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May 18, 2017

We’ve Got a Great List of Home Service Providers

This topic is kind of a follow-up to a conversation we had a few weeks ago about all the benefits of upgrading your property before you list it for sale. One of the biggest complaints I hear from homeowners doing this type of work is the difficulty in finding a great contractor.

The quality of work that’s done on your home will have a direct relationship to the amount of money you get when you list if for sale. There are a few different ways we recommend that you find the right contractor.

The traditional method is to ask your family, friends, or colleagues about contractors they have worked with. You’re likely to get some great recommendations, but there’s an even better option.


Reach out to us if you’d like a copy.


I’ve compiled a database called “Zach’s List” that includes some of the best service providers and contractors around. Whether you need help with your plumbing, your roof, or your landscaping, we have someone who does quality work at an affordable price that we can refer you to.

If you’d like a copy of “Zach’s List” or have any other real estate questions, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

April 25, 2017

How Accurate Are Zestimates?

Can you really trust Zillow’s Zestimates on your home’s value? Although your mind might start racing after you get a high Zestimate, there are some things you should know about that number.

First of all, most Zestimates are at least 5% to 15% off the true value of a home. The problem stems from the fact that the Zestimate is based on data and data alone. It doesn’t take location, amenities, or upgrades into account in its value. Those are all things that can add or subtract value from your home.

To get the most accurate figure for what you can expect to sell for, you need to work with a professional agent like myself who knows the marketplace. I’ll come out to your home, take a look around, and let you know what you can reasonably expect to sell for.


An algorithm simply can’t determine true value.


I’m not trying to bash Zillow, as it can be a powerful tool. However, you should use its Zestimates as more of a baseline, rather than a certainty. Even the CEO of Zillow had his home overvalued by 40% on his own website. 

If you have any questions for me or want to know what your home is really worth, give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.


April 7, 2017

Why An Agent Who Can Negotiate Is Key

If you’re looking to sell your home, there are a few qualities you’re going to want in a real estate agent. One of the most important benefits an agent can bring to the table is his or her ability to negotiate.  

Let’s start by going over the list price to sales price ratio, which is really just the difference between what we put a home on the market for and what it sells for. The average agent in our marketplace sells at 93%, which means $93,000 for every $100,000. 

The Zach Behr Group, on the other hand, sold at over 97% in 2016. So, that means for every $100,000, we are going to put $4,000 more in your pocket than the average agent in our marketplace. 


We can negotiate the best terms for your home sale.


Negotiation is a skill, and the more we do it, the better we get. This means you’re going to walk away with more money and better terms after allowing us to negotiate on behalf of your property. 

If you have any other questions please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help! 


March 23, 2017

How to Simplify the Mortgage Process

Today John Antonelli with Vantage Point Financial is back to talk about simplifying the mortgage process. 

The mortgage process begins with a no cost, no obligation 10- to 15-minute application that gives us the information we need to make a determination as to how much you can qualify for and what products are best suited for you. When you complete that application, you’ll get a pre-qualification letter that you can use as a part of your offer on a property. 

You want to get that process done before you go out and look for homes. The home buying process can be an emotional one, but knowing what your expenses and monthly payment will look like will ensure you’re looking at the right properties, saving you time and stress. 


Meeting with a lender before looking at homes will give you more confidence when you enter the market.


Meeting with a lender before looking at homes will give you more confidence when you enter the market. In fact, on average, a client that gets a pre-approval letter before looking at homes only has to look at four to five homes before confidently submitting an offer. 

If you have any further questions about the mortgage process for John, you can reach him at (484-704-7246). 

As always, if you have any real estate questions, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to talking to you soon! 

March 6, 2017

Sell Your Home Faster and Maximize Its Value With These Upgrades

If you’re preparing to list your home for sale, what repairs and upgrades can you make to help it sell quickly and maximize the return on your investment? Today I’ve outlined three areas and projects you can focus on.

1. Hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are one of the most desirable features for today’s buyer. If you have hardwood flooring that need to be touched up, be sure to refinish it or pull the carpeting and redo them.

2. Painting. Many people paint their homes based on their own personal tastes. If that’s the case with you, I recommend that you repaint your home not only to make it feel fresh, but to also make it less personal and more neutral. Emphasize grays and beiges, and avoid the color white. White is boring, and since buyers buy on emotion, this color won’t help you at all. 

3. Kitchens and bathrooms. These are the most important areas as far as buyers are concerned. You can upgrade both by adding some granite or quartz countertops. Depending on where your home is located, I highly recommend touching base with a Realtor before you make any upgrades so you don’t over-improve for your area. 


Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important areas to focus on.


Additionally, remember that all first impressions come from the outside. If a buyer pulls up to your property and doesn’t like the exterior, what are the chances that they’ll love the inside? Don't let any of these repairs go to waste by neglecting the outside of your home. If the hedges need to be trimmed, the lawn needs to be mowed, or the front door needs to be repainted, don't hesitate to do those things.

If you’re thinking about selling your property, feel free to give me a call before you make any upgrades or changes to the property so that I can help. I’d love to hear from you!

Feb. 6, 2017

How to Buy a Home With Less Than 20% Down

I’m here with John Antonelli of Vantage Point Financial to talk about how you can buy a home with less than 20% down. 

According to John, one of the best products out there to lower your down payment is an FHA loan. Not only do you only have to put 3.5% down, but you still have access to great interest rates. Right now the going interest rate for an FHA loan is 3.75%. 

There are also conventional products that offer the ability to buy a home with as little as 3% down, including some VA loans that boast a no money down option with a 3.75% interest rate. 

With these options, it’s possible to buy a $300,000 property with as little as $10,500 out of pocket. If you rent instead of buy, after paying the deposit, first, and last month’s rent, you’d be out close to that anyway. As a veteran, you’d lose out completely as you could buy a home for nothing out of pocket. 


Owning a home is oftentimes cheaper than renting.


If you choose to buy, you get the benefits of homeownership, which include tax deductibility of interest, the ability to deduct property taxes, and the opportunity to gain appreciation as you continue to pay your principal. Based on the numbers offered by those products, paying for a home is oftentimes less expensive than renting anyway. 

If you have any further questions for John, you can reach him at (484-704-7246). 

As always, if you have any real estate related questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help.

Jan. 4, 2017

How has the Election Affected the Housing Market?

Now that the election is over, many people have been asking what the housing market looks like or is going to look like as a result. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is important to know what to expect. 

As a seller, you should know that inventory seems pretty low across the board right now. Selling when there is low inventory creates competition, and it puts you in the best possible position to sell your home at top dollar. 

However, I do want to caution everyone that we are starting to see signs of a possible slowdown in the market. It seems that all across the board from California to Florida, the upper end is showing signs of slowing down.

So, if you are considering selling in the near future, let me know so we can put you in the best possible position in order to maximize what you will get for your property.


It’s still an ideal time to buy or sell.


As a buyer, you should know that even though interest rates have risen a little bit, there is no need to be alarmed. Interest rates are still at the lowest they have been over the last several years, so it is still an ideal time to buy. 

If you have any other questions about the post-election housing market, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.

Dec. 5, 2016

Why Should You List Your Home During the Holidays?

Find out why the holiday season is the best time of year to list your home.

Many people have reservations about listing their home during the holidays, and lately, I have been getting asked if it is better to wait until spring. The answer is no! It might surprise you, but it is actually a more strategic move to list your home during the holidays. 

What makes listing now more beneficial than waiting for spring? First, there is less competition than any other time of the year. In order to avoid the suspected hassle of listing during the holidays, most people will wait to list until spring. This means running into an influx of competition should you decide to wait. 


There’s a 10% to 15% better chance of selling today than if you wait for spring.


Second, buyers are incredibly motivated. Unlike in the spring and summer months, people aren’t just starting to browse. If they come to a showing in the dead of winter, they are ready to buy now. The combination of less competition and more motivated buyers makes listing during the holidays your best bet to sell your home. In fact, there’s a 10% to 15% better chance of selling today than if you wait. 

As an added bonus, if you have already decorated your home for the holidays, it’s going to show better. Buyers always use their emotions to make decisions, and a well-decorated home will make it easier for them to picture themselves there. 

If you have any other questions about selling your home this holiday season, please feel free to give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you!

Oct. 10, 2016

Getting A Seller To Take Less Than They Should


Negotiating a property to the best possible price is one way to build instant equity into your property.  Remember that buying the property right is the key to your Real Estate Investments.  So, how do you get a seller to take less than they should?

1 NEGOTIATE                

Negotiate from a Position of Power: The Art of Negotiating in Real Estate has been diminished to a back and forth game of matching each other’s counter until you meet in the middle.  Identify the actual value of the perfect property, and then illustrate ways that the subject property is not actually PERFECT.  Those imperfections are the justification for a less than market value


Make It OK For The Seller To Discount It For You:  Sellers are proud of their properties.  Law ball offers and sharks make them less apt to sell even at market value much less below.  Allowing the seller to feel good about you as the buyer gives them permission to go lower.


Keep It Clean: Sellers have an explanation of their costs when selling a property.  Instead of coming in and offering a low price, and asking for a home warranty, closing costs, inspections paid by seller, etc…. consider paying for inspections, buying your own warranty closing costs.  Add up what you will spend on those items and work that into your high offer price.  If you could spend $1500 extra for your closing costs but get the property for $5000 less would that be a fair trade?  Because the Seller didn’t feel like they were beat up, it’s likely to happen.


Do What You Say You Will Do: When you say “this is my final offer” be ready for that to be your final offer.  If you come back again afterwards, the leverage shift just went to the seller.  When you walk away and come back with the same offer 24 hours later, you are much more likely to get the deal done.


Offer The Closing Argument: Similar to the presentation of your offer this gets presented with your final and best counteroffer.  The set-up came with the original offer.  Now, it’s time to introduce yourself again, and separate yourself from the sharks.  It also offers you an opportunity to say thanks to the Seller for negotiating and inform them that you will be moving on without a YES to the counter.


Posted in Example Category
Oct. 10, 2016

Three Fatal Real Estate Mistakes to avoid

The most challenging part of moving is making the right decisions about how and when to sell  your home. The truth is that there are many, many wrong  ways to sell, and just a few  right ways to do it.  The real estate industry is constantly  evolving and the agents will  always  try  to  find  better  ways  of  selling a property, though some may try to exploit the unsuspecting home owner.

1.  Not Pricing Correctly

We are all afraid of selling our home for too little.  So, what do we do to prevent that from happening?  Ask for a figure higher than what we really want and expect to negotiate downward from there.  What happens now?  The buyers, who do come to look based on the price we offer, quickly realize the home is overpriced or doesn’t suit them or move on to something else.  Meanwhile the true buyer, the one who might madly fall in love with this home and who can afford it, doesn’t come to look because the asking price is way too high.  Hence, the property stays in the market far too long, the price keeps coming down, and the home either eventually sells for less or it is taken off the market by the disappointed owner.  Pricing efficiently is the key to avoid this situation.

2. Not Advertising Your Property

This is the second major reason why homes don’t sell.  Think about it: even if your home is priced perfectly or is in the “bargain basement,” will it sell if nobody knows about it?  You definitely must actively promote the property that you have for sale.  Selling for the highest possible price is all about creating competition and demand.  Here, online marketing plays a big role. 

3. Not Getting a Professional Valuation


Obtaining a  totally  independent, unbiased  market  valuation  for  your  property  is  a  critical  component of a successful campaign.  Why is this so important?  Once you know the right market price of your home, you can put the property for sale within the right buyer enquiry range.  This is the absolute key to selling for the  best  price  in  the best time.  This gives you the edge to create maximum interest, maximum competition, and naturally, maximum price. 

Posted in Example Category