March 25, 2016

What Makes a Real Estate Agent Great

There are thousands of licensed real estate agents, but of those licensed, how many are dedicated professionals? Many can make a good first impression, but to truly represent your needs, they’ll need to be able to make good on the promises only pros can make. One way to separate the pros from the merely qualified is to ask them if they’re willing to make some promises about how they conduct their business. Here’s what any great agent should be able to say from day one:
  1. “I promise to keep you in the loop and the lines of communication open.” Communication is fundamental to a working relationship, and a great agent knows that a buyer or seller may have questions and concerns which need addressing as soon as possible. You should never feel your agent is missing in action.
  2. “I promise you this is my full-time career.” Those with experience in real estate have graduated from the part-timer’s realm to the ability to support themselves with their income in real estate. People are pros when they go full-time.

March 18, 2016

Conquer Your Fears

What are you afraid of right now? If not outright fear, where do you feel resistance in your life? Is it centered around new technology? Changes in your community? Conversations with people who don’t share your political or social views?

Whatever your fear, I would advise you to explore the possibility of embracing it. We gain a great deal when we explore our fear, hold it up to the light, and try to get an objective picture of what, exactly, scares us.

Often our fear is base: Humiliation. Failure. Bewilderment. Embarrassment. As children, we are forced constantly into our fear. From the darkness of a bedroom at night to falling off that bike for the first time, we are in a perpetual state of fear, revelation, and ultimately mastery.

March 11, 2016

Buyers Beware of these Home Buying Hazards

When you finally find your dream home, the worst thing that can happen is the deal falling through at the last minute. It’s more common than you might think, and the reasons are often surprisingly small. Fortunately, a little attention to detail and thorough planning can save you from the heartbreak of a buy gone bad. Here are some pitfalls for buyers:

  1. Last-minute shopping sprees. Until your home loan has been funded, big purchases are flat out dangerous to closing the deal. Your credit matters and so does your bank balance. Every time they take a hit (say for new furniture, appliances, or even a big pickup truck for moving day), you risk skewing your financial picture in a foul direction. Lay off the buying until you’re in the clear.

March 4, 2016

Can I Bring Kids House Hunting?

If you need more room for your growing family, or you’re simply relocating to a new town during the summer months, you may be wondering if bringing your kids along on the house hunting journey is a good idea.

In my experience, there are pros and cons to having kids with you as you try and find the next family home. Here’s what you’ll want to consider before you bring everyone along to open houses and showings.

  1. Liability matters. If you have a newborn strapped to your chest, it might not be much of an issue to walk through a prospective home, but toddlers are a different story. Your home may be kid safe, but not all homes on the market have been prepared to show with a free-range child in mind. Kids don’t necessarily understand this new home isn’t a playground, and there may be areas which are not explicitly safe for your little ones.