RESOLVE TO SELL BEFORE SPRING
The holidays are over and the decorations are neatly packed away for another year. It’s time to write out New Year’s resolutions and plan for the year ahead.
What’s on your to-do list for 2016?
For many, it’s making the decision to buy or sell a house. If selling, the market preparation list can get long pretty fast. Make repairs, clean windows, choose a Realtor®, and then wait to list your home at the opportune time—in April or May, right? Not necessarily.
It’s always a good time to buy or sell a house,” says Brian Frere of Keller Williams Realty.
Frere says there isn’t a reason to wait until spring. The timing of your sale or purchase should be based upon your needs and desires rather than the month of the year. January and February can actually hold an advantage over the typical spring selling season. There is usually less inventory and buyers are serious and possibly offer at or near full listing price. “People looking in January and February are buying now and they don’t have much to choose from so they are likely to buy whatever is currently available and fits their needs,” he says.
First Things First
Before tackling your list, Frere suggests hiring a Realtor® to assist you in developing a plan of action. A professional Realtor® will analyze each person’s individual situation and make staging and improvement suggestions that will help sell the house for the most amount of money and as fast as possible.
He says, “I’ve seen clients spend unnecessary money doing things they think might help, or because their friends, family or HGTV inspired them, when we may advise something that is more important to net them more money at the sale.”
Brian Frere’s team is committed to provide staging consultations as part of their standard procedure and at no additional cost. Staging is imperative, but the level of staging is different for every house. For instance, some homes need a simple de-cluttering and advice on furniture arrangement while others benefit from moving out completely and staging with different furniture altogether.
Frere says, “We are embracing the vast amount of technology available to help sell our listings. Public websites are fun places for folks to begin their home search, get ideas and begin to formulate a wish list. We want them to see our listings there.” However, in spite of the rise in traffic on those websites, the more sophisticated and educated buyer knows that guidance from a professional Realtor® is important. The home selling and buying process is becoming more litigious and complicated due to lending hurdles and additional governmental regulations.
Buying a home is the largest financial decision many people may ever make and they need an expert in their corner to help guide them through the process.
Hire an Expert
Frere says “Most people realize the importance of choosing the best real estate agent to help them sell a home and may even interview multiple agents to make that decision. But, too many people rush in to buying a home without the same due diligence. Some people end up making a large financial purchase directly from a listing agent or a builder’s representative, who are both hired by and working for the seller and keeping that seller’s best interest as their top priority. Many financial consultants will tell you that you determine your financial future at the point of purchase and that is exactly why buyers should enlist the assistance of a professional Realtor® before ever starting the process.” One thing that many people fail to realize is that a buyer’s agent is compensated from the seller’s proceeds of sale and thus, there is no commission charged to the buyer for that representation.
Frere explains that home buyers are encouraged to visit his office and spend 15-20 minutes learning about the current market and the home buying process. These change so often that no matter how many homes you may have purchased and sold, it’s certainly a good idea to know what you’re jumping into today.
“The process is a whole lot different than it was just a few months ago,” he says. “Lending has changed dramatically and therefore pre-qualification is certainly discussed during the pre-buying consultation. You need to know what price range you can afford before you start looking. Too many buyers fall in love with a house they cannot afford and then it’s hard to find a house in their price range that meets the same excitement level.”
Hot, or Not
So, are the suburbs like Jenks, Bixby, and Owasso still the hot places to buy?
“Well, not necessarily,” says Frere. “Instead of looking at the traditional ‘city vs. suburbs’, we are seeing different age groups or lifestyle desires defining different hot areas.”
He says that downtown and midtown may be preferred at a certain period in a buyer’s life while school districts may become more of a decision maker at other seasons during that same individual’s life. Some people desire larger lots, while others may prefer less maintenance. Some want convenience to restaurants, shopping and medical facilities while others prefer space and seclusion.
Frere believes that “While you should always know what you’re buying so that you can make a smart decision, the type and location should be based upon whether it feels like home or not.”
Ready to Get Started?
The agents at the Brian Frere Home Team are truly professional and act with honesty, integrity and passion. They believe in listening to client needs, building relationships, continuing education and maintaining their current market knowledge. They strive to be considered as true consultants rather than simply as sales people.
Additionally, the Brian Frere Home Team has alliances with local mortgage lenders, home inspectors, repair technicians and other companies they know and trust to make the selling and buying process as smooth and hassle free as possible.
“I am a huge believer of using local service companies for a couple different reasons. First, I like to keep money in the community. Secondly, it may be hard to reach an out-of-state lender or closing company if we have a last minute question. We need to be able to talk to somebody face-to-face to resolve the issue, shake their hand, and complete the process.”
The Brian Frere Home Team
Frere has been a sales associate for Keller Williams for 12 years and has been consistently recognized as Oklahoma’s Top Keller Williams Realty Agent. When asked if he would ever start his own brokerage firm he laughs and proudly states that Keller Williams Realty’s training, technology and strength of 130,000 agents worldwide is far more than any local boutique or independent operation could ever match.
Selling homes and helping people attain their home buying dreams is Frere’s passion. Even in his youth Frere loved real estate, but chose another career path as a Certified Public Account, even working his way up to Chief Financial Officer. He enjoyed great success in a respectable profession but didn’t enjoy what he did at work each day.
“Now when I wake up every morning, I know what I do is helping families and helping people get to the next step in life, and I love that so much more. I believe in win-win relationships and my goal is to earn the right to receive referrals from our clients and become their real estate consultant for life,” says Frere.
“We understand that our sellers expect results and our buyers are looking for help making a huge decision. We go above and beyond for our clients — not only do they expect it, they deserve it.”
For more information, call Brian Frere Home Team at 918.298.6900 or visit BrianFrere.com.