she fails to be forthright and honest with buyers from the get-go.

For example, consider what might happen if a buyer submits an offer on a house and discovers myriad home problems during an inspection. In this scenario, a buyer may ask the seller to perform various home repairs or request a price reduction. Or, a buyer may choose to walk away from a home sale altogether.

As a home seller, it helps to take an honest approach to inform potential buyers about the condition of a house. If a residence requires assorted repairs, a seller may want to complete these repairs before listing his or her residence.

Comparatively, a seller can always include information about a home's condition in a house listing. If a seller does so, he or she can help buyers make an informed decision about a possible home purchase.

3. You can avoid rash decisions throughout the home selling journey.

An honest home seller usually is calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling journey. This seller understands the pros and cons of his or her house, and as such, can take an informed, logical approach to make the best-possible decisions.

Perhaps most important, an honest home seller is unafraid to receive negative feedback about his or her house. As a result, this seller may be better equipped than others to avoid rash decisions during the home selling journey.

There are many great reasons why a home seller should strive to be honest at each stage of the home selling cycle. Of course, if you need extra help as you sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well.

Typically, a real estate agent will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations and suggestions. He or she will even help you get your house ready for the real estate market. And with this housing market professional's support, a home seller can move closer to achieving his or her desired results.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 6/10/2018

Your home represents a one-of-a-kind property, and as such, you'll want to do everything you can to promote it to your friends, family members and, of course, your neighbors.

Ultimately, your neighbors can play a significant role in generating interest in your home. And if you incorporate your neighbors into the home selling process, you may be able to boost your chances of a quick sale and maximize your chances of optimizing the value of your house.

So what does it take to work with your neighbors throughout the home selling process? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Transform an Open House into a Block Party.

If you host an open house, invite your neighbors – you'll be glad you did! By doing so, homebuyers can learn about your house as well as experience what it's like to live in your neighborhood.

Your neighbors may be able to provide insights into your neighborhood that homebuyers might struggle to find elsewhere. And if you invite your neighbors to an open house, you should have no trouble generating plenty of interest in your house in no time at all.

2. Share Your Home Listing with Your Neighbors.

As soon as your home listing becomes available, be sure to share it with your neighbors. This will enable you to extend your home listing's reach and boost your chances of connecting with a broad array of interested homebuyers.

Also, encourage your neighbors to provide feedback about your home listing. A neighbor's feedback could make or break your home listing, and any insights that a neighbor can provide may help you put your home listing over the top in the eyes of homebuyers.

3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

Employing a friendly, experienced real estate agent is paramount, regardless of whether you're selling your residence in a buyers' or sellers' market. With a top-notch real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to bolster your chances of connecting with your neighbors and highlighting your residence to the right homebuyers at the right time consistently.

Your real estate agent takes pride in his or her work, and as a result, will be happy to provide tips to help you incorporate your neighbors into the home selling process. In fact, your real estate agent may be able to introduce you to neighbors and help you foster positive relationships with them that may allow you to accelerate the home selling process.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent is ready to respond to any concerns or queries during each stage of the home selling process. That way, if you ever have questions about your home listing or homebuyers' offers for your house, your real estate agent will be able to offer expert guidance to help you make the best possible decisions.

Spend some time getting to know your neighbors and your real estate agent. This may enable you to improve your chances of selling your home in any real estate market, at any time.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 6/3/2018

A home appraisal enables a seller to learn about the value of his or her house relative to the current housing market. As such, an appraisal represents an important opportunity, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the profits from his or her home sale.

Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for a home appraisal. If you prepare for an appraisal, you can use the appraisal results to achieve your home selling goals in no time at all.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to perform a home appraisal.

1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match the current value of your residence. Fortunately, if you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize home improvements and complete these upgrades. As a result, you may be able to boost your chances of receiving a favorable property valuation during a home appraisal.

Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you schedule an appraisal. That way, you can use the inspection results to determine which areas of your house need to be upgraded.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The present real estate sector will impact the valuation of your house. To establish realistic expectations for a home appraisal, it often helps to analyze the current housing market.

If homes are selling quickly, this likely indicates that a seller's market is in place. This market favors sellers and may enable you to receive plenty of offers if you establish a competitive price for your home.

Comparatively, if homes linger on the real estate market for many days, weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In this market, you may need to set an aggressive price to help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A home appraisal is an important part of the home selling journey. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a home selling expert who can help you maximize your property valuation during an appraisal.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your city or town. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you determine how to price your house to ensure you can stir up significant interest in your residence.

A real estate agent also is happy to help you review any offers on your home. If you're unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 5/27/2018

If you’re a first-time buyer, odds are you’ve never seen or heard much about mortgage applications. However, for something as important as buying a home, it pays off to go into the process knowing what to expect.

Mortgage applications aren’t all that complicated in and of themselves. Most of the time, your chosen lender will walk you through the process and answer any questions that arise. However, complications do arise when it comes time to provide documentation on things like your income.

To make things easier for your first application, I’ve put together this list of frequently asked questions that first-time buyers often have about their mortgage application process.

Will applying for a mortgage hurt my credit score?

Mortgage lenders will run a credit inquiry to help determine your lending eligibility. There are two types of credit inquiries: hard and soft. A soft inquiry is a quick credit check that doesn’t affect your credit score. A hard inquiry, on the other hand, does. This means your score will be lowered slightly for a few months and then will bounce back.

Mortgage lenders run both types of inquiries. For quick, pre-qualifications, lenders typically run a soft inquiry. Then, as you progress through the approval process, they’re run a detailed credit report (hard inquiry).

What information should I have available?

Lenders will ask you for various documents. The most common things they will ask for include proof of income in the form of  W-2 forms from the previous year and your most recent pay stub. They will also require a record of your other debts, including student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and any other outstanding debt that you owe. Finally, they will ask for an inventory of your assets. This could include investments, properties, auto titles, and more.

What if I don’t work a conventional job?

People who are self-employed or have unconventional income can still qualify for a loan and will still be required to show proof of income. Lenders may ask for Form 1099 records, tax returns, or any other record or proof of income you have available.

How long does it take to complete an application?

Mortgage applications can be completed as quickly as you gather the required documentation. However, there’s more to getting approved for a mortgage than filling out an application. There will be time needed to process the application, and underwrite your mortgage. This entire process typically takes between 30 and 45 days.

Is it safe to apply for a mortgage online?

Most lenders allow you to start the application process online and their online portals are typically secure. Make sure you check your browser window to ensure that the connection to the site is secured, and you should have nothing to worry about.

Keep in mind that most online applications are designed to get you  prequalified and on your way to getting a mortgage. So, if you want to avoid getting calls from the lender, you might not want to enter any data until you know you’re interested in borrowing at this time.





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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 5/20/2018

You may have heard about home warranties, but are unsure of what they are. A home warranty is an excellent addition to your home insurance and has a particular function. When you buy a home, the last thing you want to worry about is things breaking or malfunctioning in the house after you buy it. Buyers fear the expenses they may incur if items in the home start to break down shortly after the property becomes theirs. As a first-time homebuyer, a home warranty can be incredibly helpful since you may need a crash course on home maintenance. 


Depending on what’s the norm for homebuyers locally, either the buyer or the seller will pay for the home warranty. Some sellers pay for warranties up front as an extra assurance to the buyer of the property they’re about to purchase. Sellers also use this as an excellent tactic to “wash their hands” of the property. The buyer won’t need to contact the seller if something goes wrong with the property. A home warranty is a fairly inexpensive way to show buyers that appliances and the home itself have been well taken care of. Occasionally, real estate agents will give buyers a home warranty as a gift for their business. Usually, this is done for higher-end homes. 


Home warranties aren’t very expensive. They usually range in price around a few hundred dollars in cost. The cost is based on a yearly rate and can be renewed each year at a slightly higher premium. 


How Do The Warranties Work?


The warranty provider works with specific companies for different purposes. When the homeowner calls the warranty provider to let them know there’s a problem, the service provider will call the homeowner to make arrangements to fix the problem. If an appliance cannot be repaired, the warranty company may replace the item. There are usually small service fees associated with these repairs and replacements.


Is Anything Not Covered?


A home warranty will not cover numerous items around the house. These items include:


Outdoor fixtures and plumbing

Indoor plumbing fixtures

Pools

Hot tubs

Some appliances may not be covered

Heating system

Water heaters

Cooling system

Fans


Home warranty plans can vary based on your location and the type of policy. Make sure you review what’s covered before you finalize any home warranty. It’s an individual choice that homeowners make to have a peace of mind when moving into a new place.  




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