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Home Inspections Blog

Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Case for Hiring a Local Real Estate Professional

The Case for Hiring a Local Real Estate Professional

(By: Comfort Home Inspections owner Keith Hoaglund)

It doesn’t matter what the current market conditions are—buyer’s market, seller’s market, etc. Whatever the case, you are missing out on some huge benefits if you attempt to buy or sell real estate without the help of a local licensed real estate professional.

Here is a small sample of what a real estate agent can do for you:

1. Properly preparing your house for sale.

A great agent will meet with you prior to marketing your home, perform a walkthrough and discuss which improvements or repairs will increase your return.

Some repairs that you may initially feel are necessary may not translate to increased value. For instance, if your furnace is 15 years old but working fine, replacing it prior to selling may not be wise. You may instead wish to direct those dollars towards the kitchen.

Skilled agents are in tune with local and current decorating trends along with common traits of the hottest properties and will help you make wise decisions prior to getting to market. A pre-listing home inspection is also a great idea to get ahead of any possible issues that can come up.

2. Pricing your home properly.

A professional agent will always conduct a comparative market analysis using the most current and applicable data, thereby determining an accurate price for your property.

Remember, the price of your home is not determined by Zillow, what your uncle Fred said his neighbor’s house brought, nor by how much you have spent on it. Only a professional licensed real estate agent can properly determine an accurate price based on all the real-world local factors that will get your home sold right away.

3. Marketing!

Real estate agents are professional home marketers and they know where to find the right buyers for your property. They have buyers calling every day. Do you?

4. Managing the offers.

In the current market conditions, multiple offers are common. How do you know which offer is better? Is the highest one the best? What if it has multiple contingencies? What if it has FHA financing?

Your realtor knows how to sort these out and help you realize which offer to pursue and which ones to pass on. Your realtor has your best interest in mind.

5. Paperwork.

Once you have an agreed upon offer, there is a pile of paperwork to complete. This is all extremely important and must be handled correctly to reduce your future liability. Your realtor does this every day and knows how to protect you.

6. It’s not so easy.

It may look easy, but that’s because your agent is skilled and experienced in the process. Flying a plane looks easy too, but you won’t catch me trying to do it to save a couple bucks. I would rather land safely while sitting comfortably, enjoying snacks.

 

Now that you have your house sold, it’s time to buy your new dream home. The agent who helped you sell yours will be the best resource you could ask for when picking your next place! Don’t forget to hire a skilled home inspector as part of the process.

Our Favorite Home Tech for 2018

Our Favorite Home Tech for 2018

It’s getting harder to find homes across the country that don’t have some type of Jetson’s-style technology helping with things like heating, lighting or general housework. Today, home tech is becoming both more common and less expensive, which means if you’ve been thinking about getting some fancy features in your home, now’s the time.

Here’s a list of our favorite tech that’ll make you feel like you’re living along side George Jetson (aside from space cars…yet).

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers (also called virtual assistants) are internet-connected speakers that help you do things like shop online, control your TV and lights, play music, and answer questions.

These smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, are becoming wildly popular; by the end of 2017, 39 million Americans owned a smart speaker, and that was even before Apple’s speaker was released.

By syncing these devices to your music apps, electronics, or just by leaving one on the coffee table in the living room, you can use voice commands or phone apps to control your house.

smart home tech light bulbs lampSmart Lights

Sure, walking over to flip a light switch doesn’t seem like such a giant task, but you’ll never want to get up again after asking your virtual assistant, “Can you turn on the lights?”

Smart lights are internet-connected and can be used by voice command or via phone app, and these lights can be easily added in a few different ways:

Wi-Fi Outlet Adapters

These smart sockets, from makers like Wemo and Bayit, are small outlets that you plug into your wall outlets. You can then plug in lamps (or anything with a switch) and either ask your smart speakers or use your phone to turn them on or off.

Smart Light Bulbs

Mart light bulbs are like normal light bulbs, except they’re internet-connected. Some can even change to whatever color you want. Like Wi-Fi outlet adapters, you can use voice commands or your phone to control the light bulbs.

Video Doorbells

Something happened in the past 30 years. Instead of excitedly running towards the door when we hear the doorbell chime, many homeowners now get a “why is someone here” chill down their spine. And home tech companies know this.

Video doorbell systems can let you see and hear who is ringing your doorbell from your couch, your office or halfway around the world. You can even talk to them through your phone and a speaker in the doorbell.

This helps with package arrivals, guests (expected and unannounced), and catching neighboorhood kids playing ding-dong-ditch.

light up sunlight alarm clock sunshine natural wake up sleepLight-up Alarm Clocks

Hate being jolted awake by the sound of a blaring alarm? Light-up alarm clocks wake you up softly and slowly with the power of sunshine-like light.

Here’s how they work: most models begin lighting up your bedroom about 30 minutes before you set the audible alarm. This alarm (a backup in case you’re in a coma) begins softly and grows in volume until you turn it off.

The point of the light is to wake you up “naturally,” as if the sun is shining through your window. This use of light is also supposed to ease you out of your deep REM sleep cycle, make you feel less groggy and more refreshed.

Robotic Vacuums

Now we’re really talking Jetson’s style of living. Robotic vacuums aren’t anything new, but they’re still a huge time saver in addition to keeping your house cleaner more often.

There are a lot of robotic vacuums on the market today, like Roomba, Neato, Eufy and Moneual, and while they don’t give you jazzy comebacks like Rosie from The Jetson’s, one of these vacuums is basically your own personal maid (if only handling the floors).

They work by mapping out your floor plan, then vacuuming the entire floor while avoiding obstacles like chairs and decor. They even recharge on their own, meaning all you have to do is clean out their debris bin every so often.

What we want to see

These are just a few of our favorites, but in a perfect world, here’s what we’d buy for our homes:

  • Entirely silent garage doors. No more creaks and groans.
  • Wall paint that can change color at the touch of a button.
  • Robot butlers (who can make a mean martini).
  • Mind control appliances. (Why push “start” when your smoothie can blend itself?)