Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 8/12/2020

Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

It may be tempting to purchase your first home without the help of a real estate agent. If you want to risk not having professional help to buy your first house, you can, but you’ll be leaving a lot of benefits on the table and assuming all the risks.

The Benefits of Using a Buyer's Agent

A buyer’s agent works entirely on behalf of the buyer in the purchase process. The benefits of using one include:
  • Expert negotiations – Professional agents know the market, costs and what you’re looking for. They can combine the three, plus other variables, to create a formula for negotiating within both your price and comfort levels.
  • Full disclosure – A real estate expert knows what to ask regarding disclosures about the property. They’ll ask for items you may not even think of because of their experience. It’s not that the seller is intent on deceiving you, often they don’t know what to disclose either.
  • Neighborhood specialist – Some agents choose to represent buyers in specific neighborhoods and can tell them about local facts such as planned road construction or rezoning issues that might have an impact on your decision to buy there (both for and against).
  • Closing costs – Your buyer’s agent fights for the best deal for you, the buyer. Relying solely on the seller’s agent could end up costing thousands in extra charges.
  • Lender recommendations – An experienced buyer’s agent knows which lenders tend to close on time and which ones might drag out the process. If you’re closely timing a move, your agent can help you avoid being bogged down with a slow underwriting process. They’ll have recent experience with rates, terms, appraisals and comparable sales.
  • Making the offer – Real estate purchase offers have a lot of forms and papers that cover all sorts of things from contingencies to mold and asbestos mitigation. Your agent knows the right forms and what needs to go into your offer to both protect you and give you the best chance of having your offer accepted.
  • Inspection referrals – having a home inspection protects buyers from unexpected repairs and required renovations once the deal completes. Your agent knows reliable inspectors that look for basement seepage, dry rot, hidden mold, damaged roofs, sewer line issues and a host of other things. You might not think to check the chimney, but your inspector will, saving you from a potential house fire or other issues down the line. A failure in a major system such as electrical wiring, HVAC, or plumbing can wreck your budget if you don’t know about it.
Bottom line is that purchasing directly from the seller without the protection of a knowledgeable agent puts you at risk for all kinds of issues. Remember that the seller pays both agents from the proceeds of the sale. 





Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 8/5/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

So, you're buying a home remotely. Because you probably don't want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a house that smells like cats or that features weekly invasions by the SWAT team of the building next door, it's important to find a long-distance realtor you can trust. You need someone who excels at the remote-home-buying experience and who will represent you faithfully. Agents like these are out there, but it may take a bit of work to find them. Here's what we recommend.

Choose a Certified Residential Specialist

A certified residential specialist is a real estate agent who has undergone additional training and who has more experience than other agents. Only about 3 percent of all realtors in the United States have attained CRS status. You can find a CRS locally by using the online search function available at the Residential Real Estate Council.

To become a certified residential specialist, an agent must meet strict minimum requirements, including:

  • Completion of between 25 and 150 successful real estate transactions.
  • Completion of between 16 and 80 additional hours of training and education in realty.
  • Adherence to a higher code of ethics than the average realtor. 

While millions of hard-working real estate agents exist, only a small number have gone that extra mile to earn CRS certification. These are the agents you should trust to handle your transaction when you can't be there in person. 

Choose an Expert Communicator

Choose a realtor who's an expert in your desired area and with whom you feel comfortable from the first conversation. The relationship between you and your remote-home-buying partner should feature excellent communication. He or she needs to understand your needs precisely, including your must-haves, your budget, your time frame, and what you're hoping to find in a neighborhood. If you're bringing along three small dogs, your mother-in-law, or two moody teenagers, your long-distance realtor needs to make sure there's sufficient space for everyone included. 

Find a REALTOR® Who Cares

The REALTOR®you choose should be an expert on local schools. He should be able to get back to you with crime rates and economics. Additionally, he should be present at home inspections to ensure your future home doesn't have a termite infestation or a sketchy, outdated septic system. Everything from water pressure to the condition of outdoor fencing matters. These are all things you would investigate when viewing a home in person. If it's important to you, it should be important to the realtor you choose. 

Seventy-eight percent of all home buyers value the quality of a neighborhood over the size of a home, and 57 percent would rather have a shorter work commute than a sprawling yard. It's statistics like these that can make or break your remote-home-buying experience. It's vital to partner with the best agent for the job. 




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 7/29/2020

Image by Tim Cooper from Unsplash

If your lawn and garden area is full of lush, thriving trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowers, you're probably proud of it's appearance and of all the hard work you've put in to get it that way. However, you may also have a nagging feeling that it's missing something, but you can't quite put your finger on what that might be — and that something could very well be hardscaping elements. Hardscaping is anything that provides aesthetic appeal and/or functionality to your outdoor living space that isn't in the form of vegetation. It provides dimension, texture, and boundary definitions. The best hardscaping combines functionality and appearance. Here's how you can make it happen:

Paved Pathways

Paved pathways can be installed using a variety of materials, including brick, cobblestone, and polished concrete. Design possibilities are almost endless. Some homeowners prefer the sophisticated appearance of polished concrete, while others like to create a picturesque ambiance with old-school cobblestone. Paved pathways also protect your shoes from mud and other debris as well as protect your lawn from the damage that heavy foot traffic can cause.

Decorative Arbors

Decorative arbors provide a delightful way to dress up the entrance to your property or introduce a backyard herb or perennial garden. You can grow vining plants up and over them, such as rambling roses, clematis, or even switch it up every year by planting different vining annuals such as morning glory and nasturtium. During winter, you can keep things interesting by stringing holiday lights on it.

Garden Benches

Garden benches give you and other household members a relaxing place to sit, read, dream, or simply get a rest from lawn and garden chores will enjoying the sunlight on your face and listening to the birds sing. If you opt for a wooden bench, choose one made of weather-resistant wood such as teak or cedar. Stone benches are good choices for areas that receive significant amounts of precipitation — you can always add cushions for softness during the warm season.

Water Features

Waterfalls, ponds, fountains, and raised birdbaths are just three appealing ways to turn your backyard into a personal oasis by adding water features. If you're a nature lover, you'll spend hours enjoying the antics of your feathered friends as they splash in the birdbath, and if you could use a serene respite in your life, a flowing fountain or waterfall provides soothing sounds and serendipitous visuals.

Other hardscaping possibilities include garden statuary, trellises, decorative gates and fences, pergolas, and footbridges.





Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 7/22/2020

Everyone likes to keep their home smelling fresh. At the very least, it assures us that when our guests come they have a pleasant aroma that welcomes them into the home. However, fragrances can be beneficial in other ways.

Some are calming, while others stimulating and invigorating. They can help you set the tone you’re aiming for, whether it’s a relaxing bath or sitting down to get some work done in your office.

At one time, you didn’t have many options when it came to giving your home a pleasant fragrance. You could burn candles, which can be dangerous if you have children or pets running around. Or you could use a plug-in air freshener, which are expensive and smell artificial.

Recently, however, a third option has been gaining popularity--essential oil diffusers.

Essential oils have a number of uses. They’re in the cologne and perfume we spray on our bodies, they’re in the room spray we use to freshen up our homes, and they’re an ingredient in a number of other cosmetic and therapeutic products.

Many are said to have medicinal value, such as a decongestant or a sleep aid. Others are used simply because they smell great.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through using an essential oil diffuser in your home and what oils you might want to start with.

Methods of oil diffusion

There are a number of ways you can spread the aroma of essential oils in your home. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue and simply wave it around in the room.

For a more far-reaching effect, you’ll need to find a longer lasting way of diffusing the oils. Many people choose steam. You can either purchase a steam oil diffuser or just put a few drops into boiling water.

Another option is to use a heat source. You can buy tea light to heat the oils or, if you want to avoid open flames, buy an electric heat diffuser.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re new to essential oils, it might be a good idea to start small by simply buying a starter pack of oils, smelling them to see which you like, and putting a couple drops in a boiling pot of water or dabbing them on a tissue.

A note of caution: essential oils are strong. Getting them on your hands or clothing, especially if undiluted, can mean your hands or clothes smelling like that oil for several days. You should also avoid putting them near your eyes or mouth as many essential oils can be dangerous.

Which oils to use

Oils have a range of scents--floral, citrus, earthy, spicy, minty, and so on. Knowing which oil you want for a given scenario is a matter of preference and trial and error. However, there are several blends or “recipes” that people prefer.

Common pairings include:

  • Orange and peppermint

  • Lavender and lemon

  • Bergamot and patchouli

  • Basil and sage

  • Cypress and cedarwood

  • Lemongrass and eucalyptus




Tags: home   essential oils   fragrance   diffuse  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 7/15/2020

Photo by Billion Photos via Shutterstock

When homeowners start thinking about selling, the first thing they want to know is, “How much can I sell my house for?” Your real estate agent's task is determining the fair market value with a range of prices from low to high. The spread between the two values typical is not large and only leaves a little wiggle room for the seller to negotiate. 

Determining the Value

The challenge is that there is no one value for a home on the resale market. Several values go into determining the number. These can include the assessed value (what the local government taxes it on), the appraised value (what a certified and licensed appraiser determines it's worth), the market value (this can go up or down depending on supply and demand) and what the owner needs from it in order to move to the next place. Even among appraisers, the same house might have several different values depending on what that appraiser noted; although, they’re usually fairly close.

The Homeowner’s Price

When a homeowner has a price in mind that they’ll sell for, it may come from several factors:

  • How much they owe on the first mortgage
  • Whether or not it has a second mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit)
  • How much they originally paid in the down payment and closing
  • What they’ve spent in renovations and upgrades

How Your Agent Determines a Price

A professional real estate agent may give you an estimate of the market value of your home within a range. These numbers come from comparable residences in similar condition, homes that sold recently and the prices of homes on the agent’s MLS. Additionally, if the agent knows that a bidding war might happen, they’ll factor that into the suggested price too. 

How Overpricing Could Hinder a Sale

There are several reasons that overpricing your home might hinder a sale. Here are the main ones:

  • Your price puts your listing outside the search parameters of potential buyers. Even if you’re willing to negotiate and come down a ways, a buyer won’t know to ask because your home is not on their radar.
  • If your home does come up in a search, it will be because the buyer is looking for homes in that price range. But if yours fails to match similar homes in their price point, yours will drop to be the last one they look at.
  • An overpriced home can spend longer sitting on the market, languishing there as the MLS adds numbers to the “days on the market” category. Often, buyers assume a home sits unsold on the market because there is something wrong with the property or the seller is difficult to work with.

If you need to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar, trust your real estate professional to guide you in setting the price.




Tags: appraisal   home seller   pricing  
Categories: Uncategorized  




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