Jen’s Corner

7 Signs That You’ve Picked the Right Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home can be a complicated and stressful experience. There can be a lot of moving parts involved that may come as a surprise to people who have never been through the process before. This is why having a great real estate agent is critical.

Picking the right agent isn’t always easy, but you’ll definitely know if you’ve picked the right one for you. Here are seven signs that you’ve made a great decision in picking your real estate agent:

1. You like being around them

You don’t have to be head over heels in love with your real estate agent, but you need to at least enjoy being around him or her. You will spend a lot of time communicating with your agent, so the relationship needs to be a good one to help make the experience as painless as possible. There’s nothing worse than dealing with a person who you don’t like being around, especially if the going gets rough. If you don’t cringe at the sound of your agent’s voice then you might have found the right one.

2. They’re responsive and available

This point is non-negotiable. A good real estate agent will make themselves available to you and won’t leave you hanging when you’re waiting for a response. If your agent is leaving you feeling like a spurned date, they’re doing something wrong. The right agent understands how important and serious a real estate transaction is, and will always make sure to make your needs a priority.

3. They’ve asked you to get pre-approved

If you’re a buyer and you haven’t spoken with a mortgage professional before going out and looking at houses, a good real estate agent will ask you to. It might be frustrating if you don’t understand the reasons why, but a good agent knows that it’s for your own benefit just as much as theirs. There are a number of important things you might find out by going through the pre-approval process, many of which you should know before spending any of your time searching for a home. A good agent knows this, and wants you to know as well.

4. They’re proactive and not just reactive

This is one indicator that will set the right agent apart from everyone else. The right agent will not just go through the motions and take orders, they will be proactive in helping you identify and find the right solutions. For instance, instead of just sitting back and waiting for you to send properties you might have come across, a great agent is always on the hunt for the ideal property for you, and will communicate and suggest things that you might never have considered before. Being proactive is a mark of a true real estate professional.

5. They’re honest with you, even when it hurts

Just like honesty is important in a romantic relationship, so is honesty in a real estate relationship. The right agent will tell you the truth when you need to hear it, even if it’s inconvenient for them. It takes a lot of guts to be honest with someone when it might cost you money, but it’s also an ethical imperative, and a great agent will always put their own character, honesty, and integrity ahead of making a buck. And if they have to tell you the harsh truth that what you’re looking for is impossible, the right agent will do that too.

6. They don’t give up easily

A real estate transaction rarely goes off without a hitch these days, and sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring to keep you from buying or selling a home. But it’s much easier to throw your hands in the air and say “I give up,” or “Someone else can figure this out,” than it is to buckle down and come up with a solution. The right agent doesn’t give up, and will uncover a way to keep things moving, even it takes some creativity. The right agent fights for you, and doesn’t throw in the towel after getting jabbed.

7. They want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you’ve picked the right agent actually occurs either before or after you work with them on a deal. Even though real estate is transactional, the best agents look to build a relationship with their clients instead of just working with them on a deal and then disappearing. If your agent stays in touch, presents themselves as a constant resource, and is in it with you for the long-haul, then you’ve definitely found the right one for you.

10 Renovation Problems So Horrific Homeowners Will Wish They’d Moved

Sometimes the thought of renovating a home seems much easier than moving. But whether you’re undertaking a major restoration or a minor remodeling, what begins as a dream endeavor can quickly devolve into a nightmare.

Surprises may be lurking behind the walls and beneath the floorboards. Often, they can create a snowball effect where suddenly your initial project becomes an extreme (and expensive) home makeover straight out of a reality show.

The following home improvement mishaps are so extreme they may have homeowners asking themselves, “What have we done?” If it’s any consolation, at least they know they’re not alone. Instagram is filled with #renovationproblems that serve as cautionary tales. Take a look.

1. The vanishing contractor

As some homeowners learn the hard way, not all contractors are created equal. These folks had their builder up and quit, leaving them with a very incomplete-looking home. But aesthetics aside, exposing wood like that is just opening up the house (literally) to a whole host of problems, from the elements damaging the wood to pests making their way inside.

2. Ouch!

Even with shoes on, you still might not be immune from the hazards of hardware. Getting a nail in your foot will make you wonder if maybe you have a hole in your head for undertaking this project. You’ll definitely want to have your tetanus shots up to date in this case.

3. Drain drama

Many homeowners like to keep a safe and sterile distance between the kitchen and the bathroom. So it’s definitely unpleasant when you discover that you’ve had a plumbing issue that connects the two. You wouldn’t blame this gal if she’s not able to enjoy a meal at home any time soon!

4. Getting to the (very) bottom of the issue

Of course this homeowner wanted to get to the source of that dip in the floor but it looks like knowing when to stop may be the real problem. Perhaps this is a sign he’d really like to put in an indoor swimming pool? Now that’s a home improvement!

5. Fix one issue, discover another

When you’re in the middle of a renovation sometimes it feels like the only surprises you uncover are bad ones. In other words, for every homeowner who stumbles upon an invaluable heirloom, there are dozens of others who find asbestos. Or, at least that’s how it feels when you fix one thing but then realize you’ve got another project that demands your immediate attention as this homeowner did.

6. Sheetrock shocker

When you open up a wall, you may hold your breath and hope you don’t find anything creepy. These poor owners found creepy and crawling, just like something out of a horror film. This is one of those sights that it’s going to take a while to “unsee.”

7. Hole-y cow!

An opening in the ceiling is really only appealing when it involves a skylight. And while the hole itself is an issue here, it looks like there may be some other problems as well. Let’s hope, for the homeowner’s sake, that’s not mold we’re looking at.

8. A rocky foundation

You don’t need to be a structural engineer to recognize that this foundation has some significant flaws. This project is off to a rocky start, no pun intended. It’s also not a great sign that this happened on the very first day.

9. Rotten luck

Dry rot is definitely not something you want to find at any stage of a renovation. This issue, in which wood decays because a species of fungi consumes it, actually isn’t “dry” at all, but rather results from too much moisture coming in contact with the wood. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to extensive and expensive repairs.

10. Kitchen, what kitchen?

No doubt this kitchen will be beautiful when it’s finished, but this certainly looks like it could be challenging to live through this kitchen renovation. Hope they’ve got some friendly neighbors who’ll invite them over for a meal!

OMG…Hope This Doesn’t Happen With Your New Build

I thought I had seen it all until I witnessed this! Yep, this house had to be picked up and moved across the street because of a BIG error. The builder ended up putting the house WAY to close to the fence on one side. So close that the neighbors could high five! Word is that the builder is taking care of the buyers and making it right thankfully.

My thoughts…how does this get that far to where they just noticed the issue? Just looking at it I could have told you it was too far over. If they had a New Build Ninja checking on their home regularly the issue may have been intercepted earlier.

Anyway..random thought of the day. If you were the buyer, would you continue with the purchase? I’m wondering how many times the truck will have to back up and move over to line up the home perfectly.

5 Educational Tips to Learn About Buying a Home

How exciting to start the process of buying your own home! This is a very exciting time, but can also be scary with the fear of the unknown! Our goal is to help ease your nerves and learn the home buying steps before you hit the pavement and view some properties. The worst is when you find a home you’re in love with only to find out you can’t have it just yet. 

1) Who is this Ryan Guy? 

You’re probably wondering who this Ryan guy is that we recommend for your Mortgage! Check out this video of him explaining the process of applying for a home loan and answering some questions you might be already thinking! Talking to Ryan is going to be your first step in learning what you can afford and the steps it will take to achieve your homeownership dreams.

Meet Ryan!

2) The Downpayment Assistance Programs

Lots and lots of our clients have benefited from the Down Payment Assistance Programs including ourselves! Contrary to Popular Belief, these are not only for First Time Buyers. If you’re planning to occupy the home, let’s “taco” bout the Downpayment Assistance Grants.

Info about our experience here:

How We Bought For Only $750 Down

3) Buyer Cheat Sheet

A copy of our Buyer Cheat Sheet will be crucial to your home search. This has tips for what to do when preparing to buy, info about the loan programs, and a list of the home buying steps. You can use this as a checklist throughout the process to check off where you are and know what’s next.

Email me for a copy of the Cheat Sheet! 

Jennifer@evoaz.com
  
4) What Costs Can I Expect?

Next up! Here is a sweet informal video from Katie Lambert, our Team Owner, about some costs to expect when buying or selling a home. The first half is geared toward home buyers. Definitely take a peek at it when you get a chance!

Closing Costs for Buyers and Sellers

5) Where to Move?

So you’re ready to start looking, YAY! This link has 5 Tips for Choosing the Right Neighborhood. There are some GREAT tips here that you probably didn’t think of!

Tips on Choosing a Neighborhood

JD a.k.a. Jen Duncan

Jennifer@evoaz.com

480-707-7554

Phoenix Real Estate Tip of the Week…#1 – The Appraisal

An appraisal can be a scary thing! Is the home going to be worth what I’m buying it for? Or, is my appraisal going to be high enough so I can get rid of my Private Mortgage Insurance? Some people are wondering what the heck an appraisal is!

When you buy, sell, or refinance a home, it must have an appraisal completed to ensure the home is worth what you are purchasing it for. The only instance where you wouldn’t need an appraisal is if the buyer is paying cash and not taking out a mortgage.

An appraisal can be very exciting if you find out your home is worth more than you are buying it for, but can also be detrimental if it comes in under value and both parties can’t agree to lower the price.

It’s important for your Realtor to take some measures to help with this process. Because the Phoenix Real Estate market is a sellers market currently, sellers are pricing their homes higher to see what kind of offers they can get, and they are getting them! Some agents are encouraging their clients to offer above list price in an effort to secure the home against multiple offers. However, this plan can backfire badly! It’s always a good idea for your Realtor to research the last 90 days of comparable home sales when putting together an offer to be proactive and avoid any appraisal headaches. A great listing agent will have a conversation with the appraiser to go over the comparable home sales, best features of the home, and perks of the neighborhood in an effort to educate them on why the purchase price should be supported.

We recently started the process of refinancing our new build home in Eastmark. Because the home is only 6 months old, there are not many listings on the Multiple Listing Service to run a comparable home search. This lead the appraiser to just grab homes in the same size range that weren’t truly a match to our home.

Here are 5 Things I Did to Help the Appraiser Determine Our Home Value:

1) Pulled all of the park facing homes that closed in the last 90 days that are model matches.

2) Compared lot sizes and similar features

3) Listed all upgrades that we’ve done to the home after moving in

4) Attached a sheet with all of our upgrades from the design center

5) Provided a link to the builder website to show the cost to build our exact model

As always, if you are thinking of moving in the near future please feel free to reach out so we can chat about what’s best for you!

Much Love,

Jen Duncan a.k.a. JD a.k.a #NewBuildNinja

Jennifer@EvoAZ.com

Message me on Facebook!