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Meet Karen J. Kehoe

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Karen has been a Realtor/Assoc. Broker since 1980 & has earned these
awards & designations:
  

Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors SalesPerson of the Year

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

RE/MAX 100% Club

ABR: The Accredited Buyer Representative designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® who meet specified educational and practical experience criteria.

CRS: The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation is the professional Designation offered by the Council of Residential Specialists. The CRS Designation is the highest professional designation awarded to REALTORS® in the residential sales field. Fewer than 4 percent of all REALTORS® hold the CRS Designation.

CLHMS: Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. Realtors who hold the CLHMS designation have successfully demonstrated their expertise in the luxury home and estate market by meeting strict performance requirements.

e-PRO: The e-PRO Certification Course is an educational program unlike any other professional certification or designation course available, comprehensive and interactive. It is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and is specifically designed to help real estate professionals thrive in the competitive world of online real estate.

SRES: Senior Real Estate Specialist is a designation for Realtors to address the needs of home buyers age 55-plus, learning about the different housing options for seniors and how best to assist them in buying the right home for their needs.

Free Tips for Buyers

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Helpful Suggestions For Buying A Home:

Make a list.
Make a specific list of what you are looking for in a home. What are your priorities? A big backyard for the kids? A huge master bedroom? A modern kitchen? Know what you want and go after it. Also, decide where you are willing to compromise and where you aren't. This will help in your decision-making.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Pre-approval lets the seller know you're serious. If you're pre-approved, you will be more likely to make a deal. Make an appointment today and meet with a Mortgage Loan Officer as soon as possible.

Don't make low ball offers.
Sellers get turned off when buyers make very low offers. Make fair offers. Work with your licensed salesperson to come up with a strategy for the negotiations.

Look past the decor.
It's easy to get turned off by a home that is poorly decorated or dirty. Use your imagination to picture. A clean and well decorated house – it could be your dream home.



What not to do:

Don't buy that new car, new furniture, new applicances, or apply for credit cards! Remember, now that you are preparing for home ownership, your monthly debt ratio can affect the monthly house payment the lender allows. Start saving right away so the lender sees as much money in the bank as possible (and as little debt)!



Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost as a buyer to use an agent?
The compensation that a sales agent receives typically comes from the seller's proceeds. In other words, there is no cost for a buyer to use an agent in a traditional agent/buyer relationship. In a buyer agency agreement, there may be some cost to the buyer, but even these agreements are usually worded so that the agent is compensated from the seller.

Can my agent give me information regarding properties from other companies?
Yes, if that other company is a member of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which most real estate companies are. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed in MLS so an agent likely would not be able to provide information regarding them. However, with a buyer agency agreement, your agent may be able to help you purchase a FSBO.

What if I find a property on my own?
You should contact your agent instead of the property owner or the agent listing the property. Having the address or the MLS number is very helpful and will assist your agent in gathering information regarding the property.

What type of information will my agent need from me?
An agent will need any type of information regarding the property you are looking for that is important to you. For example, number of bedrooms, garage size, price, location and number of bathrooms are common criteria. Other considerations include the school district, type of home (ranch, tri-level, etc) and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much, while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through!

Can I go to open houses without my agent?
You can go to open houses without your agent. However, you need to make sure that you indicate you are working with an agent already. If you don?t, your agent might not be able to help you write an offer on that property in the future.

How can I find out about new properties?
Your agent should be able to accommodate your particular situation whether it be via e-mail, phone calls, etc. Clients with e-mail capability can receive automatic updates from the MLS system as soon as new listings are entered.

What if I am unhappy and want to switch agents?
Let the agent know that you are unhappy and the reasons why. See if you can work out the issues with him/her. If not, tell the agent you no longer want to work with them and find another agent.

Summary

When purchasing real estate, a sales agent can be an invaluable resource if you remember your responsibilities:

1. Work with just one agent.
2. Make sure you tell your agent everything they need to know.
3. Always tell other agents that you are already working with an agent.
4. Consider your agent a friend.

If you have any questions regarding purchasing a home or would like to speak with one of our agents, please give us a call, scroll down to the bottom of the page for our contact information. We want your home buying experience to be as easy and enjoyable as possible. Our agents will do everything possible to ensure you find the home that is perfect for you.



Buying A Home During The Holidays

  • At the end of the year you can find sellers who are motivated, but assume that they are willing to give away their home. Prior to drafting a contract do your homework. You should only look at sold comp's from the past six months.

  • Try asking sellers for concessions. Some popular giveaways are: closing cost credits, transfer and property tax rebates, and paying mortgage points.

  • When performing a home inspection during winter weather, it's easy to skip thorough air-conditioning condenser and roof reviews. Ask for an extension until the weather improves if you can't operate or look at a structural or mechanical system.

  • During the holidays patience is especially a virtue. It is not uncommon for it to take an extra day to view a property.

  • If closing on the sale of your home near a holiday... check with your agent, lender and title company two business days prior to closing to be sure everyone has all required documents. Also ensure all funds have been wired to avoid delays caused by holiday business closings.

  • Try to select a day in the middle of the week for your closing, preferably earlier in the day, to work around any last minute delaysthat may come by with a title or insurance company or a mortgage loan processor.

  • If you need to move during the holidays, remember moving companies will need more notice and may charge additional fees.




Selecting The Right Moving Company:

Step One: Arranging the Interviews

Whether you are moving across town or across the country it is important that you allow plenty of time to go through the process of selecting the moving company that will best suit your needs.

Make your calls to interview movers as soon as you know when the actual move might take place. If it appears that the move will occur during a peak moving period, then it is even more urgent that you begin this process well in advance of your projected move date. Not only will a move during a peak period be more difficult to schedule; it is also apt to cost more due to the demand that the movers face. Peak periods may vary per mover and may be influenced by local economies. In general, peak periods include:

  • The beginning and the end of each month, since this is when most closings take place.

  • All holidays, but especially those where school vacations coincide.

  • Summer months, since the majority of families will try to orchestrate a move between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next.


Step Two: Conducting the Interviews

Moving companies will agree to visit your home in advance of your move to provide a written estimate of your move. Inquire as to whether the estimate is binding or non-binding, which tells you whether the estimate you are receiving during the visit will still be good in two months when you actually make your move. Also insist that the estimate be written with as much detail as possible so that when you review the estimates, you can assess the points of differentiation. If you will be moving within a local or regional area, the estimate will probably be based on an hourly rate. The company will project how many men they will need to complete the work and how much time it will take to pack (if you require this service), load, transport the goods, and unload at the final destination. The more moving companies you interview, the more likely you will get an accurate picture of just what your particular move will entail and how much it is likely to cost. If your move is out of state, the estimates will be based on the distance of your move and the projected weight of your shipment. The mover will need ample time to walk through your home and inspect each room for furniture and loose objects that will be transported. Make sure that all storage areas in the house are visited including the garage, basement, attic, and outbuildings. The mover will need to view everything that will be going to the new location in order to provide you with an accurate estimate.

. There are many factors that can influence the price of your move. Your ability to impact the eventual price of the move centers on the services that you will require. Once you have identified the services that you will require, make sure that each estimate addresses each service individually so that you will have a legitimate basis for comparison. Some of these optional services include:

  • Packing and unpacking: are you willing to do this yourself, or would you prefer to pay professionals to pack some or all of your loose materials?

  • Boxes: most movers will sell you new boxes, and the prices will vary per company. Ask about used boxes, since some movers will allow you to drive to their site and select previously used boxes that are remain with the company after moves are completed. If you will need a lot of boxes, the use of used boxes will represent significant cost savings.

  • Special handling: if you have unique pieces (ex. piano), heavy pieces (ex. woodworking machinery) or very delicate pieces (antiques), you might need a special quote that identifies special handling of the object.

  • Special Packaging: the movers may recommend that certain pieces be packed in wood crates. Check the cost versus the advantages of this decision.

  • Insurance: most movers have some level of liability insurance that covers their moves. However, additional insurance is worth investigating since it is not uncommon for objects to be damaged during the move.


Step Three: Making Your Selection

Your decision will be driven by several factors. First, there is the issue of price. You will find that price alone will probably not lead you to making your choice. The weight estimates will probably differ per mover, as will the prices on the individual services that you request.

Second, there is the issue of availability. In some cases, the mover you prefer to work with might not be able to work you into their schedule. If you move during a peak time, you may find yourself coordinating your move to the calendar of the mover, instead of having the mover design his schedule around your move.

Third, there is the issue surrounding reputation and references. The moving business is a service business. Past customers will have opinions about their moving company. Request references beyond the letters of recommendations that you should be offered in the interview. If you want to do a little more research, call the Better Business Bureau or the State Attorney General to see if there are complaints against the company.

Finally, take note of the person who is providing the estimate. These individuals often will act as the key contact for you up to and during the actual move. Are they experienced, confident, good communicators, and seemingly interested in satisfying your needs. In short, are they someone that you feel you can work well with during a stressful time?



Buying a home is the most important financial decision in your life. Our seasoned professionals will help you every step of the way.

Even prior to finding a home, we can assist you with mortgage and financial information. It's wise to get "pre-approved" for financing in order to be in a stronger and more credible position when it comes time to write a contract to purchase a property. We will save you time and hassle by providing you referrals of the finest loan officers, real estate attorneys, home inspection engineers and home insurance agencies in Charlottesville and central Virginia.

Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled.

In the majority of cases a real estate agent will represent the seller.

And the buyer's real estate agent is responsible for protecting the buyer's best interests.

The buyer's real estate agent will:

  • Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.

  • Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in that price range and locale.

  • Assist in viewing properties -- accompany the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on behalf of the buyer to insure that the identified specifications are met.

  • Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the buyer make an informed decision prior to making an offer to purchase the property.

  • Advise the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.

  • Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.

  • Negotiate on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property -- keeping the buyer's best interests in mind.

  • Assist in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.

  • Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.) if these services are needed.

  • Most importantly, fully-represent the buyer throughout their real estate transaction.





Services you will receive with RE/MAX Excellence Agents:

  • We will help you determine the best purchase price for your home, with an expensive Market Analysis similar to what a certified appraisal.

  • We will make constructive suggestions on what to do, to successfully purchase your home.

  • Our Agents have over 25 years experience with local vendors who are trustworthy and dependable.

  • We will strategically position you in today's market. Putting you in a position of strength.

  • We will search for homes in the Multiple Listing Service and send you reports on homes that meet your criteria.

  • We will present your offer promptly and assist in preparing it.

  • Provide you with detailed information on what comparable homes are selling for.

  • We will monitor progress toward closing, when a contract is accepted. Once under contract, we will monitor appraiser, title, finance, survey, Certificate of Completion, Certificate of Occupancy discrepancies and closing.

  • We will immediately advise of any discrepancies during the contract.

  • We will coordinate and monitor the settlement process, such as clear title, verification of closing fees, attorney schedule, buyer & seller schedule, final walk-through, transfer of utilities, homeowner insurance and transfer of keys.

  • We will advise of a commitment or a commitment with conditions.

  • We will monitor the appraisal and your loan approval.

  • We will stay in contact with you to make sure things are proceeding smoothly.

  • We will have representation at closing to assure a successful conclusion.

  • Arrange financing and find financing alternatives that may be in your best interest.

  • Assist in determining how much house you can afford.

  • Provide pertinent information about issues that affect the value of the property.

  • Share with you all information about the seller and their property.




Things you should know about RE/MAX and its sales associates.

  • The typical RE/MAX agent is distinguished by earning, on the average, more real estate educational designations than its industry competitors - a commitment to professional improvement.

  • Because of these industry high educational and experience achievements, the average RE/MAX Sales Associate averages more experience and more sales per agent than other agents.

  • Over 70% of RE/MAX Sales Associates' business comes from repeat business or referrals from past customers and friends - more than twice the industry average.

  • All of our Sales Associates receive extensive, on-going training.

  • A commitment to excellence in all areas of the real estate business.

  • RE/MAX is a world leader in residential real estate with over 3,993 full-service offices in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, South Africa, Hong Kong and Europe.

  • RE/MAX Sales Associates currently work in 35 Countries worldwide and speak 39 Languages.

  • Today, RE/MAX Sales Associates proudly number over 65,000 full-time, professional agents worldwide.





HELPFUL LINKS FOR BUYERS:

Real Estate Glossary

Equity Investment Exchange (Tax-Free 1031 Exchanges)

 

 


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