Sears Real Estate

Posted by Sears Real Estate on 2/20/2017

Let's face it – selecting a real estate agent can be difficult, particularly for home sellers who are afraid to say "No."

As a home seller, it is your responsibility to find a real estate agent who can help you maximize the value of your residence. At the same time, it is important to hire a real estate agent who will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and do whatever it takes to streamline the process of selling your house.

Ultimately, there are three key traits to consider when you search for a real estate agent:

1. Creativity

Your real estate agent should understand that no two homes are identical. Thus, this professional will be unafraid to think outside the box and consider a wide range of solutions to any problem.

Typically, a creative real estate agent will approach problems with an open mind. By doing so, this professional can consider every opportunity and offer a variety of recommendations to ensure you can find the right solution to any problem, at any time.

Ask a real estate agent how he or she has approached unforeseen challenges in the past. This will give you a glimpse into whether a real estate agent embraces challenges or shies away from them. Plus, you may be able to find out if a real estate agent will think creatively to resolve problems throughout the home selling process.

2. Expertise

Ideally, you'll want to find a real estate agent who possesses the skills and know-how to sell your home in a buyer's or seller's market. If this professional boasts many years of experience, and as such, he or she likely has helped numerous home sellers get the best offers for their residences consistently.

Be sure to get references from a real estate agent. This will allow you to contact past clients and learn how a real estate agent helped them sell their residences.

3. Honesty

Although many real estate agents may claim to be honest and forthright with clients, it is paramount to employ a real estate agent who will help you set realistic expectations for the home selling process.

For example, your real estate agent should be able to offer advice and suggestions to enhance your house's interior and exterior. And if your real estate agent notices a glaring problem with your residence that may damage its value, he or she should be ready to notify you about this issue right away.

Furthermore, your real estate agent should be able to keep you updated throughout each stage of the home selling process. He or she also will be prepared to share homebuyers' feedback about your home, regardless of whether this feedback is positive or negative.

With an honest real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to get the support you need to simplify the home selling cycle. As such, you should have no trouble navigating each stage of the home selling process.

Posted by Sears Real Estate on 2/13/2017

Closing costs vary based on the property you buy and where it is located. Closing costs will consist of several of the following items:

• Attorney’s fees • A fee for running your credit report • A loan origination fee, which lenders charge for processing the loan paperwork for you. • Title search fees, which pay for a background check on the title to make sure there aren’t things such as tax liens or unpaid mortgages listed against the property • Inspection charges required or requested by the lender or you • Discount points, which are fees you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate. • Appraisal fees • Survey fees, which covers the cost of verifying property lines. • Title Insurance, which protects the lender in case the title is not a clean title. • Escrow deposit, which may pay for a couple of months’ worth of property taxes and private mortgage insurance • Inspection fee for pests • Recording fee, which is paid to a city/county in exchange for recording the new land records • Underwriting fee, which covers the cost of evaluating a mortgage loan application

Posted by Sears Real Estate on 2/6/2017

Searching for a real estate agent who can help you sell your home? There likely are numerous real estate professionals in your area, many of whom will say that they can find plenty of interested buyers for your residence. However, it is important to note that not all real estate agents are created equal. Although many of these professionals will do everything they can to promote and sell your residence, others might lack the skills and know-how needed to help you optimize the value of your home and accelerate the sales process. So what should you look for in a real estate professional? Here are three key traits to target when you search for a real estate agent to help you sell your home: 1. Industry Experience How has a real estate agent fared at selling homes in the past? Typically, you should be able to find plenty of client reviews online related to a real estate professional's work in your area. These reviews will enable you to get a better idea about how a real estate agent supports his or her clients as well as whether he or she is able to help home sellers maximize the value of their residences consistently. Also, finding a real estate agent who has sold homes in your neighborhood may prove to be a great idea. By doing so, you'll know that you're working with a real estate professional who understands the area well and may be better equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to find interested homebuyers without delay. 2. A Positive Attitude A successful real estate agent usually will focus on a home's strengths rather than its weaknesses. Thus, this professional will be able to accentuate the positives of any home and ensure that both a home seller and homebuyer get the results they want. Employing a real estate agent with a positive attitude may go a long way toward speeding up the home sales process, too. This professional will be able to provide a positive first impression for homebuyers and ensure that your home's strengths are showcased any time an interested homebuyer checks out your residence. 3. An Honest Approach Selling a home can be a time-consuming and stressful if you hire a real estate agent who fails to communicate with you during each step of the home selling process. Fortunately, many real estate professionals are available who are honest and ready to keep you up to date. Remember, the home selling process can be complicated at times, and unforeseen challenges may arise along the way. But home sellers who leverage a real estate professional who is committed to honesty will be able to overcome such issues immediately. When it comes to finding a real estate agent, hiring one who takes an honest approach is ideal. This professional will be unafraid to share both good and bad news with you and will collaborate with you to ensure you get your desired results. Dedicate the necessary time and resources to find a real estate agent who fulfills your home selling requests, and you can boost your chances of generating significant interest in your home.

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Posted by Sears Real Estate on 1/30/2017

Credit is tied to most big financial decisions you will make in your life. From things as little as opening up a store card at the mall to buying your first home, your credit score is going to play a factor. When it comes to mortgages, lenders take your credit score, particularly your FICO score, into consideration in determining the interest rate that you will likely be stuck with for years. How is your credit score determined and what can you do to use it to get a better rate on your mortgage? We'll cover all of that and more in this article.

Deciphering credit scores

Most major lenders assign your credit score based on the information provided by three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies report your credit history to FICO, who give you a score from 300 to 850 (850 being the best your score can get). When applying for a mortgage (or attempting to be pre-approved for a home loan), the lender you choose will weight several aspects to determine if they will lend money to you and under what terms they will lend you the money. Among these are your employment status, current salary, your savings and assets, and your credit score. Lenders use this data to attempt to determine how likely you are to pay off your debt. To be considered a "safe" person to lend money to it will require a combination of things, including good credit. What is good credit? Credit scores are based on five components:
  • 35%: your payment history
  • 30%: your debt amount
  • 15%: length of your credit history
  • 10%: types of credit you have used
  • 10%: recent credit inquiries (such as taking out new loans or opening new credit cards)
As you can see, paying your bills and loans on time each month is the key factor in determining your credit score. Also important, however, is keeping your total amount of debt low. Most aspects of your credit score are in your control. Only 10% of your score is determined by the length of your credit history (i.e., when you opened your first card or took out your first loan). To build your credit score, you'll need to focus on lowering your balances, making on-time payments, and giving yourself time to diversify your credit.

What does this mean for taking out mortgages?

A higher credit score will get you a lower interest rate. By the time you pay off your mortgage, just a hundred points on your credit score could save you thousands on your mortgage, and that's not including the money you might save by getting lower interest rates on other loans as well. If you would like to buy a home within the next few years, take this time to focus on building your credit score:
  • If you have high balances, do your best to lower them
  • If you have a tendency to miss payments, set recurring reminders in your phone to make sure you pay on time
  • If you don't have diverse credit, it could be a good time to take out a loan or open your first credit card
When it comes time to apply for a mortgage, you'll thank yourself for focusing more on your credit score.

Tags: Mortgage   credit score   loan   home loan   credit  
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Posted by Sears Real Estate on 1/23/2017

If you have ever wanted to get rid of all of your stuff and start over, you’re not alone. Often, we get tired of the same old same in our own homes, and fail to see the potential inside of it. The key to loving your home is often not what is in it, but how you make use of what’s in it. There’s so many ways that you can make the home that you feel so-so about turn into a home that you love. Here’s some very powerful tips to help you decorate with intention and style. We know that you’ll love your home again after trying out some of these tips: Decorate For Function Not Looks Function is one of the most important words that you’ll use when it comes to the interior design of your home. Some questions you may ask are: What purpose does this room serve? What purpose does this item serve? Does this couch/artwork/chair make you happy? A room could be the most pristinely decorated room you have ever seen, but if it doesn’t serve some kind of a purpose, you can write it off as wasted space inside of your home. If something doesn’t serve a purpose, especially if that purpose is making you happy, then it’s time to say goodbye to certain things inside of your home. Only One Piece Of Furniture Should Stand Out In Every Room One key piece of decorating advice is for you to have one simple focal point in each room. There’s no need for a fish tank, a loud orange couch and a giant painting all in the same room. Give each and every item that’s important to you its due space. That’s not to say one painting is enough in your living room, but use your judgement when it comes to what you want to stand out and where. If a room is too busy, the overwhelming look takes away from the room and all of the items in it. You don’t want pieces of furniture and artwork all competing for the attention of those who are within the room. Lighting Should Be Balanced Maybe you’re unhappy with your home because you have very little natural light in your home. There’s ways you could add some natural light through construction, but it probably isn’t necessary. Use the rule that each room should have four sources of light counting windows, overhead lights, lamps and even wall mounted lights. This will keep the rooms in your home balanced with light. When the room is brighter, you’ll be happier, even without access to tons of natural light.