Featured post

Questions To Ask a REALTOR®

Questions to Ask When Choosing/Hiring a REALTOR®

Make sure you choose a REALTOR® who will provide top-notch service and meet your unique needs. It is one of the LARGEST transactions of your life, an error could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job?

While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate — like many other professions — is mostly learned on the job.

2. What designations do you hold?

Designations such as SRES®, GRI®, and CRS® — which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training — are held by only about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.

3. How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year?

By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the practitioner has.

4. How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that compare to the overall market?

The REALTOR® you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics from the local MLS to provide a comparison.

5. How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices?

This is one indication of how skilled the REALTOR® is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool real estate market.

6. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home?

You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your REALTOR® is responsive.

7. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction?

While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, it’s important to understand where the practitioner’s obligations lie. Your REALTOR® should explain his or her agency relationship to you and describe the rights of each party.

8. Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need to be done?

Because REALTORS® are immersed in the industry, they’re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home improvement companies, and other home service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive compensation from any of the providers.

9. What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide to you?

Having resources such as in-house support staff, access to a real estate attorney, and assistance with technology can help an agent sell your home.

10. What’s your business philosophy?

While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.

11. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently?

Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but it reflects your desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you not want to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?

12. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients?  

Ask recent clients if they would work with this REALTOR® again. Find out whether they were pleased with the communication style, follow-up, and work ethic of the REALTOR®.

If you need help preparing your home for sale call our sponsor: Green Home Solutions

greenhomesolutions

You can call Dan Anderson at Green Home Solutions 401-871-3335

Pets and Home Value

So you want to buy a new home…but before you can do that you need to sell your current home.  If you have pets there is one important step you should consider taking before you begin showing your home. Ask your REALTOR® if they notice any pet-related odor. Time and time again studies show that when we are continually exposed to certain orders we become desensitized to them and no longer noticed them.  Have you ever visited someone’s home who has cats and you walk in the front door and immediately you said yourself: “oh, I smell cats”.  Chances are that the pet owner doesn’t notice that odor, and yet they have been living with it for years.

If there is a pervasive odor that is noticeable as soon as guests enter the house, what can you do? Deodorizers and scented-candles simply “mask” the source of the odor, they don’t remove and eliminate it.  For me, deodorizers and scented-candles can be a telltale sign that there is something else going on in the house.

One of the first things I do as a Buyer Agent when I walk into a home is to take a deep breath.  What I smell tells me a lot about the house…and its occupants.  If I smell cigarette smoke, mold, or pet odors, it is an immediate “red flag” that I will ring to the attention of my Buyers.  Why? Because it is going to be an added expense to get that smell removed, and it could indicate other deferred maintenance issues lurking within.

Usually, I ask my Buyer: “If there were to be a lingering smell post-closing, would that be an issue?” If the answer is yes they need to consider retaining the services of Green Home Solutions to remove the odor or remove the house from consideration. greenhomesolutions

Green Home Solutions uses a fine spray that is free of harmful chemicals and uses fast-acting enzymes that bind to and neutralize odor molecules. No perfumes or masking agents are ever used.

Conversely, you just moved into a new home and you want to avoid that “Pet Odor”  from enveloping guests as soon as they enter.  You love your pet(s) so getting rid of them is out of the question…what can you do?  The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very appropriate in this instance.

There are certain things you can do to mitigate the smelly situation.  Whether switching to a premium pet food, or to premium cat litter, you can proactively address the problem.  Premium pet foods and cat litter have the potential to literally save you thousands when you sell your home.  If you are preparing to put your house on the market the above applies to you too.

How can a Premium Pet Food help me when I sell my house?

If you feed your pet a premium pet food, they will not have to eat as much food because they will receive more than enough nutrition from a smaller amount of food.  Additionally, since your pet is eating less food, they will have fewer bowel movements.  That means less pooper-scooping in the yard, less residual waste, or smaller poops in the Litter Box.  If there are fewer “land-mines” in the yard, and less “poop” in the litter box, that means there is less a chance that someone will “step-in-it” and less of a chance that the house will smell from your cat doing its business.

Cat litter can affect the sale of my house???

Most definitely.  As the owner of two indoor cats, I know from first-hand experience.  Over the years I have been in thousands of houses and all too often, you can tell the houses that have cats immediately upon entering.  There is that “ammonia smell” that identifies the house as a “cat house”.  There are some new, specialized premium cat litters that prevent that ammonia stench. The best one I’ve found and use is Lucy Pet’s Cats Incredible Litter, it may cost a bit more but you will notice that there is NO ammonia smell; even if you wait a whole week to change your litter box…I know I tested it and use it in my home. It still “clumps” so it is easy to clean, and it works well with multiple cats.

While neither of these products is the cheapest, they aren’t the most expensive either.  Every time I change the cat litter, I find that the extra upfront cost is well worth it because it is much less unpleasant.  I was impressed that there are companies that make specialized products for pets and in the case of Lucy Pet, I was also impressed to find they make some really great high-end specialized pet food as well. My friends with dogs feeding Lucy Pet dog food find that their pets shed less,  there are fewer, and less-stinky, “land-mines” in the backyard, and their pets just look healthier overall.  The lesson here is that just because you have pets you don’t have to let that interfere with, or potentially decrease the selling price of your home.  … Aside from the fact that as pet lovers we all want to give our pets the very best, there really are benefits not only to their health but to the condition of your home.  Your pets, and your home are worth the small investment.

LucyPetProducts

Why We Celebrate Veterans Day

A little History:  For those of you unaware and interested, Veterans Day was originally known as “Armistice Day” beginning on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of WWI.  In 1926, Congress passed a resolution making it an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans —living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.  Today it is not uncommon to have veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars…in the same family.  They all deserve our gratitude and respect.  We must, individually and collectively, Never Forget.

flags through the years

Veterans Day Highlights

  • Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States.
  • In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
  • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
  • Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November).
  • In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.

Who are Today’s Veterans?

The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the veteran population of the United States:

  • 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
  • 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • 2 million veterans are women.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
If you enjoy the right to vote, speak freely, assemble, own a firearm, or choose a religion (or not,) You need to Thank A Vet.
waving flag
We All Must Never Forget…Freedom is NOT FREE.

Why Should I Work With a REALTOR®?

Not all real estate practitioners (Licensees) are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.  REALTORS® are required to do more than comply with the law; REALTORS® must conduct themselves in an ethical, professional manner in all dealings with colleagues and consumers.

Here are several reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

  1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
  2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
  3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.housing
  4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
  5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals,
    Remax BannerOutstandingAgents

    Enter a caption

    friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

  6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
  7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
  8. Buying and selling is an emotional process. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
  9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years
  10. Relationships. Real Estate is a relationship-driven business.  Experienced, Full-Time REALTORS® have relationships with licensed, insured, experienced, practitioners in many different parts of the business: Home Inspectors, Moving Companies, Plumbers, Electricians, Painters, Fencing Companies, Attorneys, and more.  You won’t have to worry about finding someone, your REALTOR® can refer them to you!

Success: red graph over coins

Additionally, Full-Time, Experienced REALTORS® understand the market; they work with Buyers so they know what Buyers like and dislike, and they know what “competition” is on the market.  Full-Time, Experienced REALTORS® know Millennials (The Largest Generation of Home-Buyers in history) have different expectations than Gen X’ers and Boomers.  Each group has different needs, wants, values, and ways of communicating during the buying process.

Last, but not least important, is Safety.  Your home, or you, can be seen as an “opportunity” by individuals with bad intentions.  REALTORS®, especially Full-Time, Experienced ones, are trained in how to minimize your exposure to situations which could compromise you and your family’s safety.

So, why should you work with a REALTOR®? If you want to buy or sell a home on YOUR schedule, with minimal stress and surprises, and receive more value from the transaction (buy lower, sell higher) you should hire a Full-Time REALTOR®

Here are a few of our Preferred Partners:

1st Home Mortgage

John Dolbec Team (401) 266-4413

NationsLending2

Don Miller (401) 241-9676

northpointe-bank

Matt Resnick 401-439-5240

shamrock-website-logo-2

Suzanne Caldeira Team 401-228-9565

Bank of england mortgage

Anthony Senerchia Jr (401) 385-3630, Ext. 109

greenhomesolutions

Dan Anderson  401-871-3335

GentryMoving

Brian Crum 401-500-2925

Is There A “Bust” Coming After This “Boom”?

For the past several months I have been hearing from my colleagues, consumers, and “talking heads” on the business channels on cable, that there is a coming “correction”, “downturn”, and even the dreaded “R” word; Recession.  Bollocks! I say.  Has there been a relenting of the continued pressure to increase prices? Yes, there has.  However, that does not mean that prices are in decline, or will be any time soon.

Recall the basic laws of economics; Supply and Demand.  We still have a tight supply and demand is very strong.  In many parts of the country, and especially in most of New England, there is much less than six months of supply.  (Six months of supply is considered to be “Balanced.”)

The reason that the pressure to push prices higher has relented a bit is that inventory has increased slightly.  So if the level of inventory went from 3.5 months to 4.4 months, there are more houses for buyers.  However, we are still far from a “Balanced Market”.

Balance scales

How do we know that this Demand will continue if the Fed raises interest rates? The reason that higher interest rates will not be detrimental to the real estate market is that Success: red graph over coinsREAL wages are increasing and new job creation is outpacing forecasts.

There were 230,000 new jobs created in September versus a Wall Street forecast of 180,000.  Additionally, demographics support continued strength in the housing market.  The number of millennials in the “Purchasing Pocket” ( most people buy their first home between 30-34 years of age) has been and will continue to increase.

This sustained demand and the continued increase in wages bodes well for the housing market. If the housing market is healthy that will create a thriving economy at-large because many more people will see increases in their income.  Every time a new house is sold $60,000-$75,000 of income is injected into the local economy.  That will help legions of small businesses.

Coming real estate “Bust”?…I think not.  The data doesn’t support that claim.

Thank you to our sponsors:

GentryMovinggreenhomesolutionsresnick logo1st Home Mortgage

 

RI Living shares tips for moving

RILivingLogoBlack

Source: https://w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/anvload.html?key=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%3D%3D“>RI Living shares tips for moving

Tips to get ready to move

The Fall home selling season will soon be upon us. If you’ve been thinking about moving – perhaps you want to move to a larger home, downsize, or even sell a vacation home – now is a great time to start getting ready. Joe Luca, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, will provide some tips to help you get your home, and yourself, ready to move this fall.

-Enhance curb appeal
Do some end of season clean-up of your yard
Make sure entry ways are clean, uncluttered and appealing.
Fresh paint goes a long way, (inside or out) so if your front door is peeling or faded, etc., give it a coat of paint
-Staging
Declutter
Clean out closets
Find a secure or hidden place to put valuables and prescriptions
Clear off counters of all but a few things.
Get rid of pet smells – wash slipcovers, washable floor coverings, etc. (and never leave your pet home during showings.)
-Prepare for the buyer home inspection – It’s a good idea to get your own home inspection prior to selling to determine what issues could cause problems. The more you can take care of ahead of the game, the better of you will be.
On the buying side – The supply of homes for sale is beginning to grow so you will have more options to choose from.
-Double check your credit history. Make sure there are no issues that need to be addressed.
-Narrow down the area you’re interested in and register on RILiving.com. You can input what you’re looking for and get emails when a new home comes on the market or the status of an existing listing changes.

John Dolbec will get you Pre-approved for a mortgage.  401-266-4413

Gentry Moving will move your belongings. 401-785-1600

Source: RI Living shares tips for moving

RIAR-MLS-Logo-SmallTips For Moving

Pawtucket Red Sox Moving To Worcester!?!?

I see the relocation of the Paw Sox differently than many Rhode Islanders; in fact, I see this “business relocation” as an opportunity for Rhode Island business and political Leaders to identify and pursue a superior alternative for Pawtucket.  As a Full Time REALTOR® with years of experience in commercial real estate, I believe that McCoy Stadium could be a venue for multiple sports and not remain simply a baseball field.

My opinion is based on the following observations:

  • Public funding of sports venues, aka corporate welfare, is a scam. I believe it is acceptable for businesses to be lured by government entities with tax stabilization plans and/or other incentives.  However, if their business model or  plan, cannot convince private sector lenders to finance their proposed business venture/expansion, perhaps it is flawed, or management/ownership is not  up to the task.
  • The Paw Sox owners demonstrated that they don’t have confidence in their business model without $38 million in government assistance.  As a result, they made a business decision in which the State of Massachusetts will provide $32.5 million and the city has agreed to guarantee the construction debt, meaning it will assure bondholders it can cover any shortfalls if necessary.  The team will pay the Landlord, the City of Worcester, “rent” which comes from revenues.  The State of Rhode Island had a similar arrangement with 38 Studios which didn’t work out well for the tax payers.  This arrangement will increase the bonded indebtedness of the City of Worcester.
  • R.I. has a lot to offer, without giving money away so let’s approach this with some self-confidence and swagger.  R.I. political and business leaders should have no problem getting a replacement, perhaps one who can do it with private-sector funding like Bob Kraft did in Foxboro.  It may take time, but we CAN do it – and we’ll be better off for years to come.

In addition, I would like to share that the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® (RIAR) has for the past two years participated in MIPIM (www.MIPIM.com), the largest real estate conference in the world.  RIAR has chosen to invest in sending representatives, including yours truly, to explore MIPIM as a viable platform to bring exposure to real estate opportunities for our members, and to broadcast the opportunities Rhode Island has to offer international investors, developers, and businesses.  This conference is attended by over 25,000 real estate professionals from around the world.  Only 248 of them are from the United States so there is significant upside opportunity. There are over 5,000 investors looking for investment opportunities, whether as partners or lenders.  In fact, our colleagues in San Diego established a relationship with an individual lender that yielded development in excess of $100 million in the greater San Diego area.  It took a couple years from start to finish but funding was identified and the deal consummated when there were no stateside lenders who would “step-to-the-plate”.

Rhode Island could benefit greatly from such exposure and relationship-building.  Our cost of living is 20 to30 percent lower than neighboring states, the fiscal health of Rhode Island is superior to Connecticut, we are an hour from Boston and a few hours to New York City.  We also have the internationally recognized City by the Sea. Newport as a gem that is too often overlooked.  Businesses can choose from marine, air, rail or surface transportation for their materials.  Our extensive highway network puts businesses located here within a short drive to the best universities in the world- universities which churn out graduates by the tens of thousands every year, providing a tremendous resource for well-educated employees.  Rhode Island offers a great quality of life that is valued by the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit us.

Rhode Island has all of this to offer and most of our inhabitants are completely oblivious to these assets, so how can we expect non-Rhode Islanders to know about us and the opportunities our state provides.  That is why we need to trumpet our assets to the rest of the world.  If you look at a map of the United States, it is hard to find Little Rhody even if you know where to look. So, if you are not from here, don’t know where to look, and don’t even know about us, we will be overlooked by our larger neighbors, Boston and NYC.

RIAR has taken the initiative and non-REALTORS® will benefit from our leadership on this issue.  Though I’ve only  attended MIPIM two times, I have established relationships that could be productive for RIAR members and the State of Rhode Island.  We are just one organization and while we will continue our outreach, the State of Rhode Island could use others to trumpet our assets.

The relocation of the Paw Sox IS an opportunity for Rhode Island.  We need to approach it like professionals.  This is NOT a debilitating blow and we should not act like it is.  We need to think back to when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl over the Atlanta Falcons.  The Patriots were down 21-3 at the half, and then 28-3 at the start of the second half. They did NOT let that overwhelm them. Players and coaches mentally and physically battled back to win. They “did their job” because they are professionals.  Perhaps Rhode Island business and political leaders should look at this as an opportunity to show that we are professionals and we can get  the job done.  So, let this be a “call to arms” to business and political Leaders in the great State of Rhode Island to band together and do our job to market our great state.

GentryMoving                      1st Home Mortgage        REMAX_mastrBalloon_RGB_Rresnick logo

 

Architecture Here and There

Style Wars: classicism vs. modernism