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So far Kim Henderson has created 16 entries.

September 2018

Preparing Your Home for Fall

By |September 12th, 2018|

Fall is a great time to do some work on the outside of your home before the days become shorter and the temperatures drop. Once you complete some basic chores outside you can relax during the winter months without worry.
Some items you should address around the home are:

Plantings– do a final weeding, remove any annual plants and cut back any perennials you have throughout your yard.
Trees and shrubs– trim back any trees and shrubs, especially those that may be touching the house or windows. Trim the dead branches out for a healthier plant in the spring and to avoid falling limbs during a winter storm.
Exterior repairs– take a walk around the outside of your home and note any maintenance issues that should be addressed. Seal any gaps that could be an entryway for critters, insects or drafts in the cold winter months. Look at the roof, siding and foundation and schedule any repairs before winter.
Leaves– be sure to rake the leaves so they are not covering your lawn and potentially inhibit its growth in the spring. Check with your municipality for a leaf collection schedule.
Faucets– be sure to shut off any exterior faucets to prevent freezing and protect the pipes. Store the hoses indoors during the winter.
Chimney– Make sure your chimney is cleaned and maintained. Also, have a chimney cap installed if you do not have one to prevent animals from entering the chimney.
Stairs and Walkways– Check to be sure the stairs and walkways are in good repair before they are covered in ice or snow. Some defects may create difficulty when trying to clear them or a hazard for you or your guests.
Gutters– be sure […]

August 2018

Overcoming Buying Fears on Homes for Sale in Pittsburgh

By |August 13th, 2018|

If you are purchasing your first home in Pittsburgh, you may be experiencing what many first-time homebuyers go through. Buying a home is a life changing experience and one of the largest purchases you will ever make. You may find yourself questioning your decision.

 

Is this really the right time to buy a house?
The best way to answer this question is with a few questions. Do you have good credit? Do you have a good job? If the answers to these questions are “yes” then there is never a bad time to buy the right house. Especially now while interest rates are still low. Interest rates are projected to climb in the next 12-18 months, so now is an ideal time!

What if I don’t pick the right neighborhood?
This is an understandable fear. Therefore, it is imperative to do your research and talk with your Realtor® about the exact type of neighborhood you want. A quick internet search will show you crime rates in the area and the quality of the school district. It is also wise to look around the neighborhood to see how others are caring for their homes.

Will the maintenance costs be overwhelming?
This is a legitimate concern. A home inspection will help you identify any repair or replacement costs that may need to be addressed soon. Planning and budgeting are the first steps. You will also want to maintain the home components to preserve their life. No home will be maintenance free, even if you were to purchase a newly constructed home.

 

If you have been a renter all your life and are looking at homes for sale in Pittsburgh, take a deep breath. Just remember what made […]

June 2018

Tips on Buying Your Pittsburgh Home

By |June 22nd, 2018|

Buying a home can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. It’s fun to look at possible new homes and imagine where you will place your furniture. It’s also a lot of work to find a home, qualify for a mortgage, and move in. Before you make an offer on your new home, consider these home buying tips.

Work with a team of professionals. Your home is a significant investment, so you need all the help you can get to make the right decisions. Find a Realtor® and lender to help you through each step of the process. Your Realtor® can help connect you to home inspectors, contractors & more.

Get a pre-approval. Don’t start looking for a home until your lender has pre-approved you for a mortgage. The lender will be able to determine how much you can borrow and discuss monthly payments and out of pocket expenses with you. There are different loan options with varying percentages of down payment required.

Be prepared to make decisions quickly. In the current Pittsburgh real estate market houses are selling quickly. In the current real estate market, typically there is not much time to make a decision because of the lack of inventory which has resulted in a seller’s market in Pittsburgh! Offers are often times being made on the first day a home is on the market. Do your homework in advance & know which amenities you’re looking for in a home and the areas that you would like to consider.

Carefully craft your offer. Low balling a seller in this market isn’t very effective in accomplishing your goal of purchasing a home. Your Realtor® will be able to show you the price that comparable homes […]

May 2018

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    What can prevent a home from selling in the current Pittsburgh Real Estate Market?

What can prevent a home from selling in the current Pittsburgh Real Estate Market?

By |May 17th, 2018|

As you may have heard, the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market has been booming! It’s a seller’s market & there are not enough homes on the market for the number of buyers looking for a home to purchase. Even still, there are obstacles to overcome even in a busy market.
Some of the obstacles I see are:

Pricing
Determining the market value of your home is one of the first steps in the home selling process. In a hot real estate market, it is a common misconception that you can ask a much higher price for your home. A savvy real estate agent will find the most recent sales in your area for homes that compare to yours and guide you to a price that is substantiated by those comparable homes. This is the information that a real estate appraiser will be looking at when it comes time for the appraisal also.

Repairs and Preparation
Any repairs and preparation should occur prior to entering the home in the MLS. Preparing the home to sparkle and shine during showings is still important in a hot market. You may be wondering why. The buyer will form 1st impressions from the moment they pull up to your home. If they feel there are too many repairs, or that the home has not been well maintained they may move on to the next home.

Unrealistic Buyers
Some buyers want to purchase a home in mint condition at bargain prices. Some buyers do not want to move into a home and make repairs, whether large or small. They will make a low-ball offer based on their emotions, rather than market conditions. Their offer price can sometimes be based on what they feel needs done […]

April 2018

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    Should You Sell For Sale by Owner in this Pittsburgh Real Estate Market?

Should You Sell For Sale by Owner in this Pittsburgh Real Estate Market?

By |April 5th, 2018|

When the sales are hot in a real estate market, sellers are tempted to go it on their own. If you have been thinking about selling your home on your own, let me share a few reasons why you may want to reconsider.

Asking Price – determining the correct asking price is a crucial step to ensure a quick sale. An experienced real estate agent can find and interpret the most up to date sales information. A real estate agent knows what an appraiser will be looking at as comparable homes. It is hard for a seller to be objective when comparing their home to other homes that have recently sold. Being overpriced is the #1 reason homes don’t sell.

Showing Availability – You must be available when a buyer can come see your home. Restricting the showing availability will limit the qualified buyers who want to see your home. Real estate agents provide you a lock box to make your home accessible to other agents who have a lockbox key. This allows you to work, play and travel without having to worry about missing a showing.

Buyers – Most buyers are working with a buyer’s agent. They can hire a real estate agent at no cost to them. It only makes sense that they would choose to work with a real estate professional who can guide them through this financial decision with skill and expertise. Buyers target for sale by owners because they are looking for a bargain.

Home preparation – You need to properly prepare your home for sale even in a hot market. A real estate agent knows what the current hot points are for buyers in the local market. An […]

March 2018

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    Understanding Closing Costs in the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market

Understanding Closing Costs in the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market

By |March 6th, 2018|

You’ve found the perfect home in Pittsburgh. What is the next step to reach your real estate goal of home ownership? Finding the right mortgage with the best terms and closing costs for you. But what exactly are closing costs?
Here is a list of the most common closing costs:

Title Fees – These include the title search and title insurance, and the associated attorney fees.
Recording Fees – The government charges a fee to record the change of ownership of real estate.
Mortgage Application Fees – These fees are usually an upfront fee if your lender would require it.
Appraisal Fee – Appraisals are required by the lender to ensure that the value of the property is equal to that of the loan. The appraisal will also make sure there are not any underlying problems that detract from the property value.
Discount Points – Your lender may charge a percentage of the principal loan amount to reduce the final interest rate of the loan.
Underwriting Fees – The buyer pays underwriting fees to the lender to pay for the costs of determining if the buyer qualifies for the mortgage loan.
Property Tax – Taxes are paid to the local municipality, county and school district. The amount is based on the predetermined market value of the property. The buyer may need to establish an escrow account that collects 1/12 of the annual payment monthly so that the lender can pay the taxes when they are due. The property taxes are prorated and a buyer will see this breakdown at closing.
Home Owner’s Insurance – The buyer is responsible for purchasing a one-year home owner’s policy at the time of the home purchase. The lender may establish […]

February 2018

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    It Takes a Village to Buy or Sell in the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market

It Takes a Village to Buy or Sell in the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market

By |February 13th, 2018|

The phrase “It Takes a Village” could not be truer when it comes to buying and selling a home in the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market.
How many different parties do you think are involved in one real estate transaction?

First, you must have a Seller who wants to sell their home.
Next, you need to have a Buyer who can purchase a home. (Seems simple so far!)
You need a Lender who will analyze the buyer’s financial situation. The Lender will determine if they qualify for the mortgage (for non-cash buyers).
Typically, two Real Estate Agents are involved. One agent works on behalf of the seller helping them to prepare their home for sale, develop a marketing plan and a pricing strategy. The other agent represents the buyer and shows them homes, assists with making an offer on a home they like & manages counter offers.
After the home is under contract, the Home Inspector performs an inspection for the buyer. The inspector will determine if there are any issues with the home. The purpose of the home inspection is to determine if there are any major ticket items or safety issues with the home. The buyer(s) will then decide how/if they would like to proceed with the purchase.
Once the property has been inspected and the buyer and seller agree to any necessary corrections, the Title Company goes to work researching the home. The title search is performed to determine that there are no title issues that need to be resolved. Then they secure Title Insurance for the buyer(s) which protects the lender and owner against any lawsuits or claims that were undetected in their original title search. The Title Company will prepare the […]

December 2017

Selling Your Home During the Holidays!

By |December 8th, 2017|

 

By Kim Henderson

The holidays are upon us and 2017 is quickly coming to a close. I feel as if this year has just flown by. It has been a great year. The Pittsburgh real estate market has been fantastic.

I have been asked many times if this is a bad time to sell a home. In my experience as a seasoned real estate professional, I don’t feel there is ever a bad time to sell a home. During the holidays, you may not get as many buyers through the door but the buyers that do come are very serious about buying a home.

I would encourage sellers to move forward with their plans to sell for several reasons.

The competition from other sellers is lower during this time of year because sellers believe it is a hard time to sell a house.

Internet searches are known to increase during the holidays.

Our society has become more mobile with people constantly moving for many reasons. Our local statistics show that houses do sell in December.

Here are some tips to help you sell your home during the holidays.

Decorate – Homes look so beautiful during the holiday season. Don’t go overboard, but a tastefully decorated home will appeal to everyone.

Curb Appeal – Don’t forget about curb appeal because it is winter. Touch up paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard.

Clear snow and ice – For safety’s sake, keep the walkways clear of snow and ice. And don’t forget about the backyard. Buyers will want to check out the backyard too!

Create a cozy atmosphere – Keep the house warm and toasty, play some soft music and offer some homemade holiday treats. Making the buyers […]

November 2017

Giving Thanks!

By |November 20th, 2017|

by Kim Henderson
With Thanksgiving upon us, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for everyone who has contributed to making my real estate career successful.

My achievements in real estate would not have been possible without my fabulous clients. I have been fortunate to help so many people find the perfect home or move on to new adventures. Each client brings something beautiful to my life to help me become a better real estate agent and more importantly, a better person.

I am also thankful for the support I have received over the years from my family, friends, lenders, attorneys, broker and fellow agents. It means the world to me to have these people in my corner. To know I can seek or give support to anyone of these people always brings a smile to my face.

I am thankful for the incredible year we have had in the Pittsburgh real estate market. Homes have been selling quickly which is great, but it does make it hard for buyers to find the right home especially this time of year. Many sellers hesitate to put their homes on the market in the winter believing it is a slow sales season. I can assure you, there are many buyers who have yet to find the right home who are still looking to purchase.

My wish is for each of you to have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

I enjoy the holiday season and look forward to what this year will bring. But, I will be working hard through the end of the year helping new and old clients. Give me a call if you are thinking of buying or selling a home. I will be happy to meet […]

October 2017

Selling Your Home in the Fall

By |October 2nd, 2017|

 
I am often asked if selling your home in the Fall is difficult. The simple answer is no. The Fall can be as good as any other time to sell your home. Most people have taken their vacation, the kids are back in school, and the temperatures are cooling down. Buyers are ready to look after their busy summer schedules have ended.

It is true that you can potentially have less showings than you would in the hot Spring market. But, the buyers who are out looking in the Fall are serious, qualified buyers.

To prepare your home for sale this time of year, I would like to share the following 10 tips:

Be sure to keep your lawn maintained by cutting the grass if needed, clearing the yard of all leaves, and cleaning up the summer landscaping that is dying off.

Plant some seasonal flowers to bring color and interest to the front of your property to spruce up the curb appeal.

Store all the summer outdoor equipment and toys but keep patios and decks inviting to a potential buyer.

Feel free to decorate your home for the season adding fall colors, setting the dining room table as you would for a Thanksgiving dinner, and adding fall scents with potpourri or scented candles. Be careful of over-decorating.

Create a cozy atmosphere in the home by lighting the fireplace (if you can leave it unattended), boiling some cinnamon sticks, and highlighting indoor areas that can be recreation spaces when the outdoors is not an option.

Add additional lighting inside and out as needed. Showings may occur in the evening, so be sure the potential buyer can see well.

Clean the gutters carefully to prevent any leaking […]