The Risk of Buying a Home Online Without a Morgan Hill Real Estate Agent

Online House SearchThese days, we can do a quick search and buy just about anything online, so why not do the same with real estate? It may seem like it would be quicker and easier than the traditional method of buying property, but there are actually many reasons why you shouldn’t jump into purchasing your next home on the Internet, especially without a Morgan Hill real estate agent to help you through the home buying process. Here are some of the top risks people encounter when going this route.

Potential For Missing Several Listings

The Internet can be a great place to start your home search. It will give you a good idea about what’s for sale on the market and give you some important details about neighborhoods and the surrounding area, but your search definitely shouldn’t begin and end online. You can’t possibly find every available listing on your own since real estate agents often have knowledge of exclusive listings that only their clients are able to access, which means there is great potential for you to miss out on the perfect home if you don’t even know it’s out there. The other side of this is that there could be so many listings to wade through that you don’t even know where to start or how to focus your search without an agent who has the skill to match your criteria with what’s on the market.

Paying Higher Prices/Victim of Fraud

Buying a home online means the very real possibility of paying much more than you would if you had a real estate agent working the deal for you. First, an agent will give a much more accurate assessment of a home’s value than you’ll get from a free online tool estimate. Second, an agent will identify what comparable homes are selling for to ensure you don’t end up paying way over this amount. And third, a buyer’s agent will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best price overall, sometimes even getting the seller to pay the closing costs.

In addition to paying a higher price, online buyers have a higher chance of getting swindled. The Internet is full of people who are ready to make you their next victim of fraud, and the real estate market is not exempt from that. There are plenty of fake listings out there as well as the dangers of unsecured monetary transactions.

Not Knowing Exactly What You’re Getting

One of the biggest risks a buyer is taking when they purchase a home online is having to trust photos and the description when it comes to appearance and condition. By not physically seeing a property first, they can never really know exactly what they’re getting. You may think that the description seems very detailed, but there could always be information missing that would make a significant impact on your buying decision or the price you offer if you were there to actually see it in person.

Taking On All Home Buying Tasks Yourself

There is a lot of paperwork and a long list of “to-dos” when it comes to the home buying process. When you choose to forego working with a real estate agent, all of that falls on your shoulders alone. The stress of finding homes, setting up showings, negotiating deals, filling out paperwork, scheduling inspections, etc. can really deter the excitement of buying a home and leave you feeling defeated instead. It also opens up the door for mistakes to be made when you don’t have a professional guiding you.

The Internet is great for many things and has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, but when it comes to home buying, it just can’t compete with the value of having a Morgan Hill real estate agent on your side.

Hiring the Wrong Real Estate Agent and 4 Other Big Mistakes First-Time Gilroy Homebuyers Make

11415401116_54bdfd6d34Buying a home for the first time should be one of the most satisfying experiences of your life. However, it doesn’t always end up that way for those who go into the process without fully thinking everything through. There are many variables associated with becoming a homeowner, and a lot of things can go wrong when you least expect it, but as long as you have the right Gilroy real estate agent on your side and avoid the rest of these mistakes you should achieve the outcome you hope for.

Not Including All the Costs When Determining a Budget

Anyone will tell you that the first step to buying a home is figuring out a financial plan and budget in order to know how much you will be able to afford each month. What they might leave out is that your monthly mortgage payments aren’t the only cost you need to allocate funds for. Having a good-sized down payment is always a plus, and the homebuyer is almost always responsible for taking care of closing costs as well as home inspection and appraisal fees. Then you will also need to factor in moving expenses and potential upfront home repairs. If you’re truly ready to buy a home, you’ll have money to cover each of these considerations.

Not Getting Pre-Approved For a Loan

Once you’ve sat down and put together a pretty complete financial plan, the next item on your to-do list should be getting pre-approved for a loan. This not only allows you to know exactly where your price range falls before you start your home search, but also lets sellers know just how serious you are about buying. It’s not a good feeling when you start falling in love with a house only to find out you can’t realistically afford it or the sellers are entertaining offers from others who are already pre-approved.

Not Working With the Right Real Estate Agent

Hiring the wrong real estate agent, or not one at all, can make a significant difference in the outcome of your home buying venture and the overall experience you have throughout the process. Your agent should be looking out for your best interests, working hard to make things as stress free as possible and ensuring you don’t make any of these other errors we’re talking about. They should be knowledgeable about the area, committed to seeking out properties that match your criteria and able to bring listings to the table that you wouldn’t be able to find on your own.

Not Getting a Home Inspection

It’s more common for buyers to skip the home inspection step than you might think, and it’s a big no-no. You might be tempted to save on the added expense, but inspections often reveal serious problems that you wouldn’t otherwise know about until it’s too late. Knowing if there are any issues ahead of time gives you the opportunity to rethink if this is really a home you want to invest in, renegotiate the asking price and/or arrange a new deal with the sellers to have everything fixed beforehand.

Not Thinking About the Big Picture

A home is probably the biggest investment you’re ever going to make, but because it’s all so exciting, it’s also easy to let your emotions take control of your decision-making. That’s why so many first-time homebuyers make the mistake of either jumping too quickly to purchase one of the first homes they see or come off as too picky. Going either of these routes instead of looking at the big picture can be dangerous. Keep in mind that your exact “dream home” may not be available, especially in the budget you’re working with, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle either. Find a home that you can afford and has a lot of elements that you really like, but don’t ever feel like you have to compromise what’s most important to you and your family.

These tips should help make your first-time home buying experience a little easier, and so will your Gilroy real estate agent.

4 Things Your Morgan Hill Real Estate Agent Wants You To Know

Family-room-700Getting your house sold is often affected as much by your presentation of it as by the current housing market. Give your Morgan Hill real estate agent a selling edge by taking care of these buyer turnoffs.

Your Price Might Be a Bit High

Yes, we know that your house, which you’ve remodeled endlessly and carefully landscaped with an overwhelming number of hybrid tea roses, was a labor of love, but the next person might not see it the same way. Be willing to negotiate on the price. A real estate agent recommends setting the price slightly below market value for similar houses; this will position your house to sell.

Your House Needs Some Cleanup

We’ve seen it all–the house with a half-done or shoddy paint job, the closets that avalanche when we open them to show the “space” to potential buyers, the overgrown shrubs, or the telltale signs of cockroach or rodent infestations. Paint, clean up the clutter, trim the shrubs, or call pest control–do whatever you need to do to take care of these unsightly issues. Don’t forget unmade beds, dirty dishes, and gross bathrooms. Those need attention too and only take a little time to resolve.

Your Pets Are Less-Than-Friendly

You may think Fido and Peaches are the most saintly pets on the planet, but buyers may not agree. Pets that bark, scratch, or snarl can cost you a sale. Some buyers are afraid of large dogs or dog species that are known to be dangerous. Also, be aware that exotic pets may keep some buyers from even entering the house. It’s best to take pets off the premises during home showings.

You House Needs a Fresh Smell

You may have a few pets, but your house shouldn’t smell like it. Empty those kitty litter boxes, get the carpet cleaned, and clean up dog doo-doo in the yard. Strong cooking smells can send some buyers packing too. If you need to cook your favorite garlic and onion dish, do your buyers a favor by airing out the house with natural air. For many buyers, cigarette smoke is a detractor. Take your smoking outside if possible. You can also create pleasing aromas for potential buyers with lightly scented candles or freshly baked cookies.

Position your house to sell. After all, both you and your Morgan Hill real estate agent will benefit from selling your house sooner rather than later.

How to Paint Your House to Sell: Tips from Your Gilroy Real Estate Agent

Modern-Trade-PainterWhen you’re getting ready to sell your house, it’s worth your while to get it looking its best. Giving it a fresh paint job is a fast, economical way to do that. With that, your Gilroy real estate agent may be able to sell your house faster and get a higher price for you. Here are some tips.

Buy Supplies

Obviously, you’ll need to buy the paint. Check your local hazardous waste recycling center for leftover paint from business contractors. This could actually be free! One savvy homeowner bought several five-gallon buckets of brand new paint for $45 at a recycling center. Or you can check the mistints section at your local retailer for discounted paint. Regardless how you buy it, go for paint that is better quality–at least mid-grade quality. It might take less coats of paint and will be more durable. Buy primer if you are painting over wood, drywall, or stained surfaces or if you are covering a dark or bright color. (Tip from your real estate agent: buy paint in neutral colors; those sell a house better.)

You’ll need at least one large paint brush for trimming, a small angled paint brush for corners, and a paint roller and tray. To protect surfaces not being painted, buy masking or painter’s tape and drop cloths (preferably canvas or plastic drop cloths). You can even use old shower curtains and vinyl tablecloths for drop cloths; find some on the cheap at your local thrift store. Get some spackle (and a spackle spatula) and sandpaper as well.

Prepare the Room

First off, take everything off the walls and  move everything out of the room. If you’re not able to take large furniture out of the room, move it to the center of the room and cover it with a large drop cloth. Spread drop cloths over the floor areas where you’ll be painting. Remove outlet covers and door handles. Next, apply masking tape to your trim and windows. Touch up cracks, bumps, and dents with spackling and smooth out rough textures with sandpaper. Wash the surface to be painted in order to remove dust and grease. If there’s mold, use bleach to remove the mold before painting over it.

Paint Away!

Now, you’re ready to paint. Trim the room first by taking your paint brushes and painting all the edges and corners first. (However, if you’re painting the baseboards, wait to do those until last.) Then, roll paint on the main areas, starting with the ceiling (if you’re painting that) and working your way down to the floor. Usually, you’ll need at least two coats of paint.

Paint jobs will generally take more than one day, especially if you’re applying more than one coat of paint. You can skip cleaning paint brushes and rollers between coats of the same paint. Just wrap them tightly in plastic bags, tie them shut, and leave them for the next day.
Now, you’re ready to sell. Take it from your  Gilroy real estate agent–a house with some fresh paint will outpace the competition and sell sooner.

How to Find Homes For Sale in Gilroy That Meet Your Criteria

11415768915_83a98098aaOnce you’ve made the decision to buy a home, it’s exciting to start thinking about the new chapter you’re going to open in your life. However, there are many variables to consider throughout the entire buying process, and one thing you should keep in mind is that house hunting is not for the faint of heart. It can get overwhelming really fast if you don’t have the right guidance and a clear view of what you’re looking for, but in the end, when you’re given the keys to your new property and you start to feel the accomplishment of being a homeowner, it’s all worth it. The good news is there are a few things you can do during your search to help keep your sanity and find homes for sale in Gilroy that will actually meet your criteria.

Identify What is Truly a Priority

Many home buyers have a long list of features and amenities that they want to see in a home. The trick is identifying which of those items are things that are deal breakers and which would just be an added bonus. Understanding your true priorities is the first step in conducting a realistic home search. A list that’s too long and specific can rule out several great homes, and one that’s too broad will have you going to every open house in town. What you don’t want to compromise on is budget, location, size and structural integrity; the rest should be flexible for the most part.

Work With a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will be one of your best resources when it comes to your home search. Someone who is knowledgeable about the market and very familiar with the area can save you the trouble of having to do extensive research about neighborhoods, schools, entertainment, crime, property values, etc. Your agent will also be able to keep you up-to-date on the newest listings and give you access to sale properties that you wouldn’t be able to find on your own.

Don’t Limit Your Search

These days there are several techniques you can utilize to find homes for sale. It’s important you take of advantage of this and don’t limit your search to just one or two methods or you could be limiting your available options. The MLS database is always a great place to start, especially since it lets you define quite a bit of the elements you’re looking for. If you have some extra time, going the old-fashioned route and driving around with your agent might be a nice way to spend a weekend afternoon, but it’s likely you would prefer already having appointments lined up for you to check out in person. This is where the Internet and social media become a big help. House hunting online can keep you from wasting time – it’s even possible to see virtual tours of homes before making the effort to fit open houses into your busy schedule.

Keeping these points in mind as you begin your house hunt should help you stay on track until you locate the perfect one and will make it much easier to weed through all the homes for sale in Gilroy.

Homes for Sale: How to Flip a House in Morgan Hill

buy foreclosure home morgan hill caFlipping houses is a real estate term for taking a property, often distressed or abandoned, fixing it up, and selling it. While it may look extremely easy on TV–everything looks easy on TV–it actually requires a good deal of strategic shrewdness and sweat equity (otherwise known as hard work). But, if done right, you can turn a good profit on Morgan Hill homes for sale.

Look for the House Bargains

Location, location, location. This is your first and biggest consideration. Here’s where a good knowledge of your city will help you. Research neighborhoods, schools, crime rates, proximity to shopping and entertainment, and future development plans (public, commercial, and residential).

Foreclosures are the most common, but are a highly competitive market since you’re not the only buyer looking for a bargain. Watch the public records of foreclosures. You may be able to jump in and offer a short sale to an underwater homeowner. This is where you offer a discounted price for the home. It can be a win-win situation for both you and the homeowner, since it will help them avoid the devastation of foreclosure and help you gain a bargain. Homes for sale by auction or homes owned by the bank are also great bargain-hunting opportunities.

Fixer-uppers are another option. Here’s where the principle of progression applies: a little, old house surrounded by larger, more expensive homes increases the value of the little, old house. Buying the worst house in a great neighborhood can actually be a good investment. Some buyers will jump at the chance to live in a nicer area even if it means living in the smallest, humblest house in the neighborhood.

Calculate Expenses

You may want to hire an inspector to help you evaluate the repairs needed. If nothing else, another pair of eyes can spot things you may have missed.

Sit down with your calculator. House flipping works the best for those who have some construction or handyman skills. If you’re able to do some of the repairs yourself, calculate your time as part of the cost. If you’ll need to hire contractors, estimate the cost to do so. Don’t forget the cost of labor codes. Then add 20% to your estimate since repairs usually end up costing more than you expected. If you need to be selective on repairs, focus on the kitchen. There are plenty of buyers out there who’ve chosen a house based on the kitchen. Make sure mama’s gonna be happy. Add the mortgage expense, insurance, and taxes that you’ll need to pay while you’re fixing the house and trying to sell it. Here again, add 20% to the amount of time you think that will take. Now, you have an estimate of the costs involved in flipping the house and you’re ready to make an offer.

Flipping houses is not for the faint of heart. Developing the ability to land great house bargains and make accurate estimates of expenses will help you turn the best ROI on Morgan Hill homes for sale.

Characteristics of a Great Morgan Hill Real Estate Agent

Sale Results

Your real estate agent can make or break the experience of buying and selling a home. Many qualities separate the good real estate agents in Morgan Hill from the great ones, but here’s a few that really seem to make the most difference:

They set boundaries.

This one is so important and it’s not one that people often recognize. A real estate agent who can keep good boundaries with you as a client is probably keeping good boundaries with everyone else involved in your home buying and selling process. You won’t need to worry about getting walked all over or ignored because your agent is keeping everyone in line, including you.

They have a large network.

Everyone has to start somewhere… even a new real estate agent has to take some time building their client and network base, but everyone comes into the game with various circles of influence. The key is knowing how to use them. A great agent is innovative enough to utilize the network they currently have to your advantage.

They are honest – with you and everyone else.

A great real estate agent should be as honest with you as they are with everyone else. They should be able to look you in the eye and tell you that your expectations need an adjustment or that you’ll need to work a little harder to get your home ready to put on the market. If they are being honest with you, they are probably being honest with everyone else.

They have excellent communication (and listening) skills.

Everyone has different communication styles. Do you prefer to be reached via email or phone? Do you like fluffy, long-winded conversations, or do you want to get right to the point? An excellent real estate agent can quickly read what forms of communication work best for you and will offer you that same quality of interaction every time you talk.

They are loyal.

When you can sense someone’s loyalty, it instantly builds trust. Buying and/or selling a home can be one of the most stressful experiences people face. You want people you can trust surrounding you through the emotional roller coaster of the whole process. Your agent is no exception.

They like being a real estate agent.

Some people are very good at a job, but they don’t necessarily enjoy it. As a customer, you can usually tell who those people are. An agent could possess all of the characteristics listed above, but if they don’t enjoy their profession, you probably won’t enjoy working with them.

You don’t want to rush the process of choosing your Morgan Hill real estate agent, and a great one won’t push you into making a decision quickly. Whether you are relocating here from out of the area or just upgrading to your dream home, take your time, ask lots of questions, and in the end, let your gut instinct be your guide.


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