Amarillo Real Estate Blog

What are the best ways to promote my home?

To be really good at this you sort of have to think like a Kardashian – or if that’s too big of a leap, insert any pseudo-celebrity that seems to always be in the spotlight. The goal is exposure, and lots of it. Marketers say that people, on average, have to see something a minimum of seven times before they consider taking action. Whether there’s anything magical about the number seven or not, it makes sense. You want to make sure your audience sees your home in all the places they’re looking.

And, where are they looking? See for yourself:

  • Online. No surprise there. But it may surprise you how many different online sites are now available to promote your home. From Zillow to Trulia, Redfin to Realtor.com, add to that all the local and independent realty sites, then top it with Google keyword search terms, and online marketing can be as overwhelming as cleaning out your garage after a long winter. But hey, the Kardashians...

Why should I use a realtor?

Please see all questions above. Joking aside, buying a home can be complicated. We’ve only scratched the surface with these frequently asked questions. That’s why we take seriously our commitment to simplifying not just the home search, but the entire home buying process. But for those of you who like lists, here’s our top 10 reasons to use a realtor:

  1. Realtors know their MLS from their CMA, their PCF from their FMR. It’s a jungle of acronyms out there. Your realtor knows how to tame them all.
  2. Realtors know how to market. From search engine optimization to 3-D video tours, realtors know how to use the latest technology to engage the most valuable prospects.
  3. Realtors know people who know people. They might not be able to score your front row tickets, but they can connect you with all the important people you need to know, like loan officers, inspectors, appraisers and more.
  4. Realtors know the neighborhoods. Whether you’re...

What can I do to help my house sell faster?

  1. Price it right. Like we talked about early, making sure your home is accurately and competitively priced is one of the best things you can do to increase interest and likelihood to sell quickly.
  2. Clear it out. Buyers are always interested in storage, so give your closets and drawers some breathing room.
  3. Lighten up. People are drawn to light, happy spaces, so warm up your home with some extra lighting. You may want to remove dark, heavy curtains, clean the windows or add extra wattage to your lamps.
  4. Ditch the dog. Well, not literally. But the same goes for the cat, ferret or any other pet you might have. Not everyone is an animal lover. So hide the litter box, sweep up the hair and put Fido out back during home showings.
  5. Keep it simple. Now is not the time to start a major home improvement project. Instead consider quick fixes that will pay off...

What if my credit score is really low?

Fixing a low credit score is kind of like losing weight. It won’t happen overnight. But, by making better money choices, over time, you credit score will improve. Here are the top things you can do right now:

  1. Check your credit report. This time you’re not just looking for that magic number. Your report will show everything, good and bad, that’s impacting your score. So, look for errors. Make sure there are no late payments showing up that you’ve actually paid. And, if there are any errors, dispute them with the credit bureau.
  2. Set up automatic payments or payment reminders. Not paying your bills on time can be of the biggest negative factors impacting credit scores. You may just be a few days late, but over time, all of those late payments add up. So, take the time to set up reminders or auto drafts to start cleaning up your payment history.
  3. Reduce the amount of debt you owe....

What are the most valuable upgrades I can make?

Before you even start thinking upgrades, it’s probably a good idea to have a trusted contractor or your realtor do a walk-through of your home. They will likely notice things that you might not realize need attention; things like adding insulation, refinishing your floors or pruning back overgrown shrubs.

If after these basics, you’ve still got the upgrade itch, the fine folks at HGTV say the following home improvements will get you the biggest bang for your buck:

  1. Minor Bathroom Remodel. Without giving vivid detail, even the cleanest bathroom can get pretty grimy after a while. There’s something about walking into a sparkling, bright bathroom that does wonders for potential buyers. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to...

Why do I need to get pre-approved for a loan?

Thinking about buying a house before getting pre-approved for a loan is like going to the mall without your wallet. Don’t waste your time and risk homebuying heartbreak. Getting pre-approved for a home loan help you:

  1. Be competitive. The current real estate market is pretty competitive. When a great home comes on the market, it likely won’t be available long. Being pre-approved lets you jump in the game, knowing what you can afford and being prepared to negotiate with confidence.
  2. Stand out. Let the seller know you mean business. Only about 10% of homebuyers take the time to get pre-approved, so this is an easy way to make yourself stand out of the pack when placing an offer on a home.
  3. Get accepted. Some sellers won’t even consider an offer from a buyer who hasn’t been pre-approved. And you can’t blame them. When the seller says, “Show me the money,”...

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.

It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are three important questions to ask before you purchase a home.

1. Why am I Buying a Home?

Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy...

Why You Should Consider Selling in the Winter

Selling In Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

The season you sell your home can have an impact on how much you get for your home and how quickly it sells. The season that has the most success in selling homes is spring. This is a good time of year for families moving to new school districts and is also more convenient weather for moving. Because of this trend, most people will recommend waiting to list your home until after the winter is over. Avoiding the winter is a huge misconception in the housing industry and can cause homeowners to miss out on opportunities.

Selling in the winter can give you a few advantages. There will be fewer houses on the market since most people assume winter is a bad time to sell. This gives your home more attention. Potential buyers are always looking no matter the time of...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Potential homebuyers are always cautioned to be aware of mortgage lending standards and the difficulty they might face when trying to obtain a mortgage. Credit availability is expanding, making it easier to get a mortgage now than it was a year ago. The market is still tight however, and homebuyers should be prepared to shop around until they find a lender who is offering something that will meet the needs of their family.

Mortgage lending companies have high standards so it is important to make sure you and anyone else who will be included on the mortgage have their credit in check. The mortgage market is strict because lenders do not want to be put in a situation where they are forced to repurchase loans that are not paid on. They also do not want to end up in a litigation...

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

There has been some discussion recently on home prices in relation to mortgage rates. Some believe if there is a rapid rise of mortgage rates, home prices should decrease. Logically it makes the most sense for the price of the house to drop when interest rates are rising, but this is not always the case.

This theory of home prices decreasing is typically discussed by future home buyers. As a buyer you would like to think if you are paying higher rates on your mortgage, you should be able to see a decrease in cost somewhere else. Unfortunately, these rates are rising because the economy is in better shape. As the economy succeeds, incomes rise, rates go up, as well as the price of the home.

A recent study by the John Burns Real Estate Consulting found mortgage...