Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/19/2019

Let's face it – purchasing your dream home may prove to be an uphill climb, particularly for a homebuyer who fails to prepare accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you make your homeownership dream a reality and ensure you can discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue your dream house.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

Finding your ideal house can be quick and easy if you establish homebuying criteria before you launch a home search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying journey.

To create homebuying criteria, you first should think about cities and towns where you want to live. Next, analyze houses in your preferred cities and towns and consider home must-haves and wants. Once you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to reside, you can schedule home showings and move closer to finding your ideal house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Homebuyers rarely have all the money they need to buy a home. Thankfully, banks and credit unions offer a wide range of mortgage options to make it simple for homebuyers to purchase residences. And if you meet with banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and get pre-approved for home financing.

Obtaining a mortgage may help you streamline your house search because it enables you to establish a homebuying budget that you can use to hone your quest to find your dream home. Perhaps best of all, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you resist the temptation to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Navigating the housing market on your own can be challenging for first-time and experienced homebuyers alike. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of pursuing your dream house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who understands what it takes to complete a successful home search. He or she will meet with you, analyze your homebuying goals and map out a homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to help make your homeownership dream come true.

As you conduct your home search, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns. He or she also will set up house showings and offer insights into the local real estate market. Furthermore, if you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence. And if your homebuying proposal ultimately is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final stages of the homebuying process.

Start your search for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying journey.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/12/2019

Ready to submit an offer on a house? Not so fast. First, you'll want to consider a few key questions, including:

1. Can I afford to buy a house?

If you find a house you like, make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. By doing so, you may be able to avoid costly, time-consuming problems down the line.

Ultimately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a homebuyer who is ready to submit an offer on a home.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will understand exactly how much money is at his or her disposal. As a result, this homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

2. Should I submit a "lowball" offer?

For many homebuyers, it may seem like a good idea to submit a "lowball" offer on a house. But doing so may be problematic for a number of reasons.

If you submit a lowball proposal, a home seller is unlikely to take your bid seriously. As such, this home seller may dismiss your offer and move on to other proposals quickly.

In addition, a lowball offer may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to acquire your dream residence.

When you locate the perfect residence, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you submit a fair proposal that meets or exceeds a home seller's expectations, you can avoid the risk of losing your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

3. How much should I offer for a residence?

We've already established that a lowball offer is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Now, you'll just need to determine what differentiates a fair proposal from a lowball one.

A fair proposal accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. It should be based on the current state of the housing market as well as the condition of a home.

For instance, if you're operating in a buyer's market, there is likely to be a broad assortment of homes available. This means a home seller may need to lower his or her expectations due to the sheer volume of quality residences currently on the market.

Don't forget to study the prices of recently sold homes in a particular city or town too. This housing market data will help you better understand how a residence you're considering stacks up against comparable houses so you can submit an appropriate offer.

4. Do I need a real estate agent?

A real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a home, and for good reason. This real estate professional can help you prepare an offer and will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Hire a real estate agent before you submit an offer on a house – you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can secure a great house at a price that fits your budget.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/12/2019

Selling your home is a big deal, and while there's a lot that your real estate agent will do for you, you also have an essential part to play in the process of selling your home for a new one. A seller needs to make the house as attractive as possible when putting it up for sale. Here are the ways to prepare your home for sale: 

Look at the house from a stranger's viewpoint 

The advantage of viewing your property from a prospective buyer's perspective is that it enables you to identify some defects that could prevent potential buyers from initiating the sale process. Taking an unbiased and unemotional look at your home will help you see things in a better light. Better still, you can ask your friend or real estate agent to examine your home and give you an honest opinion about the state of the residence. And, try to amend whatever they pointed out as a defect. 

Remove pets from the house

Pets are good to have in a home, but not all buyers like the idea of buying a home with pets around. Some buyers may not want to see pets around, especially if they are allergic to them. Therefore, it is advisable to remove all pets from the house. And have a non-pet owner give your home the "sniff test" to make sure the pet odors are gone too.

Make Improvement before selling 

Nothing discourages buyers more than a property that is poorly maintained. Not only that, such houses attract lower offers. Prospective buyers will not be willing to buy a house for top dollar that requires extra costs for repairs and improvements. Therefore, an excellent way to increase the value of your home is to improve it before putting it up for sale. However, you should not overspend on home improvements, or the expenses will eat into your profits when selling. Your agent is an excellent resource for pointing out which upgrades are worth the money spent. 

Spread the word

Below are ways that you can market your home by yourself and with the help of your real estate agent.

- Pay for ad space in local directories

- Word of mouth to friends and family

- Multiple Listing Services through your agent

- Speak to your realtor about creating a Virtual Tour

- Plan an open house to allow prospective buyers to see the house themselves

If you plan to place your home up for sale, consider the ideas above to ensure a fast sale. Most of all, follow your agent's advice on marketing trends that work best in your market.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/11/2019

Generally speaking, taking a family vacation can "recharge your battery," give you a new lease on life, and enable you to get back to work with a renewed sense of purpose. That's the ideal scenario when everything falls into place. However, if you're one of those families that are always looking for a new place to explore every year, then your vacation experiences may become more hit or miss.

While a little research can often go a long way, online brochures and articles tend to put a positive spin on what may or may not be an ideal vacation destination. Even customer reviews can give you a false impression of the desirability of a tourism spot. Just because a couple people had an especially good or bad experience in a particular tourist town, does not mean you're going to encounter similar types of service, weather, prices, crowds, or ambiance.

Online reviews, tourism information, and vacation blogs can provide you with helpful insights into the desirability of a vacation spot, but every time you try a new resort, vacation rental, or tourist attraction, you're gambling on whether or not you and your family will like it.

Since time away from work and vacation budgets are usually limited, it makes sense to do everything possible to increase the odds of planning and having a great vacation! Visiting the places you're considering staying at before you make reservations there is one method of choosing a location you'll probably love. Sometimes recommendations from close friends or relatives can provide you with some solid vacation ideas. While anonymous online reviews and blog posts can lead you down the wrong path, recommendations from a trusted friend or family member have much more credibility.

One method of ensuring a higher level of quality control over your accommodations, amenities, and -- to some degree -- your meals is to buy a vacation home. If you can find an affordable cabin, beach house, or ski chalet in a location you like, then you'll always know what you're getting in terms of living space, ambiance, environment, and local attractions. You can prepare a certain percentage of your meals at your vacation home, which can control your food expenses and make going out to dinner more special.

Another advantage of returning to the same vacation spot (and home), year after year, is that you become familiar with the best places and times to enjoy restaurants, golf courses, beaches, ski slopes, hiking trails, nightclubs, or whatever you enjoy doing on vacation. When you find the ideal "home away from home" to spend weekends, vacations from work, and school breaks, you'll always know exactly what you're getting and will have a higher degree of control over your environment and your overall vacation experience. One final advantage of owning a vacation home is that you can defray your mortgage payments and maintenance costs by generating rental income during the times you're not using the house.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/4/2019

When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to deal with a stubborn home seller. However, you may encounter a stubborn home seller, regardless of how well you prepare for your homebuying journey. And if you're not careful, a stubborn home seller may cause you to miss out on an opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.

Don't let a stubborn home seller get the best of you. Instead, use these tips to ensure you can handle negotiations with a stubborn home seller like a pro.

1. Don't Panic

If you are forced to deal with a stubborn home seller, there's no need to get discouraged. Conversely, consider the property seller's perspective, and you may be able to get the best results out of a tough situation.

Open the lines of communication with a home seller – you'll be glad you did. If you maintain open communication, you may be able to find out the root cause of a home seller's stubbornness and plan accordingly.

Also, don't panic if a home seller fails to communicate with you, and try to avoid assumptions at all costs. By doing so, you'll be able to remain calm, cool and collected and maintain your patience as you try to figure out the best way to acquire your dream house.

2. Be Prepared for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

In the best-case scenario, a stubborn home seller will explain his or her demands. Then, you can negotiate with a home seller, find common ground with him or her and work toward finalizing a home purchase agreement.

On the other hand, it is important to understand the worst-case scenario as well.

In the worst-case scenario, you and a home seller may be unable to find common ground. And if this occurs, you should be prepared to walk away from a potential homebuying negotiation and restart your search for the perfect residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Are you unsure about how to deal with a stubborn home seller? There's no need to worry, especially if you consult with a real estate agent.

With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should be able to overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.

An expert real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. He or she will learn about the needs of a homebuyer and home seller and ensure both parties can achieve their ideal results.

Furthermore, an expert real estate agent can respond to any homebuying concerns and questions. This housing market professional can teach you about the ins and outs of purchasing a residence and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you simplify the homebuying process and ensure you can secure a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can get the support you need to deal with a stubborn home seller.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips