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How to evaluate an apartment before you buy in NYC

Posted on October 19, 2020 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (117)

When buying an apartment, you might think you know all there is to know about the apartment you desire. It's within your price range, maybe even cheaper than you've expected it to be. Having in mind the average size of an NYC unit, this one has enough space. You have a good feeling about it, and you're almost ready to sign the contract. However, it's essential to evaluate an apartment before you buy it in NYC. And there are factors you need to take into consideration.

Evaluate an apartment before buying in NYC

Before you sign the contract, you need to know what you're buying. First of all, comparative market analyses will let you know whether the unit was priced correctly. Then, you need to know if the apartment hides any flaws. Also, you should keep in mind that the apartment is a part of the community. From the building's physical condition to its finances, it can all affect your unit, whether you want it or not. In case you aren't able to notice these flaws yourself, you can hire the professionals.

Your apartment within the building

Keep in mind that there's a good chance you'll experience the advantages and disadvantages of your apartment's location within the building. For example, the ground floor usually means less privacy, not enough light, but also lower prices in elevator buildings and lower maintenance costs. Alternately, living directly below the roof might mean less space but no loud neighbors above you.

In order to solve the lack of space in your apartment below the roof, you may need to find smart ways to place everything. Since NYC apartments are notoriously expensive yet small, self-storage can be a solution to this problem. Additionally, such a location of an apartment comes with a potential leak hazard. Luckily, you can prevent them by checking the whole building and with the home inspection.

Check the whole building

A good way to start your research on the building is by asking to see the prospectus. These documents will show you the engineer's report which can help determine the state of the whole building. Also, you can ask for minutes from board meetings. Here you can find more about the potential renovations, or problems in the building. Are the issues being solved, or do they keep piling up? Important points will usually be covered in these minutes and can reveal useful information.

Ask around the building

Go around the building and talk to the neighbors, the super, and the doorman. Polite or rude neighbors can make all the difference when living in tight quarters in NYC. You can also ask them about the maintenance, problems, and what they love about living there. If your neighbors are friendly and welcoming and are mostly satisfied with the building, it can help you make sure that you're making the right choice.

The reasons to use a real estate agent

It's quite hard to find a suitable apartment in NYC without a real estate agent. Trying to understand a large and complex market such as this one is truly challenging. This is one of the reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent to help you.

• These are professionals who buy and sell apartments every day.

• Their knowledge of the market is of invaluable help.

• They are familiar with flaws some buildings and apartments have in different areas of NYC.

With a great number of apartments and many real estate agents, finding the perfect one is definitely not a piece of cake. Nonetheless, it's vital that you work with an agent you can trust and who you're comfortable with. The other options include not using an agent or using several agents, none of which is a good decision. Having a good relationship with a reliable agent is often a precondition to finding the perfect apartment in NYC. This is why it's a Park Place Realty Network's job to connect you with a top real estate agent in NYC. In their database of 1 million+ real estate agents, there must be the one that suits your needs the best.

How it works

Real estate agents and brokers play important roles in the market. They represent buyers and sellers with their best interests in mind. It's easy to notice the importance of having a reliable and experienced real estate agent by your side.

You need to approach a real estate referral company, and the company will connect you with a top real estate agent in the NYC market. After the agent helps you buy the desired property, the agent will rebate you 15% of the commission.

The commission portion you get back you can then use to cover moving expenses and provide yourself with quality moving supplies at Capital City Bins. By adding this amount to your moving budget, you'll be able to ensure the maximum protection for your belongings and valuables.

Home inspection

It's not a good idea to skimp on inspection. A good inspection might save you from losing a considerable amount of money for repairs. Nonetheless, if you're not buying a townhouse in NYC, there's generally no inspection. A home inspection checklist covers the key points. Keep in mind that, while you might notice some flaws, you might easily miss the other ones that could become a much bigger problem later on and cause huge expenses. On the other side, a home inspector with experience would have noticed these flaws immediately.


Don't rush it when buying an NYC unit. Take your time to evaluate an apartment before you buy it, and try to get as much information as possible on the building and the unit. And even though it might not seem like it, don't worry, your dream home will eventually come.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Comparative market analysis explained

Posted on September 23, 2020 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (118)

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, and whether you plan on hiring a Realtor or doing everything by yourself, you probably know that home prices vary a lot. So, what is that variation based on? Usually, it is based on the home's location, when it was listed, how long has it been on the market, how many rooms and bathrooms it has, what is the condition of the interior and exterior, etc. So, as a seller, how are you supposed to price your home? And, as a buyer, how do you know whether a home you are interested in buying is priced correctly? By understanding the comparative market analysis, or the CMA, as real estate agents like to call it.

Simply put, a comparative market analysis is there to help you estimate a home's value in the best possible way. Thus, if you are interested in finding out more about what comparative market analysis is and how it is used, keep reading.

What is Comparative Market Analysis?

To best understand what comparative market analysis is, let us first mention the COMPS or the comparables. If you are a seller and you want to price your home, you would start with the comparables. These are recently sold properties that are located in your neighborhood (or close to your home), and that have similar features to yours.

For example, let us imagine that your home has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage and a yard, and it is around 1,500 square feet. Now, let us imagine that your neighbor down the street also has a home with similar features, and it was sold for $ 300,000 a couple of days ago. Guess what - your homes are comparables, and they are worth the same amount of money.

CMA examines and compares the COMPS, which should ideally have the same features as your own home. Things like location, square footage, number of rooms, and bathrooms should be relatively the same for CMA to yield positive results.

How to Run a Comparative Market Analysis?

If you need to sell or buy a home quickly and get ready for the move in no time, it would be best to hire a real estate agent. He or she, being a professional in their field, will be able to gather all the necessary information and run your CMA while you are packing up your boxes. But, if you want to do a real estate CMA by yourself, here is a simplified DIY:

● Step 1. Gather all the necessary property data: First, try to learn as much as possible about the property you are planning to buy or sell. For example, make sure you know all about its location, acreage, square footage, year of build, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, recent remodeling jobs and valuable home improvements, interior and exterior finishes of note, special features (swimming pools, barns, garages), tax information, etc.

● Step 2. Check the quality of the neighborhood: The location of the neighborhood is a factor that will determine the price of homes in that particular area. That is why homes in Manhattan are more expensive than those in Brooklyn, for instance. But, besides the actual location of the property, your CMA should also include things like proximity to all the necessary amenities like schools, banks, office spaces, city centers, beaches, parks, etc. And it should also include proximity to unpleasant features like factories, highways, and garbage dumps.

● Step 3. Search and find real estate comparables: Now that you have all the necessary data, you must find homes with similar features to yours or others sold at the moment. Let us mention once again - you must compare apples to apples, not apples to pears if you want to sell/buy quickly and successfully, and call homegrownmoving.com to relocate you.

● Step 4. Calculate the price per square foot: This is the easy part! All you have to do is get the average price per square foot of the comparables you found and divide its selling price by its square footage. This is how you get a reasonably accurate price for the home you either plan to buy or sell.

● Step 5. Adjust the home's value based on the property differences: No two properties are entirely the same, no matter how similar they appear. For instance, even if all the rooms in two different houses are the same, those that have been recently renovated or have some newer features will change the CMA, thus the home's final value. It is all about adding or subtracting value for structural differences.

Why Should You Ask Your Real Estate Agent for a CMA?

There are many reasons why you should hire a real estate agent and get a comparative market analysis from them. Firstly, you will not waste your time and energy researching the market. Secondly, you will not waste any money, as all real estate agents offer CMAs for free. Thirdly, you will not have to reevaluate your price many times because you are not sure whether you have done everything right. And finally, there is a way for you to get as much as a 15% rebate of your agent's commission after the transaction is complete.

Future buyers and sellers are advised to ask for CMAs when meeting with potential real estate agents. This is the best way to see which agent did its homework and knows the market well. This will ensure that you get the best possible price for the property you want to buy or sell and get a good deal from your real estate agent. Do not hesitate to conduct interviews with several agents until you find one you want to work with.


Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


Real estate escrow in different states explained

Posted on August 28, 2020 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (101)

The world of real estate can be exciting but also complex. If you’re not a professional real estate agent, your first encounter with this realm can be truly overwhelming; regardless of whether you’re a seller or a buyer. Terms like equity returns or amortization aren’t something you’re intuitively familiar with. And escrow definitely finds itself on that list for most people, which is why we’ll explain the concept of real estate escrow in different states right here!

Escrow 101

As we’ve mentioned already, you probably don’t have an intricate knowledge of the real estate escrow process if you don’t work in real estate. That’s one of the main reasons why you want to be connected with the top agents in the industry; you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Plus, Park Place will not only find you a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent, but we’ll also help you find someone who will rebate you a whopping 15% of their commission! Real estate transactions are costly, and every bit of returned value helps.

Speaking of the transaction itself — where does escrow fit into all of this? Namely, this process is a part of real estate transactions that plays a vital role in their successful completion, but even people that go through them don’t always understand how it works.

Closing States

Once all of the prerequisite conditions have been fulfilled for the completion of a real estate transaction, each one of the parties involved has to go through the legal finalization of the agreement. How this is done in practice differs from state to state.

For example, let’s say that you decided to move to Maryland. Before calling the crew from Excalibur Moving and Storage to perform the relocation, you have to find and purchase a home. This is a “traditional” state, that uses the so-called closing process to legally finalize this type of transaction.

In non-escrow states akin to Maryland or Georgia, the process of closing is performed face-to-face. All of the involved parties, including the sellers and buyers, have to meet physically in order to finalize a real estate purchase. They appoint a specific time and sign each of the required legal documents. Once the money and the property title have been exchanged, the process is considered legally complete.

Escrow States

On the other hand, there are the eponymous escrow states. For instance, if you're moving to your first property that you’ve bought in California or a similar escrow state, you will have to go through the escrow-led purchase agreement before the transaction is done.

This agreement is something the involved parties reach as they prepare for the transaction. Namely, it contains the escrow instructions, citing any specific stipulations pertaining to the disbursement of all funds and the subsequent property title transfer. Unlike the closing process where all parties eventually meet and manage their documents, the escrow process requires the assignment of an escrow agent that will hold all of the funds and documents “in escrow” before the closing is complete.

This includes any money involved in the process, such as the purchase price or the closing costs. If the buyer uses a mortgage loan to purchase the home, the same goes for any funds that are needed for the transaction of the loan.

Once all of the stipulations found in the predetermined purchase agreement have been fulfilled in accordance with the instructions, the funds are divided accordingly, all of the documents are signed, and the transaction is considered final from a legal standpoint. Unlike in traditional closing states, an escrow finalization does not necessarily include a physical meeting of all the involved parties.

What Is Escrow?

As you may have gathered already, escrow is a process that entails a neutral third entity that’s there to safeguard funds involved in a transaction while it is completed. It’s used in a variety of transactions, but with a similar purpose. When it comes to real estate escrow, it’s designed to protect all parties — both the seller and the buyer.

On the one hand, the existence of escrow is a guarantee to the real estate seller that the prospective buyer actually does have all of the money required for the purchase. It’s also a guarantee that the funds will definitely be transferred when they exchange the property title.

On the other hand, it protects the buyer as well. A buyer in an escrow state is less wary of fraudulent sellers that don’t really have a legal claim to the property title. This sort of thing would be discovered in the real estate escrow phase of the transaction, as the title has to go into escrow as well. After all, real estate purchases are a high-value transaction — and one where the two parties are almost never actually familiar with each other. In that situation, escrow maintains the bona fide status of the transaction.

Escrow Agents

The entire escrow process is managed by an escrow agent. This is a neutral entity or individual that will hold the titles and payments as the two parties meet all of the predetermined conditions. These people are also called “title agents”, because the title exchange is the most crucial part of a real estate transaction. Usually, the involved parties don’t have to find an escrow agent; they’re provided by a lender or broker, and you simply need to pay them.

If you have heard about a particularly experienced title agent that you want to work with, there’s always the option of selecting a specific escrow agent. This is a matter of agreement between the two parties; though, if there are disagreements on the issue, sellers usually have the deciding power here.


Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


Tips to sell your NYC apartment in today's market

Posted on August 7, 2020 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (5)

Buying or selling a property has always been one of the biggest decisions people make in their lives. This process, being something new for most people, requires a lot of research and some help in order to be accomplished successfully. You need to acquire knowledge on the process, the participants involved, real estate agents, and how they're compensated. But there are a lot of places where you can find this information, so the process shouldn't be too hard.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic, the market has changed and new rules apply. Read on and find out how to sell your NYC apartment in today's market.

What stayed the same?

Just some time ago, the process of selling an NYC apartment was very familiar to us. Pricing your property and holding an open house was something we all knew. However, this didn't mean help was not needed, and the same is true now. Hiring Movers 101 to help you with your move was just what you needed to make your move easier and smoother.

You still need a top real estate agent

Even now, you still need a good real estate agent to help you throughout the process. But how do you find one, and will any real estate agent do? There's Park Place Realty Network, a real estate referral company that can connect you to a top agent who will provide you with a 15% rebate of your commission. And with the market today, this amount can be quite useful.

After all, with 15% of the commission back in your pocket, you might be able to hire local movers that are affordable yet reputable. Just because the market has changed, it doesn't mean you need to be affected by it.

How to sell your NYC apartment and adapt to new changes

Certain things have definitely changed in the NYC sales market. The pandemic is stalling deals, and sellers are discouraged by a drop in prices.

These changes basically gave sellers two possible strategies:

• to wait for now

• to adapt to the changes and sell your NYC apartment

The drop in inventory

Many sellers basically decided to hold back and skip the traditional spring selling season, which resulted in inventory dropping and Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens listings falling. However, after the city was reopened, new listings started to emerge. But the question of how it's all going to turn out is partly the matter of buyers' preferences.

The matter of pricing

The number of contracts for apartments fell, along with the median sales price. Despite that, a few indicators show that there are still sellers who are sticking with the pre-pandemic prices. In the market today, it doesn't help sellers to lower the prices of their apartments. But is there anything they can do to improve the chances of selling their NYC apartment?

Buyers' preferences

A great way to increase the price of your apartment is to consider some of the valuable home improvements you can do. But, now more than ever, you might want to check the buyers' preferences before you start improving your apartment.

The last couple of months have clearly shown what the buyers were interested in. They didn't love the idea of elevators. Also, outdoor space was very popular – think backyards and balconies. Most importantly, space for a home office was also very popular, and that's something to consider when renovating your home.


Stale listings

Sellers don't like stale listings. If the property has been on the market for too long, the buyers might get the impression that there's something wrong with it. For this reason, some listings sites decided to basically freeze the days of properties on the market, which helped the sellers and basically removed their fear of stale listings.

Video tours became popular

With houses, there were certain open house precautions to take during the outbreak. However, with apartments, the situation was a lot trickier. From March, until almost the end of June, brokers were unable to show the apartments, and we could witness one of the biggest plunges in Manhattan apartment sales in the last 30 years.

During this time, video tours become the only way to tour an apartment. This indicated what was really important for buyers during live tours, and it's the ability to see the details. However, some of these videos did not allow that. If you opt for a video tour when selling your apartment, make sure that every single corner and detail is covered.


Virtual closings

NYC's real estate market relies on face-to-face meetings. However, to survive in the new times, the market had to evolve, and a few virtual closings proved that. While this is still not widespread, it showed tenacity and perseverance, the qualities needed in today's market. We were able to see that in order to sell your NYC apartment and get the most out of it, you'll need to adapt to new circumstances.

Choosing the right offer

Due to circumstances, now more than ever, sellers are choosing the buyers who offer cash over the buyers who require financing. This is absolutely understandable, as lenders and mortgage industry are also experiencing tough times. Sellers don't want to find out at the last moment that the buyers are not getting the financing they need. But, what if you get an offer that requires financing, but it's better than a cash offer? In the end, this is your choice to make, so do it wisely.


The tone of your listing

You should consider reviewing your listings and checking if it sounds tone-deaf. You might want to change the tone of your listing and make it sound more compassionate, indicating that you're to a certain extent acknowledging the new situation.

Should you sell your NYC apartment when the market returns to normal?

So, should you sell your NYC apartment now, or wait until the market returns to normal? There's no easy answer on when the market will return to normal. While we could see significant signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2021, no one can know for sure.

Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


How to get a real estate commission rebate in NYC

Posted on July 18, 2020 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (119)

Imagine this situation - you worked very hard and you have finally saved up enough money to buy your perfect home in New York City. You have done your research and hired an expert real estate agent to find you a perfect place and assist the purchase. And then, all of a sudden, when you complete the purchase, you get a commission rebate check from your real estate agent. It may sound impossible to you, but when you decide to buy a property in NYC, you can get cash returned. Real estate commission rebate in NYC is an important topic and we are going to help you find out what it is and how to get it.

What is a real estate commission rebate in NYC?

A real estate commission rebate is simply a part of the commission that the buyer's agent gives to the buyer when the purchase is closed. Let's explain this a little better. When negotiating real estate commissions in New York City, the seller usually pays 6% of the sale price. If the buyer has an agent as well, part of that commission goes to the seller's agent and the other part goes to the buyer's agent. The commission rebate means that the buyer's agent gives back a portion of his commission to the homebuyer as a refund. However, this new concept of giving a rebate to the homebuyer is not widely adopted yet. The traditional real estate agents are still holding on to the old way of doing business and they do not want to give a refund to the buyers.



How can a homebuyer get a real estate commission rebate in NYC?

If you want to get a deal from a real estate agent, you will have to do research and some work by yourself. First, you need to do some research and make a list of the properties you are interested in buying. Then, when you have the list of properties, you must send it to your agent offering the NYC real estate commission rebate. This is extremely important because the selling agents will want to know how contact with the potential buyer is made. If you approach the seller directly, then the selling agent may not allow the buyers' agent to get involved later in the process. Thus, it is crucial that you send a list of properties you are interested in buying to your buyers' agent who will then sign you up for the open houses.

In a nutshell, before you submit any offer and get accepted, it is very important that you include your buyer's agent in the process. In case you have already accepted an offer, and now you want to include your buyer's agent, the selling agent can reject to share the commission and declare your buyer's agent ineligible for any part of it.

How to negotiate a commission rebate in NYC?

Understanding how real estate agents are compensated is important if you want to negotiate a commission rebate. In New York City, any real estate agent can give you a commission rebate, but not all of them are willing to. Some of them can even find it insulting if you suggest sharing their commission. The easiest way to get a commission rebate is to find a real estate agent that offers a rebate for all its buyers. This way, you will get a rebate without having to negotiate and you will know exactly how much you will get back. Also, it is important that you get the rebate in writing, just to make sure that you are protected and that everyone is on the same page. Also, note that the total commission that your buyer's agent will get is not negotiable.


Why the commission rebates are not more common in NYC?

Nowadays, more and more buyers are learning about the commission rebate. Unfortunately, some still have no idea that they can get a refund. There are three reasons for that:

● Traditional, "old-fashion" agents do not offer a rebate because they are used to high commissions.

● Most buyers are not the experts, and they wouldn't know that for example, if investing in rentals the location is crucial, so they are not aware that they can 3% of this commission back.

● Finally, greed is an important factor. Some real estate agents in NYC wouldn't be comfortable giving this money back and convinced that they deserve more, even though the transaction will still be profitable for them.


There are still homebuyers that may choose the traditional buyers' agent. Nevertheless, it is important that buyers are aware that they can get a real estate commission rebate in NYC and that they can save money during the homebuying process. Hopefully, we have given you enough information so that you can choose the buyers' agent smartly, start your home buying process, and finally call professional movers such as Tik Tok Moving and Storage to move you to your new home. It's up to you do conduct research and find an agent that you are comfortable working with. Good luck!


Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


Basic questions to ask when buying a loft or a condo

Posted on July 3, 2020 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (111)

Whether you are buying a condo or a loft, you are looking at a sizable investment. To make this venture worth your while, you need to be savvy and ask the right questions at the right time. To help you out, we are going to take a closer look at some of the most important questions to ask when buying a loft or a condo and a couple of important aspects to keep in mind after your purchase.

What you need to ask when buying a loft or a condo

While there are certainly some questions that you should ask your realtor, for this article, we are going to focus on the questions you need to ask the current owner/manager of the property you wish to purchase. Keep in mind that you will probably have only one chance to ask them, so make sure to note them down.

Who was the previous owner?

When buying a loft or a condo, your first goal should be to deduce its state. If it is in proper condition, you need not spend a lot of money renovating and remodeling it. But, if it was poorly maintained, you can be looking at a substantial amount of money necessary to bring your newly purchased piece of real estate to a decent state. And the key factor in whether or not your loft/condo was maintained properly is its previous owner.

A conscientious owner will ensure that their home is in proper condition and that any issues are dealt with in a timely manner. On the other hand, careless owners will let issues sit and fester, especially if they don't cause them much trouble. Most of these issues will become worse and worse as the years go by, which makes stingy owners reluctant to fix them. Even during a thorough home inspection, you can miss these issues. Especially if the owner does their best to hide them. So if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road, ask questions about the previous owner.

How is the loft/condo deeded?

Condos and lofts can be deeded in different ways than regular houses. The main thing to remember is that when buying a condo, you will usually only own the interior walls and the space within them. Meanwhile, when singing a deed for a loft, you will be responsible for the whole structure. So, make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into before you sign.

Have pets lived in it before?

Whether or not you own a pet, you should know if one has previously lived in the condo/loft. Pets can cause damage, especially to smaller homes, and those with allergies should definitely be on the lookout. If you have a pet of your own, you should look for a building that is pet-friendly. You will have a much easier time introducing your pet to your new home as there are probably pet owners in your building that can give you helpful tips.

Who is the building manager?

Larger buildings usually have a property management company handling them. So, before buying a loft or a condo, try to figure out what kind of a company they are. Notable red flags to keep in mind are:

● A large turnover in management companies.

● Ongoing lawsuits.

● Unfavorable reviews.

Smaller buildings can have an owner managing them, in which case you should try to meet them before moving in. All in all, the more you can find out about the current owners and managers of the building, the better.

What is the best way to deal with parking?

Most lofts and condos are situated in large cities. Therefore, if you plan on living in one, you will have to deal with parking. Some buildings offer private parking to all units, while others only offer to some. The problem is that both of them will state that they offer parking, which can be misleading in the second case. Having a parking space will not only make owning a car easier but will also make your relocation much more manageable, especially with the help of an experienced company like Movage Moving NYC. So, try to figure out what the parking situation is like before deciding on a purchase.

On which side does the sun rise and set?

Once you visit your condo/loft, you will be able to see where your windows face and what the noise is like. But, the one thing you won't be able to see is where the sun rises and sets in regards to your apartment. Little details can have a huge impact on how you organize your new home and how you function within it. If the light bothers you, you can always get blinds. But, if you find yourself needing more light in your new home, you will have a hard time bringing it in.

What to keep in mind when looking for a loft/condo

The questions to ask before buying a loft or a condo are potentially endless. Depending on your financial situation and where you plan on buying, there are a ton of different pieces of information that you need to obtain in order to make a smart real estate investment. So, our best advice is to find and work with a good real estate agent in order to get the right answers in a timely manner.

Also, you want to start preparing for your relocation as soon as possible. The moment you decide that you are going to purchase a condo or loft, start organizing. If your new space is smaller than your previous home, you might need to do some decluttering before moving, or find some smart storage solutions. If you need to move from a different state, you will have to take into consideration the timing of your move in order to make it as cost-effective as possible. All in all, there is a lot to consider and plan, so the sooner you start tackling your relocation, the better.


Written By: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


Things to ask your Realtor when buying a house

Posted on June 21, 2020 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (18)

Going through endless conundrums when buying a home is a process hard to avoid. I speak from my own experience since I am currently trying to find an apartment. Since this is my first time buying real estate, I had a lot of difficulties at the beginning. Not knowing what to look for is frightening because it is so easy to make a mistake when investing your money in a property. One of the approaches you can take to avoid making mistakes includes researching things to ask your realtor when buying a house.

Do not be afraid to ask anything you can think of!

Asking questions when buying a home is a crucial step. However, it is also important to know what questions to ask. In return, you will not waste time and quickly realize whether the place is for you or not.

What's even more important is that, before asking the questions, you make sure you are asking the right people. Finding a good real estate agent is not always easy. One of the most efficient ways to reach out to a good realtor is to work with a real estate referral company.

They take out the tedious part of looking for a good real estate agent and connect you with the best ones in the market.

Check your agent's background

Before you start working with an agent, try to find out how good he or she really is. Here is a list of questions to ask in order to understand what kind of agent you have in front of you:

• ask for how long have they been working as a realtor

• check if they work full time or part-time

• ask how many homes they sell on a monthly basis

• ask for the number of current buyers and sellers they work with

• always ask to see their real estate license and references

• check if they work alone, or if there's a team of other people helping them out

• ask how their commission works. Have in mind that you might get a 15% commission back if you connect with the right people.

All of these questions should help you learn more about your real estate agent. This is imperative since you are planning to put your trust in their hands.

Ask the agent to explain the entire process from start to finish

Once you learn about your real estate agent, you may start making inquiries about the property you wish to buy, and even talk about various options to make your relocation easier.

However, one of the by far most important things to ask a realtor when buying a house is to explain all the steps from start to finish. I had headaches trying to understand how the entire process functions. In this case, it is better to ask and get a clear explanation than to try and figure it out on your own.

Find out the true value of the property

One of the first things to ask your realtor when buying a house is what is the true value of the property. Sellers can sometimes ask for more money hoping that someone will pay the higher price. With that in mind, do your research before you agree on the price. A follow-up question may be about the price of other properties in the neighborhood.

How long has the property been on the market?

If you stumble upon a nice house at an affordable price, try to find out how long the property has been on the market. Houses that are staying on the market for a long period of time usually have an issue or two. This is the first step towards discovering potential problems. A follow-up question should be to ask how many times has the property been sold so far.

Ask for the seller's disclosure

A seller's disclosure is one of the essential pieces of researching a property you want to purchase. This is one of the best ways to discover the true condition of the property. Have in mind that, if a seller refuses to provide a disclosure, they may be fined. However, some states have low fees for this, so they would rather pay the fine than provide a disclosure. My personal advice is to avoid those sellers since they probably have something to hide.

Calculate all closing expenses

Closing a deal on a house is accompanied by many different processes. A home inspection, legal matters, realtor's commission, and closing costs are just a few examples of what expenses to expect. Do not let this turn into an unpleasant surprise.

Ask about monthly utility bills

Buying a property for a reasonable price is great, but you also must think about the utility bills. Some homes are more expensive when it comes to monthly costs. Before you make a purchase, make sure your salary can cover all of your bills for the entire month.

Your agent can recommend a good moving company

Your wallet may be going dry due to all the expenses regarding closing the deal on a property. However, once you buy a home, you will need to relocate. At this point, you want an affordable company that can provide quality and speed. Ask your agent if he can recommend a moving company that will suit your needs. My personal recommendation is Miami Movers for Less.

Things to ask your realtor when buying a house - delivered!

Thinking about what things to ask your realtor when buying a house will prevent you from making the wrong investment. With so many properties on the market, it is impossible to know which ones are good without asking a bunch of questions first. Hopefully, this short but information-packed guide will help you to make an informed decision. Good luck!


Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


A home inspection checklist for buyers

Posted on June 5, 2020 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (16)

Before you purchase a home, it is a requirement to conduct a thorough inspection. The condition of the property is crucial, and you don't want to spend money on buying a home that requires months of additional renovation. With that in mind, let's look at the home inspection checklist for buyers, and help you learn how to discern a valuable property from a waste of money.

Should you inspect a home by yourself or hire a professional?

It is no secret that home inspections cost money. Because of that, people often decide to inspect the home on their own. That is not always a smart choice.

Unless you are a home inspection expert with a lot of experience, we always advise seeking the help of professionals. They will know exactly what to look for, and how to discover any issues that a property might have.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the easiest way to get in touch with a professional home inspector is if you first look for a top real estate agent. Not only can they help you find the perfect home, but they also have contacts in other fields and can point you to the right person.

Nevertheless, it does not hurt to learn what to inspect when buying a home. It is smart advice to always learn as much as possible about any topic of interest, especially when it comes to buying a home. Furthermore, there are some things that home inspectors will not look at. That's why you should always be prepared.

What does a home inspection include?

If you decide to hire a home inspector, you should know that they are primarily concerned with the physical condition of the place. They will first check the foundation, roof and attic space, walls, floors, and the ceiling. Next, a home inspector will check plumbing fixtures, all the faucets, water heaters, thermostats, heating and cooling systems, and ventilation. Also, electrical installations, lighting, power outlets, and electrical appliances.

Once that is done, the home inspector will continue with inspecting windows and doors, steps and stairs, and slowly move outside to check the exterior stucco and paint. Then, the gutters, downspouts, porch or balcony, walkways and driveways, basement, and garage.

As you can see, this is quite a lengthy home inspection checklist for buyers, and the inspection might take a few hours to complete.

Nevertheless, if you wish to have a Georgia relocation done stress-free, this inspection is a must. You don't want to move into a house that is not thoroughly inspected, as the safety of your family is at stake.

This is what you probably won't find in the inspection report

As we mentioned above, there are some things that a home inspector will not look at. If you receive a home inspection report and don't find these things on it, do not be surprised:

● sprinklers system

● landscaping and trees around the house

● unpleasant odors

● sewer line and drainage system

● rats, mice, and other rodents, or different types of pests

Furthermore, while an inspector will check the floor, this might be skipped if there is a carpet on it. The same applies to checking the roof if there is snow on it. The home inspector will also not check the fireplace or chimney.

Knowing these things is crucial because then you can check them yourself. Additionally, once you look at the inspection report, you will know if a home inspector missed an essential part of the inspection. If that happens, you have the right to a refund, since they did not honor their part of the agreement.

The importance of a seller's disclosure

Even though there are some things that a home inspector won't check, there are other ways to gather more information about the house. A home inspection checklist for buyers is not complete without a seller's disclosure report. Here is where you can learn more about the house and any possible defects, neighbors, and the neighborhood. You can get this disclosure from your real estate agent.

Have in mind that almost all states require a seller's disclosure, but the penalties for not providing it vary from state to state. In some states, the penalty is really low, and the seller would rather pay the fine than provide a disclosure report. That should almost always be considered a red flag!

I cannot afford a professional home inspection - what are my options?

It sometimes happens that a buyer cannot afford to hire a home inspector, whatever the reason may be. Even though the next logical option is to do the inspection by yourself, there is actually a secret way to get money and hire a professional.

You can hire a company that will connect you with top agents on the market, and you will get 15% of their commission at closing. How it works, you ask?

It is pretty simple if you know the right people! You can use the extra money to hire a home inspector, or maybe even to upgrade some things in your new home.

Taking care of the relocation

While you are looking for a house, there is no reason why you should not start planning a relocation as well. Once the purchase is complete, you may relocate quickly and with ease with the help of professional movers like those at authoritymovinggroup.com. Just be sure to get estimates from at least three companies.

A home inspection checklist for buyers - delivered!

And there you have it! This lengthy home inspection checklist for buyers will help you pick the best place for you and your loved ones. You will sleep better if you know that you invested money in the best property you could afford. There is no room for mistakes when buying a home, and a home inspection is always a must. Best of luck in finding the place of your dreams!

Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


Open house precautions you should take during the coronavirus outbreak

Posted on May 15, 2020 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The sudden global spread of coronavirus has changed the way we do even the simplest of things. Caution is advised in pretty much all social interactions. This is particularly true for situations where it is necessary to leave our homes. In some cases, however, it extends to our behavior inside our homes as well. One such situation is holding an open house if you are attempting to sell your property during this crisis. Luckily, you won’t have to put your plans on hold if you follow these open house precautions you should take during the coronavirus outbreak. In essence, being thoughtful and responsible with your own health and that of others, whether you are selling or buying a home during the coronavirus outbreak, will let you carry on as if nothing is much different.

Why not avoid holding open houses altogether?

The best way to keep safe so far has been avoiding any situations where you would come into contact with a lot of people. It is also not advisable to have a lot of people in small quarters indoors to begin with. Many real estate agents have considered avoiding holding open houses at all because of it. However, if you are still set on selling the property, not holding an open house could really hurt your prospects. Firstly, it might delay the sale. Secondly, it could also make you settle for a price much lower than you are asking. In turn, it could hurt your chances at a nice commission rebate as well.

Furthermore, not selling the house in your allotted timeframe could throw a wrench into your moving plans as well. Much like with open houses, you may feel like it would be unsafe to go through the whole move while this pandemic is still raging. However, there are things you can do to move house the safest possible way. As there are precautions to take when selling your home during the coronavirus outbreak, there are some to put into work once you start moving as well.

Open house precautions you should take during the coronavirus outbreak

Keep the parties small

One of the main open house precautions to take during the COVID-19 outbreak is to change the way you would organize your open house. The traditional way would be to have open hours when buyers can come and go as they please. What you can do instead is organize them into smaller groups and show them the house in 15 or 30-minute increments. This will work out well for you in several different ways.

Firstly, you’ll be able to sanitize between their visits, keeping yourself and everyone else as safe as can be. Secondly, it lowers the number of people at your property at one particular time. This lowers the risk of contamination as everyone can keep their distance. Finally, it might actually provide you with an opportunity to show your property in a more meaningful way. You will be able to fully immerse your buyers in a proper tour of the place.

Keeping your belongings safe

Getting some of your things out of the way for a showing is not out of the ordinary. Your real estate agent will be able to help with this. They will help you decide what you want to put away in order to show your property in the best light. However, keeping the pandemic at the forefront, it might not be a bad idea to take some more of your belongings out of the equation as just one of the precautions to take when selling your home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Not only will it keep your items and furniture uncontaminated, but it will also get you ready for the day your movers from Vision Movers Florida arrive at your doorstep. You can choose to put these things in storage or ship them to your new place. As a third option, you could keep them in a garage or basement until the move, if you have the space.


If you ask for open house guidance during COVID-19, your real estate agent will surely suggest putting hand sanitizers in convenient places throughout the house. Placing one large hand sanitizer pump at the entrance would be particularly good. Ask all potential buyers to disinfect their hands upon entering as one of the ways you can keep yourselves safe. Another good option if possible is to offer booties at the door. This will limit what is brought into the house. If you separate the parties, make sure you sanitize all of the common surfaces between each of the visits. This means wiping down doorknobs, faucets, cabinet handles, or whatever else your visitors touched or used.

Limiting touch

Limiting touch is not only one of the open house precautions you should take during the coronavirus outbreak. As we know, this is good advice for our lives right now in general. Only a couple of short months ago you wouldn’t think twice about shaking hands with prospective buyers once they enter your place. These days, however, you might want to think again. A polite nod or even the elbow bump if the situation calls for it will have to suffice. There are also some tricks that can lessen the sanitizing you have to do between the visits. For example, keep all of the lights on at all times. This will keep your visitors from touching the light switches. The same goes for doors and doorknobs. If you are able to keep the doors open throughout, you won’t have to go around sanitizing doorknobs.

Final suggestions

Hopefully, this open house guidance during COVID-19 was helpful. One of our final tips is to keep the windows open as well if at all possible. Proper ventilation is key to not allowing the virus to spread. Also, avoid serving food and ensure that your agent contacts any of the potential buyers the day before the open house and assure them that the tour can be rescheduled if anyone is sick. This would have to go both ways, so cancel any event in case you or someone in your family is ill with any of the suspicious symptoms.


Written By: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts


Buying a home in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak

Posted on April 29, 2020 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The coronavirus outbreak has us all a bit confused. The economy has slowed down to a crawl. The government is not sure how to properly tackle the outbreak, and travel is quite limited. So, once you consider all of these factors, is buying a home in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak even possible? Well, yes. But, it is far from easy. So, to help you tackle this difficult task, we are going to go over the key points that you need to keep in mind.

Understanding the COVID-19 outbreak

To figure out how to deal with buying a home in during the coronavirus outbreak, we first need to wrap our minds around it. After all, the whole COVID-19 outbreak is quite a complicated subject. This is why in order to make a smart real estate investment, you need to have a good idea of what its impact is.

Economic impact

As of the time that this article is written, almost all of the non-essential jobs in the U.S. are closed down. And, while a substantial number of them are running since companies can function with at-home workers, the majority of them are not creating any revenue. Just take into account the fact that 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. This should give you an idea of how the situation is shaping up. Now, it can be hard to put into perspective how this will influence the overall U.S. economy. So, here is what you need to keep in mind.

First, the price of homes is still stable. According to housing market reports, not much has changed since the coronavirus outbreak, both for selling apartments and residential houses. So, if you plan on buying a home in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak, expect to pay a regular price. The notable difference is with rent prices, especially for commercial spaces. Since numerous small businesses have closed down, there is a significant number of vacant commercial spaces. And, the bigger the offer, the lower the price.

Real estate trends

One of the recent trends we've definitely noticed is people looking for homes that are further away from larger cities. The coronavirus outbreak has shown us how fragile our society is. And, how stressful it can be to be stuck in a small apartment for weeks. So, it should come as little surprise that people are turning towards larger, cheaper homes with sizable backyards. Add to that:

• The increase in internet speed.

• A larger presence of work-from-home jobs.

• The increased self-sustainability of homes.

• A calm and quiet lifestyle.

• The overall cheapness of homes that are further away from the city.

…and you can easily expect that more and more people are going to turn towards homes that are further away from large cities.

Health concerns

When it comes to buying a home in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak you need not worry much about health. Just follow the safety measures that the state outlines, and you'll be trouble-free. This is important to remember when moving. Remember that wearing a facemask and keeping your hand clean is all you need to stay safe. So don't waste money on disinfectant in order to clean your items. To learn more about safe moving procedures, verifiedmovers.com is a great place to learn about that. Just remember to clean your new home before unpacking.

How to go about buying a home in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak

So, how are you to go about buying a home in the midst of this coronavirus outbreak? Well, the actual procedure of buying and selling a home is pretty standard. You work with us to connect with a decent Realtor and start looking for a home. The only limitation is that you will have to deal with most of your preparation and house-hunting from home.

What to expect

Since the housing market is pretty much unaffected by COVID-19, you should expect about 8-12 months of house-hunting before you find a suitable home. This, of course, depends on many factors such as the neighborhood where you are looking in, your budget, and luck. But, if you want to stay on the safe side, you can expect about 8-12 months of looking.

Luckily, this means that if you start looking now, by the time you find a home the coronavirus outbreak will be over. Even in regular circumstances, you would first spend months coordinating with your agent and looking online. So, the fact that you are dealing with this during the COVID-19 outbreak shouldn't pose too much of a problem. If, on the other hand, you find a home and want to visit it, you will need to coordinate carefully with the current owner and with your agent. Safety should be paramount. So make sure that you follow safety regulations during the open house.

Finding a good real estate agent

In order to find a decent home to buy you need to have a decent real estate agent helping you out. So, once you figure out what kind of a home you are looking for and in what area, you need to find a real estate agent to help you out. Ideally, you want to find someone local. Agents that are situated in the area where you would like to buy a home are much better suited to help you. This is because they can keep a close eye on how the local market is doing and can inform you if any interesting offers become available.

Furthermore, since they have more experience, they will be able to help you avoid costly mistakes. We suggest that you carefully talk with your potential agent and see if they fit you. Once you ensure that they are capable and reliable, make sure to book them and put your trust in their expertise.


Wriiten by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts