Prepare Your Home For An Inspection

Buyers typically hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home that they are purchasing.  To ensure that everything goes smoothly, I recommend that a Seller take these important steps to prepare the home for the home inspection:

Don’t hide what isn’t working: If an appliance isn’t working, leave a note that indicates what isn’t working and how you’re getting it fixed. Don’t try to conceal defects because it can make the Buyers start to view you as dishonest and wonder what else you’re hiding.

Make things accessible: Ensure the location of the attic and/or crawlspace are identified and easy to access. Don’t make a home inspector move your belongings in order to gain access. Move boxes, pick up clothes and toys, and PLEASE CLEAN YOUR HOUSE.  This is the time where your home is under the microscope, and your potential Buyers are more than likely there with the inspector, for hours, examining every nook and cranny.  Don’t give them any reason to back out of the deal or ask you to make costly repairs that could have been avoided.  Also make sure the inspector can freely access the breaker box, after heater, HVAC, etc. by not stacking anything in front of them.

Check the light-bulbs: If a light-bulb isn’t working, the inspector will need to determine if the fixture is inoperable. Save them time by making sure all the light-bulbs in the home operate, including those in the crawlspace or attic.

Note septic systems: If you have a septic tank in the yard, be sure to leave a sketch that includes the location of it, if possible. It’ll avoid home inspectors, buyers, and real estate professionals having to conduct prolonged searches for it.  It’s honestly not a bad idea to have the septic cleaned out and inspected prior to listing your home, but not 100% necessary.

Keep appliances clear: Don’t leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher or sink, or even laundry in the washing machine or dryer. The inspector will need to test the appliances, and he doesn’t want to have to pull out dirty clothes in front of the potential Buyers. Also, make sure your oven and stove-top are clear and clean, so they can easily test them without setting off the smoke alarm or other “alarms” with the potential buyers.

Make sure all utilities are on: Even if your home is vacant and you have no immediate “need” to have the electricity, water or gas on, your potential buyers will need those items to be available for inspections and the appraisal.

Buyers typically have 3 chances to negotiate for your home:

  1. When they submit the initial offer on your home
  2. After they have their home inspection done, during their inspection or due diligence period
  3. After the appraisal is done, if the appraisal comes in low.

As a Seller, you want to make sure your home is in tip-top shape so that Buyers don’t feel like they can negotiate the condition off of the price of your home.  What you may see as a $50-$100 repair, a Buyer may see as three times as much.

You can also get a home inspection before you list your home, in order to alleviate potential repairs before a Buyer finds them and wants to “negotiate” those items off of your price.  Just be sure to disclose, disclose, disclose any items found on the inspection that are asked on your Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement when you put your home on the market.

For more information on listing your home for sale in Pooler, GA and surrounding areas, contact the Pooler GA Real Estate expert, Trisha Cook.

Trisha Cook, Keller Williams

Pooler GA Real Estate Agent

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Homes for Heroes Savannah Sponsors the First Annual Hearts for Hearts for Heroes Gala

The Pooler Chamber of Commerce held a special event on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, themed: Hearts for Heroes, Red Tie Gala, sponsored by the Homes for Heroes in Savannah. Affiliated Realtors, including the Trisha Cook team of Keller Williams Realty, lenders, brokers, Pooler residents and Heroes had a fun night filled with music and dancing, laughter and dinner at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, Georgia.

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The auction benefited the Red Cross and the Wounded Warrior Project.  The event was led by the Pooler Chamber of Commerce.

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The Trisha Cook Team attended the event including Priscilla Waldburg, Allen Hayes, and Trisha Cook.

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The Homes for Heroes program, the nation’s largest hero saving program, offer rebates and discounts to the heroes who serve our nation and its communities every day. Our Heroes include military personnel, firefighters, law enforcement officers, educators, health care workers, and others who make our communities a better place to live in.

For more information on the Homes for Heroes program, contact The Trisha Cook Team. 912.844.8662

Staging Tips for your Pool

Staging Tips : Clean & Stage Your Pool Area

When staging your home to sell, the condition of the features and highlights of your home is a major selling factor.

If you have a pool in your backyard, it can either be a great asset in  selling your home, or it can be a great detriment, so it is best to make sure that it is clean, clear and leaf-free. Staging to sell your home may feel like a chore but it will  add value to the property and entice potential buyers to view your home over one that isn’t as well kept or as move-in ready.

If you have any questions about staging to sell your home in Pooler, GA or want to know how much your Savannah, GA surrounding home is worth, call The Trisha Cook Team at Keller Williams Realty Westside. We have a team of highly qualified agents who can help you, every step of the way.

Why Buyers Need a Home Warranty

Imagine a water heater that was working properly during home viewing and inspection suddenly needs repair on your newly bought home. This can be a nightmare & can potentially sour your thoughts on the home buying process all together.

This is where having a Home Warranty to protect your interests becomes important.

Buying a home should be a pleasant, memorable experience and worrying about the other ‘possible’ complications can make it more stressful than it ever needs to be. Having a Home Warranty helps you not worry about the “What if’s” and lets you concentrate on the “what’s next” in purchasing your dream house. The Trisha Cook Team has a list of Home Warranty service providers that you can talk to and choose from so you can compare which one fits your needs.  We will also try to get the home warranty negotiated when we submit an offer on the home, so that the Seller pays for it.

Contact us as soon as you think of buying a new home and we can answer all your questions and closely work with you and for you.

Buying a Home

Six Steps to Buying a Home

The entire process of buying a house can be divided into six general steps:



Step 1: Hire Me

The moment you consider buying a home in the Greater Savannah GA area, it is best to contact me immediately so we can talk about the current market conditions and what you can expect throughout the process. Buying a home can be overwhelming to try to go alone. You, as a Buyer, need your own representation in what will be one of the largest investments you make in your lifetime, and it is helpful that a professional will be by your side to guide you through it all.

The real estate market is different from state to state and a local expert, like myself, will be the best person to discuss it with. Did I mention that this is a free service for you in most cases, because the seller pays commissions in Georgia? If an attorney was giving you free legal advice, wouldn’t you take it? Don’t make the mistake of doing this alone.

Step 2: Secure Financing

Getting pre-approval for a loan helps you know how much you can really spend on buying that home. We can provide you a list of great and trusted lenders for you to choose from to see which lender is best for you.  **Tip: STAY AWAY FROM INTERNET LENDERS, CREDIT UNIONS, & BIG BANK LENDERS. You want someone you can reach out and shake if necessary….someone who only does this type of work…and someone familiar with LOCAL programs, taxes, etc.  Many bigger banks and internet lenders also use appraisers that are not familiar with the area, which is typically a disaster and not in your best interest.

Step 3 Finding Your Home

In this step, we will help you look into the list of properties that meets your wants and needs and will have the things that are most important to you. You are looking for a home, not just a house and we know that, so we will help you review the properties that are on the market that meet your criteria, and advise you of our knowledge of the local areas, schools, taxes, and other factors that you may not be aware of.

Step 4: Make an Offer

One of our main goals is to find you the BEST home at the LEAST price for you to insure that this is a good long-term investment for you.  It is best to know how much the fair price of the home would be in the market and we will help you with negotiations and counter offers to make the most out of your money.  So much more than just the price goes into the offer though.  For a better understanding of what to offer on a home, make sure you hire us first.  We are trained to make sure your interests are protected, and we know what to ask for on your behalf to make sure you are protected.

Step 5: Get Inspections

In this process, we will set up inspections to ensure that the house is in good shape and that there are no issues with the home what so ever. We have a list of local, reputable home inspectors for you to choose from.  For your protection, GET A HOME INSPECTION.  If there are any needed repairs, we can negotiate again with the sellers during your inspection period.

Step 6: Closing

There are other steps before this that you will take with your Lender, but this is the last step with us. This includes the sweetest part in the entire buying process.  This is what all of our hard work has lead up to… receiving the key to your new home!

We know the process can be overwhelming, which is why we pride ourselves on helping you through it.  We would love to be your trusted advisor and to help you get into your home.

If you are thinking about buying a home, call The Trisha Cook Team right away or visit us and I will help you through the whole buying process to make it easier in getting your dream home.

Top Updates to Sell Your Home

When it is time to sell your home, there might be some updates that you’d have to do to make it more appealing to buyers.
Some updates include:

Painting –

A coat of fresh paint, when needed, makes your house look fresh & new again. A fresh coat of paint is one of the most inexpensive updates you can do to your home. Make sure you choose the correct colors to paint your home that will be most attractive to the majority of Buyers, and not just to your own personal tastes. Neutral/Earth Tone colors are always a safe choice; such as tans, greys, and even some lighter blues.  Choosing bold colors may be attractive to some, but not to most buyers. What you want to avoid is a situation where a Buyer thinks of all of the things they will have to do before moving into the home. Although a can of paint may cost $40, buyers would likely subtract hundreds, or even thousands off of their offer price for what they perceive the cost to them would be to have that item done themselves.

Flooring –

If your floors are dated or worn, it is best to have them replaced before putting your home up for sale. Any kind of damage and visible wear and tear in the property will decrease the overall value.  Today’s buyers are leaning toward wood flooring in the living areas and carpet only in the bedrooms, with tile in the bathrooms.  Of course, that varies upon price point, but is definitely a request I am seeing more and more of.

Fixtures –

Even the smallest detail, like a light bulb that does not work, may have a great impact on the buyers’ impression of the property and therefore an effect on the price they may be willing to offer. If you have dated light fixtures in your home, this can be an extremely inexpensive update that you should do before putting your home on the market.

If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, I will be happy to come to your home and give you a free consultation of what I think will help you sell for the MOST money in the LEAST amount of time. Contact us,  The Trisha Cook Team, to find out more on what to update to increase the price of your home as soon as you think of selling it.

Call or contact us to learn more.

How to get your home ready to be photographed

Once you decide to put your home on the market, hopefully with The Trisha Cook Team, it is time to stage your home and get it prepared for photographs. Photographs are usually done as soon as you choose your Realtor.

Side note: These days, I do hope you don’t settle for a listing agent who takes his/her own photographs.  I have spent thousands of dollars on cameras and lenses over the years and nothing has ever compared to the brilliant photography of the professional that I hire for my listings.  HDR photography is the way to go; Stitching together multiple shots to insure that every picture has the best possible angle and the best lighting possible.  

ok, back to the point of this post now ;-)

 

Here are a few good tips to have your home ready to photographs:

Interior:

  • Less is Best.  Please remove all clutter!
  • Replace all blown light bulbs, in both lamps and overhead lighting
  • Place garbage cans out of sight.
  • Your kitchen sink (and all sinks for that matter) should be empty.  Hide sponges, drying racks, scrubbers, towels, etc.
  • Remove all magnets and photos off the refrigerator.
  • Remove all items from on top of the refrigerator as well.
  • Remove the majority of countertop appliances in your kitchen & wipe down your countertops.
  • Minimize, or completely remove, all personal photos in frames on table tops
  • Hide dog/cat bowls, crates, and beds
  • remove tissue boxes.
  • Hang only decorative bathroom towels, neatly.
  • Remove toothbrushes, razors, shampoo/conditioner, soaps, make-up, perfume, and any other personal items from countertops, tubs, showers, floor, etc.
  • Put your toilet seats DOWN (for showings too).
  • Clean off nightstands, end tables, and coffee tables.
  • All toys should be minimized and organized neatly.  Nothing should be on the floor or under beds unless in storage bins & out of sight.
  • Wires and cords should be hidden, if possible.
  • Ceiling Fans should be dusted and off for pictures.
  • Remove paperwork from desks, and dust the furniture.
  • Beds should be made, and use a bed skirt if possible.
  • Open all blinds and turn on lights for the photographer.

Exterior

  • Lawn mowed, edged, and blown off
  • Leaves raked and bushes trimmed
  • House clean and freshly pressure washed if possible.  Also, freshly painted shutters & doors make a home look great!
  • If possible, seasonal flowers can add a gorgeous pop of color!
  • Remove all cars from the driveway and front of the house. Close garage doors & gates
  • Hoses rolled up nice and neatly
  • Exterior garbage cans out of view for exterior front shot.
  • Security Yard Signs and for sale signs temporarily removed
  • Remove anything that looks seasonal, such as Christmas wreaths, pumpkins, etc

 

I hope this list helped you prepare for your photos.

If you haven’t already chosen a Realtor to sell your home in the Greater Savannah, GA area I would love the opportunity to earn your business.  Please give me a call.  912-844-8662, or you can reach me at trishacookrealtor@gmail.com.

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Find out what your home is worth the_trisha_cook_team_small

 

 

 

**Big Thank you to Amy Greene, at Creative Images Real Estate Photography, for helping me comprise this awesome list of helpful hints.  Amy is the best! 

 

 


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148 Grayson Savannah, GA 31419

148 Grayson Savannah, GA 31419

Amazing Home for Sale! Conveniently Located between Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart, this home has it all! Formal Living Room, Dining Room, Den ith Fireplace, Spacious Kitchen, Loft Space Upstairs, HUGE Master Bedroom & Master Bathroom, Fenced Yard, and much more