Diane Horrigan - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Diane Horrigan on 2/7/2018

After years in your current residence, you're ready for a change. As such, you've decided to add your home to the real estate market in the hopes of moving on to bigger and better things. Selling a home can be a daunting task, particularly for first-time sellers. Fortunately, we're here to help you maximize the value of your home and accelerate the home selling process. Here are three tips that will ensure you can become an informed first-time home seller: 1. Stay the Course. Although you may expect immediate interest in your residence, it may take some time for interest in your home to pick up. However, a patient, dedicated home seller knows how to stay the course and remain calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling process. For instance, a home seller may add his or her residence to the real estate market and continue to share the online home listing with friends, family members and colleagues. By doing so, this home seller may be able to stir up interest in his or her residence over an extended period of time. It also is important to remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and much in the same vein, the first offer you receive on your residence might not be the best one. As a result, you should only accept an offer that makes you feel comfortable, i.e. an offer that meets your expectations. 2. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. After you accept an offer from a homebuyer, the buyer likely will want to set up a home inspection. And if he or she encounters unforeseen problems with your home, problems could arise that may slow down the home selling process. If a homebuyer notices substantial issues with your home, he or she may rescind an offer or ask that these problems be resolved. Furthermore, home repairs can be costly, which means you may be forced to invest in expensive home improvements or risk missing out on an opportunity to sell your home. As a home seller, you may encounter obstacles as you attempt to sell your home. But when difficulties arise, try to focus on what's important – selling your home, maximizing its value and ensuring both you and the homebuyer are satisfied with the end results. A home seller who lets minor issues cause his or her blood pressure to rise may put a home sale in danger. Therefore, if you feel stressed, take a deep breath and try to work with a homebuyer to find a resolution that fits both sides. 3. Employ a Real Estate Agent. The home selling journey often is filled with twists and curves along the way. But with a real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to overcome any pitfalls immediately. Your real estate agent can promote and showcase your residence to prospective homebuyers. This professional also will provide expert tips, enabling you to streamline the process of selling your house. Remove the guesswork from the home selling journey – become an informed first-time home seller, and you can speed up the process of generating interest in your house.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 1/31/2018

If you live in one state, but are trying to buy a home in another state, you’ll face some obvious challenges. There’s certain steps that you can take to help you get through the home buying process in another state. Whether you’re buying a vacation home, or are in a complete transition, you’ll need to follow a few steps to make life easier for you. 


Know How Much Time You Have


First, you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re planning to move. If you have flexibility and are planning a trip to the new state before you need to move, that paints a much different picture than a more rushed move. Consider:


  • The time it will take to sell your current home
  • When the closing will be on the new home


Keep that timeline in mind.


You’ll definitely want to hire a realtor to handle everything for you on both ends when you’re in this situation. A Realtor’s knowledge and experience is definitely worth it to help you.


Get Your Finances In Order


You’ll need to apply for a loan on the home you’re buying in the new state. You should start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage in that state. You don’t want all of your important paperwork to be buried in the midst of packing and moving. Also, you’ll need to have that loan secured before you even head to the new state to close on the home. Everything should be in order. This situation may be more challenging for you than a typical home purchase. Since big purchases affect your credit score, you’ll need to hold off on buying a car, furniture, or any major appliances that you may need. 


Get As Much Information As You Can


As a buyer who is from out of state, you’ll need to do your homework. Maybe you have visited the state many times before. Perhaps you know nothing about it. The more you know ahead of time, the easier that your transition will be. You’ll need to find recommendations about which neighborhood to search in. You’ll also want to learn a bit more about the lifestyle the area provides for activities like dining, entertainment, and recreation. You can learn a lot in the internet, but talking to locals- even a local realtor- can help you to find the right spot to live in. 


Find The Right Realtors


You’ll need to find the right realtors in both your home state and the state that you’re moving to. The seller’s agent will assist you in getting your old home sold. From marketing the listing to home showings to sending you all of the paperwork that you’ll need to sign, a seller’s agent is very valuable to someone who needs to move out of one state and into another. 


The buyer’s agent can help you in your new state, communicating with you on new listings and advising you on the neighborhoods that you’ll be the most happy in. Hiring these two realtors may be one of the most important steps in your feat of moving across two different states.


With the resources that are available online, moving from state-to-state isn't as hard as it may seem. Do your research for a smooth transition. Happy moving!





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 12/23/2015

If you are thinking about making a move some proper planning will go a long way. Moving can cost more than you might think and can be stressful. Keep costs and headaches to a minimum by preparing a plan and get organized early. Here is a checklist of moving tips to help make your relocation go as smoothly as possible: 1. Save and set a budget. Moving expenses can set you back thousands of dollars. There can be unexpected costs like shipping charges, personal travel costs, temporary housing expenses and start-up fees at your new residence. As soon as you know you're going to move try to plan for all of these things and set a budget and start saving. 2. Mover or do it yourself?                                                                                       Decide whether or not you will be hiring a moving company or managing the move on your own. If you are hiring a mover you will need to call for estimates and reservations. If you go it alone you should try to secure some help and proper transportation. 3. Look for Work.                                                                                                                                 If you are moving for a new job it may not be as easy for other family members to find work. Start reviewing the job boards and calling on personal contacts before you go. 4. Research the schools.                                                                                                             Check school schedules and enrollment requirements. Pick up school records or have them sent to the new schools. 5. Protect Your Belongings.                                                                                           In order to ensure your possessions will be covered while in transit or storage during your move you will want to obtain appraisals for high-value items. Make an inventory and take photos of your valuables to have a record if you need to file a claim. Make sure to also contact your homeowners insurance or renters insurance company to ensure your possessions will be covered. 6. Do a car check.                                                                                                                         Take care of auto maintenance and repairs before you make a long trip. Don't forget to notify your auto insurance company of the move. 7. Turn it on and off.                                                                                                               Make sure to notify your utilities of your move and plan disconnect dates. Also make sure to order new utility services for your new address. 8. Change Your Address.                                                                       Fill out an online change-of-address form through the U.S. Postal Service to ensure important mail will be forwarded to your new home. Also, be sure to send your new address to friends and family, your physician, schools, magazine publishers and providers of financial services.  





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 10/21/2015

Is your house a listing loser? Have you been on and off the market for years? There are many factors that influence whether a house sells or not. While most people will point directly to price, that may not be the only reason why a home sits on the multiple listing service without showings or offers and ends up on the expired list. Here are just a few of the reasons why homes don't sell: 1. Price The most common reason and usually the biggest factor is price.  Often a home is priced too high because sellers have unrealistic ideas about what their home is worth. Other sellers insist on basing the price of their home on their own personal financial situation and not the market. Even if a seller is willing to adjust the price of a home after listing it too high, it is the original asking price that matters. Pricing a home competitively will ultimately yield a higher sale price. 2. Location, location, location It is true location matters. Even the nicest house cannot always overcome a bad location. Homes that are on busy roads, close to high tension wires, power plants, waste-treatment facilities or other objectionable locations will struggle to sell. The only way properties in undesirable locations sell is when the seller understands that the asking price is significantly lower than similar homes in prime locations. 3. Having the nicest home in the neighborhood It may feel good to have the largest or nicest home in the neighborhood but buyers won't appreciate that. Buyers are not only paying for the home but also what is around it. If your home offers much more than other homes in your neighborhood you will have a tough sale. 4. The decor A home should appeal to almost everyone. So if your home has loud wallpaper, brightly colored walls, or an outdated kitchen it will be a turn-off. Most buyers won't be able to look beyond the 1970s kitchen and see the good qualities a home has to offer. 5. A dysfunctional floor plan The addition you added on may be your pride and joy but when the buyer looks at it they see it as a barrier to a sale. Many homeowners add additions or change the floor plan of their home to suit them. They were not thinking that it might not be okay for a future buyer to walk though a bedroom to get to the family room addition. This sometimes applies to older homes as well, smaller rooms and lack of storage does not top a buyer's wish lists. 6. Too many repairs If the home needs a lot of repairs, the buyer sees a money pit. Today's buyer is much more reluctant to take on a lot of renovations. 7. Bad Marketing This can be the agent's fault as much as the seller's fault. Are there agents who could do a better job marketing a home? Of course there is. Often times, the agent is limited by the seller's willingness to help. Agents that are forced to show photos of messy, outdated homes on MLS are not starting off on the best foot. There is only a small percentage of buyers who are able to see past the mess and cosmetic issues. 8. Unavailability Sellers sometimes do not make their home available for showings and this can hurt the sale of the home. Buyers have tight schedules and often want to view homes at inconvenient times. Sellers must try to accommodate as many showings as possible. You never know who the buyer will be or when they will want to look at the home.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 10/14/2015

Moving can be stressful. The best way to not get overwhelmed is to have an organized plan and a step-by-step timeline. A little preparation will help make the move go a lot smoother. Here is a checklist to help keep you on track: 60 Days Before You Move

  • Sort and Purge-Go through every room, decide what needs to come with you and what can go. Make piles of things to throw away and things to donate.
  • Plan a Yard Sale-Start planning a yard sale to reduce the amount of stuff you need to move. Some extra money for the move will also come in handy.
  • Hire a Mover-Contact at least three moving companies. On-site estimates are better than over the phone or internet estimates. Get each estimate in writing, and make sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it.
  • Create a Moving Binder-Store all of your move-related paperwork (checklists, contracts, receipts) in a binder. You may also want to inventory all of your items with photos or lists.
Six Weeks Before Your Move
  • Get Packing Supplies-Determine how many packing supplies you’ll need and designate a room where you can begin to store and organize.
  • Take Measurements-If possible get room dimensions of your new home. Make sure large pieces of furniture will fit.  Don’t forget to take measurements for appliances too.
30 Days Before Your Move
  • Confirm with Mover-Check with your mover the details of your move.
  • Start Packing-Begin packing out-of-season clothes and unnecessary items.
  • Label-Make sure to label boxes with what rooms the boxes will go in at your new home.
  • Start/Stop Utilities-Make arrangements to connect and disconnect your cable, internet and utilities.
  • Change your Address- Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at http://www.usps.com.
  • Make Notifications- Change your address to the following: registry of motor vehicles, banks, schools, friends & family, insurance companies, doctors and specialists, cell phone providers, credit card companies and magazine and newspapers.
  • Contact Service Providers—Notify landscapers, cleaning services that you are moving, and look for new ones in your new hometown.
Two Weeks Before Your Move
  • Call Locksmith- Have your new home’s locks changed on moving day or before.
  • Arrange Services- Have a cleaning company prepare the new home before you arrive and tidy the old home after you leave. Arrange for carpet cleaning too.
  • Pack the bulk of your items.
  • Start Cleaning-Begin cleaning any rooms in your house that have been emptied, such as closets, basements or attics.
One Week Before Your Move
  • Pack Suitcases- Finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.
  • Gather Keys- Organize all keys, alarm codes and garage door openers so that you can be prepared to hand them over to the new owner or real estate agent.
A Few Days Before Your Move
  • Defrost the Freezer- Empty, clean and defrost the freezer at least 24 hours before moving day.
  • Make Payment Plans- You will need to make sure you have made arrangements to pay the mover and have a tip (usually 10%-15%).
Moving Day
  • List Contact Info- Write out a list for your movers of things they’ll need: phone numbers, exact moving address and maps.
  • Take Inventory- Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.
  • Walk-Through- Do a walk-through of your new home with your real estate agent.
  • Layout New Home- Tape names to doors to assist movers in placing furniture and boxes.
  • Have Director- Arrange for someone to direct the movers at your new home.