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Posted by & filed under Real Estate, Selling, Uncategorized.

Fall is upon us and winter is coming fast! It’s time to get out the winter coats and fuzzy socks, and curl up under the blankets with some hot apple cider. Along with the temperature drops our heating bills go up, and to help combat those rising heat bills here are some tips:

  • Replace worn weather stripping around doorways
  • Adjust your door thresholds to seal out air leaks
  • Eliminate air leaks around electrical boxes
  • Plug holes in exterior walls with foam/insulation
  • Turn down the heat, and use a portable heater to spot heat the room you are in.
  • Cover leaky windows and unused doors with a plastic film to block drafts
  • Use a chimney balloon to eliminate heat loss up the chimney
  • Insulate your attic access door
  • Install a programmable thermostat

All of these are simple, effective and cheap ways to cut down on drafts in the winter and keep your house warmer for less! Visit your local hardware store to find everything you need, and they can give you even more tips on ways to save!

Posted by & filed under Auctions, Real Estate, Selling.

 

Auction.  Seven Letters.  Often not given enough attention.  These seven letters may be the correct fit for a certain situation.  Your situation?

You may ask, “Is an auction right for me?  How do I know?”  A large portion of that question can be answered by two other questions:  “What type of asset do you want to liquidate?” and “What is your situation?”  If answered correctly, an auction should be the first option and not the last!

The first step is to consult an experienced Auctioneer or Apprentice Auctioneer, one that is familiar with the type of asset you want to liquidate.  Ensure that the Auctioneer has the correct license(s) to liquidate your asset.  For example, an Auctioneer also needs to have a real estate license in order to liquidate any type of real property.  Once a professional is consulted with, he or she will be able to determine if your type of asset is suitable for an auction, plus assess your situation and advise you properly.

The Auctioneer will be able to tell you if your asset is in demand.  Assets that are in high demand tend to sell well at auction.  Assets in low demand generally do not draw a large enough interest from the buying public, in order to gain true market value.  The Auctioneer will be able to tell you what’s hot and what’s not!  The Auctioneer will, as well, be able to tell you if your type of asset is customarily sold via auction—another important factor.

The Auctioneer will also be able to determine if your situation is suitable for an auction.  Some questions that will be considered are:

  • Do you need to liquidate an asset quickly?
  • Do you have several items in storage and need to liquidate them all at once?
  • Was there a death in your family?
  • Is your property in distress?
  • Are you trying to navigate around a specific tax situation?
  • Is the popularity of your asset increasing?
  • Is your asset rare?

These questions help an Auctioneer determine if your situation is ideal for an auction.

Auction.  Employ these seven letters now, before it’s too late!

 

Blog Post Written by Chester M. Straley

Chester Straley-Our Firm

Posted by & filed under Buying, Real Estate, Realtor.

What are the first thoughts that go through your mind when thinking about purchasing a home? Where do I even start? I don’t think I can afford a house right now. That’s a lot of money! It’s just easier to rent.

The home buying process can be daunting at first, but with the help of a Realtor® it can be much easier than you imagined. This is an outline to help you better understand how the process of purchasing a home unfolds, and is intended to help you help yourself by defining a time line and “to-do” list in order to help streamline your home buying process and make it as quick and easy as possible.

  • Initial contact with Realtor.
    1. Discuss different financing options.
    2. Determine what housing criteria you desire.
  • Meet with lender to discuss financing options
    1. Obtain preapproval
  • Second Contact with Realtor.
    1. Review houses Realtor has selected based on your criteria.
    2. Process of elimination to determine which house you wish to view.
  • Set appointments to view homes
    1. Showings on the selected homes to determine which one best suits you.
  • Offer to Purchase
    1. Met with Realtor to determine what price to offer, and what terms to ask for.
    2. This would be a good time to contact an insurance agent to obtain a quote on the home.
  • Negotiations
    1. Seller has three options: Accept; Counter Offer: Reject. Depending on what happens we may have to review a counter offer and decide to accept, reject, or counter back.
  • Acceptance
    1. Realtor takes accepted offer to lender, and the loan process begins. This could take anywhere from 30-60 days depending on which loan type you are using.
    2. All you have to do is hurry up and wait at this point. You may be asked to sign a few papers throughout the process.
  • Closing
    1. After the loan is approved a close date will be selected (Date asked for in the purchase contract)
  • Possession
    1. After the transaction closes, depending upon the terms in the purchase contract, you will get possession either immediately or a set number of days after closing.
    2. Now is the time call all utility companies, (Water Dept., electric company, and Gas Company) to tell them you will be moving in and need utilities switched to your name.

Hopefully this shed some light onto the process, and answered a few questions you might have had. The process is a little more involved that what is depicted above, but for you, the buyer, there is not too much to be done other than view houses and make a decision. The Realtor® and lenders involved are there to do the leg work required sell a home. If you have any questions that I have not covered please feel free to give us a call and ask!

 

Blog Post Written by Warren J. Straley

Warren Straley

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Posted by & filed under Real Estate, Selling.

 

Holidays are a time of joy and family. As the colder weather draws closer so do we, and the smell of fall wafts through the air. We tidy our houses, decorate for the festivities, and prepare to reunite with family once again.

Along with the fall and winter cheer, a few stigmas with the coming cold weather and the housing market follow. Many feel that the market slows down, and houses stop selling. While part of this is true the other half is very false. Cold weather does indeed slow the market, but houses still sell year round. There are always buyers that are moving because of work, family, or other reasons that need to find a place in the middle of winter, and this is very beneficial to the current inventory on the market.

With few houses on the market there are fewer opportunities available, and this makes for a seller’s market. Few realize, but this time of year with homes neatly decorated and organized awaiting family and friends to arrive is in the perfect condition to be shown and provide buyers the best first impression possible!

Upon first entering your home, the smell of pumpkin spice candles envelope the buyer’s senses, they see the festive decorations, hear soft music in the background, and envision their family celebrating on Thanksgiving or Christmas in “their” house. You are setting the mood in your favor, and putting your home at the top of their list. By utilizing the time of the year you can turn a slowed market into “your market”.

 

Blog Post Written by Warren J. Straley

Warren Straley

How to Choose A Realtor

Posted by & filed under Buying, Real Estate, Realtor, Selling.

Possibly one of the more frequently asked questions when buying or selling a house/property is how to choose a Realtor®. You may be thinking “There are so many, how do I know which one to choose?”, “Who will do the best job for me?”, “How do I know they will be working in my best interest?”, or “I see her name all over town so she has to be the best, right?”

All of these are valid questions when choosing a Realtor®. It is important to find someone that will be working in your best interests and trying their hardest to obtain the best deal possible. When choosing a Realtor® there really isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it; but hopefully answering the questions stated above will help give you a little more direction in your search.

“There are so many, how do I know which one to choose?” – While there are many to choose from some agents do shine above others. As you have more experiences with Realtors® you will begin to notice some who, for example, return calls promptly and more frequently than others, are well versed on a variety of different areas, have a plan of attack when listing houses on how to get them sold rather than simply waiting for calls, and have superior negotiating skills to get the best price possible.

“Who will do the best job for me?” – The answer to this question depends more upon you than anything. Think of your co-workers, and which ones you get along with the best. Do your personalities match, are they fun to be around, or are they just easy going? You will be working with your Realtor®, making phone calls to him, and hopefully meeting to sign documents frequently during the process. Would you rather be working with someone you like to be around, or with someone you can’t stand the sound of their voice?

“How do I know he/she will be working in my best interest?” – This question is answered by word of mouth and how you perceive your Realtor®. Usually in smaller communities word spreads quickly if someone were to practice bad business. In larger areas it may be a little more difficult to realize these facts, but overall a quick perception of someone’s demeanor will be able to tell you if they are honest or not, along with asking around to see if anyone has had experience with that particular Realtor®.

“I see her name all over town so she has to be the best, right?” – Usually when you see a specific Realtor’s® name quite frequently on signs it usually means they must be doing something right if all of these different homeowner’s are listing with that Realtor®. Although, even if a Realtor® is extremely busy and has many listings her/she might not be the right fit. When Realtor’s® have multiple listings they may, but not always, become spread thin and may not be able to service your house to the fullest extent someone else might be able to.

Overall, it comes down to personal choice in the end. Would you rather have someone that is very well know yet extremely busy, or someone that is less know but has more time to service your house? And do you want to enjoy being around them, or will it strictly be a business relationship. All in all there are a few things every Realtor® should exhibit in their work such as: Follow the seller/buyer’s lawful instructions; Be loyal to the seller/buyer; Promote the seller/buyer’s best interests; Disclose material facts to the seller/buyer; Maintain confidential information; Act with reasonable skill and care; Account for any money handled in the transaction. If a Realtor® or real estate agent you are currently working with is not exhibiting any or all of these attributes you should definitely be finding someone else to represent you.

 

Blog Post Written by Warren J. Straley

Warren Straley

Realtor vs Real Estate Agent

Posted by & filed under Buying, Real Estate, Realtor, Selling.

What is a Realtor®?

Imagine this scenario.

You are getting ready to devour a delicious ice cream sundae. There’s vanilla and chocolate ice cream, plus it’s loaded with all of the toppings—chocolate and caramel sauce, nuts, cherries, bananas, and whip cream. You scoop up the first spoonful and plunge it into your mouth. Ouch!! Your back left molar is aching in pain!! Your next decision: Do you visit the dentist or ask a sophomore at the local community college to assist you with your dental needs?

Now imagine this next scenario.

You are considering selling your home of 12 years. You’ve raised three children there and created countless memories! You have always kept your home in good, operating condition and you have just recently touched up a few minor details and landscaped the home. Your next decision: Do you call a real estate agent or a Realtor® to assist you with your real estate needs?

Not all real estate agents are Realtors®. A Realtor® is a real estate agent that is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. The NAR was founded in 1908 and is the largest professional organization. A Realtor® is bound to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice; a code that real estate agents aren’t required to follow. Thus, Realtors® are at a much higher level of professionalism than your average real estate agent.

As a member of the NAR, a Realtor® is privy to a wide array of information. NAR conducts surveys that provide an abundance of housing statistics that are available to its members. These statistics, in turn allow Realtors® to provide a higher level of service to their clients than real estate agents. NAR also owns and operates www.realtor.com and www.houselogic.com – two outstanding sources of information for both its members and consumers.

Now back to your decision. It’s obvious that you would call a professional, a dentist, to help with your dental needs. Therefore, when you need help with your real estate needs, you would call a professional —call a Realtor® at Straley Realty & Auctioneers, Inc. today!

 

Blog Post Written by Chester M. Straley

Chester Straley-Our Firm