This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.
Top 5 real estate tips for active realtors:
- Connect with clients online by starting an online newsletter, blog posting schedule, opening a business Facebook page or making timely posts on your existing websites and social media. Ask for likes on your Facebook page, update your Linked In profile and jump into the popular world of Instagram if you haven’t already.
- Contact past clients and ask for referrals you can utilize in advertising–sites like Realtor.com, Zillow and more have templates that make asking easy with the click of a button–you can even have a drawing for a gift card for clients who submit reviews to motivate them to take a few minutes of their downtime to send in a review.
- Send emails or hand written notes to clients, friends and colleagues to check in with your sphere and send them your best wishes during these times. Also reach out to old leads and follow up with buyers/sellers who have dropped off the radar with a kind “thinking of you” message.
- Take time to dive into the latest and greatest technology available, especially that which will help you take the lead in this shifting market…I remember I was the first Realtor to be featured locally for embracing virtual tours (back in 2005ish when they were merely scrolling photos set to music). Being a leader in new strategies and emerging technology can set you apart from the competition. A great way to learn what’s new and hip is by doing some good old-fashioned online “stalking” of top producers in other parts of the country and start experimenting with a strategy you discover that no one else is doing locally.
- Invest in online training (most is quite inexpensive) and get designations and extra certifications in areas in which you want to specialize. Work on continuing education credits to get them out of the way before crunch time when they are due. Consider enrolling in your broker’s license (even if you never intend on running an office)–the added credibility of being an Associate Broker is well worth the 180 hours and approximately $800 invested.
Beth Waller, Associate Broker at KW Solutions – Keller Williams Realty
Local Office: 27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Northern Virginia Office: 8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas VA 20109
Licensed in VA
To learn more about my real estate sales or nonprofit (WHAT MATTERS), to book a time to utilize my free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss my listing your property (which makes all of my charity efforts possible), visit my website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give me a call at 540-671-6145!
Selling your home before you move: pros and cons
If you’re planning to move into a seniors’ residence, you may be wondering whether you should sell your home before you make the change. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of doing so that you may want to consider.
If you sell your home before you move, you’ll save yourself the stress and pressure of trying to complete the transaction quickly once you’re settled into your new abode. In addition, you’ll get the money sooner and can use it to decorate your new place.
In addition, you’ll avoid needing to pay the mortgage and maintenance fees on your old home while also covering the cost of the rent.
If you sell your home before you move, you may have to live there during any renovations that are needed. In addition, you’ll likely have to adjust your schedule to accommodate showings.
Furthermore, if you find a buyer for your home before the unit in your residence becomes available, you’ll need to either temporarily pay rent to stay in your old place or secure an alternative living arrangement in the interim.
Selling a property involves many steps and a lot of paperwork. To simplify the process, be sure to enlist the help of a real estate agent.
How to avoid buying a house that might be haunted
If horror movies aren’t your cup of tea, you might not want to move into a house that’s rumored to be haunted. Here are some tips to help you avoid unintentionally buying a property with a reputation for paranormal activity.
Ask if the property is stigmatized
Depending on the state, the seller might be required to disclose certain information about the property’s history. A house can be considered stigmatized if death or crime occurred on the premises. In some cases, the seller is only required to disclose this information if asked by a potential buyer.
Do your own research
Use the property’s address to search online for newspaper articles, historical documents, and other local records. These sources might reveal information about a suspicious death that occurred on the property. You might also be able to find out if the house was built on an old cemetery or battlefield.
Talk to the neighbors
If you see any of the neighbors outside during your visit to the home, ask if they’d be willing to answer a few questions about the property. They might be able to give you some information, especially if they’ve lived in the area for a long time.
Look into the history of the house
Has the property been bought and sold several times in the past few years? Has it lost a lot of value during that period? These types of changes could indicate that something strange is going on with the home, so be sure to make inquiries if this is the case.
Finally, don’t hesitate to talk to your real estate agent about your concerns. A realtor can help you find out what you need to know to make an informed decision.
3 myths about green homes
Are you interested in buying an eco-friendly property? If so, it’s important to have all the facts. Here are some common misconceptions about green homes.
1. Only new homes can be green
Older homes can be made more eco-friendly by replacing the plumbing and electrical systems, upgrading the windows and doors and improving the insulation. Purchasing Energy Star certified appliances is also a good idea.
2. Eco-friendly homes are in the middle of nowhere
While you might prefer to live off-grid, there are plenty of eco-friendly homes located in cities that use municipal electric, water and gas servi¬ces. What makes these homes more sustainable is that they consume less energy than their counterparts.
3. Green homes are utilitarian
If you want to buy an eco-friendly home, you don’t have to choose between beauty and sustainability. In fact, many green homes are quite attractive due to their thoughtful design and use of natural materials.
To find out more about the eco-friendly homes in your area, contact a local real estate agent.
If you can’t afford to move right now, consider making small changes to your current home to make it more eco-friendly. Even simple modifications like replacing your shower head and light bulbs with greener alternatives can make a difference.
Warren County Market Report – October 2021
Happy Thanksgiving, Warren County! Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for October 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play.
In general summary:
- New Listings are DOWN -23.6%.
- New Pending DOWN -11%.
- Closed sales are DOWN -15.7%
- Average Median Sold $300,950 September / $327,000 October
- Average Days on Market 20 September / 32 October
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: October 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated November 2021.
Jennifer Avery, REALTOR® “Your Happy Home Expert!”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC| 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
Tips for buying your first home
If you’ve decided it’s time to buy your first home, you’ll probably want to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that can help.
Do plenty of research
First, determine what type of property you want, specifying your criteria for the location, type of dwelling, and year of construction. You should also get a sense of what’s out there by searching real estate websites and walking around the area where you want to buy.
Learn how credit works
It’s important to be aware of the things that can have a positive or negative impact on your credit rating. By being careful about your financial decisions, you can maximize your score and make the most of it when the time comes to secure a mortgage.
Look into homeownership programs
From financial assistance to tax credits and rebates, there are a number of programs designed to make buying your first home easier. Find out which ones are available in your area and whether you’re eligible.
Familiarize yourself with the process
If you understand what’s required to purchase a home, you’ll likely be more at ease and better prepared for each step of the transaction.
Consider all the costs
In addition to the price of the home, there are several other expenses that come with buying a property. These may include mortgage insurance, sales tax, closing costs, and moving fees.
Set aside money for contingencies
Even if you have a home inspected before you buy it (which is strongly encouraged), unpleasant surprises can still occur. Working these expenses into your budget beforehand can save you a lot of worries.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to borrow for a home and help you narrow your search. Keep in mind that getting pre-approved doesn’t guarantee you the loan, and you’ll need to take further steps to obtain it.
Shop around for a mortgage
Different lenders may offer varying interest rates for the same mortgage. Ask them directly or, to save time and gain access to exclusive products, enlist the help of a mortgage broker.
Finally, keep in mind that any time you’re looking to buy a property, a real estate agent is your best ally.
Big bargains lurk in ghostly properties
If you think Lizzie Borden with her ax is scary, imagine you are the real estate agent trying to sell her house. Haunted houses can be a tough sell, but some buyers can make a killing on a home with a creepy past.
According to a 2019 poll by YouGov, 45 percent of people they interviewed believe in ghosts and the same number believe in demons. While you do have to disclose a leaky roof, you may not have to disclose a ghost when selling. The law firm Kious, Rodgers, Barger, Holder & King, PLLC writes that in Minnesota and Massachusetts, it is unnecessary to disclose if the house is haunted by paranormal activity or the supernatural; in New Jersey, a seller must disclose it only if asked; and in New York, a seller is not obligated to share the information with a buyer unless they have already shared the opinion with the public at large.
Nonetheless, if confronted with a nice home with an icky history, would you buy it?
What if a great townhome was on the California market in a fantastic neighborhood at a stunningly low price with a highly motivated seller? But there is a reason the price is so low–this is the townhome of Nicole Brown Simpson, whose gruesome murder was tried in the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. Would you buy it? Someone did and the house sold for $200,000 off the asking price.
It’s not just violence and spirits that can stigmatize a home. In some states, it must be disclosed if a house for sale once had a methamphetamine lab, mainly because former customers could drop by or chemicals could remain. Even homeowners in a lot of debt can cause some stigma when they sell because the new owners could be targeted by debt collectors.
Some stigma can be enduring. Homeowners around one stigmatized property actually changed the name of the street. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult killed themselves awaiting an alien spacecraft. You won’t find their notorious address anymore and you won’t find the $1.6 million home either. The landlord tried to sell, but could not. The lender finally sold it for less than $700,000 and it was bulldozed.
According to real estate consultant Bell Anderson & Saunders, a buyer of a stigmatized home can expect from 10 to 25 percent off-market prices.
Some buyers make a name on homes with a creepy past. The legend of Lizzie Borden lives on in her home at 92 Second St., Fall River, Mass., now a bed and breakfast. And you’ll feel very cozy when you read the motto: Where everyone is treated like family. Oh, wait…