Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs!

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you’ve lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that’s far from the truth! Although it’s not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don’t want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today!

Selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That’s a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers – Let’s be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the “trend” of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition – Selling in the fall isn’t something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That’s why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn’t make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor’s house. It also doesn’t devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention.

With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale.

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home – Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don’t feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.


If you’re considering buying or selling a home, please visit www.thekoppgroup.com and connect with us today!

Hurricane Irma Art

This painting by artist Gina Fote was way too cool not to share. Gina painted this beauty with water color & candlelight while Hurricane Irma barreled her way through Florida. Gina is a talented tattoo artist at Ever After Gallery in Spring Hill, Florida. She has an Etsy store where you will be able to purchase prints. Visit her Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/GinasJuJus.

 

What are your thoughts on this amazing art piece? Tell us in the comments section.

If a Neighbors Tree Falls on Your Home, Who Pays for Cleanup?

If a neighbor’s tree falls on your home, who pays for the cleanup?

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

GREAT question! If you were recently in the path of Hurricane Irma, then you know that knowledge is power to protect you, your home, and your family.

 

There are SIX things we would recommend when that happens:

1. CALL your homeowner’s insurance agent immediately.

2. Where the tree FALLS determines who pays for it.

3. If the tree is ROOTED in your neighbor’s yard, and it crashes in your property, it’s your responsibility.
(Note: Many are surprised that wherever the tree landed, that person is responsible for dealing with it regardless of where the tree came from)

4. Once the insurance agent gives the green light, the homeowner is responsible for HIRING contractors to remove the fallen tree.
(Note: Homeowners can save money cutting up the tree themselves and then hiring someone to simply remove logs and branches. However, unless skilled with a chainsaw, owners should leave tree removal to professionals.)

5. Depending on the extent of damage, a homeowner might need several contractors to finish the job.
(Note: One you remove the tree, you will need a roofer, and possibly a general contractor.)

6. TAKE plenty of pictures. Do this prior to tree removal and of any part of property that was damaged, including where the tree fell from (your neighbor’s yard).

**This information was taken from insurance companies & borrowed from Mortgages by Linda at www.mortgagesbylinda.com.


Looking for more detailed insurance information regarding your home and property?

Call Brightway Insurance – The Pihl Agencies!

Call: 904-262-2886
Click: https://www.facebook.com/brightwayjax/

Don’t Replace Your Real Estate Agent With The Internet

With the influx of new technology and web based solutions, it isn’t a surprise that everything is moving fast into the era of the internet. From sites like Uber to Grubhub, we generally can pull up our phones or laptops to order what we want with ease. With every industry being revolutionized by technology, the same methods are “attempting” to be applied to the real estate industry.

We could all agree that the simplification of the process through paperwork would be much appreciated by agents and buyers/sellers alike, but the attempt of replacing real estate agents by sites like Zillow and other third party resources can lead to disaster. You can use your mobile device to quickly place an order for a $20 meal, but when it comes to health issues, you’ll want to put that phone down and visit a professional. Now think of your real estate agent being in the middle of all of that. You can use your devices to look for a home or look at market data the way you look at WebMD, knowing not to take it too seriously because you need a real professional’s input. It’s fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect, but here’s where the issues begin. The data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling, the same way it oversimplifies medical diseases and surgeries. You’d still expect to get a professional’s diagnosis.

Although a real estate agent isn’t quite like a doctor, our industry with all of its legalities, contracts and processes are similar in the sense that they need to be taken seriously. Looking for a house online and wanting to put an immediate offer on one can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional’s guidance come after the initial contract is written up and the hard work comes into place to actually make the home your own. Same for sellers, if you decide to put your home on the market and want a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of with the price? Most importantly, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? There is a lot more to the sale of your home than just agreeing on a number.

The next time you’re combing through public sites for homes for sale and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process to give you an idea of your market. A VERY general idea. After you’ve found the perfect house or you’ve decided that the numbers make sense for you to sell, call your favorite real estate agent and make sure they give you a more detailed look into the market and assist you through the full process, not just the exciting parts. When you’re in the middle of a contract and the buyer’s loan is falling apart or negotiations can’t be made on repairs and emotions are at an all time high, you’re going to wish you had put down your laptop and had your agent an agent by your side fighting for you. Use the internet, have fun with it’s amazing resources, but don’t let it replace your agent. We aren’t in an age, just yet, where technology can do everything a professional realtor can.

American Cancer Society – Cowford Ball Pioneers Kickoff

We are thrilled to be co-chairing the Cowford Ball Pioneers committee and hope to see you at this year’s event. You will have the opportunity to network with other young professionals, learn about the Cowford Ball, how to get involved, American Cancer Society and how they help our community.

The Cowford Ball Pioneers Kickoff is a free event, so be sure to save the date! This year we will have live music by Tad Jennings, food from Zoe’s Kitchen and tasty treats from Sweet By Holly. We also have been fortunate enough to partner with some AMAZING local businesses to bring you incredible opportunities to win our chance drawings. We hope to see you there & thank you for helping us lead the fight to a cancer free world!

 

The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home

If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes, that’s a real feeling!

We often hear and read about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes, there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots, we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July, New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks and  the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

WHY RENT IF YOU CAN BUY?


Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years, yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer Reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer’s lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn’t true. With countless down payment assistant programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up the necessary money needed to purchase a home.

With interest rates at an all time low, home ownership in today’s market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage’s lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That’s more money in your pocket today. Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home and pay a monthly rate that is the same and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard?

There is also a fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” in one place without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turnover rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to sell is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place.

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage if the home was yours. Then you wouldn’t be paying your landlord’s mortgage, you’d be paying a reasonable rate and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into!

DEBUNKING MYTHS TO HOME BUYING

Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That’s awesome, and in this exciting time you can be turning to friends and family for an insight into the process. However, there seems to be a circulation of misinformation spreading around, so we’re here to clear up a few myths.

1. THE FIRST STEP IS SEARCHING FOR A HOME

You know the saying, “Don’t put the cart before the horse,” well that’s important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don’t want to start looking for a house until you have gotten to sit down with a lender and discuss what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that’s $250,000 and come to find out you’re only qualified for $200,000 you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don’t start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.

2. YOU DON’T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT

For starts, when buying a home, 99% of the time the buyer’s agent gets paid by the sellers. That random 1% can be for odd circumstances. So you’re getting to use the services of a real estate agent for free. Having a real estate agent on your side means you’ll get to see homes that aren’t as readily available on public searches, you avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), and you have protection when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home. Why wouldn’t you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction? For FREE!

3. YOU CAN’T BUY A HOME WITH BAD CREDIT

Fortunately for some, this is a myth. Lenders and banks come by the hundreds of thousands and all though there are a few loan options, a lot of lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500’s. Get in touch with an agent to help you connect with the right lender who can help you potentially approved. There is a lot of factors that go into approvals, but your credit doesn’t have to be a sore thumb during the process. However, you will be doing yourself a favor if you connect with a credit repair specialist to at least get those numbers in the 600’s. A better score will lower you interest rate.

4. YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS TO BE 20%

Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance or be 0% down mortgage. USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table.

5. DOWN PAYMENTS ARE THE ONLY UPFRONT COST

This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There is a lot of cost that goes into buying a home, and that includes upfront costs. One of the mandatory ones are a termite and appraisal. If you are getting a mortgage, the home will have to appraise and get a letter stating there are no termites in the home. Termite can range between $25-$75 dollars. An appraisal can range from $300-$700 dollars. Aside from your down payment, you then have to pay for closing costs. And NO, they are not the same thing. Closing costs can range anywhere between 3-6% of the purchase price. In certain markets, this can be negotiated for sellers to cover by rolling into the offer price, but whether that decision is smart to do or not when it comes to landing your dream home will need to be discussed with your agent.

Now that you have some knowledge to get the process started, get in touch with an agent who will help you get through the process as smoothly as possible.

6 REASONS YOUR HOME WON’T SELL

Are you ready to sell your home and want it to have a great first impression on the market? Or maybe your home has been listed for a few weeks or months, and you can’t figure out why it won’t sell, and you know your agent is working hard to market it. We’ve listed below the top 6 reasons your home may not make a good impression and end up stagnant on the market.

1. IT’S OVERPRICED

To be clear, an overpriced home is the #1 reason a home won’t sell. We often times want our homes to be worth a lot more than we may see based on the data, but if you put your home on the market for the number you wish it will bring instead of the price it actually needs to be, your home can sit on the market for months without getting a single showing. If you’re thinking you need to price high to leave room for negotiations, statistics show that views for your property, for buyers in your price range, can drop a whopping 90% if it’s priced too high. Discuss with your agent what the market says the value of your home is, then price it competitively to potentially get a bidding frenzy instead of low offers or having it expire.

2. LOW SHOWING AVAILABILITY

Making sure the house is clean and having to leave on a daily basis for buyers to tour the home may get a little overwhelming, but it is crucial to have open availability to have your home shown. You could end up missing out on the perfect buyer if you decline too many showings. The longer it sits on the market, the less value buyers will see in it. Talk with your agent about having a 24 hour notice period if the extra time is needed, but make sure your home is available to be shown as often as possible.

3. CLUTTERED SPACE

Buyers want to walk into a house and envision their lives in that home. This is difficult to do if your home is cluttered with personal belongings. They are instantly given the feeling of invading someone else’s personal space, instead of the satisfaction of being able to see a future in your home. Make sure your property is clutter free before putting it on the market; and store away any family photos.

4. UNPLEASANT ODORS

If you smoke or have pets, it’s easy to get used to the smell to the point that you don’t even notice it anymore. But it’s important to understand that the scent can be picked up by new people visiting your home, and it can really turn them off from making an offer. Before a showing, make sure to dispose of any garbage, don’t cook fish or other strong smelling food, and ensure the home is freshened up so there are no pet or smoke odors.

5. UNWILLING TO MAKE REPAIRS

Selling your home as-is may sound appealing at first, but being unwilling to make repairs could cost another mortgage payment that far exceeds the cost of repairs if you refuse to work with the buyer on their requests and the home goes back on the market again. It’s wise to be open to repair requests, and simply go over with your agent what you can afford to do and make a reasonable counter offer during the repair negotiations. 

6. UNWILLING TO NEGOTIATE WITH BUYERS

It’s important to have an open mind about requests that will come from buyers when it comes to purchasing your home. These requests can come in the form of price negotiations, repair requests, or even requests to cover closing costs or home warranties. With your agent on your side advising you of the best steps to take, it’s best to be open to working with the buyer’s on some of their requests to ensure a successful closing.

Estate & Yard Sale Weekend Extravaganza

Where: 58 N Roscoe Blvd
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
When: Friday, March 3rd, Saturday, March 4th & Sunday, March 5th
Time: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Details: An eclectic collection from 2 generations. Everything must go. You do not want to miss this one!!!
Antiques, collectibles, furniture, pictures, linens, books, household items, jewelry, glassware, and much much more.

Delivery service available if needed.