Dear Valued Client,

Are there local businesses that you often recommend to friends and colleagues? A favorite flower shop? A skilled home improvement contractor? A great fitness trainer? What is it that you do? I would be more than happy to refer your professional services.

As an expert in the real estate arena, I often get asked for recommendations by clients. It’s important to me that the professionals I refer are both reputable and skilled.

Keeping a list of recommended service people and suppliers is just one of the many ways I help my clients increase the enjoyment of their homes.

I hope you enjoy our premier newsletter. We want to make this a big source of help for all our clients and would appreciate some feedback of what you would like to see in our upcoming issues.

Best Regards,

Hossein Abadi, President

Check Your Credit Report

Have you seen the humorous TV commercial that features someone lamenting the consequences of not having checked his credit score?

Of course, having something negative on your credit report is nothing to laugh about. When shopping for a home, it can even get in the way of securing a good mortgage.

If you don't know what your credit report says, it's relatively easy to find out. Just visit the websites of Equifax or Trans Union. You can order a copy of your credit report from either of these companies for a reasonable fee.

If there is any incorrect information about you – which isn't uncommon on credit reports – you can request an immediate correction.

If there is derogatory information that isn't a mistake – such as a few late payments – you're entitled to have your side of the story included in your credit report. For example, if you were unemployed for a few months, and that's the reason you were behind on a few bills, then it may be helpful to let lenders know.

Plan Your Move Well in Advance

One of the most common mistakes made by home buyers and sellers is not arranging for moving day well in advance. Even if you've just put your property on the market, or are only in the beginning stages of shopping for a new home, you should start planning for moving day now. If you don't, you might find yourself scrambling to make arrangements, which can be – to put it mildly – stressful.

Start now by researching moving companies and making a short list. You should also find economical sources of boxes, bubble wrap and other packaging materials you may need.

If you plan to do some or all of the move yourself, don't assume that uncle Ned is going to help you. Get rock solid commitments from any family or friends who have volunteered to be there on moving day.

Little Touch Ups That Make a Big Difference

You are probably already aware of the major things you need to do around your home to get it ready for sale. These include getting rid of clutter, doing minor repairs, and making everything clean and tidy so every room is as much of a showcase as possible.

But there are a myriad of little touch ups you can do that you may not have thought about before… touch ups that can make a big difference in how attractive your home looks to potential buyers.

Here are just a few:

  • Paint or replace the mailbox.
  • Add a couple of flowering plants to key areas, such as the dining room, living room, and just outside the front door.
  • Patch up any minor cracks in the driveway and walkways. (If there is a major crack, consider getting it repaired by a professional.)
  • Put out the welcome mat. Literally! If it's not clean and completely free of stains, replace it.
  • Clean your stainless steel kitchen sink using a special stainless steel cleaner and brightener. The effect will be dramatic; the sink will look like new.
  • Use a special spot cleaner to lift any stains from carpeted areas.
  • Replace plain or out-of-style light fixtures in the main areas of your home, such as the hallway and living room. Without spending a fortune, you can make a big difference in how these areas look.
  • Consider replacing the hardware on the doors and drawers of old kitchen cabinetry. That, along with some touch-up paint or varnish on worn areas, can make your older kitchen look young again.

These simple ideas can have a big impact on first impressions, yet they don't cost much to implement, and you can probably do most of them in less than a day.

Want more tips on making your home appealing to buyers? Call today.

Top 10 Steps to Consider When Purchasing Your New Home

You finally are at a stage in life where you are financially stable and ready to purchase your new home. I'm sure you remember the process of navigating the rental market. Unlike that market which we may equate to baby steps, purchasing your first home if not properly executed, can feel like a giant leap into an uncertain future. My goal after you read this article is to make it feel like a stroll in the park.

  1. Pick your top three neighborhoods of interest.
  2. Do your research in regard to the difference between a condo and co-op.
  3. Enlist the service of a Mortgage Broker who can help you finance the purchase of your new home. A good Mortgage Broker could help you get prequalified for a loan, which will enhance your negotiating process. Also make sure you have an additional 2 to 5 percent of the selling price to cover your closing costs.
  4. Team up with a Licensed Real Estate Sales Agent, working with a professional opens up a whole lot of new options that you may not have known were available.
  5. When deciding on a property of interest, consider additional costs you may incur due to repairs or upgrades.
  6. Hire a Real Estate Attorney who is licensed in your area of interest.
  7. Work with a qualified Building Inspector. Mortgage companies require site inspections.
  8. Understanding the process of purchasing your first home is not something to be rushed. Whether it takes one month, two months or six months etc. It is more important to find a place you are happy to call home and share with loved ones.
  9. Make sure you and the seller settle on a tentative closing date.
  10. Do not forget your final walk through. This is usually done the day before the closing to ensure the property is in the condition as agreed upon in the contract.

I hope these ten steps help to make the purchase of your new home a pleasurable experience.

Please feel free to reach out with any real estate questions you may have.

Written by Selwyn Griffith, Licensed Real Estate Sales Agent