Full Service Realty and Property Management Company with offices in Winter Haven, Auburndale, Lakeland, and Haines City
Specializing in Single Family and Commercial Properties
What exactly is MLS and its role?
MLS which stands for Multiple Listing Service is a private database which is created, maintained and paid by the real estate professionals. The main purpose of the MLS is in helping clients in buying and selling property. MLS gives the confidence to buyers and sellers that they have the choice of working with the real estate professional they prefer in addition to having access to the largest selection of properties for sale in the marketplace.
How does the MLS benefit home sellers?
MLS benefits home sellers in a big way by showcasing their properties to a highly targeted segment which is already interested in buying something that suits their budget. So in contrast to the traditional newspaper ad, a property that is registered in an MLS gets exposed to the people who matter, and thereby increasing its demand as well. It’s a win-win situation with the homeowner finding more buyers which results in a higher price and at the same time quick results.
How is MLS useful for home buyers?
MLS gives home buyers the opportunity to be guided through by a qualified and experienced professional in what could otherwise be a complicated process of buying a property. At the same time, a home buyer doesn’t have to shell down a penny!
How to figure out how much we can afford to pay for a residential property?
The first and foremost thing for knowing how much you can afford to pay for a home is to understand debt to income ratios. Having figured out your monthly average income and monthly average long-term debts, calculate the debt to income ratio. You will stand a good chance of getting approved for a mortgage loan should your debt to income ratio be 35% or less along with a decent credit rating.
What are the housing needs that you need to know before a property search?
Think about the features that a house needs to have for your family’s comfortable living. Prepare a priorities list from location, amenities, size of the house, etc. before beginning your search for a house. Mark the minimum requirements that a house must have for you and also a wish list of features that you would love to have but aren’t mandatory.
What you need to focus on when checking a home?
Having compared the home you are checking with your minimum requirements and wish lists, also give a thought to the below factors:
- Is the house spacious enough for your now and also for the long term?
- Are the bedrooms and bathrooms sufficient enough?
- Does the house look structurally strong?
- Are the mechanical systems and other appliances working properly?
- Is the backyard of this house good enough?
- Is the floor plan as per your expectations?
- Would your furniture fit in the space or does it look all cramped up?
- Is the storage space sufficient enough?
- Is there anything in the house that needs to be either repaired or replaced?
- Think how it would be in this home in both good and bad weather conditions and see if it would serve the purpose year round.
- Don’t be in a rush, and assess your potential home carefully. Find out the pros and cons of each property from your real estate agent before making a decision.
How to keep a track on the homes you inspected?
Try to take snaps of each of the homes that you visit, all the rooms, backyard along with the features that you like. Also record the potential problems you may have found out. And if needed don’t stop yourself from going back to the same house for a second look.
Is it worth spending money on a private home inspection?
Buying a home is perhaps the largest investment for most people; hence it does make sense in shelling out a few hundred dollars on a private home inspection. With a professional home inspector taking care of scanning the entire house in several angles, you can sit back and count on his/her judgment. You should expect a thorough feedback on the property from your home inspector before jumping on to a conclusion on what action to take next.
Of course, a home inspection is confined to checking a property only for possible damages that can affect the safety and resale value but not the insignificant cosmetic blemishes.
Make sure that you only get the right home inspector to do the job for you through a proper background check.
Do you need to be present during the house inspection?
Although it may not be necessary, it is better that you are also present during the home inspection to get an unbiased opinion on the spot about the home. You also get your maintenance queries answered then and there.
What to watch out for before closing the deal on the home?
With no furniture placed yet, use the opportunity to have a thorough inspection of the house from walls, ceilings, floor and others. Check out for any work the seller may have agreed to do prior to your inspection. Before closing the deal, ensure that any incomplete work is completed to satisfaction.
How to protect your family from lead in the home?
You should consider going for an inspection for lead-based paint for any property that was built before 1978. In such cases, lead flakes from the paint can be either found in the home or in the surrounding soil. Look to hire a lead abatement contractor to get rid of any paint chips and seal damaged areas to have a lead-free home.
What you need to know about Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas which is released as a result of the normal decay of Uranium present in rocks and soil. The levels of this dangerous gas can be higher in well-insulated homes which are tightly sealed or those which are built on an Uranium-rich soil. Whether your home is new or old, it doesn’t matter as Radon can easily enter through cracks in floors, walls or even the foundation. As a matter of fact, approximately one in every 15 homes in the US is estimated to have an elevated Radon level of 4 pCi/L or more.
What are the hazards of Radon?
Radon being a radioactive gas can decay rapidly and has the potential of damaging the cells that line the lung. A person exposed to Radon runs into the risk of getting lunch cancer. With Radon being the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country, it is important that you get your home (if it is below the third floor) checked for its presence.
What are some of the negotiation tips?
Try to know about the seller’s motivation, the real purpose of disposing off the property. You would then understand how to go about your negotiation with that. For instance, a seller may be fine with a lower price with a quick deal if he/she is short of time and looking to move out quickly on a job transfer. Don’t forget that the seller would ideally look to get the listing price, but can be open to getting lesser than that.
How are closing costs determined?
The following factors all sum up the closing costs:
- Attorney’s/Escrow fees for both the parties if applicable
- Fees for documentation preparation
- First payment to escrow account with respect to real estate taxes and insurance in future
- If applicable, the first premium of mortgage insurance
- Interest to be paid from closing date to 30 days before the first monthly payment
- Loan discount points
- Loan origination fee covering lender’s administrative cost
- Paid receipt for homeowner’s insurance policy or/and to fire and flood insurance
- Property taxes covering the tax period till date
- Recording fees
- Survey fee
- Title insurance for both the parties
What to do to make my home attractive to buyers before I plan to sell it?
A prospective buyer will always like to buy a home that is well-maintained and is in move-in condition. All the visible repair work must be completed before you list your home for sale. This will minimize the risk of further negotiations on the price quoted by you. A property in top condition will attract more buyers and fetch you top dollar.
Below are few things you would like to consider?
- Make the curb appeal of home more attractive by working on the landscape and planting a few attractive plants at the entrance. Simply mowing the grass, cleaning up the debris and sweeping the sidewalk will make a huge difference in the sale value of your property.
- Get chipped windows repaired and have them repainted, if possible. At the time of showing, the draperies must be in perfect working condition so that they can be opened to allow light into the house.
- Doorbell must be in working condition.
- Bathrooms, kitchens, rooms, floors, walls and ceilings must be spotless before buyers’ visit.
- The overall feel of the house should be open and clutter free.
- Basic appliances, fixtures and faucets should be working.
- No bad smell should be there when a buyer visits your house.
- Investing in a couple of flower vases around the house will bring in good returns in terms of higher prices.
- Selling the house can be tedious task for those who are not prepared. However, you can make the task easier by taking the above mentioned steps.
What are the two most important things to remember before selling your home?
First of all, make sure that you price your home correctly. Hire professional appraisers for evaluation of your home. Secondly, get all the cosmetic defects repaired before listing. However, if it is major repair, then you may consider lowering the price to lure the buyer. Use all channels such as broker open house, advertising, signage, online and multiple listing services to give your house the required exposure.
CENTURY 21 Myers Realty
304 East Park St.
Auburndale, FL 33823
Business Phone: (863) 875-5656
Fax: (863) 967-7443
Monday - Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
* Always available by appointment!
CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered trademarks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC.
Each office is independently owned and operated.