White & Associates Blog

How to Avoid Hiring a Bad Agent in Kansas City

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Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

If you’re in the market to hire an agent with your real estate needs, there are four questions you need to ask before making a decision:

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  • What is the agent’s experience? This varies from agent to agent, so you need to do your homework. Are they new to the industry? Take a look at their track record to ensure they’ve helped clients accomplish their goals in the past!
  • What is the communication plan? Once you’ve had a showing, how quickly will the agent be able to get back to you? How candid will they be about feedback? You want an agent who has a great communication plan because that is what it takes to get a home sold.
  • Is the agent passive or active? There are two ways to sell a home, but the active method gets better results. An active agent is out in the field, constantly working to find buyers for your home.
  • Does the agent have the right tools to get your home sold? Do they have systems to capture buyer leads, great online marketing to showcase your home, and tools in place to help you get an offer quickly? An agent needs to have a great deal of real estate resources in order to get top dollar for your home!

If you have any questions about how to go about finding the right agent for you and your family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

Should You Hire an Agent in 2016?

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Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in 2016, you need to hire an agent. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Paperwork- There are tons of forms to fill out, and they need to be filled out quickly.
  1. Experience- An experienced agent will be able to guide you through the process, and we have over 30 years of experience doing this on our team.

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  1. Negotiation- An agent acts as a buffer between the buyer and seller to help get a deal done that’s good for both sides.
  1. Pricing- A good agent understands where real estate values come from, and should be able to explain that to you. You want to make sure you get what you’re asking for when you sell.
  1. Market conditions- They are changing constantly, and an agent is your best source of interpreting the information.

Thanks for joining us today. If you have any questions for us, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!

What Is the Secret to Getting Your Kansas City Home Sold?

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 Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Selling a home can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Today, we want to share a few tips to help you get your home ready for the market.

Currently, Kansas City is experiencing a very heavy seller's market. This means that we have many more buyers in the market than we have sellers. In fact, many sellers are seeing their home go under contract within days of listing! But this doesn't mean that any home will sell; rather, it means homes that are well-cared-for, well-kept, and well-staged will sell! Here are our three tips for selling success:

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1. Clean, clean, clean: Did your mother ever tell you that cleanliness is next to godliness? When selling your home, this is the absolute truth. You need to clean countertops, cabinets, inside closets, the garage, storage areas, windows, and just about everywhere else you can think of!

2. Have you home pre-inspected: When was the last time you had the filters in your furnace changed? When was the last time you cleaned off your air conditioner's condensing unit? A pre-inspection can draw your eye to items that you might never have noticed needs repairs. It could save you thousands of dollars when it comes time for negotiations!

3. Hire an expert Realtor. Our expert Realtors not only can provide you with the knowledge to help you determine the market value of your home, we can also help you with the items you need to do to prepare your home for listing and we can recommend vendors that can help you get through the process!

There you have it: three quick tips to help you get your home ready for the market. Next time, we'll discuss how staging can help with the selling process.

If you have any questions for us, or if you would like real estate assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

Three Reasons to Sell This Winter in Kansas City

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 Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Many clients ask, “Should I leave my home on the market during the holidays?” My response? Absolutely, you should keep your home listed. There are advantages to selling during this time of year. Here are the top three:

1. There’s less competition. There are fewer active sellers on the market. Many sellers remove their home during the holidays season. This helps your property stand out to prospective buyers.
2. January is the biggest transfer month. Most corporate moves happen during the beginning of the new year. Employees are being transferred and need a new place to live quickly. If you removed your home from the market, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to market to this pool of buyers!
3. Most of the buyers during this time are serious. They’re determined and motivated, even through the cold weather. Warmer months attract window shoppers, while the winter brings out the best buyers.

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If you have any questions about selling a home during the holidays, or anything about real estate, give me a call or email today! I look forward to hearing from you.

What Market Trends Are We Seeing in Kansas City?

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 Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Today we are going to be discussing the latest market trends and news in the Kansas City area by answering a few of the most common questions we get from our clients. Without further ado, let’s get to them:

Are we in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?
Right now, we are experiencing a seller’s market with a shortage of inventory. If you’re thinking about selling, now is a great time to pull the trigger.

What does the current inventory look like?
In Kansas City, we are still in a housing shortage. Buyers are out there gobbling up homes quickly, and homes aren’t staying on the market for long once they’re listed.

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How does that inventory affect values?
As a seller, your home value will go up, because demand is up. We are seeing most of our sellers get nearly their entire asking price.

What do interest rates look like?
They are very, very low. This is good news for buyers because their affordability is up, and good news for sellers because the rates will keep buyers coming to the market.

We are experiencing a very robust market right now, which is great for both buyers and sellers. People feel great about our economy, and we are experiencing a great season. If you have any questions for us, or want to take advantage of these conditions, give us a call or send us a quick email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Landscaping Adds Value!

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Let Your Landscaping Pay You Back!

In both uncertain financial times, and prosperous times, a well landscaped yard is still one of the best investments you can make! It not only adds value to the home, but can also make your home easier to sell. Recent research has shown consumers valued the same home with good landscaping 11% higher than the same home without good landscaping. For a $300,000.00 home that’s approximately $33,000.00 more that your home is worth because of a nicely landscaped yard. A nicely landscaped yard can have a cost recovery value of 100 to 200% at selling time.

Creating equity in your home isn’t the only way to get monetary value out of your landscape. Look at some of the other benefits that can save you up to 20% and maybe even up to 50% on your heating and air conditioning costs by strategic landscaping around your home:

  • Evergreens and other dense trees in the proper position around your house can lower your heating bill by 10 – 20%.
  • Shade trees can provide enough shade to your home to cut your cooling costs by as much as 15 – 35%.
  • Even the grass in your yard and your neighbor’s yards cools your community and saves everyone on air conditioning costs.

Of course your landscaping can provide you much more than just monetary value. Your landscaping is working around the clock to keep you and your family healthy and vibrant. These are some other benefits to think about when considering how valuable your landscaping is to you as well as your home:

  • Trees, Shrubs and Turf absorb dust, dirt, and other gaseous pollutents in the air that can be harmful to our health.
  • Trees, Shrubs and Turf convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. One tree can convert 26 lbs. of Carbon Dioxide into 13 lbs. of oxygen each year. That’s enough to provide for a family of four.
  • Gardening can be its own weight loss program helping you tighten your belt strap and staying healthy.
  • Gardening is found to be relaxing, mind clearing and very rewarding. It’s a stress reliever.

So much is made of the going green movement and being environmentally friendly but you can do your part right at home and why not make it valuable to both you, your home, your environment and your world.

Home Ownership just makes sense

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The decision to buy a home is one of the largest financial decisions anyone will ever make. Most of the time, this decision is driven by emotions. But, what are the benefits to owning a home? The most obvious benefit to home ownership is just that...ownership! Unlike renting, your monthly payment is actually allowing you to purchase instead of "borrowing" something that will not belong to you.

The most measurable financial benefit to homeownership, according to Barry Nielsen of Mortgage Graphics, is price appreciation. Price appreciation helps build home equity, which is the difference between the market price of the house and the remaining mortgage payments.

The second largest financial benefit of owning a home is tax savings. You can deduct the annual interest paid on a mortgage from your income. There are no tax benefits/savings for your rent payments. Obviously, price appreciation is the largest benefit to owning your own home but there are many intangible benefits such as peace of mind and the security and pride that come with home ownership.

 

Are you ready to buy?

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Not everyone knows the steps to take in preparing yourself in becoming a homeowner.

The first step is to go through the loan process and find out what you can afford and what you qualify to purchase. Buyers who have been preapproved for a home loan often have their offers taken more seriously according to the National Association of Realtors.

The next step is to find a Realtor who you are comfortable with and you can trust to negotiate the best deal for you. There are many benefits to having a Realtor help you through the home buying process. Your Realtor will help you narrow the search in finding you your “Dream Home”. Your Realtor will also guide you through the offer and negotiation phases of purchasing your new home.

Purchasing a home is the biggest financial investment most of us experience in our lifetime. A Realtor working for you through this process will insure you find the right house for the right price and most importantly protect your interest. A great Realtor follows a strict code of ethics that includes qualities such as being honest, putting your interest ahead of his or her own and disclosing all pertinent facts regarding the property and transaction.

If you are ready to start the exciting process of purchasing a new home call Cooke Realty Partners and we will be happy to help you find your dream home!