Maureen Harmonay - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 12/4/2018

Selling a home takes patience. Especially when youíre balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when youíve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, youíll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they arenít penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasnít drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now youíre ready to close on your home sale. Youíll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, itís important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.





Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/27/2018

If you list your home and fail to stir up interest in it, there is no reason to panic. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure your house consistently garners homebuyers' attention.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you showcase your home to dozens of prospective buyers.

1. Bolster Your House's Curb Appeal

How your home looks to potential buyers can have a significant impact on the house selling journey. If your residence appears drab and cluttered, buyers may be reluctant to set up a home showing. However, if you enhance your residence's curb appeal, you could make your home an attractive choice to buyers.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, it is essential to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. Don't forget to repair or replace any damaged home siding too. Because if you make your home's exterior appealing to buyers, you may find that many buyers want to check out your house as soon as possible.

2. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter is a problem that home sellers must eliminate. Otherwise, excess items scattered throughout a home may make a residence appear small.

For those who want to cut down on clutter, it may be beneficial to rent a storage unit. You can rent a storage unit close to home that enables you to keep various belongings safe until your residence sells.

If you are ready to get rid of assorted items, you can host a yard sale or list these items online. You also may want to donate unwanted items to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to generating interest in a home, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows how to promote a residence to buyers, and ultimately, ensure a seller can reap the benefits of a quick, profitable property selling experience.

Initially, a real estate agent will walk through your home and perform an in-depth analysis. He or she next will work with you to craft a house selling strategy and showcase your residence to buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and determine how to proceed.

Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides after you accept an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will guide you through the closing stages of the home selling journey. And if you have any concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

If you find that buyers are hesitant to view your house, you may want to revamp your property selling strategy. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can revise your house selling plan and take the necessary steps to get buyers interested in your residence.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/20/2018

Tired of living in the big city? No worries, as there is plenty of demand for residences in cities across the United States.

As a home seller, it is important to learn about a city's housing market. By doing so, you can understand what to expect before you list your property.

Ultimately, selling a home in the city can be a quick and simple process. Here are three tips to ensure you can add your residence to a city's real estate market and maximize the value of your house.

1. Check Out Comparable Residences That Are Currently Available

How does your home stack up against other houses in a particular city? Review comparable homes that are currently available, and you may be able to find ways to differentiate your residence from the competition.

Remember, an informed home seller understands the ins and outs of the local housing market. This individual will learn about his or her property's strengths and weaknesses, and as a result, discover ways to transform assorted home weaknesses into strengths.

Emphasize your city home's interior and exterior as you search for ways to enhance your residence. A clean, uncluttered home interior will make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your house. Meanwhile, a dazzling home exterior will ensure your residence can make an unforgettable first impression on homebuyers.

2. Establish a Competitive Price for Your House

A competitive price can make a world of difference for home sellers in a big city. In fact, a home seller who prices his or her city home aggressively from the get-go may be able to streamline the home selling process.

To determine a fair price for a city residence, assess the prices of recently sold houses in your city. This housing market data will help you determine whether the current real estate market favors homebuyers or home sellers.

Also, don't forget to complete a home appraisal. This home evaluation will enable you to receive expert insights into problem areas throughout your home that you can correct before you list your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to serve home sellers in any way possible. This real estate professional knows what it takes to sell a city home and will allocate the necessary time and resources to promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers.

With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your city home. A real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence on social media and much more. Perhaps best of all, this real estate professional will respond to your home selling queries at any time.

Don't leave anything to chance as you prepare to sell your city home. Use these home selling tips, and you can increase the likelihood that you'll be able to maximize the value of your residence.




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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/13/2018

Making the transition from being a renter to a home owner is a life changing experience -- one which brings both rewards and new responsibilities.

Although you'll no longer have a landlord (on speed dial) to handle things like yard maintenance, noisy neighbors, and appliance repairs, you'll enjoy the satisfaction of being in control of your own living space, your property, and your level of privacy. With few exceptions, if you choose to erect fences, plant privacy hedges, or build a screened-in back porch, that's your prerogative.

In the not-so-distant past, you may have felt as if your privacy was not as absolute as you might have preferred. Even though landlords and apartment managers are usually required by state law to give tenants 24 to 48 hours notice before entering the premises for an inspection or maintenance visit, some are not aware of their obligation. Unfortunately, there are also inconsiderate landlords who don't want to be bothered with things like advance notice requirements. That potential problem can be even more of an issue if the landlord happens to live downstairs or next door!

When you're a renter, landlords do generally have a right of entry, which, according to rental agreements, can be for repairs, alterations, improvements or "any reasonable purpose." If the end of your lease is approaching, your landlord may also appear at your door to show your rental unit to prospective tenants, real estate agents, appraisers, and others. Although many tenants do not encounter problems with landlords, the fact that they do have a right to access to your apartment, condo, or rented house is enough to make you feel uneasy!

The minute you become a homeowner, however, those uncomfortable privacy issues become a thing of the past. You no longer have to answer to a landlord, and -- unless there are restrictive zoning laws or Home Owner Association (HOA) rules -- you and your spouse are the ones who call the shots. While it's wise to be considerate of your neighbors and aware of local ordinances, you are free to own pets, throw parties, sleep on waterbeds, have long-term guests, and make changes to your house, your yard, and your property, as you see fit.

While pets are okay, farm animals may not be so acceptable! If your goal is to raise chickens, goats, or horses on your property, you might encounter some potential stumbling blocks. It does depend on a number of factors, such as whether you're in a rural area and if the land is agriculturally zoned. Your real estate agent, attorney, or town clerk would probably be the best sources of information when it comes to questions like that.

Generally speaking, however, property owners do have a lot of leeway on how they can use their property, as long as they observe local laws, be respectful of their neighbors, keep noise levels down to "a dull roar," and maintain a semblance of order in their front yard!





Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/6/2018

A home inspection is a vital part of every real estate transaction. Its importance is usually solidified in a purchase contract in the form of a contingency clause.

Whenever you buy or sell a home, the transaction is typically contingent upon a few things being fulfilled. Inspections help protect the buyer from purchasing a home that they believed didnít have any major issues.

For buyers, an inspection can save you thousands in the long run. For sellers, getting a preemptive inspection done (on your own dime) can be useful since it will help you avoid any surprises that could arise when a potential buyer has your home inspected.

Hiring a home inspector

Regardless of whether youíre the buyer or the seller in this instance, hiring a home inspector isnít something you should take lightly. Youíll want to confer with your agent before you pick an inspector.

Itís also a good idea to check out some online reviews and visit the inspectorís website for pricing. Typically, inspectors charge between $200 and $400 for an inspection, so feel free to shop around.

Inspectors are certified, so make sure whoever you choose has the proper licensure. You can search for inspectors in your area with this search function.

Ultimately, youíll want to choose an inspector that can give you the most unbiased assessment of the home, so that you can be assured that you know what youíre getting into when you buy or sell a home.

Preparing for an inspection

Many buyers arenít sure what to expect on inspection day. However, the process is relatively simple.

Youíll want to make sure the inspector can easily access workspaces (like around the furnace, circuit breakers, etc.). This will make the inspectorís job easier and allow them to focus on the service theyíre providing you.

If possible, itís also a good idea to provide them with records of important home maintenance and repairs. Inspectors know what red flags to look for with the home, both physically and on paper.

Finally, make sure pets, kids, and any other distractions are away from home or with someone who can attend to them.

Post inspection

After the inspection is complete, the inspector will hand you a report and be able to answer any questions you have about their findings. They will give recommendations about the timeline for repairs that need to be made soon or even years into the future.

With this report in hand, you can determine if there are repairs you want to negotiate with the seller if youíre buying a home. As a seller, this report will tip you off to issues that potential buyers will likely have and give you a chance to address them in advance.




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