Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 7/12/2020

If you’re ready to sell your home, you may wonder if you can do it all on your own or if you need an agent to help you. If you understand what a listing agent can help you to do, you’ll better understand their value. 


Listing Agents Help You To Price Your Home


Pricing your home for sale is one of the most challenging parts of selling. Your listing agent can help you to take some of the pressure off. They will do the market research and help you come to that sweet spot for the price. How much your home goes on the market for matters because if the home is priced too high or too low, it can cause buyer interest to dwindle. If the home isn’t priced right, it can leave buyers wondering if there’s something wrong with the property or if a better deal will be available on the home at a later date. The price of a home is all part of the marketing strategy. 


Advertising Your Home Listing 


Realtors will be responsible for advertising your home listing. Your home for sale will be available across multiple listing services, giving your home the best chance of being seen by the right buyers.    


Coordinating Open Houses And Showings


Hiring a listing agent can save you a lot of time. Your agent will coordinate your open house and advertise it. Their phone will also be the phone that’s ringing when people want to schedule showings for the house. The agent will coordinate convenient times with you but they will handle the overall scheduling and contact with buyers. 


Questions To Ask A Prospective Listing Agent


  • How many homes have you sold in this area?
  • What price range property do you have the most experience with?
  • How long has it typically taken for a home to be sold?
  • What could be improved in my home to help it sell?
  • What is the marketing plan?
  • Who is the team that works with you?
  • Will you be taking photos or can we hire a professional?
  • Will we be using video marketing?


All of these questions can help you to understand whether you’re hiring the right listing agent for the job of selling your home. Listing agents work hard to earn that commission from the sale of your home. They want nothing more than satisfied clients. Your listing agent will also appreciate your recommendation for a job well done. Know that while you can sell your home on your own, there are many benefits to hiring a listing agent.      





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Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 7/5/2020

If this is your first time buying a home, you might feel a bit intimidated by the purchase contract. Contracts are often filled with industry and legal jargon, making them difficult to understand for the average buyer and seller.

Contingencies in particular give some buyers cause for concern because their contract depends on the contingencies being fulfilled. However, in most cases contingencies are pretty standard and only serve to protect the interests of both the buyer and seller during a real estate transaction.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you an introduction to contingency clauses and break down some of the most common contingencies you’ll find in today’s real estate purchase contract.

Contingency clause definition

Simply stated, a contingency clause is a statement within a contract that requires a certain event takes place before the contract is considered legally valid. As a result, contingency clauses are used to cancel or invalidate a contract if certain conditions aren’t met before the sale is made final. So, if one party fails to meet the obligation of the contingency, the other party is no longer bound by the contract (or required to buy or sell the house).

Contingencies can get confusing when they are vaguely worded in the contract, making them difficult to interpret. In these cases, a court may decide the specific meaning of the clause or determine that it is too vague to be legally upheld.

The other instance in which contingency clauses can be confusing is when a party includes a contingency that is atypical for a real estate purchase contract. Buyers and sellers alike should be wary of unusual contingencies.

The main contingencies

  • Appraisal contingency. Designed to protect the buyer, appraisal contingencies require that a home is appraised at a minimum amount, which is stated in the contract.

  • Financing contingency. Another contingency geared toward protecting buyers is the financing contingency. It states the number of days that a buyer has to secure financing for the home. This allows the buyer to cancel the contract (and offer) if they’re unable to secure suitable financing for the home.

  • Inspection contingency. One of the most important and most common contingencies is the inspection contingency. It allows the buyer to have the house inspected by a licensed professional within a certain number of days. This protects the buyer against unforeseen expenses and repairs that will need to be made in the near future.

  • House sale and kick-out contingencies. A house sale contingency gives the buyer a certain number of days to sell their home before financing a new one. However, since this can be a risky clause for sellers, a kick-out clause is often included. This contingency allows the seller to keep the home on the market and entertain other offers while the buyer secures financing and sells their other home or homes.





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Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 6/28/2020

A nightmare home selling experience is something that every home seller wants to avoid. Fortunately, we're here to teach you the ins and outs of selling a house so that you can minimize the risk of problems that could lead to a nightmare home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a nightmare home selling experience.

1. Study the Real Estate Market Closely

You don't need to be a real estate market expert to find ways to maximize the profits from your home sale. Instead, you can study the real estate market closely and gain the insights that you need to price your house competitively.

Remember, a home seller's goal is to optimize the value of his or her house. To accomplish this goal, it is paramount to establish the right home price from day one. Otherwise, a home seller risks alienating buyers with a price that is too high, or missing out on profits due to a price that is too low.

Take a look at the prices of available houses in your area that are similar to your own. This housing market data will enable you to see how your residence stacks up against the competition so that you can price your house accordingly.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

A home inspection usually is completed after a home seller accepts a buyer's offer. However, a home seller who conducts an inspection before listing his or her residence can increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale. Perhaps best of all, this home seller can avoid the danger of a buyer requesting home repairs or a price reduction later in the home selling cycle.

During a home inspection, a property expert will evaluate your residence both inside and out. This property expert then will provide a comprehensive report that details his or her findings.

Examine a home inspection report. That way, you can find out about your house's strengths and weaknesses and take the necessary steps to transform various weaknesses into strengths.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. As such, this real estate agent can serve as a guide throughout the home selling journey and help you immediately identify and resolve any potential home selling hurdles.

For example, an experienced real estate agent can provide you with a wealth of housing market data before you list your residence. This housing market professional will help you make sense of assorted real estate data and ensure that you can establish a competitive price for your house. He or she also will promote your house to the right groups of buyers and help you enjoy a quick, seamless home sale.

When it comes to selling your home, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid a nightmare home selling experience.




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Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 6/21/2020

Moving into a new house takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can take months to feel like you’re truly “moved in” once you’ve finally gotten the keys to your new home. As a result, many people rush to purchase and set up their houses as quickly as possible.

If--like most people--you’re on a budget, it isn’t always realistic to expect your home to be completely furnished set up in just a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of your priorities when moving into a new home.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the “need now” and “it can wait” items for your home. In creating this list for your home you can make your move a smoother process and help yourself feel at home sooner without having to spend every waking hour (and every cent of your bank account) furnishing your new home immediately.

Read on for a list of the items you need at move-in, the things you should prioritize within the first weeks, and those that can wait.

What you need now

If you’re moving from an apartment or a former house, chances are you have a lot of the items you’ll need to get started in your new home. These are essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, and your kitchen and bathroom essentials.

Next, you’ll want to determine the things that will make your life in your new home easier. We’re talking daily-use items that you might need for your morning routine. If you’re the type of person who frequently loses keys, it might be a good idea to prioritise a key hook. If you struggle to put on makeup in a dimly lit bathroom, installing new lights should be at the top of your list.

Setting your priorities for the first month

A good way to budget furnishing your new home is to give yourself a specific number of items to buy in the first month, then the second, and so on. Get together with your family, or significant other if applicable, and together determine what’s most important.

It may be that energy efficient windows need to be prioritized over new curtains and blinds. Or, you could have to find a paint color that matches your living room set before repainting your bedroom. Regardless, be sure to budget all of your purchases so that you feel comfortable and ready to take on the first month in your new home.

What can wait

There are a number of items in most homes that are purely cosmetic or decorative. However, the cost of all of the decorations in your home can add up. If you’re planning on starting from scratch with decorations, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have the essentials. This is a good opportunity for you to find the right paint colors and decorations that match your furniture and appliances.

Now that you have a three lists for your home, you should be prepared to furnish it at a pace that works for you.





Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 6/14/2020

In the heat of the summer, sometimes you feel as if you have to choose between your budget and your comfort. It doesn’t have to be scorching both inside and out and you don’t have to break the bank. Below, you’ll find some ways to help you cut costs and keep cool all summer long.


Close Your Windows And Keep Them Covered


Look around your home. If your windows are letting a lot of light in, they’re also letting a lot of warmth in the home. You can easily cut the extra heat that’s being let in from the outside by shielding your windows and using insulated or darkening window treatments. This can be especially useful if you’re not home during the day. This simple measure can help to keep your home cooler. 


When The Temperatures Dip, Take Advantage


Many regions throughout the United States have warm temperatures during the day but cool down considerably in the evening hours. You can use natural cooling and just open your windows in order to bring the temperature of the house down. The best part is that fresh air is free!  


Install Ceiling Fans


Ceiling fans are useful the whole year through when it comes to circulating air. If the air is cooler, but stagnant, putting a ceiling fan on can make a huge difference.  


Turn Off The Oven


Try to avoid using any kind of appliances that generate heat when there’s a heat wave. Don’t use your oven to cook. You can either grill, use a slow cooker, or make no-cook meals on these days. Even running the dryer can increase the temperature of your home. If you must do laundry, make sure the area is well-ventilated with some type of fan.  


Use The AC Only When You’re Home


You can save on energy costs by simply limiting your use of air conditioning to only when you’re home. If the temperature becomes unbearable then use the AC, but try to use the techniques mentioned above before you run the air conditioning.


Get A Programmable Thermostat


Modern technology has provided us with thermostats that can be set to a certain temperature. The AC system will only turn on when the temperature reaches a certain level. You could even get a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature in your home remotely.       

  

Have An Energy Audit Performed


Many energy companies will provide you with an energy audit for little or no cost. This helps to identify any areas of your home where you can do better as far as energy conservation and lessening the utility bills your home incurs. Since heating and cooling takes up a good majority of your home’s utility costs, this can be a very worthwhile measure to take in saving money during the summer months and the whole year through.   






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