E-mail us your real estate questions. They will be answered by our team of real estate experts and posted here

Should I be present during showings at my home?

Answer: The simple answer here is No. Often, potential buyers will be reluctant to talk openly and freely with their realtor about your home if you are present, not wanting to potentially offend you, the seller, with whom they may be later negotiating.  Best practice is to leave shortly before the scheduled showing, allow the potential buyer ample time to view the property, and return once they have left – of course you can, and should, ask YOUR agent for feedback as to what the buyers thought while viewing your property.

What should I do to prepare my home for showings?

Answer: Preparing a home for showings is an extremely important task as a home that is well prepared for home showings will likely sell faster than the competition.  Make sure your home is cleaned, de-cluttered, bright and that no foul odors are present. Additionally, have your windows cleaned, and make sure all the lamps are working! Also, de-personalize your home so potential buyers can more easily envision themselves living there. And arrange your furniture so each room has a distinct purpose. These are just a few tricks to prepping your home for a quick sale.

Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

This is a frequently asked question and also a really nuanced one that can only be answered after considering many variables. There is no short answer other than to discuss it with a knowledgable real estate professional who knows the product, the market and the competition.  

Can I determine how much my home is worth from an internet website?

Not accurately. Websites such as these use computer generated home values based on calculations and formulas offering only a rough estimate of your home’s worth. Every property is unique and to properly price it for the market requires real estate experience, in-depth knowledge of your home, the market and the competition.

Why is the assessed value different than what my realtor says my home is worth?

Assessed value and market value are not the same and it is not uncommon for homes to sell at prices significantly below or above assessed value.  The assessed value of a home is used for the purpose of taxes and has little to no impact on how much your home is worth to a potential buyer in the open market. The true market value for your home takes into account many factors outside the purview of a home assessment – including recent market activity and local competitive inventory.

How many homes should I see before making an offer?

The short answer is, see as many homes as it takes to get you comfortable making the offer on the home you want!

Q: How do I know if the property is a good deal?

While there is no science to determining whether a certain home is a bargain and will appreciate, with research you can keep surprises to a minimum. Start with comparable properties in the area and investigate whether prices are trending up or down in that particular set. Also, consider the neighborhood; is it up and coming with new coffee shops, grocery stores, etc? Often, buying a fixer upper in a great area leaves more room for appreciation than buying the best house in less desirable location.

Q: Should I get a home inspection?

Yes. It is better to be safe than sorry. For buyers, a home is among the largest transactions of their lives and a home inspection prior to making an offer can alleviate any nagging concerns by looking into important aspects of the home such as the roof, heating, electricity and plumbing. For sellers, completing an inspection prior to listing your home is often recommended as you wouldn’t want an issue to appear down the road and potentially sidetrack a pending sale.

Why are refinancing rates higher than mortgage rates?

Great question. Ace Watansuparp, Executive Vice President at Citizens Bank, has your answer.  All things equal, refinance and purchase have the same rates. But in a refinance boom with interest rates at an all time low, as we have now, two things tend to happen: 1) Refinance volume dramatically increases. Because purchase transactions have hard deadlines - closing dates, etc. - many times refinances can affect the banks ability to deliver the loans to meet those hard deadlines. Interest rates on a refinance slightly increase to dictate the amount of volume coming in relative to the banks capacity in order to maintain a high level of service on the purchase transactions. 2) We see lock-jumpers. When a client applies for a refinance it is not always guaranteed that the loan closes: – there could be appraisal issues where the value does not come in at the target value. – if rates … Read More.

Would solar power increase my home’s value?

Q: Does having solar power for your home increase its value when you go to sell? Read More.