Tuesday, January 28, 2014

4 Important Tips For Buying Right

I've met with several people this month that are ready to purchase a home.  Like a teacher that has a group of students eager to learn, I have come away from these meetings energized and excited to see these folks take the next step in their lives.  It adds an extra layer of the rewarding feeling for me when the future buyers are cautiously anxious and looking for guidance and education before jumping in.

Here are the 4 tips that I would offer to anyone looking to purchase a home.  If you skip steps, modify the directions, or assume that one or more aren't for you, the opportunity for a bad experience slowly creeps into the equation.

1.  Get in touch with professionals early:  Realtor and Lender.  
Making contact with both of these professionals is essential.  I'd recommend contacting your Realtor first, not for house related matters, but for a referral to a lender with whom they work closely.  A quality  lender is a Realtor's best friend.  Nothing is more frustrating for the Realtor and the client than having a deal go sour because of financing, so regardless of who you know in the business, where you do your banking, or any other circumstance, trust your Realtor and go with a lender that they know can get you a loan.  You'll meet with a lender to get pre-approved for a loan, thus setting you up for the most appropriate price range to search within for your finances and financial goals.

2.  Get your questions answered 
After meeting with the lender to get the financial side settled, sit down with your Realtor to go through the home buying process.  Gain an understanding for everything that is involved so that you can concentrate on the homes you are looking at, not all of the little things that come up during the search, the offer, the inspection, the loan process, title, approval, closing etc etc etc.

The home buying process can seem very complex, so the goal is to understand the general path before you begin.  Surprises make everyone uncomfortable, so get all of your questions answered before moving on so that your comfort level is where you need it to be to make confident and educated decisions.

3.  Embrace the process
Remember, the goal of your Realtor is to successfully get you into a home of your desires with the fewest amount of bumps in the road along the way.  A simple direction such as "drive by the home to make sure it is a neighborhood that you want to live in and that you really love the curb appeal before you ask me to schedule a showing" is in place to make it easier for you to get to that ultimate goal.  The systems that I have to help my buyers are constantly being revised as I learn something new with each experience.  A strategic approach is the best way for me to ensure a successful outcome.

4.  Be Picky
Don't settle for something that isn't right.  Too many times people want to be shoppers.  What I mean by that is that people will see something they don't like in a picture, or start to consider a home in a neighborhood they don't like, and rather than sticking with the plan to avoid those details, they go shopping hoping something catches their eye so that they can avoid that bit of the criteria that they had previously eliminated.

Rarely does this scenario work out well.  Buying a home is a life changing event.  It is often the largest financial transaction to date, and will shape your life for at least the next 7-10 years.  Be picky, it'll pay off for everyone involved.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
text: 614-383-8502

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Real Estate On Your Phone

You're driving home from work and notice a for sale sign out in front of a house.  Regardless of whether this is your neighbor, or a home on the other side of town, you almost always wonder "how much is that listed for?"

You see a QR code on the sign, but who is getting out of their car to scan that?  You see the phone number on the sign, but you really don't care all that much so you don't want to talk to a salesman.  So, naturally you look at the address and hope to remember it when you get home so that you can google the listing.  


Whether you are one of those people who attempt to remember the address, or you get your phone and try googling as you drive, you no longer need to worry about remembering anything.  Just pull over, click on my app, and the GPS software will locate you and all of the homes nearby that are for sale, not just the one you are sitting in front of.  

The app is free, and anyone can use it.  If you are someone that is just always curious when you are in the scenario above, or if you are really considering buying or selling soon, I cannot tell you how awesome it is to have this just a click away.  
If you already have the app from Zillow or Realtor.com or another big national website, you may be thinking that you don't need to get another app.  If it is working for you, great, but I guarantee that the KW app is more up-to-date and more accurate because the listing information is pulled directly from the Columbus MLS, whereas the other apps are often so full of information that they fail to sync themselves properly and you'll often find homes either not listed or homes that have sold months before still listed that will crowd your search.  
enter: KW1ZHYT1U at start up  

Below are some additional screenshots I've taken to show you a bit about the app.  Most of you may learn better by simply downloading the app and playing around with it, so skip to that part if you are ready to go!  As always, feel free to email me for questions (or just hit the "contact agent" button on the app.  If you've correctly put in the code I've given you, the response will come from me, not some random salesman).

Nearby Homes will scroll on top
using GPS technology
Once you click "nearby homes" the top right
corner offers a list view or map view.  I prefer map view.
Your location is the blue dot, so if you pull over to
search,  you'll see everything in the neighborhood. 
Draw a shape on the map to
focus your search on any area. 
Then you'll get any listing inside your focus area
I could go on and on with the features of this app, but I'll save it for a future post.  Download the app, follow the brief instructions, and have all of the necessary real estate information just a click away. 

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Thursday, January 9, 2014

To Sell in the Spring, List Your Home Now

From KWRI:

I love this message!  One of the many misunderstandings that consumers have with the business of real estate is the concept of time.  To avoid these misconceptions, if you are planning to sell your home, or planning to purchase a home in the near future, the best thing you can do is to sit down and make a plan well in advance. 

The average time a home sits on the market is somewhere between 40 and 60 days.  The goal is to sell it quicker, but anything less is always just gravy on top.  Once the home is off the market, it is still 30-45 days to get to closing.  For the best results, plan ahead and get your Realtor involved as soon as you are thinking of moving... Don't wait until selling is urgent.  

When buying a home, the same 30-45 days to get to closing remains, but buyers have to figure it is going to take time to find their home as well.  Ideally you'll find the right home right away, but more than likely it'll take 3-6 weeks or more.  Use my site to get started with your home search.  Browse until you are within 2-3 months of wanting to be in your home, then it is time to take action and schedule some showings! 

Bottom line:  Don't wait.  If you are planning a move this year, contact me Today and let me help you get on the right timeline to make the process as smooth as possible. 

Take care, 
Scott Morrison
text: 614-383-8502

Monday, January 6, 2014

Protect Your Home in Freezing Temperatures

Happy New Year!

2014 is off to a frigid start.  As I sit down to write this it is 7 degrees outside and only going to get colder!  Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your house in freezing temperatures.

You can find endless amounts of articles like the one I've linked to above with a simple google search.  My post this afternoon is more to remind you to consider your home during these temperatures than to give you exact steps.

A few simple preventative measures can help you avoid disaster.

While you are all curled up on the couch with a warm blanket, search for a home for sale.  All of the properties you'll see are pulled directly from the Columbus MLS and cover all of Central Ohio.  Happy searching!

Stay Warm,
Scott Morrison