What does it cost you to sell your “home for sale by owner”?

According to recent numbers, if you don’t want to use a realtor and take your chances on the open market, that is costing you money. For sale by owners sell only for 87% of the sale price compared to being listed with a realtor. So essentially, it is costing you 13% to sell your home “for sale by owner” rather than paying the typical 6% commission.  

Let’s break that down a little further, that 13% does not take into account the amount of time you spent advertising your property, showing the property on your own, negotiating with buyers, and ordering inspections and title work. Not to mention the fees for hiring an attorney to draft the necessary paperwork.  

Would you like to save yourself the headaches, extra work, and heartache of dealing…

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Despite the chilly weather, the spring market is just around the corner. You may be thinking about what you can do now to get your home ready so that you can sell it when the market warms up. Here’s five must-do tasks that you can begin to tackle now that will make the home selling process smooth and simple:

Rent a storage shed or pod

Decluttering is typically chore #1 for anyone preparing to sell. We all have those random items taking up closet space, cabinet space and free space throughout our homes. Take those random items that you don’t use on a daily basis and put them in storage before your home is on the market. Holiday decorations, off season clothes, books, and memorabilia can all be safely tucked away, making your home (and the storage…

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Preparing your home for the holidays can be very stressful - especially when you add Christmas programs, holiday parties, Secret Santa exchanges, and other celebrations into the mix. You want to enjoy the season and the magic of Christmas, but sometimes all of the extras can get in the way of enjoying your home during the festivities. Here are some simple tips to help you make your home holiday ready, without robbing you of your time.

Scents of the Season

Place some holiday scented air fresheners throughout your home. The smell of Christmas in the air just puts you in the holiday spirit!  Something as simple as air fresheners can help create the sense of Christmas.

Build a Fire 

Nothing creates warmth and ambiance more than a crackling…

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We have all experienced hidden fees, and can all probably agree that they are annoying! For example, you book a flight, pay for your flight in full and then you get an email just before your trip that you can pick your seat for a FEE. And then when you get to the airport, you need to pay a FEE to check your luggage. All of a sudden, your flight is $100 more than you planned because of these hidden costs. It’s frustrating as a consumer to be faced with hidden fees when they could easily have been disclosed up front. Or if they were disclosed up front, it was most likely in difficult to read fine print. I think we can all say that hidden fees have surprised us at one time or another, which is both frustrating and annoying.


No Extra Fees to Use Our…

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Conventional Loans and PMI

As you look into financing options for purchasing a home, you might see something called PMI being calculated into your costs. PMI is “private mortgage insurance.” If you are a first time home buyer especially, it’s difficult to come up with the funds for a 20% down payment. PMI is a lender’s protection and compensation for taking a risk on a buyer with a smaller amount of money to put down. PMI costs between 0.5% and 1% of the mortgage annually, and insures the difference between 20% equity and the smaller percentage the buyer put down, in case the lender has to foreclose on the home.

Conventional Loans and PMI

There are advantages to buyers for loans that require PMI. Primarily, it allows buyers to get into a home without having 20%…

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 When I first got started in real estate and was learning the nuances of the purchase contract, my trainer told a story that has stuck with me to this day. She was working with a couple buying a home from a widower that had lived in it for numerous years, but was moving out of the area to start a new life. He had actually signed the closing papers a day earlier than the buyers, and when they arrived the morning of the walk through, the house was totally empty as expected, but all of the kitchen cabinets were gone as well.   Imagine the surprise and confusion! A few phone calls later, it was ascertained that the older gentleman had actually built the cabinets himself and assumed that they were his personal property and not a part of the house itself.…

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Price Versus Worth

As a consumer, do you ever think about price versus worth?  

This summer, we gave up mowing the lawn at our house because my husband was putting in more hours at work and he simply didn’t have the time to cut the grass.  At first we thought it was ridiculous to pay someone to cut our grass, but we quickly learned that his time was better spent working or spending time with our family. His time was worth more to us than the rate we would need to pay for someone to mow the lawn. (And honestly, the company we hired did a much better job than my husband could.)

You may be falling into a similar trap yourself when you think about what you think you could do on your own, versus what it would cost to hire help. In today’s competitive real…

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No credit, no debt, great mortgage 

If you are looking at buying a home in the near or distant future, don’t buy things on credit if you’re planning on getting a mortgage. Yes, it is wise to have credit built up for your credit score, but you won’t qualify for a mortgage. Lenders prefer to see a debt-to-income ratio (also known as DTI) smaller than 36% with no more than 28% of that debt servicing your mortgage. 

A debt-to-income ratio is calculated by dividing total recurring monthly debt by monthly gross income. 

DTI = total recurring monthly debt / monthly gross income (maybe insert graphics on this) 

Avoiding Getting Denied 

Once your mortgage is pre-approved, your loan then goes through…

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Castle Rock Realty's school supply drive

Our staff had a meeting a few weeks ago to talk about what we could do to help the kids and teachers have a great school year. One of our ideas was to host a back-to-school supply drive for students, but then we took it a step further to create the drive to benefit our teachers as well. We are so excited to announce that we are hosting a back-to-school supply drive! We want to help as many students and teachers as possible in this school year—so this school drive is to benefit all students and all teachers.

We all know that teachers get to about mid-schoolyear before they start digging into their own pockets, either for supplies that they need for their classrooms or for things that kids in their classes need. We appreciate the hearts of teachers…

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Congratulations: It’s a Seller’s Market! You may be asking, “Why not sell my home myself,” “How can I make the most in a Seller’s Market,” or even “How do I sell my house?” To help you decide which path you are ready for, consider what a realtor can offer you.

1. Limit your exposure to litigation. Selling a home requires a lot of legal paperwork that must be completed before selling, and these forms can be overwhelming.  When you hire a real estate agent, they will handle all of the paperwork for you and review all of the paperwork on your behalf for your protection.  If you don’t disclose something the correct way to a buyer, you risk getting sued by the buyer. 

2. Pre-screen Buyers to Efficiently Schedule Showings. We know the right questions…

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