Category Archives: Buyer-Seller Tips

Wanting to sell your home? We’ll be happy to complete a free Market Analysis which will help prepare your home for the real estate market. This comparison is designed to help estimate current market values for your existing home by finding similar existing homes for sale in this area. Just complete the information in the Compare My Home section. We’ll complete the analysis as soon as possible. This is a free service as a courtesy to our website visitors!

Searching for homes for sale? Search All Area Listings provides you with immediate access to all homes on the market. Having trouble locating your dream home? Have questions about any of the properties? Contact Us and we’ll respond promptly. We can answer your questions and forward a complete list of all available properties for your review.

Check out the Home Buyer-Seller archived tips…good information for successful selling and home buying!

Gallery of Homes for Sale

Gallery of Homes for Sale

Listed by Garner Realty Group LLC

Order by:
Gallery of Homes
« 1 of 3 »
For detailed information on these properties,
visit our Featured Homes page!

What is Appraised Value?

What Is Appraised Value?

Many buyers and sellers have asked me to explain “appraised value” of a home. To keep it simple: it’s an objective opinion of value that is performed by a qualified appraiser, but it’s not an exact science so know that appraisals may differ.

For buying and selling purposes, appraisals are usually based on market value—or the amount a property could probably bring if sold in the current real estate market. Note the reference to current…don’t assume an appraisal generated a year ago, or even 6 months ago to be a true representation. An appraised value is not a constant number. Changes in market conditions can have a significant effect (positive or negative) on appraised value. Also, appraised value doesn’t consider special considerations…for example, the need to sell quickly.

During the home buying process the appraisal is performed by a professional appraiser during the mortgage origination process. The appraiser is usually chosen by the lender, but the appraisal is paid for by the borrower. Other types of appraised value may include insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.

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Spring Home Maintenance

It’s Spring Home Maintenance time!  As the days begin warming, an exterior and interior check around your home is smart prevention for potential problems.  In between exercising and playing with your kids, Spring opens the perfect opportunity to have your air conditioning and other mechanical systems checked by a home maintenance professional.   However, some spring home maintenance tasks may be accomplished by you! Here are a few suggestions to add to your “check list”.
Loose Objects
Check for loose gutters, downspouts, shingles and siding, or cracks in the sidewalk and driveway that need repair and cleaning. If shingles are missing, curling, broken or cracked they should be replaced.
Clogged Gutters
Gutters should be cleaned in the spring and again in the fall. Leaves and twigs clogging your gutters will prevent rain from draining properly. While cleaning your gutters, check for holes or rust and make sure they are securely attached to the house.
Shrubs & Trees
Prune trees and bushes as necessary and remove accumulated leaves and debris. Pruning removes deadwood, improves shape and maintains the plants health.
Decks & Patios
Test your deck for any boards or railings that need replacing. Take the time to examine all the wood carefully to see if any boards are rotten. Walk around your deck and listen for squeaks. Try to feel for soft spots or sagging areas.
Pipes
Inside the house check the pipes in the kitchen and baths for water leaks. Catching a leak before it does real damage to the cabinet is just good home maintenance. Repair any dripping faucets or tubs. Check the shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture to make sure they function.
Sump Pump
Check your sump pump for proper operation. A yearly cleaning is recommended before the rainy season hits. If you spot an oily film on the surface of the water in your sump pump, verify the condition of the oil seal. The appearance of oil may indicate a faulty oil seal which could cause the motor to burn out in the pump.
Batteries
Inspect and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries weaken with age and should be checked regularly and replaced generally once a year.
Oven/Stove Top
Give your kitchen range, hood and oven area a good cleaning to remove all built-up grease to prevent fires.
Air Conditioner
Have a professional air conditioning contractor inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer.
Water Heater
Check around the bottom of your water heater to make sure there are no leaks or rusting.
Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.

Hope all of you enjoy our south Georgia spring weather…won’t be long before Summer!

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Homeowner Preparation!

homeowner preparation

Buying a home can be stressful!  Do your homework before looking at all the lovely homes you’d like to own…here are a few suggestions:

  1. Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
  2. Develop a wish list of what you’d like your home to have. Then prioritize the features on your list.
  3. Select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in. Consider items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
  4. Determine if you have enough saved to cover your down-payment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees average between 2 percent and 7 percent of the home price.  Even if you’re arranging 100% financing, you’ll still need funds for closing costs.
  5. Meet with a mortgage broker to obtain pre-qualification for your mortgage.   This will tell you how much you can spend on your new home.  Also explore different loans options and decide what’s best for you.
  6. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to pre-approve you for a loan.
  7. Do research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or downpayment-assistance programs.
  8. Calculate the costs of homeowner-ship, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees, if applicable.
  9. Find an experienced REALTOR who can help you through the process.

Homeowner preparation can take a bit of time but will smooth the process toward closing on your new property!

Credit Scores to Qualify for a Home Mortgage

improve-credit-scores8 Ways to Improve Credit Scores

Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are a big factor in determining if you’ll qualify for a loan and what loan terms you’ll be able to qualify for.

Continue reading Credit Scores to Qualify for a Home Mortgage

Buying A Home

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will make in their life. It involves a long-term commitment financially and emotionally, but it can also be a very exciting and rewarding experience.  The following steps are the usual practice to expect:

Get Pre-Qualified for Your Home Mortgage:

Unless you are able to pay cash for your home, most buyers will need to go through the process of applying for a mortgage.  By contacting a mortgage loan specialist before you begin your search, you are able to determine the amount of loan for which you qualify.  In addition, if you know the amount of the monthly payment you would be comfortable paying, a mortgage specialist can calculate the price range for your home search. Getting pre-qualified for buying a home also increases your chances of your offer being accepted.  A seller is more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who already has funding versus one who still needs to get a loan.

Make an Amenities List:

Decide what features are most important to you in a home. By establishing your criteria, you will save time shopping for homes that do not meet your needs. Also, consider what locations you are interested in. When making an amenities list, determine which criteria you absolutely cannot live without and which ones you are willing to budge on.  Such as:

•Price range
•Neighborhood or subdivision
•School districts
•Proximity to work
•Proximity to shopping, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
•Number of Bedrooms
•Number of Bathrooms
•Storage space
•Garages
•Lot sizes
•Pools

Choose An Agent:

Once you have decided on the price range and the features you are interested in, your next step will be to locate a real estate agent.   It’s wise to  enter into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with your Realtor. This ensures that the agent will represent you, as the buyer, in the selling process, and not represent the interests of the sellers.

Remember, there are no out-of-pocket fees that you pay to the buyer’s agent. These costs are incurred by the seller. Your agent will research property listings for potential matches to your criteria and schedule showings for you at a convenient time. In addition, they will provide guidance to you during the contract negotiation phase of the selling process.  They will also coordinate and schedule the home inspection, appraisal, and closing for you, as well as provide you with referrals for mortgage lenders.

Beginning Your Search
Once you have selected an agent and determined what you are looking for in a home, it is time to begin your active search for homes that interest you. Based on your criteria that you provide your agent, he/she will be able to search their listing database for homes that meet your needs.

While visiting properties that are on the market, compare homes. Every home is unique! Even if every home you visit has all of the main criteria you are looking for, each will have different characteristics.  Make notes on each home of what you like and dislike.

Making an Offer
Once you have found your dream home, it is time to prepare an offer to purchase. Your buyer’s agent can provide guidance to you on the price you should offer to pay for the property.  Have your agent compare prices for similar homes that have sold in the area recently. This will help you to determine a reasonable price to offer.

In addition to the selling price, the other items to include in the terms of the Offer to Purchase include:
•The amount of earnest money (deposit) to offer.
•Concessions that you want the seller to make, such as a carpet or paint allowance, or payment towards the closing costs.
•Home inspection contingencies.
•Financing contingencies.
•A clear definition as to what is to be included with the home, such as appliances or window treatments.
•A closing date.
Don’t be surprised if your initial offer is not accepted. Your REALTOR® will represent you in all contract negotiations until an agreement is reached between the seller and you.

Closing the Deal

Once your offer has been accepted, it is time to work on the final details of purchasing your home. There are several tasks that will need to be accomplished during this phase of the sales transaction:
Home Inspection: Arrange to have a professional come out to inspect your home. They are able to spot electrical, plumbing, and structural problems that may not be noticeable to you at first glance.
You may also need to get a pest inspection on the property to make sure there is no structural damage to the property caused by termites. Your REALTOR® can usually make a recommendation of a reputable inspector.

Apply For A Loan

Once an offer has been accepted, you will need to contact your mortgage specialist to officially apply for a loan.
Items that you will need for your loan application include:
•W-2s and/or tax returns from the past 2 years.
•Proof of gross monthly income for the past 30 days.
•Proof of investment income, including rental incomes.
•A list of creditors, including account numbers, balances, and monthly payments.
•Two months worth of banking statements.

The Final Walkthrough:

Prior to closing, you should be given access to the house so that you can walk through and give it a final inspection. This should be done as close to the closing date as possible, preferably on the morning of the closing proceedings. When you go to do your final walkthrough, your home inspector will not be with you. It is your responsibility to inspect the home and ensure that everything meets your approval.
Things to look for during your walkthrough:
•The seller has repaired items included on the purchase agreement.
•The house is in “as-was” condition (everything is in the same condition as it was when you signed the purchase agreement).
•The house is vacant and clean. The home does not have to be spotless, but there should be no remaining trash or junk left behind in the house or in the yard.

Closing:

Usually at the time an offer is accepted, or after you have a commitment from your lender, a date and time will be arranged for your closing. The closing procedures will be handled by an attorney of your choosing. The day before, you will be told the total dollar amount you will need to bring to closing by the closing attorney. They will also provide you with any additional information you may need to prepare yourself for the proceedings.
On the day of closing, remember to bring:
•A certified check for the total amount of your closing costs, or the closing attorney may require wired funds.  Check with your agent.
•A picture ID, such as a driver’s license.
•Your personal checkbook.
•Evidence of mortgage insurance (if this information has not already been requested).

During the closing, details of the sales contract will be explained to you. If everything meets your approval, you will sign the contracts to finalize the deal. Congratulations! The “buying a home” stage is over…you are now a new homeowner!!!!!!

If you would like to comment on this post, feel free to send me an email.

Thanks!

Buyer-Seller Tips

Buyer-Seller Tips

Wanting to sell your home? We’ll be happy to complete a free Market Analysis which will help prepare your home for the real estate market. This comparison is designed to help estimate current market values for your existing home by finding similar existing homes for sale in this area. Just complete the information in the Compare My Home section. We’ll complete the analysis as soon as possible. This is a free service as a courtesy to our website visitors!

 

 Searching for homes for sale?  Search All Area Listings provides you with immediate access to all homes on the market. Having trouble locating your dream home? Have questions about any of the properties? Contact Us and we’ll respond promptly. We can answer your questions and forward a complete list of all available properties for your review.

Check out the Home Buyer-Seller archived tips…good information for successful selling and home buying!

Want a Speedy Home Sale? Check out these helpful suggestions…

  • Speedy home sale…price it right!  Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.  Too often sellers want to “start high” and “drop” if needed.  Listen to your Realtor’s suggestions regarding this tactic.
  • Get your house market ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.  Painting, carpet cleaning, repair items, yard maintenance, etc. need to be accomplished prior to the “for sale” sign in the yard!  You can’t highlight your home’s strengths if it can be seen in a “de-cluttered” light.
  • Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.  You don’t want a potential buyer to find another home because your home wasn’t ready to show.
  • Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price.
  • Listen to your Realtor!  He/she is the professional you’ve hired to sell your property.  Trust their suggestions for a speedy home sale!

 

If you would like to comment on this post, feel free to send me an email. Thanks!

Need a Home Mortgage? Questions to ask your lender!

home mortgageWhen speaking with your lender about a home mortgage, be sure you find a loan that fits your needs! Following are some questions you may wish to ask:

  • What are the most popular home mortgage loans you make?
  • Which type of mortgage plan do you think would best for us? Why?
  • Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?
  • Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so how much will it cost and how long will it be required? NOTE: Private mortgage insurance is usually required if you make less than a 20-percent down-payment, but most lenders will let you discontinue the policy when you’ve acquired a certain amount of equity by paying down the loan.
  • Who will service the loan? Your bank or another company?
  • What escrow requirements do you have?
  • How long is your loan lock-in period (the time that the quoted interest rate will be honored)? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if they drop during this period?
  • How long will the loan approval process take?
  • How long will it take to close the loan?
  • Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying the loan?

These are all excellent questions to ask regarding a home mortgage.  It’s also a good plan to write your questions down before your appointment with your lender.

 

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Market Ready Home…what can you do to prepare your home?

home-sale-sold

10 Ways to Make Your Home Market Ready

Getting your home market ready BEFORE placing it on the market is critical!  This will help with a speedy sale and also less stress!

1. Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.
2. Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.
3. Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.
4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells.  If weather allows, open the windows.
5. Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
6. Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.
7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.
8. Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
9. Clean your gutters.
10. Polish your front doorknob and door numbers….I know, this may seem like a really insignificant thing to do…but it will make a difference!

Happy Selling!

If you would like to comment on this post, feel free to send me an email. Thanks!