Category Archives: Real Estate Agent

What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team

What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team | MyKCM

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help you make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender?

The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market.

As Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals whom they have used in the past and have had good experiences with.

Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them with helping you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn’t accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you’ve fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.

According to a Consumer Housing Trends Study, millennials have already started to prefer a more hands-on approach to their real estate experience:

“While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.”

Look for someone to invest in your family’s future with you. You want an agent who isn’t focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Using an Agent When Selling Your Home

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Using an Agent When Selling Your Home | MyKCM

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.”This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying a Home!

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying A Home! | MyKCM

Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

You Need an Expert Guide if You Are Traveling a Dangerous Path

The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and ready for you to move in to can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home. 

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal. 

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

Want to Get an A? Hire A Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

Want to Get an A? Hire A Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Hiring a Real Estate Professional to buy your dream home, or sell your current house, is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make!
  • A Real Estate Professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process.
  • Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions & can simply & effectively explain them to you & your family!

How Do You Know If You’ve Found Your ‘Perfect Match’? [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Do You Know If You've Found Your 'Perfect Match'? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Every agent brings a different set of skills & specialties to their clients.
  • It is important to find an agent who you can trust to guide you through the entire process step-by-step.
  • Having a conversation about your goals & expectations will not only save you unneeded frustration, but will also make the transaction as smooth as possible.

3 Charts That Scream ‘List Your Home Today’

3 Charts That Scream ‘List Your Home Today’ | Keeping Current Matters

In school we all learned the Theory of Supply and Demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.

SUPPLY

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 4.4-month supply. This is considerably lower than the 6-month inventory necessary for a normal market.

3 Charts That Scream ‘List Your Home Today’ | Keeping Current Matters

DEMAND

Every month NAR reports on the amount of buyers that are actually out in the market looking for homes, or foot traffic. As seen in the graph below, buyer demand in February significantly outpaced the last six months.

3 Charts That Scream ‘List Your Home Today’ | Keeping Current Matters

Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream home (if they even are able to find a home they wish to purchase).

Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.

HOME EQUITY

Many homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their home. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their home. In reality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Reporttells us that 72.6% actually do!

3 Charts That Scream ‘List Your Home Today’ | Keeping Current Matters

Many homeowners who are undervaluing their home equity may feel trapped in their current home, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.

Bottom Line

If you are debating selling your home this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can evaluate the equity you have in your home, as well as the opportunities available in your market.

Resolve to Hire a Real Estate Professional in 2016 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Resolve to Use a Real Estate Professional in 2016 [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Happy New Year!
  • If you plan to buy your dream home or sell your house in 2016, resolve to use a real estate professional!
  • Real Estate Professionals are there for you through the entire process to help with paperwork, negotiations, pricing, and so much more!

California Real Estate: Who Pays For What?

RE Fees

Customary Fees

In most areas in California, at close of escrow the buyer pays:

  • escrow fees (50/50 split)
  • title insurance fees (for 2 policies protecting the interests of themselves and their lender)
  • loan origination fee and discount points
  • miscellaneous doc drawing and courier fees
  • inspection and appraisal fees
  • loan closing costs, like prepayments of property taxes, interest, insurance and homeowner’s insurance or HOA dues, when the buyer is obtaining a loan with an impound account or as otherwise required by the buyer’s lender.

And the seller pays:

  • escrow fees (50/50 split)
  • broker commissions
  • a re-conveyance fee to their lender
  • buyers home warranty

However, ALL of this is open to negotiation. These are standard practices, but vary more and more in this market climate.

Also, be aware that with bank-owned properties the standard allocations are somewhat different. For example, banks often will pay for the buyer’s title insurance policy, assuming the buyer uses a title provider the bank chooses. Or, the bank may defer to the buyer to elect the title company at which point the buyer is responsible for title and escrow fees.

Also, costs like HOA transfer and documentation fees, city and county transfer taxes, and even escrow fees are often negotiated between buyer and seller. Additionally, many times buyers agree to “pay” their customarily allocated fees, but then negotiate a closing cost credit from the seller that covers some or all of that.

Loan closing fees vary significantly by loan type (i.e., FHA vs. conventional). Also, transfer taxes also vary widely in different California counties; I see transactions where buyers need to be prepared to pay anywhere from 2 to 6% of the purchase price in closing costs – depending on the location. Again, this can be reduced if the buyer is able to negotiate for the seller to pay some or all of their closing costs.

The Home Seller’s To-Do List

When you’re selling your home, there are a million things to think about. Here is a checklist of the basic tasks to complete once you’ve decided to list:

Clean. A thorough cleaning not only helps you present your home and its best light, it also help you assess its condition. Thoroughly wash the windows, walls, surfaces and floors; deep clean all of the carpets and polish and shine all reflective surfaces and fixtures.

Clear the clutter. Throw away items that are broken or beyond repair and donate items that are still usable, but no longer useful to you. Not only will clearing the clutter make the moving process easier, it’ll also make it easier for potential buyers to see the great features of your home. Make repairs and updates. Most buyers are seeking a move in ready home. Look for and repair any damage, including Leeks and dress. Replace outdated light fixtures, appliances and windows.

Paint. Painting is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of a home. On the interior, it gives your buyers a blank canvas to make the home their own once they buy it. On the exterior, a fresh coat of paint makes the home look like new.

Think about staging. Staging help your home look its best for listing photos, open houses and showing. Something as simple as the placement of the furniture can accent it’s best features. If you would like help or live in a competitive market, considering hiring a professional. Here at Mathews & Co. Realty Group, we think that staging is so important in helping you get top dollar for your home that we offer it as one of our complimentary services to all of our sellers.

Don’t forget your landscape. Mow the lawn, weed your flowerbeds and prune any unruly hedges and shrubs. Additionally, make sure that your sprinkler system is in good working order and make any repairs to your porch, fences, gutters and other parts of your home’s exterior.

Continue to clean and maintain the interior and exterior of your home while it’s on the market. Buyers may overlook your home if its condition doesn’t match the photos.

If you want more tips to help you prepare your home for its debut on the market, give me a call!

Keisha “Kee” Mathews
(916) 370-1803

07 15 The Home Sellers To Do List

The "Kee" To Your Next Home!

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