Maureen Harmonay - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 3/20/2018

Selling a home sometimes can be a hassle, particularly if a homebuyer wants to negotiate. Fortunately, expert real estate agents are happy to help you take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation.

Ultimately, there are several reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent to handle a home selling negotiation, including:

1. A real estate agent boasts comprehensive experience with home selling negotiations.

Let's face it Ė a home selling negotiation can be stressful. But with a real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive plenty of guidance as you make the final push to sell your residence.

A real estate agent is a master of the art of negotiation. As such, he or she will help you seamlessly navigate a home selling negotiation.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you up to date as a home selling negotiation approaches its conclusion. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations, ensuring you can make informed decisions at each stage of a negotiation.

2. A real estate agent will ensure both you and a homebuyer get the best results possible.

As a home seller, your goal is to get the best price for your residence. Meanwhile, a homebuyer likely wants to purchase your residence at a price that suits his or her budget perfectly.

Finding common ground with a homebuyer may prove to be difficult. Lucky for you, a real estate agent will work with both a home seller and a homebuyer to guarantee both parties are satisfied with the end results of a negotiation.

A real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to understand your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly.

Furthermore, this housing market professional will serve as a liaison between you and a homebuyer. He or she will work directly with you and a homebuyer to finalize a home sale agreement that meets the needs of both property seller and buyer.

3. A real estate agent will help you overcome any challenges during a home selling negotiation.

There is no need to let challenges arise during a home selling negotiation. Conversely, a real estate agent will help you identify any potential problems and mitigate such issues before they escalate.

For example, a homebuyer may make a variety of home improvement demands after a property inspection. And if a home seller refuses to complete these property improvements, a homebuyer may walk away from a home sale.

A real estate agent will help a home seller prep his or her house for a property inspection. Plus, he or she can provide details about a homebuyer's demands after a property inspection and help a home seller determine the best way to proceed.

Ready to finalize a home sale? Collaborate with a real estate agent Ė you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you during a home selling negotiation and ensure you can optimize the value of your house.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 3/13/2018

If you recently added your house to the real estate market, it may be only a matter of time before you sell your house. In fact, if you know what to expect after a home listing is published, you can plan accordingly for all stages of the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for the home selling process.

1. Craft an Engaging and Informative Home Listing

Oftentimes, a home listing may dictate a seller's success. If a seller creates a listing that fails to effectively highlight a house's benefits, buyers may shy away from the residence altogether. On the other hand, a seller who crafts an engaging and informative listing can increase the probability of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

Your home listing should include relevant information about your residence, including details about your house's age and condition. Also, it may be beneficial to include high-resolution photographs of your house to help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing, either. Because if you fail to provide homebuyers with accurate information about your home Ė and these buyers discover "hidden" home problems during an inspection Ė you ultimately may put a potential home sale in jeopardy.

2. Make Your Home Available to Potential Buyers

As a home seller, you should strive to make your residence available to as many potential buyers as possible. Thus, if a buyer requests a home showing on short notice, you should be willing to temporarily vacate your residence to accommodate this buyer's request.

In addition, you should try to keep your house neat and tidy. That way, if a buyer requests a showing on short notice, you won't have to worry about scrambling to clean your home.

3. Know What Your Home Is Worth

After you list your house, buyers will read your home listing and set up showings. And if a buyer is truly interested in purchasing your home, he or she likely will submit an offer.

A seller generally has only a limited amount of time to assess an offer and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it. Fortunately, if you conduct a home appraisal, you can find out what your house is currently worth.

With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your residence, as well as evaluate pertinent housing market data. Next, this property expert will offer a home valuation that helps you understand the true value of your house.

Lastly, if you need assistance as you sell your house, it may be helpful to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you about the real estate sector and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Take the guesswork out of selling your house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast and successful home selling experience.

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 3/6/2018

Buying a home is probably the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. In spite of down payments and monthly mortgage dues, youíll also have to plan for the fees that come with purchasing a home. These expenses are collectively known as closing costs.

Just how much can you expect to spend on closing costs when buying a house? Experts say that closing costs amount to anywhere between 3 and 5% of the cost of the home. So, if you buy a $250,000 home, you could pay as much as $12,000 in closing costs and associated fees.

Coupled with a down payment that is due at the time of signing, closing on a home can get very expensive very quickly. But weíre here to help you understand the cost of closing and how you can potentially cut some of those costs that are due at the time of signing. Read on to learn how.

What are closing costs?

There are dozens of possible expenses that may come up at the time of closing. Depending on your unique situation, you might pay for several or just a few of them. Some common closing costs include:

  • Mortgage application fee. This fee describes the cost of processing your mortgage application. Be sure to go over everything that this fee covers with your lender.

  • Attorney fee. While this fee may not always be required, it is a good idea to have an attorney review your mortgage and related documents and contracts.

  • Property tax. It isnít out of the ordinary to be asked to pay the first or first two months of your property tax at the time of closing.

  • Insurance premiums. Flood, fire, and mortgage insurance premiums may all be required to be paid at the time of closing as well.

  • Home inspection. Itís not a legal obligation to inspect a home before you buy it, but it can save you thousands of dollars in repairs if an issue is discovered after you already sign on a new home.

  • Origination fee. Not all lenders charge an origination fee, but can expect to pay up to 1% of the value of the home to cover the lenderís administrative expenses.

  • Transfer tax. This is the tax for when a property changes ownership. Each state and county charge different amounts, with some states charging no transfer tax at all.

  • Underwriting costs. This is another fee charged by your lender for the work they do to ensure you are safe to lend to.

Where you can save

We know what youíre thinking: thatís a lot of fees. The good news, however, is that you likely wonít end up paying every closing cost there is, and sometimes closing costs are negotiable.

Hereís our advice on how to reduce closing costs.

  1. Shop around. Find a lender that offers a closing cost that youíre comfortable with. Ask the lender for Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The lender is obligated by law to provide a GFE within three business days of applying for a loan.

  2. Negotiate with the lender. Since you havenít signed on the loan yet, you still have the power to negotiate. For best results, try to negotiate the smaller and more obscure fees; those that arenít as common with other lenders are more likely to be reduced or removed.

  3. Negotiate with the seller. Some costs may be negotiated with the seller depending on quickly they would like to sell the home. Negotiate things like inspection fees or transfer taxes with the seller. Or, bring up the closing costs with the seller and see if they will reduce the price of the home to accommodate for some of the closing costs. 

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 2/27/2018

There is always an undeniable appeal to move into a brand new home. After all, there shouldnít be any problems with a new construction home, right? While shiny new appliances and brand new flooring can be appealing, there are many advantages to buying an older home.

The Price

It may seem obvious, but older homes are less expensive than newer homes. You might be able to get a bit more for your money if you decide to buy an older home. 

Construction Quality

Older homes tend to have a bit better quality in their construction. Some aspects of older construction homes cannot even be reproduced with all of the technology that we have in the present day. Itís often true that ďthey donít build homes like they used to.Ē Certain building materials of the past are actually more sturdy than the materials that are used in the present day. Older homes have stood the test of time for a reason! 

The Location Is An Established Neighborhood

If youíre not looking to move into an up and coming neighborhood, you could be better off buying an older construction home. Youíll know that a neighborhood has already been established and that people have enjoyed living in the area for years before you got there when you find an older home to purchase. In finding a neighborhood, youíll look at the important factors like the school district, the walkability of the area and the crime rate. Older homes tend to be in more stable areas. Keep that in mind. 

Older Homes Have More Personality

Sure, you could move into a street with new construction and be happy there. Yet, if you move into an older home, you will find a lot of advantages. The landscaping may be more well-established, allowing you to find your favorite features on the outside of the home right when you move in. In a new home, it could take years to establish the same type of curb appeal that youíll get from moving into an older home.    


Thereís More Space In An Older Home

An older home may afford you much more yard space and overall square footage. As the world gets more and more developed, space runs short. Older homes were constructed at times when space was at a maximum. These homes were built on larger lots, giving homeowners the advantage of more space. 

While you may think that buying a new construction home is the way to go, older homes offer many different things that newer construction homes just canít bring to the table. Broaden your search and look for older homes, you could be very surprised!   

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 2/20/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but youíll never know what itís like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there arenít many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.

Check Out The Neighborhood

You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.

Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you. 

Test The Plumbing

If you have a chance as youíre walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but itís important. You donít want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isnít so hot! 

Check Out How The Windows Work

A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.   

How Is The Storage Space?

Look around the homes that youíre considering and see how much storage space youíll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your familyís lifestyle.