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In many homeowners’ lives, it becomes clear that they just don’t need all the space they have in their homes. Here are a few signs that it might be time to downsize:1. You’re getting close to retirement. We find that many of our sellers are getting closer and closer to retirement age, and they feel that it’s just time to get out of the house and do…
 
If you’re in the market for a brand-new home, here are a few tips that will help you through the process:1. Get an agent to represent you. You can get the agent that represents the seller to help you, but keep in mind that that agent serves the seller’s best interests, not yours. You need someone in your corner to watch out for your best interests.…
 
With inventory as little as it is in our market, it can be frustrating for buyers, and you may be tempted to buy any property you can get your hands on. There’s a better approach to choosing the right property, though, and it starts with these four tips: 1. Write down what you really want in your next home. Make a list of ‘must have’ items and item…
 
Unfortunately, divorce is one of the main reasons why many people sell their homes. When it comes to getting a divorce, many questions need to be answered: Who will keep the house? Should both of you retain the title, or should you sell it and divide up the proceeds? Another thing that people often overlook when going through a divorce is whether o…
 
When it comes to renovating your home, you can spend a lot of money without actually increasing its value.One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make when remodeling is not taking a moment to reflect on why they want to make renovations in the first place. Ask yourself—are you making renovations because you like them and want to stay in your home…
 
Over the last few years, Memphis has been in a strong seller’s market. One of the only problems sellers face in this market is what to do when there are multiple offers on the home. Do you take the highest price? The best terms? Those are really good questions, and it’s one of the reasons why we create an entire spreadsheet for our clients that spe…
 
Here’s a common dilemma: You want to buy a house, but you have one you need to sell, too. However, you don’t want to sell your current property without buying the new one first because you don’t want to end up temporarily homeless. In a hot market, which we’re in right now, it’s fairly easy to find a new house and get your current property sold wit…
 
Commonly, a home’s price will be run up in a multiple-bid situation. The seller is delighted at first but will run into problems when the appraiser comes into the house and assesses it at a lower price. We recently had a home that was appraised at $30,000 below the agreed-upon purchase price. How do we handle this kind of situation?The very first t…
 
When purchasing a home, there’s more than just the sales price of the house to consider—there are actually quite a few hidden costs that most buyers need to know about before they submit an offer on a home: appraisal fees, moving fees, tax service fees, title insurance, and more.On average, the typical closing cost on a home can equal almost 4% of …
 
When putting your house on the market, one of the biggest deal-killers is often the home inspection. So what do you need to know if you want to pass the inspection?First, check to see if you have any rotten wood that needs to be taken care of. Rotten siding, etc., can be a real stumbling block for the buyers looking to purchase your house.Also, is …
 
One question a lot of my seller clients ask me is whether they should accept a contingent offer on their house. The truth is, most offers already have contingencies built into them—financial contingencies, inspection contingencies, etc. Those are pretty normal, but the contingency most homeowners are concerned about is one that’s based on another h…
 
In 2020, most predictions were thrown out the window because this year has been very bizarre for everyone. However, I wanted to offer my predictions for how the rest of the 2020 real estate market may go. I believe our Memphis market will remain strong. Of course, it’s always possible the presidential election could change things. What we do know i…
 
Before you hire an agent to sell your house, there are some important questions you’ll need to ask them. The first is, “What makes you different and why?” Other questions include, “What are the terms of the listing contract?” and “What’s your track record?” You want to be prepared before you even interview an agent to hire so you make the right dec…
 
There’s no doubt about it: The market is hot. This is probably the lowest inventory that Memphis has seen in decades, which means houses are flying off the shelves quickly, often with multiple offers. The best part is that interest rates are historically low; you can get a 30-year loan for just 3% interest—truly incredible if you think about it. Ev…
 
Homebuyers all have something specific they’re looking for in a new home and, as it turns out, there are two rooms that homebuyers pay attention to the most when they’re shopping to buy a home: the kitchen and the bathroom. So, if you plan to do renovations on your house to maximize its value before you sell it, you’ll want to concentrate your mone…
 
Nowadays, with the internet, it’s so convenient to visit a website to find real estate information. However, the problem that we’re finding with companies like Zillow and Realtor.com is that the information they supply is not very accurate.“Most third-party sites don’t have access to the MLS.”If you really want to find the market value of your home…
 
Should you get a pre-listing home inspection? Definitely! If you don’t get a pre-listing inspection, a buyer will have their own inspector come, and they’ll give you a lengthy list of things that need to be fixed on your house. This can botch a home sale for many reasons. Usually, buyers will demand that professional electricians, plumbers, and so …
 
I’ve been in the real estate industry since the late ’80s. When I first started, there were no real estate teams. Each agent operated their own separate business, and occasionally a top producer might hire an assistant to help with paperwork.Over the last few decades, many of those solo agents have shifted to a team structure. There are a lot of te…
 
Some of the least expensive and most dramatic changes you can make to your house involve paint and carpets. If you’ve lived in your home for 10, 20, or even 30 years and haven’t repainted or installed new carpet, you should consider doing so if you plan on putting your home on the market to make it show well. When painting, make sure the transition…
 
There are a lot of upgrades you can make to your home, but investing heavily in them doesn’t always work out. Spending a lot of money on professional landscaping, for example, won’t result in a dollar-for-dollar return. Adding a new roof, new gutters, or a swimming pool will raise your home’s value, but it won’t translate into more money for you wh…
 
I’m asked a lot about credit scores and how people can help them go up. We know that the top possible score is around 850. Only one person out of 200 is going to have that perfect score, with most people’s scores running in the 750 range. Once you start getting into the 600 range, financing gets a bit tougher. If you’re in the 500 range, it’s going…
 
Buying a home can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. At the same time, committing to a 30-year mortgage can seem like one of the most terrifying things ever. However, don’t let that mortgage scare you from buying a home. There are many things you can do to make it a lot less stressful. If you can, get a 30-year mortgage that’s fi…
 
When people are going through the process of getting their home ready for sale, they often overlook a few important steps: 1. Tackle the junk drawer. We all have at least one drawer somewhere in the house where an odd assortment of items ends up, like pens, batteries, papers, tape measures, toothpicks, etc. Be sure to clean out your junk drawer and…
 
Over the last 10 years or so, a common trend we’ve seen in the real estate industry is more teams doing business instead of individual agents. Not all of these teams are the same, though. They can vary greatly, but there’s an unfortunate trend within this movement that’s happening: The agent who’s the head of the team doesn’t deal with clients or c…
 
A lot of brokerages say they’ll sell your home with little cost to you. If you can sell a home for only a low $100 to $500 fee, why wouldn’t you? That’s a huge savings!This way of thinking is exactly how discount brokerages draw people in. I’ve seen many of these brokerages come and go throughout the years, and there’s a reason why they aren’t arou…
 
Before putting their home on the market, a lot of sellers ask me, “John, should I depersonalize my home?” My answer is always the same: Absolutely. However, we also don’t want to go overboard and stage it to look like a sterile hospital from the 1970s. To ensure we don’t do too much or too little during the depersonalization process, we’ll need to …
 
In the real estate industry, wire fraud has lately become an increasingly prominent issue—especially for homebuyers.It used to be that when you bought a house, you’d just bring cash to the closing table. Later, people began using personal checks, but as fraudulent checks become a problem, we started moving toward cashier’s checks or certified funds…
 
With the growing popularity of Airbnb, homeowners I speak with are constantly asking me if they should turn their own property into an Airbnb rental. Judging by the numbers, having an Airbnb rental property can be a fantastic source for wealth generation. For all its monetary benefits, though, keep in mind that an Airbnb is essentially a glorified …
 
If selling your home has been on your mind, there’s no time like the present. Here are five reasons why you’ll want to do so in 2019:1. Your home won’t be on the market for long. Buyer demand is through the roof right now, so you won’t have to worry about your home spending weeks or months on the market. 2. You’ll make a handsome profit! Home price…
 
When I speak with both buyers and sellers, I’m often asked, “Are we in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market?” and “Is inventory going up or down?” I’ll answer those questions and more in today’s summer market update. We’re now in the heat of the summer market and conditions continue to favor sellers. Right now, there are still around 3,000 active …
 
One of the biggest concerns of pet owners when it comes time to sell their houses is what to do with their animal companions during the process.Some homebuyers in the market don’t mind that you have a cat or dog, but there are also those who could be highly allergic to, afraid of, or just generally averse to pets. I once walked a client through a h…
 
I’ve been running the Guaranteed Sale Program in Memphis for approximately 20 years, so when people ask if I can guarantee their home will be sold, I tell them, “Absolutely!”Everyone has different reasons why they want to sell their home, as well as different time frames in which they want to have it done. For obvious reasons, sellers want to be su…
 
Once your home goes under contract, it’s time for the buyer to begin the inspection process. They’ll be hiring an inspector to come out and look through every nook and cranny of your home, listing every issue they can find along the way. The fewer things they find, the better the buyer will feel about purchasing your home, which is why you want to …
 
Today’s topic is choosing the right agent when looking for a house. Here’s what you need to do to find the right fit.Most buyers start on the internet by looking for houses that meet their criteria. Usually, very little thought goes into hiring a real estate agent to work for them. However, we have found that if you want to ensure that you earn the…
 
We get this question from homeowners quite a bit: Should I sell my home to an investor? It might actually be a good option depending on your situation, but we find that most people who buy homes as an investor will generally not pay full market value for your house. Investors are looking for good deals, and that generally starts with them getting t…
 
If you’ve sold your home and are ready to move out, there are a few things you need to do in regard to your utilities.Most of the time, you want to allow the utilities to stay on for a few days after closing, but make sure to let your gas, electric, and water companies know you’re moving out. These extra days give you some breathing room in case th…
 
Receiving an offer is one of the most exciting aspects of selling your home. Of course, given that today’s real estate contracts can be several pages long, it’s important to have a real estate professional by your side. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect at closing.But having a real estate professional working on your behalf is important …
 
Not all real estate agents are made the same, so it’s important that you ask a few questions before choosing one to represent you as a homebuyer or seller. Depending on the responses you receive, you can ensure yourself a great real estate experience (or at least avoid a not-so-great one). Here’s what to ask an agent:1. Do you work independently or…
 
When it comes time to sell their home, some people believe that they’re better off doing it on their own. But is it really worth it to list without the help of an agent?Thanks to the far reach of the internet, most sellers could gain quite a bit of exposure for their listing simply by putting it online. However, marketing is not the only important …
 
Open houses have been a tool for real estate agents for generations. Before the internet, an open house was one of the few ways that a potential buyer could actually go see the inside of a home for sale without having to schedule an appointment.Those days are pretty much over now, though, because of how easy it is to see the inside of a house just …
 
Before you put your home on the market, you should take an objective look at your house. Because we are familiar and comfortable with our homes, we often overlook the small things that a potential buyer will catch, such as a burnt out lightbulb, scuffs on a wall, or a yard in need of trimming.When evaluating your home for sale, try to imagine yours…
 
There are plenty of inexpensive things you can do around your home to maximize its value. Here are a few of our favorite tips:1. Paint the front door. A lot of times, we forget what our front door looks like after a while. Since the sun and other elements can beat down on it and make it look rough, repainting your front door is a great idea.2. Powe…
 
Should you order a home inspection when you’re buying a home?Absolutely! Even seasoned investors who buy countless homes get home inspections on the house they’re purchasing.If you buy a home without a home inspection, you’ll never know if you’re going to end up with a huge problem that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars. Most of the t…
 
Today I want to talk about using a team versus using an independent real estate agent to sell your home.Real estate is one of the few professions in the world where agents are expected to do everything. In today’s fast-paced environment where people instantly want to know information about a house or want information back on negotiations, if you ch…
 
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