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Olivia Prince's Blog

Olivia Prince

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Ask O: What Can I Do To Help Sell My Home Faster?

by Olivia Prince

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Dear Olivia,

 

I’ll be listing my home for sale in the next couple of months. I’m wondering what I can do now and once my home is listed to help get it sold faster?

 

Sincerely,

Needs a Bigger Home

 

When it comes to getting your home sold quicker, there are actually a lot of things you can do to make that a faster, simpler process.

 

Here are my top three tips for making a quick sale of your home.

Understand Your Competition

It’s necessary for you to be aware of what you’re up against in terms of comparable homes that are for sale.

 

Your Realtor should provide you with details regarding what the market is like, including the number of homes currently on the market in a similar price range.

 

This allows you to have a bit of a reality check. We tend to view our homes as more valuable than they might be, simply because it’s our home and our memories there are very important to us.

 

However, buyers aren’t privy to your memories in that home; all they see is the home itself, so you need to be sure that yours is better than the other homes in your price range.

 

That means cleaning inside and out, decluttering, and staging your home to make the best first impression possible!

Do Your Part to Promote It

Your Realtor should present you with a comprehensive marketing plan to get the word out about your house.

 

But in this day and age in which the vast majority of buyers start their search online, it’s easy to do your part to promote your house even further.

 

For example, your Realtor should post things about your home on social media. All you need to do is like and share those posts so your followers - who might not follow your Realtor - can see that your home is for sale.

 

Think about it - if you have 150 friends on Facebook and you share a post from your Realtor’s Facebook page, that’s 150 more sets of eyes that get to see all the great things about your home!

 

I’d recommend sticking to reposting what your Realtor posts rather than creating your own, though. Your Realtor will have a specific marketing plan, and you don’t want to send potentially conflicting messages by sharing your own posts about your home.

Listen

Sometimes as a seller you have to listen to things you don’t want to hear. That’s not your Realtor being mean, it’s just them doing their best to get your home sold.

 

If you have an open house and a lot of comments are that your home is dated, try not to be offended, and instead use that information to improve your home. If your home is on the market for a long time and your Realtor suggests a price reduction, take that information in stride and work with them to come to an agreeable price reduction.

 

The point is that if you’ve done your due diligence and hired a reputable, trustworthy Realtor, they will work tirelessly to get your home sold for a price that’s acceptable to you. Trust the process, listen to what your Realtor has to say, and your home will get sold faster!

 

~Olivia

To Rent or To Sell? Which Option is Best For You?

by Olivia Prince

Years ago, my husband and I bought our first house in Riverton.
 

That house is now a rental property.
 

We decided at the get-go that we would hold onto that house so we could use it to supplement our incomes later on.
 

That was a great decision for us, but hanging onto a house for rental income isn’t the best move for everyone.
 

That being said, there are pros and cons to each side. Let’s look at a few questions you should consider when trying to decide if you’ll rent your home or sell it.

Can You Afford It?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether or not you can afford two mortgage payments. This is important for three reasons.

 

First, if you can’t find a tenant, you will need to cover your rental property mortgage and the mortgage payment for your new home. If you can’t handle that for several months, it’s not a good idea to keep your first home as a rental.

 

Second, you might find that what you can charge for rent doesn’t cover what you owe each month for the mortgage payment. As time goes by and your balance is paid down (and rental rates presumably go up), that will likely balance itself out. However, if you don’t have $100 or $200 (more or less, depending on the situation) to cover the shortfall, again, keeping your first home as a rental property is not a good idea.

 

Third, and perhaps the biggest factor, is whether or not you’ll need two mortgages - one for your new home and one for the rental home. You might find that if you’ve lived in the first home long enough that you have enough equity in the home that you can pay off the remaining balance. If that’s not the case, talking with your lender about what you can safely manage in terms of two monthly mortgage payments is the way to go.

What are the Market Conditions?

 

A crucial aspect of your decision to rent or sell your home is what the market is currently like.

 

The market in Fremont County has been a little depressed since the downturn in the economy, which would mean that hanging onto a home and renting it out would be beneficial for a number of homeowners. We are still selling quite a few houses, though, with more under contract seemingly every week, which is encouraging in that the market might just be on the rebound.

 

If you got a good deal on your home or you’ve lived there for some time and owe far less than what your Realtor suggests you can sell if for, it might behoove you to pull the trigger and go ahead and sell the property.

 

On the other hand, if you haven’t paid much of your mortgage debt off, keeping the property as a rental and waiting for it to appreciate might be a better solution for you.

 

If you’re not sure where you fall on this spectrum, talking to a Realtor will help you understand the current market conditions in our area, including what homes like yours have sold for in the recent past.

Who Will Take Care of the Rental?

It’s one thing to be able to afford having a rental, but it’s another thing entirely to have the time needed to tend to all the tasks related to being a landlord.

 

From marketing the home to interviewing potential tenants to upkeep and maintenance, there’s a lot to be done as a landlord.

 

Throw in complaints about your tenants from neighbors, chasing down late rent, and the unfortunate task of evicting tenants, and you’ve got a handful of duties that will quickly eat up what free time you have on nights and weekends.

 

For many people, the responsibility of fixing a broken furnace in the middle of the night or having to repair damage after you’ve had to kick a tenant out is enough to scare them away from becoming a landlord.

 

But, if the money is there and it’s a sound investment for you, you can hire a property management service to handle all the nitty-gritty details so you don’t have to. In fact, Wind River Realty offers this service to many rental property owners in the area for a small fee.

 

So, your decision to rent out your home or sell it really just comes down to economics. If you can afford the time and money that is involved with being a landlord, it could prove to be a lucrative investment. If you’ve built up equity in your home and the market values it highly, you might gain more by selling.

 

To make the best decision for you, seek out the advice of professionals like your lender and Realtor. With their guidance, you can make an informed decision that will benefit you, your family, and your future!

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Wintertime isn’t the most popular time of year to sell a home, especially here in Wyoming. The short days and bitter cold tend to make people not want to go house hunting!

But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any buyers.

If your home is on the market, you need to do everything in your power to ensure your open houses go off without a hitch.

Here are a few mistakes you’ll need to avoid if you’re to help your Realtor sell your home during the winter months.

Mistake #1: Not Giving Visitors a Place to Park Their Stuff

When people visit your home in the middle of Wyoming’s winter, they’ll have heavy coats, shoes, gloves, hats, and the like that they won’t want to wear or carry around your house. Shoes will probably be wet from snow, and you definitely don’t want water, ice, and mud to be tracked all over your house.

The solution? Give people a place to leave their things. Put a bench in the entryway so visitors can remove their shoes, and place a “please remove your shoes” sign nearby, so they’re sure to not leave footprints throughout the house. Add a few coat hooks near the front door, or add a coat rack so there’s a convenient place to hang coats and hats as well. Place a large rug in the entryway to catch any snow or ice that might fall from people’s clothing as well.

Mistake #2: Not Keeping the Lights On

 

When people visit your home, they want to see something that’s open and bright, not dark and cavelike.

That means that in the winter, you’ll need to turn on just about every light inside and outside your home - even in the daytime - that way when your Realtor shows the house, potential buyers will be able to see every nook and cranny of the property.

In fact, lighting is one of the most important factors when showing a home. But in the dark depths of a Wyoming winter, having the spaces in your home nice and bright will be extra appreciated!

This includes a room-by-room examination of the lighting level. If a room seems dark, add a lamp or get brighter bulbs for existing features. Don’t let the darkness of winter creep into your home, or else you might find that buyers aren’t so keen on submitting an offer.

Mistake #3: Turning Up the Heat

It might seem counterintuitive to keep your house cool on open house day in the winter, but consider this: visitors will be coming in from the cold, and if you’ve cranked the furnace up to 78 degrees, your home will feel like an oven.

A blast of hot air as they walk in the house - covered with winter clothes, no less - will not leave a good first impression.

Instead, knock the thermostat down a few clicks and ensure that your home is in the 66-68 degree range. That will make it warm enough so that visitors aren’t overwhelmed by heat when they walk in, but the house will still be warm enough that after touring the property visitors won’t be wondering if the furnace works or not.

The next time your Realtor has a private showing or an open house, be sure to follow these tips, and you’ll reap the rewards of an improved open house experience for potential buyers!

 

Want a Lower Mortgage Payment? Here’s How!

by Olivia Prince

CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

 

Let’s face it - owning a home is a great accomplishment and one in which you can take great pride. Home ownership can also be scary for many reasons. But at the top of that list for many people is the notion of having to dole out hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month for a mortgage payment.

 

If you’ve already bought a home and find that you’re barely scraping by, there are a few things you can do to get the lowest mortgage rate possible. It’s really just a matter of time and patience on your part. Here’s what I mean…

Try Refinancing

With interest rates that continue to be at or near historic lows, it makes sense for current homeowners to refinance and get a better interest rate. After all, the lower your interest rate, the lower your payments (and the more money you will save over time too).

 

For example, assume you bought a house five years ago and took out a $200,000 fixed-rate loan at 5% interest. Between principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, the monthly payment would be $1,511.98. However, if you refinanced the loan at 3.5% interest, the payment would drop to $1,336.42. That’s a monthly savings of $175.56 and a savings of $66,289.40 over the life of the loan. That’s not too shabby!

Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required by most lenders to protect their investment in cases in which the borrower’s down payment is less than 20% of the value of the home. For most of us, putting 20% down on the biggest purchase of our lives just isn’t a possibility, so lots of us have the added monthly expense of PMI.

 

For example, using the same $200,000 loan at 3.5% interest we used above, with a zero down payment, your PMI would be $171.67 per month, assuming the PMI rate is 1.03%. That’s a pretty big addition to your monthly expenses! The question is, how do you eliminate the PMI requirement?

 

As noted above, you can put down 20% to avoid PMI altogether, but that’s not in the cards for a lot of homebuyers. Another option is to make additional payments each month so you reach the 20% mark faster, but the same problem applies - many of us just don’t have the funds to do so.

 

A third, and far easier option, is to use the appreciation of your home to reach the 20% threshold. Your home stands to appreciate over time, meaning its value will go up as compared to what you paid for it. Assuming that you’ve owned the property for at least two years, you can get an appraisal to determine the current value of your home and hope that it puts you over the 20% mark so you can do away with PMI. Of course, making improvements to your home can help in that process too.

Combine Both

If you want to really accelerate your ability to get a lower mortgage rate, you can simply combine the two tips above. By refinancing and using the value your home has gained over the years, it’s essentially a double whammy. Your monthly payment will go down as a result of your new refinanced rate, and without PMI added in there, you’ll save even more!

 

So, on our sample $200,000 loan, by refinancing we can save $175.56 each month. If the home has appreciated over the years, say from $200,000 to $245,000, due to market conditions and improvements to the property, the amount you owe would be less than 80% of the home’s value, so your PMI could be removed for an additional savings of $171.67. That means a total monthly savings of $347.23! That means you can have a lot more financial breathing room each month. Who doesn’t want that?!

 

When it comes down to it, there are many avenues you can use to lower the cost of owning your own home. It’s simply a matter of making smart financial decisions like refinancing and having the patience to see your property appreciate over time. If you can do those two things, lower mortgage payments might just be within reach!

Home Buying Tips for the #PerfectStorm

by Olivia Prince


Although summer is usually the busiest time of year for real estate, fall is quickly becoming the “it” time to buy.
 

But why is that?

 

For homebuyers in Fremont County, there are plenty of factors that are working in your favor, something I like to call a #PerfectStorm. For starters, interest rates on mortgages are still super low compared to historical norms, especially if you have good credit. Combined with a good amount of inventory in Riverton, Lander, and other communities in the county, there’s a good selection for buyers to choose from. Even better, because there is so much selection, that means that we’re trending toward a buyer’s market, which gives homebuyers a little more power at the negotiating table. That means you might be able to get a better deal on the home of your choice!

 

Even better, this #PerfectStorm means that in some cases, you might be able to buy a home and pay less each month for your mortgage than you currently do for rent. What’s not to like about that?!

 

But before you start looking for a home, there are a few things you need to do first…

Check Your Credit


 

One of the most important aspects of your finances when it comes to getting a home loan is your credit score. As a result, you need to get a copy of your credit report (which you can get for free from AnnualCreditReport.com) and inspect it thoroughly for mistakes. If you have unpaid accounts or accounts in collections, take care of those things right away. If your credit balances are high relative to your available credit, you’ll need to pay off some of those debts to get a better credit score. A good target for first-time homebuyers is to have a credit utilization of less than 30 percent.

 

Though checking your credit is quick and simple, repairing your credit is not. If your score isn’t that great, you’ll need time to fix it. Don’t be deterred though! Even with a less-than-desirable credit score, you might still qualify for financing depending on the lender and the loan program you select.

Get Organized

In addition to getting your credit in order, you’ll need to organize some critical financial documents that are necessary to apply for home financing. You will need to document both your income and your taxes, which can be done in various ways. Most mortgage lenders will ask for your most recent pay stubs to prove your current income, as well as the previous two years’ W-2 forms. Typically, tax returns from the last couple of years and several months worth of bank statements are requested too.

 

When examining these documents mortgage lenders are looking to see if the income you say you have is accurate. They also want to see if you’ve had any instances of insufficient funds or if there have been odd amounts of money coming in and out. For example, taking out a loan to pay off a credit card, though probably a sound decision, will raise a red flag because of the influx of money coming into your account from the loan (and the large payment out to the credit card company as well).

Do Your Homework

 

After checking your credit and getting your financial documents in order, go one step further and research just how much home you can afford. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio using a mortgage calculator that factors in things like insurance, down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. Depending on the lender, you’ll need to have a debt-to-income ratio of anywhere from 28 percent to 45 percent. Knowing your approximate ratio before contacting lenders is helpful in case you aren’t quite there yet and need a little more time to pay down debt.

 

Additionally, working out sample mortgage payments is helpful for creating a budget for when you’re a homeowner. It’s easy to forget that once you own your home, you’ll be paying for things like water, sewer services, trash collection, electricity, internet, and other utilities. There’s also one-time purchases like appliances or furniture to think about. Though you might think you can afford a $1,500/month mortgage payment, once all the other expenses are added in, you might find that the amount you can comfortably afford is much less.

 

Part of buying a home is simply being prepared to do so. By following these tips, you’ll be better positioned to buy a home because you’ll have your credit in order, your financial documents organized, and a good idea of the type of budget you can handle. If you need more details about buying a home or want to explore some #PerfectStorm properties, don’t hesitate to drop by my office at 309 N Broadway in Riverton or call me at 307-856-3999!

Renting vs. Owning: 3 Things Renters Need to Know

by Olivia Prince

CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

 

Owning a home is an integral part of the American Dream. During the Great Recession a few years ago, many homeowners lost that dream, and many renters who hadn’t yet been able to purchase the home of their dreams found themselves unable to afford it.

 

Not now!

 

The housing market has changed drastically over the last few years. In Fremont County, we’ve even got a #PerfectStorm that’s making homeownership a reality for many people, first-time homebuyers included. Interest rates are at historic lows, making mortgages more affordable than in the past. In Riverton, Lander, and other communities in Fremont County, there is a lot of inventory to choose from as well, meaning you might have better luck finding the home you’ve always wanted. Add to that the fact that renting in our area is quite expensive - for some people even more expensive than owning a home - it’s a great time to buy!

 

But if you’ve never owned a home, there are some things you need to be aware of...

Your Finances Will Change

When you rent, the chances are that you send one check to the landlord without really seeing where that money goes. The landlord pays the mortgage, the taxes, and perhaps even the utilities. That changes when you own the home; you get to see exactly where your money is going and exactly how much each expense really is.

 

It can be a shock to first-time homebuyers just how much “extra” money is involved in owning a home. Beyond the mortgage payment, which in itself includes the principal, interest, and maybe mortgage insurance as well, there’s water, sewer, trash, electricity or gas, cable, and internet expenses, just to name a few. The list of monthly bills can grow very quickly when you transition from renting to buying, but establishing a monthly budget to account for all those expenses will help you keep on track.

Your Mindset Will Change

When you’re a renter and something goes wrong - a pipe bursts or the dryer goes out - your landlord is responsible for addressing those issues. When you own your own home, however, those sorts of things are all on you. And that’s just the start of it! Unless you have a homeowner’s association that takes care of things like mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow, you’ll be responsible for those things as well.

 

This isn’t to say that you have to personally take care of every single thing that breaks or needs attention on your property. Part of being a homeowner is being knowledgeable about how to fix some issues, but also knowing who to call when larger issues arise. We’re fortunate in that we have a community full of resources for homeowners available to us in Fremont County, from plumbers to contractors to lawn care providers, that can help us keep our homes in top-notch condition.

Your Neighbors Become Much More Important

When you’re renting, it’s nice to have neighbors that are friendly, helpful, and most of all, quiet! A benefit of renting is that if you’ve got neighbors that are unruly or are otherwise bothering you, you’ve got your landlord to talk to about the issue.

 

When you own your home, you’re obviously in it for the long haul, so it’s imperative that you consider who your neighbors will be. This is important for two primary reasons. First, having a good relationship with your neighbors means that you start to build connections within your neighborhood, which will make owning your home a much more pleasant and rewarding experience.

 

Second, your neighbors can greatly impact the value of your home. For example, if your neighbor doesn’t tend to their lawn and their home looks shabby, the value of your home might decrease as a result. It goes back to the old real estate adage of “location, location, location.” No one wants to live next to a dump, so when looking for a home to purchase, don’t just look at the home, look at the other homes on the street too.

Final Thoughts

It’s a big step going from renting to owning, but one that has many benefits. There’s just something about having your own space that makes life a little bit sweeter. And, building equity in something you own rather than giving your hard-earned money to a landlord is pretty great too!

 

If you’re looking to buy a home, consider that there’s a #PerfectStorm in Fremont County real estate right now that might make your homeownership dreams come true. Now might just be the ideal time for you to make that leap and find a home of your own. If you have any questions about homeownership, don’t hesitate to contact me at 307-856-3999 or drop by my office at 309 N Broadway in Riverton.


~ Olivia

A Seller’s Guide to Fremont County’s Real Estate #PerfectStorm

by Olivia Prince

 

If you follow me or Wind River Realty on social media, you’ve no doubt seen posts related to the real estate #PerfectStorm that’s happening in our area right now.
 

If you haven’t seen those posts, the situation is that between rental rates being so high, mortgage interest rates being so low, and lots of inventory on the market right now, it’s a great time to buy and do so for a cost that could very well be less than what you’d pay to rent a home.

 

But the good news is that this #PerfectStorm isn’t just beneficial for buyers - there are plenty of things you can do to take advantage of the situation if you’re in the market to sell your home. Capitalize on the prime conditions for buyers by doing the following:

Ready Your Home

Having your home in tip-top shape won’t just make it more attractive to buyers, but it might also help your home qualify for financing that first-time homebuyers often utilize. For example, FHA loan requirements stipulate that homes are inspected and that the home meets safety standards. If you know there is an issue with your home, rectifying that issue ahead of time might make it more likely that buyer financing will go through, resulting in a quicker sale.

 

Another example is that VA loans requirements include that a homesite has adequate drainage away from the home. If you’ve experienced flooding in the basement or crawlspace, that issue would need to be resolved before a buyer using a VA loan could get the loan approved. Again, taking the initiative to get your home market ready saves you time and could very well mean that your home sells faster.

Make Your Home Stand Out

 

Wyoming WISE is an exclusive program from Wind River Realty for sellers (and buyers!) that offers many benefits, not the least of which is a home warranty that covers your home while it’s on the market (and covers the buyer for a year after they purchase your home). Giving potential buyers that kind of peace of mind might encourage them to put your home at the top of their list, again, leading to a faster sale. What’s more, Wyoming WISE homes are inspected, have faster closings and appraisals, and, as a result, the transaction is much smoother with no surprises. Another benefit is that being a Wyoming WISE home ensures your home stands out amongst the crowd which is essential in markets like this one in which there is high inventory.

Hire a Professional

Though some homeowners take the “for sale by owner” route, few get the results they’re hoping for. Not only does hiring a Realtor mean that you’ve got a professional in your corner looking out for your best interests, but it also means you have a knowledgeable agent that can provide you with specific information about the current market and devise a marketing plan for your home that will result in a faster sale.

 

At Wind River Realty, we pride ourselves on being well-educated and on top of the pulse of the Fremont County real estate market. We use the latest methods for marketing your home, from YouTube and Twitter to visual tours and special marketing like our #PerfectStorm hashtag. When you think about it, readying your home, making it stand out from the crowd, and hiring a knowledgeable Realtor is a #PerfectStorm in itself! Call Wind River Realty today at 307-856-3999 and find out what we can do to help you sell your home!

Three Reasons Your House Isn’t Selling

by Olivia Prince

House, Property, Real Estate For Sale Sign by Mark Moz licensed under CC By 2.0.

 

You’ve had a for sale sign in your front yard for months, but the offers just aren’t flooding in like you’d hoped. You begin to wonder why it’s not selling and go over all the problems or issues that might be turning potential buyers away. Is your price too high? Is your Realtor not doing a good job of marketing it? Is the market just too bad right now?

 

These are the questions that sellers often ask themselves - the major problems that must be getting in the way of selling their property. Yet, more often than not, it’s not something major, but a small detail here or there that is preventing you from maximizing your home’s potential and getting people to write offers.

 

Here’s a look at three common reasons why your home isn’t selling.

There’s No Curb Appeal

The old adage about “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is the truth when it comes to curb appeal. The instant a potential buyer sees your home, they will make judgments about it that will inform their opinion of the rest of the property. Just like you would never show up to a job interview wearing sweatpants, your home shouldn’t be showed to buyers without having it’s best face on. The grass should be mowed, the weeds should be pulled, the windows should be washed, and so on.


This is important for in-person visitors, but also for people that view your home’s listing online. Buyers scrolling through a real estate website will spend just a second or two looking at the primary picture of the listing, which is almost always a front view of the house. If they don’t like what they see, they will keep scrolling. Help potential buyers see your home in the best possible light and give the exterior of your home the love it needs.

The Interior Lacks Appeal Too

Of course, you can make the outside of the house look incredible, but it will be for naught if buyers walk in the front door and are greeted with a cluttered, dirty, smelly mess. Staging your home is one of the most critical factors when it comes to getting it sold - homes that are staged, organized, and clean will sell faster and for more money than homes that are not staged.


Staging doesn't mean you have to rent fancy furniture and hire a home stylist to give your house a new look. A good cleaning and decluttering session will go a long way! Remove personal items like family photos and your kids’ artwork from the fridge. Remove large, oversized furniture to make rooms feel larger. Organize your closets and kitchen cabinets to highlight the space they provide. Essentially, go through your house, room by room, and edit. Get rid of excess stuff so buyers can see how spacious your home is. This also helps buyers see themselves living in the space, and the easier it is for them to do that, the more likely they will be to put your house on their short list.

You Aren’t Fully Accommodating for Showings

The fact of the matter is that real estate is not a 9-5 business. If your house is on the market, you must be prepared for showings to occur on evenings and weekends, and sometimes at a moment’s notice. Though this can be inconvenient, being accommodating to buyers’ schedules means you’ll have more people seeing your home which increases the likelihood that it will get sold.

 

If you’re concerned about showings occurring at crazy times, work with your Realtor to create a schedule that works well for you, but is still flexible to meet buyers’ needs. This might include limited showing hours on nights or weekends, such as between 7-9 pm. Additionally, you can make it easier on yourself by ensuring that your home is showing-ready at all times. Keep dirty clothes off the floor and dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Keep your home clean, and open window blinds and turn on the lights to maximize the brightness of the space.

Final Thoughts

Be willing to take the advice of your Realtor regarding how the interior and exterior of your home looks and what you should do to improve it, and also work with your Realtor to be as accommodating for showings as you possibly can. It’s all a matter of creating the right look and feel, and then allowing people to see what your home has to offer when it’s most convenient for them. Do these things, and your home will show better. The better it shows, the more likely you are to get offers!

 

3 Facts About Realtors You Really Need to Know

by Olivia Prince

There are some misconceptions about Realtors that cause people to look at us with a distrusting eye. And while some Realtors are more trustworthy than others, writing all of us off because of a few bad apples is a little unfair! So, with 2016 here, let’s start off the new year with some true facts about Realtors!

Realtors Don’t Make Too Much Money

There are a lot of real estate-related shows out there, highlighting agents that make millions and millions of dollars a year, doing high-end deals for homes in places like New York City and Beverly Hills.
 

But the fact of the matter is that most Realtors deal in much smaller markets with far more moderately priced homes. Yes, we earn a commission on every sale, but that income, by and large, adds up to a five-figure salary for most Realtors, not millions and millions of dollars! In fact, the average annual salary for a Realtor in 2013 was just $39,800! So, not all Realtors drive Bentleys and have million-dollar paydays! Most of us are just regular, hard-working people trying to make a decent living.

Realtors Don’t Get Kickbacks

Some people mistakenly believe that Realtors supplement their income with kickbacks from title companies, lenders, and inspectors. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, it’s illegal for Realtors to receive kickbacks. The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act protects both buyers and sellers from situations in which Realtors and other stakeholders make under-the-table money off the transaction.

Realtors Don't Work Whenever They Want

While we might try to stick to a Monday-Friday, 8-5 schedule, the reality is that Realtors work just about any time of day, on weekends, and sometimes even on holidays. The life of a Realtor revolves around his or her clients, who have jobs, families, kids, vacations, and other considerations that might require their Realtor to show them a house at 8 pm on a Thursday or at 9 am on a Sunday.
 

While the power to schedule our day ultimately rests in our hands, the nature of the job (if you’re good at it anyway!) is to make reasonable accommodations such that your client has as good an experience as possible. If that means I have to put in some hours on the weekend, so be it!

The Bottom Line

I love being a Realtor, and I know many, many other Realtors that love their job as well. It’s a stressful and time-consuming profession, but the rewards of helping people achieve their real estate dreams make it SO worth it! After all, there is little better than the feeling of handing the keys over to a new homeowner!

 

 

Photo Credits:

Money Cash By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Announcing Wyoming WISE, My Exclusive Home Certification Program!

by Olivia Prince

Wyoming WISE

 

I am SO excited to be rolling out Wind River Realty’s new exclusive home certification program called Wyoming WISE Certified HomesTM.

I designed the program to ensure that our Wind River Realty sellers have the highest possible level of service. Our market is pretty saturated right now, so this program will help me help you get your home sold for the best price in the shortest amount of time.

But the program also has many benefits for buyers! There is an added peace of mind for buyers knowing that the home you want to buy isn’t harboring any hidden secrets. There’s also a ton of financial savings involved!

Wyoming WISE Certified HomesTM Benefits Sellers

By participating in the Wyoming WISE Certified HomeTM program, your home will have a special designation that makes it stand out in the local market. Your home will be marketed as a Wyoming WISE Certified HomeTM, from the sign rider on the for sale sign in your yard to the blog posts and social media posts we create about your home.

Another huge selling point is that inspections will be completed as part of the program, and a warranty will be offered buyers. Having these exclusive features will make your home more attractive to potential buyers, will increase buyer activity on your property, and ensure you sell your home in the shortest time for the best price.

The one-year warranty that you will get with the WISE program will benefit you because it will cover your home while it’s on the market. If you have to move before your home sells, you can rest easy knowing that should a pipe burst or an appliance go out, you won’t have to pay for repairs out of pocket.

The Wyoming WISE Certified Home​TM program has flexible payment options so you can make the right choice for your financial situation. You can choose to pay a discounted upfront fee, or, if you prefer, you can add the cost of the program into the commission fee. This ends up being a more expensive alternative, but it helps you retain more cash on hand upfront while allowing Wind River Realty to assume the risk of paying for the program.

Wyoming WISE Certified HomesTM Also Benefits Buyers!

The Wyoming WISE Certified HomeTM program isn’t just of great benefit to sellers. As a buyer, you have the benefit of saving $400 on a seller-paid warranty, so you don’t have to worry about things going wrong and having to pay for unforeseen repairs. Buyers also get a seller-paid inspection report, so you will know what, if anything, needs to be fixed before you ever sign the contract to buy the home.

There are time savings as well. With inspections already completed, closings will be faster and there will be a lesser chance of TRID delays. The title examinations and insurance commitments will already be done as well, so you don’t have to worry about those either. The entire home-buying process is much more streamlined so you can get a quality home in less time.

Conclusion

I sincerely believe that the Wyoming WISE Certified HomesTM program will allow the fine people of Fremont County to have a more pleasurable, streamlined real estate experience while also saving time and money! It is a win-win situation for buyers and sellers alike, and I couldn’t be happier to be offering this program to you!

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, I encourage you to contact me at Wind River Realty for additional details about this awesome program! You can reach me at 856-3999, or you can swing by my office at 309 North Broadway in Riverton. For ongoing details about the program, follow @wyomingwise on Twitter!

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Contact Information

Olivia Prince
Wind River Realty
309 North Broadway
Riverton WY 82501
307-851-3302