Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Winter Selling Wonderland in Upper Bucks County-Perkasie

Kathy Gentner shares tips to sell your home in Bucks County this winter.
While this may seem early, the winter season is not far away.  With the cooler weather usually comes cooler home sales as well.  However, for the savvy seller, fall and winter could prove to be a very successful home selling season in Perkasie, PA . In the winter, there is less competition on the market and winter buyers may be more motivated to buy as their need to move is more pressing.

1. I will Take photos of the house on sunny days before the clouds take over and the leaves fall from the trees. I know my Sellers want to be sure to show the full potential and beauty of the home. I will Reach out to my clients now and suggest they get photos taken of their home in preparation for cold weather selling.
2. I will Create a virtual video tour of the home. In areas where the weather can get be especially stormy, I will be offering potential buyers the opportunity to first see the home from the comfort of their own computer is helpful.
3. When hosting an open house, I will be sure to encourage my Sellers to keep walkways and driveways clear. You don’t want any potential buyers to slip and fall on their way inside the home.
4. Keep the house warm. A warmer inside temperature will keep potential buyers inside longer. If someone will be in the home for a while, consider lighting a small fire in the fireplace to further warm the home and create an inviting space away from the cold.
5. Keep window curtains and blinds open to let in as much light as possible.
6. Create an atmosphere. In cooler months, you have the option to invite buyers to stay a little longer and enjoy a warm beverage and winter foods. Take this as an opportunity to really make them feel at home, and hopefully soon, they will be.
Another advantage of selling homes in the winter is the warmth and cheer of the holiday season. The holidays are a time for family, friends and gatherings. Create an environment that conveys the joy that has been shared in the home so buyers will be eager to move in and make their own memories. Avoid listing homes the week of Thanksgiving or the week of Christmas as buyers take that time off to enjoy the holidays. So, as the weather cools down, remember to use these tips and heat up your listing presentations.

Feel free to give Kathy Gentner a call today. She is an Upper Bucks County Realtor of choice!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Homes for Sale Perkasie PA

Let's face it: When your house goes on the market, you're not only opening the door to prospective buyers, but also sometimes to unknown vendors and na?ve or unqualified buyers. As with any business transaction, there is an expected protocol to how sellers, buyers and their respective agents interact. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation, alert your agent so he or she can address and remedy the problem. 

The aggressive agent
When your agent puts your house on the market, typically all promotional materials state clearly that your agent is the primary contact for buyers and buyers' agents. However, sometimes a buyer's agent will contact a seller directly to try to either win over their business or cut the seller's agent out of the deal. This is not reputable behavior and you should report it to your agent immediately if it happens to you. 

The unscrupulous vendor
Have you ever started a business or moved into a new house and suddenly found your mailbox full of junk mail? Unfortunately, this also can happen when you put your house on the market. When you sell your home, it necessitates all kinds of new purchasing decisions and less-than-ethical vendors are keenly aware of this. Though MLS organizations enforce rules on how posted information is used, some companies have found ways to cull information from various sources to produce mass mailing lists. If you find yourself regularly emptying your mailbox of junk, let your agent know. He or she can tap the appropriate sources to prompt an investigation into the matter. 

The naive buyer
Yard signs, Internet listings and other advertisements can generate a lot of buzz for your home. Some prospective buyers - particularly first-timers - will be so buzzed to see your home that they'll simply drop by. If this happens, no matter how nice these unexpected visitors are, it's best not to humor their enthusiasm by discussing your home or giving an impromptu tour. Instead, politely let them know that your real estate agent is in charge of scheduling tours and provide them with the agent's contact information. If you attempt to handle these surprise visits on your own, you might inadvertently disclose information that could hurt you during negotiations down the road.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Riegelsville Rental Occupied!

Shout out to Keller Williams for connecting another tenant with a fine home in Riegelsville along the Canal!
Charming Victorian home was available in the heart of Riegelsville.  This lovely 1910 home  is within walking distance to the Delaware Canal Trail and River! Original hardwood floors throughout home, Great room boasting a coal-burning stove with raised brick surround and two ceiling fans. Eat In Kitchen includes maple cabinets and corian counter tops along with recessed lighting, crown molding and tile floor. Other features - large Windows, walk -up attic, spacious fenced-in back yard and an additional staircase to the sitting room of the Master Suite.

Kathy Gentner and Keller Williams continue to connect tenants, buyers and sellers and community.  
Visit today to list, buy, invest or rent your next home in Riegelsville PA !

Riegelsville Homes For Sale

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Eight Steps to Buying your Home in Perkasie PA

Eight steps to buying your home

1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run
The lack of a substantial down payment doesn't prevent you from making your first home purchase
A less-than-perfect credit score won't necessarily stop you from buying a home
The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
Buying a home doesn't have to be complicated - there are many professionals who will help you along the way

2. Hire your agent.
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer's agents, seller's agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

Seven main roles of your real estate agent

A Buyer's Real Estate Agent:
Educates you about your market.
Analyzes your wants and needs.
Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
Negotiates on your behalf.
Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
Solves any problems that may arise.

3. Secure financing.
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.

From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.

Six steps to Financing a Home
Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).  Justin Stottlar of Monument Bank Doylestown PA.
Make a loan application and get preapproved.
Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
Get an appraisal and title commitment.
Obtain funding at closing.

4. Find your home.
You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it's true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you're looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That's why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.

Questions to ask yourself
What do I want my home to be close to?
How much space do I need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighborhood stability and priority?
Would I be interested in a condo?
Would I be interested in new home construction?
What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

5. Make an offer.
When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you're writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada).

Price-the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent's market research will guide this decision.

Terms-the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.

Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
Schedule-a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
Commission-the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
Closing costs-it's standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
Home warranty-this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Perform due diligence.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can't return it if something breaks or doesn't quite work like it's supposed to. That's why home owner's insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner's insurance policy protects you in two ways:
Against loss or damage to the property itself
liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign your closing papers.
Your major concern is structural damage.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.

7. Close.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender's confirmation of the home's value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

You just have a few preclosing responsibilities:
Stay in control of your finances.
Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
Obtain certified funds for closing.
Conduct a final walk-through.

On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you'll sign documents that do the following:
Finalize your mortgage.
Pay the seller.
Pay your closing costs.
Transfer the title from the seller to you.
Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.

8. Protect your investment.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you've probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you've gotten to know each other fairly well. There's no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

Even after you close on your house, you agent can still help you:
Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
Help your friends find homes.
Keep track of your home's current market value.
Attention to you home's maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.

Home maintenance falls into two categories:
Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home's systems, depending on their age and style.
Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ew, that smell, What's that smell at my front door?

We all have smelled that smell approaching our friends house or a listing-cat urine in the bushes.  Finally, the answer to the problem is found!  We have a listing with an odor problem at the front porch. The seller assumed it was the neighbor’s cats coming around and spraying her front porch, and she’s been putting up with it for years. We’ve taken steps to mitigate the smell or so I thought.  After, cat deodorizer, Lysol spray and other remedies, the smell was back. What to do now for this open house?
With no time to do anything about it, I made the best of it and hoped the smell would not overshadow the fact that the home is professionally cleaned, staged well, and ready for move-in. Sure enough though, one of the agents walked in and said “pew! It smells like cat pee out there!” Another responded with, “that’s not cat odor, it’s the boxwoods”. Huh? She took me out and showed me the nice hedge that runs the length of the sidewalk leading to the entry and told me they are Boxwood shrubs and that they are known to emit an odor that is often mistaken for the urine of a male cat.
I stuck my nose down and took a good sniff and she was right, that shrub stinks! “How do you know the cats haven’t sprayed the shrub and that’s why it stinks?” I asked. She said she knows a lot about plants, and that the smell is the boxwood plant itself, not cats. A bit of internet research confirms this. It isn’t helped by the fact that the front porch is covered and enclosed on three sides – a nice place to sit on a bench but it doesn’t allow a breeze to blow through.
So, now we have to figure out if the smell can be controlled somehow, otherwise it’s creating a bad first impression and we may have to rip out those shrubs. We live and learn. In Upper Bucks County, never put boxwood hedges near your front door. Leave them out further in the yard or you might have the same problem some day when you try to sell your home!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What did that home sell for?

Quickly Find Out What that Home Down the Street Sold For, By Email, for Free.

If you are considering selling your Perkasie, Chalfont and Doylestown, Pennsylvania home, you are probably wondering what other homes in the area are selling for.

There might be one home in particular that you’d like to know the sale price on, or you might be interested in all the homes that have sold recently in your Perkasie, Chalfont and Doylestown neighborhood. I can help!

I can tell you exactly what any home sold for in your area. I will furnish you with a list of homes that have recently sold on your street or in your neighborhood. I can also tell you about homes similar to yours that are currently for sale.

This service is entirely free, without obligation. As a top Perkasie, Chalfont and Doylestown Realtor, this is part of the service that I provide to home sellers on a daily basis. Just fill out the form, and I will get back to you right away…

Kathleen Gentner
Keller Williams Real Estate
2003 S Easton Rd #108
Doylestown PA  18901

Buying an Home in Upper Bucks County

Buying Real Estate in Bucks County

Buying a home in Upper Bucks County is an exciting and complex adventure. It can also be a very time-consuming and costly one if you're not familiar with all aspects of the process, and don't have all the best information and resources at hand.

One of my specialties is representing the best interests of Upper Bucks County buyers throughout the home buying process. My comprehensive, high-quality services can save you time and money, as well as make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful.

If you're like most people, buying a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. So whether you're buying a starter home, your dream home or an investment property, why not take advantage of my experience as a local market expert for Upper Bucks County, to make the most informed decisions you can, every step of the way?

Looking to buy a home in Doylestown, Ottsville, Perkasie, Kintnersville, Riegelsville or anywhere, give Kathleen Gentner,REALTOR a call on her cell phone 267-884-2388