Tuesday Tips: Walking Through an Open House


It's open house season! Summer is filled with open houses every weekend. When Realtors walk through a home there are many things we are looking for to help our buyers make a well informed decision about the home they may want to purchase. Many home buyers tour open houses without a Realtor. Its OK to do this of course, but you should have a Realtor tour the home with you if you should decide you may want to write an offer on the home. A savvy Realtor will know what questions to ask, what things to look for, to research, and/ or negotiate. If you are going through open houses without a Realtor you may want to consider some of these important tips while touring the home. Structure and Mechanical s: There are 3 features in the home that will most likely be the most expensive fixes/repairs. These are the roof, furnace, and windows. So make sure to check all of these to see if they have been replaced or ask the host of the open house if he/she knows the ages of … [Read more...]

Tuesday Tips: Tips and Tricks for Zillow and Trulia


Realtors have a love-hate relationship with Zillow and Trulia. Zillow helps buyers and sellers that are in need of Real Estate assistance. However, if you haven’t noticed, their information can be outdated or incorrect. Below are some tips and tricks to help you navigate Zillow and Trulia’s website. Outdated Information: Due to Zillow’s information quite often being outdated, if you find a house for sale that you like, here is what we would suggest. Whether the house is for sale by agent, owner, foreclosed, pre-foreclosed or any other sale, give your  Realtor a call to check with them first. Realtors have many different ways to verify Zillow’s information, so we will do the dirty work for you to make sure the home is for sale and make sure it doesn’t have an offer on it already. Contact an Agent Option: Some of you have noticed there is a “Contact an Agent” box on the side or bottom of the page when you have found a house. You may not know that when you click the button Contact … [Read more...]

Tuesday Tips: 5 Reasons to use a Realtor in a Seller’s Market


With homes flying off the shelves, sellers are questioning whether to use a Realtor or if they can sell their home on their own. I thought it was about time to shed some light on why it’s important to use a Realtor in this current sellers market. The big elephant in the room is the thinking that Realtors charge a lot of money for something the owner can easily do themselves. Truth is there is nothing “easy” about selling your home. A majority of home sales are very complicated. Hiring a Realtor is also simply in the BEST interest of the home owner. A big reason for that is to limit the owner’s liability by putting the job in the hands of a professional. Below is a list of other good reasons why you should consider hiring a Realtor to sell your home. 1. Price and Negotiating Skills: A major part of our job is to negotiate.. We are experts at this! We know what’s typical and common in this current seller's market, and we use this when we negotiate for a seller. A GOOD listing … [Read more...]

Tuesday Tips: Importance of a Pre-Approval Letter in a Sellers Market


Why is it so important to be pre-approved when searching for a home in this market? Have you noticed that homes are selling within 24-48 hours from when a realtor posts the house online? And many of them have multiple offers that you are competing with! It's hard for buyers to purchase a home in the middle of a sellers market. This is why it is so important to get pre-approved before you even begin to look for homes. A. You need a pre-approval letter to submit an offer: So often people are talking to their friend, spouse, family, that they want to begin searching for a home. So they begin searching online that evening, and of course they find the home of their dreams. They want to write an offer that day, but did you know that to submit an offer to the sellers you need a pre-approval letter? This is so that the sellers know you have been approved by a lender, as they do not want to waste their time on a buyer who is not qualified. When you are competing against many other buyers … [Read more...]

Now is the Time to Buy a Home!

5 Star Realty West Michigan

What an awesome time to be a buyer! Homes need to sell for a variety of reasons... some due to homeowners simply wanting a change of scenery or a small upgrade and don't want to miss their chance to seize that opportunity as a buyer themselves. With so many great deals out there sellers are motivated to list their home at a very competitive price or in some cases REDUCE the price after being on the market for a period of time.   Here are two examples of great buys from the desirable Georgetown Forest area in Hudsonville.....   7335 Hidden Forest Drive Hudsonville,MI 49426 $178,500 reduced from$183,500         7355 Hidden Forest Dr Hudsonville, MI 49426 $167,500 reduced from $174,900           For more deals like these contact me - Sue Prins or check out Sue's Featured Listings and Search MLS!! … [Read more...]

Finding the Right Home in a Buyer’s Market


In Real Estate there are a variety of needs to be met. Whether we are working with an entrepreneurial investor, empty nesters looking to downsize, or completing a short sale, as real estate agents, we need to be conscious of all options for and motivations of our clients.  First time buyers fall into their own category and bring with them their own unique needs when it comes to real estate. Recently I had the pleasure of working with a young engaged couple on finding their first new home.  The phrase came to mind, "Home is where your story begins"....  and with the abundance of homes available in this buyer's market, this couple could choose any number of settings to host their fairytale. Choice is a good thing, but can be overwhelming. Offering a very personal approach and paying close attention to detail allows me to put things into perspective for each individual buyer.  In this case  I proposed the mindset of choosing a new home in much the way they chose each other..... … [Read more...]

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent for You.

Photo by Tharrin

Seller's! Start your engines! Making the decision to sell your home is a bit like waving that checkered flag at the beginning of a race, especially today in this "buyer's market". The laid back approach to simply list your home for sale and stick a sign in the front yard will put you in last place. As a seller, your participation and involvement is crucial to the sale of your home beginning with your choice in a real estate agent. When looking for a real estate agent, go beyond a referral or the number of times you've seen their name on a "for sale" sign... You want someone that will work with you as a team. Someone that will listen to you, your concerns, your ideas, your goals. You want experience, not only in years, but more importantly how has their experience sustained through those years and have they managed success in this challenging market. It is a shame how property value has declined and it can be very disheartening to hear the current dollar value of your beloved home. … [Read more...]