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Tips for Selling a House With a Dated Roof

Tips for Selling a House With a Dated Roof

If your roof is old and near the end of its useful life, the best practice is to simply replace it. However, if you don’t have the funds to replace it for whatever reason, what do you do? I can recommend a few strategies for this situation:

  • The best-case scenario is that you’re in a competitive market with multiple interested buyers and you could feasibly sell your house without having to deal with the roof at all.
  • You could split the cost of the roof with the buyer. Being able to negotiate that deal would be a wonderful outcome.
  • Instead of replacing the roof, you could provide a credit to the buyer at closing. However, if you let a buyer price out your roof, the price will naturally be higher than what you could have gotten otherwise. From a negotiating standpoint, it’s a good idea to get an estimate for the roof and have that information in your back pocket when discussing this with your buyer.
  • If you live in an area where your home has sustained significant weather-related damage, you could reach out to your homeowners insurance company to see if they’ll cover the costs to replace the roof. You never know—if you don’t ask, you don’t receive.

A good thing to keep in mind is that the quality of your agent will ultimately determine the success of your transaction. When you’re interviewing agents to determine who will assist with your home sale, be sure to ask what they recommend you do if your roof is older.

Here at Real Estate Experts, we work with our sellers to develop strategies to help them reach their goals. If you’d like us to help you with your next home sale, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to give you our professional advice.

The Key to Presenting a Winning Offer for Your Client

The Key to Presenting a Winning Offer for Your Client

As a buyer’s agent, what can you do to ensure a seller accepts your client’s offer over the competition?

If you’re in a competitive price range with a high chance of generating multiple offers on the listing you’re interested in, it’s a great idea to call, text, or email the listing agent ahead of time to find out if there are any offers on the property. After you’ve shown it, and if your client wants to make an offer, it’s also a good idea to reach out to the listing agent to let them know you’ll be presenting an offer—take that time to find out what the seller’s preferred closing date is and whether there are any other terms and conditions that the seller wants. The more you can give to the seller, especially in a competitive environment, the stronger your offer will be.

Next, sit down and strategically review your offer with your client. It’s important to discuss all the details, like what the due diligence time frame should be and how much due diligence money should be proffered. The more due diligence money, the better, and the shorter the due diligence period, the better. If you’re confident that the price is fine, you could even remove the appraisal clause and add an escalation clause.

One of the most important questions I always ask my clients is, “If you lose this house, how upset will you be?” If they’re going to be very upset, then the best thing that you can do as a buyer’s agent is to get the house for them. Crafting the perfect offer isn’t necessarily about building in every little piece of protection; it’s about winning the client the house they want.

That in mind, instead of asking the seller for a home warranty, just tell your client it would be your pleasure to buy it for them at closing. If you’re a new agent, try sitting down with your broker or an experienced agent to go over all the details and come up with a solid strategy.

I was recently involved in a situation where a seller wanted to sell their house as is. I recommended they do all the due diligence for the buyer and to make everything transparent. We did a home inspection, structural inspection, and had every single repair priced out so that all the information was available for the buyer. We received five offers, and the best was actually a cash offer; the buyer had completely removed the due diligence period. That told the seller that the buyers were purchasing the house unequivocally—it was a very well-thought-out strategy.

When you’re presenting your client’s offer, make sure you have all your documentation, as well. A listing agent doesn’t want to have to run around and continuously ask for details that should have been provided with the offer. Be sure you have:

  • Your client’s pre-approval letter
  • Copies of your checks
  • A written letter to the seller explaining why your client wants to purchase the house and why they’re the best candidates to buy it. Some listing agents will accept those letters, and some won’t; if they will, tugging at the seller’s heartstrings is always worth a try.

Again, not only do you want your offer to be well-planned, but you also want it to be well-documented. You’re going to develop a relationship with that listing agent. This is important because even if your offer isn’t the one the seller accepts, forming a positive relationship with the listing agent might help you get in on another property they’re listing.

If you have any questions about structuring offers and communicating with listing agents, reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to help you. I’ve been in the business for going on 22 years now, and I love teaching people.

Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Today I want to discuss ways you can reduce the amount of waste you’re producing in your home. You may have noticed in past blog posts that I regard myself as an environmentalist and I care about how much waste I’m generating and the size of my carbon footprint. Saving the environment is critical to me. I’m sure you will also see this in future blog posts. But maybe these tips will give you some ideas of ways you can cut down waste in your own home.

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch the full message or use these timestamps to browse specific topics at your leisure: 

0:05: Introduction
0:40: Composting
2:00: Visit CompostNow.org for help with composting
2:10: Use a SodaStream
2:40: Replace plastic bottles with reusable ones
2:55: Buy products with recyclable packaging
4:00 Choose Earthborn and Open Farm dog foods
4:20: Recycle coffee grounds
5:05: Use paper products made from bamboo and sugarcane
5:20: The company Grove Collaborative has bamboo and sugarcane products
5:25: Wrap up

If you have any ideas to diminish waste that you’re using I would love to hear about them. If you have any further questions about reducing your carbon footprint or concerning real estate please feel free to reach out to me by phone or email, I would love to help you.

What Property Management Companies Do & Why You Should Hire One

As a real estate investor, hiring a property management company is one of the best decisions you can make. 

Property management companies protect your investment and reduce your stress by taking care of it for you. Property managers who negotiate leases, handle rents, and take security deposits must be licensed real estate brokers. As licensed brokers, we operate under clear practical and ethical standards.

Specifically, there are several things a property manager can do for you. 

First, they can valuate your property so you know how much rent you can get. Next, they’ll position your property for renting the same way an agent positions a home for sale. Tenants today are as picky about which properties to rent as they’d be if they were going to buy, which means property managers must have high-quality systems in place to market your property. They can also screen your tenants, which is a critical process because you want tenants who you’re confident will take care of the property and pay their rent on time. 

Good property managers will communicate with you on a consistent basis


Some people think the most important thing a property manager can do is collect rent, and we agree that this is important, but it’s equally important that your investment is protected and maintained properly. When you switch tenants, we don’t want you spending a lot of time bringing the property up to par. We want you to spend the least amount of money possible and just handle basic wear and tear. Property managers also handle things like move-in and move-out inspections and all types of repair issues—no matter what time of day. 

Furthermore, good property managers will communicate with you on a consistent basis so you know which bills are being paid, what your monthly profits are, and how your accounting looks. 

We at Real Estate Experts go above and beyond for our property management clients, and one thing we do that very few other companies do is physically visit the outside of your property on a monthly basis and the inside on a quarterly basis. This way, we get a good look at the whole property and can take care of any problems. The other benefit of this is we develop great relationships with our clients, which minimizes any potential disputes and helps make sure the rent is paid on time. 

If you have any more questions about what a property management company can do for you, visit our website or drop us a line. We have plenty of property managers who’d love to speak with you. 

Rent, Sell, or Keep: What to Do with Your Home After Downsizing

Rent, Sell, or Keep: What to Do with Your Home After Downsizing

Downsizing your home

What To Do With Your Home If You Are Downsizing

As you grow older, downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home seems like an increasingly attractive option. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a complicated process. Before you even start dealing with the move, you need to decide what you are going to do with your existing family home. In this article, we will go over a few of the basic things to keep in mind.

Selling the House

This is perhaps the most obvious solution, and the one most people choose. After all, most people will need the cash from a home sale in order to be able to afford to buy a new place. However, it’s important to actually understand the local market before deciding.

According to the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, the average home in Chapel Hill sells for $400,000, and homes take an average of 62 days to sell. This is because Chapel Hill is not a particularly competitive market. What this means is that you cannot be guaranteed a quick sale.

This becomes especially relevant if you are selling a big family home. According to Business Insider, the large multi-bedroom homes owned by boomers are becoming harder to sell to the younger generation. In other words, your big house may be hard to sell, and you are less likely to make as much profit from downsizing.

There is also the matter of downsizing your possessions. Selling the house means you likely have to get rid of many items and furniture. You need to be organized and have a plan to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. My Move recommends starting early and starting small, prioritizing the rooms you won’t have in your new house (like an attic or home office).

Renting Out the House

Renting out your house is a great option if you plan to sell the house someday but would rather hold onto it for now. Rent does not bring in a big cash sum, but it can provide a regular, ongoing source of income. This can be more convenient in terms of cash flow for someone on a fixed retirement income.

The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in Chapel Hill is $1,875, and this is likely to be higher for a house. If you are looking to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center (average rent $1,068.75), you could be looking at a net monthly profit.

If, on the other hand, you are buying your new home, things can be a bit more complicated. For seniors, Bankrate recommends looking at 10-year or 15-year mortgages, which will allow you to pay off the smaller home faster. Using the SmartAsset calculator, we can see that a 15-year mortgage on a $400,000 home, with a $50,000 down payment, would cost almost $3,000 a month. If you wanted to pay off your mortgage with your rent income, your down payment would have to be as big as $200,000.

Of course, these are all approximate figures, which will vary pretty significantly. It is worth noting that a senior could get a traditional 30-year mortgage, which would be a lot easier to finance using rent income. However, experts do tend to recommend seniors minimize debt in retirement, and this may not be the most convenient option.

If you are considering renting your home, Real Estate Experts property management group will take care of your all important investment — your home.  If you want to learn about property managers and what we do and what Real Estate Experts does to protect your home, watch our video about What Property managers Do and visit our web site.

Keeping It in the Family 

This is obviously the best option if there is someone in the family who actively wants the home. There are several options here, from giving the house as a gift to passing on the mortgage to your family member. Each has its own tax implications, so do plenty of research before deciding. For instance, if you try to sell your house to a relative for a big discount, the IRS will still count this as a gift, and the gift tax will apply.

Deciding what to do with a family home when downsizing is never an easy choice. There are a lot of complex financial factors but also significant emotional and practical ones. For this reason, you need to give yourself plenty of time to consider all these carefully and discuss them with your family if needed. In other words: When it comes to downsizing, don’t rush things!

Real Estate Experts can help you evaluate your home and help you make the decision about selling or renting.  The foundation of our business is that is It All About You.  Our goal is to help you make the best decision that meets your family goals.  Contact us anytime!

How You Can Put Down Less Than 20% and Avoid PMI

How You Can Put Down Less Than 20% and Avoid PMI

How can you make a down payment of 20% or less and avoid PMI?

To start, you must have really good credit. In other words, your credit score must be in the high 700s. There’s a strong correlation between your credit score and how much mortgage insurance you pay—stronger than the correlation between your credit score and your interest rate. 

For example, let’s say you purchase a house for $230,000, you put down less than 5% for a conventional loan, and you have a credit score in the 700s. In this scenario, your PMI will be a little over $2,600. Lenders have different programs for all types of buyers, and if you have good credit, there are plenty of options available to you, but in this case, you have three choices in terms of what you can do with that PMI. 

First, you can take that entire $2,600 sum and add it into your loan. In effect, you would finance it, but you wouldn’t pay it on a monthly basis, which would leave your regular monthly payment at about $1,056. Second, you can just pay it monthly, which would increase your monthly payment to $1,105. Lastly, you can pay the $2,600 sum up front with your 5% down payment, which would decrease your monthly payment to $1,044. 

This was an actual scenario one of my clients faced recently, and she chose option No. 1. Keep in mind, though, that this is a simplified scenario because with each option there will be different interest rates and cash-to-close amounts, depending on which programs your lender offers. 

Whether you have good or bad credit, there are all types of programs available to you, so the best thing you can do is talk to a good lender and find out which one best suits you. To find a good lender, reach out to your Realtor and have them help you. Odds are, they work with plenty that they’d be happy to recommend to you. 

Here at Real Estate Experts, we work with an excellent selection of lenders that we can put you in touch with, so if you’d like to know more about this topic or you have any other real estate questions, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to speaking with you. 

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