Buying your First Property in Bartlesville
Buying your first home is a huge achievement. It can also be a little scary. BAR REALTORS®’ bet you’ll likely need some consultation along the way — and you’ll certainly want a real estate agent looking out for your highest interests. BAR REALTORS® are absolutely trained and qualified in Bartlesville real estate, and would love to provide guidance with purchasing your first home.
Not everyone with a real estate license is equally able to help YOU find your first home. Our dedication to my clients is what makes the difference. Here’s what you can expect when you use Bartlesville Association of REALTORS® for your first time home purchase.
- The process of purchasing a house has several stages. We’ll be there for everything from locating the ideal home among all the houses available in Bartlesville, to advising you on closing costs and everything in between.
- We’ll help you characterize your wish list of amenities that you want in your house, your community, and your school district.
- We can walk you through the various mortgages and home buying plans at hand and the overwhelming financial components of buying a home.
- We will make sure you see all the properties that match what you’re looking for, and keep a close track of all fresh listings.
- Rest assured that we do everything we can to wipe out all the strain that goes along with purchasing your first home.
Finding the ideal home for you in the Bartlesville area is my business, and we’re ready to go to work for you.
What to Expect when Selling your Home
The Listing Contract
Also referred to as a listing agreement, the listing contract gives a licensed real estate professional authorization to act on your behalf in the sale of your home. Listing contracts come in all shapes and sizes, but there are characteristics which are common to all. Among the elements of any valid listing contract are:
Writing – All real estate contracts must be in writing.
Employment – The listing contract is a personal services contract between you and the broker. It contains all of the terms and conditions of employing the broker and authorizing the broker to represent you in marketing and selling your home.
Compensation – For any contract to be valid, there has to be compensation. The listing contract will specify the amount and timing of payment to your broker. Typically, payment is an agreed upon percentage of the sales price, payable at closing. It is important to note that your obligation to pay your broker may not absolutely depend on a finalized sales transaction. For example, if the broker finds a bona fide buyer who is willing to pay your asking price and agree to the terms you have offered, but you get cold feet at the last moment and decide not to sell, the broker has done his job and is entitled to be paid under the terms of the listing contract.
Title – All listing contracts will ask who has title to the property. Property can’t be sold unless everyone with holds title interest in the property are part of the sale.
Termination date – You shouldn’t sign any listing contract without a specific termination date. The most common duration is 180 days. If the contract has an indefinite duration such as until sold, or no duration specified at all, don’t sign it. The listing contract is a legally binding document and you don’t want to get locked into one with no clearly defined termination date. If the contract expires before your home sells and you still want to keep using the same broker, you can simply sign a new contract.
There can be and often are other elements to a listing contract. As with any legal document, you should read the listing contract very carefully and be sure you understand exactly what you are agreeing to before signing. If you have any questions about your listing contract it would be wise to consult a lawyer for clarification.
Which home improvements give the best payback?
If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, or finishing your basement, you probably want to get your investment back when you sell your home. But when it comes to payback value of home improvements, some are definitely more profitable than others. As a general rule, kitchen and bathroom projects usually get a nice return on investment, typically 90% or more.Things like adding rooms or finishing basements tend to pay back the least.Finishing a basement usually returns less than 50%, so it’s not a project likely to show profit at selling time.
There are a number of factors that go into determining how well a project will pay back. Payback value depends a lot on the current market conditions in your area. If the market is hot and homes are selling fast, you can expect a higher payback value than you would get in a slow market.
The type of project you do and how it fits in with other homes in the area can have a big influence on payback too. If you put your money into the wrong type of improvement, you won’t get your money back. But if you’re smart about what you do, you can make money. The payback will be better on improvements that are in demand and conform to neighborhood standards. Adding a second bathroom in a neighborhood where most homes have two bathrooms will give a high return on investment. Building a large addition that makes your home twice as big as the other homes on the block probably won’t pay back very well. Likewise, the popularity of a project will factor into how much it pays back. An improvement heavily customized to your wants and needs won’t pay back as well as something more common to other homes in the neighborhood.
Another factor to consider is the cost of the improvements. If you can do the work yourself, you can save significantly on the cost of the project and greatly improve the chances of getting a good return on the investment.
The list below is compiled from several published surveys and shows typical payback for some popular remodeling projects:
Kitchen remodeling – 90%
Add a bathroom – 90%
Bathroom remodeling – 80%
Install central heating – 90%
Install central air – 75%
Add a deck – 70%
Replace windows – 70%
Add a room – 55%
Build a pool – 45%
Finish a basement – 40%
Staging Your Home Checklist
Remove all clutter from the house
Are countertops free and clear?
Have you removed unnecessary furniture throughout the house?
Remove the art gallery and coupon collection from the refrigerator.
Check the walls
Is paint and wallpaper fresh and clean?
Are the walls free from holes?
Are there any colors or objects on the walls that need to be removed?
Check the floors
Is the carpet clean and free from stains?
Are hard surface floors clean and free from stains?
Check windows and window coverings
Are all the windows clean?
Are draperies and blinds clean?
Check the bathrooms
Are the surfaces clean and clear?
Are shower curtains and doors hung properly?
Is the flooring clean and fresh?
Are towels neatly hung?
Are there any signs that this is a pet’s home? Be sure to clean and remove kitty litter, pet toys and bedding.
How’s the aroma?
Try to air out the home prior to showings.
If air freshener is necessary, use well before showings as a consideration to those with allergies.
Set the mood prior to showings
Open draperies and blinds.
Turn on the radio to a classical music station, set the volume on low.
If you have time, cook a batch of cookies to have the warm, welcoming aroma permeating the home.
Inspect the outside ground. Remove any building materials, scrap wood, discarded household items, etc. from the property. Store garbage cans in the garage.
Check the home from the roof line down
- Is the roof free and clear from obstructions and moss?
- Are the gutters clear and neatly hung?
- Are the windows clean and free from obstructions (such as overgrown bushes or trees)?
- Are bushes, trees and shrubs neatly pruned?
Do flower beds need an upgrade?
- Are plants neatly pruned?
- Is the bed free and clear of weeds?
- Is the bed properly mulched?
- Are flowers in bloom?
Inspect the condition of the paint or siding?
- Is it time to power wash the siding?
- Is touch up paint needed?
- Is the front door in good shape?
Keep the lawn neatly groomed
- Is the lawn free from weeds?
- Is the lawn free from grass clippings?
- Is the lawn neatly edged?