Category: Uncategorized (18)

Many of you know my mentor and friend, Brian Buffini, hung the moon for me. This more true today than it has been throughout my career.

 

As a REALTOR® and a human, Brian’s no-nonsense, ever-encouraging and down to earth counsel has guided me through the ups and downs of the economy, in my professional development, and he has provided great wisdom and advice, even in just plain life.

 

Throughout the pandemic, Brian has stepped up his game to help us navigate these uncertain times and uncharted waters by adding bonus episodes of his regular weekly podcast. I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you. These are recent episodes that speak to your peace of mind, your sense of control in uncertainty, and give you comfort in our economy.

 

Take Control of your Financial Future with Chris Hogan: Chris Hogan, author of “Every Day Millionaires,” is a renowned speaker on building wealth and retirement finances. In this episode, he shares his thoughts on how to manage your finances in this current environment, and how to regain or retain control of your faith,  outlook, attitude, and actions.

 

The Pursuit of Happiness in Uncertain Times with Shawn Achor: Shawn Achor is the bestselling author of books including “Before Happiness,” The Happiness Advantage,” and his latest, “Big Potential.” You may have heard his Ted Talk, “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” I love this entire episode, but if you could walk away with only one thing, it would be this: “Optimism, social connection, gratitude, perceiving meaning, that’s feeling like our contribution to the world matters. Those are the things that restart forward progress…” – Shawn Achor

 

This Too Shall Pass – an Interview with Dr. Lawrence Yun: Dr. Yun, is like the Warren Buffet of real estate to me. He’s a top economist who happens to be the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®.  This episode in particular is good news for all of us in uncertain economic times. I encourage you to hear Dr. Yun’s words for yourself. I won’t do them justice, and you’ll feel relieved to learn the difference between where we are financially today, and where we were just 12 years ago during the Great Recession.

 

Looking to sell, or know someone who is? Call me today! (775) 309-7979.

 

These are uncertain times, to be sure. Many of us who experienced the Great Recession and the mortgage and housing crisis of 2008 remember that time with anxiety. But this time is different in so many ways.

 

Here are the reasons we have confidence in our housing market today.

 

  1. Housing prices, while still rising, are not nearly at the levels we saw prior to the 2008 crash, where we had home values galloping way ahead of the curve, often with double-digit appreciation. Our appreciation levels over the past six years have held relatively steady, around 5% or so. In February, our housing market was on solid ground with home sales comfortably above one year ago, and home prices had risen for more than 90 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis. Home prices, unlike the stock market, do not move in a quick fashion one way or the other.

 

  1. Mortgage lending. At the peak before the crash, mortgages, especially sub-prime mortgages, were readily available to just about anybody. Today, the Mortgage Credit Availability Index measured monthly by the Mortgage Bankers Association indicates mortgage credit has been carefully tracked over the past several years and has remained low.

 

  1. Supply and demand. When the market crashed in 2008, we had more homes for sale than people were buying and builders were overbuilding in what’s known as a buyer’s market. Today, we are in a seller’s market – there are more people looking for homes than there are homes for sale, and builders are under-building, creating an inventory shortage.

 

  1. Home equity has increased. More than a third of homes in the U.S. are owned free and clear, and more than a quarter of homeowners have at least 50% equity today. During the mortgage crisis, people owed more than their homes were worth, making it easy for them to give up and walk away.

 

  1. Other economic downturns. In the early 1980’s recession, when the unemployment rate climbed to 12%, real estate prices kept rising. During the 1990’s recession, home prices rose. Even following the tragedy of 9/11, we had a short recession, but home prices still increased.

 

Housing market experts are predicting that the real estate and housing markets could very well pull us out of an economic slowdown caused by COVID-19. One of my favorite experts on the economy, Dr. Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®, sat down to chat with my hero, Brian Buffini, in a podcast recently about the housing market. Take a listen here, and be reassured!

 

Looking to sell, or know someone who is? Call me today! (775) 309-7979.

 

What is an expired listing? An expired listing is one that has not sold by the end of the period stipulated in the listing contract between the seller and the listing agent. In Nevada, you can have what is called an “exclusive right to sell” agreement with your brokerage and listing agent. This period of time is set on the multi-listing service (MLS), and once that period is up, you can renew that contract with your listing agent or remove your home from sale.

 

We never want to see this happen and so we take steps to help avoid that scenario. These are my tips to help you avoid an expired listing:

 

  1. Overpriced Homes

Many homes that expire do so because the listing was overpriced.

Overvaluing a home sometimes happens when an eager agent is hoping to secure the listing, or when a homeowner who believes their home is worth more than what the market can bear insists on a high listing price.

 

Many factors go into valuing your property. Local area sales history relative to your home (market data), to your home’s features and upgrades, along with how the market is moving will help determine a good selling price.

 

An experienced agent is familiar with the local area market, current market trends and can adequately price your home to sell. They can also help you navigate the market, negotiate offers and successfully sell your home at the right price. 

 

Do not over price your home to make room for negotiation, lean into your agent for appropriate pricing.

 

  1. Inadequate Marketing

In this day and age, we have a multitude of ways to market properties online. So many times, listings end up on MLS and that is it, nothing more. Your agent’s job is to market your home – not just list it. From MLS, to social media, to sharing information in the community, and providing adequate marketing materials at the property, this all works together in getting the word out that the property is for sale.

 

My approach:

You will receive an honest and researched valuation of your property before it is listed for sale. You will have the opportunity to review that valuation and go over the details of how I came to that valuation and get answers to all of your questions.

 

My team of marketing professionals and transaction coordinators work diligently to get the word out about your property to help you sell it quicker.

 

My network of agents and community members help to get more eyes on your property listing, helping you to gain exposure and ultimately sell faster.

 

Looking to sell, or know someone who is? Call me today! (775) 309-7979.

Because buying real estate is a substantial investment, a home inspection can help give you peace of mind when buying or selling a house.

 

Whether you are a buyer or seller, it’s good to know whether there are any substantial defects that would significantly affect the property.

 

Here in Nevada, home inspections can be waived, however many buyers will request an inspection. Home inspectors will examine the home, and all its components, to provide an inspection report.

 

If you are a seller, it’s a good idea to get a home inspection before you put the property up for sale. Pre-inspections will streamline the buying process when you receive an offer, and if there are any significant fixes that need made, you can have them done before your house goes on the market or be prepared to offer allowances if needed. While doing a pre-inspection can be helpful, but it’s not required.

 

Here is a list of things to prepare for a home inspection:

  1. Clear access to areas for the inspector under the house, in the attic, and around the exterior of the house.
  2. Replace bulbs and light switches that do not work.
  3. Replace all filters in the furnace, water systems, etc.
  4. Make sure smoke detectors and CO2 sensors are in working condition.
  5. Check the foundation, in and outside of the house, for cracks.
  6. Check to see that your foundation slopes away from your house and not toward it.
  7. Make sure you don’t have bugs or pests.
  8. Trim trees, bushes, shrubs, and keep your landscapes tidy.

Anything you think might be an issue should be fixed ahead of time. Things found during an inspection that are required to be fixed can end up requiring a re-inspection to ensure they are fixed correctly. Save time and money by preparing ahead of time.

 

Looking to sell, or know someone who is? Call me today! (775) 309-7979.

Selling your house is a big deal and a big task. I like to make sure my clients are fully aware of the process and the things they need to do for a successful sale. I am here to make your lives easier. Here are my top tips:

  1. Get your house into sale shape
  2. Find the right real estate agent for the job
  3. Listen to your agent and list your house at the right price to sell

 

Getting your house into sale shape is step one. Start with my posts on Staging your Home, Top 9 Things to Spruce Your House Up, and Top Exterior Home Repairs to Make Before Selling. Included in these posts are checklists of things to start working on to get your house ready to list.

 

To get top dollar for your house, fix and clean anything that might need attention or repairing. Don’t leave things that are broken, old, or dingy laying around, it may lead to lower-priced offers or offers with allowances to fix these items. And make sure to think about the last big repairs and updates you have done to your house and tend to those (roof, HVAC system, water heater, flooring, and gutters).

 

Finding an agent who knows the area market well and who knows the ins and outs of the buying and selling process will help you save time. A great agent will be able to guide you through the process, advise you if things go awry, help you make solid decisions along the way and get your house sold quicker.

 

Buying a house is not something most people do often, but your agent goes through this process all the time. Lean into them and their knowledge. They will be able to make the right call on pricing and offers. An agent knows the current state of the market and what to expect which can help during the sale process.

 

If you or anyone you know is looking to buy, sell, or relocate to the Carson Valley, please send them my way. Call today 775.309.7979.

 

Deciding to sell your home can be overwhelming. My job is to help make the process easier. So, in this article, I break down where to begin. Start working your way through this exterior maintenance checklist to ensure that your house is market-ready and save you major headaches in the long run.

 

  1. Cleaning, painting, gutters, downspouts

Gutters are a seemingly minor detail on a house but can present problems during the wet months. Start by clearing all debris from the gutters and touch up the paint if any is peeling.

 

  1. Foundation check – wall cracks?

Checking the foundation is a must-do since any foundation issues will likely come up in a home inspection. Checking these and getting ahead of the issues now will help avoid problems during the escrow process.

 

Call me if you would like a referral to an expert who can help you with any of these tasks! 775.309.7979

 

  1. Power wash your home’s exterior

A simple but impressive repair to your home, power washing the exterior will present your home’s best face. You might even wish you had done this one sooner.

 

  1. Change light fixtures

Change out anything dingy, replace light bulbs, and anything is broke or rusting. Clean or replace these fixtures to make them look nice, shiny and bright.

 

  1. Inspect chimney

Another item that will come up in a home inspection is the chimney. Have your chimney cleaned and be sure it is in good condition. If anything needs tending to, now is the time to get it taken care of.

 

Call me if you would like a referral to an expert who can help you with any of these tasks! 775.309.7979

 

  1. Replace worn shingles

The roof is an important piece of the process, and an item most often needing tending to during home sales. Fix anything minor, and if there is major work to be done, get an estimate from a reputable roofer, and either fix the issues or know that an allowance for repair may be negotiated during the sale.

 

  1. Fix any window issues.

Definitely make sure all windows are in working order, clean, not cracked and in good shape. Replace any torn or broken screens, have the windows professionally cleaned inside and out, and clean the window sills. Tend to any leaky windows and broken or non-functioning window locks.

 

Remember, the more of this you can get done ahead of time, the less time these items will hang up the escrow process. If you have any questions or don’t know if something should be repaired or tended to, you can always call me to do a look at your house before we list it and I can help you get on track.

 

Call me if you would like a referral to an expert who can help you with any of these tasks! 775.309.7979

Stage your home for sale

 

Home staging can be done either by a professional, or DIY. There are things you can do to successfully stage the house while still living in the house. If the house is vacant, hiring a staging company to furnish and stage the house might be a better option than leaving it vacant.

Staging a home can shorten the time the house is on the market and can increase the sale price, compared to unstaged homes.*

1. Prepack

Collectibles, items that take up a lot of room and items you don’t use often need to go! Simplify as much as you possibly can. Start to pack up – you’re moving anyway. Clutter causes potential buyers to have difficulty envisioning their things in the space. Your style and a potential buyers’ style might be different, so it’s best to pack it away. Our job is to help the buyers make their decision easier, in order to sell your house quickly. Which means we need to appeal to a multitude of potential buyer styles, and simple and neutral is best.

2. Declutter

This is along the same lines as pre-packing, but if you are living in the house, hide your daily necessities as much as you can. Place daily use items in drawers, baskets or bins that can be placed out of sight. Make sure dirty dishes are out of sight in the dishwasher or washed and put away. Make sure dirty clothes are out of sight in a hamper or hidden away in a basket. Simplify items left out on counters and tables.

3. Intentional Decor

While we want to declutter the house and hide our collectibles, setting intentional neutral décor can help set a tone for potential buyers. Search Pinterest for decorative scenes you can easily and affordably set up around the house. For instance, if you have a formal dining room, you could set the table with nice plates, silverware, glasses, plain colored table cloth, and fresh flowers. Place fresh flowers around the house – this will beautify the space and make the house smell wonderful. Set out simple pillows on the furniture, set out a pretty bowl of fresh fruit on kitchen counters, Set candles and pretty plans on mantels and shelves. This décor might be in the way of day-to-day living, but it paints a scene for the potential buyers. After all, it’s only temporary.

Note for seasonal décor, make sure it’s not busy and as simple as you can make it. We are trying to create a nice space but appeal to a variety of tastes.

During warm weather months, make sure any outdoor living spaces are clean, simple and set the scene.

4. Clean

Hire a professional to do a deep cleaning of the entire house. This will give you a fresh starting point to keep up on daily cleaning, you could even continue to have the cleaner come throughout the time the house is on the market. This goes for the exterior as well, make sure patio furniture is clean – using the “would you want to sit on it?” test. Make sure debris is cleaned up and pet waste is kept to a minimum. Hire a landscaper to clean up problem areas and to keep up on the lawn and pruning while the house is on the market.

Looking to sell, or know someone who is, call me today! (775) 309-7979. 

 

 

 

 

* https://www.homestagingresources.com/2018-home-staging-statistics/

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill

Whether you want to visit the Great Wall of China or start your own business, chances are you’ve got a dream in your life that you’d like to turn into a reality. The hard part is figuring out how to make that happen! With a little inspiration and some direction, it is possible to translate your dreams into achievable goals.

This month, I’m sharing a road map to help you begin your journey. You’ll find a few tips on how to turn your dreams into solid goals. There are also guidelines to help you craft your bucket list — and a few words on why a bucket list shouldn’t just be created toward the end of your life.

It is my hope that this information will leave you hopeful and inspired. Best of luck turning your dreams into goals, and goals into result.

What is a vision board?

A collection of pictures and images that inspire you to make your dreams a reality.

A good vision board could show your…

  • Dream job
  • Dream vacation
  • Family Goals
  • Career goals
  • Personal aspirations
  • Health and fitness goals

Actively seeking these dreams is a regular reminder of what you are working to achieve. 

Avoid images that discourage you or make you feel like you’re not good enough. These should inspire you, not take you down.

The Raw Materials:

  • Choose your canvas: blank poster board, cardstock, digital (think screen saver), corkboard, blank book, scrapbook
  • Find your pictures: magazines, online, Pinterest, Instagram, other social media, real-life imagery, Google images, business cards, tags stickers any imagery that inspires you
  • Keep it somewhere you will see it – digital? On your laptop or phone desktop is perfect – as a desktop image! Keep poster boards in a place you will see it daily, such as your office, your bathroom or bedroom walls for daily inspiration.

Build Your Dreams with a Vision Board

 

 

Oh, by the way®… if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and contact information. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Although it’s impossible to predict the future current trends ad statistics create a picture of the market’s health. Home Prices are up 4.6 percent and the average home value is $264,800¹. Sales may be down, but prices will continue to rise. This is good news for

home in hand

sellers, but may keep buyers on the sidelines in high-price markets.

Home sales are down 1.5 percent from a year ago¹. Experts say that many buyers are priced out of the market or they’re waiting until more homes within their price range are available. Although it’s impossible to predict the future, current trends and statistics create a picture of the market’s health.

Homes are selling fast. Homes are on the market for an average   only 29 days, with 52 percent of homes on the market for less than a month.1

Inventory is tight¹.  People are staying in their homes longer and housing starts are at an all-time low.2  However, housing permits are up 8.4 percent over last year, which means more inventory to come.3

New tax code may have an impact. The interest deduction is capped at $750,000 (down from $1 million) and the property tax deduction is capped at $10,000. This may mean less expendable cash for those with, or needing, a big mortgage.

Competition is high. First-time buyers made up 31 percent of home purchasers.1 For those in the market to buy, get preapproved for a mortgage to stay competitive. If you need a lender, I can refer you to a great one in my network. Let’s set a time to talk about tour local market. I’d love to share my housing market insights with you and do an annual review if you currently own.

Will we see a market correction?5

Recently, you may have seen news headlines predicting the next recession.  The economy has been growing since 2009, the longest stretch in US history.5  Since the economy is cyclical, it’s onlythinking of buying or selling natural to wonder when the economy will begin to retract.

 Causes of a downturn. Recessions are often caused by unforeseen events or circumstances that shock the market. Sixty-two percent of experts say an overheating economy will lead to the Fed tightening its belt.5 Others say a financial meltdown may be caused by an asset bubble, fiscal crisis or international trade disruptions.5

Reason to be optimistic. Housing isn’t like

Take headlines with a grain of salt. Experts predicted recessions in 2011 and 2016, and  neither transpired. It is important to remember that growth doesn’t last, so a downturn would be considered natural. Over the next year, economists predict the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will continue to grow and unemployment rates will fall further. The risk of recession in the next year is only about 15 percent, and the changes to the tax code effective this year are expected to drive business investment spending.

three things to watch for

 

 

Sources:

  1. National Association of REALTORS
  2. CNN Money
  3. National Association of Home Builders
  4. HousingWire
  5. Wall Street Journal

© 2019 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY S

Books and decor on shelves in cupboard

Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the home, and it tends to collect the most clutter from other parts of the house. Start clearing one area of the kitchen at a time, beginning with storage spaces, including the pantry, cupboards and drawers.

  • In the pantry: Throw away stale or expired items and donate canned goods that you know will go uneaten but are still edible.
  • In the cupboards: Remove chipped dishware, as well as utensils, pots, pans and bakeware that are damaged beyond repair.
  • Keep the kitchen clutter-free: Put items where they belong and leave a small bin to collect items that don’t belong there.

Living room

Too much clutter makes it difficult to relax. The mantra for this room is, “A place for everything; everything in its place.”

  • Create easily-accessible, permanent storage space for items you use most often, such as the remote control.
  • Fold throws and place in a decorative basket within reach of the sofa.
  • Sort through your electronics to determine what works and if you still use it. Store your frequently used electronics where you tend to use them.
  • Recycle back issues of magazines and newspapers you’ve already Donate books you don’t want to keep and categorize the others in your library.

Bedrooms

In the bedroom, clutter seems to center around storage areas, such as closets, drawers and nightstands.

  • Clear out dressers, wardrobes and closets by removing non-seasonal clothing you haven’t worn in more than six months and items that no longer fit. Sell or donate pieces that are still in good condition.
    • Organize your drawers by function: undergarments, activewear, t-shirts, etc.
    • Depending on your bedroom, purchase a hanging storage unit or floor shelf for shoes.
    • Separate anything that should go to the cleaner or a tailor
    • Remove everything from the nightstand and place items that belong elsewhere in Bin #1

Bathroom

  • Create more space in your cabinets, linen closet and on the counter.
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet and discard outdated medications, skincare and makeup.
  • Organize the drawers and shelves so the items you use the most are readily available.

Mudroom/Foyer

This is where we tend to drop things when we get home.

  • Clear items off of entry tables and decide what to put away, recycle or toss.
  • Place keys in a pretty bowl or on hooks so you don’t have to waste time searching for them.
  • Remove coats, shoes and boots that are out of season, don’t fit or need to be repaired.

© 2018 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JULY MF S