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Wightman-Brock Real Estate Advisors serving Rochester MN and surrounding areas

Financing your home…

Conventional loans, FHA loans, interest-only loans—Oh, My! Figuring out your financing can be the most difficult part of purchasing a new home, yet it is key to have in place before you begin looking, especially in this fast-paced market.

If you’re a first-time borrower, there are a few things that can be done to help you through the overwhelming process of sorting through financing options. Take time to figure out exactly how much you can afford to borrow and then finance accordingly. The best way to do this is through working with an experienced mortgage broker or banker. They will help you sort through all of the different programs and options. (For a list of our preferred mortgage specialists, visit our resources page.)

In the end, nothing will give you more peace-of-mind than knowing what you want and ultimately, what you can live with. 

If you’re looking to move in, move up, or scale back, we’d love to meet with you and talk you through the process. Contact us to set up a meeting today.

Fix or Nix: What to fix before you list

 

Upon deciding to list their home, many of our clients want to know what they need to fix before listing. While we’d love to give them an easy answer, it truly is dependent upon the market and your home.

In our current fast-paced market, with little inventory, there are so many things we used to advise fixing before listing that are no longer necessary. With that being said, there are a few things that are absolutely necessary to complete before you list that will provide an excellent return on your investment:

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Declutter
  • Fresh paint
  • Carpet
  • Light fixtures
  • Appliances

In this current market, you will see a return of $1.50—$2.00 for each dollar invested.

Projects such as roof, windows, siding, and mechanical fall under the expected category. People expect you are taking care of your house and these components should always be in good, working order. We advise our clients—buyers and sellers alike—that these items should have at least half of their “shelf-life” left. If not, they do need to be addressed, but you may not see the return, dollar-for-dollar, as you would with other repairs and upgrades.

While this list is a good start, it truly depends upon the house. The first thing we do before listing is a thorough walk through, top to bottom. We make a list of the top three things that need to be done and this is truly different for each home. If you’re considering listing your home in the next year—or more—and would like some guidance on what to complete now, we would be happy to talk with you further.

If you’re looking to move in, move up, or scale back, we’d love to meet with you and talk you through the process. Contact us http://www.wightmanbrock.com/contact/ to set up a meeting today.

Tips for choosing a realtor….

Buying or selling a home is a big decision; the realtor you choose is an equally important decision. There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding who to work with. During the interview process, it’s important to learn their experience level, their knowledge of the market, but mostly, it’s important to know if you and the realtor will be a good match for the duration of the transaction.

Here are some of our recommendations when searching for a realtor:

  • Be sure to interview at least three agents. Not sure where to start? Call the main brokerage number and ask the receptionist who they would list their house with and start there. The receptionist has inside knowledge of how all of the realtors do business and will be able to give you an insider’s perspective.
  • Ask how many transactions a year the realtor closes with buyers. You want to ensure they are closing at least 12 buyer transactions each year.
  • During the interview, pay close attention to how they respond to you and how you feel while with them. If there are any personality conflicts that you sense, no matter how successful they are, it may be best to go with someone else. Potentially, you will be spending a lot of time with this person—make sure you enjoy being around them.
  • If they have a team, be sure you know who you will be working with directly. Find out their process and ensure you’re comfortable with it.
  • Market knowledge is important. You want to be sure the agent you’ll be working with has the most up-to-date information for you and understands the intricacies of your market.
  • Check out their referrals. Talk with their previous clients about their experience working with the realtor you chose.

Ultimately, the realtor you decide to work with will set the tone and pace for your home buying/selling experience. Your satisfaction with them and the way they do business is key.

If you’re looking to move in, move up, or scale back, we’d love to meet with you and talk you through the process. Contact us http://www.wightmanbrock.com/contact/ to set up a meeting today.

Ready to list?

 

Home is a special place to each of us. Many of our best memories are rooted in our home and the people we love most are often found there. As time goes on, your needs, and the needs of your family, change and often, your home needs change, too.

This is an exciting time in the real estate market. Homes are moving more quickly than ever and sometimes are getting more than the listing price. If you’re ready to move up, move on, or scale back, here are a few things to consider in order to get the most for your home.

  • Get your home on the market! Trying to “pre-sell” your home may short-change you.
  • Choosing to sell your home on your own to avoid realtor fees may end-up costing you in the end. Real estate advisors know this market well and know that you may get far more for your home than expected.
  • The days of looking for just any buyer are over. In this market, seek the right buyer, who will pay top dollar, with the most attractive terms.
  • Let the market determine your home’s worth!

If you’re even thinking about listing your home, we would love to meet with you to talk through the process and the exciting things happening in this market. Contact http://www.wightmanbrock.com/contact/ us today.

 

First time?

Buying your first home is an exciting, often overwhelming, experience. There are so many details that need to be in place before the looking can even begin. This market presents its own set of challenges, too. Many investors are actively seeking to purchase entry-level homes and often are making cash purchases, non-contingent on an inspection, and offering more than list. How can a first-time home buyer compete?

While it may seem like the odds aren’t in your favor, there are a few things you can do that will make finding your home a bit easier. As you embark on this journey, keep in mind you may have to compete for a home—and may still lose it. At the end of the day, if you’re out looking and losing house after house, just know that it wasn’t the right house for you.

Here are a few things to consider before you start searching for your first home:

  • Have your financing in place. Know how much you can put down and be sure you can cover your closing costs, especially in this competitive market.
  • Be prepared to move quickly, but allow time for the process.
  • Make sure you’re consistently checking the MLS site (not a third party site) to get the most  up-to-date listings.
  • Partner with a real estate advisor that knows this market, is prepared to move at the same pace as you are, and most importantly, that you trust.

The last piece of advice we’d like to impart is to become as educated as you can on this process. You may have to write offers on a few different homes, but know this is part of the process. Don’t become discouraged.

If you’re ready to begin this exciting process, we’d love to partner with you. Contact http://www.wightmanbrock.com/contact/ today!

Why Rochester?

Why Rochester?

People often wonder, “Why Rochester?” because seemingly, there isn’t much to do here, but we know there is so much more to our hometown. Here are our reasons “Why Rochester!”.

Ron and Lynn:

  • The quality of life and cost of living in Rochester are wonderful and truly hard to beat.
  • Rochester is all-at-once a big city and a small town. There is a diverse population, but you’re sure to see a friendly face.
  • We love how locals respond to the Mayo Clinic patients. The people of Rochester are friendly, helpful, and inclusive, whether they are a Mayo employee or not.

Randy:

  • One of the best things about Rochester, aside from its people, is you’re always 25 minutes or less from your favorite things, whether that’s downtown, biking the trails, or spending time in nature.
  • This is a very easy place to plant roots. The people are great, the schools are wonderful, and there really is always something going on.
  • Rochester embodies the “Minnesota Nice” culture—it’s the perfect balance between small town and large city.

For more information on activities in Rochester, please visit our Rochester page http://www.wightmanbrock.com/rochester-home/. If you’d like to talk more about making Rochester your home, please contact us today.

A Few of Our Favorite Things…

A few of our favorite things…

Anyone who has lived in Rochester knows that it’s a great place to live. There is a vibrant arts community, many things to do with your family, and the downtown scene has really exploded in the last few years. Throw in top-notch, world-class healthcare and Rochester is certainly the place to be.

Everyone has their “favorites” when it comes to our community, but we wanted to take a few minutes and share ours with you.

Ron & Lynn’s Rochester Favorites:

  • Downtown Rochester is truly the heartbeat of the city. We love the people—locals and tourists alike. Downtown Rochester is thriving, growing and full of life. You will often find us enjoying the scene with a camera in hand.
  • The trails—walking and biking around this beautiful city is one of our favorite ways to spend time with our dog. Silver Lake and Quarry Hill are both great outdoor experiences.
  • We love good food! Chester’s, Victorias, Grand Round, Twigs, and Pescara, all some of our favorite hangouts. But, really anywhere there is good food and a glass of wine is where we love to be.
  • We love getting to know the patients at Mayo Clinic. Volunteering there is one of our greatest joys. We feel so thankful to be able to hear their story and share in their journey.
  • We love our job and our clients. Not everyone gets to say that, but it is true for us. We never dread going to the office or heading out with clients. It is something we both love.

Randy’s Rochester Favorites:

  • Walking or biking with my family through Quarry Hill and stopping to visit the fish
  • Rochester’s extensive trails and the fun, summer bike rides
  • New and unique brew pubs popping up in the city and the variety they provide
  • Spending an evening with friends and family at Thursdays on First
  • Getting some work done with a fresh cup of coffee at Cafe Steam

Preparing your home to sell

Are you thinking of selling but overwhelmed by all the projects you need to complete first? More than likely, some of those projects aren’t critical to marketing your home. Likewise, there are going to be simple, inexpensive things to do you may not have thought of. Having us come alongside and help you through the marketing process can save you time and money in getting your house sold. The housing market is constantly changing and is different from one price point to the next. We’re actively engaged at all levels and ready to help you get your house sold.

Marketing Your Home with Pets

Marketing your home can be an exciting time, but it can also bring with it some stress. As we stage homes with young children, adults with memory issues or sight impairment, great care has to be taken in regards to the effects of disrupting their spaces. The same is true for your pets. There is a lot of good advice out there, but let’s consider here what marketing your home does to your pets.

Disrupting their environment causes stress in animals which can lead to unwanted behavior issues in some. Beds are minimized, worse yet, they are washed and cleaned to eliminate odors. Family members are coming and going, and strangers are entering the home that they protect. Some are social creatures who bark excitedly when new people come to see them, creating a not-so-welcoming experience for a buyer walking through the home. Just as we warn about smelly diaper pails when there are young children in the home, pet beds, toys and blankets have odors that you have grown accustomed to, so diligence in this area is important. So, how do you minimize the disruption to your pet while you market your home?

It really depends on the animal and you know your pet the best. As realtors, it’s our job to coach and assist you in the process of selling your home with the least amount of stress possible. For your feline friend, most will simply hide under the bed and will never be seen. Daily cleaning of the litter box and ensuring all hair is vacuumed or removed is enough. Some dogs will sit quietly in a kennel during a showing. A quick reminder that animals are in the house and should not be disturbed by little hands and fingers will still allow a buyer to enjoy your home while your dog rests quietly at home. Cleanliness is the key.

There are also a few options to consider if your schedule and your pocketbook allow. We spoke with Annalisa Johnson of Good Dog Camp to get a few tips and tricks.

  • Remove the pet from the home. You never know how an animal will react to strangers in your home during showings.
  • Take a joy ride around the block with your favorite pet in-tow.
  • Hire a dog walker.
  • There are numerous doggie daycares in the area. If finances allow, play dates are a  great choice.
  • Purchase a pheromone collar that releases a subtle, relaxing scent. A diffuser with a calming scent is a great idea, too.

It’s important to watch for signs of distress in your pets, too. According to Annalisa, pay attention to the following and make changes accordingly:

  • pacing
  • lethargy
  • excessive panting
  • not eating
  • accidents in the house

Ultimately, how you handle your pets when your home is on the market is up to you. It is a negative only if it is not handled with care and thought for all parties involved. Clearly, we want it to be a good experience for the buyer, but it needs to be a good experience for your family, too.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about listing your home and answering any questions you may have about the process with pets. Please call 507-208-2246 or email us at info@wightmanbrock.com with further questions or to set up an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.

10 Things Before You List

10 Things Before You List 

Thinking about moving? While you may have long been able to overlook some of the downsides to your home, buyers on the hunt for their dream home may not be able to do the same. If you can’t quite remember the original color of the basement carpet or if you’re not sure if some of your decor is so old it’s back in, here are a few ways you can help improve the look of your home.

10. Find your papers.

While you don’t need to have everything, certain documents can help in the long run. Find the operating manual for the HVAC, any notes on paint colors, and any warranties that may be applicable.

9. Get estimates.

Is your furnace older than your first-born? Are the shingles starting to curl? While you may not need to fix anything immediately, knowing the cost of any repairs may help you to have an edge in negotiations.

8. Curb Appeal is key.

Ensure that potential buys won’t drive by and keep driving! Make the outside of your home so inviting they have to see it!

7. Declutter!

The rooms in your home should look open and spacious, so get rid of anything that isn’t essential to your day-to-day life.

6. Your house. Their house.

In order for buyers to see your house as their house, you need to remove anything that is overly personal. Your house needs to be neutral enough for them to envision their belongs in your space.

5. CLEAN!

While this may seem obvious, it is necessary to ensure your house is clean. Really clean. Potential buyers will be scrutinizing your home. Don’t let the dust bunnies drive them away.

4. Landscaping is important, too.

Take an afternoon and tackle the honey-do list. Remove any dead branches from trees, pull weeds, and fix the crack in the driveway.

3. Hide the pets.

While you may love Rover and his constant drooling and need for attention, most people won’t.

2. And, maybe the kids, too.

Well, not really, but be sure to repair any kid-related damage to the house. Thank you magic erasers! Now may be the time to pack away all non-essentials, like Legos, until after the house is sold.

1. Take a deep breath… 

And hire a professional.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about listing your house and answering any questions you may have about the process. Please call 507-208-2246 or email us at info@wightmanbrock.com with further questions or to set up an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.