Your resource to become an informed home buyer and/or seller.
Whether buying or selling a home I am ready to walk through this exciting process with you. Please utilize these resources to help you prepare for this important journey. I will be happy to discuss the process and your individual needs so please call me (352) 476-3303 with any questions you may have.
Top 10 Home Buyer Tips
Buying Tip #10: Limit Your Purchases
Experts recommend avoiding large purchases 3 to 6 months leading up to your home purchase which could effect your credit score. Lenders are looking for reliability and a clear paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. For instance, if you currently rent, make sure you're paying by check or money order so your payments can be tracked and verified. So plan ahead and avoid taking on new debt, new credit cards or any other big ticket items to ensure the loan process goes as smoothly as possible.
Buying Tip #9: Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can't afford. It also gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs in the loan.
Buying Tip #8: Set Boundaries
It’s absolutely essential to get a survey done on your property so you know exactly what you’re buying. Knowing precisely where your property lines are may save you from a potential dispute with your neighbors. Also, your property tax is likely based on how much property you have, so it is best to have an accurate map drawn up.
Buying Tip # 7: Time the Market Myth
Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out.
Buying Tip # 6: Bigger Doesn't Mean Better
Everyone’s drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. But bigger is usually not better when it comes to houses. There’s an old adage in real estate that says don’t buy the biggest, best house on the block. The largest house only appeals to a very small audience and you never want to limit potential buyers when you go to re-sell. Your home is only going to go up in value as much as the other houses around you. If you pay $500,000 for a home and your neighbors pay $250,000 to $300,000, your appreciation is going to be limited. Sometimes it is best to is buy the worst house on the block, because the worst house per square foot always trades for more than the biggest house.
Buying Tip #5: Avoid Hidden Costs
The difference between renting and homeownership is the sleeper costs. Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware of the other expenses such as property taxes, utilities and homeowner-association dues. New homeowners also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenance and potential property-tax increases. Make sure you budget for sleeper costs so you’ll be covered and won’t risk losing your house.
Buying Tip #4: Be Objective
Buying a house based on emotions is just going to break your heart. If you fall in love with something, you might end up making some pretty bad financial decisions. There’s a big difference between your emotions and your instincts. Going with your instincts means that you recognize that you’re getting a great house for a good value. Going with your emotions is being obsessed with the paint color or the backyard. It’s an investment, so stay calm and be wise.
Buying Tip #3: Give Your House a Physical
Would you buy a car without checking under the hood? Of course you wouldn’t. Hire a home inspector. It’ll cost about $200 but could end up saving you thousands. A home inspector’s sole responsibility is to provide you with information so that you can make a decision as to whether or not to buy. It’s really the only way to get an unbiased third-party opinion. If the inspector does find any issues with the home, you can use it as a bargaining tool for lowering the price of the home. It’s better to spend the money up front on an inspector than to find out later you have to spend a fortune.
Buying Tip #2: The Art of Bidding
Your opening bid should be based on two things: what you can afford (because you don’t want to outbid yourself), and what you really believe the property is worth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair and reasonable and isn’t going to totally offend the seller. A lot of people think they should go lower the first time they make a bid. It all depends on what the market is doing at the time. You need to look at what other homes have gone for in that neighborhood and you want to get an average price per square foot. Sizing up a house on a price-per-square-foot basis is a great equalizer. Also, see if the neighbors have plans to put up a new addition or a basketball court or tennis court, something that might detract from the property’s value down the road.
Today, so many sellers are behind in their property taxes and if you have that valuable information it gives you a great card to negotiate a good deal. To find out, go to the county clerk’s office.
Sellers respect a bid that is an oddball number and are more likely to take it more seriously. A nice round number sounds like every other bid out there. When you get more specific the sellers will think you've given the offer careful thought.
Buying Tip #1: Familiarize Yourself with the Neighborhood
Before you buy, get the lay of the land – drop by morning noon and night. Many homebuyers have become completely distraught because they thought they found the perfect home, only to find out the neighborhood wasn’t for them. Drive by the house at all hours of the day to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery store and other services. Even if you don’t have kids, research the schools because it affects the value of your home in a very big way. If you buy a house in a good school district versus bad school district even in the same town, the value can be affected as much as 20 percent.
Can I ask a BIG FAVOR?? Will you please download it and test it out for me?? I’d LOVE to hear what you think! Just click the link above☝☝ You can also watch the launch video.
Here are some fun facts for you on the app…
▪️KW spent hundreds of millions to build this app.
▪️EVERY SCREEN was tested against every other search app (Zillow, Trulia, etc) and if consumers didn’t like it more, it didn’t pass!
▪️This is YOUR APP meaning it's much like Netflix or Amazon that is unique to YOU!
▪️You can search by neighborhoods, schools districts, city or zip code.
▪️Check out the seller and buyer guide to walk you through every step of the process (think of it like bringing real-time visibility to the entire transaction process similar to how Uber give me visibility into my entire transportation process!)
▪️So much more, but you have to download it to see!
Thank you for sharing this moment with me, it’s a BIG DAY for our agents and myself. So proud to partner with a company that puts the consumer’s needs first.
For more real estate tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube Channel RealtorCitrus.
When marketing your home, make the experience feel special and exclusive by using phrases like: “By Appointment Only”. When someone knocks on the door, do NOT invite them right in your home. Tell them that you will be happy to schedule a convenient time that they can come back and tour the property. Very important as it allows you to present the home just the way you want it to be for the prospective buyer and to vet them.
Vet the prospects before they come to your house.
1. Get their full name and contact information.
2. Determine their motivation and timeline to move i.e. how long have they been looking? How soon do they plan to make a move? Where do they live now? Why are they moving?
3. Discuss how they plan to make their purchase when they find the right home. “Will you be paying cash or financing your purchase? If financing: “Are you pre-approved?”
4. Ask if they will be bringing anyone else with them to view the property. If so, get the names of all other visitors that will be coming.
Be sure to keep a log of all visitors and any feedback they give you about the home. This way when you receive an offer you can go back to those that had expressed interest and make sure they do not want to make an offer as well.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube Channel RealtorCitrus.
Buyers often drive around neighborhoods they like taking note of homes for sale so this is an opportunity to get connected with them.
While agents are showing property in the area buyers will often see a For Sale By Owner signs and ask the agent about that property as well.
Advertise the special features: add riders to your sign showing important features i.e. pool, waterfront, golf course, social membership, remodeled, bed/baths, etc.
Signage at main roads and intersections. Leading signs should be used on connecting main roads to alert commuters that there is a home for sale nearby. You can use an address on these signs so people can drive by your home.
Review your community deed restrictions and be mindful of sign rules such as size of for sale signs, placement rules etc. For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube ChannelRealtorCitrus.
Thinking about selling your home? 60% of homes sell during the summer months, making that the peak season for home showings. When you're serious about selling your home for top dollar, these staging tips will help your home to stand out against the competition:
Price the home competitively. Depending on the features & condition of the home coupled with a thorough assessment of the real estate market & similar properties, you may be able to sell your home quickly at a listing price above market value.
Prepare your home for the market. This includes minimizing furniture, removing area rugs, clearing countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, thorough house cleaning (dusting the fans, cleaning windows etc.), and repainting any brightly colored walls.
Closets and Storage Space: Many renters long for walk-in closets, kitchen pantries and garage or attic storage space.
Energy-Efficient Features: If you have a home automation system, double-paned windows or ENERGY STAR appliances, I'll include them on the listing and can display your utility bills during open houses.
Hypoallergenic Home: Buyers with allergy sensitivities are attracted to homes with wood or tile floors because they don't absorb odors or allergens from pets or smoke. I'll also mention if you've only used natural cleaning products in the home.
Remove personal pictures as they distract buyers from envisioning their family living in the home. You will be moving, so go ahead & carefully box these for safe keeping until you can place them into your new home.
Strategically place a few mirrors throughout the home. The psychological impact of seeing yourself in the home can influence a buyer’s decision.
Curb appeal – spruce up the landscaping i.e. trim bushes, refresh the mulch, keep grass cut, fresh coat of paint, etc.
A great way to evaluate how your home will show to potential buyers is doing a curb to curb review. Stand at the curb in front of the home and take note of anything that detracts from the look and appeal of the home. As you approach the front door you want to do a full 360° check of the surroundings. Open the front door and take note of everything that immediately draws your eyes. Consider moving or even eliminating anything that is not a feature of the home. Continue to walk through the home taking note of anything distracting or unappealing to the eye in each room. Your trusted and knowledgeable real estate agent will assist you with this process to seek a quick, top dollar sale of your home.
If you have any questions about selling your home, please feel free to call or text 352-476-3303 or email email@example.com.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube Channel RealtorCitrus.
In addition to the first impression with great photography of the home, your next opportunity is to draw the buyers in emotionally and get them excited by the description you provide. Be sure to include trigger words that reflect important things that buyers want as applicable to your home:
Updated ________ (be specific kitchen, bathrooms etc.)
Try to create a story that appeals to the lifestyle that your home will provide for the buyer i.e. entertaining space, well-designed kitchen for family meals, huge pool deck for backyard pool parties, luxurious master retreat for de-stressing, etc.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my Youtube Channel RealtorCitrus.
Did you know that much of Citrus County, Florida is eligible for low cost upgrades to septic systems per the new septic requirements?
For environmental reasons the state of Florida has mandated upgrades to our septic systems. There is government funding to assist with getting these systems upgraded to meet the new standards. This program will save you thousands of dollars that you would otherwise spend when your septic system has to be replaced in the future. How do you participate?
Contact your preferred septic company to see if they are an approved provider for this program
Schedule a site evaluation with that company
Pay the difference between the government subsidy and the actual cost of the septic upgrade ($650-$850 +/-)
Septic company will schedule the upgrade per their availability
Who is eligible: If your property falls within the affected area (contact an approved septic company to confirm) then you are eligible. Each individual vendor may have their own qualification criteria i.e. access requirements, etc. Age and condition of your existing system is not a factor.
Contact RES Luxury Group (352) 476-3303 if you’d like a referral to a participating septic company.
Always contact your home warranty company before you call a licensed professional. I have heard many homeowners complain that they had a professional out to service the covered item just to then find out the warranty company will not pay the bill. The warranty provider must open the claim first and then let you know who you can call for service in order for the services to be covered.
Ask the warranty provider about ALL options before deciding how you want to address the issue i.e. in some cases you may have a “buy out” available that allows you to utilize your preferred vendors at a lower cost to repair. Be sure the warranty company will still cover the replaced item.
If offering a home warranty as part of your home sale take advantage of programs that will cover your home while you have it on the market. Ask your realtor for more information.
Carefully consider the warranty coverage and options for upgraded plans against costs & deductibles. Some plans provide for energy efficiency upgrades to appliances, HVAC, etc. if replacement is needed.
2)Zillow.com – property integrated with all listings not just for sale by owner properties
3)Interest centric sites: i.e. golfer websites, equine websites, water activities etc depending on the community and home features and lifestyle aspects
4)MLS flat fee listing: certain brokerages offer these and they enable you to put your home into the local multiple listing service for agents to see for a nominal fee. NOTE: you must be willing to pay a buyer agent commission in order to utilize this service.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my Youtube Channel RealtorCitrus.
You’ve heard the quote “It takes a village to raise a child”, well I would like to coin the phrase “It takes a village to close on a home!”.As I reflect on the past 12 months and marvel over the great customers that I have been blessed to work with on such important transactions, I am overwhelmed thinking of all the people that were integral in getting us from contract to closing.
The typical real estate transaction involves a seller and buyer, brokers & agents, bankers, the title company, inspectors, contractor (roofers, plumbers, electricians), a handyman, insurance agents, attorneys, financial planners, and the list can go on and on. I am so grateful for my partners that have played a huge role in assisting the 42 customers that I represented this year.
I would like to mention a few that have really gone above and beyond for my customers: Kim Sechrest – American Mortgage Petra Leene – HK Living USA Jamie DiLeo – JD Inspections Charlie Rise – Rise Construction Roscoe Parsley PC - Home Inspections Laura Bickford – Integrity Insurance Advisors Scott Allen Roofing Scott Shannon – NRL Mortgage Sarah Claus – Citrus Pool Doctors Milton Byers - Byers Discount AC Ken Stoddard – KJS Flooring Todd Workman – Suncoast Plumbing Sean Judge Lawn Care Stacy Gaglione – A Lady and Her Brush Leon – Premier Electric Millie Giovanniello – house cleaning Ali Endicott – First International Title
Just to name a few. I am grateful for all the business partners that I have had the pleasure to work with and you know I will continue to share you with everyone I encounter who needs your services!