Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty | 413-297-6718 | julianne.krutka@gmail.com


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 9/27/2018

If you plan to attend an open house, it usually pays to be prepared. That way, you'll know exactly which questions to ask during an open house and can ensure that you can gain the insights that you need to determine whether a residence is right for you.

Now, let's take a look at three key questions to ask a listing agent during an open house.

1. Why is this home for sale?

Although a home listing provides plenty of information about a residence, it is unlikely to explain why a homeowner is selling his or her house. Thus, you should use an open house to find out exactly why a home is for sale.

In many instances, a listing agent will be honest and forthright about why a homeowner has decided to add his or her residence to the real estate market. Once you receive an answer to your query, you can better understand whether a house matches your expectations.

On the other hand, if a listing agent hesitates or shies away from your question, you should be skeptical. At this point, you should continue to dig for more information about a residence to learn about any potential flaws.

2. Are there any home problems that I need to know about?

An open house enables you to get an up-close look at a residence. Furthermore, the event allows you to find out about a residence's pros and cons from a listing agent.

Ask a listing agent about any home problems Ė you'll be glad you did. The listing agent should be able to provide you with plenty of insights into a home's condition, ensuring you can make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer.

A listing agent is likely to be honest with you about any problems with a house. By doing so, this agent will reduce the risk of a homebuyer later rescinding an offer after a home inspection.

3. Have there been any offers on the house?

It is important to find out if there is any competition for a house, especially if you discover your dream residence. Thus, during an open house, you should ask a listing agent if any offers have been submitted on a residence.

If a listing agent responds "Yes" to your query, you may want to act fast to submit a competitive offer on a house. Because if you wait too long to make an offer on your dream residence, you risk losing this house to a rival homebuyer.

Lastly, if you need help getting ready for an open house, you should collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide deep insights into a residence before you attend an open house. Therefore, a real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of getting the most out of any open house, at any time.

Want to optimize the value of an open house? Ask the aforementioned questions, and you can get the information that you need to fully evaluate a residence.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 9/13/2018

What Is The Disclosure Statement?


Disclosure statements are used in many of lifeís situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a sellerís disclosure are:


  • Water in the basement
  • Updates made to the home
  • Known pests
  • Paranormal activity
  • Death on the property
  • Past fires
  • Nearby major construction projects
  • Title 5 sewerage issues 


Disclosures Serves As Protections


The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyerís perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying. 


On the sellerís side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.


How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure


Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted.  The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasnít properly presented on the statement.  


How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?


The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.  


Whatís Disclosed To Buyers?


The disclosure doesnít have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that youíre selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.


Itís easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the cityís zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family. 


Problems that youíll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions. 


Remember that the disclosure doesnít substitute the buyerís right to a professional inspection of the property. Itís important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure theyíre making a good investment.





Posted by Julianne Krutka on 8/30/2018

Getting ready to buy a new home? You'll want to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey, as this professional will possess the skills and know-how needed to ensure you can find your dream home quickly. There are many great reasons for homebuyers to work with a real estate agent, including: 1. You Can Check Out a Wide Range of Homes That Fit Your Needs. Whether you're looking for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the city or a small residence on the outskirts of town, a real estate agent can arrange home showings to ensure you can check out a variety of houses that fit your needs. Remember, a real estate agent works for you and will do everything he or she can to help you find your ideal residence. This professional will conduct research into homes that meet your criteria and even work with a home seller's real estate agent to make sure you can view a house at your convenience. 2. You Can Receive Expert Support During the Negotiation Stage. No homebuyer wants to enter the negotiation stage alone. Fortunately, a real estate agent will help you manage negotiations. Negotiations with a home seller can become contentious if you're not careful, but your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get your dream house at the right price, regardless of the circumstances. 3. You Can Get Extra Help with a Home Inspection. Completing a home inspection is paramount before you finalize a purchase agreement with a home seller. And with a trusted real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding a reliable home inspector who will be able to identify potential issues with a house before you buy it. Your real estate agent also can help you minimize stress if a home inspector encounters problems with a house. For example, your real estate agent will speak with a home seller to ensure any home repairs are completed before you finalize your purchase agreement. Thus, you'll be able to buy a home that you can enjoy for years to come thanks in part to the support provided by your real estate agent. 4. You Can Enjoy a Simple Closing Process. The closing process often represents the final step before you can move into your new home. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the paperwork that is included as part of this process and ensure you are comfortable with each form you sign. Your real estate agent, meanwhile, will be with you during the closing process and can explain the importance of each form. Furthermore, your real estate agent will be happy to respond to any concerns or queries and help you feel comfortable throughout the closing process. Ultimately, your real estate agent may play a key role in your ability to find the perfect house. As a result, be sure to spend some time interviewing prospective real estate agents in your area to find a real estate professional that you can collaborate with during each stage of the homebuying journey.





Posted by Julianne Krutka on 8/23/2018

If youíre a first-time homebuyer you might be worried or anxious about the process of making an offer on a home. After all, negotiating isnít something most of us look forward to on a day to day basis and we try to avoid it when possible. When it comes to buying a home, however, negotiating is usually part of the process.

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they have the knowledge and expertise to help you out through the negotiation process. Not only will they help you formulate your offer, but theyíll also present the offer for you and handle the in-person negotiations.

Buyerís vs sellerís market

Whether or not the odds are in your favor depends on many things. One important factor is the state of the real estate marketing. In a sellerís market, which is what weíre in right now, there are more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers trying to sell them.

However, you can still edge past the competition in a sellerís market if you plan accordingly. This is when negotiation comes into play, and when effective negotiation can get your offer accepted where others are declined.

Time is of the essence

When youíre shopping for a home in a sellerís market, youíll need to be swift with your offer and counteroffers to stay ahead of other prospective buyers. However, being too hasty with your offers can seem imposing or reckless. Itís better to take a day longer to come up with a more effective offer than it is to make an offer that looks bad to the seller.

Be clear and concise

Just as youíre nervous making offers on a home, sellers are usually nervous fielding them. So, if you want to make things easier for you and your seller, make sure your offer is simple and straightforward.

This involves removing unnecessary contingencies and sticking to the contract basics--inspection, appraisal, and financing. If the seller receives another offer that is riddled with contingencies, they might prefer to work with you since you presented them with a simple contract.

Be prepared

Having your paperwork in order, getting preapproved, and making yourself available as much as possible will go a long way in the negotiation process. Now more than ever itís important to be well-organized.

Do your homework on the house and neighborhood youíre interested in. Make sure you know if there is a lot of interest in the area and the house in particular. This will let you know how much breathing room you have.

Getting preapproved will not only help you know the limits you can offer but it will also signal to the seller that youíre a serious buyer.





Posted by Julianne Krutka on 8/16/2018

In a competitive housing market--like the one we have today--sellers are fielding numerous offers, especially in desirable urban and suburban hubs.

If youíre hoping to buy your first or second home, it can be tough to make offer after offer with no success.

However, there are some things you can do to help ensure your time house hunting is well-spent and to increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you a few tips on how to win a bidding war on your dream home.

All-cash offer

The most effective way to ensure that your offer is accepted is to make it in all cash. Cash offers drastically simplify the real estate transaction process, making things easier on the seller.

Most buyers, especially first-time buyers, wonít be able to make an all-cash offer on a home. However, people who are downsizing after their children moved out or are buying a retirement home may find themselves in the ideal financial situation to be able to leverage a cash offer.

If that sounds like you, consider a cash offer as part of your bidding strategy.

Waive the financing contingency

If youíre new to real estate contracts, you might be wondering what a contingency is. Essentially, a contingency is an action that needs to be completed before the contract becomes valid and the sale becomes final.

There are a number of different contingencies that can be found in a real estate contract. However, the most popular are for inspections, appraisals, and financing.

If youíre planning on taking out a mortgage to purchase the home, a financing contingency protects you in case you arenít able to secure the mortgage in time. In other words, youíre not on the hook for a home you canít pay for.

In some special situations, buyers might decide to waive the financing contingency, signaling to the sellers that there wonít be any hang-ups or delays from the buyer regarding financing the home.

Waiving this contingency comes with risks (namely, being responsible for coming up with the money to pay for the home). However, there are ways to safely waive a contingency.

The most common approach is to get a fully pre-approved letter from a lender. The important distinction here is that your mortgage needs to be pre-approved and underwritten (not just pre-qualified), otherwise you again risk getting denied the mortgage in the last moments before buying your home.

Crafting a personal letter

Sometimes all it takes to win a bidding war is to be the sellerís favorite candidate. Take the time to write them a personalized letter. Explain what you love about their home and why itís perfect for your family.

Avoid talking about big changes youíll make. Remember that they probably put a lot of time and money into the home, making it exactly the way they want it, and wonít appreciate you making huge plans to undo their work as soon as theyíre out the door.


Using one, or a combination of, these three techniques, youíll be able to give yourself an edge over the competition and increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.