You know the type. The know-it-all type. The person who, no matter who else is around, has all the answers…always the smartest one in the room.

In the age of seemingly infinite online resources that can teach anyone how to do (or at least attempt) almost anything, more people believe that they don’t need to hire a professional for much, if anything.

In some cases, that might be true. Google “How to fix a toilet,” “How to build a deck,” or “Tips for changing a riding mower belt,” and many people would learn enough to give it at least a shot. But just because they might be able to do those things (kind of) doesn’t mean they will be done exactly right or that they couldn’t benefit more by hiring a professional with the expertise to handle the task.

This is also true when it comes to buying and selling homes. With more and more home listings available digitally – photo galleries, 3-D virtual tours, and videos – some folks think they can act as their own real estate agent. I mean, how hard could it be – put a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard and wait for the phone to ring off the hook. Right? Continue reading

$500 AmeriCash
For many, buying a home is likely the largest expense they will ever make – any sort of financial relief could help to instill more confidence and get you into the home of your dreams. With this in mind, Amerifirst is now offering a buyer incentive program that allows you, the buyer, to receive $500 toward your closing costs.

The program, which is open to any buyer, is eligible with almost every loan we offer.* Continue reading

The sports world is on the cusp of one of the most exciting times of the year – March Madness, the Masters golf tournament, and Major League Baseball spring training. But there’s another season about to begin that’s likely to be just as competitive and high stakes – especially for you and some of your clients.

With Presidents’ Day in the rearview mirror and the weather about to trend warmer (hopefully soon), it’s now officially home buying season. And this year, it could be as cut-throat as ever.

A combination of low inventory, high consumer demand, and historically low interest rates will fuel a more competitive housing market than usual. That’s great news for sellers and agents. But potential homebuyers won’t have home-court advantage in this year’s spring housing season. In order to score the home they want at a reasonable price and within their budget, they’ll need some help from you. Continue reading

They say love is blind. These days, apparently so is house buying.

To say that the way we shop has changed significantly in the last 20 years is a considerable understatement. Before the internet, eBay and Amazon took over, consumers would never dream of buying clothes, vehicles, furniture, homes, or just about anything else without first seeing it, trying it on, or taking it for a test drive.

But, times have changed in a big way – even when shopping for a house. According to a Redfin-commissioned survey, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of people who bought a home in 2020 made an offer on a property that they hadn’t seen in person – the highest share since at least 2015. Continue reading

Staging, the process of preparing a home to be sold, is a pretty straightforward concept for most of your clients to understand. The goal is to make the home, both inside and out, look as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The focus is mainly to make the house look bigger, brighter, and as updated as possible.

Why is staging so important? According to statistics provided by both The Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of REALTORS® and the 2020 Home Staging Industry Report (IAHSP), staged houses can sell for up to 20 percent more than the non‐staged competition. Simply taking the time to make a house look its best means it will sell faster and for a higher price.

But, here’s the thing: Staging isn’t always cheap. Whether it’s new paint, furniture, kitchen decor, landscaping, or other improvements, it’s going to cost money. But whose money? Continue reading