Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

#5 in a Series of 8 Articles - ACCENT PAINT COLORS (Yes/No & Placement)

A most definite YES!! Adding a “Pop of Color” with an Accent wall painted sporadically through-out a home (using one or two accent colors) can not only have an impact, but can create architectural interest - in addition to effecting one's moods, emotions, blood pressure, etc. Even to the point of producing physical sensations such as joy, calmness, a feeling of luxury and romance - just to mention a few. With proper placement, an accent &/or contrasting color(s) within an interior space can enhance the atmosphere and make a space appear larger and more interesting to the visitor.

An interior with accent shades of color will captivate a possible buyer’s imagination to visualize themselves within the home - thus creating a feeling of “I’m home” or “this is it!”

Karla McWhorter

Interior Styling by Karla

Ph: 275-6819 & Cell: 228-3489

Monday, July 26, 2010

Albuquerque Real Estate FAQ's - Why do you always ask if I am prequalified?

Today I'm starting our Albuquerque Real Estate FAQ's....a series of simple answers to often asked and seldom answered-in-plain-English questions about real estate.

"Why do you always ask if I'm prequalified?"

Let's see, you call on a property and ask to see a home that you find on the Internet, or drive by - and the broker will ask you "are you prequalified"?  While it probably feels like an invasion of your privacy or too picky-uney - here's why you are being asked:

When we, as real estate professionals, list a property, very often one of the items that we go over with the seller is that we are making sure that the security of the property is on the top of our priority list...we make sure that the alarm codes are kept private, and that the home will be secured after a showing.  During these discussions a seller will almost always ask "can you make sure that the buyers are prequalified, and not just lookie loos"?   It takes quite a bit of effort for a seller to get ready for a home showing.  A seller must rearrange their day, do double duty on the staging of their home and have to be gone from their property while the showing is taking place.  The sellers want to make sure that the buyer looking at their home isn't just curious about the decorating, or doesn't really have the ability to buy the property if they fall in love with it.

"But I've looked on-line and the on-line form says I can afford it"

These on-line mortgage forms, they are so easy!  You fill them out and all they are asking for is income, debts, and spits out a purchase price and interest rate....but that's only one layer of the prequalification process.  Things such as business settlements, divorce settlements, tax filings, etc - can all affect how your mortgage process is really going to behave once you put it into play.  We have seen very high income buyers not be able to get a mortgage because of student loans, divorce settlements, or a particular business structure that affects their loan ratios.  We have also had first time buyers find out they can actually afford their dream home based on their financial condition.  In today's mortgage climate, even more of these individual financial elements will come into play.  Nothing is worse than falling in love with a property, only to find out that it's way beyond your loan ability, or to underestimate your buying ability only to find out your dream home is just around the corner.

Wait!  The only thing worse than that is writing the offer, planning your closing and finding out that you can't qualify.  That's worse!

"We don't want to start that part of the process, we just want to start looking"

See the two reasons above.

Please understand, we aren't trying to kill your enthusiasm, but the process of prequalification is so easy with a good, local, qualified mortgage professional that there is no reason not to have this part out of the way before you start actually looking at homes.

"I'll get prequalified when I find the right house"

There may not be time.  We see this happen...all the time.  You find the perfect house, you then start the prequalification the time you get your letter in order to have a powerful offer - the home sells to someone else.  Why?  Sellers will usually require that a prequalification or full approval letter accompany an offer.  Why?  You have indicated you want their home, but you haven't proven you can actually pay for it.  The next buyer has proven they can pay for it and so the seller will most likely take the offer that comes as a complete package.  This home buying process is a business transaction, the better the package, the better the negotiations.

Next in our series - "Why do you always ask if I'm working with a Broker?"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Does a fresh coat of paint really make a difference when selling a home? Absolutely! It can hide a multitude of issues, as well as help make the home look and feel new. It is important that you use the correct type of paint - a flat finish thru-out the home and an enamel in the bathrooms &/or the kitchen only when a gas stove is present.

The current trend is to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. Trim and doors should be a contrasting color – bone/off-white, beige, stained, etc. This allows the architectural trim to be more prominent and dress up the room. Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to immediately improve the overall impression of a home. After all, isn’t that what you are going for – a good impression?

Karla McWhorter

Interior Styling by Karla

Ph: 275-6819 & Cell: 228-3489

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Closing in the car!

Had another great experience with technology in my business yesterday. Coming back from the of our closings had been delayed and suddenly happened while we were driving home.

The title company emailed me saying docs were ready and the buyer would be in to sign. My client, one in Arizona and one in Poland, were to review everything prior to closing. Title emailed everyone the closing statement....I reviewed and found a change, then my seller in Poland emailed to ask questions..same from client in Arizona and all the while I'm riding home and reviewing everything via iPad.  The sellers had also been signing the contracts via Docusign so the entire process had been so easy and fast.  No delays.

By the time I arrived to lunch in Santa Fe the buyers were on their way to closing and by the time I got home to Albuquerque the buyers were getting the keys!

No delays and no fuss....what a great time to practice real estate sales!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

But I need to find a rental in Albuquerque!

Have you had a hard time finding a rental through the MLS?  A hard time finding a real estate broker who works in traditional sales to help you find a rental?

Don't feel alone.  Everyone does.  In case nobody has taken the time to tell you why, here goes -

In many areas of the country, there is a centralized database - either in the MLS or a similar product - which allows showing and cooperation between brokers and brokerages to show and lease out properties.  This is a system very much like the use of the MLS for selling properties.  This system establishes the inventory, and offers it with compensation to other brokers to show and lease the properties for their clients.

In Albuquerque there isn't any such product.  Real estate brokerages that specialize in sales live in a separate world than property management companies.  The property management companies will show and lease their own inventory.  There is no centralized database to find all the rentals that are available, thus the best approach is to simply call all of the leasing agents that you can and see what they have in their inventory.

Before you do decide to rent for your Albuquerque relocation, make sure you have studied the standard lease agreements in the area you are searching in.  What we find most often is that 6 month leases are difficult to obtain, anything shorter is nearly impossible, and the standard menu seems to be a 12 month lease.  If you plan on buying a home while you are renting, make sure you know the penalties for breaking your lease before you sign on the dotted line.

What many of our customers have found useful are the short term executive suites that are available - and we are glad to share that with you anytime you ask.  Just email us for a list of the opportunities.

Also, be sure that renting is really what you want to do - analyze your rent/buy options to see what your financial picture paints before you fill in the blanks on a lease agreement.

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