Trends, Testimonials, War Stories & Other Real Estate Related Adventures

Archive for December, 2013

RE/MAX Housing Blog – A Home is More than Walls & Plaster

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After a month of negotiations, last-minute closing hurdles, a roof replacement in the dead of winter and other adventures, we finally closed the sale on our old home – and our new one – all in time for the holidays.

At the closing table for our old home, we sat across from a family of first-time homebuyers who were clearly excited to make new memories in a new home. We exchanged friendly banter. We told them about that pesky humidifier control switch in the basement and shared insights about the neighborhood. All the while, though, my thoughts were on our new dream home.

When our lender handed us a stack of notecards with a picture of our new home on the front, with its beautiful brick exterior and the plentiful, cheery windows, I felt a sense of pride mixed with anxiety. We really did it!

Almost two weeks after getting our new keys, boxes are still pleading with us to unpack them, and smiling faces stare at me from photo frames that need to be put on display. Our to-do list is longer than we expected, but we’re slowly making our way through it and checking off items. 

In the moment I was unpacking the gleaming crystal stemware and trinkets that will go into my late mother’s china cabinet, I became overwhelmed as I thought back to my childhood. My mom was a single mother of two who worked two, sometimes three, jobs to provide the roof over our heads, the food on the table and as normal an upbringing as possible after my father passed away.

She poured a lot of time and effort into making our home comfortable. I never understood her obsession with perfecting the house; after all, it was just walls and plaster, right? But as I stood in my new formal dining room and handled those precious memories encased in bubble wrap that are now mine to treasure, it dawned on me that the home my mother created was a labor of love. And because she did that, it was a safe place. A place where I felt I belonged.

I look around my new home and I don’t think about furniture or the electronics or the square footage. I look around and see memories waiting to be created.

I realize now what I failed to appreciate when I was younger: Home is the place where a family plants its roots and grows before life takes us all in different directions. Because no matter where you go or what you do in life, memories and feelings of your home stay with you forever.

Blog provided by:  By Deborah Kearns, RE/MAX Senior Editor, Corporate Communications


How Much Should I Offer on This Sweet Deal?

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Oh my, “it” just came on the market! The one you’ve been waiting a year for. And what a sweet sweet deal it is! It probably  needs work, because it’s 10K below everything else that has sold in the same area within the last year.  You look at the pictures – which don’t indicate a fixer-upper, but a house that has been lovingly maintained with more updates than you expected. Sounds too good to be true! Your agent tells you to move fast, get in to look, then make sure you have time to go right to the office to write up an offer if you like what you see.

But what to offer? At this point, having waited a year for this house, having watched the others go to settlement for 10K more than this – those that you didn’t see fast enough, took too long to think about or offered less than another buyer…. you are inclined, anxious even, to give them their asking price.

LISTEN TO YOUR AGENT!! If you don’t offer at least $5,050 over the asking price, someone else will get this one, too. Pricing it too low is a strategy. Price it low to sell it quick for the highest price possible. Price it too low in a neighborhood with a good track record, and that seller will obtain multiple offers and every offer will be over asking price.

Offer as high as possible with the sweetest terms you can manage!