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Aug. 26, 2021

Trusting a Low Commission Real Estate Agent With Your Home?

To say the least, the prospect of saving money is appealing. Consider how you want your home-selling experience to proceed when selecting whether or not to choose a low-commission agent. Do you want the full-service, white-glove Ritz Carlton treatment from start to finish, or do you prefer an a la carte approach with only the essentials?

Real Estate Agent Discussing in Front of His Client

Your home selling experience 

Although a cheap commission agent may promise exceptional service and even shoot high-quality photographs, their overall services and resources may be limited in comparison to those of a typical agency with a larger budget.


You just can't expect the same level of undivided attention from a discount agent who earns less per transaction – think about it: a discount agent would have to sell a lot more homes to make the same amount of money as a full commission agent.


Commission agents have a network of resources who can assist us if a problem arises. They have the answers, which makes navigating and handling the transaction much easier. A real estate agent who is completely focused on your needs will go above and beyond, and you can completely trust them.


Possibility of underselling

Another disadvantage of using a discount agent is that your home may sell for less than you could have gotten with a top agent's help.


In real estate, there is no set pricing. Making strategic changes, placing your property in the sweet spot, and using a well-connected agent's network can all help you get a better deal on your home.


When it comes to advising you on where to invest and how to maximize your home's visibility in your community and on the internet, a knowledgeable realtor can help. Whatever commission you save may end up resulting in a pricing that is below market.


Real estate is more than just creating a contract - to keep the agreement moving forward, you must be able to negotiate and provide assistance. Every contract these days is razor-thin, and if you don't have the skillset to make everyone happy and create that win-win situation, you're not going to receive top dollar and you'll be wasting money.


Valuing your investment through the end

If you knew a doctor was at the top of her field, you might drive an extra hour to see her, sacrificing a short drive for peace of mind because your health is so important. Perhaps you'd be willing to pay a little extra per hour for a lawyer with a spotless track record or reputation.


Would seasoned professionals in either sector be willing to accept a lower wage in exchange for their unique talents and services? Most likely not.


In the real estate industry, the same rationale applies. Real estate agents who are at the top of their game will expect to be paid accordingly.


With a house likely being the largest asset on your personal balance sheet, saving on commission fees is akin to purchasing a high-performance luxury car and then driving it off the lot on B-grade tires to save money.


Why wouldn't you take the utmost care with your financial future — and this long-term investment you've made — all the way to the finish line?





Aug. 20, 2021

Why days on market matter to home buyers

Days on Market a listing is active in multiple listing services (MLS) before it becomes pending is referred to as the days on market (DOM). When a seller accepts an offer, the transaction is still in the pending stage.


The number of days a property is on the market is influenced by several factors. Some of the elements include economic influences, competition, and judging standards.


White and Brown Concrete Bungalow Under Clear Blue Sky

Average Days on Market

Many agents will refer to DOM as "average days on market," a figure calculated by multiplying the number of listings by the number of days each listing has been on the market. The DOM is often higher in a buyer's market since inventory takes longer to sell. The DOM is frequently lower in a seller's market.


How Buyers View the DOM

When buyers see extended days on the market, they usually come to one of a few conclusions:


  • The seller is becoming desperate to sell and may accept a lower offer.
  • The seller is asking for significantly more than the home is worth.
  • There might be something wrong with the home, a defect that caused other buyers to pass it up.


While these conclusions may or may not be correct, a home might remain on the market for a variety of reasons other than the requirement for expensive repairs or labor to satisfy standards. Overpricing is the most typical cause of long days on the market. To gain the listing, the realtor may have deceived the seller into believing the home was worth more than the market will bear.


Sellers may become fixated on a price, willing to wait for the market to catch up to their desired level. This is most common when the market is skewed toward buyers.


It's possible that the house is unavailable or inappropriate for showing. If the property is occupied by a tenant, getting an appointment with them can be challenging. Sometimes sellers list their properties on the market before they're ready to show them to potential buyers.


Some sellers believe that a buyer will adhere to stringent showing schedules that are convenient for them. Buyers tend to tour homes on their own timetables. If your house isn't available when a buyer wants to see it, they won't.


Relisting to Reset the DOM

Real estate agents frequently withdraw a listing from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) after a specified number of days and relist it as a freshly listed home. Because agents know that buyers tend toward fresh listings, they relist to display zero days on the market.


This method is disliked by many purchasers since it is deceiving. It's not a true representation of the number of days on market, and if buyers are aware of it, it could hurt the sale of the home.


After being on the market for 60 to 90 days, it's not uncommon for a home to sell within five days of being relisted as a fresh listing. Listings do expire from time to time. Many agents take a listing for 90 days and then sell it to another agency as soon as the timer runs out.

Aug. 7, 2021

An Introduction on How to Save Up for a House

A home is more than just a collection of planks, bolts, and roofs. It's a place where you may celebrate birthdays, start a family, and connect with others. Homeownership remains an important aspect of the "American Dream," according to the National Association of Realtors' 2019 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile.


Homeownership is also linked to higher levels of life satisfaction, self-esteem, and self-perceived control over one's life.


When money becomes an issue, though, the idea of owning begins to fade. According to the National Association of Realtors, the primary reason renters and non-homeowners don't buy homes is that they just can't afford them. In recent years, the cost of housing has risen dramatically. When you add in rising student debt and other financial difficulties, it's no surprise that individuals are having trouble affording a home.


Black Calculator Beside Coins and Notebook


However, if you are mindful, there are plenty of ways you can begin saving money, whatever your age or income level.


Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund is the first and most critical savings objective you should consider. It's impossible to know what life has in store for you all of the time. A job loss, hefty medical or dental expenses, sudden home or auto repairs, a hurricane or big storm, or anything else unfathomable, such as a global epidemic, are all examples of financial emergencies.


The last thing you want is to be compelled to use credit cards with high-interest rates or to take out a loan. 


The rule of thumb for an emergency fund is to have enough cash on hand to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses.


Consider both fixed and variable expenses when calculating your spending so you'll know just how much to set aside for emergency savings.


Where to keep your savings

After you've decided to save some money, the following step is to figure out where you'll keep it. Remember to factor in the amount of interest you can make on your savings as well as the ease with which you can access the funds. A CD may offer a greater yearly percentage yield, but a savings account or money market account may provide more flexibility in terms of withdrawals.


Make Saving Automatic

Creating an automatic savings plan is one of the easiest methods to get over this problem (and to get into the habit of saving money). Setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account eliminates any guessing (and the temptation to spend) from your life.


Start little if you can't make a big leap all at once. Even a small amount of money saved each payday can make a difference.


The Difference Between APR and APY

One of the most important things to consider when saving money is how much money your money is earning for you. The words "annual percentage rate" (APR) and "annual percentage yield" are two of the most commonly used terms when discussing interest rates (APY).


APR stands for annual percentage rate, while APY stands for annual percentage yield.


Cut Spending Leaks

Even if you're already saving money, there are always methods to save more and spend less. It's sometimes just the little things that add up, and the only way to tell is to examine everything you buy.


Cut it from your budget if it isn't a necessity (like food, shelter, and clothing) and isn't making you happier or helping you. Learn how to identify your spending leaks and how to close them so you can save even more money.



Contact Residence Realty Group at 📞(678) 993-9625 and let us help you with your homeownership journey. 

July 31, 2021

Bidding wars are waning: Here's how to get ready for a change

Although the housing market is projected to continue to favor sellers for the foreseeable future, several major indicators imply that it may soon begin to cool. At the very least, a smidgeon. According to pending sales data, homebuying desire has recently slowed a little.

White Concrete Building during Night Time

Why the rapid drop in temperature? Homebuyers are now expressing hesitation to pay top cash for a home.


"The housing market was too hot for its own good over the past year, and we’ve seen some buyers bump up against an invisible price ceiling," Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda, a housing market research organization, tells Fortune.


This skepticism on the part of the buyer was to be expected. After all, housing values can't keep rising at a rate of 17% year over year eternally. Household budgets can only go so far, at the end of the day.


And there's a chance that further cooling is on the way. As the last of the stimulus protections expire, the pace of real estate sales may decline. On July 31, the foreclosure moratorium that had been in place to prevent foreclosures on federally backed mortgages came to an end. The mortgage forbearance program, which allows some borrowers to defer payments, is up next; it expires on September 30.


Homeowners who are still struggling financially may choose to sell rather than restart their mortgage payments. Of course, if this occurs, housing inventory will increase much more.


However, cooling does not imply a drop in property prices. The difference today is that the frequency of residences having a bidding war or selling beyond the asking price has slowed slightly... Some homes are now selling for less than the asking amount.


Demographics are the reason why research organizations like CoreLogic believe prices can rise. We're in the middle of a five-year period when the majority of millennials, those born between 1989 and 1993, reach their thirties, the age when first-time homebuying truly takes off.


The housing market is still benefiting from the ideal storm created by the pandemic: cheap mortgage rates caused by the recession, along with distant employees prepared to relocate in search of affordable accommodation.


Contact Residence Realty Group if you're planning on buying your own home and let us guide through the current housing market. 

July 23, 2021

FHA vs. Conventional Loan : Which will you choose?

You'll undoubtedly come across these words as you plan to buy a home or refinance your mortgage because conventional and FHA loans are two of the most common lending alternatives. Let's compare the two and take a closer look at each to see which loan is best for you.


Calculator and notepad placed over stack of USA dollars

What Is An FHA Loan?


An FHA loan is a mortgage that is backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a government organization that was established to assist homebuyers in qualifying for a mortgage. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures loans produced by FHA-approved lenders, safeguarding them from borrower default.


The FHA will compensate the lender if you default on the loan and your home isn't worth enough to fully cover the amount through a foreclosure sale. If you default on an FHA-insured loan, you have access to certain loss mitigation options that are only available to borrowers who have FHA-insured loans.


For borrowers with credit scores of 580 or better, an FHA loan requires a 3.5 percent down payment.


What Is A Conventional Loan?


In the mortgage sector, conventional loans are the most common. Private financial lenders support them, and then they're sold to government-sponsored firms.


Conventional loans, unlike federally insured loans, have no safeguards for the lender if you default on the loan. As a result, if you put down less than 20% on a home, you'll almost certainly have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you get a conventional loan. The mortgage insurance firm ensures that the lender is paid in full if you default on the loan.


Some conventional mortgages allow for a 3% down payment, but this is only available to borrowers with credit scores in the mid 600s and substantial savings.


Loan limits


The amount you can borrow with both conventional and FHA loans is limited, and maximum loan sizes vary by county. Annually, regulators may adjust the loan restrictions.


The FHA's lending limits are determined by the area you wish to live in and the sort of property you want to buy. In most counties, FHA loan restrictions are lower than conventional loan limits.


Conventional loans have a set loan ceiling for the location you want to reside in, and they usually give more than an FHA loan. If you require a loan that exceeds these limits, a jumbo loan may be appropriate.


If you still have questions, our friendly agent is here to help!

July 9, 2021

Home Additions & Renovations : Factors to Consider

Whether your friends and extended family are coming in or your family is expanding, having additional usable space is always a good thing. However, home addition is a significant investment, and you want to ensure that you get the highest possible return if you ever need to sell.


Contemporary interior of modern kitchen with comfortable white furniture and geometrical lamps hanging on ceiling


One of the advantages of renovating your home is that it will grow in value. It is possible to make your home a more comfortable place to live by upgrading it. However, the value you offer as a result of doing so helps a potential buyer. New kitchens, bathrooms, as well as converted attics, and other improvements, can increase the value of a home.


The majority of household additions come for a reason such as: 

  • To increase the amount of space/square footage
  • To increase comfort 
  • Enhance your quality of life. For example, in a peaceful corner of the house/garden, there could be a home office with all the modern conveniences. People are now working from home.


Get the Essentials Right First

If you're on a tight budget, prioritize the necessities first, such as keeping the building warm, dry, and free of dampness, as well as making it a secure property. Do any routine maintenance on the roof, as well as any underpinning or stabilization work. If the property needs rewiring, make sure it is fixed as soon as possible. The last thing you want to discover after you've redecorated your home is that it requires rewiring.


Remember the "Ceiling Value"

Keep in mind that every property has a ceiling value - the highest value it can acquire – so you can't just keep adding rooms. When renovating, you will spend money that you will never get back at some point.


Looking at what other people have gotten for their properties when they've sold is the greatest approach to determine the ceiling, and this information is freely available online.



The functionality of home addition is one of the most critical factors to consider. If it is difficult to navigate or use, it is useless.


Bring your home up to standard

If you want to increase the value of your property, compare it to similar homes in your neighborhood. You don't want yours to be the unpopular one. But don't go overboard; if it doesn't make sense, adding a third bathroom might not be worth it. Working with a local realtor to determine what might add value to your neighborhood can help you limit down your choices.




July 1, 2021

Checklist for Selling Your House

Selling your house for the first time seems intimidating. Obstacles litter the route like landmines from the list to close, including deadlocks in negotiations, surprises during inspections, and buyers with irrational requests.


A checklist is what you'll need – a step-by-step guide to everything you'll need to sell your home. After reading this, you'll never have to wonder, "What do I need to sell my house?" again.


White and Brown Concrete House Near Green Grass


First off, you need a team of professionals on your side — these are the people who can help make the process easier. 


Real Estate Agent


Do you think you don't need the services of an agent? You should know that selling a property on your own is difficult - you'll have to perform all of the work of preparing your home for sale, as well as promoting it and knowing the ins and outs of the housing market. Trying to sell your house on your own might take a long time and cost a lot of money.


Listing Preparation



  • Repaint rooms to light, neutral color
  • Remove personal photos and knick-knacks from around the house
  • Organize storage area
  • Clean all the rooms - Deep clean everything, including vacuuming dust from vents, dusting fan blades, and getting cobwebs out of corners in high ceilings
  • Wash all windows and glass surfaces
  • Trim back bushes (they shouldn’t touch the exterior of your home or block the view out of windows)
  • Remove any debris, hoses, yard art, or other items from the yard
  • Start with your curb appeal landscaping
  • Make sure the front door hardware is in good shape and repaint the front door and trim if need be (first impressions are important!)
  • Have your porch/driveway and exterior of the house washed/cleaned


Before and during listing the home, you’ll want to get:


Listing agreement

  • This includes all of the terms of your agreement with your agent.

Mandatory disclosures

  • Although not necessary in all places, in many, all sellers are legally obligated to reveal any information that may be of interest to the buyer.

Inspection reports

  • Any and all house and property inspections you've done (home, pest, pool, etc.) as well as the outcomes of those inspections

Offer and counteroffer forms

Closing statement

  • shows how much money you made from the sale (what the buyer paid for the house, minus the costs of selling your home)


It’s a journey, no doubt, but it’s much easier when you know where you’re going and you have a guide you can trust. 

June 17, 2021

Who Pays for the Closing Costs? Buyer or Seller?

Your world will be consumed with new lingo, previously unimaginable expense, and weighty decisions on matters you've never considered before from the moment you decide to buy a house until closing – all while you reimagine your life as a homeowner. Having a comprehensive understanding of the entire process can assist you in negotiating the best possible deal.


Crop payroll clerk counting money while sitting at table


Closing costs are paid following the terms of the buyer-seller purchase contract. Typically, the buyer pays the majority of the closing costs, but in some cases, the seller may be required to pay some fees at closing as well.


Here's what you need to know about the closing costs:


What are Closing Costs?


Buyer and seller closing costs are monies due at closing, typically ranging from 3% to 5% of the total purchase price and consisting of fees and taxes. Although closing costs differ between buyers and sellers, they are usually predictable. 


When it comes to who usually pays closing costs, either the buyer or the seller can be held liable. Before signing on the dotted line, both the buyer and seller must agree on how these expenses will be paid.


Buyer's Closing Costs


Closing costs for homebuyers are not cheap, typically ranging from 2% to 5% of the sale price. In general, the buyer is responsible for all costs associated with the loan, the property, and the required insurance policies.


As a buyer, your closing costs may include, but are not limited to:


Mortgage Costs

Buyers will receive a Closing Disclosure, which will provide a final breakdown of all costs associated with the mortgage loan.

Property Costs

Buyers are responsible for the appraisal and home inspection, which are both required by the lender. Property taxes are a major factor in closing costs.

Insurance Fees

Buyers will be required to pay for title insurance for both the lender and themselves to protect themselves against title claims. Buyers will also be required to purchase a homeowner's insurance policy to protect themselves and the lender in the event of property damage.

Escrow Deposits

To form a "cushion" in your loan's escrow account, your lender will most likely require you to pre-pay a few months of taxes and insurance.

Attorney Fees

Real estate closings usually involve an attorney for the buyer, seller, or both.


It's important to note that these fees, as well as the buyer's obligation to pay them, can vary greatly depending on where you live. Be sure to ask your real estate agent regarding these.


Seller's Closing Costs


Sellers have fewer items to pay than buyers, but that doesn't mean they get off lightly.


Sellers incur fewer expenses, but they pay more at closing. Sellers typically pay real estate commissions to both the buyers' and sellers' agents. This usually amounts to 6% of the total purchase price or 3% for each agent.


In addition, sellers frequently pay for the buyers' title insurance policy, which is a low-cost supplement to the lender's policy. They may also be required to pay the buyer's property taxes if they have not already paid them for the year.





While closing costs can be costly, they should not be the deciding factor in whether or not you buy a home. In fact, it is quite common for sellers to pay both sides of the closing costs in order to achieve a quick and easy sale.

June 3, 2021

Just Due It: A Guide to Due Diligence for Homebuyers

Buying a home is thrilling, but remember that this is a legal transaction before you get carried away daydreaming about how you'll arrange your furnishings. As a buyer, you must conduct due diligence from both a practical and contractual standpoint.


woman in red blazer holding white paper


The real estate due diligence procedure is difficult for many home buyers and investors. Knowing where to start, what information to study, and how to obtain the necessary information to assist you to decide whether or not the property you're looking at is a good investment can be frightening and stressful (especially if you've never done it before).


In the context of residential real estate, what does due diligence imply?


What is Due Diligence in real estate?

Before the house being transferred ownership, the buyer must conduct due diligence on the property and understand what they are purchasing. Each acquisition offer contract specifies a period during which the buyer will be permitted to complete specific due diligence tasks.


Research the area

Location, location, location! Request assistance from your real estate agent in determining the current situation of the real estate market in your desired location. Some things to keep in mind:



Discuss domestic home issues

Every home requires upkeep, but some areas are more prone to additional costs owing to weather, flora, or fauna.


  • Nearby animals that might be destructive to foundations or landscaping
  • Flood-prone areas, or areas that have poor drainage
  • Certain bugs or vermin that have the potential to destroy wood
  • Tall trees that could pose threats in storms


Understand any zoning laws

Inquire with your real estate agent about any zoning rules that apply to the property.


Certain types or numbers of structures, such as mobile homes or sheds, may be prohibited by zoning. Zoning rules may limit your rental options or the kind of animals you can have on your property. Certain trucks or trailers are sometimes prohibited from being parked due to zoning rules. Check to see if the zoning standards fit your lifestyle.


Check the property's flood zone status

Check to see if the house is in a flood zone according to FEMA. You can do this by searching up the address on the FEMA maps that have been reported. A FEMA flood zone is usually determined by elevation above sea level.


You'll need flood insurance if your home is in a FEMA flood zone.


Get a Title Insurance

When conducting due diligence, title insurance should be a top priority. Before you buy the property, the title company will do a title review to see whether there are any heirs or outstanding liens.


However, a title review is not always thorough. If the title firm misses something, title insurance shields you against the legal battle that follows.



Due diligence in real estate is the process of gathering adequate information on a property to make the best possible purchasing decision. Due diligence is designed to keep sellers accountable while also protecting buyers from making poor decisions. This is also where your real estate agent comes in handy - let say they will be your tutor, there to guide you every step of the way. 



So get out there and do your homework!

May 16, 2021

6 Selling Mistakes You Might Be Making and How to Correct Them

Anticipating issues before they arise is half the battle of selling a house. Selling a house is a significant life event, and it can be complicated when you consider all of the steps involved: planning and listing the property, making renovations, finding a buyer, negotiating the closing process, and eventually moving into your new home. And if you make mistakes during the home selling process, you could lose a lot of money.

Crop person with smartphone and notebook using touchpad on laptop

There is a lot of work to be done before you can make a list. During the home selling process, there are several ways to make a mistake. The following are some of the most common mistakes to avoid while selling a house:


Set more realistic pricing

The price you want and the price the consumer is willing to pay may be very different. Overpricing a home occurs more often than you would expect. It's never easy to resist the temptation to overprice your house. The longer your home is on the market, the more likely you are to have to lower the asking price. If you can't find the sweet spot, you risk losing money or letting your home in the market for longer than necessary, all of which can have negative effects.


Study your house's real value

You may have a rough estimate of how much your home is worth based on homes that have sold nearby with similar sizes and amenities. But this is the part where your real estate agent can be of help. Look at what similar homes in your area are listed for, do some research on what homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for, and use an online calculator to get a home value estimate. Your agent will also be able to collaborate with you. Your agent will also be able to work with you to price your home competitively.


Use professional photos on your listing

The first thing a prospective home buyer sees is the images, which may influence buyers' interest. Poorly lit images taken with just your mobile phone may no longer attract potential buyers, and studies show that professional photos will help you sell your home faster and for more money. Buyers want high-quality photographs that highlight your home's best features and real estate photographers know the best ways to show your home as appealing as possible. Professional pictures will help your home stand out from the crowd. 


Choose the right agent for you

If all goes well, the real estate agent can help you make the most money on your home sale, but they can also cost you thousands if things go wrong. Determine the best path for your home sale, as well as the best resources and/or people to assist you. 


Take the time to interview prospective real estate agents to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck. Check their qualifications and licenses, speak to previous customers, and make sure they have a lot of experience selling in your market and price range. Learn more about the agent you'll be recruiting to make sure they understand your needs.


Have your home staged

The ability to display your taste through furniture, paint colors, photos, and decorations is one of the best aspects of owning a house, however, buyers want to be able to see themselves living in the house. When it comes to selling your home, having a well-kept home and making a good first impression are crucial. A staging professional's role is to plan your home in such a way that the property's strengths are highlighted while its flaws are minimized. This will allow your home to be displayed to its full potential.


Be knowledgeable on ALL the closing costs

The overall cost of selling a home can be much higher than the 5-6 percent in agent commissions that most people expect. When closing costs, repairs, and other concessions to the buyer are factored in, the selling costs can be closer to 10% of the sale price. If you move into your new home before selling your old one, for example, you may need to rent a temporary place or pay for both mortgages as well as other carrying costs like electricity, HOA dues, taxes, and storage. Knowing this information before you list your home will help you select the best method of selling and estimate how much you'll have to spend on your next home.


Finally, you want the home sale process to be as easy and painless as possible. It's easy to become overwhelmed when you consider all the things that can go wrong, but remember that awareness is strength. The longer your home remains on the market, the less desirable it becomes to potential buyers. Identify the problems that are stopping prospective buyers from making offers and address them as soon as possible. You will be able to sell your home easily this way.