Help Buyers Fall For Your Home In Autumn

November 2nd, 2018

Kirsten Milliken – The Marc Gup Group at Keller Williams

Help Buyers Fall For Your Home In Autumn

 

Many Mainers live for the 10 weeks of summer we get from June to August. The weather is sunny, warm, and conducive to enjoying time enjoying the spectacular natural beauty of our state. It’s also a great time to sell a home. Fall is also a great time to showcase your Maine home for sale. With the colors of turning leaves attracting leaf peepers and the promise of fantastic winter sports opportunities, many people are looking to move to Maine before the holidays.  Here are some great tips to help buyers fall for your home in Autumn:

Keep Your Yard Clean: As pretty as the leaves are on the trees, a yard full of fallen leaves can detract from the beauty of your home. If raking is too much, hire a landscaping team to remove the leaves weekly. Make sure to put your summer gardens to bed. Trim bushes and trees so they look neat and let sun into your house. Cleaning up outside can make the inside of your house shine during our dwindling daylight hours.

Curb Appeal: The stores and farm stands are full of terrific decorative items to catch buyer’s eyes as they approach your home. Pumpkins, mums, and marigolds are great fall accents to be placed on door steps and along pathways.

What’s Cooking? Bring the season indoors as well. The sight and smells of apple, pumpkin and pine are delights to the senses of any buyer. If you are ambitious, bake some pumpkin muffins or have a fragrant stew cooking on the stove.

Change Filters: Make sure to test your heating system and change the filters on your HVAC system. Ideally, you also want to get your heating system serviced before you start using it each season. Buyers will also want to see that you have regular maintenance done to your HVAC systems.

Fall Dusting: The summer months often leave behind a layer of dust that becomes more noticeable once we start closing windows and doors to keep the heat in. Make sure to clean your windows and screens inside and out, dust ledges and other surfaces that might get missed in warmer months.

Let There Be Light: Above all else make sure your home is well lit. Change light bulbs, turn on all the lights, and open the shades. You may want to add some lights behind large pieces of furniture to give a brighter feel to a room with few windows. While you don’t want to restrict potential viewings later in the day, ask your Realtor to encourage buyer agents to show your home during daylight hours.

 

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

Keep Calm and Inspect On!

November 2nd, 2018

Brittney Barr – The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keep Calm and Inspect On

The inspection process can be the most stressful part of buying or selling a home.

The inspector goes through the home and points out every single flaw and gives a detailed 40-page report. That can be hard to swallow when you’re the home buyer. One thing that is important

to know and be prepared for prior to inspection, is that something will always come up. Almost any home will come with a list of “To-Do’s”. The important part of the “to do” list is to talk with your

Realtor to understand what the next step is to fixing the issues. One major way to help a buyer through this process as referenced in the Realtor.com article “Home Inspection’s Complete?

Here’s What you Must Ask Afterward” the buyer needs to ask the inspector for a detailed explanation on any parts of the report they don’t understand. This is part of their job, to help the

purchaser understand the issues that come up. Ask them if they believe the problem to be minor or major. Most of the time the inspector will point out major concerns and refer a specialist to look

at it. As a buyer agent, I like to have a list of professionals ready to call once an inspection is over. Not only does the buyer want to understand the problem they want to know HOW MUCH IT

MIGHT COST to repair. Once the buyer understands both aspects it’s time to decide which party, the buyer or the seller, will repair the issue.    

My job, as your Realtor, is to help you stay realistic and realize a house will always need maintenance. We want to know the difference

between a safe home and one that is a money pit. Putting together a plan of action is helpful. What needs to be done immediately, what

needs to be done in 3 months, and what needs to be done in 1 year? Prioritize and break down the flaws to alleviate

the stress of the big picture. The big picture, after all, is buying the home you have been looking for!

 

 

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

Green Homes

October 22nd, 2018

By Pamela Higgins

The Marc Gup Group

Shared from her “Homekeepr” app

 

Green homes are becoming a really big deal these days. Whether that means that an older home is being retrofitted with energy-saving equipment or a brand spanking new one is growing up green, it is apparently much easier to be green than we’ve been led to believe.

The Numbers Are Coming In

A long-term study of homes in the Austin-Round Rock, Texas area found that homes built between 2008 and 2016 got a significant value boost from their efforts. Homes that held the gold standard “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) certification were worth, on average, eight percent more than traditionally built homes.

That might not sound like a lot, but when you consider the average new home in that market sells for $311,000, and eight percent of that is $24,888, it’s kind of a big deal. Even homes built to a more generic “green” standard saw a six percent price boost. That’s a lot of green for being green.

Elements of a LEED-Certified Green Home

So great, green houses are worth a lot more than their counterparts. What does it even mean to be “green?” This is a great question that has been asked again and again. Green homes are more than skin-deep. When you’re talking about new construction, these are homes that were designed from the ground up to be the least disruptive to the environment and very energy efficient.

These six items are necessities for any green housing certification:

* Site planning and development. Although we don’t really consider it much, we’re major disruptions to native plant and animal life, what with all of our house-building and whatnot. Site planning starts with a site that’s not located near protected spaces like wetlands. Then the house is placed on the plan with an orientation such that it can take maximum advantage of green technology like solar panels and wind turbines.
* Material origin and longevity. Your green home is made of materials that were each carefully considered and chosen for a particular reason (and not because they were the cheapest!). Factors that are taken into account include the manufacturing process, distance to transport the materials and even what the material is made of. The goal is to increase durability so you don’t have to replace anything soon and reduce overall resource consumption.
* Smart water use. Not only are green buildings designed to waste as little water as possible, with low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets, they should even be built to help prevent runoff. Gray water is often rerouted to landscape and rainwater is collected and either sent into the ground through a trench, pit or well to prevent erosion around the house or it’s used to water landscape.
* A high level of energy efficiency. Each and every item in a green home is meant to keep the entire system as efficient as possible. This means high R-rated insulation, highly efficient HVAC systems, low energy use light bulbs and even those solar panels or wind turbines that were taken into consideration in the site plan.
* Excellent indoor air quality. Hey, it’s not all about saving money, green homes are also homes that are easier to live in. When your house vents combusting appliances properly, has minimal off-gassing from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and plenty of ventilation to purge any fumes that may linger, you can be sure you’re breathing crystal-clear air in a greener home.
* Proper operation and maintenance. When the home is built and sold, the real challenge begins. How a homeowner maintains and runs their equipment has a huge impact on how green their home truly is. By leaving a breadcrumb trail of tools like smart thermostats, water-saving fixtures and highly efficient appliances, a green builder is doing what they can to ensure homeowners stick to the plan.

Even if you own an older home, you can bring it up to LEED standards with a great deal of effort. Adding green elements bit by bit is less of an overwhelming process, which is why so many people are green remodeling these days.

That could mean anything from installing a new HVAC system and vents that better disburse that highly efficient climate control to adding solar panels to help with electricity usage or just working on one conservation effort at a time, like water consumption. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation.

Greening Up My Home Is Too Overwhelming…

It’s ok, that’s why you have your Realtor, they can quickly help you find an expert that can get started turning your home into a lean, green machine. Give us a call and get started on your green journey today!

 

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

 

 

Winning in Multiple Offer Situations

February 23rd, 2018

Winning in Multiple Offer Situations

Brittney Barr

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

Winning in multiple offer situations. Buying and selling and home can be a very emotional experience. For the seller, a house holds emotional ties and memories. For a buyer, the home buying process can be much like a roller coaster. In searching for homes this past summer a few of my buyers found themselves on this rollercoaster. One in particular, looked at 12 homes and put 3 different offers in. Each time we put an offer in we found ourselves in a multiple offer situation. We put in an offer and the roller coaster begins with excitement and nervousness. Then, we find out we were outbid or in back-up positions…the big let-down. As a Realtor, in that kind of a market I realized we would have to be creative, especially when my buyer’s funds were tight and we stretched as much as we could. While getting creative might mean waiving inspections or financing contingencies, an article researched in the Wall Street Journal by Kamping-Carder (2018)

Get Creative

found “penning a letter came in a close third, increasing a buyer’s odds by 52.2%” (p. M7). So, we got creative and attached a written letter by the buyers themselves of why they wanted this particular home and what it would mean for their family. We sent this letter attached to the offer for the sellers. Once again, we were in a multiple offer situation. The sellers responded and although we might not have been the highest offer, we were the accepted offer! Remember, I said selling a house was an emotional experience for the seller as well. “The letter is another tool to increase the seller’s confidence… and assuring him or her the home will be cared for” (Kamping-Carder, 2018, p. M7). Get creative and negotiate the best offer for your buyers!

Sources:

Kamping-Carder, L. (2018, January 19). Want the House? Write a Letter. The Wall Street Journal, pp. M7- M8.

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Be an Educated Consumer

January 30th, 2018

Be an Educated Consumer by Mike Cloutier

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Be an educated consumer. You are a first time buyer, or maybe you are an old hat at buying and selling real estate. The investment either way is huge. Choosing the right lender is very important, and choosing a local lender is the way to go. Local lenders will give you more attention and the personal touch that is so important in this market. I work with a lot of Veteran Administration buyers who usually search for information online, enter their email address, then all of a sudden they get a phone call from a national lender pre-approving them a home loan with five minutes of information.

When you do finally decide that you are ready to look for a home, the first thing you should do is find out just how much you can afford and how big of a payment you are comfortable with. Don’t go to just one lender, interview several local lenders to make sure you are comfortable with them and the products they offer you. A good local lender will ask you specific questions and tailor a loan that you will feel comfortable with, and will explain all the costs associated with the loan.

Be an educated consumer, get the right information, interview several local lenders, and find out just what you qualify for and what monthly payments you are comfortable with. Now you are ready to hire great Realtor to help you in your search. Give me a call at 207.808.9488 and let’s start home hunting!

 

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Timing is Everything!

December 19th, 2017

Timing is Everything! I recently helped a client sell a condo in Portland that she and her husband bought in 2002. At the time it was the perfect place for them. As their family expanded (kids and pets), they outgrew the space and decided to move to a house in the suburbs. They hired me to help them buy their new place and do a market analysis for their condo. At that time, about 6 years

Money Down The Drain

ago, home prices were down and it was a great time to buy, but a bad time to sell. If they sold their condo then, they would have lost over 25 thousand dollars and would have had to bring money to the closing table.

They made a decision to rent the condo for several years and had me come over from time to time and talk about the market and what prices were doing. Fast forward, we listed their place this fall and had multiple offers on it. They ended up making 25 Thousand dollars. That is a 50 thousand dollar spread from six years ago.

For them, that was the right decision. They were willing to be landlords and take on the responsibilities and aggravations that can sometimes come with that role.

Timing is everything in life and in real estate. Some people think, winter is coming and it is not the right time to put their house on the market.

Buying a Home in Winter

Last year, many sellers thought the same thing. Buyers however, were thinking something else. They were ready to go and there weren’t enough houses on the market to meet the demand. When there is a lower supply of houses on the market and the demand to buy great, prices get driven up. Even though December can be a hectic month with holidays and school vacation, pick up the phone, give us a call, and have us take a look a look at your house if you are thinking of selling. The “spring market” starts sooner than you think. If you want to get ahead of the curve and close on the property in the spring, now is the time to start the process.

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Upfront Homeowner Costs To Consider

October 19th, 2017

Upfront Homeowner Costs To Consider

Budgeting for buying a home can be difficult enough when you’re just weighing mortgage options and a purchase price. But there are many other factors that go into the cost of home ownership. Some of them are one-time expenses that you’ll pay during the home buying process, while others will be recurring costs for as long as you own the home.

Earnest Money

The earnest money is money you pay as part of your offer on a home. It shows your earnest interest and intention in purchasing the home. This money is put towards the cost of the home at closing.

Closing costs

There are several smaller fees that add up to a larger sum when you’re going through the closing costs….process-loan fees, title attorney fees, underwriting fees, and more. They can run anywhere from $5,000-$10,000, depending on pre-paid interest, pre-paid taxes and pre-paid homeowner’s insurance. Your lender should give you an estimate of these costs when you start the process.

Appraisal

Your lender will require an appraisal, and the appraisal fee (a few hundred dollars) comes out of your pocket.

Inspection

The few hundred dollars you’ll pay for a home inspection is money well spent, but it’s something you have to keep in mind during the purchase process. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the house is free from any major safety or structural issues, and you’re making a smart, solid investment.

Insurance

Although homeowners insurance isn’t legally required, it’ll almost certainly be required by your lender. Further insurance, such as flood insurance, may also be required (depending on your location).

Home Owners Association

If you’re living in a condo or a property or community with shared spaces, you’ll almost certainly have an HOA fee. This pays for things like trash removal, maintenance of common areas, snow removal, mowing, etc.

Remember, experience COUNTS and ours is second to NONE! We are here to help navigate you through the entire process of selling or buying a home.

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Reconsider These Choices When You’re Designing Your Kitchen

October 19th, 2017

Reconsider These Choices When You’re Designing Your Kitchen……..

The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and  food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:

Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.

Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Choose your paint carefully

Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.

Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

SELLING A HOME IS A PROCESS!

October 19th, 2017

SELLING A HOME IS A PROCESS….

The real estate market has been booming. As I write this, I have 14 properties under contract scheduled to close by the end of September.  Many of those listings had multiple offers on them and that drove the price up from the original list price.

I’d like to share a story about one homeowner and how the process worked for them. They called me in the fall of 2016, they wanted to sell their house but weren’t sure about their timeframe. I told them I could come over anytime to talk about their goals and where they wanted to be in a year’s time. They signed a listing contract with me and we started working on getting their house ready to sell. They had LOTS of stuff, so it took several months to thin things out. I advised them on what they might want to do to make their house look its best, stand out from the competition and help get them the most amount of money. In the early spring of 2017, the house was ready and we set a list price. The only glitch was that they were planning to purchase a home, a few hours away, before selling their place. They could not find one to buy so delayed putting their house on the market. They did not want to be without a place to live once their home sold. They eventually found a place to buy, put it under contract, then put their house on the market. Home values had slightly changed since our initial meeting, so we revisited the listing price.

We had 20 showings the first two days on the market and over 70 people at the Open House.

15 offers came in and needless to say my clients were excited and slightly overwhelmed with how to decide on which offer to accept. I let them know, not to worry, that I made a comparison chart summarizing all of the offers. We looked at what people were doing for inspections (or waiving them), what was the offer price, what type of financing (Cash, Conventional Loan, FHA, Rural Development), how much they were the putting down as a down payment, closing date, etc. They picked a fabulous offer and are thrilled to be moving to their new place!

Selling a  home is a process! So, the message is if you are thinking of selling your place or buying one, it is never too early to start the process. Sometimes people call me and say they want to put their house on the market in a couple of days, but more often it is a process that can take some time.  Please give me a call at 207.232.6127, I am happy to come out to help you start the process!

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Is “Impossible!” Really Impossible?

May 5th, 2017

Is “Impossible!” Really Impossible?

By Dell Scruggs

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

 

Is “Impossible!” Really Impossible?

I have encountered several people lately who said to me, “I can’t buy a house. I just can’t afford it,” or “I can’t buy a house, because I have bad credit.”

In reality, you never really know that for sure until you talk with a lender and with today’s high price of renting, so often a monthly payment on a home mortgage really is less than monthly rent on an apartment or rental house. There are some great programs out there and many people who think they cannot buy a home, actually qualify for these great programs.

Also, if you have credit issues that actually do make it impossible for now, these lenders are awesome at helping you lay out a step by step plan to get your credit score up so you have more freedom to buy in the near future.

Two of the people who said it was impossible are now getting ready to move in their new house and another is beginning her home search, with “can do” in her mind.

So… if you think your hands are tied and that it is impossible for you to buy a house… call me at 207.233.6213! I would love to talk with you and connect you with one of the amazing and caring lenders that I work with on a daily basis. We love helping people make their dreams come true!

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE