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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Frequently Asked Questions From Home Sellers

By |September 13th, 2017|

 

By Kim Henderson

As a real estate professional, I am asked a lot of questions from home sellers and home buyers. Answering questions never bothers me. I work hard to increase my knowledge base to be able to help guide my clients through the home buying or selling process.

Sellers are sometimes surprised at the emotions that come to the surface when they are selling their home. You may have sentimental attachments to the home that you never realized until you see the For-Sale sign in the front yard.

Here are some questions I am asked, along with the answers.
“What is my home worth?”
This is the #1 question I am asked by a home seller. The price of your home is going to vary depending on the size of your home, updates to your home, the neighborhood and other factors. I will compile a comparative market analysis for you. A comparative market analysis is an objective look at homes that have recently sold in your area, comparing the size and style of home, the condition and the location of your home.  It is important to look at these comparative sales in the eyes of the appraiser. The appraiser is going to look at the proximity, size and condition of the comparable homes to your home. Once we review the comparable homes, we will determine the best price for you to offer your home for sale.
“What should I do to my home to get ready to sell?”
Spending time preparing your home for sale is worth more than you can imagine. Decluttering, cleaning and staging a home are critical to achieve a quick sale. You will start by decluttering and removing the personal items that make this house “YOUR” […]

Don’t Forget Your Summer Home Maintenance!

By |August 14th, 2017|

 

By Kim Henderson

We have plenty of warm weather ahead of us yet. Now is the time to finish up those summer home maintenance items around the home before the cold winds start blowing. Here are a few things you should consider doing around the house now:

Roof check – Have your roof and gutters inspected by a professional to ensure that you don’t have any loose or missing shingles, leaks or other issues that may become a big problem with the rainy fall season or the cold winter weather.

Window check – take a moment to check all your windows for sealant, caulking and any weather stripping. Don’t share the comfortable temperatures of your home with the outdoors.

Exterior check – clean the exterior of your home and check for any issues with the brick or siding. Check the painted areas to see if they need re-painted. Routinely cleaning your home will remove dirt, stains and mildew for better curb appeal.

Clothes dryer vent pipe check – This is an overlooked maintenance item, but it is very important to preventing house fires. Have your vent pipe cleaned of any lint accumulation. Be sure to clean the pipe inside and out. Don’t forget to clean the lint filter with every load of laundry you dry.

Stair and Deck check – be sure to check all the exterior stairs, decks and patios for any deterioration that may need repaired. You should also check for any nail pops and loose boards.

Furnace and A/C check – if you haven’t had your air conditioner checked in some time, you may want to do that even though we are nearing the end of cooling season. You will also want […]

Selling Your Home in a HOT Real Estate Market

By |June 21st, 2017|

The market has been hot in the Pittsburgh area. As a seller, you may ask yourself why some homes sit on the market for some time while others sell in a blink of an eye. The key is in the preparation you take prior to putting your home on the market. A quick sale of your home will take some upfront effort before putting the sign in your front yard.
Find the right Realtor to represent you.

An experienced real estate agent will provide you with answers to your questions, and provide an honest opinion of the condition of your home. This agent will be able to help you determine the right price to list your home to create great interest and possibly multiple offers. Working with an agent who invests in their continuing education is very important. I have obtained the Seller Residential Specialist (SRS) and the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations that have broadened my understanding and knowledge base. I have also been honored to receive Pittsburgh Magazine’s FIVE Star Realtor award from 2011-2016.
Clean and declutter your home.

The next step in preparing to sell your home is cleaning and decluttering. Clean every crack and crevice like you have never cleaned before! Most buyers will be looking carefully at everything. Be very careful to eliminate any pet or smoking odors in your home. Declutter your rooms, closets and basements as much as possible. I typically recommend painting with a fresh new color. If a buyer sees that your closets are stuffed they will feel that the closets will not be big enough for them either. An area to pay attention to is your front door. The buyer spends a fair amount of time at […]