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Save Yourself Time and Money!

by Pat Wattam

There are some things our clients do that drive REALTORS a little crazy and they are the things that clients do that cost the client time and we all know that time is money! Here are a couple of  things that we find frustrating from a buyer:

1.  Not knowing where you want to live - location wise.  It is very frustrating to get a buyer who says location is no issue - "I'll look anywhere".  And your drive them up to an hour away to find the home of their dreams, only for them to then realize that they don't want to drive an hour each way, evey day to work!  Seriously!  They never even THOUGHT about that first!

 I think one of the most important discussions you can have with your REALTOR (and yourself!) is what do you want to do in your free time.  Do you like running to the movies on the weekend at the spur of a moment?  Do you like having a grocery store 5 minutes away because you are always forgetting something you need (that's me!)?  Do you have a sport you play a lot and would like to be near by?  Or, if you have children, how far do you want to drive to take them to dance, gym, music, sport practice, or even school?  There are serious questions to consider because you can not replace your time.  I had some clients who wanted to live in St Francisville.  They bought beautiful new home and pool, on a lake, with a golf course nearby - but they were driving over an hour each way to work, then on the weekends they would bring their children to Baton Rouge for their activities and would have to kill a couple of hours in town just waiting for them.  They finally decided enough was enough.  Their next house was in the heart of Baton Rouge, near all conveniences.  I have other clients who want to live on acreage and get away from it all.  When they get home for the weekend, they are home.  They enjoy working on their yard and don't mind the drive during the week so they can have the peace and quiet they require on the weekends.  SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME by figuring out what are your HOT buttons for a location and let your REALTOR help find you the best home to match!  

2.  Having TOO BROAD of a price range.  When I have clients tell me they can buy anything from $150,000 to $350,000 and want to see it all I know they haven't thought this all the way through.  I know they are thinking if they can find a real steal at $150K they want to see it.  So do I!  The question really is  - what is important in a house to them.  A TYPICAL $150K house is smaller, or older, or doesn't have as many amenities as a $350K house.  We need to know what is important to you in the house.  How large?  How many bedrooms?  How large do those bedrooms need to be?  Are you willing to buy an older house with smaller baths and kitchen or do you want an open floor plan?  Do you like nice amenities?  These are the things we need to know - then it's easy to search any price range so that you can make a decision on how much work you want to do on a house.  Just a thought.  One of the first houses we bought needed a lot of work but we got it for a great price.  We didn't factor in the $10K (this was YEARS ago!) cash that would have to come out of our savings to do those reparis.  We could have bought a house that cost $20K more or even more if it didn't need any work and had a little higerh house note and kept our cash!!  

3.  "I want to see everything available in my price range!" Really?  Why?  I once had a client that went into the attic of every home we looked at, even the ones I knew they had NO interest in.  After I while I showed them how much time they were wasting that could be spent seriously looking at the houses that they found interesting!  While you are waiting to see everything, a great house could come on the Market and be sold by the time you get around to seeing it.  If you know what are your "HAVE TO HAVE" items are in a house, and then the things you would like to have but aren't deal killers, we can save you a LOT of time by screening out the houses we know don't have those amenities!  

Give some serious thought to what you REALLY want and need in a home from size to amenities to location to price.  Then we can really do a better job to serve you by showing you the BEST HOUSES that fit your particular needs!! Give us a call!  We want to help you find that dream home!  225-298-6900

Common Mistakes Made By For Sale By Owner Sellers

by Bill Arey

I have found that is is fairly commonplace for "For Sale By Owner" houses to be priced higher than fair Market analysis indicates. There are several reasons for this:

1. Basing the asking price on what they want to get out of the house 

Example: The homeowners have a mortgage balance of $150,000 and have a second home equity loan for $25,000, for a total amount of $175,000. The problem is similar homes on the market are selling for around $160,000, but the homeowner is compelled to price the home at $175,000 because they need to pay off both mortgages. 

2. Basing the asking price on the cost they have in the house 

A classic mistake some homeowners make is OVER improving their home relative to the neighborhood. Most neighborhoods will have a price range. Knowing the property values in your neighborhood, including the high values, will help you make a smarter decision about how much to invest in the renovation so that when you go to sell you don’t have to price your home out of the market to pay for the improvements. Most home improvements do not return 100% of the cost of the improvement or upgrade. 

3. Basing the asking price on heresay or website "estimates"

A legitimate asking should be based on FACTUAL sold comparable information. The BEST source of accurate and local market information is the MLS - Multiple Listing Service. 

4. The Seller dosen't  compare apples to apples

The seller may  have gotten the sale price correct for John Smith’s home but does the seller know how his house compares to John Smith's?  If a seller wants "top dollar" for the home it better be in excellent condition and compare favorably on upgrades and amenities with houses that have recently sold in the area.

5. It is natural for a Seller to NOT be objective

It is only natural to think your house is as good or better than the house that sold down the street. If a seller is really interested in selling the house in a reasonable amount of time, getting a price opinion from a licensed Realtor or appraiser is a wise first step.

 

Bill Arey    Realtor

The Pat Wattam Team

ReMax First

Home - What Does it Mean

by Bill Arey

The Definition of Home

Be it ever so humble, it's more than just a place. It’s also an idea—one where the heart is.

What do you think of when you think of your home? To most, a home is so much more than "sticks and bricks". The home is where the most meaningful aspects of our lives occur. Love, Family, Dreams, Security....... like "Home", all hard to clearly define, but they are the foundation of what makes a house a Home.

Bill Arey - Realtor

The Pat Wattam Team

ReMax First

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Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First, Independently Owned and Operated
4750 Sherwood Common
Baton Rouge LA 70816
Office Direct: 225-298-6900
Office Main: 225-291-1234
Fax: 225-295-1234

RE/MAX First
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Main: 225-291-1234

Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission