6 Tips for Pet Owners Selling Their House

When selling your home, Fido shouldn’t be seen … or smelled. Here are the top recommendations Realtors® make to pet-owning clients putting their house on the market (in order of most-suggested):

  1. Remove pets from home during showings (78%)
  2. Replace anything damaged by pet (72%)
  3. Clean home to remove animal scent (70%)
  4. Have home professionally cleaned (61%)
  5. Hide pet gear (47%)
  6. Replace carpet or refinish floors (33%)

SOURCE: National Association of Realtors® report “Animal House: Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process”

Homeownership Assistance

Need help buying a home? You may qualify for one of these programs:

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies: Housing counseling agencies offer guidance on home buying, renting, reverse mortgages, and default and foreclosure prevention. hud.gov/states/florida/homeownership/hsgcounseling

USDA Rural Housing Service: Direct loans and grants for building, purchasing or repairing homes. rd.usda.gov/programs-services

Florida Association for Community Action: Local agencies provide low-income homeowners emergency home repair and weatherization assistance. faca.org

HUD’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): Recipients may offer homebuyer assistance in your area. hud.gov/states/florida/community/cdbg

Florida Housing Finance Corporation: Call (800) 814-HOME (4663) for info on first-time homebuyer programs, lower interest rate loans and purchase assistance. floridahousing.org

HUD’s HOME Investment Partnership Program: Provides funding to local agencies to help you purchase or repair your home. hud.gov/states/florida/community/home

Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps people in your community and around the world build or improve a place they can call home. Donate, volunteer and raise your voice in support of decent and affordable housing.
habitat.org

State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program: Depending on income, recipients could be eligible for home repair or replacement, downpayment assistance, rental housing assistance and other affordable housing assistance. floridahousing.org/buyers-renters/local-housing-programs

7 Winning Tips for Buyers

Concerned that you could be in a bidding war? Use these strategies to increase your odds of getting your offer accepted.

  1. Encourage your agent to reach out to the listing agent to find out what the seller is looking for, such as a quick close, an above asking-price offer or a waived contingency. This will help you and your agent craft a competitive offer.
  2. Make a cash offer. If you’re not in a position to pay cash, get preapproved for a mortgage and have your preapproval letter in hand.
  3. Pay attention to the listing agent’s request. Many times, they will have you submit your highest and best offer. Ask your agent for some strategies on handling this type of offer.
  4. Consider waiving contingencies. If you are financing, check with your lender.
  5. Figure out where you can be flexible. You’ll need to move quickly, so know your must-haves versus your nice-to-haves before you start your search.
  6. Don’t get emotional. Trust your agent to walk you through each step in the buying process.
  7. Be available. Respond to inquiries quickly and ask your Real Estate Agent to check in regularly with the listing agent to monitor the seller’s progress.

Source: NAR, Florida RealtorⓇ magazine, housingwire.com, Rocket Mortgage

5 Steps for Buying Your First Home

Purchasing a home isn’t the easiest thing in the world. If you want the best chance of getting a home at a great price, you need to prepare in advance. Check out these 5 tips to ensure you’re ready for your new home purchase.

  1. Get your finances in order. Your credit score should be 700-plus, your source of income should be stable, your debt-to-income ratio should be less than 45%, and you should have a big chunk of money in the bank to cover the down payment and closing costs and have some money left over.
  2. Don’t rush it. If you are under the pressure of a big life event, recognize that you’re probably creating an artificial timeline for yourself. If you are on a deadline to move out of a rental, set up a month-to-month lease instead of racing against the clock.
  3. Know what you want from the house itself and know what a good, reasonable deal is. Pick out specific neighborhoods and home types and analyze them in advance. Make sure you look at houses that have recently sold, not those that are currently on the market.
  4. When you start looking at homes, consider location-related features like your commute time, the parking situation, the school district and property taxes. Know where you stand on HOA communities and factor any HOA fees into your monthly budget.
  5. Once all these things are in order (and you’ve picked out your real estate agent and have been pre-approved for a loan), you are as ready as you’ll ever be. Keep your eyes open for a good deal, and don’t hesitate when that deal pops up.
5 Steps For Buying Your First Home - Realty Advisors Miami LLC

10 Most Common Flaws Found During Home Inspections

Here are the top 10 defects found during home inspections:

  • 54.9% Doors need adjusting/servicing
  • 54.8% Faucets and shower heads need servicing
  • 54.5% Exterior caulking/sealant missing
  • 53.7% Outlet or light switch problems
  • 48.0% No circuit breaker (GFCI) protection
  • 45.1% Missing or defective smoke alarms
  • 45.0% Cosmetic sheetrock cracks or nail pops
  • 40.5% Fixtures and/or bulb problems
  • 33.9% Interior caulking, grout and sealer are missing
  • 33.9% Electrical service panel problems
10 Most Common Flaws Found During Home Inspections - Realty Advisors Miami LLC

7 Tips for a Smooth Move

Memorial Day to Labor Day is peak moving season with more than 65% of relocations happening during the summer months. Take the stress out of your move with these tips from the Professional Movers Association of Florida.

  1. Plan your move in advance so you have time to evaluate your options, and make a decision based on overall value (quality low stress move, insurance/valuation to protect your move).
  2. Confirm that each mover considered carries commercial general liability insurance, automobile liability, cargo liability and workers’ compensation. This can be verified by a certificate of insurance.
  3. Check if the moving company is licensed by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by visiting floridaconsumerhelp.com.
  4. Get a written estimate from several movers and compare them. The estimate should be based on an actual in-person or virtual inspection of your household goods. Estimates and Contract for Services must include:
    • Name, telephone number, physical address and state registration number of the mover
    • Date the contract or estimate was prepared and proposed date of the actual move
    • Appropriate pickup and delivery address, name and telephone numbers of the shipper
    • Name, telephone number and physical address where the goods will be held, if necessary
    • Itemized breakdown, description and total of all costs and services provided
    • Acceptable forms of payment available
  5. Determine if the company is a moving broker or moving company. A broker arranges for the transport of your household goods for a fee and sells your move to a moving company – which significantly reduces a consumer’s available funds for the actual cost of the relocation services. Often, the consumer is not aware their move is being sold to another company.
  6. Check your homeowners or rental insurance policies for moving coverage.
  7. Accidents happen, even with the best movers. Discuss valuation with your mover; know the difference between released value at 60 cents per pound and full value protection.

For additional moving tips, visit Professional Movers Association of Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Better Business Bureau online. Consumers who fall victim to moving fraud, contact Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).