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Questions Open House Hosts Ask You as a Guest and Why – Number Three of Three

Questions Open House Hosts Ask You as a Guest and Why – Number Three of Three

Question number three:
Are you working with a real estate agent? OR (Have you signed a representation agreement with a Realtor?)
Why they are asking: Agents respect boundaries out of courtesy to other agents. If you are represented by an agent already and the agent knows it, the open house agent is not allowed by the National Association Code of Ethics to ask if you would like them to represent you.

Open house sign

Open house sign

The natural next or follow-up question is who the agent is who is representing you. Many agents who do a good amount business in a particular neighborhood or area know other equally busy agents. The agent can follow up with your Realtor to find out what you thought about the home and if you are interested in buying it – because the other agent REPRESENTS you. So, yes, provide your agent’s name. Your agent, in their pre-buying consultation with you, should will hopefully have prepared you for this to very likely happen if you are going to open houses without them, which is VERY COMMON.

Have fun going to great prospective homes to see them – OPEN HOUSES ROCK!

Cheers!
Ken

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Questions Open House Hosts Ask You as a Guest and Why – Number One of Three

Hi!

Recall all the open houses you have been to and when the host asked you questions…You might wonder what are the most often-asked questions open house hosts ask you and why they ask them?

Number One:
How long have you been looking for a house?

Why host is asking: The agent wants to see how far along in your search you are, how many homes you have seen, how motivated you are to buy and what your general experience has been. They want to be of help to you and, of course, they are there to help sell the house you are at.
If you allow the Realtor, they can give you helpful information to aid with your search such as additional neighborhoods that might fit your criteria or they may know of homes coming on the market – ones that are not listed yet. Just to name a couple of MANY great ways that they can be of assistance.

open house image

Watch for question number two – upcoming!

Cheers!
Ken

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Top 2 Ways to Buy Your First Home with Less Work and Less Money

Top 2 Ways to Buy Your First Home with Less Work and Less Money

Hi!

When buying your first home in Arlington – or anywhere – there are some fundamental things to put into place to help you get the best home possible for you with the least effort on your part and for the smallest amount of bucks out of your pocket. Here goes!

1. Have a plan. The key components of this are timing, money and who.

-When do you want to buy, and what is this based on? Can there be flexibility in the timing? Flexibility is one of the keys to having more negotiating power when making an offer.

-Where is the money for the purchase coming from? If a loan, get a referral from your agent. They know the best ones. Service to get you to closing, not just a great rate, is important. You need to close on the house in the time you have agreed to in your contract with the seller, so you are not in default. When you say you will buy it on a certain date, the lender needs to make sure all flows well and you can close on that date, with certainty!

A Top Notch Buyer Representative saves you time and money.

A Top Notch Buyer Representative saves you time and money.

-Who is going to lead you to success? Choosing a Buyer Representative is important. A study showed that buyers consider buying a house for an average of 13 months before they select a Realtor. And then guess how long they take to select a Buyer Representative? Only 1 week. And it’s such an important decision to make. What this leads the experts to believe is that, for the most part, not a lot of thought is put by buyers into selecting a great agent, and one that will work well with a buyer’s needs and personality. Some buyers choose to work with the first agent that they meet in public. It’s highly recommended to choose one wisely.

2. Reduce your time spent on searching and buying. Time is money – imagine considering to buy a house and then the interest rates increase to a point that you cannot buy the house you want? Wouldn’t that be a bad thing?

The best time reduction technique or choice is to get an agent to represent you 6 months to a year out from when you want to buy. Let them do the work!

I hear every week from buyers, when I am out in the field working, that they are just checking things out and online, figuring out what they want to buy and where before engaging an agent. That they do not want to “waste” an agent’s time early on to help them determine this.

One, if they help you through the process and work with you until closing, they are paid by the seller when you close on your house. It is their choice as to how they plan to use their time in their business. No skin off their teeth, as the saying goes, huh?

Two, a great agent can determine your needs and wants with a great complimentary consultation in an hour or less.

There is no substitute for a top notch Buyer Representative. If you decide to do the work early footwork of what you think it takes to get started by yourself – which might be ill-informed by online information or what someone might tell you – no fault of your own, this takes a lot of time and work. The information that you find online, that you might elect to use as resources, can be incomplete, incorrect and not up to date. Can one believe all they read on the internet? Note that none of the real estate portals that the public has access to are real time. That’s why perhaps you showed up for an open house that was listed in the MLS as being open, and the unit had since gone under contract and the open house was canceled. Not fun, especially if you planned your day around it – or there was freezing rain – like buyers told me last weekend when this happened to them.

More on timing: There is work that needs to be done to establish your ability to buy a house. For instance, perhaps there is an erroneous item that shows up on your credit report and it takes time to get it removed before you can have a lender look at your true credit score and thereby get the best loan rate possible. A higher rate often means that you will not be approved for as expensive of a house.

I hope this was helpful! If you would like a complimentary hard cover book that we at Keller Williams have designed just for first time home buyers, please let me know. Or ask questions, and I will be delighted to help! Have a great day!

Cheers,
Ken

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Buying a Simgle Family Home – 5 Key Things to Look for at a Home Inspection

Buying a Home – 5 Key Things to Look for at a Home Inspection

Hi!

I always recommend to buyers that they get a home inspection prior to purchasing a single family home, or any home. Eliminating surprises later is key to keeping down your costs of owning a home.

Note that you want to get a great home inspector and listen to them closely. What I tell you here is from my many years of experience of my buyers doing home inspections, only. My expertise is selling homes, not in home inspections; home inspectors are experts in home inspection. I can refer you to one, if that is helpful, as well.

Checklist from the Real Estate Inspection Report

Here are 5 key things to look for at a home inspection:

1. Roof – What is its approximate age / how much life does it have left? Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive items on a house. Are there any obvious exterior holes or wear that might let water get into the house? Are there any signs of water on the underside of the roof, inside the house, that might indicate water has gotten inside? Look in the attic if there is one and it is accessible.

2. Drainage from the house. Is the soil at the foundation tapered / graded away from the house to allow for drainage? Are the gutters in great condition with no leaks and are they free of debris, such as leaves and twigs? Are the downspouts in great condition and lead the water well away from the house’s foundation? A simple curve that might be 6 inches at the bottom of the downspouts is not enough. An extension should be added to that piece. You might see a splash block at the bottom instead of an extension. I do not consider this acceptable to do the work, especially in a heavy downpour – and our area gets them.

3. Mechanicals. How much life is left on the HVAC and hot water heater? Typically, 15 years has been considered their general life span. Replacing an HVAC system is fairly expensive; a hot water heater replacement is much less, though still spendy. Consider the total costs of replacing, including installation cost. It adds up.

4. Foundation. Is it in great condition? It supports the house. When in question, have a structural engineer take a look at it. I can refer you to a great one, if you need it.

5. Overall condition of the house. Does it appear that the owners (and past owners) have taken great, consistent care of it? Do the current owners have an “operating manual” for the house? Are there records? I recommend to my sellers that they supply to buyers any records, details and any warranties on items in the home.

I hope these 5 key things to look for at a home Inspection was helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers!

Ken

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The Westover Bungalow in Arlington

The Westover Bungalow is soon to be on the market. Sitting prominently atop a hill in our lovely village, this charming period home has been a notable Westover landmark for so many decades. You can be the next fortunate owner.

orig_MW Washington Bd 03_1893192

Features:

4 bedrooms

2 baths

Eat-in kitchen

Storage

Generously-sized rooms

Updated and upgraded

Beautiful front sitting porch

Photos coming soon!

Please contact me for more information. We are so honored and delighted to bring The Westover Bungalow to you for your chance to be the next owner!

Ken & Team Yes I Ken!

703.981.4646

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