Janet Cramb & Company/LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Janet Cramb on 8/12/2020

Two of the most important ingredients in a successful house-marketing campaign are competitive pricing and making a great first impression on prospective buyers. Although your real estate agent can assist in achieving both of those goals, keeping your home in "show ready" condition will be up to you and your family.

When your home is actively being shown, the process is not unlike a job interview. The main similarity is that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Potential buyers have a mindset that's similar to that of a hiring manager: They are intensely focused on making the right decision. Since the last thing they want to do is make the wrong choice (or a less-than-optimal choice) it's up to you -- the home seller-- to present your home in its best possible light.

Other than keeping your home squeaky clean and your lawn looking as manicured as possible, it's also to your benefit to reduce clutter. A house that's filled with clutter will definitely send the wrong message to prospective buyers searching for their next home. Clutter takes many forms, so it often requires a concerted effort to identify and remedy it. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

Furniture clutter: Having too much furniture in a room or entryway can give visitors the impression that your home is cramped, too small, or disorganized. If you've had a tendency to add furniture to your home, over time -- without putting some pieces in storage -- then you may have inadvertently created a cluttered "look and feel" to your living space

Surface clutter: Have you ever noticed how things that belong in drawers, cabinets, and recycling bins often end up on tables, counter tops, and bookshelves? If that's taking place in your home, rest assured you're not alone! However, if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you'll make a much better impression on potential buyers if you remove as much surface clutter as possible.

Storage-area clutter: Although there's a lot of truth to the saying "Out of sight, out of mind," that usually doesn't apply to preparing your home for the real estate market! Serious house hunters are pretty thorough, and are generally going to glance in closets, basements, attics, and garages. So if you simply move your clutter to another part of the house, it will still be noticed! Granted, your clutter will be less prominent in storage areas, but it will still have a detracting effect on the overall impression your home makes. The solution involves a combination of strategies, including selling or donating unwanted belongings. In some cases, you might even consider renting a dumpster or calling a reasonably priced junk-hauling service to get rid of things you don't want and can't donate, sell, or give away.

It's not always easy to be objective when staging your home or evaluating its marketability, so an experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance, advice, negotiating help, and marketing assistance





Posted by Janet Cramb on 8/5/2020

Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like youíre ďhome free.Ē The hard part may technically be over, but thereís one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs. 

A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property. 


Closing Costs Defined


Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.


Everything Included In Closing Costs


Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. Youíll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.  


At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.     


Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time


The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, youíll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.


Compare Rates And Lenders


Itís important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you. 


The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!     





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Janet Cramb on 7/29/2020

Putting your home up for sale can elicit a myriad of emotions from you and your spouse -- everything from excitement and anticipation to fear and sadness. It's only natural to feel a mixture of emotions, especially if your home represents years of memories, countless milestones, and stages of family growth.

A cautionary note to keep in mind is that it's easy to get caught up in emotion-based decisions that could derail your chances for making a fast sale.

A primary example would be pricing your home higher than it might actually be worth. Despite the fact that you've experienced great family memories there and spent tens of thousands of dollars to maintain, upgrade, and beautify your home, those factors usually do not translate into a sale price that exceeds the property's appraised value. Your perspective, which may be based on subjective criteria, such as all the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into your house -- not to mention the "TLC" that went into it -- does not hold water in the minds of would-be buyers.

What Does Determine a Home's Value?

The unvarnished truth is that the value of your home is mostly based on prevailing market conditions, the price at which comparable homes in your neighborhood recently sold, and what the market will bear. Effectively setting a price that will bring in the most money without driving away qualified and otherwise-interested buyers is a delicate balance. The homeowner rarely has the objectivity or the specialized knowledge to accurately set the right price. That's where real estate agents comes in, and why it's advisable to sell your home through a licensed agent, rather than attempting a "For Sale By Owner" approach.

Minimizing Bumps in the Road

A good real estate agent will work on your behalf to effectively market your home, collaborate with other agents in the area to schedule showings and spread the word about your listing, and advise you on ways to improve both the curb appeal of your home and its interior appearance. Your agent can also provide indispensable negotiating help, as well as guidance about seller disclosure requirements and other government regulations.

The bottom line is that real estate agents are well-versed in the intricate process of listing, marketing, and selling residential property. Since there are a lot of forms to sign, deadlines to meet, agreements to reach, and formalities to handle, those are among the many sound reasons to enlist the help of a professional.

Although the process of selling a residential property often involves delays, setbacks, and obstacles, most real estate agents are quite adept at solving problems and getting past difficulties. In addition to the marketing, networking, and strategizing they're doing on your behalf, a good agent can also be counted on to provide you with regular progress reports and boost your spirits when you're feeling discouraged.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 7/22/2020

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Now that you decided to move into a luxury home, you need to determine whether you are going to build one or buy a luxury home that already exists. There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin. Also, in most cases, building is going to be more expensive. Still, you also get to choose materials and have the newest technology built-in instead of having to upgrade on top of the purchase of an existing home.

Buying a Luxury Home

The main benefit of buying a luxury home is that you can be in your home in as little as a couple of weeks if you are doing a cash transaction or in 30 to 60 days if you are getting financing. The cost of buying a home is also less than building in most cases. You might find some areas of the country where building is less expensive, but that would be rare.

The biggest con to buying a luxury home is that people rarely find a home that has everything they are looking for. Most people settle for a home that has almost everything and either do without or add the feature on later. That depends on the feature and whether the feature is a deal-breaker.

Building a Luxury Home

The best part of building a luxury home is that you can choose the location of the home. Find that perfect piece of property, whether you want a small lot or thousands of acres, and then find the perfect place on the property for your home. On larger properties, you might decide to put your home near a lake or pond on the property, or on top of a high hill with a gorgeous view.

Consider your floor plans carefully, and always find a builder that you are comfortable with. It’s easier to work with someone who is open to your suggestions and will do their best to make your dreams come true. When you are going over the plans for your new luxury home, give the builder a good overall picture. For example, if you like to entertain, tell the builder, so he can help you design a house that is good for entertaining.

You can add all of the newest materials to the build, plus have the best technology built into the house, such as a security system, hidden safes, a storm shelter, automation and top-notch appliances.

If you are looking for a smaller lot, be sure to find a lot large enough for landscaping you want, a pool and other outdoor amenities. If you are looking for acreage, space isn’t a factor, unless the piece of property sits on a mountain and the only home site is too small for the house you want. Keep in mind what you want to do with the property, including adding stables or other buildings – you’ll need room for those buildings.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 7/8/2020

When you buy a home, thereís more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when youíre in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, youíll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while youíre in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you donít feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, youíre in good hands. If the type of loan that youíre looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


Youíll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. Itís not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that youíre able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, youíre going to need some proof that youíre pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. Itís just another part of the home buying process!




Categories: Uncategorized