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November 2017


Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to contact me and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Pam French
Broker   |   574-849-3037

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Keep Cool While Negotiating

When you list your home for sale, you believe you’ve priced it right, staged it beautifully, and timed the market correctly for a quick sale. But that doesn’t mean buyers will pay full price.

First-time homebuyers deferred home-buying seven years longer than other generations and are challenged by high home prices, large down payment requirements as well as unprecedented college debt. Due to the last recession, housing stock is older and fewer new homes are available.

So even though your housing market may be healthy with homes selling quickly, expect to negotiate. Negotiating doesn’t mean you win and the buyer loses, or you lose and the buyer wins. It’s a way for both of you to win.

Don’t take a low offer personally. The buyer may be using a low price to tell you something, like your home is tired or overpriced for the neighborhood. Your job is to find out what that something is. Ask their reasoning for offering such a low price.

Meanwhile, ask your agent for an updated comparable market analysis. Markets change quickly and learning new information may convince you to reconsider your position. Be flexible on the points that count most with the buyer like closing costs. Throw in the washer and dryer, and the buyer could be more flexible when it comes to repairs and other concerns.

You want to keep the dialog open and a possible deal alive. Remember, the buyer chose your home, and it could be your best opportunity to sell.


Questions You Should Answer Before Refinancing

Before interest rates rise, you may want to refinance your home to pay off debt, get better terms, or cash out equity for reinvestment elsewhere. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you take out a new loan.

  1. How long do you plan to stay in the home? If you don’t plan to own the home for roughly three years or more after refinancing, it might not make financial sense to refinance.
  2. Are you refinancing for a good reason? Taking equity out of your home to pay down credit card debt is risky. Once the debt has gone away, it’s easy to “reload” and run up new debt.
  3. What type of loan do you currently have? One good reason to refinance is to get more favorable terms, such as getting into a low fixed-rate loan from a higher fluctuating rate.
  4. Should you reinvest the money? Cash-out refinances are cheap compared with other loans, so you may be tempted to invest the money in another home, and rent out your current home. Or you may want to remodel to keep your home’s value high in the marketplace or to improve its utility. All investments carry risk, so before you decide, ask your lender to help you figure out the risk vs. reward.

Take the monthly savings amount and divide it into your total closing costs. This figure represents the number of months it will take to pay back your closing costs.


Preparing A Wood-burning Fireplace

Few winter delights beat the crackling sound and soothing aromas of a wood-burning fire. As you prepare for the upcoming holidays, make sure your fireplace and your fire-building skills are ready in time for cozy gatherings.

Have a chimney sweep company check your chimney for birds’ nests and other debris that could block smoke from properly venting outside. The sweep will also remove creosote from the chimney walls and test your damper to make sure it opens and closes easily.

Use only dried, aged logs or commercial logs appropriate for indoor use. Green, wet or soft woods produce more smoke and soot, so stick to hardwoods like oak and hickory. Never burn clothing, crates, boxes, or painted wood items that may have chemical finishes that produce unwanted gases.

Find a convenient dry place to store wood outside. Watch out for small critters and insects that can hitch rides on logs and settle in your home.

Open the damper before building any fire and keep it open until the fire has gone completely out. Smaller logs burn faster, so start with a small fire using kindling or a starter log. Add larger logs as the fire catches, leaving space between the logs for air to circulate. Never leave a fire unattended.

Ashes don’t smell nearly as good as the aromas of burning wood, so be sure to clean out the ashes before you use the fireplace again. Leave a small bed of ash to cushion embers as they fall from burning logs.


Why Homebuyers Pass Up Good Homes

Selling your home takes hard work and commitment to get it ready to impress buyers. While you can’t control the market, you can control your home’s appeal. Don’t let the following reasons make buyers pass on purchasing your home.

  1. Price: If you price your home too high, the right buyers won’t see it, and the ones who do see it will quickly realize other homes in the same range offer more value.
  2. Clutter: If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail and coffee cups, buyers will be more focused on trying not to break something than considering your home for purchase. Too much stuff makes it confusing for buyers to see the rooms clearly, so they’ll move on to a clearer choice.
  3. Deferred maintenance: Buyers really want a home that’s been well-maintained, so it’s your job as the homeowner to keep your home in good condition. You don’t want buyers wondering what needs fixing and at what cost.
  4. Outdated décor: The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood but not a dated-looking home. Take popcorn ceilings and flocked wallpaper down. Replace carpet with an upgrade or perhaps hardwoods.
  5. Smells: There’s not a buyer in the world who will buy a home that smells like pets, dirt or water damage. If you get an offer at all, it will be low and contingent on a positive inspection.
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