Todd Finn - RE/MAX Partners



Posted by Todd Finn on 9/10/2017

If you're searching for a new home open houses can present many learning opportunities. It's your chance to gather information--not only about the particular home you're touring, but also about buying homes in general. It's also your chance to get used to working with real estate agents to learn what they can offer you. Many people arrive at an open house with an open mind. This isn't a bad thing, but it is good to be prepared with some questions for the agent. In this article, we'll talk about some important questions that will help you make the most informed real estate decisions as possible. But first, let's talk open house preparation in general.

Open House Etiquette

Many people expect to be pounced upon by an agent at an open house like a salesman in a furniture store. However, you'll most likely find that the agent is hands-off at the open house, letting you take a look around unbothered. Here are some tips for good open house etiquette to leave a good impression as a potential buyer.
  • Sign in to the guestbook. Or, if you do decline, do it politely
  • Ask for permission before you take photos
  • Ask the real estate agent your questions casually and give them time to speak with other guests--interrogating the agent will make it an uncomfortable meeting for everyone
  • Save probing questions or criticism until you leave. You'll get a chance to speak with the agent again, but don't want to seem rude at your first meeting.

Top Five Questions

  1. Why are the owners selling the home? This one question will give you several details about the home. If they are selling because of the neighbors or problems with the home this question will give you insight into those important buying factors.
  2. Has the listing price changed?† Fluctuation in the price of the home can mean the seller is on a timeline or that the house isn't receiving any offers at the original price. This information could mean that there is some flexibility in the price of the home.
  3. Are there any problems with the home? Most states require the seller to disclose problems with the house. There are many issues that could affect the value of a home that aren't in plain sight, such as plumbing and electrical work. Don't be afraid to ask when the last time the roof was repaired or when any other major work was done on the house.
  4. What is the neighborhood like?† If you aren't familiar with the area you're moving into this is a very important question to ask. Real estate agents should be experts on the area they work in and will be able to give you information about noise levels, schools, traffic, and so on.
  5. What is the cost of utilities?† Everyone uses different amounts of electricity and water. That being said, each home also has its own level of†efficiency. If the home has outdated lighting and appliances or if the faucets let out a high volume of water, you might be surprised at how much your future utility bills will be.





Posted by Todd Finn on 9/3/2017

Before you sell your home, you may wonder if there are any areas that you can improve on before putting the home on the market. Kitchen renovations have one of the highest return values of any changes that you make to your home. Itís worth investigating what areas of the room could use some improving. Some of these upgrades donít even require you to start a construction project.


Clear Off The Counters


You donít even have to replace the countertops to add some value to your home. Making it appear as if your counters have the maximum amount of space before you show the home can really impress potential buyers Simply clear your counter, clean it, and make any small repairs that you notice may need to be done. If you have time and the budget, you can always replace tired old countertops. Simply showing that your counters have more room can really make a big difference.  


Add A Backsplash 


You can add a backsplash or update your existing one in order to breathe some life into your kitchen. Make sure that the tiles you choose coordinate with the theme of the kitchen. This is purely cosmetic but a kitchen with a fresh backsplash sells much faster than a tired, worn looking kitchen backslash, or even a kitchen without a backsplash at all.


Add Some Technology To The Kitchen


Buyers like simplicity and convenience in their potential homes. Consider adding some technology to the kitchen like USB outlets and smart appliances. If you can save a buyer from needing to upgrade their appliances and meet their 21st century needs at the same time, your home will be a very attractive sell. There are few things more enticing to buyers than brand spanking new appliances in the kitchen! These updates will surely add value to your home before you sell.   


The Floor 


While floors offer the least return for your investment, buyers donít like looking at old, dirty floors! Take the time to clean up your floor and replace it if needed. Itís not a difficult do-it-yourself project and can really make your kitchen look more attractive.       


Clean The Cabinets


Buyers are very into looking at every nook of the home they may potentially buy. That means if you have nice looking cabinets, you can have a leg up as a seller. Whether you need to clean and stain the wood on your cabinets, add a fresh coat of paint, or do a larger project and replace the cabinets altogether, there are plenty of ways that you can give your cabinets a fresh look, drawing attention to this part of the room. Be sure that whatever you do to your cabinets will bode well with the style of the kitchen.  




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Posted by Todd Finn on 8/27/2017

As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to promote your house to the right groups of property buyers. However, as you approach the finish line of a home sale, you may encounter a "persistent" homebuyer. And if this happens, the home selling process may come to a screeching halt.

A persistent homebuyer may be more likely than others to demand home improvements or a price reduction to finalize a house sale. As a result, you may need to decide whether to accommodate this homebuyer's requests, continue to negotiate with him or her or walk away from a potential home sale altogether.

So what does it take to deal with a persistent homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Understand the Housing Market

Are a homebuyer's requests valid? If so, they are likely to be based on housing market data. Therefore, if you analyze the housing market closely, you can better understand a persistent homebuyer's demands and proceed accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. By doing so, you can determine how your house's price rates against the competition.

Also, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data will help you understand the demand for houses in your city or town and determine whether you're operating in a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Stand Your Ground

A persistent homebuyer may be in a hurry to purchase your house. As such, he or she may push you to make rash decisions that may not be in your best interest.

For home sellers, it is important to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of any home selling decisions. And if you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer's requests, you should feel comfortable walking away from a possible home sale.

Ultimately, declining a homebuyer's requests and walking away from a home sale is far from ideal. On the other hand, doing so will allow you to reenter the housing market and restart the home selling journey with a fresh perspective.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to deal with a persistent homebuyer, you're probably not alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide to help you handle tough negotiations with any homebuyer, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the art of negotiation and can share his or her housing market expertise with you. That way, you can get the support you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling queries as the property selling journey progresses. No question is too big or too small for a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to answer your home selling questions time and time again.

Take the guesswork out of dealing with a persistent homebuyer Ė use these tips, and you can boost your chances of getting the best results from the home selling journey.




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Posted by Todd Finn on 8/20/2017

When was the last time you examined the lighting in your hallway? For home sellers, you may want to consider revamping the lighting in your hallway. By doing so, you can brighten up your hallway, and ultimately, help make your home more appealing to prospective homebuyers. So what does it take to improve your hallway lighting? Here are three tips to consider: 1. Add Lighting Controls. Although you may already have a light switch to control your hallway lighting, incorporating a dimmer switch or occupancy sensor into your hallway may prove to be a great option to enhance your hallway's overall appearance. A dimmer switch ensures you can brighten or dim your hallway as much or as little as you choose. The added control provided by a dimmer switch enables you to create a certain ambiance that you can share with homebuyers when they check out your residence. Comparatively, an occupancy sensor detects when a person walks through a hallway automatically. This sensor may serve as a distinct feature in your home, one that may help your residence stand out in the eyes of homebuyers. 2. Incorporate Wall Sconces. For home sellers who want to impress prospective homebuyers the moment they enter a hallway, wall sconces may serve as ideal additions. Wall sconces come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to select lighting that matches your hallway's dťcor beautifully. Also, wall sconces are available that enable you to create both up and down lighting that can give your hallway a one-of-a-kind look and feel. Try to find wall sconces that deliver a sense of balance in your hallway. By doing so, you'll be able to utilize wall sconces that provide a superior mix of fashion and function. 3. Install Track Lighting. Looking to brighten up a long hallway? Choose track lighting Ė you'll be glad you did! Track lighting typically runs parallel to your hallway's walls and offers immense versatility. Therefore, it serves as a wonderful option for those who want to make a hallway dazzle day after day. In many instances, you can change the direction of track lighting with ease, too. This type of lighting gives you superb flexibility, and as such, remains an exceedingly popular option in many homes. When it comes to brightening up a hallway or any other area of your home, be sure to evaluate all of the options at your disposal. Remember, you'll want to do whatever you can to help your residence sparkle, and the right lighting may enable you to transform a dull hallway into an eye-catching one. Lastly, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent before you perform hallway lighting improvements or other home repairs. This real estate professional likely boasts years of industry experience and will be able to guide you as you explore ways to make your home more attractive to homebuyers. Take a close look at your home's hallway lighting, and you're sure to find many great lighting options that you can use to help your residence stand out in any real estate market.





Posted by Todd Finn on 8/13/2017

Pets are family members. They accept you even when you're having a bad day. Own a pet and you may never lack for love and affection. You also might not run out of things to do in the morning, the time when you're mostly likely to be rushing around the house trying to get ready for the day.

Pets that may not do well at your house

The same applies during the evening when you own a pet. Unless you own a cat, you may have to walk your pet at the end of the day. It doesn't matter how tired you are. If you want your pet to stay healthy and happy, you'll have to let it exercise regularly.

Animals are also social creatures, some more than others. They need to be with and communicate with other animals. Then, there are animals that thrive as long as you spend time with them each day. It's these animals, pets that don't need a lot of interaction with other animals, that may do well at your house.

Turtles, fish, spiders and other reptile are pets that can thrive with a tank, special diet and water. There's no walking needed with these pets. If you're worried that you and your family will find it hard to connect with these small pets, let those concerns go.

Traditional pets don't always make the best house guests

Small pets that can live inside a tank are among the first pets that many people have. You can grow as attached to these small, indoor pets as you can to larger pets like cats and dogs.

Regarding larger pets like cats and dogs, it's important that you make sure that the type of cat or dog you get fits well with your personality and you schedule. Cats and dogs that you get from a shelter may have psychological or emotional problems that cause them to feel anxious whenever they are alone.

Other pets may be too aggressive to leave around young children. Dogs like Boston terriers, chow chows, sheepdogs and Akita dogs shed a lot of hair. No matter how often you vacuum and pick up after these pets, you might find hair balled or laying on furniture and the floor.

Size isn't the only way to tell if animals make great indoor pets

Large dogs like German Shepherds, Doberman pinchers and Rottweiler breeds need lots of room to run and expend their energy. Get a large dog for a pet and it's a good idea to have plenty of outdoor space. These large pets may actually prefer to be outdoors.

Although you may not suspect it, certain cats like Bengal cats need space to expend what seems like boundless energy too. Bengals cats aren't that much bigger than atypical house cat. But, energy -- Bengal cats have an exorbitant amount of energy.

When choosing between indoor and outdoor pets, think about your children's ages.Also, consider how responsible your children are. Try to avoid getting pets simply because your children cry and beg you to bring the pets home because they look cute when you look at them through a pet store window. A pet is a responsibility that requires more than five minutes of care each day.




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