first-time-homebuyers happy-couple

In the last blog  I discussed the spring market from a seller’s perspective. This week, let me reach out to you, dear buyer. This spring the market is HOT!  On top of that, we continue to have a very low inventory in the Nashville area. This means you are not the only buyer considering that house you love.   As I tell my buyers, “If you love it, someone else will too!”

So, here are a few things that buyers need to hear…

1. Be aggressive when looking for your home. If a house hits the market that you like, make plans to see it immediately. This may mean getting off work early or going during lunch. My clients will receive a daily email with every new listing that matches their criteria. I’ve seen homes sell within hours of hitting the market, so be aggressive and try to be the first in. Being aggressive also means you have to position yourself to purchase by having your price range and lender pre-qualification letter before you begin your home search.

2. Be aggressive with your offer. There’s a common saying in a hot market, “If you sleep on it, you lose it.” I know it’s hard to make a quick decision on this large of a purchase, but if it fits your finances and you love the house, DON’T WAIT! I prepare my buyers by telling them that they may find their new home the first time we go out together. The house you love may not be there tomorrow. When you write your offer, keep in mind that you may be competing against other buyers, so make your first offer count. It doesn’t have to be your best offer, but it does need to be strong enough to get the attention of the sellers. They should want to work with you.

3. Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. You may write a good offer, only to discover four other buyers have too.  The seller counters all the offers, asking  for your “highest and best.” Don’t let your emotions lead you to write an offer that is out of your financial comfort zone or is not well supported by comps. The house of your dreams will become a nightmare if it straps you financially or is a bad investment.

4. See failure as a course correction. You may not get the house you love on your first try. In fact, sometimes it takes buyers losing a house or two to really understand this crazy market. Remember, it’s just one house and there will be others. You will eventually find another one you love just as much. In the meantime, consider your strategy and what you need to do differently. Was your bid too low? Did your request for closing costs condemn your offer to failure? Maybe you need to slide into a lower price range or just pick up your game a bit.

5. Home buying couples: Get it together! Occasionally I’m asked if I do marriage counseling! In a hot market, you have to compromise. You may not be able to have the huge yard with the master bedroom down and a workshop in your prime location. Here’s an idea…both of you make a list of what you want in this next home and rank them in order of priority. Then compare your lists. Circle the items that are on both lists. Finally, together, rank those in order of priority.   And, please, remember that your relationship is so much more important than 4 walls and a roof!

Most importantly, work with an agent you trust to have your best interest through out this entire process!

*Credit for some of the ideas in this blog go to Trulia Pro-blog.


Home sold

Our market is buzzing hot! Some sellers are receiving multiple offers in a matter of days on the market. Homes are selling close to, if not at, listing price. It almost feels like a seller could just stick a sign in the yard and BOOM, the house will sell.

But this isn’t always true. Some homes are still hanging around on the market for months, without nary an offer. Why is that? What is keeping these sellers from moving their property in a hot market? The following are 5 common mistakes that may cause your home not to sell:

1. “I don’t have to sell, but since the market’s so hot…” Sellers with this attitude rarely get what they want. They tend to overprice, thinking the demand will work in their favor. But even in a hot market, buyers won’t pay more than the comps indicate.
2. “I’ll lower the price and let someone else do the updates.” This can work, but only if the updates aren’t overwhelming or you’re choosing to list your home lower than the updates would cost. Sometimes a small thing, like replacing all the brass doorknobs, hinges and hardware will make an older home feel more contemporary.
3. “I just don’t have time to get my home show ready.” It’s amazing what cleaning and de-cluttering can do for a home. And this starts with the photos. Remember, your first “showing” is your online presence. Rent a storage unit if you must, but get that house as minimalistic as you can…right down to the closets.
4. “Staging is for sissies.” This is kin to point #3. A buyer wants to picture themselves living in your home. If you have a couch with holes, furniture that dwarfs a room, or even outdated bedspreads, they may feel more like they’re in a second hand store than in a home that feels just right.
5. “We got an offer? But I don’t have anywhere to go!” Before you place your home on the market you need to answer this question: “What will we do if our home sells in the first day?” If you don’t have a plan in place, you’re likely to miss a good offer on your home out of fear. If you haven’t found another home to purchase, will you rent? Move in a hotel? Live with your parents? Although it’ ideal to have a door to door move, it doesn’t always happen. Have a plan in place if you’re home is that hot one!

Now…get that house ready to move!

Williamson County is one of the fastest growing counties in America.   Why?

1.  A strong business environment.  Nissan, Mars Pets Corporation, Comdata Corporation, MedSolutions Inc, Jackson Life Insurance Co, and Viacom are among the 6,000 businesses that call Williamson County home.  The low cost of doing business, coupled with no state income tax, has produced a 14% job growth between 2008 and 2013.   This has resulted in a mere 4.7% unemployment rate in February 2014.  In 2010, Bloomberg Business week ranked Franklin, TN one of the top 10 cities for start ups.

2.  Quality education.   52% of the residents of Williamson County have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the national average of 36%.  Williamson County public schools are consistently ranked among the best in the nation, with a 93.8% high school graduation rate.  The 2012 American’s Best High Schools and 2013 US News Best High Schools included four Williamson County High Schools.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

3.  The wonderful quality of life.  Williamson County recently earned the distinction as the healthiest county in Tennessee.  With multiple parks and recreation facilities, as well as miles of biking/jogging trails, Williamson county is full of choices to keep you active!  The weather in Middle Tennessee is mild, with gorgeous springs and falls, and relatively short winters, so you actually are able to enjoy all those trails!

4.  A huge variety of entertainment!  From huge arena events, to smaller intimate venues, there is something for every music lover.  Nashville IS Music City, after all.  Williamson County has it’s share of music as well.  Enjoy  the outdoor music venues of Crockett Park or Arrington Vineyards.   Step indoors to the stage of the Franklin Theater, Puckett’s Grocery or many of the other establishments that feature live music.

5.  The people, of course!  Davidson and Williamson counties combined have the largest number of charitable organizations in the nation.  That generosity, kindness, friendliness and desire to serve can be felt in a walk through the streets of downtown Franklin and in the local grocery stores.   Folks will look strangers in the eyes and greet them.  People will open doors for each other.  “Please” and “thank you” are common phrases.  Williamson County offers a kinder, gentler way of life!

Need more?  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth…?  But watch out, this might just make you want to move here!

The Liveability of Williamson County