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Latest News Blog

It's getting increasingly colder out there as we head into the heart of winter. And if you haven't taken a moment to winterize your home, there's no...
So you’re getting ready to buy a home and you have noticed there are a few things you would really like to have fixed before you move in. The question is,...
It is so tempting to use flowery language to sell your home to potential buyers. But did you know that there are certain words that actually hurt more...
We all have well-meaning friends who want to help when we consider buying or selling a house. But friendship doesn't mean you should take their...
Many of us fantasize about clearing all the junk from our homes, to de-clutter and simplify our lives. Some take that thought further and flirt with...

What Is a Flood Plain?

National Geographic defines a flood plain as: "An area of land that is prone to flooding. People realize it is prone to flooding because it has flooded in the past due to a river or stream overflowing its banks."

A flood plain can be any size and, according to National Geographic, is usually "a flat area with areas of higher elevation on both sides."

If your property is in a flood plain, you likely require additional insurance to protect against potential flood damage.

How do I know if I live in a flood plain?

Homeguides.com recommends you head to Freeflood.net and enter your address in the search box.

"This site will tell you if your property lies within a 100- to 500-year floodplain and whether it is likely to be damaged by a flood."

Freeflood.net is another great site to check any properties you might purchase. You can also contact your insurance agent.

It can be tough to sell a home in a flood plain due to the extra costs a future homeowner will pay for flood insurance.

But a flood plain can be beautiful

The Seattle Times suggested one reason people like to live in or near a flood plain is because "the pleasure of living by a river or stream far outweighs the inconveniences caused by a big flood every 10 years."

As National Geographic notes, flood plains are "usually very fertile agricultural areas (because) floods carry sediment rich in nutrients. They spread that sediment to a wide area."

And the same flat area that makes it prone to floods also means fewer impediments to farming.

Ready to find your next home? Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent with NP Dodge, can help you with every aspect, including flood plains. Call 402.706.2901 for your free consultation.

Seller’s Agent Gets What Percent in Commission?

Seller's Agent Gets What Percent in Commission?

You've worked with a seller's agent for more than a month. He or she helped you price your home, market and stage it. After several open houses, you receive an offer.

When you get to the resulting paperwork, one common question is, "How much must I pay my agent?"

It's an interesting question because agents don't bill hourly or weekly. They are typically paid only after your house is sold.

What's the magic number?

"Some brokerages offer commission discounts for sellers, but a typical commission is 6 percent of the sales price," Realtor.com says.

The seller generally pays the commissions for the buyer's agent and the seller's agent. Those fees are then deducted from the sale's total profit.

Is there any way to negotiate these fees?

Sometimes there's wiggle room. You can always ask your buyer's agent if he or she will reduce their commission.

Angie’s List says agents may lower their fees if:

"The listed home is high end, the house is in an area where homes sell quickly or the client is working with the agent on multiple transactions."

Ultimately, there's no harm in asking, but be ready to pay the standard 6 percent if they say "no."

Paying too low a commission can be a major problem.

"If the commission on your house is lower than 5-7%, fewer agents will show it," US News reports.

Need more help? This online calculator can help you figure out how much you'll pay in commissions to the buyer's and seller's agents.

Set up your free consult with Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent with NP Dodge, at 402.706.2901.

3 Essential Tips on How to Track Your House Search

In 2015, "(b)uyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes," according to Realtor.org's 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

That's a lot of homes to look at and remember.

Maybe one house had large bedrooms but a small yard, while another had an open design but a one-car garage. Then a third house had a deck and fenced yard, but was too far away from stores and shopping.

It can be difficult days or weeks later to recall the details of each possible home you saw.

Impact of the Internet

Realtor.org's report says buyers who didn't search the Internet looked at only five houses over five weeks before they made decisions. That's half the total of those who did go online.

No matter how many homes you tour, if you track all you see, you'll make better decisions as to which house, if any, you want to buy.

How best to keep track

1. Before you start any house search, decide what features you have to have in a home. Call these your "non-negotiables." Just as importantly, decide what things you would like to have.

Make a checklist of "must haves" and "like to have," and take it with you.

Use the checklist as you walk through each home. Also note any features that aren't on the checklist but that excite or disappoint you.

2. Realtor.com suggests you include how long your commute times to work, school and the grocery store would be from each home.

3. Your completed checklist and added notes will help as you consider each option. You could go so far as to put them on a spreadsheet.

4. It’s also a good idea to take pictures at each house. The first shot should be the address of the house. This identifies each home as you review them later.

5. Don’t photograph everything, but if one has a great kitchen or a fabulous yard, you’ll want to remember that later.

If you follow these tips, you ensure your best possible decision when you make an offer.

 

Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing Agent at NP Dodge, is available to answer questions and help you search for a new home. Call for your free consultation at 402.706.2901.

Inspection Pros & Cons for the House Seller

The home inspection is important. As a buyer, it gives you the chance to find problems in your future home before you move in.

"The buyer can get quotes for needed repairs and use them to negotiate the price with the seller," Ezinearticles.com says, "A home inspection eliminates buyer's remorse about the problems later on."

Sellers can benefit from early inspections

But house inspections are a good option for sellers, too. They let you address problems before potential buyers point them out.

If your home is inspected before it's marketed, you can avoid negotiating repair costs. It also means you're one step closer to the price you want.

"By having the inspection done up front, the number of surprises or latent problems are reduced, both to the buyer and the seller," CostelloandSons.com says. "Less surprises mean less opportunity for disagreement and therefore less likelihood that the transaction will fall apart."

Early inspections can prove costly

One drawback to early inspections is your inspector usually finds at least a few items to be fixed. These could be problems you didn't know existed.

"If you are not willing to do repairs as a result of a pre-home inspection," CustomSelectRealty.com advises, "you should not hire your own inspector because you will be required to list all issues in your property disclosures."

You're required to provide accurate and truthful information when you sell your home.

"In a worst case scenario, multiple issues within the home could lead to a home equity loan or securing a line of credit, causing more debt on you as the homeowner," Porch.com says.

Ready to sell your home? Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent with NP Dodge, can help you with every aspect, including the inspection. Set up your free consult today at 402.706.2901.

5 Tips for Your Pre-Close Walkthrough

A home purchase is a major investment of your time and money. It's not something to do on impulse.

The process is complex, and misunderstandings happen. So never skip the chance for one last walkthrough before you close.

Realtor.com suggests you have your home inspection report in hand. That way you can assure your concerns were addressed. Here are five walkthrough tips:

1. Make sure items you were promised, including furniture and appliances that were to stay, are actually there.

2. Are there items you don't want? If so, it's the seller's responsibility to dispose of them.

3. Turn the appliances on and off to ensure they work.

4. Briefly run the heating and air conditioning to assure they operate.

5. Test all the wall outlets.

Uh oh, we found a problem

If there is a problem, ask yourself if it's worth mentioning. If it won't cost much to address, you may not bring it up. That's especially true if you already got a good deal on the house.

If you must address the problem, here are your three primary options:

1. You can simply back out of the deal.

2. You could "postpone the closing until the sellers fix the problem," Bankrate.com suggests.

3. You can ask the seller to "compensate you for uncompleted repairs or for newly discovered damage to the property," homefinder.com advises

Most experts recommend you plan for 30 to 60 minutes for your final walkthrough.

Cassidee Reeve can help you through the process to buy a home from your initial search to your final walkthrough Schedule your appointment today at 402.706.2901.

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