Best Home Search App

Best Home Search App

  It seems like everyone is interested in real estate. Even if you’re not in the market to sell or buy, you’re probably curious. It is interesting to know what is going on around you. What did that house down the street sell for? Or you’re driving around on a Saturday afternoon and want to know what the house you just saw with a sign in the yard is listed for. Did you miss the house because you didn’t see it on the app you use? Are you late to the party because everything you look up was sold three months ago? Where do you search for real estate? Chances are, you get on your phone or tablet and open up an app. A lot of consumers I speak with say that they use apps such as Zillow or Trulia to search for properties and find sales prices and estimated values. But, there are a couple of reasons why apps and/or websites like these might not be the best ones for you. First of all, if you have been following my blogs, you have read “Is Zillow Accurate?” Secondly, apps and sites such as these are not real estate apps – they are marketing apps. They take your information and sell it. They use it to sell to lenders, real estate agents, etc. that pay for leads. Thirdly, some MLS areas have opted not to share listing information. I read one study that showed only 49% of the current MLS listings were showing up on these apps. That’s a LOT of homes not being seen by the consumer. So what is the alternative? Where do you search for real estate information that is up to date and accurate? I am glad you asked! If you live in Tennessee, download the HomeScout app. You can use the VIP code: 6159170139. It is linked directly to the local MLS in Middle Tennessee. If you live outside of Tennessee, contact me and I can get you set up in your area. This is the greatest tool that I have seen. It tells you the status of the property, how long it has been on the market, shows photos, provides school zones, room sizes, property taxes, how long it has been on the market, and more. You can make your own notes about the property, favorite properties to watch, and even schedule a showing. The other exciting part of this tool is that I can enroll current homeowners in an automated system that will provide comps for their area every 30 days. You can now be a nosey neighbor without anyone knowing. Or, even better, you can stay on top of the market...

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Be a Team Player

Be a Team Player

  We are just off some major championships in sports. You know how important looking out for each other and assisting teammates is in that arena. Well, it is the same in real estate. If you sign a listing agreement with a Realtor, they will likely tell you how they will market your home. But what if you could reach a minimum of another 250 people? You want your house to be seen by as many people as possible, right? A good idea is to make sure your circle of friends and their friends knows your house is for sale. How do you do that? If your agent does any type of online or social media marketing, you can share it to all of your contacts on social media. If they don’t, ask for copies of the photos they have taken and post them everywhere. Take it a step further and ask a few friends to forward it or to post it to their social media contacts. Think how many people it will reach. All it takes is one person to see it and you never know who may know someone that is looking for exactly what you have to sell. In the same way, if you are looking for a house, let people know what you’re looking for. I have clients who are looking for a house in a very specific neighborhood. They have told all their friends what they are looking for. Friends that live in that neighborhood have access to a neighborhood group where homeowners often let others know they are going to sell, prior to it officially going on the market. They have been informed of a few houses that are about to come on the market. The great thing is that sometimes, your agent may be able to get you in to see it before the masses do. In hot markets, this could be the best chance you have at getting a house! Your agent may be the best in the world but in today’s world of social media and the internet, it is truly a team effort. They have their sphere and you have yours. Even if you are best friends or even family, you have a different sphere that you can tap into. Think about this: If you need a recommendation for a dry cleaner in the area, a plumber, or a summer camp for the kids, where do you go? Who do you ask? If you want to sell some housewares or find a pet sitter, what do you do? You probably head to the internet and most likely you go to social media. There are a multitude of neighborhood groups...

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How to Sell Your Home

How to Sell Your Home

  Through the years as a Nashville Realtor, I have worked with people at various levels in their knowledge of the home selling process. One thing that rings true is that, unless you do it every day, you don’t know or understand it all. I will take you through an overview. Certainly there are nuances and each circumstance can cause the process to change a bit. Also, make sure you consult with your local Realtor because some of this may be different based on what state you live in. There are also details that I am leaving out in order to not put you to sleep so make sure to get all the information and trust the person you are working with. 1. Listing Consultation – If you are using a real estate agent or a Realtor (yes, they’re different – if you want to know how, read this), you will likely meet at their office or at the property you would like to sell. This is where you will discuss and sign the listing agreement with their company that outlines what they will do, what you will do, and how much you will pay them. You will discuss the comparable properties in your area, average days on the market, and the list price of your property. 2. Prepare Home for Market – If you haven’t done so yet, get to work on making your property sparkle and shine. First and foremost, make sure it is clean. Do necessary repairs, paint, clean carpets, pressure wash, landscaping, get a storage unit, etc.  It’s good to have your Realtor give you suggestions as to what is necessary. You and/or your Realtor may also find it helpful to use the services of a professional stager. If you are living in the home, they can help decide what to pare down and how to arrange the furnishings to best showcase the home. If the property is vacant, it is sometimes advantageous to use a staging company that can provide furnishings and accessories to help buyers envision the home being lived in. 3. Professional Photography/Videography & Measuring – One thing that is a MUST HAVE in most markets is professional photos. It amazes me how many photos I see that actually hurt the sale of a home. Your Realtor should cover the cost and your job is to have the house looking like a model home before the photographer gets there. There are exceptions here as well. If the property is an investment property that is currently being rented, there may be no way around having unnecessary items in the photos and it may not necessarily be in model home condition. In these instances, it...

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Uh Oh, It’s Magic

Uh Oh, It’s Magic

If you know me well, you know I love magicians. It fascinates me to watch good ones perform and stun their audience. Some seem to read your mind. Others seem to predict the future. I love to be freaked out and wonder, HOW DO THEY DO IT??? You will ask yourself the same thing when you work with a great Realtor. They make it look easy. They get things done. My job is to work behind the scenes to fix all the things that go wrong when selling or buying a home. What, you don’t think anything went wrong when you bought or sold your house? That’s probably because you had a great Realtor on your side. Things always go wrong. They are not always big things that can cause deals to be delayed or to fall through but, trust me, there is always something. Lenders get the wrong document signed, they somehow have the wrong close date or purchase price. Title companies find undisclosed tax liens on the property that is supposed to close in 5 days. A Seller takes a refrigerator that they were supposed to leave. An appraisal comes back low. A Buyer forgets to mention a bankruptcy. The list goes on and on. Some things can’t be fixed, but most can. Don’t give up. I have been able to get a major home builder to pay closing costs, and replace items they initially said they would not. Lenders have jumped through hoops. Title companies have gone to bat for clients and other agents have worked with their clients to come to amicable solutions. In the end, everyone wants the same thing. We all want the house to sell. Sellers want to sell it, Buyers want to buy it, and all the vendors want to be paid. Most Realtors don’t get paid until closing, therefore, they should do everything they can to find solutions for issues that arise. I have been asked if I can move a house to a different location. I actually do know people that can do that! Bottom line is, make sure you have realistic expectations of the magic that can be performed. Also, though, be satisfied that your real estate agent is working hard for you and if you’re not, get another...

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Low Inventory Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Real Estate Market

  If you are like me, you live in a real estate market with very low inventory. What happens when you need more room, your kitchen is outdated, or you really want a swimming pool and you can’t find a house on the market that fits your needs? Or, maybe with the rising interest rates you found a great house but now the higher interest rates put it out of reach. If you currently own your home and your market has appreciated since you purchased, chances are you have equity. A great option is a home equity loan. There are many things you can do to improve your home or remodel to fit your current needs or desires. You might want to add a patio to give you more outdoor living space. You may want to add that swimming pool you’ve always wanted. Or you just might need a new roof. You may have heard about a home equity loan, but another option is a home renovation loan. There are FHA, VA, and conventional products. In a nutshell, these loans will allow you to renovate your home by lending on the improved value, not the current value. They can be a bit more complicated but if you have a loan officer and mortgage company that knows how to navigate the process, it can be a wonderful solution. Home renovation loans are great for those larger projects where you may be gutting kitchens and bathrooms or adding square footage. Of course, as a Realtor, I would hope we could find a house for you to buy that would fit your needs and be within budget, but it is not always possible, especially in a price range that is very popular. I have great vendors I work with that I recommend to clients for both types of loans. In fact, most of them can handle loans out of state so feel free to reach out if you can’t find your dream home but think you could make your current home work for a few more years with a little love. I am happy to refer you to professionals that can give you the hard facts about these loans and how they may work for...

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Inspiration

Inspiration

  I live and work in Nashville TN. Our nickname is Music City. People move here every day, in hopes of becoming either a songwriter or a star. As a songwriter, or a writer in general, you need inspiration. Something that will, seemingly, just come out of nowhere. Something that hits you between the eyes and speaks to you. It may be a trip that you took, it may be a sunset. It could be a heartbreak or an illness. So many things in our daily lives can inspire us if we are open to them. It can be the same in real estate. When you are looking to buy or sell a house, you have an inspiration. Something came into play that helped you make that decision. Did you take a job in a different area and want to move closer to work? Is your family growing and need more space? Are your aging parents needing help and you are looking to combine two households? Whatever your inspiration, buying and selling real estate can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your eye on the end game. Keep focused on the inspiration that got you here in the first place. If that inspiration is negative, then focus on how you will feel once it’s over and that chapter is closed. Some of the most award winning, popular, beautiful songs are written out of a negative place so don’t be afraid to go through it. When you come out on the other side, you will be a better, stronger version of yourself and you’ll have new inspirations for a new season. Once you get where you are going, there are entirely new inspirations to be found. What color will you paint the bedroom? What kind of stools will you put at the breakfast bar? What type of painting or art will look best in the living room? You may want to take from travels you have been on and infuse other cultures into your world or you may collect things you have seen at art fairs. However you enjoy to add life to your home, make it a piece of you. I believe, and hear from others, that when you walk into a home, it has a feel. You can feel the energy. What better energy than that of yourself. When others come into your home, they see a piece of you. They see your personality play out in the things that surround them. Make it yours and don’t apologize for it. Who cares if you don’t use this year’s “color of the year” or have the latest trend in countertops in your kitchen. If you love...

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