Good Wife & Paperless Real Estate Agent

Now that I'm a married woman, all large purchases (business related or not) require discussion with my responsible (frugile) husband who never buys anything.  I wanted an Ipad!  After having an Iphone for the prior year, it was the next logical step, right? Not according to my husband.  "You don't need it".

I would tell him "so and so has one", "I would use it for business" , "replace the laptop".  I admit I was also thinking, I could watch my HBO shows, movies, read books & magazines, look cool at Starbucks....as well as using it for work!!  Finally, we discussed it again and he gave in & we went to Target 15min later (before he changed his mind, of course!)
Open House Setup w/ Ipad used to register guests.

It's taken me awhile to research and, sometimes by trial & error, determine the best apps that aid my business.  I'm on the way to becoming a 100% paperless real estate agent.  I can do pretty much all aspects of my business w/ my Ipad.  I know my husband has taken notice b/c when I opted to pay an extra $40/mo to AT&T to be fully connected to the internet wherever I am, there was little to no resisitance.  The times are changin' & this Realtor is keeping up with technology to better serve my clients!

My husband now wants his own Ipad...his birthday is coming up, we will "discuss" it!!!



I have recently discovered something very cool that Lowe's Home Improvement is offering.  It's called "My Lowes" .  It is a new, innovative way to track & dream about all things "home" .  You can pick up a FREE MyLowes card at any store (I think you can register online as well).  After, your card is registered, you setup your profile by creating a personal space, add room dimensions and keep notes for future home improvement products.  When you buy something for your home, get your card scanned, it gets recorded to your profile.  It's great to keep record of when things were done, what materials you used, what filter you need for your fridge, etc.  I need to play around with it more but, I would love if all of the info could be easily printed -- would be great if you were selling your home, to print out for a new buyer so they could easily touch up paint, know what filters to buy or even check on warranty info.  Just a little fun info I thought worth sharing.....
Check it out at http://www.mylowes.com/

Low Inventory, Pristine Condition = SOLD! 98% of List Price in 12 days in Walker Farms

I recently listed a gorgeous 3bed/2ba 1.5 level home (.5 level was HUGE bonus room upstairs) It had a very nice floor plan that I knew today's buyer would fall in love with: open concept, perfect to entertain & live-in.  When pricing, I was a little concerned that the house across the street w/ an identical floor plan plus a basement sold for much less.  However, when comparing cost per sq foot, ours was very competitive at the list priced I suggested.  I knew this place would photograph really well b/c it was decorated like a model home...looked fabulous.  Pictures & virtual tours looked AMAZING...all the advertising was on point.  We went ACTIVE and I was expecting a ton of showings the first few days.....NOTHING.  After about 7 days and after a few showings, we had multiple offers.  One was negotiated & closed in about 30day.  I knew this home would sell and, I was so happy to get it sold at a very good price & terms for my sellers.  The first-time buyers got a great house that has been very well-maintained. 

In the current market, homes that are priced well, in great condition in desirable areas are selling VERY quickly at near list price & many times with multiple offers.

If you or someone you know is thinking of selling, contact me for a consultation:  Email:  sshoup@talktotucker.com or phone/text: 317.339.6141.


First Time Homebuyers....

In my 8 years of being in the Real Estate Industry, I have been in a lot of houses, to a lot of closings, and witnessed a lot of keys/garage door openers being passed to new owners. There is nothing like First Time Homebuyers purchasing their first house. I have had 2 recent experiences w/ First Time Buyers that have resonated with me. The first was a young guy & his girlfriend (who are dear friends of my husband & I). We found a fabulous home, negotiated a great price, some furniture, & had a smooth ride all the way to closing. Shortly after closing, he proposed (she said yes!!) and they will be married in the fall. I'm so happy for them; so happy to have had a hand in their first home together & all the happy memories they will have there....and when they had some issues w/ their furnace, the Home Warranty covered!!!

My second first time buyers were so fun to work with...they had been planning, saving & preparing to buy their first house for a few years. When I first met with them & went over my Homebuyer's Handbook, they seemed very familiar with the process, asked a lot of good questions.  We looked at several homes and narrowed it down to 2.  We made an offer on one of the 2 and negotiated a good price.  Home Inspection & Mortgage process all went smooth & we were off to closing.  At the closing, the seller was a bit emotional b/c she had built the home 12 years ago, raised her children in the house, and even though they were moving UP to a bigger, brand new custom built home--she was sad about selling this one.  My buyer's were a bit emotional b/c all of their hard work had paid off and they were now living the American Dream as Homeowners.  I was soo happy to be a part of this experience!!!

Working with First-Time buyers is one of my favorite parts of my job!!!  If you or someone you know is ready to take the plunge and become a homeowner....call me I can help!



Mistakes Homebuyers Make with Low Ball offers....

For some home sellers, 2011 was a long year without a home sell....that means some buyers are smelling desperation & may feel that they can get in and get the deal of a lifetime.

Before you decide to put in a LOW BALL offer, don't risk your chance of getting an acceptance by avoiding these errors:

1. Not understanding the Market

Your Real Estate agent should do a comparative market analysis (CMA)to determine the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the home. I always give my buyer clients a clear definition of FMV which is "the most likely sales price of this home, in the current market". Once you determine the FMV, you compare that to the list price of the home. There is no secret formula to what to offer....i.e. The 90% Rule. I have heard many times from buyers "your first offer should be 90% of the list price" or some other percentage. You don't want to offer 90% of the list price if the list price is 20% higher than Fair Market Value...I also wouldn't hesitate to advise a client to make an aggressive offer if the price is at or just above FMV.

2. Not picking a good agent or picking one that is a terrible negotiator

Some agents caution buyers on making an offer so low that could offend the sellers & halt negotiations. My opinion is this: I always try to prepare & PRESENT and offer so it well-received by the sellers...no matter how low it is. Most offers I prepare for buyers are accompanied with a cover letter or sometimes an email that may address why we are offering what we are offering & always include positives about the home. I feel I am really good at this part of my job!

3. Not backing up your price

Again, this is all about how an offer is presented & providing back-up for you offer price is critical! If you don't back up your price with comparable sales in the neighborhood...you are making a mistake and could certainly start negotiations off on the wrong foot. Sellers want to know why you are offering so low. There is no better way to back-up your offer than to show cold hard facts or SALES.

4. Not Knowing what your walk away number is

Today's buyer have a strong desire to not pay too much & get the best possible deal due to fear of home values falling even more. Sellers also have limits which is usually determined by loan payoff and/or amt of equity they have in the home. A buyer should have limits but, try not to put limits on your first offer by saying "highest & best" when you are in fact willing to go up a few thousand dollars. Don't say highest & best unless you mean it!

5. Not making a clean and easy offer

When you make a low offer, you want all the other elements to be attractive to the seller: little to no contingencies as possible, have finances in order before you offer (provide a loan commitment letter or proof of funds statement w/ your offer) & don't ask the seller to pay fees & closing costs outside of the norm.

6. Cash is NOT always KING

Don't assume that the seller is going to accept your low offer b/c its cash. Today's seller (even banks) want more money for the home. I have certainly experienced with my cash investor clients, they are getting beat out by homeowners who are getting mortgages and paying a bit more.

Bottom Line is make sure you are well-advised when putting in low-ball offers. Your relationship with your real estate agent is so important, so pick a good one!