Dec. 3, 2018

10 Must-Ask Questions to Cover When Interviewing Lenders

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Lenders play an essential role in the real estate process. So, when buyers choose a lender at random, without giving any thought to the person they’re trusting to handle their finances through the deal, things are sure to go wrong. In fact, buyers who don’t put much consideration into their choice of lender will almost always close late, if at all. 

To avoid the frustration of losing out on a deal, you’ll need to be careful when it comes time to select your lender. That said, there are 10 things you should be asking any mortgage banker you interview before choosing which one to hire: 

1. “What loan is best for me?” Any qualified lender should be able to guide you toward a loan product that will match your goals, budget, and financial position. The right person for the job will give you their honest opinion on what loan is best for you, instead of what loan is best for them in terms of how they’ll be paid out at the end of the deal. 

2. “What is the quoted interest rate and the annual percentage rate?” Determining whether a given option will carry additional costs is very important. Also, be sure to check rates across multiple lenders to see if you’re getting the best deal.

3. “Do you offer any discount points, and does this loan carry any origination fees?” 

4. “What are all of the costs I can expect?” You should have a full understanding of the expenses that will be involved before proceeding with any lender. 

5. “Can you provide me with a loan estimate?” Getting a loan estimate from a few different lenders will give you the chance to compare your options. 

6. “How soon can you offer me a rate lock?” 

7. “Is there a prepayment penalty?” If there are any additional expenses that may arise over the life of your loan, you’ll want to be aware of them beforehand.

8. “Are you equipped to approve loans in-house?” This will impact how quickly they’re able to work.

9. “How much time do you need to fund?” If you close on a given day, will it take the lender days after that point to fund the loan? 

10. “Do you guarantee on-time closings?” When interviewing a lender, it’s important to ask them about the steps they can and would take in the event that they are running behind as the closing date approaches. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Nov. 19, 2018

What’s the Best Customer Service Experience You’ve Ever Had?

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Whether it’s online or in person, I want to hear about the times when you’ve had an outstanding customer service experience. How might those experiences correlate to real estate? Maybe you’ve had a few experiences where you wished your Realtor would have done this or that thing—good or bad, I want to know about it, because we’re pushing our customer service experience to the highest level possible. By polling you and hearing your feedback, we aim to make our service the best it’s ever been. We would love to hear your feedback, so if you have any stories to share with us, please feel free to reach out.

Posted in Customer Service
Oct. 30, 2018

Our Annual Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway Is Almost Here

Our annual Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway is coming up, so don’t miss your chance to sign up.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

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Fall has arrived and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so, in the spirit of the season, our team would like to show how grateful we are for you by taking care of the dessert for your Turkey Day feast.

That’s right: Our annual Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway is coming up.

 

We're so thankful for your continued support.

 

To receive your own complimentary pumpkin pie, all you need to do is fill out this form.

Once you've filled out the form, your pie will be available at the Keller Williams Office at 6703 Academy Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 at the time you selected. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 505-750-3305.

We’re so thankful for your continued support and we hope you have a happy Thanksgiving! 

If you have any questions about real estate in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help.

Posted in Events
Oct. 17, 2018

A Special Deal That Will Help Buyers Save Big

Our new partnership with Keller Mortgage will allow homebuyers approved for a loan to save money on their next purchase with us. Here’s what you need to know.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Keller Williams Associates has entered a new partnership with Keller Mortgage. 

We now have a special deal in which you get the Zero Plus Loan whenever you work with a Keller Williams agent, like ourselves, or whenever you list a property with us and have buyers behind your listing.

The Zero Plus Loan allows you to save on the lender closing costs. We’ve seen clients save between $3,000 and $10,000 on average when they purchase a home with a loan through Keller Mortgage. The lender closing costs that are traditional fees, like origination, underwriting, and other related buyer closing costs aren’t charged, and there’s even a credit back towards the appraisal and other costs when you close a loan over $150,000.

 

  We’ve seen clients save between $3,000 and $10,000 on average when they purchase a home with a loan through Keller Mortgage.   

 

Of course, we have several other lender partners we work with regularly; not every situation will make sense to use a a Keller Mortgage product. Regardless, we would still love to speak with you and find out what is best for your situation.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying and want to save some money, you might want to see if you can get qualified with Keller Mortgage. 

To get more information, click here or feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to tell you more.

Certain officers, directors, and owners of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. have ownership interests in KellerMortgage. You are not required to use Keller Mortgage. Please read our Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure HERE

 

 

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Sept. 27, 2018

The Top 8 Costly Mistakes New Homeowners Make

If you’re a new homeowner, there are eight costly mistakes other new homeowners typically make within their first year of homeownership that you need to avoid. 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

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If you bought your first home within the last year, there are eight costly mistakes you need to avoid:

1. Not getting multiple bids for remodeling projects. New homeowners typically go with the first or the lowest bid instead of considering all of their options, such as the quality of each contractor’s workmanship and what their reviews say. If you’re thinking of doing some remodeling, give us a call so we can refer you to several contractors who offer a reasonable price for quality craftsmanship. 

2. Submitting small insurance claims. You should only submit an insurance claim for your home if it’s a big issue that you can’t cover out of pocket. Insurance is only for emergencies, and if you submit small insurance claims, your insurance will add up to bigger premiums or bigger deductibles that won’t save you money in the long run. It can even prevent you from getting insurance in the future. 

3. Making improvements that don’t improve their return on investment. Don’t spend too much money on a kitchen or bathroom remodel or do anything that doesn’t add any real value to your home without checking with us first. 

4. Going on a furnishing spree. Oftentimes, new homeowners will buy a lot of furniture very quickly and potentially rack up a lot of debt. It’s hard to maintain your home and pay for these costly furnishings. Try checking out apps such as Letgo or Mercari or browsing Craigslist to find deals on great used stuff. You could also try buying discounted furniture from someone else who’s upgrading their home. 

 

  If you’re thinking of doing some remodeling, give us a call so we can refer you to several contractors.

 

5. Throwing away receipts and important paperwork. Don’t do this until you talk to your tax professional, because many of the costs of buying, closing, and moving into your new home can be written off on your taxes. 

6. Forgetting about the smaller inspection report items that still need to be fixed. Dig up your inspection report and check if you missed any small repairs you still need to do. For example, perhaps the smoke detectors were missing batteries. In this case, you should add new ones before you forget because that could be a big safety issue down the road. 

7. Remodeling without doing research first or checking if they need permits. Again, be sure to check with us if you’re doing any remodeling so we can refer you to a contractor who can double-check these things for you. 

8. Making repairs themselves with cheap tools. Buy nice tools so you can make quality repairs on your home and don’t allow yourself to skip corners. If you’re going to make the repairs yourself, you might as well make them at a high level. 

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Sept. 10, 2018

A Fantastic Mortgage Option for Albuquerque Homebuyers

Have you heard about our new Zero Plus Loan program and how it benefits homebuyers? We’re going to tell you about it in detail today.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

We have some exciting news for Albuquerque homebuyers today. We are bringing a free loan to the New Mexico mortgage market.

If someone works with us as a buyer, they will save $5,000 to $7,000 in closing costs. This loan is called the Zero Plus Loan, brought to you by Keller Mortgage, one of our exclusive partners.

With this loan, you pay no closing costs, origination fees, processing fees, and underwriting fees. In addition, you get a really competitive interest rate and $1,000 cash back that goes towards an appraisal or inspection that you may have to pay for yourself.

 

The goal of this program is to make home buying more affordable for our clients.

 

The goal of this program is to save our clients a ton of money so that it makes sense for them to buy a home right now.

If you’re a home seller, we encourage you to consider how this might help you negotiate and save on closing costs. Many of the fees that this loan covers are things that sellers ask for buyers to pay for. If their buyer has the Zero Plus Loan, they can save $3,000 to $10,000 themselves.

When you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in New Mexico, let us know first. We want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. Give us a call or send us an email any time. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Aug. 21, 2018

Why You Should Consider Selling Your Home in 2018

Inventory is at a record low in our market, but there are still buyers out looking for homes. Here are a few reasons why selling in the fall and winter months might be a great idea in 2018.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Today I want to talk to you about why you should sell your home this winter or fall. Many people think that the only time to sell is spring or summer, but in fact, that’s not true.

This fall and winter are going to be fantastic times for homeowners to get their homes sold for a few different reasons. The inventory in our market is at a record low and there are still buyers searching.  While most homeowners believe that the market drops off during winter, this isn't the case. About 1,000 homes per month still sell at this time of year in the Albuquerque market

 

  Your home will stand out more in the fall and winter than during the spring and summer.

 

This may not be as much seller activity as what is seen in Spring in Summer, but that also means there is less competition. Buyers are still searching, and your home will stand out during this time.

I really want you to consider selling this fall or winter if you’re thinking about selling at all in the next year. If you have any questions or want to learn more about what steps you need to take to get your home sold, give us a call or send us an email today. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Seller Tips
July 18, 2018

Be Aware of These 9 Things That Can Sabotage Your Home Sale

There are nine seemingly unimportant things that can actually sabotage your home sale if you are not careful.

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 preparing your home for the market, you need to be aware of these nine things that could potentially sabotage your home sale:

1. Mounted cords hanging from your TV. When those cords are dangling, buyers notice, even though it has nothing to do with your house. 

2. An unkempt yard. If you have weeds sprouting up everywhere or other growth that needs to be trimmed, go ahead and trim it. We encourage our buyers to drive by homes to inspect their curb appeal first, so make sure your yard is taken care of. 

3. A dingy front door. Oftentimes when we are about to show a home to a buyer and are opening the home’s lockbox, it can take as long up  to a minute to open the lockbox. During that time, buyers are looking at the home’s front door, and they will notice if it has not been maintained. They will often discount the value of a home because of little things like that, so make sure your home’s front door is painted and clean. 

4. Not cleaning up after your pet or taking care of pet odors. Sometimes sellers with pets forget to clean up after them, so make sure you are aware of what stains or smells you might have to clean up if you have pets. 

 

  If you take care of these things, you won’t sabotage your own home sale.

 

5. Cobwebs. You might not notice spiders roaming around the corners of your ceilings, but buyers will notice that right away, and they might take it as a sign of a lack of maintenance within your home. 

6. Poor furniture arrangement. We live in a house one way and sell it another way. This means your home’s current furniture arrangement might not correspond to how a buyer wants to see the inside. If your furniture is poorly arranged, it might not show off the size of the home very well or prevent buyers from seeing how their own furniture could be arranged. 

7. Junk drawers and crammed cabinets. Be aware if you have left any extra stuff in these places because buyers tend to look inside them. 

8. Overfilled closets. As with the junk drawers, buyers tend to check these areas and might downgrade your home’s value because of what is inside them. I recommend removing as much extra stuff as possible and packing it away in boxes. 

9. Cluttered countertops. We always tell our sellers to remove everything from their countertops when they’re preparing their home for sale. Store all of your items that you use regularly in a bin underneath the counter during a showing. The same goes for your bathroom countertops and any open surfaces throughout the house. 

If you have any other questions about this topic or you have any other real estate needs, please feel free to call or email me. I would love to help you.

 

Posted in Home Seller Tips
March 21, 2018

Is Your Home Ready for the Market?

How can you get your home ready to sell? Here are our tips 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Today I’m here to answer a question that I get all the time: “What can I do to get my house ready to put on the market?” 

There are a ton of different things we can do, but there are certain tasks that should be emphasized. These include deep cleaning, decluttering, and staging. 

However, you might have your focus on remodels to make before listing. Remodeling the bathroom, remodeling the kitchen, or putting in new flooring are all potential options. However, the decision to remodel all comes down to your specific situation. It’s different for every location and price range.

 

  Each home is a little different.

 

The only way I can give you a straight answer about what to improve is by coming out to the house to take a look. We don’t like giving the advice of spending a bunch of money unless we’re going to make money doing it. We can walk through your home room by room and come up with a plan. For example, we recently worked with a client and were able to net $45,000 extra on the sales price after putting only $20,000 in remodels. Like I said before, every home is a little different.

If you have any other questions about getting your home on the market or what you can do to increase your sale price, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Posted in Home Seller Tips
Jan. 29, 2018

Is There a Best Time to Sell Your Home?

Are you unsure about when is the best time for you to put your home on the market? Today, I have some advice about timing your home for the market.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

I hope you had a great holiday season and are looking forward to a great 2018! Today, I’m going to answer the question, “When is the best time to sell my home?”

There are many different answers to this question, but the most common response would be to say that spring and summer are the best times. This is backed by statistics, since more homes are sold during these times. There are also more sellers on the market in the spring and summer, which creates competition.

However, the “best” time to sell is somewhat relative. In my experience, I have sold a home on every major holiday of the year, tracing back to my very first sale on New Year’s Eve in 1999.

Given that, my perspective is a little different from most Realtors. I’d say that the best time to sell is when it’s most practical for you and your family. That can vary based on your situation, so I’d love to be able to sit down with you about timing and selling your home quickly on the market.

 

  The best time to sell is when it’s most practical for you and your family.

 

There aren’t a lot of good homes for sales on the MLS right now. Inventory is pretty low, and the ones listed aren’t necessarily high quality, so there is definitely high demand for a great home like yours. Buyers are out there waiting and ready for something to crop up on the market.

If you’re planning to wait until spring, be sure that it’s because you need to and not because someone told you that you need to. That said, if you need to have a bunch of work done on your house and it’s causing friction in your household, remember to slow down. Rushing through renovations and updates isn’t practical, and you need to take care of things efficiently and love each other through the process.

If you’re thinking about selling your home but aren’t sure about the timing of when you should be doing it, feel free to give my team a call or send an email. We’d be happy to contact you and one of us will come over and sit down, walk you through the whole process, teach you about staging and marketing your home, and help you figure out when is the best time to sell your home.

If you have any other questions or you're thinking about buying a home, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be happy to help you.

Posted in Home Seller Tips