February 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of my newsletter!

As a real estate professional, I strive to keep in touch with my clients and provide them with information that I hope they will find useful. This newsletter is an opportunity to let you know about the state of the market and current trends. It may even touch on ways that you could enhance your home’s value. I hope the market data and articles will help you with understanding real estate today and help you with your real estate decisions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rita Parker

Trends, Tips & Tricks area 1 Real Estate Sales Data Days on Market (last 12 months) CURRENT AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET IN JANUARY Single Family Homes 116 Condos/Townhomes 104 Multi-family Homes 92 Keys for Buying and Selling when the Market is slow

It’s a whole new world for home sellers. So how do you make your house stand… Read More

Ask Your Home Lender Smart Questions!

Just like how your choice in Realtor is key to success, so is your choice of lender. They are your partners and should be comfortable answering these questions or you’d better look for greener pastures.

1. How do you get paid?

Some make a regular salary, others make money on selling your loan. Mortgage Bankers and Brokers here in Casper are all around the same cost but vary greatly on services and follow ups. Both ways have pros and cons. It is more important you trust your lender than how they get paid but how they answer will show you fast if they are upfront even under pressure. Good follow up questions are, “What percentage of your business comes from repeat or referral business? And “How long have you been originating loans?”

2. Can you go over a Good Faith Estimate?

This is a breakdown of either a sample or your purchase that covers everything—including lender fees, inspection charges, appraisal… Read More

Price Your Home To Sell

The top factors in selling your home are location, condition, pricing, marketing and did I mention location?

Since asking price is a key component, let’s take some time to consider it.

When a potential buyer is looking for a property, they want to get the best possible value for their dollar. This doesn’t mean that a home should be priced too low, but it does mean that knowing how to price your home is a must.

Get a CMA to Know The Value

It is a seller’s market right now, but regardless if you want to sell and get the most out of your investment, you need to know the actual value of your home. A formal market analysis is the best and affordable way to go. For a quick report, try our market snapshot. You should get a home value check every one to two years to better plan your finances.  With this information, you will be able to… Read More

Home Buyers: Finding A Neighborhood With Great Schools

In Natrona and Converse County, we are so lucky to have real estate near wonderful schools.

As a parent, I know how important it is to have your home convenient to your school and work locations.

We have school of choice here so if you go with public options, you have a relatively good chance of getting one of your top school choices.

I think there is no substitute for visiting a school during school hours to see how the staff and teachers interact with the kids.

Before you spend more time in the classroom, narrow your search by district. Casper, Evansville, Bar Nunn and Mills are part of Natrona County School District #1 while Douglas is Converse County District #1 and Glenrock and Rolling Hills are Converse County District #2.

Next, read the Reports and Reviews. You can email or call us for your accurate and detailed community report of the schools of your choice. The internet is simply… Read More

You Can Do It! One Income Home Purchases are COMMON.

Whether you are single, a single parent, or married with or without kids- buying a home in today’s market is a smart investment.

Don’t let the idea that you should have the perfect situation stop you from buying a home. Using just one income for your loan is very common. I think the only trick is to make a plan and stick to it.

When you’re saving on one income, planning for your initial down payment and for unexpected home expenses become very important.

As a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider, I love working with limits. I am a bit of a number’s nerd and would love to support or help create your household budget. From there, we can make your home buying dreams a reality!… Read More

Top 10 Most Forgotten Items in a Move

Whether you are planning a crosstown or cross country move, you’ll want to use a moving checklist to help you remember what to do next. Moving is stressful and things you would normally remember will trip you up. I remember having to ship a library book back. Several times, I have ended up buying or crediting a buyer on those garage door openers. Here is my list of some very easy to forget items.

1. Medication. These tend to be in the bathroom or kitchen and since you use them daily, they stay. Or get
packed at the last minute and buried in the chaos of moving. Keep them with you in your stays-at-my-side box. You might even plan ahead and ask your doctor for a paper script. You might need time to get settled before setting up a new primary doctor so having an extra 30 day supply is helpful.

2. Garage Door Openers. You keep them on… Read More

10 Things Real Estate Agents DON’T want you to know:

1) If you hire a realtor; you can fire a realtor. Selling quotas and agency process color agent agendas. This means agent advice is often NOT in your best interest, educate yourself.

2) Realtor fees are negotiable. Did you know most are charging 6-7% in Natrona County? Some even with an extra transaction charge. Some even charge buyers! With the average sales price, the extra cost to you would be about $2000.

3) The list agent, especially on new construction, is often NOT your best agent choice. A buyer’s agent at a different firm is a great way to go: they’ll earn their commission. They know the short-cuts and misinformation that an intermediary or designated agent might not always share.

4) Buyer’s agents don’t always look at the re-sell factor. They don’t do it, so why do they care?

5) Trust, then verify: agents tend to talk before they know. Protect yourself by getting inspections, talking to your appraiser and… Read More

Buyer Turn-offs: 5 Ways to Make Your Home Show Better and Sell Faster!

Address these areas of top buyer complaints and you’ll sell better-period.

1) Bad Odors:
Nothing and I mean nothing turns a yes to a no faster than a bad odor. Pets are the top culprit but kids, mold, sewer and leftovers are also common. When you are making sure your home is show ready-it is not just for the eyes but all senses. Don’t over-power with automatic or too many scented plug-ins or buyers will worry you are hiding something. Steam carpet cleaning is also strongly encouraged. Smoking is a HUGE no. I’ve tracked it and indoor smokers in our area generally net $10k less than their counterparts. Try to reorganize by smoking outside and leave no trace. Paint and use grease-cutting cleaning if your home was smoked in. Limit to one background smell throughout and you’ll get more compliments and less haters.
My top favorite home scents are citrus, vanilla and cinnamon.

2) Extreme overpricing:
Agents… Read More

12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowner’s Insurance

1. Shop Around

Call at least three places and compare apples-to-apples coverage. Additional information on complaints and typical rates can be found at www.naic.org, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Financial stability can be checked out at www.standardandpoors.com.

2. Raise Your Deductible

Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim, according to the terms of your policy. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. Most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent. I like to think, what can I fix for less than $1000 and only make a claim in serious need. Otherwise, both the home—and you will have a history of claims. Remember, insurance policies may have a separate deductible for certain kinds of damage such as flood, sewer… Read More

Making Your Home Ownership Resolution a Reality!

So if buying a New Home IS your New Year’s Resolution, it occurs to me that having a handy dandy check list to stay on track might be helpful. Whether it is your first, second or third home—here are my helpful hints.

1. Handle your credit.

Maybe you don’t have any credit issues – kudos to you! But let’s get real, this year will be a year in which many post-foreclosure, post-bankruptcy, post-layoff Americans will find themselves sufficiently recovered, post-recession, to get back into the real estate market and buy a home. If you count yourself among the large number buyers who experienced a financial glitch of any degree during these times, January is the right time to start pulling your credit reports and doing a damage assessment. Time to know, and plan an attack.

• Visit AnnualCreditReport.com (the only website through which you can access your government-mandated free reports) and order your own credit reports from all three reporting… Read More