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How to place your best offer on the house you love

DSC_0227It’s time to make an offer on the house you just love.  What can you do to help your offer stand out?

  1. Talk to your agent about your offer price.  She will check comparable sales in the neighborhood and help you determine how much to offer.  Your agent will guide you, but ultimately the decision on price is yours.
  2. Find out what is important to the sellers. Your agent should reach out to the seller’s agent to find out what their preferences are.  Would they like a quick closing because they are moving to start a new job?  Maybe they prefer a shorter inspection period or a larger initial deposit.  Ask about their needs and tailor your offer to meet them as much as you can.
  3. Be prepared for a counter offer from the sellers. Are you able to increase your price if necessary?
  4. Make sure you understand the HOA restrictions in the community before making an offer. Can you paint the home the color you want?  Will your Pit Bull be welcome?  Make sure the community will meet your needs.
  5. Review the contract with your agent to understand what you are signing. The contract is a legal document and will have obligations that must be adhered to.  Make sure you understand what those are along with any contingencies in the contract.
  6. Determine your down payment and initial expenses. Besides your initial escrow deposit, you will need cash on hand to pay for inspections and appraisal fees.
  7. Carefully review the Sellers Disclosures and all information about the home.  If you want something you see at the home do not assume it comes with the sale of the property.  Make sure your agent includes these extra items such as the washer and dryer, storage shed, unattached kitchen island, etc., into the contract to be sure they stay behind.
  8. Carefully select your closing date, typically 30 to 45 days from the date the contract goes into effect is pretty standard. You want to provide enough time for the lender to approve the loan, the title agency to complete their title search and the seller to move out completely.

Following these guidelines along with advice from your Realtor® will help your offer get accepted by the sellers.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

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Pricing your home to sell

realtor-3261160_960_720When it’s time to sell your home you want to price it right so it will sell fast.  How do you decide what the list price will be?

Your Real Estate agent will guide and advise you on current market conditions and suggest a starting price range.  How do you decide on a list price that will get your home sold?

  1.  Compare the prices of similar homes to yours that have sold recently.  This seems easy enough, but too many home sellers price their homes by comparing homes that are currently for sale instead of what has sold recently.  The reason this is flawed logic is because if the current listings were priced right they would be under contract.  They are lingering because they are priced wrong.  If you want your house to sell, price it based on recent sales.
  2. Don’t over value your upgrades.  People have a tendency to overvalue upgrades they have made to their home.  Sure you paid a pretty penny to upgrade the kitchen and replace the flooring in the house, but the buyers are comparing your upgrades to other homes with similar features.  You rarely get a return equal to the cost of an upgrade when selling your house.
  3. Don’t base the sales price of your house on how much money to you need to net after the sale.  Sometimes sellers make the mistake of pricing their home based on the amount of money they need to purchase their next home, not the actual market value of the home itself.  Buyers are going to place an offer on your house based upon what the market value of the property, which is also how an appraiser will value the house as well.
  4. Don’t rely on the automated value found online (such as the “Zestimate”).  These pricing tools are not accurate, they even tell you that on their website.  They use a computer to calculate the price based upon all area sales, not comparable properties.
  5. If your home has been on the market for a little while and has not sold it is time to re-evaluate your pricing- the market is telling you something.  Have you had a lot of showings and no offers?  Or maybe you’ve hardly had any showings?  What is the market telling you?

Following these tips will help get your home sold!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc

813-244-9688

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Buying a home with your pet in mind

27331637_1734695936591289_3326165997058110495_nMany of my clients make decisions on where and how to live based upon their pet’s needs.

I have a client buying a new home so her dog will be happier.  Currently they live in a townhouse with a very tiny, almost non-existent yard.  Her large breed dog misses the yard and swimming pool they had before.

Another buyer refused to look at homes without a fence because her dog likes to run the fence line.

Our pets are our family and many of today’s buyers place a high priority on their pet’s happiness when buying a new home.

Important pet requirements include a large back yard, fully fenced with a good walking neighborhood.  Bonus points are awarded to homes near dog parks or pet friendly walking trails.

Flooring choices are important too.  Carpet can trap pet dander and odors.

When shopping for a home with your pet in mind we also need to condsider potential HOA restrictions on types and breeds of pets as well as number of pets allowed per household.

I should also tell you that if I were buying a new home any of my housing decisions would also be strongly influenced by my two pups as well!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

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The Joy of Being a Homeowner

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If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your handbag or keys on the floor, plop down on your sofa and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting up and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

Kelly Harden, REALTOR®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

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Irma is coming to visit

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My parents moved our family to Florida when I was a kid in the mid 1970’s. My mother and I were not happy here and wanted to move back home to New Jersey.
Slowly I made new friends and began to see the beauty of Florida and fell in love with her.  The warm weather, sunshine, pools and beaches were irresistible.
We originally moved to New Port Richey, I graduated from Tarpon Springs High School and so far have lived in 8 places from Brooksville to Naples.  Florida is my home.
I grew up here, got married here, raised my three children here along with countless pets and my grandson was born here.
 
Hurricanes and storms have threatened us off and on throughout the years but I have been very fortunate and never been through anything too devastating until Irma decided to pay a visit.
We have secured our home, put all of the lawn furniture and loose items in the garage and will hunker down in our home as many of our friends and neighbors will.
I hope and pray Irma is kind to all of us but know in my heart she will be cruel to some.
Please be safe and remember family, friends and our pets are what is important, things can be replaced.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

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How are you celebrating the Fourth of July in Tampa Bay?

fireworks-459174_960_720.jpgJuly 4th means pool parties, BBQ’s and fireworks!  How are you celebrating our nation’s birthday this year?

We are having a family BBQ at our house followed by neighborhood fireworks.  We used to have a crazy pyromaniac neighbor who threw an awesome Fourth of July party every year for his business associates.  He had the best private fireworks show I have ever seen!  Sadly, he moved away and the new neighbor is very nice but not into pyrotechnics.

We were spoiled and haven’t had to leave the neighborhood for several years now!  I’ve heard Bexely is having an outdoor concert and fireworks show afterwards so with any luck we will be able to see the fireworks from our house.  If not it’s just a short walk there.

If you like to go out and see fireworks I suggest you try one of these locations- Channelside, Busch Gardens, Gulfport, the city of Largo, Sparklebration at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, Wesley Chapel and more!  Here is a link to an article in the Tampa Business Journal with more details  http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2017/06/26/heres-where-to-see-fireworks-around-tampa-bay-this.html

If you are in the mood for fireworks after a game of baseball (it’s America’s favorite past time after all!) you have three opportunities.  You can go see the Clearwater Threshers play in Clearwater, the Dunedin Blue Jays in Dunedin, or the Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.  All of those locations are scheduled to have a fireworks show after their games end.

However you wind up celebrating, I hope you have a lot of fun and most important stay safe!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

(813)244-9688

Fun, Uncategorized

Time for Breakfast at the Breakfast Nook

The Breakfast Nook

Lately Buddy and I have been celebrating our birthdays by going out to breakfast.  We celebrated Buddy’s on Friday by dining at the Breakfast Nook in Lutz.

I’ve always heard great things about the Breakfast Nook, but for some reason we had never taken the time to go there.  It’s a seat yourself restaurant, we chose a pub table near the back with a good view of the front door.  You can also eat outside if you prefer.  I could not believe how many people kept coming in to eat!

Our waitress was very friendly, attentive and quick.  We each ordered eggs, mine with pancakes and his with biscuits and sausage gravy.  It didn’t take long before our food arrived and it was tasty.  The biggest surprise was when the bill arrived, I can’t remember ever spending that little for the two of us to eat.

Next time you want someone else to do the cooking give them a try!  They serve breakfast and lunch 7 days a week from 6 am to 2 pm.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates

(813)244-9688

Real Estate, Uncategorized

Can I stay home when buyers tour my house?

Often sellers will ask if they can be home while an agent is showing their home to potential buyers.  Can you be home?  Of course you can, but you shouldn’t.

Why shouldn’t you be home while buyers are touring your home?

Your presence may make buyers feel uncomfortable.  Buyers may feel they need to rush through the tour when a seller is present so they don’t inconvenience you.  They may not take the time to linger and explore each room.  They may feel they can’t discuss things they don’t like about the property or remodeling projects they might do.

You might accidentally say something that puts you at a disadvantage during negotiations.  You don’t want the buyers and their agent to know that you have to move quickly or that if this home doesn’t sell you will lose out on purchasing the home you have already picked out.

It is in your best interest to find something to do for a bit while home buyers tour your property.  Go out for a cup of coffee or a meal, take a walk, do your shopping, take a book to read at the park…plan on going anywhere else you can!

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Century 21 Affiliated

(813)244-9688

 

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Century 21 Shaw Realty merges with Century 21 Affiliated

Exciting news, Century 21 Shaw Realty has merged with Century 21 Affiliated!  This merger means I am now part of the largest Century 21 company in the world!

Century 21 Affiliated has offices in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and now Florida!  We are their first merger in the state of Florida, bringing along our 200 or so local agents from our four offices in the Tampa Bay area.

I cannot wait to learn all of the exciting changes that will take place over the next few months, however many things will remain the same since we are still a Century 21 brokerage.  We still have a fantastic relocation department along with outstanding marketing tools for all of our listings.

I’ll keep you posted with all of the great changes to come.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Century 21 Affiliated

(813)244-9688

Fun, Uncategorized

We get to be in the Dade City Magical Christmas Parade again this year!

It’s that time of year again, the Dade City Magical Night Christmas Parade will be here Friday night December 2, 2016.  Buddy and I will be in the parade again this year handing out beads to all the smiling young faces.  We will be representing his company TECO.

This year Erin will be joining us too!  It should be extra special because she started teaching kindergarten this year in Dade City.

We’ve watched to the parade for years and always had a great time.  If you are free Friday night and would like to go I’ve included a link to their Facebook page and the photo above is from the prep room last year complete with the reindeer antlers we wore.  Be sure to let me know you will be there and I’ll try to get you some beads.

https://www.facebook.com/events/256639001382077/

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

(813)244-9688