Denise Dutson's Blog
If you've ever experienced the frustration of paying more than necessary for home repairs, remodeling, or upgrades, you're not alone! Most of us have done it at one time or another, and it's not a pleasant feeling!
The good news is that if you make up your mind to do a little research, ask questions, request a free quote, and get two or three estimates, then you probably won't have to repeat the same mistake. Unless it's a dire emergency, it's always better to take your time in choosing a contractor or repair technician for a home project.
While it may be a little more time consuming to get recommendations, compare prices, and talk to several contractors, it's well worth it -- both in terms of monetary savings and peace of mind. Since the typical homeowner incurs many expenses, every year, to maintain their plumbing, electricity, roof, floors, HVAC system, landscaping, appliances, and much more, the amount of money you can save from comparing estimates and researching contractors can really add up!
The ideal scenario for hiring a home contractor is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll be getting the best value for your dollar, but it's a darn good starting point! Online reviews of contractors can also be helpful, but sometimes they lack the detail and credibility that's essential to a meaningful recommendation. No review is complete unless it says whether the customer would hire the contractor again and if they (the customer) would recommend them to family and friends.
Since no one's perfect, it's also helpful to know what the contractor could have done better. A lot of times people will say something like, "I was satisfied with the end result, but the project took a lot longer than expected and the contractor always showed up late." Asking questions, comparing prices, and asking for references are among the ways to increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and the quality of work they provide.
Depending on the scope of the project and its estimated cost, you may also want to check whether the contractors you're considering are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and if anyone has filed a complaint against them. Being accredited does not mean that the BBB endorses the business, but it does indicate that the business does meet certain standards and that they have agreed to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. In order to be accredited by the BBB, businesses need to submit an application, meet accreditation standards, and pay a fee. To keep their designation, they must maintain at least a "B" rating with the Bureau and continue to comply with its standards of professionalism, honesty, and customer responsiveness.
The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:
1. What is my "dream" home?
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.
Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.
2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.
To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.
In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.
Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.
For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, identifying your target buyer is key. Because if you understand why buyers may choose your residence over other available houses, you can promote your home to the right groups of buyers. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the house selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your target buyer so you can promote your house effectively and speed up the home selling process.
1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective
Think about why a buyer should choose your residence. Then, you can find ways to promote your house's features to the right groups of buyers.
Ultimately, a home listing can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to engage and inform prospective buyers about a residence. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you can craft your house listing accordingly.
For example, if your residence is located just minutes from top beaches, you may want to include this information in your home listing. On the other hand, if your home offers multiple bedrooms, you may want to include high-resolution photographs of these bedrooms in your listing to show off the size and beauty of your house.
2. Conduct an Inspection
A home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase his or her house. But when it comes to identifying your target buyer, you may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing your residence.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying issues. You then can prioritize home upgrades, and as such, make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
With a home inspection, you may be able to gain insights into your residence that could be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Thus, if you perform an inspection, you can find ways to improve your residence so you can make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how to target buyers, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert home selling advice any time you need it.
A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house and can help you address such issues. First, he or she will develop a personalized home selling strategy and help you showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she next will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can recommend whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Devote time and resources to learn about your target buyer – you will be glad you did. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can identify your target buyer and map out a successful house selling journey.
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Selling a home is a big decision with far-flung ramifications. If you're on the fence about selling your house, there is no need to wait. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be the right time to list your residence, and these include:
1. You can upgrade or downgrade.
Although your current home has served you well for many years, now may be a good time for a change. Fortunately, you can sell your residence and move into a bigger or smaller home that will suit you perfectly.
It often won't take long to transition from one home to another. In many instances, individuals simultaneously sell their current house and search for a new home. This generally enables an individual to seamlessly relocate from his or her current house to a bigger or smaller residence.
2. You can move closer to family members and friends.
If you find your current home is far away from family members and friends, don't stress. For those who sell a home, it may be only a matter of time before you can enjoy convenient access to loved ones.
By selling your current home, you can explore houses in cities and towns where your loved ones reside. Then, if you purchase a house close to family members and friends, you can visit these loved ones without having to worry about a long commute.
3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.
Listing a home may seem virtually impossible, particularly for someone who previously has never embarked on the property selling journey. Lucky for you, help is available to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly sell your home and maximize its value.
Working with a real estate agent typically is a good idea for first-time and experienced home sellers alike. With a real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance you need to achieve your property selling goals.
A real estate agent understands the assorted pitfalls that a home seller may encounter. As such, he or she works with a home seller to help this individual address potential problems before they escalate. A real estate agent will collaborate with a property seller to craft a house selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will put this plan into action and do everything possible to promote a house to prospective buyers. And if a seller receives an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help this individual review his or her options and determine how to proceed.
In addition, a real estate agent provides a housing market resource unlike any other. He or she is available to respond to a seller's concerns and questions. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to provide home selling recommendations.
Take the guesswork out of selling your home – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive extensive support as you navigate the property selling journey.