Tuesday, May 23, 2006

10 Steps Before Listing

1. Start at the Street. Pretend you are a prospective buyer seeing your home for the first time. What do you see from your car? Make your home so inviting buyers will get out of their comforting cars and walk to your front door. Place fresh seasonal flowers, in pots or planted, along the front walk or by your front door. Brighten the
hallways of your condo's common areas, especially if its a small association.

2. Make Repairs. Lubricate squeaky door hinges, fix dripping faucets, and make sure toilets flush properly. You get used to the minor faults in your home, so ask a friend to inspect for minor defects.

3. Exterminate. One bug or spider, dead or alive, can cause some buyers to leave immediately.

4. Remove Clutter. Not only does a neat, organized house feel larger and more inviting, clutter-free homes give prospective buyers a chance to see the home’s features.

5. Deep Clean. Remove dust, spiders, and odors.

6. Depersonalize. Pack your personal mementos and photographs. Give your buyers the opportunity to visualize their personal effects in your home.

7. Lighten Up. During the winter months, use bulbs with the highest wattage recommended in light fixtures. Add small table lamps for extra lighting. If you have room on your kitchen and bathroom countertops, a small decorative lamp adds a warm glow with a designer’s touch.

8. Wash Walls or Repaint. Fresh paint gives you the best return on your money.

9. Clean Carpets or Replace. You may be accustomed to the way your carpet looks, but what do buyers see? If you're selling to first-time home buyers, they most likely won't have the money beyond the down payment to pay for new carpeting. Move-up buyers expect perfection, even if they want to tear it all out.

10. Consider having your pets taken care of by family or friends. Some home buyers are allergic to pets, while others will be turned off by pet odors. You get accustomed to your pets' odors, but these scents drive buyers away.

With a little thought and effort, you can persuade buyers that your house exceeds their expectations-- and is worth getting out of the car.

Geno Petro
Chicago Home Estates

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

On Warren Buffett...

The following is a recent quote I came across from Warren Buffett...

Buffett: “Dumb lending always has its consequences. It’s like a disease that doesn’t manifest itself for a few weeks, like an epidemic that doesn’t show up until it’s too late to stop it. Any developer will build anything he can borrow against. If you look at the 10Ks that are getting filed [by banks] and compare them just against last year’s 10Ks, and look at their balances of ‘interest accrued but not paid,’ you’ll see some very interesting statistics.”

Does anyone ever understand what he's saying???

Anyway, here's a definition of a "10-K":

A comprehensive summary report of a company's performance that must be submitted annually to the Securities & Exchange Commission. Typically, the 10-K contains much more detail than the annual report. It includes information such as company history, organizational structure, equity, holdings, earnings per share, subsidiaries, etc.

Does that help?

Geno Petro
Chicago Home Estates

Monday, May 01, 2006

Purchase Steps in Chicago


* Initial Consultation (Screen/Interview Buyers Agents)
* Mortgage Pre-approval
* View Prospective Homes
* Identify a Property
* Present Purchase Contract To Listing Agent
* Initial Earnest Money ($1,000 Made Out To Listing Office)
* Negotiate Offer (Counteroffer, Price, Terms, Close Date)
* Acceptance Of Offer by Seller (Agreement)
* Final Signatures And Initials On Original Contract
* Contact, Fax Documents To Attorneys, Lenders, Etc.
* Contingency Periods Begin (Mortgage, Home Sale--Usually 30 Days)
* Attorney Period Begins (Usually 5-10 Business Days From Acceptance)
* Acquire Budget And By-Laws (Condominium)
* Professional Home Inspection
* Attorney Approval on Contract (5-10 Business Days After Acceptance)
* Balance of Earnest Money Due to Listing Office (5-10%)
* Appraisal (Lender)
* Loan Commitment
* Communicate With All Parties
* Acquire Homeowners Insurance Policy
* Interview With Condo/Co-Op Board (Usually In High rise Buildings)
* Await Closing
* Transfer Utilities & Change Of Address
* Schedule Movers
* Estimate Of Funds Needed At Closing (Good Faith From Lender including $7.50 per $1,000 City Transfer Stamp to be paid by Buyer)
* Final Walk Through Or Punch List (New Construction)
* Closing
* Celebrate! You're A Home Owner!!

Geno Petro
Chicago Home Estates