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Jennifer Ireland Earns NAR Pricing Strategy Advisor Certification

6/7/2020

 

 

Chesapeake, VA,  June 6, 2020 — Jennifer Ireland with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty has earned the nationally recognized Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification. The National Association of REALTORS® offers the PSA certification to REALTORS® as determining property values depends more than ever on professional expertise and competence, the best use of technology, and a commitment to approach the pricing assignment from various perspectives.  

“Consumers deserve accurate property value assessments, so NAR is proud to provide REALTORSÆ with a credential that provides enhanced tools, education, and expertise to determine the most accurate value for a home,” said Marc Gould, Executive Director of the Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education.

“Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA” is the required one-day course for the PSA certification that provides REALTORS® with knowledge and skills to select appropriate comparables and make accurate adjustments, guide sellers and buyers through the details of comparative market analyses and the underlying pricing principles that inform them, and interact effectively with appraisers. In addition to completing the course, participants are required to view two required webinars. Once awarded the certification, REALTORS® will be equipped to guide clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values. For more information about the PSA certification, visit www.pricingstrategyadvisor.org.

5 Questions Buyers Have During the Coronavirus Outbreak: ANSWERED

5/18/2020



Everyone is being affected in some manner by the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. During this time, you may have more questions than normal about the home buying process and your ability to buy a new home. While we can’t predict what the next few weeks and months will bring, the more you can educate yourselves, the better you can navigate the buying process smoothly during the pandemic. Here are a few common buyer questions as they relate to the Coronavirus outbreak and real estate - answered.

1.  Can we still go see home listings in person?  This is the hardest question to answer and it will depend on the home, the seller, the agent, and any fast-changing governmental policies put in place.  Agents should be able to offer a Face Time or a home tour virtually.  Talk to your agent to find out what they have available for buyers to pre-screen the home virtually before setting up the visit; they might have virtual tours already available which can help rule out those that don’t suit your needs.

2.  How can I stay safe while visiting homes?  Everyone’s health has to be the priority; this includes buyers, sellers, and agents.  If you are going to see a home in person during this time, carry hand sanitizer and wipes to use before, during, and after the tour.  Drive separately from your agent and meet at the homes.  During the tour, designate one person, such as your agent, to open doors, drawers, and closets and use disposable gloves during the showing.

3.  What happens if I lose my job during the escrow period?  Most real estate contracts include a contingency that protects the buyer in the event they can’t get final loan approval and close the loan.  Typically during the process, this contingency is removed after a set time frame, or after receiving the loan approval.  Since every aspect of real estate is negotiable, speak to your agent to consider asking for the contingency deadline to be extended and in place until the close; your agent will talk through this aspect with the seller's agent in advance to set the right expectation.

4.  Will I still have access to the home during the escrow period?  It’s very common for the buyer to have easy access to the home during the escrow period - home inspections, appraisals, and measuring - are all common reasons to visit the home during escrow. Consider grouping these activities whenever possible.

5.  Will I get a better deal if I wait to buy a new home?  We all know there’s no crystal ball, but with everything that’s going on, sellers on the market should be very motivated to sell.  There are also historically low-interest rates on home loans.  There is no way to predict the future, so if the right home comes along, it makes sense to consider it.

The Covid-19 outbreak is causing some uncertainty among home buyers, sellers, and even agents.  However, with the use of technology and following best practices, you can still find the home you’ve been waiting for during this time.  Contact me today to learn more about the current outlook and opportunities in your local market.

 

5 Questions Sellers Have About the Market During the Coronavirus Outbreak: ANSWERED

4/10/2020




There are so many questions and concerns amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The real estate market is especially hard hit and sellers are concerned. Real estate at its core is a people business. It relies on person-to-person interaction and the coronavirus necessarily limits this contact. As the spring selling season gets started, home sellers will have questions and it’s important to acknowledge concerns and offer practical advice and concrete information to help sellers make the best decision for themselves and their families.

1. Should I still try and sell my home?  Of course, there are many aspects to this question. First and foremost, the health concerns of the sellers’ family have to be taken into consideration. Unless absolutely necessary, the elderly and those with underlying health issues should not allow unnecessary people into their homes; including buyers and agents.

If the household is essentially healthy and not considered high-risk, then this could be a great time to sell. Consider the advantages of lower inventory coupled with low-interest rates; as listings become rarer, the remaining inventory will get more attention which could create better offers.

2. Is it safe to have people through my home?  This is certainly a concern, but there are practical steps you can take to ensure safer home showings.

3. What can I do to protect my family during showings?  Protect the home, family, and visitors alike by taking the following precautions.

     a.  Keep hand sanitizer at the front door to offer buyers and their agents when they enter the home.  
     b.  If there is a guest bathroom, keep disposable hand towels and soap for guests to use.  Have your agent make this request 
          known to the showing agent. 
     c.  Offer disposable gloves for use with a receptacle for used gloves.  
     d.  Limit showing days and hours so you can properly clean between showings. 
     e.  Have cleaning wipes handy.  Request agents to wipe surfaces, door handles, banister, and all other areas which are touched
          during the showing. 
     f.  Ask your agent to offer virtual showings or host virtual open houses.  

4. What happens if my buyer loses their job?  Most real estate contracts include a contingency for the buyer loan approval and funding. Now more than ever, it’s critical to keep that contingency in place. In the unfortunate event the buyer loses their job or can no longer qualify for the loan during the contingency deadline, the parties can typically cancel the contract.

5. Will I get a higher price if I wait to list my home?  The truth is no one knows. We don’t know how long or short the crisis will be and we don’t know how the financial market will weather the outbreak. While this is a question the seller will ultimately need to decide, the old adage about a “bird in the hand” is important to remember.

This spring selling season has definitely proven to have unique circumstances.  Contact me today to learn more about the current outlook and opportunities in your local market.

Why You Should Never Skip A Home Inspection

2/22/2020


Buying a home can be expensive.  For some, it may be the most expensive thing you purchase in your lifetime.  It might feel like once you’ve entered into a contract, you have new things to pay for at every turn.  While the fees are normal and customary, if you don’t buy a home often, you might wonder if they are all necessary, or necessary at all.

One expense that is often discussed is inspections - what inspections do you need, and how should you choose the right person to perform them.  During the home inspection contingency period, you have a right to perform as many inspections as necessary to determine the condition of the property you are buying.  Typically you will want to make sure there is a home inspection and a termite and moisture control inspection.  Other options could include a mold inspection, geological survey, septic tank certification, well and water inspection, roof inspection, lead-based paint inspection, and pool/spa inspection. The type of inspection is determined by the condition of the home.  Most buyers start with the basic home inspection.

Home inspections are very important.  There is no substitute for a proper inspection by a licensed home inspector.  You might be handy or have a handy friend, but the home inspector is experienced in identifying problems and potential problems so you can make an informed decision about moving forward with the sale.

As your Trusted Real Estate Advisor, I will guide you through the home buying process.  I will help to identify which inspections are needed on your dream home, and partner with inspectors and contractors you can trust.  

Press Release: Jennifer Ireland Makes Commitment to Excellence

9/4/2019
banner

Chesapeake, VA, August 29, 2019 – Jennifer Ireland, SRES®, SFR®, MRP®, RESA® CSA™, a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty has earned the Commitment to Excellence endorsement from the National Association of Realtors®. The endorsement goes to Realtors® who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice:

 

  1. Client service
  2. Professional reputation
  3. Real estate law
  4. Realtor® Code of Ethics
  5. Equal service to all (Article 10 of the Code)
  6. Advocacy of real property ownership
  7. Trust and integrity
  8. Use of technology
  9. Data privacy
  10. Areas of practice

The C2EX endorsement is available only to Realtors®. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables users to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business.

Is A Bigger House Better?

6/10/2019

Large home

If you are looking for your next home, it’s natural to assume that you should buy the biggest home you can afford.  Certainly if you need a big home, then this is the right decision, but if not there are other ways to maximize your investment that doesn’t include more square feet.


Bigger isn’t always better.  If you don’t need four bedrooms, then why spend your money on that?  There are many other ways to spend your money.


ViewHomes with a view will always command higher sales prices than those without.  If you enjoy a distant vista, use your money for a view and enjoy better returns when you sell.

SpaceSpace is not only counted in square footage, lot size also adds value and enjoyment to a home.

AmenitiesAsk anyone who has looked at upscale retirement communities about amenities and how they contribute to qualify of life. Golf courses and lake front homes increase value as well.

LocationThe old adage of location, location, location is true.  From the craftsman cottage in the historic downtown to a trendy urban loft, choosing a home in the right location is critical to building value.

Choosing the right home is not simply about resale value, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about it.  First and foremost, choose a home that fits your needs and lifestyle.  But if that’s not a huge house on the hill, there are other options that are just as good.  The bigger house is not necessarily the best choice.

How Do You Know When It's Time To Move?

4/29/2019

couple moving

Most people dread the thought of moving.  Yet those same people love it when they move.  Why?  Most likely it’s the emotional attachment and the nostalgia for a beloved home.  It’s understandable, but yet a home that just doesn’t fit your needs any longer can make even the most loved home uncomfortable.

Are you wondering if it’s time to move?  Here are six telltale signs that you should consider when thinking of putting the “for sale” sign up in your front yard.

Your Home is Too Small
One of the most common signs is that you’ve outgrown your home.  Has your family size grown?  A newborn, an adult child returning to the home, or even a parent moving in can make your home feel too small for your growing family.  

Your Home is Too Large
Life changes!  Empty-nesters often find the home too large when the kids have all moved out.   Is the maintenance becoming too much?  Or do you want to have more time to travel and relax?  These can all be factors for feeling that your home is too large.  

Your Home is Too Expensive
Are you spending all your extra cash making repairs, or do you want major upgrades to suit your lifestyle?  Have your finances changed due to retirement, loss of job, or loss of a loved one?  If so, it may be time to move to a less expensive home that will fit your needs.  

The Neighborhood is Losing Value
Neighborhoods do change overtime.  If the homes in your nieghborhood are declining in value, you may want to consider a move.

Change in the Weather
Are you finally tired of shoveling snow?  Is the heat and humid too much for you to handle?  A change in climate could be the right move.

Change is Good
The last great reason to move is to try something new.  Different style or location, or if the home isn’t making you happy any longer, it may be time to move.  Do you want to be closer to family and friends?  Change can be exciting, leading to new adventures and new opportunities!  

If you don't know if it's the right time to move, contact me! We can discuss your options and decide if moving is the right decision for you and your family.  

 

 

Add A Spring Touch To Your Home

3/18/2019



yellow decor


Even if the weather isn’t cooperating quite yet - spring is here!  Cheering up your home with some spring decor is the perfect way to prepare for warmer days and more sunshine.  Here are some options to prepare your home for the next season!


ADD AN HERB GARDEN

While they may not last outdoors with the sporadic weather of spring, bringing potted herbs into your home and letting them soak up sunlight in a kitchen window is the perfect way to add life to your home and have access to fresh herbs while you’re cooking. 

THINK SPRING 

If you are all about DIY-ing, creating simple decorations can add a pop of seasonal color to your home. Take that pair of rain boots you don’t wear anymore and turn them into planters - add bright floral arrangements and use your new decor item as an inviting piece by your front door.

POPS OF COLOR

Neutral and sleek is all the rage right now, but adding a pop of color in your normal decor can add a cheerful touch to your home. Swap out your kitchen napkins or tablecloth with something a little bit more colorful, like soft blues or pinks. Small changes can do enough to make your home feel different without being overwhelming.

FLORALS ARE ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Whether or not you already include florals in your home decor, take the time to swap out or add something new that feels like spring. While fresh flowers are a great choice, consider picking up some faux florals for the majority of your decor and saving the fresh flowers for a centerpiece. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color, specifically yellows and pinks, to create a focal point for the room. 

TOUCH UP TIME

Is there a room in your home that is just feeling drab? Maybe it is dark and uninviting, or maybe it has white walls that have started to fade. While you are spring cleaning, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to a place in your home that needs a boost of light. Spring is all about being fresh and new, so your home should feel that way too!

Winter DIY Projects for Homeowners

2/16/2019

Winter months bring cold days and long nights.  While you wait for the weather to warm up so you can get out into the garden, there are still plenty of great DIY projects to tackle, even in the winter.  Here are some terrific ideas for the Do it Yourselfer in you.

  • Paint Your Walls – Paint an accent wall or an entire room with a fresh color.

  • Declutter – Sure this sounds like a fancy name for house cleaning, but decluttering is more than that.  Remove excess furnishings to make your rooms seem larger and more inviting.

  • Update Your Kitchen – A new backsplash or cabinet pulls can quickly change the look and feel of your kitchen.

  • Add Insulation – This will provide instant satisfaction as those cold, drafty rooms feel warm and cozy.  If you have some real skill, you can include changing out old windows or doors as well.

  • Smarten Up – This is a great time to automate your home with Smart devices.  Add security cameras, a smart thermostat or smart lights and plugs.

  • Build Something – For the handy,  winter months are a great time to add cabinets, a TV hutch or bookshelves to your home.

  • Re-Grout Your Tile – From kitchen counters to floors, re-grouting can freshen up the room.

New Year's Resolutions for Home Sellers

1/8/2019



Happy New Year!


With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

  1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – It is time to do your spring cleaning now.  Declutter, depersonalize and make your home look roomier.

  2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to do it.   Rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.

  3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think it through carefully.   Plan it out so you don’t overspend by guessing.

  4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman, or breakout your tool belt,  to take care of any deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.

  5.  Interview Realtors® – Hiring a Realtor® is critical to your success.  Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.

  6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.

  7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful.  Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, last-minute showings, drop-by agents, and odd terms.  Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market.  You don't want to be stressed when it's time to negotiate.  

If selling your home is on your To-Do list this year, contact me so we can discuss your options.  We will work together to get your home sold quickly! 
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