Monday, October 16, 2017

8 questions to ask when choosing a realtor

8 questions to ask when choosing a realtor

Most people find real estate agents through friends and family. A personal recommendation or endorsement is one of the most important reasons people say they chose one agent over another. And that holds true for The Stenger Group. Repeat customers and referrals are definitely the way we get most of our customers, and it's how we know we are providing quality service.

But if you don't have a referral, consider asking these questions. A good real estate agent won't shy away from answering them.

How long have you been in residential real estate?
Like most professions, experience is no guarantee of skill. But much of real estate is learned on the job.
What’s your business philosophy?
While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.
How many buyers did you and your real estate brokerage represent last year?
This will tell you how much experience they have and how up-to-date they are on the local market.
What’s the average variation between your initial offers and final sales price?
This is one indication of an agent’s pricing and negotiating skills.
Will you represent me exclusively, or might you choose to represent the seller as well?
While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, your agent should be able to explain his or her philosophy on client obligations and agency relationships. 
Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and so on?
Practitioners should be able to recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with any of the providers.
How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?
The best answer here is a question. A real estate agent who pays close attention to the way you prefer to communicate and responds accordingly will make for the smoothest transaction.
Could you please give me the contact information of your three most recent clients?

Ask their former customers if they would use the agent again in the future.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quick Tip to Brighten a Room

If your room is lacking in natural light, don't worry. There's a hack for that: Simply place a light source in front of a mirror. The reflected light brightens any room instantly.

Designers frequently use this trick not only to add to the overall brightness of a space but also to make it feel larger. Any light source will do, including table lamps, floor, lamps, wall sconces and even candles.

Another bright idea: Painting the ceiling white will also brighten a room.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

7 Reasons to Own A Home

As you write your rent check this month, you may be wondering whether renting still makes the most financial sense for you. Consider these benefits that come with home ownership. 
Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.

Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.

Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.

Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.

Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.

Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity. 
With 971 homes on the market in just the Springfield area alone, the perfect home for you is probably out there. Call us at 417.880.1174 so we can help you find it.
Source: REALTOR® Mag