Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/14/2019

Preparing your home for emergencies in advance is important. Waiting until the last minute increases the danger and could cause harm to your family that you could easily prevent. Here you'll learn how to prepare the inside of your home for emergencies.

Get Familiar with Your Home (and tell your kids too)

Make sure you know how to disable all the utility lines in your home. It means knowing where to find the shut-offs for electricity, gas, and water just in case there is a problem with the services near your home. Downed power lines can cause shorts in your electronics and appliances, which can damage them or even start fires. It's important everyone in your family is aware of where to find these locations and teach everyone in your home as well. Keep your walkways clear in case you need to exit quickly and work with your family members to memorize all the exits from your home. Practice moving through your home in the dark in case of power outages and ensure that your family knows where to find candles and flashlights in the dark. Don't keep this information to yourself, if you happen to be injured, the rest of your family, kids included, will need to know how to help you and to keep themselves safe.

Build an Emergency Kit

OK, so this might sound like overkill, and sometimes it will be. However, if you've ever experienced an emergency with no power, food or water, you know just how important this is. For everyone else, it is better to be safe than sorry. Especially when "sorry" could mean the injury or even death of family or friends. Most of this emergency kit will keep year-round, so get it prepared and accessible, then leave it be. Make sure to update it as your situation changes.

  1. Water – keep a 3-day supply of water for your entire family. That means 3 gallons per person.
  2. Medicine – keep a week's worth of medication for your family. That means prescriptions, but also include a first aid kit and over the counter medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin.
  3. Food – prepare a week’s supply of non-perishable food that is easy to prepare. Your best options won’t require cooking or water, but if they do, make sure to plan with a camping stove and pots as well as extra water.
  4. Clothing and Sanitation – keep at least a three day supply of clothing (make sure to plan for different weather types) for each family member along with some sanitary wipes, dry shampoo, and emergency blankets. 
  5. Radio – get an emergency radio so you can stay informed. Your best option will be a combination of battery and hand-crank power. Set aside extra batteries but be aware they will run out.
  6. Tools – get an extra toolkit, car emergency kit, flashlights, extra batteries, and any additional tools for your area such as ice scrapers.
  7. Contacts – get yourself a pre-paid emergency cell phone and keep it charged and with the kit. Make sure the phone has all your emergency contacts, including their emergency phone numbers when possible. If you end up without power for an extended period, that battery will die, so make sure to list the contacts in a physical notebook and include that as well
  8. Documents – make copies of all your family's important documents. That means birth certificates, medical notices, passports and IDs, and anything else you can think you might lose if your home is damaged.
  9. Pets – most emergency shelters don’t accept pets, so if you have them, make sure to find a pet-friendly shelter ahead of time. Your pet will need the same things as your family, so be sure to include water, non-perishable food, extra leashes and anything else you can think of that your pet will need 

Remember to update this kit as needed. When your family needs change, update the kit accordingly. Do some research to find out what additional items you might need due to your particular living situation.

Tell Everyone

Your family needs to be just as prepared as you. Practice reacting to emergencies, and make sure that everyone has as much knowledge as you can. Older children are often capable of memorizing all the aspects of your emergency plan and helping out with injuries, smaller children and the elderly or pets. Explain all the elements of your plan to your children and create a manual or book they can study or reference. Its best to stick with picture-based instructions, think of the emergency flyer on an airplane for inspiration, so no one has trouble figuring out what to do if you aren't home or if they need to explain to their friends. Lastly, make sure that your whole family has everyone else's emergency contact information and knows how to reach emergency services. 

If you prepare in advance, you can protect your family in case of disaster. Make sure to ask your real estate professional about the most common hazards in your area.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/7/2019

For those who want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to remain open to negotiating with a seller. That way, you can acquire your dream residence without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline a negotiation with a home seller.

1. Be Flexible

There is no telling how a home negotiation will turn out. Fortunately, if you maintain flexibility, you will be able to go with the flow throughout a negotiation with a seller.

Remember, a homebuyer and home seller share a common goal: to ensure a seamless transaction. If you are open to negotiating with a seller, both you and this individual can work together to achieve results that satisfy all parties.

Don't forget to maintain open lines of communication with a seller during a negotiation as well. By doing so, you and a seller can keep in touch with one another throughout a negotiation and avoid potential miscommunications that otherwise could slow down or stop a home purchase.

2. Establish Realistic Expectations

A home negotiation may work out in your favor or a seller's favor. Or, in the best-case scenario, you and a seller will come to terms that fulfill the needs of both sides. On the other hand, in the worst-case scenario, you may need to walk away from a home purchase altogether.

As a homebuyer, it is important to prepare for all possible scenarios. If you establish realistic expectations as you enter a home negotiation, you can plan accordingly. Then, you and a seller can work together to accomplish the optimal results.

You may want to study the housing market closely too. In fact, you can review the prices of available houses that are comparable to the one you want to buy to ensure your offer to purchase falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is well-equipped to help you handle a homebuying negotiation. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get the assistance you need to acquire your dream house at a price that matches your budget.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and help you discover your ideal residence. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home. Next, if a seller wants to negotiate the terms of a home transaction, a real estate agent is ready to negotiate with this individual on your behalf.

A real estate agent also will keep you informed throughout a home negotiation. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.

Want to acquire your dream house as quickly as possible? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble handling a home negotiation with any seller, at any time.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/30/2019

If you recently listed your home, you may expect many offers to purchase to come your way in the near future. However, the house selling journey can be difficult to navigate, and there are many signs that indicate offers to purchase your home may be unlikely to arrive any time soon. These signs include:

1. Homebuyers are not scheduling showings.

Homebuyers often set up showings to view residences. And if buyers like what they see during a showing, these individuals may request a second showing or submit an offer to purchase a house.

Comparatively, a seller who receives no home showing requests for many days, weeks or months after listing a residence may be in trouble. This seller may need to perform home upgrades to help his or her residence stand out from the competition. Or, the seller may need to lower his or her house's initial asking price.

2. Homebuyers are not attending open houses.

An open house event is designed to provide buyers with an enjoyable experience. The event allows buyers to walk through a residence at their own pace. And if a buyer likes a house, he or she may request a one-on-one showing or submit an offer to purchase.

On the other hand, if no buyers attend an open house, a seller may need to modify his or her property selling strategy. This individual should consider the buyer's perspective closely and think about why buyers may choose to avoid his or her residence. Then, the seller can tweak his or her house selling strategy accordingly.

3. Comparable houses in your area continue to sell.

If a seller finds his or her residence lingers on the real estate market while similar houses sell quickly, there may be one or many problems with this individual's house. Although a seller may wonder why his or her house fails to stir up interest from buyers, a real estate agent can offer expert support. In fact, a seller can work with a real estate agent to determine the best course of action to promote his or her house to the right buyers.

Typically, a real estate agent meets with a house seller and helps this individual craft a property selling strategy. A real estate agent and home seller work hand-in-hand to figure out how to list a house, showcase it to buyers and maximize the residence's value. And when a real estate agent and home seller put a home selling plan into action, the results can be significant.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides once a seller receives an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a home seller may be uncertain about what to do. But a real estate agent will help a home seller review all possible options and make an informed decision.

Simplify the house selling cycle – hire a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to generate interest in your home as soon as it becomes available.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/23/2019

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Before you list your residence, it helps to take plenty of high-quality photos both inside and outside your home.

Ultimately, home photos can make or break a homebuyer's first impression of your residence.

For example, if your home listing includes photos that show off the true beauty of your house, a homebuyer may want to check out your residence in-person. Or, if home photos make your house look small and cluttered, a homebuyer may shy away from your residence altogether.

Don't let bad photos affect your ability to sell your house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your house ready for a photo session.

1. Clean Your Residence

A beautiful home is likely to stand out to homebuyers. Meanwhile, if you clean your residence from top to bottom, you can get your house photo-ready in no time at all.

Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and ceilings and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn and complete various home exterior improvements.

If you need help with home cleaning tasks, you should contact a professional home cleaning company. With a professional home cleaning company at your side, you can receive expert support as you prep your residence for a photo session.

2. Declutter As Much As Possible

Although your home may be filled with assorted artwork, antiques and photographs, now may prove to be the best time to declutter as much as possible.

Too much clutter can make your house appear tiny. However, if you dedicate the necessary time and resources to declutter your house, you can show homebuyers the true size of your house.

If necessary, you can rent a storage unit to hold your excess items. Moreover, you can always reach out to family members and friends to see if they can store your excess items in their residences until you find a new place to live.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to real estate photography, it pays to work with a housing market professional. Lucky for you, many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide who can help you get your house ready for the real estate market.

A real estate agent can assess your residence and offer recommendations to help you improve your house's appearance. Plus, he or she can put you in touch with the best professional real estate photographers in your area.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the home selling journey too. A real estate agent is happy to set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and do everything possible to help you maximize the value of your residence.

Use the aforementioned tips to get your house ready for a photo session – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to these tips, you can move one step closer to getting the best results from the home selling journey.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/16/2019

As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to promote your house to the right groups of property buyers. However, as you approach the finish line of a home sale, you may encounter a "persistent" homebuyer. And if this happens, the home selling process may come to a screeching halt.

A persistent homebuyer may be more likely than others to demand home improvements or a price reduction to finalize a house sale. As a result, you may need to decide whether to accommodate this homebuyer's requests, continue to negotiate with him or her or walk away from a potential home sale altogether.

So what does it take to deal with a persistent homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Understand the Housing Market

Are a homebuyer's requests valid? If so, they are likely to be based on housing market data. Therefore, if you analyze the housing market closely, you can better understand a persistent homebuyer's demands and proceed accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. By doing so, you can determine how your house's price rates against the competition.

Also, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data will help you understand the demand for houses in your city or town and determine whether you're operating in a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Stand Your Ground

A persistent homebuyer may be in a hurry to purchase your house. As such, he or she may push you to make rash decisions that may not be in your best interest.

For home sellers, it is important to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of any home selling decisions. And if you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer's requests, you should feel comfortable walking away from a possible home sale.

Ultimately, declining a homebuyer's requests and walking away from a home sale is far from ideal. On the other hand, doing so will allow you to reenter the housing market and restart the home selling journey with a fresh perspective.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to deal with a persistent homebuyer, you're probably not alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide to help you handle tough negotiations with any homebuyer, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the art of negotiation and can share his or her housing market expertise with you. That way, you can get the support you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling queries as the property selling journey progresses. No question is too big or too small for a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to answer your home selling questions time and time again.

Take the guesswork out of dealing with a persistent homebuyer – use these tips, and you can boost your chances of getting the best results from the home selling journey.