Author Archives: JennaRyan-Broker

JennaRyan-Broker

About JennaRyan-Broker

Jenna Ryan is a real estate Broker specializing in Frisco, Plano, McKinney & Allen Real Estate. She is a native Dallasite and lives in Frisco, TX. Call 972-510-9177 to arrange a tour of the area or to view the homes & property of your choice.

How to Choose a Ceiling Fan for Your Home

Fresh, New & Classic

Fresh, New & Classic Ceiling Fan Upgrade

By Jenna Ryan, Realtor 2014

Ceiling fans, light fixtures, chandeliers and sconces are very important for any home as they keep us cool and illuminate our living space. Home buyers today are most interested in properties with upgraded light fixtures and ceiling fans.

If you’re selling your home or plan to sell in the future, it’s a good idea to take a look at your existing ceiling fans and light fixtures to ensure that such items are updated. It’s amazing what a big difference updated accessories can do for your home. Most importantly, when you have upgraded ceiling fans, overhead lights and doorknobs, you can get more money for your home and sell it more quickly.

Upgrades like ceiling fans and lights are one of the easiest, most inexpensive way to add to the perceived value of your home. Spending a few hundred dollars on new ceiling fans can end up making you money on the sale of your home in the long run. It is DEFINITELY worth the upgrade cost when selling your home.

Just say NO to the outdated ceiling fan

Just say NO to the outdated ceiling fan

Now that I’ve convinced you to upgrade your ceiling fans and light fixtures, you may be wondering which kind you should get. I recommend going to Home Depot to select the fan you want. The fans at Home Depot are high quality and are in line with the preferences people have in homes they buy.

  • Stick with the most general fan as possible. Don’t try to get creative with a ceiling fan unless you have a specific purpose. If you opt for a modern version, potential buyers may prefer traditional style; so it’s best to go as generic as possible without looking cheap.
  • Match the other fixtures in your home. If there are other fixtures in your home that are updated, then you will want to match the fan to the existing fixtures that already updated. The goal is to seamlessly blend the ceiling fan in with the other aspects of the home.
  • Get the same types of fans consistently throughout the home. Don’t buy different kinds of fans for every room in the house unless you are decorating for yourself or have some special purpose. This doesn’t mean you need to put a heavy duty fan in every room like you do the den, but rather, install different levels of the same type of fan with the same blade color and light style.
  • Buy fans that match the price level of home. Buy fans that fit in with the home in terms of quality and materials. If your home is under $200,000 you can get away with an inexpensive fan. If your home is over $500,000, you will need a fan with more speeds, features and an upscale look. Buying a $1000 ceiling fan for a home that’s worth $100,000 would be overkill. Keep the fan style in line with the level of your home.
  • Buy fans with neutral, natural colors. Fans come in all shapes and sizes, just as our preferences do. You can get a colored fan, a white fan, a modern fan a painted fan, however, it is best to stick with what people are used to seeing and what they prefer. Most people want fans that are dark in color (faux wood) with modest lighting.
  • Install fans with aged iron or brushed metal trim. Steer clear of shiny gold trim whenever possible. Gold trim is a product of the 1980s that people are no longer wanting. Having gold anywhere in your house can lessen its perceived value including doorknobs, light fixtures, faucets and ceiling fans. Replacing these items is inexpensive and will pay you back in the eventual sales price of your home. Silver, copper, bronze, black trim is much preferred by today’s home buyer.

Replacing outdated fans, lights and hardware in your home is a great way to increase the perceived value without spending a lot of money. The best place to go is Home Depot with many different options. You can install the fan yourself or have a handyman or electrician do it. No matter what, make sure your ceiling fans live up to the beauty of your home. Please, especially if I’m listing it for you. 🙂

Multiple Offers – First Day on Market

home for sale carrolltonI’m excited to announce my latest success story. These Sellers were originally FSBO. I contacted them last Friday, met with them on Sunday, got their house on the MLS on Monday, had multiple offers by Tuesday… under contract by Wednesday.

We’re now in the inspection phase and everything is looking good to close at the end of October. They are getting list price for their home and the process has been smooth and comfortable for them.

When you price your home just right, position it properly and arrange for professional assistance, the process of selling your home goes off (generally) without a hitch. It’s so nice that my clients have me to rely on to manage the sale of their home.

They’re happy they don’t have to go fishing for every little answer. They have the feeling of security knowing that someone who does this all the time, someone who is a successful Realtor is there to help cover their bases. They don’t have to worry about a thing.

These particular clients had a time preference. They’re actually moving this weekend! We got the house under contract in a beautifully orchestrated effort. This is how it is supposed to be… Easy, efficient, full price offers.

The market is incredible. If you have a nice home and your home is priced right, and you are represented by a reputable agent, your home shouldn’t take that long to sell. The best homes are selling in weeks (this is in all price ranges under $2 Million). The market is hot–if your home is not selling fast, it means there is a problem, even if you’re not in a hurry, the market is. That’s another article…

So I just wanted to share this good news with you. I’d love to talk to you about helping you to sell your home quickly, without hassle and for list price. Call me, I’ll come out and personally share my unique strategies with you. What do you have to lose?

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Maintenance TipsFall is here, time for the leaves to turn and sunny days to get shorter. In addition to raking the leaves, you will also want to handle routine yearly maintenance around your home. Remember, taking good care of your home while living there will help you to sell it at top dollar when it comes time to move, so be sure to read these tips and keep your home in tip-top shape.

1. Check for Peeling Paint.

Inspect the exterior of your home for blistering or peeling paint. Lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home.

2. Clean the Gutters

After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.

3. Caulk & Weatherstrip the Windows & Doors

Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood. Caulking and weather stripping around windows and doorframes to prevent heat from escaping thus improving the energy efficiency of your home. Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold buildup.

4. Inspect the Roof

Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it may be time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, snow and ice will find its way in.

5. Ready Your Fireplace

Have your fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

6. Seal the Driveway

Inspect your driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer. Sealing the driveway now will help extend the life of the asphalt through the winter and beyond.

7. Reverse the Ceiling Fan

Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling. Clean your humidifiers regularly during the heating season. Bacteria and spores can develop in a dirty water tank resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your room.

8. Cover Air Conditioners

Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners. Remove units from windows or wrap the outside box with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover, like this one from Frontgate, to prevent rusting of vital parts.

9. Check Foundation

Check your foundation for any cracks. Make sure the soil is kept moist around the foundation, even in the Fall (in Texas). Check interior walls for cracks which could point to a deeper foundation issue.

10. Prepare Your Yard & Garden

Clear leaves from lawn, reseed patchy areas, and plant spring flowering bulbs. Drain garden hoses and store them inside. Fertilize the lawn with a high phosphorous mix to ensure healthy grass in the spring. Make sure all soil is emptied from pots and planters. Dirt left in clay pots will freeze and cause the pots to crack if left outside. Trim dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a winter storm.

10 Tips for Making Your Home Smell Amazing

dfw real estateBy Jenna Ryan, Realtor 2014
(c) All Rights Reserved

Whether you’re selling your home, just moving in or just need a breath of fresh air, these 10 Tips will come in handy. There are many issues that can effect the smell of your home, including smoke, cooking, pets, mold, toxins, fungus, bacteria–that can leave your home down right stinky. Make your home smell like a model home with these tried-and-true tips:

1.Open Your Windows

Nothing makes a home smell better as well as infusing it with fresh air. Air-out your home regularly by opening the windows to remove stale air.

2.Clean Your Home

Bacteria smells, so cleaning it will help. Clean your home using deodorizers and germ killers for best results.

3.Shampoo Carpet

Having your carpets professionally cleaned is a great way to remove odors and bacteria. If you have pet odors, however, shampooing may not be enough to remove the smell entirely, but will help.

4. Plug-Ins

Plug-ins are a great, inexpensive way to spruce up the odor of your home. Buy several plug-ins from Wal-Mart and place in strategic locations around your house.

5. Candles

Candles are a way to spruce up the smell of your home, but are usually only good for as long as they are burning. If your home is being showed and you’re not there, the candles may not work as well.

6. Potpourri

You can find a dozen different fragrances of potpourri to place around your home that also serves as interior decoration, just be sure to replenish it often so it doesn’t lose it’s smell.

7. Use Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets to remove odors.

8. Wash with Vinegar

Vinegar removes smoke odor. Put a bowl of vinegar out in your home, and wash your walls and cabinets with vinegar to remove smokey residue.

9. Use Car Deodorizer

Used car dealers know how to make an old car smell like new, and we can borrow some tricks of the trade with special odor removing chemicals that works like a charm. Try The Bad Air Sponge, or a similar product.

10. Bake Cookies

Baking cookies can give your home a welcoming aroma. This is a great idea if you’re home is up for sale as a way to entice potential buyers with all their senses.

Looking to buy or sell real estate in DFW? Contact Dallas Realtor, Jenna Ryan.

10 Ways to Know the Tire Kickers from Real Buyers

tire-kickers2Tire Kickers waste time and energy. They lead you on, make you think they want to buy your home, only to lead you to wishful thinking. Who has time for that? Nobody. The key is–knowing the difference. How do you know the difference between a Tire Kicker and a Real Buyer? These are the tell-tell signs that I’ve learned as an experienced Realtor who specializes in helping For Sale By Owners sell their homes with the highest net possible. Today I’m going to share what I know with you, for free. Make sure you read the entire article, and click on the link below to read the whole thing:

1. Real Buyers Buy Right Away.

It has been my experience that when a buyer likes a property, they buy it. Buyers are educated. They know that they will lose out on the best properties if they don’t make a quick decision. Prospective buyers who tell you they, “Love the home and may be putting in an offer” without doing it immediately are very likely tire kickers. If someone loves a house, they don’t waste any time. They snatch it up quickly. They write an offer that day.

2. Real Buyers are Pre-Qualified.

A buyer who is serious about buying a home will be pre-qualified. If not, you’re taking a serious chance if you’re relying on them to buy your home. Getting qualified for a mortgage these days is not easy. You need near perfect credit and very steady income. Lots of people wish they could qualify for a home and will waste your time “pretending” that your home can be theirs, only to leave you empty handed when they can’t get financing.

3. Real Buyers Know What They Want.

A real buyer will have a set agenda. They know what they want and they won’t buy until they find it. If someone wants 3 bedrooms, that’s pretty solid. They may adjust their desires on small things, but some of the larger items like bedrooms, pool, garage will be nonnegotiable. They will likely have already searched for a home in the marketplace and know what’s out there. Rarely does a buyer buy the first home they come across. Buying a home takes time, and considerable research. If a prospective buyer seems wishy-washy, uncertain or undecided, you know the chances of selling to that person is slim–no matter how wishful you are that they’re the ones to buy it.

4. Real Buyers Don’t Nit Pic.

As a general rule, a person who is nit picking your home is not going to buy it. People usually buy homes they fall in love with, not homes that need to be fixed-up, unless it’s an investor or flipper. If the prospective buyer starts pointing out every little flaw in your home, 9 times out of 10, you can kiss them goodbye. Don’t let nit pickiness bother you… They’re usually just tire kickers who want to find fault in the home they don’t want.

5. Real Buyers Want to See It Immediately.

A true buyer of your home is not going to want to wait a week or two to see it. Someone in “Buyer Mode” is going to want to see the home right away. If someone is casual about viewing your home, chances are, no sale. People ready to buy are ready to buy immediately–they don’t have time to mess around. Trust me on this one. If there is no urgency, the chances are slim.

6. Real Buyers Keep Their Word.

Tire kickers are flaky. They say they’ll come to see your house at such and such time, then call an hour ahead to say they can’t make it. They tell you they’re sending you an offer, then you never receive it. They don’t answer their phone. They come up with excuses. They hem and they haw. That’s to be expected from someone who is not very serious. Real Buyers who are serious about your home will keep their word and go out of their way to earn your trust.

7. Real Buyers Don’t Have to Think About It.

Oftentimes when working with former “For Sale By Owner” clients, I find that they always have a “interested buyer” waiting in the wings. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is that buyers don’t wait in the wings. Buyers buy. Buyers buy immediately. Sure, some tire kickers will lead you on, but if it’s a real buyer, the most they will think about it is overnight. When it comes to investing in a home, people know what they want and they pounce on it like a cat on tuna.

8. Real Buyers Have a Realtor.

I know some of you will argue with me on this one, but most of the time, a Real Buyer will have a real estate agent. Few people are brave enough to buy a home without the help of a professional. It’s akin to representing yourself in a lawsuit involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are too many mistakes that can be made and buying a home is a huge investment–there is little room for error. A Real Buyer will likely have an agent who is advising them and who has pre-qualified them to buy. You are on thin ice if you trust a prospective buyer who does not have a Realtor.

9. Real Buyers Love Your Home.

You can always tell a Real Buyer from a tire kicker. How? By the expression on their face and the tone of their voice. They just have a real knowing about them. They love your home. So, it’s backed-up to a railroad track. What railroad track? A buyer who loves your home simply won’t give it much thought. A Real Buyer lets you know they love your home by being extremely happy and taking quick action to secure it before anyone else does.

10. Real Buyers Don’t Need to Keep Coming to See the House.

As strange as it may sound, Real Buyers don’t need to keep coming back to see the house. If someone is requesting a 3rd showing, BEWARE THE TIRE KICKER. Real Buyers just don’t do that. They may see the home two times at the most, then after they’re under contract, they’ll see it again, and at the most a 4th time. Anyone wanting to repeatedly come to see your house is just needing attention, not a home. Show them the door.

There you have it! 10 Ways to Know the Tire Kickers from the Real Buyers. I’ve given you all this information for FREE, out of the kindness of my heart. I hope that shows you that I have your best interests at heart. Should you find the need to hire a Realtor to help you sell your home, I hope that you will call me. I would love to share more tips with you. Call 972-510-9177 or email JennaRyanRealty@gmail.com. Talk to ya soon!

If you want more tips for selling your home, email me. I will put you on my email list.

10 Tips for Pricing Your Home

10 tips for pricing your homeBy Jenna Ryan, Realtor
REMAX Dallas Suburbs
August 2014

Pricing your home is one of the most important steps to getting the most money possible from the sale. An overpriced home will not sell, no matter how good the market is. At the same time, you don’t want to price your home too low–there’s no sense in throwing money away.

1. Price Your Home to Sell

It’s generally thought that you should price your home higher than you’re really wanting to get from the buyer. While this tactic works in nearly every other sale/purchase scenario, it doesn’t work this way in housing, especially in the current DFW marketplace.

People are accustomed to paying list price for homes, especially those under $500,000, and will often shy away from making an offer on a home that is priced too high, for fear they’ll be rejected. It is highly advised that you price your home at the amount you’re wanting to get, and not higher.

2. Price Your Home to Sell Quickly

It’s best to price your home to sell quickly–in the current market, especially for homes under $300,000, your home should sell in a week to 30 days. Any longer than this on the market, buyers will start getting suspicious that there is something wrong with your property and pass it up.

Some agents won’t even show homes that are on the market over 30-45 days. Don’t leave your home out there with a high price tag. Statistics show that homes that sell faster net more than those that are on the market for a long time.

3. Price Your Home in Line with Comparable Sales

You want to price your home to line up with comparable sales, NOT current listed properties in your neighborhood. Why? Because homes that are for sale right now are not yet sold–and are an unreliable source of data for area home sales.

You also want to make sure that the comparable properties you are considering are actually comparable to your home from an appraisal standpoint. This means that the homes are within no more than 200 sq. ft. difference from your home (higher or lower), and that there are similar features such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms and garage spaces. You also want to find homes that have similar features such as large lot, upgrades and swimming pools.

4. Don’t Use Zillow As for Comparables

Zillow is a very useful website, however, it generates it’s pricing analysis automatically and is therefore not often accurate. Zillow can’t take into account the nuances in the marketplace the way that a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) from a professional real estate agent can. In fact, I have found in my real estate practice that Zillow often gives lower estimated price points than the market will bare.

5. Keep the Appraisal in Mind

Many people price their homes high without considering the appraisal. If there are no comparable sales of homes in your area that are priced as high as you want for your home, then you will have difficulties with the appraisal. People will rarely pay more than appraised value for a home, unless there are extraordinary circumstances. This is why it’s so important to have a professional REALTOR help you to price your home accurately, to prevent problems with the appraisal. You want to go to the closing table, not renegotiate the contract once the appraisal comes back low.

6. Be Realistic About the Condition of Your Home

You want to be realistic about the condition of your home. If your home is not updated, and you’re selling in an area where comparable homes have updates (ie: granite, wood floors, new appliances), then you have difficulty getting top dollar. That’s okay. It is often easier to price your home according to its current condition than it is to go do a bunch of updates. That is, price the home at the point to where the buyer can afford to get the updates and not be upside down upon purchase. In some cases, new appliances, paint and light fixtures may be worth your investment to do before you sell. This is something your Realtor can help you determine.

7. Be Prepared to Lower the Price, Just in Case

When you put your home on the market, the goal is to get the best price possible. Sometimes market conditions are difficult to determine, and your home ends up not selling for the listed price. When your home is getting a ton of showings, but no offers, this is a huge flashing red sign saying, (((The Price is too High))). If your home is not getting any showings at all and the market is hot, hot, hot… this is another flashing red sign saying, (((The Price is too High))). Sometimes adjusting the price by just $5,000 can bring the offers you’re expecting. An overpriced home will not sell, no matter how good the market is.

8. Adjust the Price of Your Home By Features

Certain features will greatly increase the value of your home. A home with a nice pool that has been well maintained can fetch up to $10-20,000 more depending on the area and price point of your home.

9. Price According to Pockets.

This is a great tip that Realtors live by… that is to price your home according to “pockets”. Think about it. When an agent or home buyer does a search for a property, they generally have a price point in mind.

For example: people are generally qualified for homes up to $150,000 or $250,000, $350,000, $450,000 and higher. You want to position your home as the “HERO” of the market so you can beat out the competition.

If you price your home at $355,000, then many people who are looking for homes up-to $350,000 will not see your home at all. Plus, your home will be competing with all the homes in the $350-$400,000 market which means yours may look puny compared to more expensive homes in that bracket. Try to stay under the greatest pocket you can.

10. Consider the Psychological Value of 9

There is a reason we go to the store and see things for $9.99. Why? It works! Even though an item priced at $9.99 is relatively the same as $10.00, $9.99 just sounds cheaper–right? Same goes for your home. Don’t price it for $450,000–it’s better to price it at $449,900. This is only $100 difference and sounds much more appealing to buyers. It can help you get an edge over a comparable home for sale that’s not aware of the psychological power of using 9 in the price point.

There you have it! 10 Tips for Pricing Your Home. There are many other factors that need to be considered when pricing your home, as there are many varied home types, areas, subdivisions and stigmas. The very best way to price your home is to get a Certified Market Analysis from a professional Realtor. I am personally available to assist you. Contact me any time to set up your Free Consultation. 972-510-9177. I am happy to help you to price your home, whether you choose to list with me or not. Talk to ya soon!

Sold! Home in Flower Mound

Beautiful Home I just secured for my clients in Flower Mound, TX. This home is located in prestigious Rustic Timbers. We close next week!!! My clients are happy, happy, happy!!! I had to jump through hoops of fire on this one. Unbelievable competition for this home. We won!!! Give me a call if you are looking to buy or sell in DFW!!!

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 12155830 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

How the Repairs Paragraph changed

Real Estate Handyman
05/19/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

The Texas Real Estate Commission recently approved many forms changes that take effect June 1. Here are changes to the Repairs Paragraph that affect the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale) (TAR 1601, TREC 20-12), Unimproved Property Contract (TAR 1607, TREC 9-11), New Home Contract (Completed Construction) (TAR 1604, TREC 24-13), Farm and Ranch Contract (TAR 1701, TREC 25-10), and Residential Condominium Contract (Resale) (TAR 1605, TREC 30-11).

Paragraph 7F: Completion of Repairs
The seller will be required to use someone who is licensed to perform a repair or service—unless the buyer and seller agree otherwise in writing. If the type of repair doesn’t require a license (e.g., roofing), the seller will be required to use someone who is commercially engaged in that repair business—unless the buyer and seller agree otherwise in writing.

This change does not mean that no seller can ever use an unlicensed handyman for electrical repairs. It means that absent a written agreement between the buyer and seller to use that unlicensed handyman for electrical repairs, the seller must use a licensed electrician.

Also, the time to extend the contract for repairs was shortened from 15 days to 5 days.

See all the changes TREC approved as well as more changes the commission has proposed at TexasRealEstate.com.

05/19/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

Gehan Homes Prosper

gehan-homes-prosperGehan Homes is building in Prosper, TX at Lakes of La Cima,

Lakes of LaCima
2111 Arbol Way
Prosper, TX 75078
Call 972-510-9177

Update 3/29/2014:
3 homes in Lakes of LaCima for April 2014 closing for the $390’s-450’s.

2 two-story homes ranging from 3500 to 3800 sf.

Also, 1.5 story at 2960 sf.  Great homes!

Tell them Jenna Ryan, Realtor sent you from The Marketing Shop.com!!!

8 Tips for How to Handle Multiple Offers

multiple offersFrom Realtor.com

1. Unless the seller says not to bring offers under a certain price, you must present all written offers, no matter how unattractive.

2. Present all offers promptly. Don’t sit on an offer because a better one might come along.

3. Present offers in the order they were submitted to the listing broker.

TIP: If you represent buyers making one of several offers for a property, encourage the buyers to make their best offer before the offers are presented to the seller. They may not get a second chance.

4. Make sure all salespeople and buyers understand your procedure for handling multiple offers. Inform them all that theirs is not the only offer.

5. Present multiple offers with all parties present, unless the seller requests otherwise, and provide all parties with the same information.

6. Equate all offers in understandable terms. Price is not the only consideration. Discount points, settlement dates, downpayment amounts, contingency clauses, financing provisions, and repair allowances can tip the scales.

Keep It Legal

Some states have specific forms for attaching offers and counteroffers to the contract. Check with your local REALTOR® board.

7. Select one offer to counter and hold the others as backups if negotiations fall through.

8. Keep each salesperson and buyer informed at all stages of the process.

Portions adapted from “How to Handle Multiple Offers to Purchase,” Leigh-Alexandra Basha, Northern Virginia REALTOR®, April 10, 1989

Preparing for Your Home Inspection

dallas home inspectionsWhen selling your home, the potential buyers will buy time through the Option Period to inspect the home. Buyers will hire a licensed home inspector who will come to your home and comb over it from top to bottom. The goal of the inspector is to find something wrong with the house. Chances are, even if your home is very well maintained, the inspector will find issues with your home. These tips will help you to prepare for the inspection to ensure a smooth transaction.

1. Check your HVAC

It’s good to have your A/C serviced once per year. If it’s been over a year, it’s a good idea to have someone out to check your system. Many heating and cooling companies offer low-priced preventative maintenance inspections – costing on average between $60 and $100 – in which they’ll clean your HVAC unit and replace your air filter. Make sure the A/C is in working condition, as well as clean inside and out.

A maintenance inspection should include checking the motor, blower, drain line, coils, operating pressures and temperatures, the return and supply lines, refrigerant levels, and connections.
Any issues should be addressed and fixed, if possible.

2. Hot Water Heater

This is an easy thing to do that comes up in most inspection reports. Clean out the drip pan to keep it from being a ding against your home during the inspection.

3. Calking

Make sure your home is calked inside to seal any open spaces in existing calking. This gives the appearance of a well maintained home and is a good practice. http://www.caulkyourhome.com/how-to-seal.php

4. Weather Stripping

Make sure that the weather stripping on all doors and windows is positioned properly. Replace missing stripping. Essential Guide to Weather Stripping.

5. Trees

Make sure trees are trimmed back away from the roof and have damage fixed that the trees may have caused. If you do this right before you put your house on the market, save the receipt to provide to the new buyer.

6. Landscaping & Sprinklers

Make sure the dirt is not too high on the foundation. Your foundation needs to breathe and having too much dirt around the foundation can be detrimental to the health of your house. Also check the sprinklers around your home. Have faulty sprinkler heads replaced and fix any leaks in your yard.

7. Gutters

Clean out the gutters around your home. Replace damaged gutters. Consider installing gutters if water pools near the front door.

8. Siding & Wood Trim

Replace or repair any damaged siding and/or rotted wood around your home.

9. Fence

Make sure the fence gates are in good working order. Replace any missing boards in the fence. Fix the gate if it is automatic and not working. Replacing the fence is often not necessary.

10. Faucets

Check all faucets to make sure there are no leaks. If you find leaks, have it repaired by a licensed plumber.

11. Foundation

There is really not much you can do to prepare your foundation for the inspection, other than to provide documentation of all previous work done to your foundation to the buyers for the inspection. It’s easier if the inspector has access to all foundation documentation to make proper assessment of the condition. You may also want to make sure the foundation is not over exposed or under exposed with dirt as this often comes up in inspection reports.

12. Appliances

Check all appliances and make sure all is in working order, including trash compactors, ovens, ranges, garbage disposals and anything else you can think of.

13. Electrical

Make sure all outlets are in working order, all ceiling fans are working and all light bulbs are replaced.

Once the inspection is completed (takes generally about 2-4 hours), typically the Seller will receive a list of items that the Buyer wants addressed in the form of a Repair Amendment. At that time the Seller can decide which–if any–items he/she wants to repair to facilitate the sale. Checking and repairing these items in advance helps move the process along and leaves a better impression with your buyers during the option period.

Home for Sale in Bryan Place

Home for Sale in Bryan Place

Home for Sale in Bryan Place

1508 Villars Street – Bryan Place – Dallas, TX

Bryan Place gem located in the heart of downtown Dallas. This 2BR, 2.5BA patio home boasts vaulted ceilings, oversized garage, patio & brick fireplace. Recently updated with new appliances, fresh paint, tile, and decorative lighting. Fantastic master bathroom, walk-in closets, radiant barrier & high-grade insulation, foundation and termite inspection clear. Close to downtown, Vickery Park, Deep Ellum and all major DFW highways. You will love it!

See full listing… 1508 Villars Street, Dallas, TX 75204

Home for Sale in Bryan Place
listed by Jenna Ryan, Realtor
REMAX Dallas Suburbs

Top 10 Tips for Mortgage Borrowing in 2014

The clock is ticking for buyers and homeowners who want to grab a low mortgage rate in 2014. But if you stay on top of your game, keep your finances in order and act quickly, you can still grab attractive mortgage deals.

These 10 mortgage tips can help you with your mortgage decisions in 2014.

1. Document your finances.

mortgage dallasLenders will be extra diligent when underwriting home loans in 2014, as new mortgage regulations go into effect in January. The rules put pressure on lenders to verify that borrowers have the ability to repay their loans.

Keep good records of your finances, including bank statements, tax returns, W-2s, investment accounts and any other assets you own. Be ready to explain any unusual deposits to your accounts. Yes, the $500 that Grandma deposited in your account for Christmas could delay your loan closing if you can’t prove where the money came from.

2. Lock a rate as soon as you can.

Rates will likely climb in 2014 as the Federal Reserve is expected to reduce the pace of the economic stimulus program that has long helped keep rates low. If you are planning to get a mortgage, lock in a rate as soon as you are comfortable with the numbers.

3. Refinance now — if you still can.

Many homeowners lost the opportunity to refinance at a lower rate when rates jumped in 2013. But those who are still paying more than 5 percent interest on their home loans might still have an opportunity.

If you think you may be able to save with a refinance, but you are not sure, it doesn’t hurt to try. Speak to a loan officer and take a look at the numbers to see if refinancing still makes financial sense for you after you consider how long it will take to break even with the closing costs.

4. Buyers, use your bargaining power.

As mortgage rates climbed, lenders lost a big chunk of their refinance business. In 2014, they will turn their attention to homebuyers and will fiercely compete for their business. Buyers should take advantage of bargaining power they gain with that increased competition. Shop around for the best deal and look beyond the interest rate on the loan.

5. Learn your rights as a borrower.

Mortgage borrowers will get many new rights as consumers this year when new mortgage rules created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau go into effect in 2014. If you run into issues with your mortgage servicer in 2014 or fall behind on your payments, make sure you are aware of your rights and put them to use.

6. Take good care of your credit.

It’s nearly impossible to get a mortgage without decent credit these days. That will continue to be the case in 2014. If you are planning to get a mortgage, monitor your credit history and score until your loan closes. The best mortgage rates usually go to borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher. You may still get a mortgage with a score of 680, but lower scores will mean higher rates or higher closing costs.

7. Don’t overspend.

Lenders don’t want to give out loans to borrowers who will have little money left each month after they pay their mortgages and other debt obligations such as credit cards and student loans. If that becomes the case, the lender will tell you that your DTI, or debt-to-income ratio, is too high and you don’t qualify for a loan. Try to keep your monthly debt obligations, including your mortgage and property taxes, below 43 percent of your income.

8. Consider alternative mortgage options such as ARMs.

Mortgage rates are rising, but there are alternatives to grab a lower rate, depending on your plans.

A homeowner planning to keep a house for seven to 10 years could take advantage of lower mortgage rates by choosing a seven- or 10-year ARM instead of the 30-year traditional fixed-rate mortgage. Rates on adjustable-rate mortgages can be as much as one percentage point lower than on fixed-rate loans.

If you are not sure for how long you plan to keep the house, a fixed-rate loan is probably the better choice.

9. Considering an FHA loan? Reconsider.

FHA loans have long been popular among first-time homebuyers because they require low down payments and have somewhat less strict underwriting standards than conventional loans. But they come at a price. Mortgage insurance premiums on FHA loans are likely to continue to rise in 2014, and after recent changes, the borrower is now required to pay for mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. Try to qualify for a conventional loan before you apply for an FHA mortgage.

10. Don’t panic.

Yes, mortgage rates will likely climb in 2014. But don’t panic, thinking you have to buy a home now to grab a low rate. If you are shopping for a home, do your best to move quickly, but remember that this is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Get your mortgage and buy your home when you feel ready.

If you are interested in checking out your options for a mortgage loan, I’d be happy to refer you to one of my partners. Give me a call today: 972-510-9177 or Contact Me via email.

 

Source: Bankrate

Home Decor: Best Colors for Resale

neutral-color-schemeBy Jenna Ryan, Realtor

If you want to get the most out of your real estate, remember as you are decorating your palace, that not everyone will love that fuschia paint color that you love. When it’s time to sell, you may need to paint over bright colors that will not appeal to all buyers. Most buyers DO NOT LIKE different colors. People, as a rule, prefer neutral, neutral, neutral. Baby blues, yellows, greens, oranges, pinks–and heaven-forbid–wallpaper, can hinder the number of people who want to buy your home and thus, lower the price you get in the end.

The fewer people who find your home appealing, the less price you will be likely to get. It’s supply-and-demand. The more people who love your home and want to live there, the more demand there will be for your property which will most likely drive the price up, all things considered.

So what are the best colors for decorating your home, whether you’re renovating or decorating for yourself. Here’s my take:

NEUTRAL COLOR SCHEME

Neutral Carpet

color-for-resaleCarpet should be neutral, creme-colored, twist pile. People fall in love with the clean look of creme-colored-floors, even if over time, lighter floors show dirt more. It’s how the floors look when people are moving in that count the most. And yes, NEW CARPET is vital. If there is so much as a traffic-wear stain on the carpet, you will be better off getting new carpet, and/or offering an allowance for the buyer to add carpet themselves. Ideally, you’ll just get the new carpet before the house lists, to ensure that nobody gets turned-off by stains–but sometimes that’s not feasible, so do your best to cover it up and make people aware of the new carpet allowance.

Types of carpet that are less desirable: Berber, Office-Stock Carpet, dark colored carpet, old carpet, stinky carpet, worn carpet, old-fashioned carpet from the 1990s era.

Neutral Tile
diagonal-tileWhen it comes to tile, less-is-more. The key to tile is not going too bold. The style of tile changes constantly, so if you choose a fancy tile today, tomorrow it will make your home look outdated–and nobody wants to chisel all the tile out of a space–so choose carefully. Tile should be neutral, I recommend a honey-color that is just a bit darker than the new carpet you choose. No pattern is necessary in the tile, although it’s okay, so long as the pattern is very subdued. I also recommend dressing up the neutral tile by setting it on a diagonal.

Types of tile that are less desirable: Dark, White, Ceramic for Floors, Overly ornate, multi-colored, anything dated.

Granite Countertops
granite countertopsPeople are crazy about Granite Countertops these days. It’s unreal. A home with granite countertops goes much faster than a home without.

Dark Wood Floors

You can get some laminates these days that look exactly like wood, however, if your home is in the upper-price-ranges, real wood is your best bet. Homes under $200,000, from my experience, can get by with laminate or Pergo wood-like flooring. Most people seem to prefer the dark wood on the floors, especially since it’s the trend for new model homes right now.

Remember when deciding how to decorate your home that neutral is better. If you choose to add splashes of color, then make sure you do it in a way that allows you to change it back to neutral when you’re ready to sell. If you have questions about things you need to do to your home to help it sell better in the DFW Metroplex, give me a call at 972-510-9177 (Jenna Ryan, Realtor) and I’ll come out to give you a free Home Analysis. Talk to ya soon!

Tea Partying with Mayor of McKinney, Brian Loughmiller

Jenna Ryan, Realtor, Mayor Loughmiller of McKinney & Ann Lieber, Candidate for Collin County Commissioner

Jenna Ryan, Realtor, Mayor Loughmiller of McKinney & Ann Lieber, Candidate for Collin County Commissioner

What an interesting meeting I attended this week of the McKinney Tea Party presenting Mayor of McKinney, Brian Loughmiller. This was a very informative presentation emceed by Collin County Commissioner Candidate, Ann Lieber. (Great job, Ann!)

Becky Krueger Washam, Broker, Jenna Ryan, Realtor, Ann Lieber, Candidate for Collin County Commissioner

Becky Krueger Washam, Broker, Jenna Ryan, Realtor, Ann Lieber, Candidate for Collin County Commissioner

The meeting focused on the growth plans of McKinney, Texas including road construction, the appeal to corporate businesses and the push to bring more private jets to the McKinney Airport. It was great to be among the great residents of McKinney, it was a packed house! Everyone is getting involved to make McKinney the best that it can be. I can’t wait for the next meeting!

Plano International Festival set for Saturday

Thousands of people are expected to descend upon downtown Plano Saturday to celebrate cultures from around the world.

Plano International FestivalFrom Star News

The ninth annual Plano International Festival will feature food and entertainment from more than 100 different cultures, said Graciela Katzer, International Festival president. With 16,000 attendees in 2012, Katzer said she hopes at least 18,000 will attend this year.

Featured entertainment includes Chinese dancing from Lisha’s Dance Studio, as well as folk songs from the Swedish Women’s Educational Association and a martial arts demonstration from the Black Belt Academy. In all, there are nearly 20 performances, ensuring there is something for everyone.

“The children’s area is one of our largest areas and all activities there are free and educational,” Katzer said. “We give each child a passport to the world so they have to go to different booths where they can learn about geography and find out about the capital, continent and language spoken in each country.”

In addition, a naturalization ceremony will take place at the festival, allowing festival goers to welcome America’s newest citizens. Prior to the ceremony, Mayor Harry LaRosiliere will give a keynote address, sharing his story with the soon-to-be naturalized citizens.

“I was born in Haiti and my family moved to New York when I was 3 years old,” LaRosiliere said. “As a first-generation immigrant, my sister and I serve as the American branch of our family. Growing up in America, I became naturalized as soon as I turned 18.”
From Star Local News

LaRosiliere said he wants to let new Americans know they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

“My family didn’t have much money in Haiti; the United States represented the land of opportunity and allowed my sister and I to get an education and be the first college graduates in our family,” he said. “We have been able to uplift our families because of the opportunities available to us. My mother cleaned office buildings and my father worked in a factory and drove a cab on weekends to put us through school. We learned that by putting in hard work and applying ourselves we could be successful.”

The festival is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Haggard Park in downtown Plano. For information, visit facebook.com/PlanoInternationalFestival.

Top DFW Realtors

top-dfw-realtorsThe following Top DFW Realtors / Real Estate Brokers serve the DFW area. If you are a real estate broker and your name is not on this list, leave me your info in the comments section of this blog.

Ebby Halliday Realtors
Coldwell Banker
Century 21
Keller Williams
RE/MAX

Open House Saturday in Stonebriar Frisco

stonebriar-frisco-homes-for-saleJoin me for this awesome Open House on Saturday in the exclusive luxury home community of Stonebriar in Frisco, TX.

7 Harbour Town Court
Frisco, TX 75034
Saturday 1pm – 5pm
Call 972-510-9177 for more info
Price: $624,900

View Property Info – 7 Harbour Town Court,
Frisco, TX 75034

About Stonebriar

Stonebriar is one of the most exclusive gated-communities in all of Frisco, TX. Situated along the Stonebriar Golf Course and anchored by the popular Stonebriar Country Club, this community has it all. Rolling hills, arched trees, forever views, and waterscapes create a wonderful ambiance to call home. Custom homes are stately situated among winding tree-lined streets, and some 37 cul-de-sacs eliminate the traditional grid.

10 Reasons to Love Frisco, Texas

10 Reasons Why I Love FriscoAs a Frisco Realtor in the North Dallas area, I am often asked why places like Plano, McKinney, Allen and Frisco are great places to live. I feel that each of these cities have unique offerings, that is, reasons why they are ideal for living, loving and raising a family. Frisco happens to be my city of choice for the past 10 years, so I decided to write this article giving you the top 10 Reasons to Love Frisco, Texas. Please leave a comment to let me know if you agree, or if you have something to add.

1. Frisco is New

Everything is new in Frisco. It’s all clean, new and spacious. All the stores (at least in West Frisco where I live) are all new, all the restaurants, schools and roads are new, everything is new, new, new. New always has a cleaner, fresher feel than old, don’t you think? Check out these Frisco Neighborhoods!

2. Frisco is Safe & Quiet

The crime rate in Frisco is very low. At night there is hardly anything going on in the streets. There is no mixed-use zoning, so residential areas are residential areas. There is some commercial places, pubs and bars, but those are in a central location away from the homes. Everything is spread out and it’s very peaceful in Frisco. That’s one reason I love it, the peaceful, safe, quiet atmosphere–and less traffic! Interested in moving to Frisco? Check out these Frisco Home Builders!

3. Everything you need is right in one place.

I love Frisco because everything you need is very close. If you want to have a nice dinner, you don’t have to drive far. Frisco has great places with people from around the neighborhoods… or if you want to be really daring and *venture out* you can enjoy yourself at the Shops of Legacy in Plano. Want to know what homes are for sale in Frisco? Check out these Frisco MLS Listings!

4. People are cool in Frisco

The people in Frisco are clean, yuppy types. The people who live in Frisco are raising their families, enjoying their lives just like everyone else. It’s mostly a family-type atmosphere in Frisco, which can be a little challenging if you’re single, but still, the people are middle-class and classy. Wow, there are a lot of Fun things to do in Frisco!

5. Schools are Excellent in Frisco

The schools in Frisco are what gives Frisco perhaps its biggest draw for families. There is a smaller student/teacher ratio, giving kids the best shot at learning. Most of the schools are ranked Exemplary, with a few, such as Lonestar High School being recognized. Families flock to Frisco to get their kids enrolled in the best schools for a strong education. Interested to know about the quality of education in Frisco? Check out this info on Frisco Schools!

6. Affordability

Frisco is affordable compared to North Dallas or Plano, generally. This may be changing, however, as people flock to Frisco for all its amenities. The prices are leveling out as people are moving farther North beyond Frisco to Melissa, Celina and Prosper. Generally, however, you can find more home for less money in Frisco than you can in Plano. Take a Frisco New Home Builder Tour with Jenna Ryan, Realtor!

7. Easy Access to Highways

While Frisco (especially West where I live) may be a little farther down the tollway than you’re used to, it’s pretty cool because for one, there is no traffic North of 121 and second because it’s easy to hop on the Tollway from anywhere in Frisco. Just a few lights and viola!

8. Entertainment Venues

The entertainment venues in Frisco make it more like a mini-Dallas than anything. Frisco has it’s own baseball team and baseball stadium, the FC Dallas soccer team practices and plays here at the FC Stadium, we have our own hockey rink and hockey team… It’s like a mini city within the bigger city of Dallas. Our concert venue attracts big names and concerts such as the yearly Jimmy Buffet tailgating party and EdgeFest among others.

9. Close to Action Frisco is close with all the *action* of the Metroplex.

Within minutes you can be in McKinney, Allen, Plano, Richardson, Dallas, downtown, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Lewisville, the airport, Coppell, Irving… Everything is so near! You are really at the center of it all when you’re in Frisco, TX!

10. Community Atmosphere

Frisco offers a community environment with lots of opportunities to socialize and meet friends. From Bunko groups to parties to wine tastings to fine dining, meeting friends is pretty easy in Frisco. People are super-friendly and welcoming to new people too. It’s a great place to settle down and unfold your life.

I hope these 10 Reasons to Love Frisco, Texas have inspired you to at least consider moving to my wonderful city. I love it here! It’s awesome! There is something for everyone in Frisco, and homes for every budget. If you want help finding the right city–or right place to live in Frisco, TX, don’t hesitate to give me a call. That’s what I’m here for–YOU. 972-510-9177 Jenna Ryan, Realtor. Talk to ya soon!!!

Impact of Government Shut Down on Mortgage Financing

Government Shutdown - Mortgage FinancingThe Loan Officer I do business with sent me this information today about the effects of the Government Shut Down on Mortgage Financing for Home Buyers.

I. HUD, FHA, and Ginnie Mae

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) operations, specifically the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), should not be significantly impacted as long as the shutdown is brief. In a document issued September 27, 2013 HUD indicated:

– FHA will be able to endorse single family loans during the shutdown, however, only a limited number of FHA staff will be available to underwrite and approve new loans so the process may take longer.

– Limited FHA staff will be available to respond to questions, emails or other correspondence.

– Lenders will be able to obtain an FHA case number from the FHA Connection.

– If FHA runs out of commitment authority during a shutdown, then lenders’ Lender Insurance (LI) approval will be temporarily suspended.

– CAIVRS will be available to determine if a borrower has a delinquent federal debt.

– FHA Total Scorecard will be available.

– FHA will collect the Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums (UFMIPs) during a shutdown.

– Lenders are required to submit monthly MIPs to FHA during a government shutdown.

II. VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will continue to operate if there is a government shutdown, which means lenders will be able to continue originating VA-guaranteed loans. Both lenders and borrowers will be able to obtain their Certificate of Eligibility online (webLGY for lenders, and eBenefits for Veterans), and they will still be able to submit applications and follow up on COEs that require more research with the Atlanta Eligibility Center

III. Rural Housing

USDA has not issued guidelines yet, but indications are that they may be similar to those in the 2011 contingency plans issued by OMB. Under this plan Rural Development would cease all but essential functions and no new loans or guarantees will be made.

IV. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has indicated that they will not process any forms, including issue tax return transcripts (Form 4506 T), should a government shutdown occur. Without tax transcripts, loan processing may be delayed, depending on individual housing agency requirements and aggregator guidelines.

V. Social Security Administration (SSA)

For verification of borrowers’ social security numbers, lenders rely on either third party vendors or the Social Security Administration (SSA). In previous shutdowns, SSA has only retained employees that deal directly with the processing of new claims and benefits; therefore lenders may not be able to continue to verify social security numbers through SSA.

VI. Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs)

The housing Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would not be directly affected, except to the extent that they rely on verification and other functions of HUD, IRS, and SSA. The primary impact of a shutdown will be lenders inability to obtain a transcript of the applicant’s tax return from the IRS, since the IRS will not be processing Form 4506 T requests.. Lenders may use alternative documentation measures, but remain ultimately responsible for borrower misrepresentation.

VII. Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve – including the reserve banks – is not funded through the annual appropriations process; thus a government shutdown would have no impact on Federal Reserve operations and therefore no impact on our ability to fund closings and send wires.

Mike Turk
SVP Area Manager
NMLSR # 219193
Office: 682-433-5101
Cell: 817-721-4447
Fax: 1-866-208-3477
www.TurkHomeLoans.com

Open House in McKinney Saturday!

homes-for-sale-mckinney
Home for Sale in McKinney, TX!!!
Open House in McKinney Saturday
October 5, 2013 – Saturday 1-3pm


8709 Tour Drive, McKinney, TX 75070

3br/2.5bth/2,877 sq ft/2013 – $459,900

Barely lived in Highland home in gated Craig Ranch community with recently built custom pool!! Awesome single story with fabulous floorplan. Grand entry, study, formal dining, gourmet kitchen with stainless appliances, granite countertops, and custom cabinetry; open family room with wood burning fireplace overlooks pool; split master suite; 2 very nice secondary bedrooms; MEDIA room; 2 car garage and Craig Ranch golf membership! Pride in Ownership! Seeing is Believing! Approximately 2,877 square feet per building plan.

Join me, Jenna Ryan, Realtor, for this awesome Open House in McKinney, TX on Saturday, October

Open Houses in McKinney

Sold! Beautiful Home in Allen, Texas

allen-homes-for-saleSOLD! Congratulations to my awesome client, Allen B. on his new beautiful home in Allen, TX!!!

Allen, TX is a WONDERFUL place to live, with great homes and an incredible location. Allen has stellar schools, most ranking in the Exemplary or at the least Recognized level. The city is close to major highways including I-75, Hwy 121, George Bush Turnpike and the North Dallas Tollway. Property values in Allen have remained steady and continue to rise. There is also lots of new entertainment, dining and shopping venues for the comfort of you and your family.

If you’re looking for Homes for Sale in Allen, TX, or interested in selling your property in Allen, contact me today! I am Jenna Ryan, Realtor, and I would LOVE to work with you!

When Can I Buy Again After Short Sale or Foreclosure?

short sale credit repairQUESTION: If someone had a short sale finalized in June 2013, can they buy a new home? What would the down payment requirements be?

ANSWER: The soonest they could purchase going FHA would be three years from the foreclosure or claim settlement date, the latter of the two.  VA is two years.  Conventional is seven years, four years is some cases (maximum 90% LTV and O/O).

Thanks,

Mike Turk
SVP Area Manager
Starkey Mortgage
NMLSR # 219193

Office: 682-433-5101
Cell: 817-721-4447
Fax: 1-866-208-3477
www.TurkHomeLoans.com

 

How a Realtor Can Help You in Building a New Home

dallas-realtorsAre you considering buying a new home? Building from scratch? Working on a custom property? If so, you may want to also consider being represented by a Professional, Licensed Realtor to help serve your interests in the building process. You may not realize it, but a Realtor can be INVALUABLE to you during the process of buying one of your largest investments, your dream home.

5 Ways a Realtor Can Help:

1. Help You Choose the Right Home

A Realtor is accustomed to working with families and individuals in the purchase of homes, both new and pre-existing. The valuable advice, opinions and information he or she can bring to the table during the process is incredible. She can help you decide which floorplan will better serve you, which lot is better for resale and which builder has the best reputation in the area. Don’t go shopping for a new home without securing the representation of a qualified real estate agent.

2. Negotiate for the Best Price

The fee for the Realtor is paid by the Seller of the property–in the case of a new home, the seller is the home builder. The price to pay the Realtor is already built into the home, so there is no need to worry about paying the Realtor’s fees. Our service is FREE TO YOU as the buyer. We can help you to negotiate further on the price of your home, and get discounts, bonuses and upgrades you can not likely get on your own. It’s always better to have representation. Relying on the home builder’s representative to protect your interests is unwise.

Remember, the sales person is employed by the builder and is there to serve the best interests of the builder. Who will protect you? This is why you need a Realtor to share your concerns and private financial data with… keep silent about your financial position in the presence of the home builder’s sales representative.

3. Alert You to Pitfalls.

There may be issues with the community, property or builder that you need to know about in advance. Your home is one of the largest investments you make in a lifetime, and so many things can go wrong. You need a professional who is experienced with the home buying process to help you steer clear of potential pitfalls and make the process more smooth and easy.

4. Give You the Feedback & Attention You Need

Let’s face it! People are busy! Often, you will find that the sales person at the builder’s office is too busy to meet your needs for questions, feedback advice and personal attention. Instead of feeling like you’re a burden or that you’re taking too much time, why not work directly with a Realtor who will cater to your every need, get your questions answered and do all the running around for you? Your Realtor can attend your meetings with you and the construction crew, go with you to pick out flooring, window treatments, tile and brick, and assist you all the way to closing and moving in your new home. It’s a big process, one that you will enjoy all the more when you have an advocate on your side taking care to get answers your every concern.

5. Solve Problems

Your Realtor can help you solve problems that inevitably come up during the home building process. Let’s say your builder orders the wrong brick for your home. Let’s say the builder denies that you chose another color instead. When you have a Realtor on your side negotiating and solving problems like this for you, it’s an extra pair of eyes and ears to cover your bases. There is no shortcuts. You need someone who will watch over the entire process like a hawk making sure your home is built to your precise specifications. You need someone on your side every step of the way.

Contact Jenna Ryan today for a free tour of home builders in the DFW area. As a native Dallasite, she can show you the best places to live. She will help you find your dream home. 972-510-9177 Call today.

Your Property Wish List

wish-listWhile your opinions on the type of home you want to own may change during the home buying process, use this easy checklist to help you prioritize and make the shopping process less time consuming.

How close do you need to be to: (a) public transportation _______ (b) schools
_______
(c) airport _______ (d) expressway _______ (e) neighborhood shopping _______

(f) other_______?

What neighborhoods would you prefer?

What school systems do you want to be near?

What architectural style(s) of homes do you prefer?

Do you want a one-story or two-story house?

How old a home would you consider?

How much repair or renovation would you be willing to do?

Do you have special facilities or needs that your home must meet?

Do you require a fenced yard or other amenities for your pets?

Prioritize each of these options into
Must have
Would prefer
Yard (at least_________)
 
 
Garage (size________)
 
 
Patio/Deck
 
 
Pool
 
 
Bedrooms (number_________)
 
 
Bathrooms (number_________)
 
 
Family room
 
 
Formal living room
 
 
Formal dining room
 
 
Eat-in kitchen
 
 
Laundry room
 
 
Basement
 
 
Attic
 
 
Fireplace
 
 
Spa in bath
 
 
Air conditioning
 
 
Wall-to-wall carpet
 
 
Hardwood floors
 
 
View
 
 
Light (windows)
 
 
Shade
 
 

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Hidden Home Defects to Watch For

home_inspection_houseNo home is flawless, but certain physical problems can be expensive. Watch for:

Water leaks. Look for stains on ceilings and near the baseboards, especially in basements or attics.

Shifting foundations. Look for large cracks along the home’s foundation.

Drainage. Look for standing water, either around the foundation of the home of in the yard.

Termites. Look for weakened or grooved wood, especially near ground level.

Worn roofs. Look for broken or missing copings and buckled shingles as well as water spots on ceilings.

Inadequate wiring. Look for antiquated fuse boxes, extension cords (indicating insufficient outlets), and outlets without a place to plug in the grounding prong.

Plumbing problems. Very low water pressure, banging in pipes.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

8 Steps to Getting Your Finances in Order

finances in order Develop a family budget. Instead of budgeting what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget for what you actually spent over the last six months. One advantage of this approach is that it factors in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, illnesses, etc., as well as predictable costs such as rent.

Reduce your debt. Generally speaking, lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 36 percent of income. Since this figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 percent and 28 percent of income, you need to get the rest of installment debt—car loans, student loans, revolving balances on credit cards—down to between 8 percent and 10 percent of your total income.

Get a handle on expenses. You probably know how much you spend on rent and utilities, but little expenses add up. Try writing down everything you spend for one month. You’ll probably see some great ways to save.

Increase your income. It may be necessary to take on a second, part-time job to get your income at a high-enough level to qualify for the home you want.

Save for a down-payment. Although it’s possible to get a mortgage with only 5 percent down—or even less in some cases—you can usually get a better rate and a lower overall cost if you put down more. Shoot for saving a 20 percent downpayment.

Create a house fund. Don’t just plan on saving whatever’s left toward a downpayment. Instead decide on a certain amount a month you want to save, then put it away as you pay your monthly bills.

Keep your job. While you don’t need to be in the same job forever to qualify, having a job for less than two years may mean you have to pay a higher interest rate.

Establish a good credit history. Get a credit card and make payments by the due date. Do the same for all your other bills. Pay off the entire balance promptly.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

10 Home Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell

Home Staging Tips“Get it clean, clean, clean,” said Sandra Rinomato, host of HGTV’s popular “Property Virgins” show. “If your house isn’t clean, it instantly sends up negative thoughts that the home is not well maintained. If your house is spotless, you’re ahead of the game,” she said.

But don’t stop there, advised Rinomato. To increase your chances of making a sale, “stage” the house to make it as attractive as possible. “Basically, you want to strip the house to its bare essentials, depersonalize it so potential buyers can superimpose themselves and their lifestyle on the house.”

1. Visit model homes and examine magazines for inexpensive decorating ideas. Always keep in mind you are not decorating for yourself but for the general public.

2. Start with the outside. Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny hardware to the front door, and plant a few flowers to send a subliminal message the house is loved and well cared for.

3. Declutter every room to make it look larger.
Get rid of family pictures, trophies, and knickknacks. Closets and drawers should be no more than 30% full.

4. Invest in eco-friendly but bright lights. Open the drapes or remove them completely. “Light, bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place-and everyone wants to move into a happy place,” said Sandra Rinomato, host of HGTV’s popular “Property Virgins” show.

5. Feature only a few pieces or furniture with mainstream appeal. Pull pieces away from walls to make rooms look bigger.

6. Make sure a room’s primary use is obvious. A bedroom should look like a bedroom, not an office, hobby center, or gym.

7. Bedrooms and kitchens are difficult to stage because they are in daily use, but make the effort. Clear everything off the counters and nightstands, roll up the rugs and hide the laundry hamper. Buff the cabinets with car wax and clean under the sinks. Invest in pristine white bed linens and towels.

8. Minimize the “pet effect.” Remove food bowls and litter boxes to the utility room. Deodorize thoroughly.

9. Organize the utility room and garage. Hang up the bicycles, roll up the hose. Renting a storage locker is worth the cost if it helps you sell faster and for a higher price.

10. Get a second opinion. Once your house is staged, invite your friends or Realtor over and walk them through to get an objective opinion.

By Susanne on RISMEDIA, March 19, 2010 – © 2010, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.)

4 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling

There are exceptions to every rule under the sun. So, even though the current market climate is hot in most places, every neighborhood, town and county has those homes that simply sit on the market for days, weeks, even months longer than average.

These are the outliers. And being the outlier, in this particular context, is not a fun place to be. When all the other listings seem to be flying off the market and yours seems to be stuck, it’s easy to delve into fear, panic and even depression.

Here’s a glimmer of hope: there is a pretty short list of reasons that most slow-to-sell homes lag on the market. You’ve probably heard at least a couple of them before, maybe even from your real estate agent. But sometimes hearing things a few times, from different people and at the right moment in time can cause the shift in position that will power a shift in the situations that are keeping your home sale stuck – and your life plans stuck with it.

1. You’re stuck on a too-high price. If your home has been sitting on the market for significantly longer than average, the market has spoken. And it’s saying: the price is too high vis-a-vis the current condition of the market and the property. Period.

There are only three variables in this equation – which is helpful, because it means there are really only three ways to fix this situation:

  • Change the condition of your property
  • Wait until your market conditions change to support a higher price
  • Change the list price

That’s it. That’s all there really is. For most sellers the simplest, most sensible of these three variables is to modify is the list price. This is especially so in cases where the home is in good basic condition, is well-staged, and other homes nearby are flying off the market. The fact that you don’t want to hear that your home is overpriced doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.

Today’s market is ascending in most areas, which simply means that prices are on the rise. Some sellers are waiting to list their homes, hoping that prices will be higher in the years to come. But if you want and need to sell your home sooner than later or you are hoping to sell in time to buy your next home before prices rise much higher, holding out for a higher price probably doesn’t make sense.

In fact, your resistance to making a necessary price cut could backfire. Buyers often keep their eye on overpriced but otherwise nice homes, waiting until they suspect the seller’s desperation will make them more receptive to a lowball offer.

2. Your home is not be fully exposed to the market. So the truth that the market has spoken on the matter of overpricing does have one caveat: it assumes the market has actually been exposed to your home. If your home’s marketing plan has been limited to that red-and-black For Sale sign you got at the hardware store and stuck in the lawn, chances are good that your home is lagging because your area’s community of buyers and brokers have no idea it is on the market!

Other common conditions of home sale-preventing underexposure include:

  • Homes that are not listed on the area’s Multiple Listing Service or MLS
  • Homes that are not listed on major real estate search engines, like Trulia
  • Homes that are very difficult to show or are rarely made available for viewing
  • Homes that are listed online with no, few or poor quality property photos.

If your home is lagging on the market and any of the above apply to your listing, they could be the culprit. If you chose a listing agent who has a strong track record of success selling homes, these sorts of listing issues can sometimes reflect a glitch in the system. So, do a double check – Google your address and see how your home is represented online. If you find any of these issues, work with your agent to get them fixed.

If you didn’t engage a listing agent at all and your home is simply not moving, it might be time to reconsider and course-correct your home-selling plan.

3. Your home has a glaring issue that needs resolving. Many times, a big condition issue can cause a home to sit on the market unless and until the seller either (a) fixes the issue, (b) offers a credit or incentive to offset the issue or (c ) reduces the price so low that a buyer thinks the bargain is worth the hassle. Some situations are too costly for a seller to fix (e.g., foundation needs replacing), and others are not fix-able (nuclear power plant next door). In these situations, reducing the price might be the only resolution.

But other listings are sabotaged by highly fixable issues the seller simply might not be willing to admit are at the root of the problem. You might love the highlighter yellow you chose to paint all of your home’s interior walls, the wall-to-wall powder blue sculpted carpet or the “rustic” look of the weathered paint, fences and trims on the exterior. Or maybe you don’t love them, but you think buyers should just look past these issues.

Your home’s slowness to move is a wake-call. The average buyers’ tastes might simply differ from yours. Or maybe in your area and price range, buyers don’t have to look past issues to find a home that is move-in ready. To concern yourself about what buyers “should” be willing to do is to live in a fantasy world – and as long as you’re there, your home won’t move in real life.

4. You’re not really ready to move on. If none of your agent’s advice about how to shift your home’s fate makes sense, if everything on this list strikes you as outrageous, if even your friends’ and family members’ urgings to cut the list price makes you think the whole world must be crazy, ask yourself this question: are you really, truly ready to move on?

It’s not at all bizarre for home sellers who are deeply attached to a longtime family home, or somewhat fearful about the next phase of their lives to make decisions around their home’s listing that keep it from selling. I once showed a house where there were people still sleeping, in beds that were – bizarrely – in the living room, while the listing agent walked my buyer and I through the place. If you find yourself in a situation where your head is telling you that cutting the price is the right thing to do, but your heart makes you do everything possible to keep the home from being shown, consider whether you are truly ready to move on.

If you ultimately decide that you do want or need to sell the home and move on, but are anxious or fearful for whatever reason, don’t take your fear out on your listing. Notice where your decisions and behavior might be sabotaging the higher purpose of getting your home sold and manage your own mindset so you can get out of the way of your own progress.

Past Sellers: Did your home lag, even in a hot market? What was the game-changer for your home?

Buyers + Agents: What issues do you see that keep homes from selling?

Written by Tara at Trulia.

Top 7 Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

This article will give you the low-down on the 8 Top Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid.

1. Asking Price too High

home selling mistakes to avoidSelling your property may involve dynamics that are counter-intuitive. You may think, for example, that pricing your home higher brings you higher offers. That makes sense for many products, however, in the world of real estate, pricing your home too high can have dire consequences. I’m not saying that because I’m a Realtor and I want to make a sale. I’m saying this because it is the facts, and it’s my job as a licensed professional in the State of Texas to tell you the truth. The fact is, pricing your home too high takes it out of the ballpark for many shoppers early-on

This is why you need to position your home at the right price up front to seize buyer attention immediately. Don’t try to overprice your home and then negotiate with buyers. It’s better to price it right in the beginning and not to budge on it in negotiation than it is to price it way too high and lose the interest of viable prospects up front. Trust me on this one. I’ve seen it happen thousands of times…

2. Thinking You’ve Got Plenty of Time

When selling your home, time is of the essence. Again, no–I’m not trying to sell your property fast to make a quick buck. This is an understandable principal of psychology of the buyer. Everyone wants what everyone else wants. If your property is on the market too long people start thinking it is not desirable. It makes your home look like the one that nobody wanted. It’s the homes that have 5 offers in the first week–in this Seller’s Market, especially–that buyers go crazy for. The homes that have been on for 30+ plus begin to lose their appeal for home shoppers. That’s when you have to LOWER your price, often much lower than you could have gotten in the first place.

3. Spending Too Much for Upgrades

All upgrades to your property are not created equally. Real estate is a peculiar product. Just because you add a pool, a media room or a sun porch doesn’t necessarily add value to your home. You need to make sure that the updates you intend to do to improve the home will retain value upon resell. Whether an upgrade brings value depends on a number of factors, mainly, the comparable homes in your subdivision and zip code.

Generally speaking, updates to the kitchen and bathrooms are good investments, as is most curb appeal improvements. Other good things to update when selling your home include carpet and fresh paint, other than that–you can lose money. Things like fencing, pools, refinished ceilings and outdoor kitchens generally don’t retain their value upon resale. Not saying that you shouldn’t add a pool and get a new fence, just do it for yourself, not as an investment. You also want to be careful not to overdo anything. Moderation is key. Talk to your Realtor to find out what improvements will retain value the most in your home.

4. Ignoring Maintenance Issues

Your home should be in working condition and properly maintained prior to selling. Any issue that comes up in the Inspector’s Report can serve as a headache for you during the sales process. Get your home in as pristine condition as possible by fixing all that needs to be repaired such as shorted lights, caulking, leaky faucets, broken appliances or anything else. Get these things taken care of before you put your house on the market, for best results. If you don’t have things that are clearly visible in working conditioned, potential buyers will wonder what issues there are that they can’t see. Fixing things first can make a huge difference in the quick, fast, efficient sale of your home for the right price.

5. Skimping on Marketing

There are very few shortcuts in life, and selling real estate is no exception. As much as we’d like to put a sign in the yard and get a ton of buyers, it just doesn’t work that way in the real world. You want to make sure that your home is marketed in the most effective manner possible to reach the highest number of buyers as quickly as possible so you can sell it at the highest price per square foot.

This means you need professional photos that are appropriately labeled, strong descriptions of the property, beautiful marketing pieces that highlight the best features and benefits of your property, listing throughout the MLS to reach thousands of buyers, syndication of your home listing on all major real estate websites such as Remax.com, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia, Zillow and Craigslist. If you want to sell your home fast, for the right price with little hassle, you need a marketing plan that gets your home noticed.

6. Selling Without a Realtor

You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Pesky Realtors! Ha… I’m totally kidding. The fact is, I’m not trying to sell you. Well, I would love to sell your home, but what I’m saying is that even if I were not interested in listing your home for you, I would still tell you the same thing, based on my experience and knowledge of real world real estate. Selling without a Realtor is a big mistake that people can make–not everyone, but most–in fact, they say, 90% of people who list their home FSBO end up listing with a Realtor eventually.

The problem with trying to sell real estate on your own is that it’s a huge investment! There are many laws in place that put you at risk both legally and financially. A Realtor can help you avoid pitfalls, disasters and losses that make us well worth our fee.

7. Failing to Stage the Home

People buy based on their imaginations, not according to features. You want people to see themselves living in your home. In order to sell your home successfully, you must stage it appropriately to invite the buyers in and help them to see themselves living there. This may be difficult to do, especially if you have a lot of stuff. However, it is crucial that you clear the home of junk, clutter, dirt and odors of any kind. You need a fresh, clean vibe in your property if you wish to sell quickly and for the right price.

A professional home stager can give you advice for decorating your home to sell. Your Realtor can also help give you ideas for clearing out closets, cabinets and living space to make room for the imagination of the buyer to run free… enough to get the offer your home deserves.

The 7 tips I’ve just described to you are invaluable for selling your home. Heeding my advice can make your home selling process fast and easy. If you are in the DFW areas of North Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen or surrounding areas, contact me, Jenna Ryan, Realtor, for a Free CMA Report and Listing Presentation. I’d love to help you sell your home for now and in the future! 972-510-9177 Also, Contact Me Here.

Why is a Realtor Better than FSBO?

fsbo plano frisco allen mckinneyYou may be thinking about selling your home yourself instead of hiring a Realtor. That’s understandable, especially if you’re thinking of cutting costs… However, as with anything in life, cheaper is not always better. There are functions that the Realtor serves that makes us invaluable to your home selling process. Before you go FSBO, take a moment to consider these facts:

Only 10% of FSBO Homes Go to Closing

Most homes that are listed as For Sale By Owner eventually end up listing with a Realtor. Why? Because a Realtor has the information, knowledge and experience needed to get the job done quickly. There is more to selling your home than you think! It’s one thing to list a home, and it’s relatively easy to get an offer. Where most FSBO homes go wrong is during the closing process. This is where a Realtor proves invaluable. We know the pitfalls to look out for and we can help you avoid wasting time and experiencing frustration.

Your Realtor Can Get You a Higher Price for Your Home

We have the ability to expose it to the largest potential pool of buyers. That large pool of buyers can then bid against themselves to drive the price up to the highest level possible. Listing with a Realtor will put your home in front of thousands of Buyers. Basic economic theory says that the larger the potential buyer market, the higher the price. But if you don’t take part in that broker-generated market, you’re not going to get that broker-generated price. You’re the only one working to sell your home.

Your Realtor Can Save You Time

What’s your time worth? Selling a home is a big job, and takes a lot of time. That’s why most people hire professionals to take all the steps to sell a home: taking pictures, putting up signs, putting in ads, staging and detailing the home, placing listings in internet sites, writing descriptions, arranging showings, attending showings, getting feedback, holding open houses, and keeping track of the market. And that’s before the entire offer and acceptance stage, which requires even more work. Yes, you can do that work yourself, but how much is your time worth? If it takes you 30-40 hours of work to do the agent’s job for her, in order to try save a few thousand dollars, was it worth it to you?

Your Realtor Knows the Market

That’s what we do all day! We help people buy and sell homes in the local DFW area. Real estate professionals have invaluable house-by-house, street-by-street, and market-by-market experience which can’t be learned overnight. Market fluctuations greatly affect the real estate transaction on multiple levels. You need someone who understands exactly what’s going on and can advise you accordingly.

A Realtor Understands the Complexities of the Transaction

Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two-page contract. Now consumer-mandated seller’s disclosures, environmental and structural reports, and other legal documents have turned the home transfer into a potential minefield. Realtors work with contracts daily, and can fully understand which points are harmful and/or beneficial to you. From helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of material facts, your agent can also correctly interpret information for you. If you found out the neighbor next door to the house you are buying is building a new fence, would you know to get a new survey ordered? Your Realtor will make sure that the new fence doesn’t encroach on your new property.

A Realtor Works on Contingency

If your home doesn’t sell, we don’t get paid. This means you get all of our expertise and hard work for free if we are unable to sell it. This also means that we will go above-and-beyond the call of duty to get your home sold quickly and for the right price.

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Lease

homes for lease in dfwGetting a property ready for lease does not require as much work as getting a home ready for sale. Prospective tenants are not as concerned about curb appeal, condition of yard, or extensive upgrades. However, tenants are looking for homes in good subdivisions that are priced competitively and show nicely.

Interior Paint

The big thing for people wanting to lease a home want clean walls and carpet. Paint is the most cost effective upgrade. Use a neutral color that and matches with a wide variety of tastes. Crisp Khaki color is very popular and used in brand new homes. This paint really makes a home look updated and looks great against white trim. Do not use multiple colors in the home, as that increases the maintenance and turn-time for releasing. Use a flat based paint instead of semi-gloss paint as it does not touch-up as easily as flat paint.

Clean Carpeting & Flooring

The next thing tenants want is clean carpet and flooring. Many times, professional steam cleaning will remove stains make carpets look nice. If you are a do it yourself type of landlord, we do not recommend renting a steam cleaner. It is better to have your carpets professionally cleaned by a company that does dry-foam cleaning to prevent the mildew smell. Old carpet needs to be replaced.

Carpets will usually last 3-5 years for rental properties. If you lease home multiple times within five years, you will be lucky to get five years of carpet usage. We recommend using a light to dark tan color FHA quality carpet. Many new homes have a white or very light color. Light colored carpets will show more dirt. We don’t recommend installing expensive carpet. We frequently replace carpets from damage and stains. Pet urine will damage expensive carpets just as easy as inexpensive carpets.

Installing extra ceramic tile can lower your cost of ownership long term. If you own a smaller home, it can really payoff installing extra ceramic tile in high traffic areas. Most flooring wear and tear occurs in entry ways, hallways, and living rooms. Ceramic tile never wears out and is resilient to water penetration. We don’t recommend installing wood laminate flooring, especially in wet areas such as kitchen or bath. On more than one occasion, we have had toilets overflow, hot water heaters leak, and dish washer pumps leak. You cannot extract water from any type of wood flooring.

Landscaping & Sprinkler

Many landlords inquire about investing in landscaping or sprinkler systems. Most tenants will not take care of the yard like a home owner. Many tenants will shut off sprinkler systems entirely. Tenants frequently program sprinkler controller incorrectly and have large water bills. Others are concerned about high water bills and just turn system off. Sprinkler valves also break, and tenants damage sprinkler heads. We recommend limiting landscaping to small drought resistant bushes in front and mulch. Investing in a sprinkler system will be handy during vacant period in summer months, but till not generate more rent.

Appliances

Most tenants renting a home also have their own refrigerator, washer and dryer. So, we don’t recommend investing in additional appliances. If you own a multifamily property such as a duplex or 4plex, you should provide a refrigerator. Most tenants will expect landlord to provide a refrigerator.

Windows & Blinds

If blinds need replacing in a home, consider spending a little extra for faux wood blinds. Faux wood blinds usually are only $25-$35 more per window and will hold up better than metal blinds and make home show better.

In summary, keep things simple and standard when preparing your rental property for lease. Focus mostly on the paint and the carpet, and your real estate should lease quickly and easily.

If you would like to lease your property in the DFW area, contact me, Jenna Ryan, at The Marketing Shop.com with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs. 972-510-9177.

Source:
Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Lease – Austin