Real Estate Myths, Debunked

Everyone and their cousin has “insider knowledge” of how to work the Real Estate game. Many things accepted as “true” about real estate actually are not. Check out these myths that need to be forgotten:

  • ​All real estate agents are the same – Believing this myth could lead you to work with the wrong Realtor. Agents have different strengths and skills, and you need to find the one that works best for you and for your situation.
  • You get a better deal buying a home through the listing agent — This goes back to the myth above. You want an agent who is working in you the buyer’s interest.
  • Price your home to leave room for negotiation – A well-trained real estate agent will price your house properly rather than playing any games. Believing this myth can cause you to lose out on potential buyers who ignore your higher-priced home.
  • Open Houses sell houses – Open houses can be a good time for a real estate agent to pick up more clients. Open houses have pluses and minuses. Discuss with your agent whether it works for you.
  • Selling a home “For Sale By Owner” saves money – What you could save in commission you will lose in a lower purchase price and potential mistakes because you don’t know the right steps to take. Keep this large financial transaction safe and smooth for yourself by using a pro. Even if you do manage to save any money, you will be working hard for it.

So what’s ALWAYS TRUE? You can rely on Laurie Scherer and the Scherer Team to take care of you and make one of your biggest financial decisions go smoothly.

Why should you work with a Professional Real Estate Team

In this modern Do-It-Yourself world, sometimes people think they can save money by opting out of hiring a professional real estate team. Just as trying to rewire your circuit breaker on your own is a dangerous idea, wading through the waters of real estate transactions is never a good idea for an amateur.

Hiring professionals cost money of course. How is the cost worthwhile?

  • Saves you time.

Do you know how to coordinate a home inspector? Or set up a proper meeting with a title company? Where would you even begin to hire a qualified appraiser? These little chores look easy when the professional real estate team handles them behind the scenes because they do these sorts of things every day all year. For the non-professional, every transaction involves a huge learning curve.

  • Saves you aggravations.

Real estate paperwork is daunting — and confusing. And there is a lot of it. Each state has different regulations as do counties. And a Real Estate professional team will have stayed on top of any recent changes to the laws. Let a pro guide you through the paperwork to ease your stress level, and with their expertise, you can avoid the nighttime sweats wondering whether papers were filled out right.

  • Saves you money.

This is a case where knowledge is money. A real estate professional team knows the market and also has a sense of what the market may do next. A pro also knows how to negotiate and can make sure your paperwork is up to snuff for a mortgage.

Most importantly, a real estate team can keep you from making costly mistakes, whether you are selling or buying.

When you are ready to hire a pro and make a real estate deal happen smoothly, call me at Team Scherer!

Stonebridge Neighborhood Review

What words do you want to describe your next home? How about:

  • Serene,
  • Special,
  • Social,
  • Secure,
  • Satisfying?

If that sounds right for you, come check out Stonebridge Country Club with me. Stonebridge Country Club is an intimate gated residential community with a magnificent clubhouse. Located in Boca Raton with an immaculately groomed golf course and a busy tennis scene, Stonebridge Country Club is just right for the house hunters looking for an active and elegant lifestyle. Large homes, preserve views and an Olympic swimming pool make Stonebridge an attractive place to live.

Interior Design by Sam Rosenberg
Interior Design by Sam Rosenberg

From the 40,000 square foot club house, to the Kipp Schulties’ designed 18-hole championship golf course, to the resort styled swimming pool, Stonebridge Country Club will impress you, even in a town full of gated golf communities. All 398 homes are members of the country club with friendly staff and top notch sport opportunities and activities.

If luxury is where your expectations start, then Stonebridge Country Club will not disappoint you.

I look forward to showing you the scenic views of the golf course and private pools of the houses I can show you. Contact me at TeamScherer.com.  and I hope you can soon be saying Home Sweet Home at Stonebridge. Until then, join me for a video tour of Stonebridge.

See the houses we can show you at Stonebridge here.

 

Download the Keller Williams Real Estate Search APP today!

kw-appKeller Williams and I are both always looking for ways to make your house hunting and selling experience smoother. Now you can download my new Keller Williams Real Estate Search app to your phone or tablet. This GPS-powered app will ease your searches and keep vital real estate info right at your fingertips – literally!

Try out the Team Scherer real estate app. Here are a few ways it can make your life easier.

  • Find Open Houses. You can plan a whole day of Open House tours after narrowing down your choices by price range and geographic region.
  • Browse our Keller Williams listings with photos and details of houses for sale and for rent in your chosen area. Keep up to date on changing listings, including prices.
  • Quickly and easily contact your Realtor. My new app lets you send a text, send an email, or call me at the touch of a button!
  • Draw a circle on a map right on the screen to limit the area you want to search.
  • Click on points of interest near homes you are considering.
  • Sign up for an account, then you can share listings you find with your family and friends through text or even on Facebook!

Best of all the app is FREE! Click here to find the appropriate download for your device. It is available for Apple or Android products.

Try it out and let me know how well it works for you.

You can learn more about the app from this video on the Scherer Team website.

Home ownership is HOT HOT HOT again!

Real estate is a good investment even in times of slow growth. Of course, the economic downturn a decade ago saw many Americans shy away from home ownership. How much can change in a decade.

This is a great time to snap up a home. Real estate website trulia.com has stated that, all across the country, the costs of home ownership is cheaper than renting. And, lucky you, South Florida is one of the best values!

The start of this year shows that buyers are finally on board. Per the Wall Street Journal, the number of buyers outpaced renters in the first quarter of 2017. Americans are eager to buy homes again. If you have been feeling cautious or your kids have been holding back before buying their first home, this is the time to start looking.

And if you are looking to sell your home, consider this your alert: the buyers are back!

Why home ownership is a better choice

Buying a home gives you equity in an asset that will appreciate over time. Home ownership protects you against rising rents. And it can give you a valuable tax deduction, in addition to pride of ownership! In the short run, closing costs and other fees associated with purchasing a home can dent your savings. But in the long run, the savings from home ownership will far outstrip continuing to rent.

Contact the Scherer Team to find the right home for you or to make your home available for all those ready buyers out there!

 

 

Foreclosure – Do you want to buy one?

forclosureForeclosure happens when owners stop making payments on their mortgages. The bank takes over the properties that are collateral for the loans. The bank then sells them in hopes of recouping all or some of its losses. Often banks sell these homes at reduced prices.

You may want to snap up one of these bargains if you are house hunting! Keep in mind, however, that while you may save money on the asking price, you most likely will pay other costs for inspections and repairs.

  • Buying a foreclosure is risky because of the condition of the house and the potentially slow process. Any mistakes can be expensive.
  • Be sure to have a competent Real Estate agent who can help you with the complexities of purchasing a foreclosed home. If the price is a real steal, expect other buyers and agents to be vying for it.
  • Do your research and don’t end up paying more than you intended in a bidding war.
  • You may have to be patient while the process drags on. Do not expect to negotiate. Banks have set a price and are rarely in a hurry.
  • And you will move into a house that most likely needs appliances and possibly serious repairs.
  • Never ever skip an inspection, if you can have one. Foreclosed homes often have gone through a tough time as previous owners’ finances suffered, and sometimes they have been empty a long time. Be sure you know what you are getting into because bank sales are AS IS.

Buying a foreclosed property requires a leap of faith, proper preparation, and the guidance of a helpful real estate agent. Contact the Scherer Team at 888-300-4431 to see how they can help you learn if buying a foreclosure is right for you!

Current Real Estate Market Shift

Growth Business Chart Background

Is the real estate market shifting? The easy answer is ALWAYS! South Florida has enjoyed a strong seller’s market for awhile, and this is expected to continue… for now. What can cause a shift?

Interest rates are expected to rise.

If interest rates are expected to rise, as they may again, buyers will be motivated to snap up their dream home soon. Once rates rise, some buyers will cool off. For perspective, the average 30 year mortgage rate is 4.3% in early March 2017, compared to 3.73% a year earlier.

New construction is picking up.

More homes is better for buyers. New homes are competition for homeowners looking to sell their home. Construction is definitely heating up all over Florida, but is nowhere near the craziness of the pre-2008 era with new developments popping up in every spare lot.

South Florida is always a hot spot for home buying.

As Baby Boomers continue to retire and crazy March snow continues to aggravate, people will keep moving to Florida and buying real estate. This means that no matter how much new construction or which way the interest rates blow, Florida homes will stay in demand. Contact Team Scherer for more info on how the neighborhood that you want to sell or buy into is doing.

When should I refinance my home?

looking for money, jobYou should refinance when it makes sense for you economically. Ask yourself these questions:

What is my goal?

The variety of reasons to re-finance a mortgage boils down to two different goals: to save money or to take money out of the principle of your house’s value.

If you are looking to lower your monthly mortgage payment or to pay off your mortgage faster, then refinance when mortgage rates are lower than your current mortgage. With a lower interest rate, you can either reduce your overall monthly payment or make the same payment with more of it going to principle and therefore paying off your home faster.

If your goal is to tap your home’s equity, a lower rate is still a good idea. But now your primary criteria is to have enough principal to withdraw. In other words, your home should be worth more than you owe. You will end up with a bigger mortgage but if it is also at a lower rate, your monthly payment may not change too much.

Call Team Scherer to get an idea of the current value of your home to see if refinancing is right for you.

Can I afford the closing costs of a refinance?

Find out the closing costs before you refinance. Examine whether with closing costs if you will be saving money with the lower interest rate. Sometimes it takes a couple years to recoup the costs of refinancing.

How is my credit score?

Refinance is easier when your credit is in good shape. Your credit score needs to be healthy enough for a bank to be willing to take a new gamble on a mortgage with you. If a bank turns you down for refinancing, ask what you can do to improve your score. Try paying bills on time and lowering debt on credit cards for half a year or so to improve your score.

What does refinancing involve?

Refinancing your home mortgage is not something to take lightly. When you refinance, you pay off your existing mortgage (or mortgages) and start a new mortgage. You are essentially buying your house again!

Understanding Real Estate Market Shifts from a Seller’s Perspective

Real Estate and Conctruction Market Going Up. Bright Sunny Real Estate and Economy Concept 3D Illustration.

Everyone seems to be creating a buzz around the possible market shift in real estate.  Article after article about the coming change in the market forewarns sellers and buyers of possible good fortune or impending doom.  But what does this really mean for the average consumer?  Would we recognize a shift when it begins, and what signs should we all expect?  Below is a list of a few certainties that may help us decipher the next market shift.

Listings

A change in listings will be the first tell-tale sign.  The number of listings on the market in any given area will gradually grow as the number of sales begins to decline.  This domino effect will create lower listing prices.  For this reason, keeping close tabs on the current market is a must.

Market Split

At the beginning of a market shift, you may first see a split by price point.  Typically, entry level homes will continue to stay in the seller’s market while higher end or luxury homes begin to shift.

Lenders

As the market shifts, wage growth becomes almost stagnant, leaving buyers struggling to afford the higher priced listings.  Lenders are then forced to become more aggressive with creative financing to keep buyers in the game.

What Can You Do?

For sellers, when the market shifts out of a seller’s market into a buyer’s market, adjustments will need to be made.  There are two easy steps…..

Price

Make sure your listing price is comparable and competitive.  A market shift tends to amplify an overpriced listing. Let your experienced agent guide you.  Most agents have successfully maneuvered through previous market shifts and will be able to help you do the same. You’ll want to make only one price adjustment, so you want to get it right the first time.

Condition

Make sure your property is in tip-top shape!  Buyers will be picky like never before.  Be proactive to eliminate concerns.  Have your home show ready at all times.  You’ll need to be on your toes to stay ahead of the competition.

If and when the market shift happens, it could bring with it a large number of expired or cancelled listings.  If you find yourself in this position and you need a fresh approach to listing your property, please reach out to us.  As always, if you will be buying or selling in the near future we would be happy to meet with you for a free consultation.  Contact the Scherer Team at 888-300-4431.

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Resolutions Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

This is the year!  The year that you’re finally going to do it!  Get organized, lose weight, get out of debt, the list goes on and on.  But you’re not the only one with a list of goals to check off.  Your home has its own resolutions for the New Year, and you’re just the one to fulfill them.  In fact, you can get in shape together!  Here are 7 ways you can get started….

Organize Your Home…..Let’s face it – it’s time to declutter!  The best way to tackle this task is to create ample space for storage.  This is where you can put your creativity to use!  Now, more than ever, there are storage solutions to every problem space.  Everything from covert furniture, high shelves, and under staircase areas can be used to store your “must keep” belongings.  Of course, if you don’t absolutely need it you must donate or sell it.  You and your home will look and feel better once this step is complete!

Create A Budget…..Not only is budgeting a necessity for a well-run life, it’s also crucial for a well-run home!  An annual budget for maintenance as well as upgrades will prevent financial surprises when major replacements or repairs sneak up.  Think large kitchen appliances, HVAC, roofing, or even new flooring.  These expenses can add up, but you’ll be ready later in the year if you’re proactive from the beginning.

Lose That Extra Baggage…..While you’re busy shedding those extra pounds from the previous year, it’s also a good time to trim down the extra costs your home may be scarfing down.  Trimming energy use will have you feeling more energized, and it’s easier than you may think!  Whether you can do-it-yourself or you need to call in a professional, it will be well worth the time and money to check the HVAC systems and ductwork.  Maintenance of these areas by sealing and insulating them can improve the operation and effectiveness by about 20%.  On an annual basis, this really adds up!

Stop Smoking……Improve the quality of your air, that is!  Poor quality of air is an environmental hazard which negatively affects your overall health.  Get started on this one as quickly as possible, as the issue is even more problematic during the winter months when doors and windows are locked down tight.  Contaminants like pollen, mold spores, dust and even viruses can almost shut down your system.

Improve Family Time….A family that works together, stays together!  But make sure the work is actually fun.  To encourage a win-win relationship between work and fun (and checking off your “to do” list, you may want to think about engaging the whole family in some light hearted chores such as planting a garden.  Too much?  At least consider planting some shrubs or a tree.  Make sure everyone gets involved from the beginning though.  Part of the fun is picking out your new addition, naming it, planting it and, of course, caring for it.

Get Your Drinking Under Control…..Yes, it’s true, your home may be thirsty, but enough is enough!  With around 400 gallons of water a day for the average household, there’s plenty of room for improvement!  Simply installing items such as low-flow showerheads can result in better showering experiences as well as savings.  Low-flow toilets will also prevent unnecessary water from being flushed away!

Exercise!…..There’s benefits in store for both you and your house with this one.  Combining calorie burning with your DIY projects will have you and your home in shape in no time.  After all, doing it yourself can burn more calories than going to the gym!  For instance, painting walls inside your home burns about 135 calories an hour.  Planting shrubs with the family? That will burn about 240 calories per hour!  Cleaning gutters – a whopping 270 calories per hour….again, the list goes on and on!

Again, we, here at The Scherer Team, wish you a Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you in 2017!  Call 888-300-4431 to schedule your complimentary consultation, today.