Jun 152015
 
A Shiny Kitchen

A Shiny Kitchen

There are many different reasons buyers are out looking at homes. Normally when working with a buyer an agent tries to determine a buyer’s motivation before they start showing them homes. But some agents will just about show houses to anybody who asks (eventually they realize their wasting time, but that’s another blog post). For the most part the buyers out looking are at least thinking about moving or buying a home when they go out looking. We’ll break down the different motivations in this article.

Tire Kicker
You know the saying about car shoppers and the same can be said for home shoppers with a low motivation. They’re just looking at homes thinking about moving. Maybe their thinking their current home is too small (or too large), and want to see what’s out there for a price they can afford. They are working with agents they know and are willing to show them homes because of previous dealings. We have clients like this and we know eventually they will find a home that motivates them. But it can take months, if not years before they purchase a new home.

First Time Home Buyer
First Time Home Buyers usually have a higher motivation than Tire Kickers, but often not much higher. They’ve been thinking about buying a home for a couple of months (or years) but are usually renting and don’t have an immediate reason to move. Their motivation can pick up a level or two if they have a lease coming up and have to move by a certain deadline. Let’s just say their motivation varies, depending on the weather.

Growing Family
A current homeowner that has a more immediate need can have a much higher level of motivation due to a baby (or two) on the way and they are running out of room in their current house. They are working with an agent who has listed their home and hope to find one to make an offer on as soon as they get an accepted offer on theirs. Their motivation becomes very high when they have that accepted offer.

House Just Sold
This applies to a homeowner like above who for whatever reason is moving and has just sold their home. The motivation factor is very high in this case. This is where you might get above list offers if they really like a home.

Job Transfer / Relocation
Depending on the timeline (as in just started or already changed jobs) these home buyers are motivated or very motivated. Sometimes they will just buy a home that works and plan to move in a few years once they know they are staying in the area. Highly motivated buyers in this category might make above list price offers as well.

Investor
Never in a hurry until they find a good deal. Usually a low cash offer but sometimes will pay good price on a nice home with good income potential whether flipping or renting.

The reason sellers need to know all this is there is a wide range of motivation in the buyers looking at your home. So what you need to do is make your home stand out so you impress all buyers that look at your home. This is what we refer to as being the ‘Shiny Penny’. All buyers will gravitate to the ‘Shiny Penny’ and you’ll get more and better quality offers if you make sure your home stands out.

Want to make your home a ‘Shiny Penny’ when you’re ready to sell? Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 and we’ll come talk to you about what you need to do to your home with no obligation to hire us when you’re ready to sell. We like to help home buyers and sellers with all their real estate needs.

May 292015
 

In the first quarter of 2015 we were # 14 of all the agents with Carpenter Realtors. This is from that photo shoot for the ad that ran in the Sunday Star (shown below). FYI the sign was a prop and is not the number to call us. 🙂

Having fun at our ad shoot.

Having fun at our ad shoot.

Red-ads-05-17-15-Derrick

May 262015
 
This porch sold this house with multiple offers!

This porch sold this house with multiple offers!

A question we realtors often get is ‘What can I do to my home that will add value when I’m ready to sell?’  If you watch HGTV and read most articles on the subject you usually hear things like ‘kitchen upgrades’ and ‘adding / renovating bathrooms’. Those items do add value but usually only if you sell soon after doing it. After a few years they once again will appear outdated to current buyers and you’ll be stuck in the endless cycle of updating every time you want to sell a home. But one item we see buyers love time and time again is a really nice porch or patio area. It’s not unusual to show buyers several homes and once they see a home with a really nice covered / enclosed porch they stop and say ‘let’s write an offer on this one!’

Porch’s used to be pretty much a standard feature on all homes back before there were air conditioners. So many older homes built before the 1940’s include what was really considered the ‘outdoor room’ for sitting or even sleeping in on hot summer days. Usually covered to protect from rain but open on 3 sides to make sure and allow a breeze to flow thru, these were the gathering rooms for the family and often nearby neighbors to share the latest gossip and local news. After WW II the mass of homes built for returning vets often left off the larger porches to cut costs. In later years air-conditioning became a more standard item on new homes and porches became more of a luxury item as they really weren’t needed to deal with summer heat.

But now there is a new trend back to making a porch area more of an ‘outdoor room’ again. With all the high end outdoor furniture you see today in home improvement stores you really would feel like you’re are sitting inside with a porch furnished like that. Add to that the idea of having an ‘outdoor kitchen’ and now you can cook and eat without ever entering into the home. With so many people (myself included) loving to grill out, the whole idea of the cook ‘n eat area outside has become a very attractive item for home buyers. And with the ‘hustle & bustle’ of today’s lifestyles a nice porch is considered a retreat to go relax, read a book, or nap on a hammock. Let’s just say there are not many people who say they wouldn’t utilize a nice porch on their home.

So if there were one item that I would say adds value AND is something you can enjoy until the time you decide to sell a porch or even just a nice patio area is the way to go. Other than normal maintenance most porches never ‘go out of style’ so it’s a safe bet that it’s going to add value when it’s time to sell your home.

If you’re thinking of any updates to your home and want a REALTOR’s opinion, text or give us a call at 317-563-1110. The Derrick Team is here to help!

Apr 302015
 
Another Sold

Derrick Team Sold Another One

We find there are many reasons people choose to sell and /or buy homes. First time home buyers are looking to not throw money away on rent. Empty nesters don’t need all the space in their large home anymore. The family is growing larger and more bedrooms are in order. New job requires relocation to a new city. I could go on with a lot of reasons we’ve helped people with their real estate needs. But everything and anything as to why people move falls into one common reason: Life Happens.

When buyers are looking at a home they often ask why the sellers are moving. Of course they want to know if there is something wrong with the home, area, etc. but it’s also a basic curiosity. Unless the seller has OK’d it we cannot disclose this type of personal information. But then we are not disclosing anything when we honestly say ‘Life Happens’.

Often we’ll hear from a seller they had no intention of selling anytime soon, but then suddenly something comes up and now they are in a hurry to sell. A lot of things can change a sellers mind suddenly such as the aforementioned job transfer. But other times it’s not good news that is the cause. We as realtors often deal with joyless reasons such as the seller’s health issues, relationship problems, or even deaths.

So the main thing I think everyone should take away from this blog post is there are many reasons you can find yourself in need to sell your home and buy another. Be careful not to box yourself in thinking you’ll never move from your current home. We’ve been told by many sellers that they expected to die in the home (as stay forever) as we signed the listing contract. For whatever reason you may find yourself selling unexpectedly it’s because ‘Life Happens’.

The main problem we see when someone has to sell their home unexpectedly is when they have been using their home as a loan bank and tapping the equity to pay bills or make large purchases. All the sudden they find the ‘value’ the bank used to give the loan does not match the market value and now they have to pay money to sell their home. Be very careful when utilizing your home’s equity in loans because you know, Life Happens.

When Life Happens and you need to sell or buy a home, be sure and call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We understand there are many reasons to move and we will be there to help you no matter what your situation is. We understand that somethings are beyond your control because Life Happens.

Apr 272015
 

In the old days it was common for the seller to throw something in with the home to sweeten the deal during negotiations. Sometimes this is still considered but if the buyer is financing the purchase that gets a little tricky. Anything not installed in the home is considered ‘Personal Property’ in legal terms. So when you write up an offer any ‘Personal Property’ listed can become a problem when a lenders underwriter sees this. There are guidelines many lenders are required to follow if they plan to sell the note after closing. One we see more of is no personal property is to be included in the sale of a home. Lenders do not want to see that big screen TV being paid for over 30 years of the mortgage.

Part of the home.

Part of the home.

So what are things that can be included?
Common items include built in appliances like stoves, dishwashers, built in microwaves, and even refrigerators (though they don’t have to be mounted per say). Other items are built in play equipment like swing sets, sandboxes, & basketball goals. Also items that are large and bulky can be included like sheds, above ground pools, spas & hot tubs, and boat docs. Built in items like in wall speakers, retractable projection screens, and those fancy outdoor grills & ovens. Only a couple of items slide by the built in requirement like window treatments and pool tables, but sometimes even those cannot be included.

Then there are the no-no’s.

No-no

No-no

Common items that will be rejected by a lender are accessory appliances like wine coolers, blenders, coffee makers, that extra freezer in the garage or anything that is not built in to cabinets, walls, etc. Outdoor patio items and lawn equipment will never be considered in addition to any sort of furniture inside or out. Even items like bar stools that match the bar cannot be listed on a contract. Any of that shelving in the garage cannot be included unless mounted to the walls. I think a normal rule of thumb is if you can move it without using tools to undo it, it is considered ‘Personal Property’, with of course the occasional exception.

Now keep in mind this really only applies if the buyer is getting financing to purchase the home. With cash deals, anything goes! Otherwise these items can be included with a ‘Bill of Sale’ that takes place after closing and not paid out of the loan financing. This places the transaction separate from the home purchase and the lender doesn’t care about that part of your deal.

Be sure and go over everything with your Realtor when you list your home. This is something The Derrick Team will detail on your listing contract so feel free to contact us with any questions when you are preparing your home to sell. Call or text us at 317-563-1110 or email us at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com

Also want to give a shout out to JP Brens at Caliber Home Loans in Avon who provided us with great info on this subject. Be sure and give JP a call at 317-414-2743 with any questions on financing questions you have. We highly recommend JP for any financing needs you need!

Apr 032015
 

As usual everyone had a great time at Dogtona on March 28th, The Hendricks County Humane Society’s spring fundraiser. Our dogs Juno & Bailey had a blast and Juno was on the front page of the Hendricks County Flyer the following week. Be sure and check out the complete video below! The Derrick Team loves to sponsor events like this!dogtona

Mar 202015
 

The answer should be obvious but I still want to go into some details so you’ll understand why I’m blogging about this. And of course to let you know that The Derrick Team ALWAYS takes great listing photos.*  One of the common complaints we hear from buyers is the lack of or poor photos on home they want to see.

There really is no excuse for an agent not to provide plenty of photos for the MLS so they are distributed throughout the Internet sites home buyers use. Yet sadly many agents only take a couple, and often those are poor quality anyway. A trend (that drives me crazy) are the photos taken with cell phones, tablets, or really cheap cameras, that are just plain, ahem, terrible. These devices lack the lenses to produce proper depth and color and often are too dark to see much for indoor photos. They are fine for selfies and personal photos but paid professionals should do their best to help their clients and decent cameras are not expensive any more. Those agents also have the option to pay professionals so there really is no excuse for poor quality photos to market their paying clients property!

I use a Coolpix-510 for our great photos. Additional flash when needed.

I use a Coolpix-510 for our great photos. Additional flash when needed.

With all that said, you should pay attention to what agents provide before you hire them to list your property. Buyers actively search the Internet first before deciding to tour homes. Do you want your home with limited photos that are dark, blurry, and just plain show your home in a bad way? Homes with photos like that will get fewer showings for that reason alone. It’s easy to check on this by looking at the agent’s current listings and marketing materials. Pictures tell thousands of dollars in this case.

Here in central Indiana MIBOR requires members to provide a minimum of 2 photos per listing. This should only be acceptable in what is referred to as ‘listed & sold’ entries. These are homes that never were marketed and the information is not for the public but for reporting purposes only. Otherwise agents are allowed to post up to 24 photos of each listing and those photos are then distributed to other Internet sites for marketing.

The Derrick Team will always use as many photos of a home as possible to make sure the Internet buyers see everything they need to. Often this is way more than the 24 photos so we add more photos to our dedicated website and other marketing materials & virtual tours that we create for each of our listings. We pride ourselves in taking great photos that reflect the home in the best possible way we can. If conditions are not great for the first photo shoot (cloudy, raining, snow, etc.) we always take updated photos at the first opportunity we can. And as the flowers pop up and the grass greens we’ll update as seasons change.

The main reason for great photos is that there is a lot of marketing involved with selling a property and every piece of that will include photos of your home. You want to hire an agent that will make sure those photos best represent your property to potential buyers. You want to make sure those buyers are drawn to come see your property in person, as that’s the last step before they write up an offer. Great photos sell your home.

Check out The Derrick Team’s listings and you’ll see that we take marketing our clients’ property seriously, which includes great photos. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110.

Good pictures show the outstanding features on this home in Oak Bend Estates in Avon.

Good pictures show the outstanding features on this home in Oak Bend Estates in Avon.

 

 *Occasionally the home sells before or on the day we list it, then we may only have taken preliminary photos.

 

Mar 102015
 
Avon Home ready to show

Make is sparkle!

You’ve completed all the tasks to get your home on the market such as cleaning, decluttering, painting, etc. and just signed the contract to sell your home. Signs in the yard and your home is officially on the market. Now you start getting the calls from agents who want to show your home. Here are some tips on making your home stand out.

Be Ready To Show
First it’s generally a good idea to have the home ready for showings at all times. You just never know when an agent is out showing homes and their client’s spots your home and wants to check it out. Last minute showings aren’t that common but they do happen. In some cases that’s not possible depending on your situation but keep in mind you want to avoid turning down showings if at all possible. It often comes when an agent shows a nearby home and spots yours. So it pays to always be ready.

30 Minute Drill
Since you are going to be living there you will probably create messes as you cook, play, etc so just be neat and try to always clean up afterwards. Create a family drill where each member has a task to clean up an area in less than 30 minutes. Clean homes usually sell faster so in an ideal market you won’t have to do this drill very many times.

Light It Up
When you have a showing make sure all the lights are on and the drapes / shades are open. You want to buyer to see your bright clean home in the best possible light. Change out those money saving bulbs for brighter wattage in darker areas. When we are showing homes we often try to walk ahead of our clients and turn on lights but we don’t always see all the lights and may miss some nice accent lights that show off an area of the home. A neighbor or family member could come set up the home if you are not in a position to do this for all showings.

Air It Out
Smells invoke reactions and buyers will react to bad smells, even in a beautiful home. If possible open the windows and air out the home before showings. Remove any items that may cause bad smells like the trash with last nights leftovers, dirty litter box, soiled laundry, etc. or the smell will come right back when you close the windows. Avoid strong smelly sprays & scented candles as they often make the buyer think you are covering things up. Sometimes a little splash of bleach in the drains can make a room smell fresh and clean, but don’t overdo it.

Make It Nice
If you really want to impress your potential buyers put out some individually wrapped snacks on the kitchen table with a ‘help yourself’ sign. Little bottles of water work nicely with that as well. Have some soft easy listing music playing in one area just to make it feel comfortable. If you have a dedicated entertainment room a ‘G-Rated’ movie playing at a low volume can be a nice touch. The idea is to make them envision themselves enjoying living in your home.

For Pet Owners
Like most pet owners you probably let yours run around the house while you’re away. You really want to address this during showings as not all people like or feel comfortable around pets, especially large dog breeds. We’ve seen where agents wouldn’t even enter a home if a large dog is loose. So at a minimum we suggest you crate both cats and dogs for showings. Keep in mind it’s for the pets’ safety as well as doors may not be closed and your pet may escape the house and run away. But really the best option would be to remove the animals during showings. Talk with a neighbor or family member about helping if you are not always available to do this.

Vacate!
This may seem obvious but sometimes we come across sellers who hang around while their home is being shown. We’ve dealt with this a few times and it really makes our clients uneasy. The last thing you want to do is make them uncomfortable, as that feeling will stick with them. If you want to keep and eye on people looking at your home go over to a neighbors and hang out or sit down the street in your car. This is completely acceptable and it makes it easy for you to know when it’s safe to return to your home.

We try a prepare sellers that it can be quite a job to sell your home. But the better you are prepared the better your home will show so hopefully you sell quickly and you won’t have to do all these items very many times. Feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email with any questions you have about selling your home. We’re here to help!

Feb 272015
 

It’s that time again that all dogs love in Hendricks County, Dogtona!Dogtona 2015 for the Hendricks County Humane Society

The event is held by the Hendricks County Humane Society at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM with all sorts of fun things for dogs to do. This is a must see event, even if you cannot bring a dog. Check out photos from last years event below. See you there!

Find out all the details at the Hendricks County Humane Society web site.


Video from the 2013 Dogtona

Feb 232015
 

Sold Another Avon HomeYou often will hear about improvements to a home that help increase the value. But you really don’t know if the value was really improved until you go to sell your home. What you want to increase is the buyers’ perceptions which will in turn increase what they will offer. As long as it appraises you will have increased the value based on your improvements.

First and foremost, the most important improvement is to clean your home like it’s never been cleaned before. This will always be our number one recommendation to anyone who’s getting their home prepared to sell. We’ve heard all kinds of reasons why people want to skip this step but you’re hurting the home’s value because of the buyer’s perceptions. ‘If the owner does not clean the home they probably don’t take good care of the home in general.’ In other words they wonder what else has been ignored in the upkeep of the home in general.

The first part of this involves decluttering. Remember that you plan to move soon so purge first to save you a lot of trouble later on. Then store away as many personal, small items as you can to make the home look neat. You’ll be glad you did this first when you start to clean. While you can clean the home yourself and save money it might be worth having professionals come do a top to bottom cleaning once, then you can just do maintenance cleaning from that point on. Clean homes will always sell faster and for closer to original list price. So this is the biggest bang for the buck, even if you pay someone.

After the cleaning look over everything in the home such as kitchen / bath fixtures to see if there are any stains or damage that didn’t come clean. At that point consider replacing them and be sure and match or upgrade what you currently have. What you use as replacements depends on your home décor and price point. This is a good time to talk to a local REALTOR to see what would work best for your home. Now use this same thought process on everything else in the home. Scarred or damaged walls? Go ahead and repair / paint and be sure and use a neutral color. * Stains that won’t come out of the carpet? Consider replacing the carpet or at least getting a quote. You’ll want to talk to a REALTOR before you spend too much money on new flooring.

After cleaning and repairing things can get a bit trickier. This is where someone with local market knowledge can be the biggest help. While a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover will help you sell your home, you may spend a lot of money and only get a little increased value in return. What really drives major updates is the local market for your type of home. In markets in other parts of the country homes sell for much higher values (starting at $500K), so updated baths and kitchens are expected with a basic home. So in that market a $20K kitchen upgrade could pay off while here with an $85K starter home, not so much.

Better investments locally are to look at the condition of the mechanicals such as heating/air, water heater, sump pump, etc. For example have your furnace serviced before you put the home on the market and keep the paperwork on anything done, especially if there is a transferable warranty. These are the type of items that can come up in an inspection so you’ll probably have to do this anyway. But what you want is to show the buyer you take good care of your home. That is the basic perceived value you want to impress on buyers who tour your home. That in turn will increase their offer and what the real value of your home is to that buyer.

If you are looking to increase your home’s value feel free to call The Derrick Team to come take a look at your home. We’ll be happy to discuss what you need to do with no obligations. We love to help people sell their homes that much! Call or text 317-563-1110 or email us at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com. We work out of our Avon Indiana office to help buyers and sellers in the entire Indy Metro Area.

* If you plan to do the painting your self be sure and do a neat professional job. Sloppy paint jobs can be worse than walls that need painting so invest in some good paint tools and tape to do it right.

Feb 182015
 

Update 1: Right after I published this MIBOR announced a delay until September this year for the cut-over. First little bump has occurred. 

Update 2: Matrix went live September 9th of 2015 to mixed reviews by end users. But in general I’ll say it’s more stable than Tempo ever was.

As with all technology there have been a lot of changes going on lately. Almost every day you hear about new mobile apps for searching real estate and a lot of changes with online search sites such as the Zillow / Trulia merger. But coming real soon there are big changes in store for central Indiana that will impact everyone who uses the MIBOR (Metropolitan Indianapolis Board Of Realtors) web site.

First a little background. The current MIBOR online database has been in use for several years with minor tweaks since the switch from distributed program CD’s and the old monthly catalogs. As with all technology it was the best you could get at the time but then technology evolves and eventually programs and associated databases aren’t quite up to par. The current system called TEMPO is based on a Microsoft platform which limits it to effectively be used in MS Internet Explorer. Today with all the other platforms including Apple products, Android platforms, and the explosion of mobile options, the workarounds with TEMPO just don’t work very well. So at this point it was determined that the system needed a complete overhaul and what MIBOR is rolling out very soon is called MATRIX.matrix

We REALTORS have had time to train and work with MATRIX since the beginning of the year. I can tell you it is a completely different system, which is both good and bad. I will preface this next statement with the fact I worked in IT for over 20 years and worked with many large program rollouts. The rollout of MATRIX is going to be very painful for a lot of people whom we might label ‘technology challenged’. I will also say the team in charge of the rollout has their job cut out for them. But we all know change is never easy. Even I struggle to get used to new or updated programs so there really is never and easy way to achieve something like this.

As with all new programs there will be some wrinkles and bumps to deal with as everyone gets accustom to a completely new interface. And the programmers will be busy for a while working out the usual bugs. But eventually everyone should be able to realize the improvement, especially when they learn the newer features that are available because the underlying database structure is more flexible.

One that everyone should benefit is the quicker response time because the system is based on the latest ‘cloud technology’. For REALTORS the search function includes a lot of custom shortcut tools that will make it easier to find something while on the phone with a client. And most of all will be the platform independence that should make it much easier to adapt to existing or future technology platforms. So get ready, MATRIX is coming!

Feb 112015
 

There are many great ways to expose your home to buyers but virtual tours add an element that shows your home in a manner perfect for social media. Visual Tour is a product by Paradym that we utilize for all our listings. We customize every one of our listings by adding more photos than the original 24 uploaded from MIBOR BLC and change the look and music to make each tour unique. We utilize the social media tools and post tours to our web site www.DerrickTeam.com as well as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

VT Active Listings QRCode

QR Code

We also use the print tools that include QR codes that we place on every take one flyer for our listings that make it easy to see a tour with a smart phone or tablet while sitting in front of the home. One of the newest tools is the mobile marketing option that creates a code buyers can text and see the tour photos and details on their mobile device and we capture the number for follow up. This allows us to get instant feedback on what buyers think of the listing as well as contacts to invite to open houses.

Another feature we like and use is the reporting function that allows us to send weekly traffic reports to our clients so they can see the online interest in their home. This complements the other Internet traffic reports we provide each of our listing clients.

Tour-View-Report-1

Traffic Report

The Derrick Team has always utilized Visual Tour because we want to provide the best marketing tools for our listing clients. In order to guarantee to have your home marketed with Visual Tour you’ll have to hire The Derrick Team as most other agents do not offer it. And of course no other agents offer the extensive Internet marketing that we do. Call or text 317-563-1110 for a no obligation comparative market report and all the details on how we market your home.

Be sure and check out our current listing tour below.

Virtual Tour Inventory WidgetGet Adobe Flash Player

Jan 312015
 

RinehartSOLDSo you’ve been though the process of searching, touring, and determining the home you wish to purchase. You made an offer and your Realtor just called you and told you your offer has been excepted. Congratulations, you just made the first step in your home purchase process. But you’re not quite done yet. Now it’s time to get busy as you and your Realtor have some things to do.

First, your Realtor should let you know specifically what to do per what you put in the Purchase Agreement (PA). There are contingencies that must be met to complete the entire purchase.

Getting A Loan
Typically if you are getting a loan there is a contingency for you to be able to obtain acceptable financing and the property to appraise for the purchase price. Your Realtor will work closely with your lender to make sure all the information is exchanged on the property and purchase agreement with all needed parties. This includes the Ernest Money (EM) you put down on the property (which is deposited in escrow by the listing broker at this point, so make sure you have the funds to cover). It is YOUR responsibility to provide all your personal financial information to lender as quickly as possible when anything is requested. Failure to do so can lead to delays or even the default of the PA, which then can make you lose the property and possibly your EM. Time is of essence after the first few days so do everything you’re told as quickly as possible. What ever you do, DON’T go spend a lot of money. We’ve seen more deals fall apart because buyers ruin their credit rating just as they are about to purchase a home. If you need to buy something, talk to your lender first.

The Home Inspection
At this same time you’ll be told to hire an home inspector if it was in the PA. We always recommend one for every home purchased as you want to make sure there is no hidden major problems that end up costing you a lot of money in the future. Take the time to get this setup as quickly as possible, and make the time to be there during the inspection. A good inspector will show you things you need to know, like how to check the furnace or water heater. They will educate you a little about your new home. A good Realtor will be there with you for the inspection (I will always try my best to be there for the entire inspection.) After the inspection we will write the inspection response based on what is documented in the report. At that point we will negotiate with the sellers if there are issues that need to be resolved.

Homeowners Insurance
After those two items are addressed things will slow down a little bit while waiting for the lender to finish preliminary underwriting on your loan and the appraisal is ordered. You will need to call and get homeowners insurance as that will be a lender requirement. Check with your auto insurance company as discounts often apply to combined home and auto insurance.

Listen To Your Advisors
If there are other contingencies your Realtor should keep you advised on anything you need to get taken care of. Be a responsible buyer and follow the advice of your Realtor and lender to make sure the entire transaction proceeds smoothly. Buyers who do not complete contract items in time can find they lose the property and their EM. But stay in the required timeframes and everything will move more easily to you owning a new home.

Just starting to look? Give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110! We will assist you every step of the way to get you into you’re new home.

Dec 292014
 

Whenever we discuss our commissions we often find that people have no idea how a REALTOR® gets paid and all the work behind getting those paychecks. While each real estate company has different way of compensating their agents, certain aspects remain consistent no matter which brokerage they represent.

The first confusion is that REALTOR®s work for a broker as an employee and are compensated for any or all of the broker’s sales. The truth is that agents are actually self-employed as independent contractors. Indiana’s real estate license dictates that agents affiliate with a brokerage unless they choose to start their own company (there are other requirements before an agent can do so). As independent contractors we are only compensated on our own sales and not any other brokerage sales. So if a REALTOR® doesn’t sell any of their properties, they don’t make a cent. In some cases with larger teams, they all might get a cut of the team’s sales but that is really determined by the team leader.

The next part that is fairly consistent is with the brokerages’ compensation to the agent for the agent’s own sales. With each sale the commission is paid to the brokerage. Then the brokerage pays the agent based on predetermined percentages and other expenses. The part that varies with each brokerage is how they pass on expenses to the agents. In some cases it’s up front charges and others it’s taken out of the agents commission as a percentage of the sale. In either case understand that when you see the commission figures on closing documents, your agent is only getting a portion of that amount.

Now that you know we are self-employed you also have to understand that an agent is responsible for all their own taxes, professional fees, ongoing education requirements, transportation costs, and a lot of their business expenses. Some brokers provide a lot for their agents while others provide little if anything at all which often determines the commission percentages. But no matter how much the brokerage provides all agents will have to cover a lot of their own expenses if they want to be a successful agent. As you look at the chart to the right you’ll see in the end an agent gets a small profit from each sale and only after a successful closing.

So to summarize agents only get a percentage of the commission and only when they list and sell your home or help a buyer purchase a home. Up until a successful closing real estate agents assume all the expenses involved and receive absolutely no commission if there is no sale. As you can see a successful REALTOR® will do everything they can to help sell their listings, as there is no payday until they do.

Commision-Split

Dennis & Connie Derrick (The Derrick Team) are a husband / wife team and are associated with Carpenter Realtors because they provide the best marketing to their agents. Then The Derrick Team goes the extra step to present your home in the best possible way to buyers, as this is what we know helps sell your home. You only get the extra marketing by selecting The Derrick Team. We are also unique in that we enjoy what we do so helping our clients in any way we can is part of the experience you have with us. We like to help people with their real estate needs, but we do have bills to pay as well. Give us a call to discuss your needs today at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com.

Dec 222014
 

Let’s face it, we are so used to flipping the switch to turn on a light that when the power is out you still will flip the switch when you walk into a dark room (you know we’ve all done that before). Then you go ‘Duh, I already knew that wouldn’t work.’ Well there is a way to make sure that light will almost always work, and that’s by installing an Emergency Power System.

There are a few different ways you can set these up and the best systems will cost you a bundle. A fully automated, whole house system that you will never notice when the utility power is out is pretty much way out of most of our price ranges. This would include a large enough generator to power the entire house, a completely automated switch over system, and a very large battery bank (UPS) to run the power during the 30 to 60 second switch over. This type of system is usually only used in commercial systems due to the high cost.

There are home versions that are a bit simpler and more affordable. The basic option is a gasoline powered portable with a few outlets on the unit. These usually will power a handful of things depending on the size of the unit. Larger portable units are often setup with a single hookup to plug into the home’s wiring system. This wiring system is installed by an electrician and is properly sized so that only the important items in the house will be powered and thus you can still use a portable unit.  Having the wiring ready is key as then you can use any properly sized portable generator and plug it quickly into the house circuit when needed. The wiring system also isolates the home from the commercial power grid so when workers working on the power lines will not get shocked from your generator!

Fully automated backup generator

Fully automated backup generator

The next step would be a larger permanently installed unit with an automatic switchover system. These typically will run on natural or propane and sit somewhere outside the home ready to go when needed. With the generator, wiring, and automated switch system these can get expensive fast. These only make sense if you live out in the middle of nowhere and sometimes lose power for days.

The best way to figure out what’s the best method is to look at your own needs, and how often do you go long periods without power. I think for most of us, the quick connect to the house system is reasonable in price and worth the safety to know that within a few minutes, you can flip that switch again and this time you’ll have light!

Our listing in Brownsburg is setup with a fully automated backup power system.

Dec 092014
 

The Power of the Internet

As Carpenter Agents, The Derrick Team utilizes every appropriate form of marketing tools Carpenter Realtors provides us but then will do even more for sellers to maximize the exposure to interested buyers. As many buyers today do their “First Showing” online with various Internet sites it is very important that an online showing is the best it can be. As most sites pull their data from the MIBOR information, we provide the best descriptions, pictures, links and detailed information to the BLC listing on MIBOR so this happens. Then Carpenter Realtors has negotiated with the Indianapolis Star and Homefinder.com to upgrade listings with options beyond the standard listing advertisements. Carpenter Agents can also add more information at www.CallCarpenter.com.

In addition to all this great online marketing, The Derrick Team will add to the Internet showings with a dedicated web page on our own Derrick Team web site for each of our listings. Why is this important? With each of the products and sites provided to agents through MIBOR (via MATRIX), the amount of information and pictures is limited due to the large number of listings on each web site (500 character limit in description, 24 photos). By having a page dedicated to each listing we can expand the information, pictures, videos, to as much as we need to properly market your property. A link to www.DerrickTeam.com is included in all marketing materials so interested buyers can easily check it out for more information.

But Wait, There’s More!

We will use web analytical traffic measuring tools to track traffic to the site to allow us to fine tune our marketing process. In addition to this we market our listings using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, our Derrick Team Blog, and Craigslist.com. This exposes your property to an even wider variety of possible buyers; all those on-line, tech-savvy, professionals.

Almost any Real Estate Agent will offer you some sort of Internet marketing but we know The Derrick Team is one of the few who will offer you all of these marketing methods, at no extra cost to you! All our marketing tools will make sure your property gets the maximum exposure where it counts, with interested buyers looking for property like yours!

Real World Marketing Examples With Maximum Exposure!

First we create a dedicated web page:

DedicatedSiteExample

 (which is automatically distributed to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites)

Then we advertise the Open Houses in Home Finder section in the Sunday Indianapolis Star and mention the web site as part of the description so readers can get easily find additional information about your home:

ThursdayAd

 Then we Facebook about the Open House which also draws more viewers to your listing on our web site:
FBopenhouse

Then we continue to market in print media, flyers, other web based real estate sites, always mentioning the web site for more details. Our upgraded take one flyers also reference the web site giving drive by buyers a quick way to get more information. In addition they can have a number they can text to receive a complete tour of the home on their mobile device.

TakeOneFlyerForestCommons-1

For a no obligation we’ll be happy to do a free market analysis of your home and show you everything we do to help you sell your home with the exclusive Derrick Team Above & Beyond Marketing. Call or text us at 317-563-1110 or send us an email.

The Derrick Team: Full Customer Service and Full Marketing Exposure!

Nov 132014
 

U-Haul-TruckOne thing we often hear from our clients selling their home and buying a new one is they don’t want move more than once. They want to move right from their current home into their new home. It’s an understandable desire as moving all your belongings is usually a highly underestimated task. One never realizes how much you own until you have to pack, move, and unpack. So the thought of doing it twice or more brings about a certain dread. The reality is the only way to make sure you only move once is to buy your new home first. But since most of our clients need to sell their current home first, that’s not a real option. So we’ll explain the best way to prepare yourself so that when you put your home on the market you’ll be in the best position to move only once.

The first step to prepare your home for the market is to declutter your home. This is also an excellent time to purge all those items you’ll never need again. Garage sales, giving items to friends & family, and donating are excellent ways to get rid of items that have some use, just not for you. And before you pitch any items in the trash, first consider recycling when possible. For any items you won’t need until after you move pack them away and if possible store them elsewhere. The idea here is the less you have to move to your next home the easier it is move over a weekend. These days you typically have only a few days to move out after closing so plan on a quick 2-3 day move and you’ll be fine. Don’t forget when you move out you cannot leave anything behind unless that is agreed to in the purchase agreement so give yourself time to have the home ‘broom clean’.

Next you want to have a target in mind of where you want to move. It’s best to search for homes before you even list your house so you have an idea of what’s on the market and what you can afford. Be sure and talk to a lender and get prequailified so you don’t have any nasty surprises later when you go to buy another home (we’ve seen that one before). Visit some open houses in the target area and talk to neighbors you see out. Having an idea of where you want to buy (and can afford) when you’ve sold your home helps keep the timeframe lined up with back to back closings so you only have to move once. You’ll need to watch the inventory supply for your target area. In some of the most popular areas homes sell quickly. If you are determined to buy in an area like that have your home ready to go on the market at any time. Then when the perfect home comes on the market get your home listed ASAP, and price it to sell quickly. A good REALTOR can help advise you on local sales prices so you’ll want to be the best deal in your area. You can also consider making a ‘first right’ offer on the home you like but many sellers are reluctant to do so in areas where homes sell quickly. Also be prepared to offer top dollar whenever you do make an offer. Again, a good REALTOR can advise you on the best tactics to entice the seller to accept you offer over other possible offers.

Finally, when you have an accepted offer on your home and have successfully negotiated an offer on the home you are buying, everything becomes time critical. The entire process of inspection, appraisal, necessary repairs, etc must move in lock step on both transactions. Any delay in one will affect the other and possibly jeopardize both. A good REALTOR will help you by staying on top of both transactions to ensure you have a back to back closing (usually on the same day) so you can work out an acceptable timetable with both parties and you’ll only have to move once.

So to summarize:
1. Reduce the amount of items you need to move so you can move in just 2-3 days.
2. Do your homework and know where you want to move based on what you’re approved for by a lender.
3. Get a good REALTOR that will make sure everything moves in lockstep in the sale of your home and the purchase of your new home.

A couple of items to note is we still recommend to our clients you have a backup plan in case you sell your home but some last minute issue keeps you from closing on your new home right away. And while it’s not always possible its handy if the home you are buying is vacant so there is no issue with immediate possession.

You’ll want to find a good experienced REALTOR with both listing and buying. The Derrick Team, Connie & Dennis Derrick are your experienced REALTORS and are here to help your move from your current home to your new one as smoothly as possible. Call or text us today at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week!

Oct 052014
 

This style of home comes from the basic need for shelter. National-style homes are less adorned than the European Victorian style homes. In early America, builders copied from Native American and tended to build these homes more for utilitarian needs.

The style is typically utilizes rectangular shapes with side-gabled roofs or square layouts with pyramidal roofs. The gabled-front-and-wing style this home in Danville is in the subset of the National style known as “Massed” plan styles, recognized by a layout more than one room deep, often sport side gables and shed-roofed porches.

National style homes have been around since the pre-railroad days but the style is still used as the basis for new custom built homes and can be found all over the country.

As history buffs we love to help sellers with older historic homes. But then we love to help everyone sell their home, no matter which century it was built. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 with any of your real estate needs.

Sep 222014
 

1513 Forest Commons DrFrench Provincial or more commonly referred to as French Country style homes come from a style of French countryside homes originating in the 1600’s. Balance and symmetry are the ruling characteristics of this formal style. Originally the homes were often brick with detailing in copper or slate but today more modern roofing materials are used and copper will only be a minor detail if used at all. Windows and chimneys are symmetrical and perfectly balanced, at least in original versions of the style but with modern homes the balance gives way to interior layouts and attached garages. Defining features often include a steep, high, hip roof; balcony and porch balustrades; rectangle doors set in arched openings; and double French windows with shutters but again modern versions usually have only some of these features.

The truer French Provincial homes will be older homes built in America after the world wars in 1920’s & 1960s by returning soldiers. Now elements of the style are used in expensive custom homes as a way to stand out from more common modern building styles.

Whether fancy or traditional american style, we love to help everyone sell their home, no matter which century it was built. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 with any of your real estate needs.

Jumbo-2015-Sales

Sold this French Provencal home in 2015

 

Aug 282014
 
curvesign

Much Ignored Sign

As you drive on county roads in Hendricks County you often find the sudden 90-degree turn with a short bit of road before another turn back in the direction you were driving. This is usually due to the nature of how early roads were based on trails that often cut across the areas of land before they were sold. You can see variances from some of the earliest maps of the county roads vs. today’s maps. (The old maps below are available at  http://www.co.hendricks.in.us/)

Once land was purchased and prepared for use by the new owner they often asked that the county vacate the road across their new land. This is evident in early records of county proceedings in various meeting documents in archives. For roads still used the solution often was to reroute the roads along the property lines. Of course when mostly used by slow foot and horse traffic 90 degree turns weren’t much of an issue. Today these corners are usually marked with tire skid marks from inattentive drivers.

If you live on a tricky road or a neighborhood, we will be happy to help you sell your home. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 with any of your real estate needs.


Hendricks County 1865

Hendricks County 1865

Hendricks County 1876

Hendricks County 1876

Hendricks County 1904

Hendricks County 1904

Hendricks County 1920

Hendricks County 1920

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