Monday, February 10, 2014
Would you like to know what your home is worth without having to contact your real estate professional? Just go to Zillow.com and see what your home is worth right???? Not exactly! As a real estate professional, we spend years learning the art of evaluating a property and giving advice to customers to show them what it will take to sell their home. Because of the "I want it now" mentality of consumers (myself included), many are turning to websites like Zillow to get their home values. It would be fantastic if websites like Zillow could predict prices that easily and tell you what your home is worth; however, they are just simply wrong. Real estate is not just a data driven business. It is a "FEEL" business. You can't put a value on the "Feel" that people will have when they walk through a home and decide whether they want to raise their family there. Ever heard of professional stagers and interior decorators. People that use these services often get more value for their homes. You can't put it into data. It just is what it is. Today I had a customer ask me why their home was not on Zillow. It was there a couple of weeks ago. Now it's not, and it's not sold yet either. So I went to Zillow where they randomly decide for no apparent reason when to remove or add listings. They also try to sell me advertising to get my listings back on their website where people will find it first. Go figure.... Anyways, I manually uploaded everything into their system. When I did this the "Zestimate" came up and estimated that the property was worth $60k less than the actual price. I decided to look my own personal home up and it had had it estimated for much less than I paid for it and much less than it's true value. What if I was trying to sell my home? This inaccurate information could destroy my property value. Nice...So the next time we have buyers, they will think our homes are worth less than what we actually paid for them. This hurts clients at re-sale time. As an agent we also see this hurt clients who think their home is worth more than what it is. Now people inflate their listing prices and wonder why they can't sell their homes. I bet it's just a bad Realtor right? My only advice is to stay away from websites and apps like ZILLOW. They are an unfair estimate of value. A better way to calculate an estimate would be to put prices on a dart board and start throwing. When two darts land on the same number, that is the true value. Well maybe not. On a serious note....just call a solid real estate professional. It will save you time and money!
Sunday, January 26, 2014
See my response to a buyer who thought it was best to work with listing agents to get the best deal.
You really need to find an expert buyer agent to help you with your search. Remember that a buyer agent is free of costs for the buyer and represents the buyers interests and not the sellers.
A couple quick questions I tell my friends to ask themselves is " who does the listing agent really represent?" The answer is the seller. "whose interests do they share." The seller.
Remember, their goal to the seller is to get them the best terms and highest price. Contractually they cannot give a buyer advise on a home they represent (List).
I would advise any friend in any state that its important to have a really good buyer agent that understands what they are looking for in a home and that can represent and negotiate for better terms and interests. Plus it reduces the buyers risk substantially and many buyer agents are better at negotiating terms because that is what they do for a living.
Most buyers don't realize that reaching a price is only the first point in the process. Someone needs to understand how to negotiate an inspection response, help out with appraisal and financing issues, schedule walkthroughs, responses, review closing statements, and access to professionals such as inspectors, lenders, contractors, etc. These situations can get difficult when the list agent is also the buyer agent.
It scares me to know that many buyers are out there and don't know how the process works and how complicated it can be. After all a home is a very major purchase.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Friday, January 3, 2014
We are expecting the coldest weather we have faced in over 20 years Sunday night through Tuesday night with wind chill temperatures of up to -40 degrees. Please read the information below to assist you in preparing your heating and plumbing for this extreme weather.
- Set your thermostat a few degrees higher to build up some warmth BEFORE the extreme temperature arrives. You can expect your furnace to run constantly until the outside temperature returns to a seasonal average.
- Your furnace is designed to keep your home comfortably warm for average weather conditions. The extreme weather that we are expecting will cause your furnace to work its hardest. It may not keep your inside temperature to the set-point because of the huge temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. You may need to put on a few more layers until the extreme weather is over. (Layering covers on your bed will keep you warmer at night also.)
- For Heat Pumps: Please do NOT switch your thermostat to the Emergency Heat setting. It will turn off the outdoor unit and provide less heat.
- Shut the registers in unused rooms only if they do not have plumbing. Close the doors to those rooms also.
- Close the dampers on your fireplace only if it is NOT in use.
- Use towels at the base of your outside doors to lessen the entry of cold air.
- Keep your garage door closed.
- If you have plumbing in the garage, provide heat to that area if possible.
- Close your crawlspace vents and access holes.
- Open cabinet doors for all plumbing fixtures located on the outside wall.
- Leave the water running in a small stream when plumbing fixtures are located on an outside wall. NOTE: If you are leaving for an extended period of time, turn the water off to your home and shut off the power supply to the water heater.
- If your washer is located on an outside wall, add a small amount of anti-freeze to the trap and monitor it while in use during this extreme cold.
- Locate your water shut-off valve now in case you experience a burst pipe.
*Reminders are Courtesy of Williams Comfort Air in Carmel, IN
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
How do I choose the best Realtor to sell my home in Carmel, Fishers, Zionsville, or Indianapolis? If you are considering selling your home and you don't already have a real estate professional you are probably wondering how do you choose the best REALTOR to help you sell your home in the Carmel, Fishers, Zionsville or Indianapolis area. The answer is easy.....decide "what are you looking for in your Realtor." Then search for someone or interview agents until they meet the characteristics and share the same goals that you do. Your real estate professional is an important choice and remember that different people work better with different agents. It is wise to search online first to see who has strong exposure with their listings and high ratings or reviews. If an agent can't produce several testimonials from past clients, that could be a sign that clients are not clicking with the agent for some reason. It is not necessarily as important to see if they have "brag-based advertising." These are the advertisements that brag about how much sales volume they closed for the year. After all everything is relative to the opportunities, their business model, and how many people on their team. For example if an agent has five team members and boasts that they sold $10 million dollars for the year that is not a very impressive number. If an individual sells $12 million that might also sound like a lot but if 80% are builder listings, or they offer limited service due to the volume of clients, the service that you get if they list your home might be limited. As a real estate professional I would encourage you to ask the agent you are interviewing "what their keys to the puzzle of getting your home sold are all about." Selling your home is not just about price and condition. These are the two items that the homeowner controls, but what does the agent control. The agent controls marketing and exposure. These are two of the most difficult tasks in selling a home and it takes many hours for a professional to market a home well online. 89% of buyers start their search online so it makes sense that the agent knows how to market online. Make sure your listing agent can explain their online marketing strategy and social media plan. If they can't explain it, they probably don't do it. Other simple things to look for in a good agent: 1. Good photography, 2. Videos, 3. Virtual tours, 4. Syndication, 5. Distribution network, 6. Relocation networks, 7. National advertising, 8. Local advertising, 9. Quality & substantial signage, 10. Do they filter feedback from buyers, 11. Do you get reporting showing you how many are viewing your property online and where they are coming from). Most importantly, make sure you have the same goals in mind and a solid "team" chemistry. You will be working together as a team and all teams need to be on the same page and to operate out of a solid system. It is important to have 100% trust in your agents abilities....after all this is many homeowners biggest investment. Choose your REALTOR like you would select the coach or player on a winning team!