7 Steps To Buy A Home
Seven steps to buying a home in the Twin Cities. Buying a home in Minnesota is an adventure; however, you need a plan before you dive into the housing market. Buying real estate is a journey, and the road to homeownership is rarely a straight line from point A to point B. Often the route is a winding mountain road with hills and valleys, twists and turns but worth the effort to reach the top. Having your path mapped out from start to finish will help you avoid obstacles and delays. Completing each portion of the journey before proceeding to the next will build confidence in the process. Here are my 7 Steps for a successful home buying experience.
Shop For a Mortgage
Now it’s time to find a lender. Of course, your first instinct is to secure a mortgage at the lowest possible rate. Don’t get me wrong that is extremely important. But customer service also matters. The variety of programs offered will make finding a loan that meets your particular financial situation easier.
Obtain a Pre-Approval
A mortgage banker will review your financial documents and run your credit. Then she can tell you how much you can borrow, the rate, terms, and estimate of closing costs. You are going to gather two years of tax returns, 1-2 months of pay stubs, 1-3 months of bank statements, other asset documentation, debt statements, a copy of your driver’s license, proof of residence of the last two years for your appointment. Hopefully, you will walk out with a preapproval so you can start shopping for a home.
Choose the Best Real Estate, Professional
There is no good reason for a buyer not to work with a professional when buying a home. Find one with experience, ...
Top Ten Real Estate Agent Blog Posts
It’s the end of another year, and like mushrooms after a rainfall, ten best lists pop up everywhere. Best movies. Best music. Best books. Best phones. Best laptops. Best recipes. Best kitchen gadgets and on it goes. I love most of them and thought, why not make a list of the ten best from our blog?
With an abundance of great content on the blog this year (I know, shameful self-promotion), it was not easy to choose only ten. So what criteria did I use? The choices address topics that continue to be relevant, add value for the target audience and address questions and concerns about buying and selling real estate we hear from clients.
In the spirit of full disclosure, it was so tricky limiting my selection to ten; I added honorable mentions at the end. Joe wrote some great stuff for Forbes this year, so I included a couple that technically is not from our blog. Ready? Top of 2019 best blog posts coming at you!
Buying a Home in MN Takes a Team
If you have decided to transition from renter to homeowner, you are probably feeling excited and nervous at the same time. That is perfectly normal because it’s a big decision. Some think it is the litmus test for adulthood. While I’m not sure that is true, I will admit that it means taking on a whole new set of responsibilities. Heck, by the time I bought my first house, I was already working in real estate but still had the jitters.
While you may find the home buying journey intimidating, thankfully, it’s not a solo adventure. You will have lots of real estate professionals helping you along the way. Some of them you’ll interact with regularly and others you will never meet. Yet, they will all be doing their part to get you across the finish line. Let me introduce them to you.
The Real Estate Agent
Your agent will scout out homes for you, pointing out the positives and negatives of each one. Once you have found the property you want to buy, he will do a comparative market analysis to decide on your offer. He will prepare the purchase agreement and help with the negotiations between you and the seller.
In a nutshell, your licensed real estate professional will answer your questions, provide guidance, make recommendations, advocate in your best interests, provide emotional support, and help keep the whole process of buying your first MN home on the track. Your Realtor is a valuable resource in assembling...
If you Know A Great MN Realtor, Listen to Them
Listen to your agent is probably the #1 best piece of home selling advice you will ever hear. Consider the reasons you hired him in the first place. You were impressed with his years of experience. Over his career, he has sold thousands of homes, and he knows what works and what does not. When a house doesn’t sell, he can tell you why and what to do to fix it. He can also tell you what not to do from the beginning.
Here are some great pieces of advice that you should hear from your agent when you list your home. Would you please take it seriously? The sale of a home is a stressful process, but a few easy steps can lead to a smooth and seamless experience. Listen to your agent. He wants what’s best for you.
To put you on the inside track, here are three examples of home selling advice that are universally true.
Price Your Home to the Market
During your listing presentation, the agent should include a market analysis of your home. The evaluation should have a recommendation for the listing price for your home. He will arrive at that number by comparing your home to the most recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood. If you think his suggestion is lower than your expectation, ask questions.
Listen to your agent. He will point out the reasons for the difference what he feels your house will sell for less. Perhaps your kitchen and home décor have not been updated for 30 years, and...
Real Estate Agent On Why Your Home Won't Sell
When your home is not getting offers in a seller’s market, it is no surprise that you are not in your happy place. It’s not how you expected things to go. You thought it would sell quickly. Now you are asking your realtor why other properties are selling while your listing is growing moss.
Taking more time to sell a home happens all too often. As an agent who has been in the business for 16 years, I have been in this scenario. Here are what I’ve found to be the seven most common reasons a home isn’t selling.
The Price is Too High
The most common reason a home is not moving even in a market favorable to sellers is incorrect pricing. At the listing time, your realtor should do a market analysis of properties comparable to yours that recently sold. The price comparison is the best method to determine the asking price.
There are times sellers disagree and insist their home is worth more. There are often factors that the seller didn’t consider that affect the value. To neutralize the adverse effect of imperfections, a price adjustment is necessary. The price of a home should align with its condition.
Buyers today are savvy, and most of them are working...
Can You Recognize a Super Real Estate Agent When You Meet One? Take This Quiz!
You have finally made the big decision to buy a home, and you’re ready to dive headlong into the real estate market! Congratulations! Given today’s market and the great opportunities that abound in the Twin Cities Metro for homeownership, I applaud your decision. But, (and yes, there is always a “but,”) before you take the plunge, just like every great athlete needs a coach, or every talented artist needs an agent, you need a Realtor© by your side, advocating for you.
“Why can’t I just advocate for myself?” you say. Great question, and I am so glad you asked. An honest and ethical real estate agent will steer you in the right direction to not waste time spinning your wheels. He will offer expert advice when called for, even if it might not be what you want to hear, and will put your best interest at the forefront of any transaction. Not only will he protect your interests, but he will also limit your liabilities and even save you money.
“Wow,” you say, “having an agent will give me an edge! I want one, but, with all those agents out...
Success-driven Home Selling
Most people have two primary goals when they sell their home. These are to sell quickly at the best price possible. Both are attainable and if your location is TheTwin Cities metro and your home value is under $500,000, the market favors you in a big way.
However, please do not think that you will achieve these goals if you ignore the basic rules of how to prepare to sell your home. If you want multiple offers and you want them in the first few days of listing you need to accept the fact that preparation is necessary. If your home’s list price is in the higher tiers, it becomes even more critical.
Convinced? Fabulous! Here are my ten commandments of home selling. Follow these, and you will present your home at its finest.
Clutter is not aesthetically appealing. It makes your home look messy and lacking in storage space. The goal is to go through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage space from basement to attic. Don’t forget the garage and any outbuildings as well. Everything you decide you do not need should be for sale, consignment, donation or disposal.
For some, this step is no big deal, and for others, this is the...
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Tips to Control Stress When Selling Your Home
When you sell a home, the experience has the inherent potential to be stressful. Not only is the rhythm of your daily life at the mercy of showings, but your home has to look tip-top for potential buyers. Your privacy is held hostage to strangers opening closets and drawers as they snoop into your nooks and crannies. Yikes! That is enough to get the calmest nerves twitching.
There are many moving parts to the sale of a house. There are many individuals involved in that sale. Any of these or a combination of several can become the stress source for the homeowner. These are factors the seller has no control over, zip, zero, none! However, there are many aspects of the home-selling process where the property owner can have power over the outcome. Making better decisions at the beginning of the process increases the likelihood of having a superior selling experience.
Since I have sat in the seller seat myself on a few occasions, I have gathered some morsels of wisdom on the subject. Since I love to share, as one seller to another, here are my best tips for a successful home sale.
Hire A Great Real Estate Agent
There are a few different ways people go about finding a real...
Sell Your Home When The Time Is Right For You
It’s no surprise that many people advocate that the best time to sell a home is in the Spring. Part of the reason this theory has evolved is that families want to be established in their new homes by the beginning of the school year in September. While this does make sense for families with children, when it comes to when to put your home on the market there are no one-size fits all scenarios.
Even though Spring may be considered prime time for home sales by many in the industry, there is no perfect time for everyone. Every situation is different, and when you are personally ready to sell, that becomes the best season for you. However, there is one piece of home-selling wisdom that is always true no matter what time of year you sell.
Can you guess that one sliver of home-selling wisdom? It’s the preparation of your home to look its best in winter, spring, summer or fall. Making an outstanding first impression on buyers will determine how quickly you sell and how high a price you obtain. A home that is move-in ready will face a cleaner offer with fewer if any contingencies. Even in this strong seller’s market, we find ourselves in right now, the condition and appearance of your home do matter.
It makes the most sense to take the time to get your home in tip-top shape for the fussiest of fussy buyers. If you think your house is nearly market...
That All Important First Impression
It’s well established that a first introduction is vitally important. That initial handshake can either lead to a meeting of the minds, or to no deal. “I hope I make a bad first impression,” said no one ever! In real estate, we see this play out again and again.
When you are selling, the first personal impression when a buyer tours your home is like the handshake. If they don’t like what they see pulling up to the curb, walking into the lobby, or opening the front door, the cash register is going to ring up “no sale”.
Although a good first impression of your home may not always end up in making a deal, it is always the first step into getting to that important offer to purchase. Here are 10 ways to make a great first impression on prospective buyers.
1. Get Buyers To See Your Home
Today, most real estate transactions are born on the internet. The first interaction a prospective buyer has with your house is online. If there is no connection with them in those first photos, it’s extremely unlikely to go to the next step with a private showing. Make sure you have an agent that takes quality photos of your property, preferably professional ones.
TopTwin Cities Real Estate Agents
Real estate in MN is the story about homes and about the people and the families that live and love in them. It is also about the real estate professional helping a family sell or buy a home and whether it is their first home or their last, the agent has a golden opportunity to become a hero in their narrative. Here at the Minnesota Property Group, we have a few heroes! Talking about them, even bragging a little bit, is the favorite part of my job as the content creator.
Five uniquely talented professionals came together as a team with one common goal; providing the best service by treating each client like a member of your family. (This paid off in July 2016 with being recognized as "America's Best Real Estate Agents" by Real Trends, a designation given to less than 1% of agents and teams nationally.) We already heard from Joe Houghton, the RE/MAX Results agent that leads this team. He is the one prominent reason this group is the best. It is his vision and plan that moves the team forward and inspires them to grow and reach their full potential not only as individual agents but as part of the team. The four other reasons this team is extraordinary are members, Derek Irving, Mike Milne, Andrew Klinkner and Paul Mcquire who make up the strength of this great team. Here are their stories.
The Minnesota Property Group
Real estate is about stories. Each seller, buyer, home, and Agent has a tale. Real estate is undoubtedly a challenging and competitive business, and it's also exciting and rewarding. The one thing most agents agree on is that it takes dedication, grit, and hard work to break into the business and to become successful. Being part of a robust and supportive team can often differentiate between a story with a happy ending and the other kind.
One of the critical elements to any successful group is a robust, supportive and talented leader, like veteran RE/MAX Results agent Joe Houghton. As the Minnesota Property Group leader, he brought together like-minded and talented agents and one content and marketing professional to form his team. As Marketing Director for the group, Joe has been an inspiration that led me to challenge myself and go where I had never gone before professionally. We connected three years ago when I had been booted from corporate America, and he wanted someone to create content for his blog and website.
That tentative story that began on a cold January afternoon in 2014 has become a successful narrative still unfolding. I have never regretted that decision even once. Joe has a talent for connecting with people to help them live up to their potential. If there is a harder worker than Joe, I haven't met him yet. If there is a leader more willing than Joe to try something new or make improvements, we have not crossed paths, and in a state known for the kindness and generosity...
7 Great Tips for Fall Home Sellers
The Twin Cities real estate market has been strong throughout the spring and summer, and according to housing market analysts, we are experiencing one of the best housing markets of the last 15 years. So if you planned to sell your home this year but missed the spring and summer home-selling season, don’t despair or feel you need to wait until next spring to sell your home. Autumn happens to be the second best season for home sales.
Going into the cooler months always brings a seasonal adjustment in inventory levels. According to the weekly report from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, for the week ending September 19th, new listings decreased 0.4% to 1,613 and inventory 13.8% to 16,606. So fewer houses on the market, increase your chances of finding a buyer. Speaking of buyers…
While families with children tend to make their move in spring and be situated in their new homes for the start of the school year, job changes and relocations go on all year so there will be families out there looking for homes. Additionally, many millennials and empty nesters tend to wait until fall with hopes of being in their new home before the winter holidays arrive. Easier mortgage approvals coupled with interest rates remaining low, sweeten the deal. Buyers are inspired.
To get you ready and help with that selling decision, here are 7 tips that will take turn your "home for sale" to "home sold" when you list your property this autumn.
You have decided now is the time to make a move and sell your home. As a seller, this is your time! According to Forbes, 60% of all home sales will be in May-August. Additionally, there is a limited supply of inventory and buyers are out there who are ready and prepared to become homeowners themselves.
Let's Put Our Best Face On
Even though the market is tipping in your favor, you need to show it off at its absolute best to sell quickly and get the best price for your home. You know it's a great house but remember that potential buyers will be looking with a critical eye and comparing your property to others for sale on the market.
To get your house ready to sell, let's look at what I call the two-level approach, the first level being practical, which is the general condition of your property, and the second level the emotional, which is about the aesthetics like curb appeal, livability, and decor.
Let's Talk Practical
On this level, we need to be concerned about structure and mechanicals, the things a home inspection will evaluate, such as:
- windows and doors
Let's Talk Emotional
Buying and selling a home is an emotional experience. As the seller, you must begin thinking of your home as a house or property. This will enable you to turn a critical eye on each room and area to determine the improvements you need...