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The Quality of RE/MAX Agents Is On Display Once Again

by Scott Darling

remax

In the 2016 Franchise Times 200 ranking released recently, RE/MAX not lead all real estate brands for the eighth consecutive year, but also climbed to the Top 10 overall – in 8th place ahead of household names such as Marriott, Wendy’s, and Domino's.

Meet Scott Darling Chester County PA Realtor

by Scott Darling

Meet Scott Darling Chester County PA Realtor

Check out my new introduction video. Be sure to watch all the way to the end...

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for August 2016

by Scott Darling

homeowner

Being a homeowner means that your home is yours – even the things that need fixing. Is a faucet leaking? Are floor boards squeaky? Is a light-switch not working? Those issues are all yours to tackle. But what projects can you do yourself and what ones require the help of a trained professional? Taking on projects yourself can save you time and money. But taking on the wrong projects can lead to unending amounts of stress or end up costing you more money than if you had hired someone in the first place. NAR’s consumer website, HouseLogic.com, lets you know which projects need a seasoned hand and a beginner can undertake.  

Take a look at how many families decided to become homeowners in our local market in August…

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for August 2016

2,641 Chester County PA single family homes were for sale in August 2016 which is an 8.42% decrease from August 2015. 687 homes sold in August with a median sales price of $351,000, a 8.00% increase from August 2015.

The supply of inventory was 5.0 compared to 5.6 in August 2015 and the Sales vs List Price was 96.3%.

Date Homes For
Sale
Months Supply
Inventory
Homes
Sold
Median Sales
Price
Sales Price vs
List Price
August 2016 2,641 5.0 687 $351,000 96.3%
August 2015 2,884 5.6 683 $325,000 95.1%

 

Curious about the value of your home? Get your home's value here!

4 Tips For Hiring a Moving Company

by Scott Darling

moving company

You have finally found the home of your dreams and you are ready to pack all of your belongings up so that you can move into that home.  Moving doesn’t have to be a dread, rather if you hire the right moving company it can actually be somewhat fun.  Heed the following tips when hiring a moving company  and you are more likely to have a nice experience. 

  1. Check the moving company’s reputation before you hire them to help you move from your old house into your new house.   You can do this by asking your friends and family and/or by checking with the Better Business Bureau.  If folks have had a bad experience with a moving company or any company for that matter they are going to be sure to spread the word. 
  2. Make sure to get any estimates on moving your belongings in writing.  You don’t want to be scammed with the old bait and switch that so many moving companies are getting a bad rap about.  If you have an amount in writing you will be able to dispute if the company tries to change the price for no reason and hold your belongings until you pay the new price. 
  3. Make sure that your belongings are covered in case they get harmed in transit.  It is worth it to get insurance  to cover your belongings if they mean anything to you at all.  Full value insurance is a good idea if you have a lot of valuables that you won’t be able to replace easily if they are damaged during the move.  It may cost a bit more than other insurance but it will be worth it in the long run.
  4. If you want to make sure things are done right by the moving company you can always get in there and help out when they are packing your items up.  You can watch to make sure they do things right if you don’t want to help. 

Again, moving doesn’t have to be a huge hassle, it can be a good time and an exciting time in your life, especially if you are moving out of an old home into your dream home.  Don’t let hiring a less than stellar moving company be an issue for you.  Do your homework and hire a moving company that will do things right the first time. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling!

 

You’ve Moved into Your New Home—Now What?

by Scott Darling

Congratulations! You’ve survived the process of leaving one home and finding another and the onus of packing everything up and then unpacking the same boxes.  You’ve found a new bank and a new doctor; you’ve investigated trash pick-up times, licensing requirements, and car registration; and your mail is being forwarded on a regular basis.  So far so good, but now that you’re somewhat settled in your home, it’s time to become familiar with your new environment.

The following tips are designed to help you become part of your new community and re-create the sense of belonging you had in your previous location.

  • Go online to learn about the new area and what it has to offer. Look at the city or chamber of commerce website. Research religious facilities, cultural opportunities, parks and outdoor activities, and so much more!
  • Acquire a regional map and drive around. Explore shortcuts and pinpoint the location of shopping malls, medical services, libraries, the post office, city offices, etc.
  • Talk to neighbors. Ask advice about home maintenance companies, babysitters, doctors, or the civic league or homeowners’ organization association. .
  • Take a walking tour of your neighborhood. Introduce yourself to and initiate conversations with neighbors who are outside. Compliment their yard or ask directions, for starters
  • Attend garage/yard sales in the vicinity of your home. Shoppers at these events are generally friendly and gregarious, so talk to them/
  • Read the local newspaper to discover places of interest and happenings in the area. Look for clubs or group meetings that focus on your interests--art, gardening, books, sports, crafts, e.g.
  • Join a recreation center or gym. Attend classes there or work out with a group that you know will share your interests.
  • Volunteer. Check with a church or synagogue, a hospital, library, or school near you. Volunteering is a terrific way to meet people and to make you feel an integral part of the community.
  • Give a house warming party and invite all your neighbors. Such an occasion is a good reason to finish unpacking and decorating your new home and a wonderful way to make friends..

Before long you will become familiar with your new environment and be comfortable there. Best of all, you’ll “belong” once again!  

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Knowing When You've Found Your Dream Home

by Scott Darling

dream home

When you are looking to find a mate to marry you may spend years and years before you find the one that is meant for you to be with, however you don’t need to look for years to find “the one” when it comes to house hunting.  There are ways to know when you have found the right house for you but you may need to make a few tweaks in your wish list to make it all possible.  Below are a few ideas to help make finding your dream home  a bit easier. 

  • A good way to get started finding the house that you have always dreamed of owning is to make a list of your expectations.  You should list your must have items in order of how important they are to you.  As you begin house hunting you may want to rearrange your list a little depending on what you find on the market.  It may be helpful to put a star beside the expectations that are most important to you so that you don’t forget something.
  • It’s perfectly alright to look online as much as you want at houses when you are shopping for a home but it may be wise to limit your actual house viewings.  If you visit too many homes during your house search you may find that it becomes a bit overwhelming and you may also realize that you are trying to create the home of your dreams by piecing together bits and pieces of each house you look at.  Narrow down your actual house viewings to about four of your top picks.  This will help you to more easily narrow down your search and to make a final decision more quickly.  
  • If you find that you simply cannot find what you are looking for in the current real estate market, perhaps it may be best for you to stop looking for a month or two and wait to see what may pop up.  You may find that the home of your dreams is only a few short months away from being found. 

Again, you may need to make a few adjustments to your wish list once you start looking for a home but that doesn’t mean you cannot find the perfect home for you and your family.     If the house you choose doesn’t have everything you hoped it would, you can always add things once you move in. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Real Estate Expert Scott Darling!

What Realtors Do

by Scott Darling

realtor

Think you know what a real estate agent does on a daily basis?  You might have to think again in order to correctly identify all the responsibilities on the shoulders of your REALTOR (a real estate agent who is a member of the National Board of Realtors).   You most likely would be surprised—and impressed—to discover the wide range and long list of activities undertaken by your REALTOR in your pursuit of buying/selling a home.

A basic job description would include renting, and buying, and selling (oh, my!) real estate for clients, interviewing potential clients, previewing and showing  property, discussing sales conditions, drawing up and presenting offers, holding open houses, and writing contracts—all the while meeting deadlines and hand-holding when necessary.  Oh, but there is so much more for your REALTOR to do, including, but certainly not limited to, the following duties:

  • Staying current with market trends in your area
  • Analyzing comparables
  • Exploring and evaluating mortgage options
  • Finding buyers or properties for clients
  • Scheduling appraisals
  • Keeping up with changing federal/state laws and program
  • Negotiating between parties
  • Preparing MLS listings
  • Promoting properties via ads, web sites, videos, and virtual tours
  • Completing required courses, attending seminars, and the like
  • Coordinating inspections, walk-throughs, and closings
  • Arranging for title searches

But did you know that the National Association of Realtors awards grants to groups of state and local real estate associates who attempt to go above and beyond in promoting and expanding housing opportunities in their communities?  These REALTORS work together to design and implement affordable housing programs and are thus eligible for the NAR grants twice a year.  In addition, the NAR offers programs, training, and resources for these groups.  Click here for details of the Housing Opportunity Program.

Remember, real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.                                                                                

Contact us!  We’re qualified, experienced, and looking forward to assisting you.

Courtesy of Chester County PA Real Estate Expert Scott Darling!

Plan Now for Your Big Move This Summer

by Scott Darling

The big move - it should be in all-caps and announced with a deep, authoritative voice. THE BIG MOVE. And it's coming to your family soon. It might be from one house to another across town, or it might involve crossing many state lines. No matter the distance, amount of belongings or number of people, your big move is going to be a big deal.

movingThere are ways to plan for your move so the big event doesn't overwhelm you. Here are five moving tips you with your big move.

1. Less is better –

The less you have to move, the easier your move will be on your body and your wallet. It will also be easier to fit everything into your new house. While packing, create three piles. The first is your "must-go" pile. The second is your "must-sell" pile, which includes anything you haven't used in the last year, anything you have multiples of and anything you just don't want any more. The third is the "must-throw" pile, and it contains anything that can't be sold at a garage sale or donated. Start creating these piles now, and it will make moving day much easier.

2. Stock up on supplies –

Big boxes might seem like a great idea because they can hold so much stuff, but what happens when you try to lift one and carry it down a flight of steps? Stock up on boxes of multiple sizes, but keep in mind that smaller is much easier to carry. Also stock up on foam and bubble wrap to protect your fragile items, a good supply of packing tape and bold markers for labeling boxes. You'll also want to have moving blankets and hand trucks to make it easier to transport your items.

3. Rent a truck –

One trip makes the big move simple, even if you're just moving across town. Most movers find the 12- or 16-foot truck perfect for moving a few large items or the contents of a small condo or apartment.

4. Pack smart –

Load the heaviest items on the truck first. When you've got a sturdy base of the heaviest items, you can start stacking on top. This is when it's handy to list a box's contents on its side. If you have friends and family helping, they'll know not to set books on top of your china.

5. Safety and security -

Trucks are taller, wider, heavier and require more stopping distance than the vehicle you are used to driving. Take extra precaution, especially when the truck is loaded. Watch out for low-hanging tree branches and building overhangs, and use extra caution when cornering. To protect your belongings, park in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door. To make sure you've got everything you need on moving day, create a travel bag for keeping important paperwork, credit cards, identification, a change of clothes, drinks and snacks close at hand.

As you cross days off on the calendar and the big day approaches, these tips will help you sail through the event with few conflicts. Before you know it, you'll be settled in your new home. (BPT)

When Is It Time To Downsize?

by Scott Darling

You’ve officially joined the ranks of the empty-nesters. One of the first questions that usually comes to mind is should we downsize our home. The kids are gone and we probably don’t need this big house. But is buying a smaller home right for you? Obviously, there are pros and cons to consider about both your finances and lifestyle before making a decision.

downsizeReasons not to downsize:

  • The family is spread all across the country and you want to have a place for everyone to gather for the holidays and vacations.
  • You’ve been in your current home for many years and have filled it with mementos you don’t want to part with.
  • You’re not emotionally ready to pack up and leave a lifestyle you worked hard to create. Leaving family, friends and familiar surroundings is more than you can bear.
  • You enjoy the feelings that go along with your larger home. A smaller home will not feel right for your current lifestyle.

Reasons to downsize:

  • The lower (or zero) mortgage payment that comes with a smaller home would give you more discretionary funds to travel and enjoy other recreational activities.
  • A smaller home means less to maintain and more time to play.
  • You and/or your spouse are not able to navigate the stairs like you use. A single level home is more desirable.
  • A smaller, newer home is more efficient and cost effective.
  • You need to be closer to a family member who needs assistance and your attention.

If you decide to downsize, make sure the new home fits both your lifestyle and pocketbook. Talk with a real estate professional about how much money you will net from the sale of your current home, as well as the costs of buying another one. Look into how much it would cost to move and to maintain the smaller home. Make sure it really is cheaper to live there. Downsize only once you’re satisfied that the finances make sense.

Buy into your new lifestyle:

A smaller house in your current neighborhood could be the right decision if your priority is maintaining close ties to neighbors. Just make sure there are amenities like public transportation and stores nearby if your health begins to deteriorate.

A retirement community could be perfect if you never want to move again and you want to focus on travel, hobbies and perfecting your golf stroke instead of mowing the lawn. Talk to current residents to see whether they’re happy with the rules and the way things are run. Another option you may prefer is a condominium to eliminate the maintenance but not be locked in for life like many life care communities.

It is a big decision to downsize. So, make it carefully, do not rush, and get professional advice about the real estate and financial aspects of moving.
 

The Value of a Home Warranty

by Scott Darling

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 20

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Photo of Scott Darling Real Estate
Scott Darling
RE/MAX Action Associates
403 W. Lincoln Highway #101
Exton PA 19341
(610) 594-SCOT
610-363-2001
Fax: (610) 363-5275