Guide to Interviewing Agents
How long have you been in residential real estate? Is it your full-time job?
While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate is mostly learned on the job. If an agent doesn’t have much experience, there are going to be situations they haven’t encountered, negotiation skills they haven’t learned, and resources they haven’t acquired. That’s not to say a new agent can’t be the right agent, only that it’s important to have an understanding of an agent’s gameplan and what they will be bringing to the table. And if you’re going with an experienced agent, make sure they have the time to devote to you and your home to be sure you’re getting all of the benefits of their experience.
How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year?
By asking this question you’ll get an idea of how much experience the practitioner has and the scope of their reach. Agents and teams with a proven record of selling are more likely to have strategies for getting your home sold quickly and for the most money. Bonus points if they have a history of homes sold in your neighborhood.
There’s a lot to know when it comes to buying a home. Whether you’re buying your starter home, moving to a bigger house or downsizing, our in-depth Buying Guide will take you through all the steps. Keep reading to find out how to:
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, make financing decisions and choose your lender
2. House hunt like a pro, online and in person
3. Make an offer and not be intimidated by paperwork, negotiations or bidding wars
4. Be prepared for the closing process and costs so you don’t get caught off guard
There’s a lot to know when it comes to financing your new home. You’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage, make important financing decisions and eventually choose a lender.
STEP 1 – GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
We regularly work with people downsizing, and there’s more to it than you might think. Here’s what you should consider if you’re thinking about making the move to a smaller home:
Should You Downsize?
How much space do you really need? When was the last time all of your spare bedrooms were in use at the same time? Does it happen multiple times per year? If not, you’re paying the mortgage for a home that sits half empty 95% of the time. That’s not a great use of money and it may be time to downsize.
What else could you spend the money on? It’s no secret that a large number of Americans are relying on their home to help fund their retirement. If you sold your $800K house and moved to a $500K one, what opportunities would that create for you? Travel? Earlier retirement? Downsizing can help you attain some major financial freedom.
How often will your kids really visit? A lot of people considering downsizing are doing so because they’re suddenly empty nesters. The
Move Up Buyer Guide
Are you a move-up Buyer? Looking to upgrade your house to a bigger home or better neighborhood? If that sounds like you, read on for our 10 top things to consider:
1. SHOULD YOU BUY OR SELL FIRST?
The answer to this question is largely dependent on what kind of property you currently live in and where it is. If you live in a hot neighborhood you’ll likely be able to sell quickly. If you’re in a less-in-demand area, selling may take 60 or 90 days, and you probably want to sell before buying. The second big factor to consider is your financial resources – can you afford to carry both mortgages if your current home doesn’t sell? What if Buyers don’t think your current home is worth what you think it is? Your lender and REALTOR can help you decide whether you should buy or sell first.
2. HOW BIG OF A MOVE-UP SHOULD YOU MAKE?
Selling and buying are expensive – there are taxes, fees, real estate commissions, moving costs, utility set-up costs and more to
Guide to Building
Building a house from a bare piece of land into your dream home is no small undertaking. Before you even begin the process, be sure to sit down with any other decision makers and try to get on the same page and be sure that you want the same things. Be ready to compromise, and remind yourself to enjoy the process!
1. This is Going to be fun! What now?
Your blueprint for beginning the process of building a new home should look just like the process for buying an existing home. You need to start by setting in stone the one aspect of a home you can’t change: the location. Once you know where you’ll be building, you can begin to take the next steps.
2. i know where i’m building, now what?
Once you know where your new home will sit, it’s time to look at model homes from builders who work in your chosen area. In Kansas City, there are more than a few builders who only work in certain pockets of the city and may not be available to build your home where