Why You Need To Look Beyond The Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home

There is no denying that real estate agents can play a very valuable role on behalf of the person looking to buy a new home. They can help you get a better look at the for sale private market, help you understand prices, what kind of standards you should expect from areas, amenities, and more. However, if your home search begins and ends with real estate agents, there may be opportunities that you’re missing out on.

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Get on all the listings

One of the things that you need to know about both real estate agents and real estate listings is that they both routinely arrange to have exclusive rights to advertise certain properties. As such, if you’re relying on only one of them, you can end up missing more potential homes than you might think. For that reason, it’s worth signing up for a few realty listing apps that can alert you to new homes on the market and even show you homes nearest to your current location by using the GPS on the phone.


Look at property development teams

If you’re looking for a new build, then there are a few better sources to check than the developers who are responsible for getting them up in the first place. When it comes to things like newly built luxury apartments, it’s not a certainty that many real estate agents will know when they’re available or be able ot arrange things like a viewing. For that reason, when you’re looking at an area that’s developing and growing, get in touch with the developers yourself to get the real scoop.


Check out the foreclosures

This is a method of buying properties that is usually only done by real estate investors since it’s not always the most reliable way to find a property that fits all of your wants and needs. However, foreclosures and bank-owned homes can offer easy access to a range of properties before they go on the market. What’s more, they’re typically less expensive than buying a home on the market, meaning you can reduce your budget drastically if you manage to find a home that fits your needs.


Could you build your own?

It’s not an option that’s going to be widely available to everyone, but it is worth considering whether or not you have the ability to build your dream home instead of buying on. It’s more expensive in general, especially since you have to purchase land ahead of time. However, a bigger budget means that you also have the room to prioritize your wants and needs in a way that you simply can’t when buying a home. Just make sure you take your time finding trusted contractors to avoid getting ripped off.


This isn’t a recommendation that you skip working with real estate agents entirely, but rather simply a reminder that there are other options out there and that you can peruse more than one of these options at the same time. Happy hunting out there.

How to Make Your Real Estate Business Stand Out Online

In highly populated cities, towns, and regions, the real estate market is extremely competitive. If you aren’t one of the top firms, it can be very challenging to convert interested parties into clients. In Fort Worth, Texas alone, there are 1,300 average monthly searches for “Fort Worth real estate” and 880 for “Fort Worth Texas real estate”! In this type of market environment, you’ll need more than great branding and photography. With a sound SEO strategy, you can use the power of analytics and keyword ranking to start making your real estate firm more visible.

Analyze and Refine

The wonderful thing about SEO is that its measurable. This allows you to take the temperature of your site as often as you’d like with the capability to view metrics like time on page, conversation rate, scroll depth, bounce rate, and more. This is immensely useful, as you can analyze how recent campaigns have fared. If certain metrics appear unsatisfactory, you can implement new approaches and compare the results. As you refine your content to be better optimized with industry keywords, you will see shifts in your analytics.


Improving your Ranking

Since Google only shows results it believes are the best on the first page, it’s important that your website includes relevant and high-volume terms. This is how you bring in what is called organic traffic – not involving paid advertisement to bring users in. If you don’t know what keywords you already rank for, check out sites like SEMRush that shows you data like site traffic, positions, and more. As a real estate firm, you can take advantage of local SEO to bring in more clients, and thus, revenue. Content that addresses your buyer’s needs is how you’ll win more site traffic. Some potential topics you might consider approaching could speak directly to your target markets. Does your business serve a particular type of buyer or seller? Do you handle unique properties? Not only will the use of keywords bolster you content but approaching topics in a fresh way will pay off.


Google will see how you’ve used keywords, how your content is structured, and the overall functionality of your site. If all are good to go, you’ll see a difference in ranking. While its not feasible to expect to hit the first page overnight, it is a possibility as you tend to your Fort Worth SEO strategy. If this is something that you simply don’t have time for, digital marketing agencies specialize in SEO.

Preparing Your Home For Sale

When you are preparing your home to be sold, there is a range of things that you should consider. Of course, we all know about the de-cluttering, cleaning, and a fresh lick of paint ahead of arranging your professional home buyers. But there is more to it than just that. 


There are a number of things that people forget in the build-up to having potential buyers view the property. 


So, when preparing your home for sale, remember these key elements. 

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Each home will have a particular smell. But as you live there, you are unlikely to notice it at all. Many people quickly stock up on scented candles, plugins, and a range of baked goods scented reed diffuses. 


The problem is, this isn’t neutralizing the smells, it is adding an extra layer on top. 


Buyers don’t want to be overwhelmed with a strong vanilla scent, or the dog bed. 


A key way to help minimize any scents is to keep any pet beds washed even more than usual, put trainers and gym bags somewhere safely. A box with a lid can usually do the trick. 


A lemon-scented deodorizing air freshener in each room can help your home smell fresher.


Before you have any views, keep the windows open for around 30 minutes, and in the days leading up to viewings, it is a good idea to do this too. 


Try not to cook any meals that have a strong odor – like baked fish. 


If you have any appliances that came with your home, you should take some time to look out all the warranty information. Put it in a safe place like the kitchen drawer. They will be easy to hand over this way. 

Cracks and Bumps

If you have cracks in the garden paving or on the driveway, you will do well to have them repaired. Not only are they an eyesore, but they can pose a potential threat to would-be buyers. If they aren’t too deep, then you can fix most cracks yourself; if they are on a larger size, then it is better to hire a company to get them fixed. 


The entryway for your home should be depersonalized – like the rest of the home. ‘Welcome to the Jones’ signs, hand prints, painted stones. They are cute, but they do signal that your home is yours. There should be room for people to picture themselves living there. 



Buyers will take a really good look at your home. And any built-in closet or cupboards are going to be subject to some exploration. So it is a good time to make sure that everything is well organized, clothes are neatly hung up, and if there is anything you’d rather keep hidden, then store them in a different place and perhaps in a locked box. 


As you clean and tidy, think about the things that you look at as you walk around a home that you are thinking about buying. It is all in the details. 


How To Find The Perfect Property – 4 Property Search Tips

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Searching for the perfect property to buy can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack – a very expensive needle in a constantly changing haystack to make things worse. The good news is, that thanks to the internet, it’s now a lot easier to find your perfect new home, so here are a few property search tips.

Know what you are looking for

Finding the perfect property is going to be a nightmare if you don’t really have any idea what it is you are looking for. You don’t need to know everything, but it does help to have a budget, an idea on the size of the property, and a list of non-negotiable such as whether you need a garden, want a pool, or need to be within a certain distance of local amenities. Although there’s always a  chance that you could find your perfect home without knowing what you want, it certainly makes the job a lot easier. 

Make use of the internet and property finding sites

We live in a glorious age where we can now browse hundreds of homes for sale from the comfort of our sofa. Gone are the days of looking in endless real estate agent windows, now you can easily filter property search sites so that they show you only the properties that you want to see. You can narrow your search by the number of bedrooms you are looking for, the price, and the distance from certain cities, or by other factors such as whether the property has accompanying land or access to off-street parking. When using property finding sites remember that the price listed is the asking price and there is usually room for negotiation, so set the filter to a little higher than your budget. 

Use local real estate agencies 

If you have a particular area in mind that you would like to move to, then make use of local real estate agents, such as https://www.camijoneshomes.com/kansas-city-homes-for-sale/ for Kansas City, who may have properties advertised that are not on internet property finding sites. Local real estate agents will have a better knowledge of the local property market including things such as price changes and potential buying competition and may know of properties that are not even up for sale yet. 

Get to know the neighborhood 

The perfect property is often only as good as the neighborhood it is in, so be sure to also check out the local neighborhood before making your decision. Spend a day looking around, visit the local supermarket, take a look at local restaurants, and get a feel for what it would be like to live in the area. You may even want to approach the neighbors of the property for a chat and to ask them how they have found the neighborhood and if there’s anything you should know about. 


With these property search tips, a little patience, and a sprinkling of good luck, you’re well on your way to finding the property of your dreams.

Why Buying Property IS NOT A Risk-Free Investment

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People will often say that property is one of the best places to park your money. A house will always be there, they tell you, and people will ALWAYS need homes. 


But when you look at the data, you soon see that owning property isn’t risk-free. If it were, then there would be no such thing as homeowner’s insurance. 


It turns out that investing in real estate is riskier than most people think – something you need to be aware of before you take the plunge and put a deposit down. 


Here’s why buying a property IS NOT a risk-free investment. 


House Prices Can Fall As Well As Rise


Despite what the pundits might say about the property market, house prices can fall as well as rise. Over the last twenty years, we’ve been lucky. House prices have gone up in value continually over time, outpacing increases in wages. That trend, however, could come to an end at any point. All it takes is for global interest rates to rise and mortgage costs to go up, and it’s game over for the market. Prices will fall back to their historical trend, and that will be the end of that. 


Flooding Can Damage Your Property


With rising sea levels and increased rainfall, the risk of water wrecking your real estate investment portfolio is higher than ever before. Companies for home flooding have never seen so much business for their services. 


In the past, a lot of builders constructed properties on floodplains. In a world of normal levels of rainfall, many believed that as the sensible thing to do. Flooding was a remote possibility. With increased urbanization, surface run-off, and deforestation, that’s all changed. Flooding is now an issue up and down the country, with several instances already this year. 


Flooding doesn’t just wreck the furniture. It can get into the walls and foundations of a property. Once it sets in, you need a professional to remove it. If you don’t, you inevitably wind up with patches of black mold everywhere – and you certainly don’t want that!


Your Maintenance Bills Could Go Through The Roof

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Average property prices continue to rise, but homes themselves are depreciating assets.




Because they require maintenance. If you didn’t clean out the gutter, replenish the exterior paintwork or replace the boiler, your house would soon fall into a state of disrepair and start losing value. Properties need upkeep to maintain their value. 


For most homes, upkeep tends to average around 1 percent of the value of the home per year. So if you have a $200,000 property, expect to spend about $2,000 on maintenance. Some years will be higher than others. 


Some property owners, however, can get unlucky for one reason or another, and their maintenance bills can shoot through the roof. 

The biggest culprit is asbestos. Removing the lung disease-causing material is expensive. The second most significant issue is dodgy plumbing. Cracked pipes that burst can set you back thousands of dollars in repair bills.

5 Facts That You Should Know About Real Estate



Moving into a new house is considered one of the most stressful things a person can go through, but selling a house is no party either. So, if you’re thinking of selling yours, then here are five facts that you should know about the real estate business.


1. A Seller’s Market Doesn’t Mean You Can Get What You Want


In many parts of the country, it’s a great time to sell your property, but you should try and keep your feet on the ground. Just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean people will buy no matter what. The fact of the matter is that any house is only worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it, not what you think it is worth. Let your realtor be your guide when it comes to the value of your house, and get several estimates.


2. No One Expects Your Home to Be a Show Home


Most people are not that interested in seeing houses that look like show houses. When people are looking for a home, that’s exactly what they want to see, a home – somewhere they can imagine themselves living. Of course, it’s vital to ensure your home is clean and presentable as no-one wants to imagine themselves living in a pigsty, but it really doesn’t have to be stripped of all your belongings and styled as though it’s going to appear in a glossy magazine, to appeal to a buyer. Some things will definitely put buyers off though. If you have pets, you need to make sure that there are no smells of damp animals wafting around the house. Talking of smells, remember the classic sales techniques of baking some cookies. That’s the kind of home-smell that sells houses.


3. First Impressions Really Do Count But Not Where You Might Think


First impressions count, whether it’s meeting new people, starting a new job, or buying a new home. However, too many people concentrate on the inside of the house, forgetting that it’s actually the outside that people see first. If you have a garden or a front yard, make sure that it looks nice and tidy. And if you have a fence, a lick of paint can work wonders for your home’s curb appeal.


4. Look At Your Home’s Decor as An Outsider Would


Have a real look at the inside of your house. Try and look at it with the eyes of a potential buyer. If each room blends into the next, then you’re looking good. However, if each room is garishly painted, or you have allowed the kids to be ‘creative’, then a fresh coat of neutrally-toned paint may well be the way to go.




5. Choose Your Next Home Wisely


Finally, if you’re selling your home, you are no doubt looking to buy as well. If you’re thinking of your next home as an investment, you should be looking at the best areas of town. As this will be where the most expensive houses are, try to think where the up-and-coming areas will be in five or ten years’ time. Your realtor will be able to advise you on this as well. And if you can find a fixer-upper, this is where you will get the most bang for your buck.


Selling a home does come with its stresses and there are certainly lots of forces that are out of your control. However, with enough planning and a bit of careful preparation, the process can be made to run a whole lot more smoothly.

What Does It Take To Build Your Own Home

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Many people dream of building their own home, but what does it take to make this a reality? Here are some of the big things to consider when planning to build your own home.

Buying land

Before you can build your home, you’ll need to acquire land to build it upon. Buying land can often be one of the biggest costs of building a home and many people have to take out a land loan to pay for it (which is like a mortgage for land). You can find land for sale at sites like Wyndham Ridge Estate. You must make sure that the land is build-able and that there are permitted planning to right to add all the dream features that you want.

Designing your home

The design stage can be one of the most fun stages of a self-build. You should hire a professional architect of whom you can work closely with to try and include your dream features. A good architect will be able to advise you on ways of keeping within your budget as well as meeting building regulations and permitted planning rights. They may even be able to suggest features you hadn’t even thought of. Make sure to do your research in order to find the best architect possible for the job.

Hiring contractors

 Once you’ve designed your home, you’ll need to hire contractors to build it. Some people take on this building task themselves, but even so aspects such as electrics and plumbing may still require hiring professionals. Make sure to do your research in order to find a good team of contractors.

Sourcing materials

Some contractors may be able to source materials for you, however sourcing your own materials could help you to save costs. You’ll need to follow the advice of your architect in order to shop for the right materials and the right measurements. The likes of reclaimed materials could save you costs.

Funding your self-build

A self-build can be expensive and you will need to have a clear strategy for funding yourself. A self-build mortgage will likely be required – you can find these at specialist lenders, which you can compare at The Self Build Mortgage Shop. Self build mortgages are offered in stages throughout the build and may help to cover temporary residence whilst you wait for your home to be built.

Planning On Moving Home? Take Care of These Issues First

If you have been thinking about making a move and relocating with a family, you will have a lot of things to consider before you can settle down and enjoy your new home. While most people spend months to find the right property and location, they often forget about the important steps they have to take to make the change as smooth as possible. Read about them more below.

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Your Finances

Before you apply for a mortgage or explore the opportunity of getting a new deal on the home, it is important that you have your finances in order. If you have credit cards and loans all over the place, you are not likely to get the deal you want. You might want to consolidate your finances well before you apply for a mortgage. You can learn more about the different options that are designed to help you improve your credit rating.

School and Work Commute

In case you have kids, you will need to make sure that they are on board with the move, or you will have to face daily tantrums. Check how long it will take you to get to work and give the kids a ride. If you happen to move them to a new school, ensure that you have a meeting set up with the principal, so they are less anxious about a new start.

Your Decoration and Moving Budget

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No matter how much you fell in love with the property, there will be things to do. You will either need to improve the comfort of the house or decorate it to your taste. If you don’t create a budget for moving and refurbishment, you are likely to end up with a home that is less than perfect until you can save up enough to tackle the issues.

Internet and Utilities

Once you have your mortgage deal approved and are planning on getting a moving date, you will have to get ready for the big move. You have to ensure that the previous owners have paid all the bills, and their name is off the bills. Next, you can start comparing different electricity, gas, and internet, cable TV deals, so by the time you are moving in, everything is in place. There are some companies that will help you with this transition and make your relocation smoother.

Your Will and Legal Matters

Moving house can trigger a legal review, too. If you have a will, you will need to get it changed, as well as your mortgage protection and life insurance. You don’t want your loved ones to end up in a legal battle should anything happen to you. Ensure that the mortgage gets paid off and they are left with a comfortable income. You will also have to change the address on all your financial accounts to avoid fraud.


Moving house takes more than packing boxes and taking all your things to a new home. There are several things you can do to make your new life easier.

10 Steps to go from a Renter to a Buyer

Home buying can be scary! Especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck and see no way out of it. I want to share some quick tips on how to go from paying way too much on rent to actually owning your own home.

  1. Apply at a mortgage company, this will tell you what you can afford and how much your payments will be. I love using local agents and highly recommend Guild Mortgage. Not only can they help you understand the process but they will give you suggestions on how to bring your score up and what the benefits are.
  2. Find an amazing agent. This is the important part. Your agent needs to understand and know the market, represent the buyer and make sure the worth of the home is in line with the asking price. Your agent will negotiate a better deal for you and hopefully help you with paying little to no closing cost! This is my specialty!
  3. Decide what criteria is most important, unless you are going to build a home, none will have everything you will want so you make a list of the must-haves and go from there.
  4. Start the search, your agent will want to set up several homes for you to view, sometimes it only takes one home but most of the time it takes more. Do not feel bad if you don’t find one you like the first time around. Usually, you are excited and nervous and need to see several before making such a big decision.
  5. Pick your home. After finding your perfect home, the negotiating begins! This is where it is extremely important to have a good agent! They will handle all of the legal requirements and paperwork and make sure you are being represented for the best deal possible.
  6. Once an offer is accepted and under contract you will give an escrow check. Usually, it is 1% of the sales price so on a $100,000.00 home you are looking at a $1000.00 check.  This will get deposited by the title company and kept until closing at which time it will be deducted from your amount owed. It is like an insurance payment.
  7. Then you will have the option to have an inspection and termite inspection done. This will be paid up front by you the buyer. Depending on the market the average is around $350.00 for inspection and $100.00 for termite inspection.
  8. The survey and other fees can and should be negotiated by your agent. I usually ask the seller to cover these. To lessen the amount of cash my buyer needs to have on hand.
  9. Closing, at this point you are out $1000.00 plus or minus for escrow, inspections $500.00 plus or minus and now the closing which is usually 30 days after you have signed the contract. Here you are required to pay whatever percentage the mortgage company decides. Some can pay as little as 1%, all the way up to 20%. You can ask for the best deals but by knowing this ahead of time you can start saving!! If it is only 1% you can purchase a $100,000.00 home for $1,000.00 down. Total cost would be around $2500.00.
  10. Welcome home, a lot of times people don’t realize their house payment is less than what they rented for!

Owning a home is the American dream. I would love to hear if you are a homeowner and how you saved money in the process!


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