roofing your home

Replacing Your Roof To Sell Your Home

roofing your homeReplacing Your Roof To Sell Your Home


When someone decides to purchase a home, many people need to sell their home first.  Needless to say, you will want to get top dollar for your home.  There are many tips for improving your home’s value.  One of the major updates that a homeowner will need to consider is repairing or replacing their roof. If you are considering selling your home, replacing the roof is one of the renovations that can add instant value. Home buyers want to know that the house they are buying is built to last and the roof is something that they will take into consideration.

So, whether you’re in your home long term or whether you’re selling, when you do find yourself in the position of needing a good roofing company there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you find a reputable roofing company and that you pay a fair market price for materials and labor.


Make sure that the roofing company you are going to hire has the proper licensing for your parish, county or state. Having the right licensing assures you that the company has the ability and resources to complete your roofing job. Don’t be afraid to ask the company to provide proof of licensing documentation. Don’t just take them at their word. Due to the high cost of permitting in some areas, some companies will avoid getting the necessary permits to perform the job. This puts you and your home at risk.


Along with proper licensing and permits, a reputable company should have insurance to cover worker accidents on the job. If a company is not insured, it could mean a claim could be made against you as a the homeowner. So protect yourself and keep it simple. If you’ve come across a company that isn’t capable of providing proof of insurance, keep looking. Find a company that can give you the security you need to know that they will get the job done right. Peace of mind is is better than a cheaper bill.


As the homeowner, It’s important for you to research the broad array of material brands and specific products that are available to replace your home’s roof.  Look for what are the best By doing your own research, you can ensure that when your roofing company offers material options you know the quality of the materials, what they cost, and whether it’s what you want on your roof.


Does the company offer a guarantee of their work? It’s important that you know that the company you hire will come back to your home to inspect and repair any problems within an agreed upon period of time. If they are a reputable company, they will be willing to back their materials, products, and work.


Before you hire, check out the online reviews on the companies you are considering. If the company has built a reputation in your area, you can bet that someone has left a review online. The reviews that other people in your community have left are a great resource for finding the right company. A reputable company should have built up a good number of satisfied or unsatisfied customers who were willing to share their opinions.


Most companies will have a website that will have some type of portfolio or gallery to give you a better idea of the quality of their work. If they’ve done their marketing right, they will show before and after photos to really showcase their work. If they don’t have a portfolio, ask them for a list of past clients with similar needs to your own and if you can contact them. Taking the extra time to research a company can be the difference in making a costly mistake or a good long-term investment for your home.


As a homeowner, whether you are selling or plan to live there forever, you want to know that you are making the right choice each time you invest in your home. These tips can be applied to almost any product and company. Take the time to do your homework and at the end of the day, you’ll know that the investment you made was a good one.


boutique real estate team

Building a Boutique Real Estate Team

How To Create a Boutique Real Estate Team

The real estate market has been improving and getting busier over the past few years. It is predicted to do even better in 2020. Some real estate agents are getting more business than they can handle. This is a good problem to have. If this is the situation you are finding yourself in, it may be a good idea to consider building what’s called a boutique real estate team.

By adding people to your team you can be relieved of some of your duties and tasks that others can do. This will enable you to focus on what makes you the most money. The moneymaking duties and tasks in real estate are going on listing appointments, listing homes for sale or for rent, taking buyers out to show them homes and writing contracts.

Your boutique team will be a group of individuals who each has a special administrative task that will help you. There are quite a few duties and tasks that you can delegate. You may not need to delegate them all. You might find that just hiring a couple or a few administrative assistants will help you tremendously and make you more money in the long run.

Someone to Answer the Phone and Manage Files in the Office

Many businesses today and real estate agents rarely answer their phones. They let the calls go to voicemail. If you have someone to answer your phone in the office during business hours, you will surprise your callers. You may even get more business.

If a potential client is calling, they may be so impressed that a live voice answered the phone that they may give you their business. Sometimes the assistant who answers the phone will need to take messages and you will have to return the calls later. Sometimes he or she will be able to take care of the caller’s needs so as to free up even more time for you.

Your phone assistant can even make appointments for you. It may be a good idea to set up an hour or two each day to take care of the messages and call people back. Your assistant can manage files in the office, as well.

A Marketing Assistant

Real Estate Team

The homes that you list will need marketing done to promote them to prospective buyers. A marketing assistant may be able to be trained to input your listings into your local multiple listing system. They can arrange for a yard sign to be put up. They can create flyers, brochures, and postcards for your listings.

They can input your listings onto websites. They can set up email drip campaigns for your listings. They can set up open houses and broker tours. Hopefully, they will be able to do all of the marketing for your listings.

A Photographer

Top-of-the-line listing photos are critical to your listings. Taking and editing photos of your listed properties takes time. You may want to hire a photographer to take listing photos unless you source them out to a real estate photography company.

Be sure to have a professional camera with a wide lens and be sure your photographer knows the ins and outs of taking real estate photos. They may need to be trained and learn special settings on the camera and editing software if they don’t have real estate photography experience.

An Advertising Assistant

Advertising to get more business takes time. Hiring an advertising assistant is a wise investment. This person can create mailers, postcards, email campaigns and more to send to your sphere of influence and to areas and subdivisions that you specialize in. You want to keep in touch with past and present clients, as well.

You want them to think of you when they think of real estate. If you are  keeping your name and contact information in front of them on a monthly basis, they will give you referrals and do repeat business with you. Just a few buyers or sellers from an advertising campaign will pay this team member’s salary for a year.

A Delivery Person or a Runner

There is quite a bit of running around and delivering in the real estate business. It can save you time if you hire someone to do the running for you. Unless you use a sign company to install your for sale signs, they need to be put up when you list a house for sale.

Flyers and brochures need to be delivered to your listings. Lockboxes need to be installed on the front doors of your listings. Some agents provide baskets of shoe covers to be placed in the entryways of your listings. Mailers need to be brought to the post office. With less running around to do you’ll have more time to perform money-making tasks.

An Assistant to Attend Closings

  • Some real estate agents like to attend their own closings.
  • Sitting for hours at closings is time-consuming and you could be spending that time generating new business. It may help free up some time to send an assistant to represent your team at a closing.
  • They can bring the file in case anyone has any questions. They can give the clients a closing gift on the team’s behalf.

These are just some examples of boutique team members you might want to add to your team. You may have other ideas. Make the team your own. Boutiques specialize in high-quality products and services. You can still provide your clients with exceptional customer service if you hire the right boutique team members.

To Move or Not to Move

Moving can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. The thought of packing and sorting through your life’s collection can seem daunting. At the same time, your house has become too small with your growing family or totally out of date and would require a complete remodel. So what is a person to do? That is a good question. Before you consider buying a different piece of real estate let us look at if it is reasonably feasible for you to stay in your current home. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Should You Stay?

1. How emotionally bonded are you to your house?

Emotional sentiment can play a crucial role in your decision. If you love the neighborhood, the schools, your close neighbors and the amenities of your subdivision then it may be hard to relocate. So that is an essential factor to consider.

2. To be comfortable in your current house do you just need more space or more rooms?

Simply organizing to use space more efficiently is one thing but adding more square feet to your home can be a costly addition to the budget. This is when it is time to get out a pencil and paper and list the costs of the square footage that needs to be added and the approximate costs. Keep in mind that with a remodel there are a lot of hidden costs that are not known until the house is well into the rebuild process.

3. What will be the return on your remodeled home investment?

One essential factor to look at is are you going to overinvest in your home and not get the money you put into it back out. Everyone wants to turn a profit when selling their homes.Many times homes that are upgraded do not bring a higher sale price to cover the costs of the upgrades. Let us illustrate this point. So you need another bedroom or about 350 square feet. That room is not too big or too small if you consider the walk-in closet in that square footage. There will need to be some changes to the roofline; the exterior brick is no longer available so you will have to choose a complimentary exterior to use for the new room. Other than that it is a basic room addition. So you tally up the costs according to the home advisor that will range from $20,904 -$67.480. This is just an average. It depends where you are located, who will do the work and what permits and licenses are required for your area. Then as in most older homes, the kitchen needs a complete overhaul. According to the home advisor the average kitchen remodel is about $150 per square foot. Once you get all of your calculations required together you can reasonably decide if moving is a better option.

Should You Go?

1. What will it cost to buy a home will everything you need?

Take a drive around some of the areas you would consider moving your family to. Make a list of the areas and find out how much some of the homes are selling for. Take note of the amenities that you are looking for and how much houses with those amenities are costing.

2. How much will it cost to move?

Even a little move across town can be expensive. It is a lot more economical if you pack up your house in boxes, get a few friends together, some pizza, rent a large truck and move over a weekend. There are still costs to the move that need to be added into the equation.

The choice is yours to move or not to move. If you decide to move, you may choose to hire a part time real estate agent as opposed to a full time Realtor.  A local real estate agent can sell a home faster than you can sell your home yourself. Don’t forget to consider making some upgrades to your home, like replacing the roof, or a staging your home appropriately, so your house looks desirable to buyers. The choice is yours, get working on the costs to make the right choice.

State of the US Real Estate Market Summer 2019

The State of the U.S. Real Estate Market, Summer 2019

Fred Housing Supply Graph 1975-2019

High home prices are the main deterrent for home buyers

Are you ready to start looking for a house to purchase? In recent years, the inventory rates for property buyers were sorely lacking. Many buyers would find themselves in bidding wars or staying longer in rental units because of the shortage of houses that were appealing or appropriate for family needs. The current market is changing. Do you want to get the most recent data before you sign a contract for a mortgage? We talk about the newest information in the U.S. real estate market in this post. tells readers that 75 percent of buyers must go out of the comfort zone to afford a new home. The median price for a house in the U.S. is now $277,000. Many lenders are asking buyers to accept payment terms reaching one-third of earnings. This high rate of a mortgage is causing borrowers to feel uneasy. The good thing is the same reports are showing loan affordability is at a higher rate than previous years.

Are fewer Chinese investments hurting the property sector

Many people worry about the application of new tariffs and how it will cause international investors to reconsider buying property in the U.S. While there is less interest in American properties, this decline is not new. CNBC says international interest is down by a quarter, but this provides prime advantages for U.S. buyers. Personal home buyers and small investors have access to more inventory now. The low rate of available properties in the past few years is no longer a problem in many urban areas across America.

Four out of five markets are easier for buyers to enter

Most major markets are shifting to a buyer’s market now making it much easier for new homeowners to get a mortgage. Some of the easier to enter areas include Los Angeles and San Diego Counties in California, Maricopa County in Arizona, and Harris County in Texas. Cook County in Chicago is another urban area seeing more economical home prices this year. It only takes a little over $50,000 a year to qualify for a home loan in most states versus $53,500 last year. This equates to nearly $300 less a month requirement for new buyers who want to purchase their first home.

Appreciation rates are soaring in two out of every five sectors

The median price of homes for sale in South Boston and Cohasset in Massachusetts is growing much faster than incomes. This fact means people who want to invest in real estate have a better chance of getting a high return on investment. Current property owners are finding they have higher equity values allowing them to perform necessary home maintenance. Other places seeing these changes include Detroit, Michigan and the Dallas and Fort Worth area in Texas.

Real estate investors and homebuyers looking for more selection, higher home values, and better mortgage rates may want to research the most recent market reports in-depth. Not every city is seeing a decline in costs or a rise in inventory. 

Safety Tips for REALTORS. Must Read Tips for the Real Estate Professional

Tips & Strategies to Help Keep Real Estate Agents Safe

Safety Tips for REALTORS. Must Read Tips for the Real Estate Professional

One often overlooked, but extremely important topic to consider as many first-time agents get a real estate license over the summer is Safety. Realtors, especially women, are often the target of violent attacks carried out by those posing as clients who want to buy a home. Take steps to safeguard against an assault of any kind. The very nature of the real estate business is risky because you are often in sequestered locations with strangers. Robbery is the main crime perpetrated against unsuspecting agents. That is why it is extremely important to refrain from wearing expensive jewelry or carrying a lot of cash. Driving an expensive car may be a green light for criminals if they assume you lead an opulent lifestyle.


As a Realtor, safety is paramount because you make yourself a target by going about blindly without taking stock of where the client is at all times. To sell a home is the primary objective, but never walk in front of a potential buyer; let him lead the way as you point out various features. 

Remain alert throughout the showing. If anything seems off, leave immediately, using any excuse, whether plausible or not. Park your car on the street rather than in the driveway. Unscrupulous people can take advantage of the situation and block you in intentionally. Pay attention to your instincts. Safety overrides a sale any day. Besides personal safety, mindful awareness will help you spot potential scams.


It is a good idea to meet first-time clients prior to showing a property. If you work from a home office, plan a meeting at a neutral location, such as a coffee shop. At this time, gather as much information as possible about the client, such as name, address, telephone number, and driver’s license. Even dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s does not preclude a potential attacker from concocting a devious plan. 

Let someone else know where you are going and with whom. Do not be embarrassed to let the client see you snapping a picture of his or her license plate and driver’s license. Send them to a trustworthy person, either in the office or at home.

Self Defense

Take a class in self-defense. You not only learn the mechanics of defense, but also how to spot dangerous situations and possibly avoid them. Acting speedily and sensibly under pressure may save you from an attack. If it becomes necessary to physically fend off an assailant, this is no time for timidity. Assertiveness and strength are the best weapons. 

Try not to sit an open house alone. Ask another agent, a friend, or family member to accompany you. Several alert devices are on the market that contacts police directly at the press of a button, but what should you do until the police arrive? Use pepper spray, or a taser, or whatever you can quickly put in your hands. Keep a car key or house key handy and use it to gouge eyes, tear the face, or gash the throat. Be ruthless. You may literally be fighting for your life.

Social media is most often used to market a home for sale. Advertising a vacant house or your own address, if you work from home, is fodder for those who are trolling the internet and trying to set up a situation where they have the advantage. 

Safety conversations should be a part of industry meetings, and policies should be in place to help keep agents safe. If they are not, you have the right and the responsibility to keep yourself out of harm’s way. When you go to meet a client, make it a habit to include whatever tools that are in your arsenal, and never take anything for granted. Keep conversations with potential clients businesslike, and do not reveal anything about your personal life. Safety first!

How to Avoid Renter-Targeting Scams

Landlord Foreclosure Scams
If an owner has failed to make his payments, is served with a foreclosure notice and has vacated the property, he is expected to surrender the right to rent the property out. But out of desperation or spite, some resort to scamming unsuspecting renters instead. The landlord foreclosure scam involves renting the home out, pocketing the deposit and first month’s rent, and skipping town before anyone notices.

This leaves the bank to deal with the new renter, who is often asked to leave because there is no lease that the lender will honor. It doesn’t matter where the bank is located; they will find out that the tenant is not the owner when the sheriff knocks on the door, thinking he is going to evict the owner. He will contact the bank, and because there is no lease and their client is gone, they will evict whoever is living on the property.

Fake Landlord Scams
This rental scam long pre-dates the housing crisis. It involves con-artists assuming “ownership” of seemingly abandoned or vacant homes, advertising them for rent and collecting rent from the new tenants for as long as they can. Many times, homes that are owned by out-of-state landlords are the most vulnerable properties for this kind of activity. In other cases, as has been a major problem for Craigslist, is that scam artists will copy the pictures posted in a legitimate rental ad, and re-post the same home for rent at a much lower price. Usually the scam involves the “owner” claiming to be “out of the country” and in order to see the home, the unsuspecting renter is told to wire money overseas and keys will be delivered by “a friend” upon receipt of the fund. In one case, I had recently rented a home to a legitimate renter, but the scam-artist posted the home for rent anyways after the fact. As the new tenant was watching TV in the living room one day, they noticed people looking through the window. When they confronted the person outside, they were informed that the person had sent $800 to a person in a foreign country and was supposed to get keys from the person “babysitting” the home. Obviously the person living in the home was not “babysitting” it, and the person outside was quite displeased to learn that she had been ripped off. As with any online advertisement, always be cautious of anyone requesting that you send money overseas. It’s almost always a scam. In the event that someone does take occupancy of a home in an illegitimate fashion, they can be forcibly removed by the sheriff, or evicted in court if they refuse to leave, regardless if they knew about the scam or not. When it comes to rental properties, always remember the phrase “buyer beware”. Use your good judgment and diligence before giving away your money, and always realize that if the deal is “too good to be true”, it probably is.

The Slumlord Scam
This one is also as old as time. When a property is flagged for building code violations, including those pertaining to the safety of tenants, the tenants usually have no way of knowing about it ahead of time. One tenant I worked with rented a home that had a big work shed in the back that had been converted into a living space, complete with bathroom, kitchenette, living area, and sleeping area. The primary tenant lived in the main house and her Aunt lived in the converted work shed. Somehow a city code inspector noticed someone was living in the workshed and issued a citation. Apparently the work shed had not been permitted for occupancy, and not only did the Aunt have to move out, the entire living quarters inside the work shed had to be demolished and removed. Needless to say, it didn’t go over with either the tenant or the Aunt, but all of it could have been prevented if the owner had disclosed that the converted living area had not been permitted. In other cases, owners may not know about code violations unless the property is randomly targeted for inspection. Often they learn about the violations from the city or county officials who come to inspect the property. They may end up being fined, or forced into making expensive repairs. To make matters worse, once a property is cited, Code Inspectors usually don’t give a whole lot of time to get things fixed. In some cases, they may require modifications to be completed in a matter of days. If repairs are not made within the appropriate time frame, expensive daily fines can be imposed. Problems like these are not limited to one type of property or another, they can happen anywhere.

The best way to avoid any of these rental scams is to rent your home through a reputable property management company. If you find a home for rent on Craigslist or any other uncertain website, it’s always a good idea to check with local property management companies to see if the home is really for rent or not. Many reputable property management companies only work with landlords who have been verified for authenticity. Contact your local trusted Property Management Company for more information.

What homeownership really means

What Home Ownership Really Means

What Home Ownership Means

Not everyone can understand what home ownership is about due to the amount of dis-information out on the market.  Unless you’ve owned a home before, in order to understand what home ownership truly means, we have put together a comprehensible list of key facts and elements for your convenience. Continue reading onward, to obtain additional knowledge about real estate and home ownership.

What Home Ownership Means

The first step is to understand the term “Home”. The meaning of “Home” is an established place to function, sleep, play, eat, and live a life either by yourself, or with other family members. This also includes animals. A home is a safe place that a person can dwell within to relax and be comforted while being away from the mass population. It is a place where memories can be formed and relationships can be built.

Next, according to Wikipedia, “Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties.” Therefore, upon taking this under the notion, there are many things that one can “Own.” However, one must be cautious when claiming a piece of property to be owned, because it can come with a lot of in between the lines of Unknown facts. That is why we leave the paperwork up to the professionals.

When one wants to become a “Home Owner”, then many people look to Realtors for the necessary requirements and ideas on how to start the process. The Realtors, are by far the best in the business when it comes to helping a person wanting to own a home. They are the best at knowing what real estate would be a good fit for you. They have the cream of the crop knowledge of home ownership, and most will guide you down the right path to make sure you and your family are happy with your decisions.

Why Should I Become a Home Owner?

Since owning a home is a large responsibility to handle, not everyone wants to take on the task. However, there are many benefits to being a homeowner, rather than house hopping as a renter. A few different benefits are the following:

  • Lower Monthly Payment: When you become a homeowner, then you are set in a contract for a period of time. Because of this, your overall monthly costs are likely to be lowered compared to renting a house. Therefore, you should be able to save more money over time.
  • The House Is Your Own: When becoming a homeowner, you do not have to worry about living in a place that is not technically yours. You will have the option to remodel or paint the walls as you see fit, you will also have the ability to know you own something that takes some people many years to figure out they want to do. Having a place to call your own is a beautiful achievement in life and one to be proud of.
  • Growth: Owning a home allows people to grow. Not only are they saving money and not house hopping, but many homeowners know they have the freedom to settle down and relax while they pursue their career path or build that family they have dreamed about having. A homeowner has the ability to choose when to make their next life decision and the comfort of a place that is their own, that they can so call “customize” to their own style. Therefore, a homeowner can grow as a person faster in his or her own home, compared to renting or house hopping.
  • Community: Becoming a homeowner can help a person to feel safe. Since they plan to be in one location for a longer period, this allows the family or individual to connect with communities and become a part of the neighborhood. This will allow a person to become a strong functioning member of our society. Not to mention the fun neighborhood BBQ’s that are always a blast to attend.
  • Financial Security: When a person wants to buy a home and the proceed to accomplishing the task, it is a lifelong investment. When a homeowner decides they want to sell the home, they can make money back on it for any improvements they have made. It also provides stability if something were to happen to the homeowner, they could allow their family to sell the home to help with future finances or additional investment opportunities that maybe presented.

What Are Some Details to Be Aware of When Looking to Own a Home

Owning a home is a rather large responsibility; one may need to look into some key facts on what comes with home ownership. The following facts are here to help those that have never owned a home, and what to look for when deciding to want to be a homeowner: Location, Cost, Career, Housing Market, House Damages, and Possible Life-Changing Circumstances.

If all of the above phrases are researched or inquired with your Realtor, then a person will be well prepared to take on the responsibility of owning a home. However, make sure to always ask your Realtor any questions regarding the market or concerns, as they are the professionals that have built their life and career around helping you obtain this lifetime achievement.

There are always going to be concerned when deciding to become a homeowner, however, that is why there are professionals here to help with every step. The true meaning of home ownership can be different things to many people, however, the truth of the meaning, is accomplishment, growth, and stability.

Therefore, if you are looking to buy a home or even sell a home, make a list of your concerns and do your research before finalizing the decision, and contact a Realtor to help you, you will not be disappointed.

How to Save For Your First Home

saving to buy your first home

How to Save for your First House

Buying your first home maybe exciting, but it also presents itself with a big responsibility when it comes to finances. Use these tips to help you save for a down payment on your first home.

Make a Budget

The first thing you need to do when it comes to saving for your home is to make a monthly budget, so you can ensure you are setting aside money to put into a savings account. Sit down and calculate your monthly expenditures, totaling up all of your essential costs, such as groceries, utilities, car insurance, current home renting expenses, etc.

Once you have done this, measure this against your monthly income and see what is reasonable for you to plan to save each month. While you should be aiming to save at least 20% of your income, the more you can set aside the better. Over time set a goal of how much of your income you would like to save and take steps to make this happen.

saving to buy a home

Saving for your first home requires a strategy and sticking to it.

One of the best ways you can do this and make sure you allot enough to your savings each month is by having the amount be transferred automatically from your daily spending account to a specific savings account which does not allow you withdraw access on a regular bank card.

Cut some Costs

Once you know how much you want to save, it is time to start cutting costs and digging deep into how you can save your money. There are many areas where you may be spending excess funds that you do not need to.

For example, do you have monthly subscription services online, such as to a specific media streaming site or memberships via apps? You can also cut costs on things such as your power and water bills by being more diligent at turning out the lights, taking shorter showers, and using energy friendly appliances.

Save costs on fuel by walking when you can or carpooling to work and start taking your coffee and lunch from home instead of spending money on take out.

Keep it Reasonable

While saving for a house of course will take some time and require you to be able to set aside a large portion of money, be sure you are working towards a reasonable goal. Visit a financial planner to help you get an idea of what your savings should be based on your income and how long you can expect it to take to save for a down payment.

From there, work backwards as you determine what may be a reasonable first home purchasing price for you to work towards.

Remember that getting the down payment for your first home is the most challenging part of the process of buying your first home.  Once you are close to having the funds, you can start searching for your perfect dream house.

To help you with finding dream houses, contact a professional Realtor in your area. They have sold more than their fair share of dream houses (and know a lot about saving!) and would be happy to help you with the purchase of your first dream home.


Should You Buy a Condominium or a Single Family Home?

Home Buying: Should You Buy a Condominium or a Single Family Home?

Which should you buy...Condo or Single Family

Condo or Single Family Home?

You have finally put together enough money to pay for a home and you are wondering whether you should buy a condo or a single family property. Condos have become more and more popular over the years and it is easy to see why – they come with several excellent advantages.

That is not to say that single family homes are less attractive – it all depends on what you are looking for. Before you make up your mind about condominiums and single family homes look at the following pros of each.

Pros of owning a condo

•    The biggest benefit of buying a condo is that you will pay less than you would for a single family home. When you buy a condo you don’t have to pay for the plot of land on which it sits – a condominium, is a form of shared ownership. If, however, you buy a single family home you will pay more because the land also comes under your ownership.

•    Many people, especially busy professionals, choose to buy condos because they require much less by way of maintenance. Many condos come with an excellent deal – all the maintenance will be done by the condo association. You don’t have to think about issues like maintaining a yard of a garden because there is none, and everything else on the property is maintained by its owner. The same goes for internal maintenance as well – when you have issues with plumbing or heating for instance, you can call the maintenance co-op for repairs and you will only have to pay a small fee, Compare this with a single family home where you are in charge of all maintenance, inside and out.

•    You will also not have to worry about the insurance of the exterior of the property if you buy a condo – the condo association pays for it. All you have to insure are your condo itself and its contents. For a single family home you are in charge of all interior and exterior insurance, including insurance for any nearby structures.

Pros of buying a single family property

•    For many the fact that you get lots of privacy in a single family home is enough to convince them to pay more. You don’t have to worry about what neighbors will say – you are free to do whatever you want on your property (within reason of course). You can have parties and barbeques without worrying that you will upset your neighbours.

•    People with young families tend to buy single family homes because of the amount of space that they have. As children grow older they will need room to play, and they can do that in the front and back yards.

•    Single family homes will also fetch more when the time comes to sell – you will not just be selling the structure, you will get money for the land that it sits on.

Now that you know the pros of both you can decide which is right for you – a condominium or a single family unit?

negotiating for first time homebuyers

Buying Your First Home – Negotiating with Sellers

negotiating for first time homebuyers

How to Negotiate with a Seller for an even Better Deal on your First Home

Getting the best deal on your first home purchase is no accident. There are many negotiating tactics that work, and work well. Here are some important tips to save you big dollars.


There are many things first-time home buyers can do to fare better in home-buying negotiations. Knowing your strategy going in, standing your ground, and making “friends” with the sellers, all help add up to a great deal on your first home.


After searching homes for sale, your research has finally paid off — you found that dream home! Now that you are a home buyer, you are entering perhaps the most critical part of home buying — the negotiations.

As a first-time home buyer, this is probably also the most perplexing and stressful time. You know that some people are expert negotiators. And, this may or may not be your forte. You have found the home of your dreams, but don’t want to start a bidding war.  You want to be able to get the most for your money, and not have to reach your top offering price. Negotiating does not have to be difficult. It is more of a mindset of knowing what you want, staying true to your guidelines, and working with, not against, the sellers.

Remember, negotiating is an art, not a science. In every negotiation there are at least two sides and two different personalities. Adjust your negotiating techniques accordingly. REALTORS® are expert negotiators, who do this every day. Working with a REALTOR® as your buying agent may well give you the best leg up on receiving the best purchase deal.

Here are some great negotiating guidelines for first-time buyers.

Be Prepared to Walk Away

This is always a top rule in negotiating: you must be prepared to walk away. Going into negotiations you need to know the highest dollar you are willing to offer. If you can’t get the house at your pre-determined highest price, walk away.

There are many homes for sale on the MLS® with new properties getting listed daily on the real estate market — guaranteed. If you are hesitant about your top price when you negotiate, your ambivalence will come through to the sellers. First-time negotiators may end up offering higher than their best offer. Don’t do it! Your new budget will start off already stressed, and it will reduce the enjoyment of your new home.

It is important to know, however, that walking away does not always mean the deal is over.

Start the Negotiations at a Reasonable Price

Even in a buyer’s market, sellers do not want to be insulted. They love their home and want to receive at least a fair price. Many first-time buyers believe the best thing to do is to start off with a low offer; this will leave a lot of room for negotiations. However, a low offer may completely turn off a seller.

They feel insulted by the offer and develop an immediate dislike of the buyer. They may refuse to counteroffer or deal with the buyer at all. Sellers will not want “greedy” or “insulting” buyers to move into their cherished home. You don’t need to come up with you best offer right away; leave some negotiating room, but don’t make an obviously low offer.

Study the Comps

Most motivated sellers will respond favourably to a fair market price offer. While you do have to gauge what the house is worth to you monetarily, you will also need to know what comparable houses have sold for in the neighborhood. You can be sure that the sellers know these statistics well, and are basing their expectations on these comps.

The Art of Negotiating for your dream home

The Art of Negotiating for your dream home

Let the Seller’s Know You Like Their Home

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar — so they saying goes. The same can be said for home buying. First time buyers may feel the need to play it too cool. They may give the impression that they can take or leave a home. This, however, might turn off the seller to the point that they will not want to sell their house to you.

Remember, when you are buying a home, you are buying something that the sellers have probably put their blood, sweat and tears into. Their home is an extension of themselves and their family. You do much better when you compliment the sellers home and let them know how much you like it; how much you admire their gardens and updates. (They do not need to know that you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!) Then proceed firmly with your offer.

The sellers will know that you like their home, but that you are not going to let it cloud your good negotiating sense. They will feel good about selling their home to you. This will help negotiations go smoother, and more in your favor.

Never Get Your Ego Involved

Buying a house is just that, a business transaction. Both parties are vying for a leg up. Do not take negotiations personally. Ego has probably killed more deals than anything else in real estate!

This Is No Time to Play Coy — Be Available

Once negotiations start, and an offer is made, you must be available to meet counteroffers or sign papers. Some first-time negotiators think they should be aloof; not be so available to answer a counter. This is not a good thing to do.

If you are difficult to find during the negotiating process, sellers may think you are going to be difficult to work with through the whole house buying process. It may turn them off to working with you. Plus, home sellers can be working with more than one offer at a time. If you’re not available to accept an offer, someone else may be, and you will miss your opportunity to counter or accept an offer.

One Final Word on Negotiating

Finally, remember that negotiating is all about getting what you want. First-time buyers need not be at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating on their home purchase. For many, getting what you want may include hiring a real estate agent to help negotiate on your behalf. In many instances, finding the right Realtor will remove the stress of the negotiating from your plate.