Homebuying: Should You “Settle” Or Wait And Save?

The Savvy Synopsis

Is your dream home outside of your budget? Are you looking for features that can’t be found within your price point? Angie gives some advice on how to know if you should save up or “settle” for your home in this question from the mailbag, as well as answering a few more listener questions.

Let’s dive into the mailbag for four questions all about buying or selling a home in this episode of the Savvy Realtor podcast with Angie Cole. Whether you are selling your home and considering which Realtor to work with, how to stage a home, or how to market it, or if you are trying to buy a home that feels out of reach, Angie will guide you through these decisions.  

Are you thinking about staging a home but also trying to clear out before a big move? Sometimes you may want to sell some furniture, but you don’t want to leave too much of a bare spot for your home on the market. A minimalist look is often best, but sometimes staging a few key pieces will help potential buyers see how the room can be used.

Finding the right agent can be tough, so it is important to interview a few beforehand. Make sure the agent looking out for you is doing everything they can to get your home sold. There’s more to it than sticking a sign in the front yard and listing a home on MLS.

On the homebuying side, what do you do if the homes that have everything you hoped for are all outside of your budget? How do you know when it’s time to settle for something else or when it’s time to save? Sometimes talking to a lender can help you better understand what is possible financially or when you might be ready. Another possibility is considering the must-haves vs. the upgrades later on after you purchase the home.

Finally, if you are selling your home, you may wonder what you need to do to help market it. That is actually included in the commission, so it’s important to find out just what your agent plans to do to help market and get the best offer possible on your home.

Listen to the full episode or click on the timestamps below to hear a specific question from the mailbag.

0:38 - Mailbag: If we’re not planning to keep much of our furniture in a move, will it hurt the chances of selling our house?

3:27 - Mailbag: Friends have suggested a Realtor who exclusively sells in one neighborhood. Is this a good thing?

6:58 - Mailbag: Most homes on our wish list are outside of our budget. Should we settle or wait and save?

7:48 - Speak with a lender to understand what you need financially for a down payment and the mortgage on the type of home you are looking for.

8:38 - Adjust your housing criteria and determine what features could be implemented later on instead of when you move in. 

10:41 - Mailbag: How much should we budget for marketing when selling a home?

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter Shorholt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of a Cole Realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find a team online by going to eight Cole realty.com that's a C O L E real t.com or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128 and now it's time for one of the top realtors in the triangle, Angie Cole and the savvy real tour podcast. Sasha is going to get us started this week by asking, Hey, we're getting ready to sell our home. We're not planning to keep a lot of our current furniture and we've been selling off a lot of it on Craig's list and giving it away to family members. Would it look weird in pictures and during home tours to have half the house with furniture and the other house with blink rooms. I don't want to hurt our chances of getting top dollar here.

Speaker 2: (01:00)
So Sasha, that's a wonderful question. I actually received that same type of question a lot. So, um, no that is not going to hurt the chances of you getting top dollar. We actually tell our sellers that minimalistic is best. So you know, every rim does not need items or furniture in them to show how you would utilize that space. You know, as long as we leave maybe some furniture and more of the main living areas, that is what's most important. And even if your home is completely vacant, we can always have our stage or come in and do what's called like a light sprinkle or fluff just to add some color and just a little bit of definition to the rooms. But no, that will not hurt you in any way. And would you kind of partially being there, meaning you kind of have half your furniture there, half of it's now been sold off. Um, I would still love the opportunity to bring our professional stage or through your home and to really be nitpicking, give you some, you know, strong feedback in regards to how we can position the current furniture that you have in place. Because she might say, you know what, you have furniture here still in your liver. A Mullis actually grab a piece a chair and take it and put it in another room so she can position it to make it most appealing to the potential buyers that are walking through your home.

Speaker 1: (02:16)
Yeah, that's a great question, Sasha. And yeah, one that a lot of people ask. So not a big deal there, it sounds like, and it's so helpful having that stager come through to give you lots of little things to think about. I remember our experience with the your team, Angie, and it was just, it was so neat that we had a, a your stager then come out to our new home to give us some decorating ideas, which is pretty cool. She's wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. Very awesome. So shout out to uh, Amber Cole who uh, helps, helps Angie out in that department. No relation right

Speaker 2: (02:46)
there, there is not, I absolutely love her and people always ask is that your sister? Um, and though I, although I would love to claim her as my sister, we are not related in any way. Um, and I always laugh too because her husband, his name's Brian and I have a brother his name Brian as well.

Speaker 1: (03:01)
Is that right? Wow. How about that little layers there? Yeah, very funny Sasha, great questions to ask there. Thank you for sending that one to us. If you want to get in touch with Angie again, the number to call is 919-5386TY-47TY-7. That's (919) 538-6477. You can call or text and communicate directly with Angie if you'd like. If you've got a question about your situation. Travis has a question for you. Andrew Travis is in Cary and says some neighborhood friends have suggested a real estate agent to us. We don't know her personally, but she is supposedly an expert in our neighborhood because she exclusively sells homes here. Is this a thing? Seems like it would be hard to maintain a business only selling homes in one neighborhood. Is that an advantage to work with such an agent?

Speaker 2: (03:51)
First Travis, I would say interview the person that is being suggested to you, but then interview another agent or two. And the reason why state that is if that agent is escape lucidly representing your neighborhood, and that's the only neighborhood that, that you know, she, she works in, you know, it's hard, first of all, to believe that she is a top producing and performing agent because I don't know how large your neighborhood is, but there's probably a limited amount of homes for her to sell. Right? And so is she top notch when it comes to marketing, when it's, you know, bringing the most potential buyers to your home? I couldn't promise you that. And my biggest concern is working with an agent who is exclusive to your neighborhood. Like that's really, you know, her niche is if she lists your home, how many other listings in the neighborhood does she have?

Speaker 2: (04:41)
It's kind of like going to a new construction neighborhood where you meet with the onsite agent and if one home doesn't work for you, that agent says, well let me show you this other one. And so you want to make sure that the agent that is looking out for you and listing your home is really doing everything they potentially can and possibly could to get your home sold and not just more of pickup the buyer and quickly take them to the next home that they have for sale. So working with an agent that is exclusive to your neighborhood isn't always the best route when it comes to giving you top dollar and getting your home sold as quick as possible. You know, you want an agent who is all about the reach, you know, remembered that the buyer for your neighborhood probably doesn't live in your neighborhood. So you need an agent that's going to market to other agents that will bring a buyer to your home. That

Speaker 1: (05:30)
makes a lot of sense. I N G and I think that's just something that gets overlooked a lot with us who were sort of on the outside of the industry. We think it's as simple as, you know, put your home in the MLS and everybody who's looking for a home would see it there. Like it is. It's not going to not be seen by somebody there, but you're finding more and more these days that people are finding homes in alternative ways, social media and, and, and the agents still pointing out, Hey, how about this home and, and that kind of thing.

Speaker 2: (05:57)
Yeah, yeah. There, I mean there is so much more other than just sticking a sign in the front yard and put in the home into MLS. Um, and that's something that I could really go into detail whenever I meet with you in person as far as going through our full Mark and, and plan and everything that we do to drive the most traffic to your home.

Speaker 1: (06:13)
If you would like to talk to Angie and have that sellers consultation, Angie's team will come out, look at your home, meet with you one on one, talk about list price and so many other factors, the marketing plan, all of those kinds of things. If you'd like to set that time up to meet and discuss those items, again, it's a complimentary visit and a conversation about selling your home. You can do that by calling or texting. 919-FIVE-38647TY-7 that's (919) 538-6477 call or text or again, you can always find the team online, pull out your smartphone and get in touch on the [email protected] that's a C O L E realty.com Tabby is in Fayetteville and says, Angie, most homes that check off all the items on our wishlist are outside our price range. Should we settle on a lower standard of home or do you think the market will be in our favor a year from now if we wait and save up more to get in a better financial position?

Speaker 2: (07:16)
Well that's a tough one, Tabby. I'm of course, none of us can predict, uh, what the, the real estate market looks like. You know, a year from now, two years from now. You know, if anything in our market, I would only assume that it will continue to appreciate. Now, I do not believe that things will continue to appreciate at the level that they currently are, but I don't foresee that is going to take a shift to where homes are more affordable for you. But it seems like you're asking, you know, should you save up more to be in a better financial position? What I would suggest that you do is figure out, okay, what type of home do you like and what does that price point look like for you? And then take that back to a lender and ask them to help you to understand what does that mean as far as what do I need as far as the down payment?

Speaker 2: (08:05)
You know, what would my mortgage payments look like to see if they can put you in a position or help you to kind of, you know, forecast how long it will take you to be in a better financial position to be able to afford that home. But you know, whenever you go and you put more money down, you know, as your down payment, sometimes that really doesn't change that mortgage payment all that much. So that's why speaking with a lender will really give you that guidance. Um, and because they can show you different scenarios to see if that home that you're loving that is currently outside of your price range, if that is in the near future. Otherwise it might be, you know, not that you have to settle, but maybe tweak your housing criteria just a little bit. Maybe, I don't know, maybe hardwoods throughout the main floor was a must for you. Well, maybe if we backtrack and take those out, that's could be an improvement that you can make later down the road. You already own this home and lived in it for a little while. So maybe just tweaking the must haves would be important in order to get you into a new home.

Speaker 1: (09:03)
That's a great point. And gee, you know, if you expect your financial situation to be better a year from now, and it's something simple like that, like an up a home upgrade that you wish it had, that may not be that big of a deal to upgrade down the line. And so then when you're in that better financial position, boom, all of a sudden you can do that upgrade and now you're, you're already in the, you know, that home of your dreams, so to speak, and you make the upgrade when you have that financial capability. Um, so, you know, that's a big, I mean, and it's kind of the situation that we, uh, are in with our home. I think we want to do some big kitchen changes, but we knew that we weren't gonna be able to do it right away. So it's just one of those things. It's like, uh, you know, when we, you know, that's a goal that we're planning for to then be able to, you know, do some, maybe some new cabinets and, and you know, kind of maybe even some reconfigure.

Speaker 2: (09:50)
And that's so common too, you know, I mean, you know, unfortunately we can't all always get it just perfect the first go around, right. It might take some time to get our home to that level of, you know, what might be perfect for you, but you know what, that's fun too, right? They're fun weekend projects within reason, right. Walter, um, that you can do on your own with your spouse skillset. Yeah. Yeah. Cause that's how you learn. Uh huh. Yup. Yup. Sometimes we need to hire professionals, but none of that. I mean, that's, you know, that's fun as well. I mean that's, it's a growing and a learning experience and um, you can, you really are going to, you know, really appreciate your home all that much more if you've made those changes and additions and improvements to your home along the way.

Speaker 1: (10:36)
Yeah, that's a great point Angie. And a really good question Tabby. Thank you for that one. Uh, Tiffany has our last question of the week. Tiffany says, I'm trying to calculate the costs of selling our home. How much do you recommend we budget for marketing if we work with your team?

Speaker 2: (10:51)
Yeah, so I'm Tiffany, it's actually all inclusive. So as far as I'm marketing goes, it's not a separate fee in addition to what you are compensating us as far as commission goes. Um, and so that's something I can explain to you further when it comes to, you know, what the costs are for hiring a real estate agent like Eiko reality and also marketing costs because it is all inclusive. I, a lot of times I go out to an appointment and I mentioned everything that we offer. And then I showed them a net proceeds sheet and they say, well what is it going to cost to do all of these items you just mentioned? And I was like, no, no, no, this is it. This is, it's all inclusive. So you need to understand what an agent is offering as far as what exactly are they going to do, what are you paying them for?

Speaker 2: (11:34)
Right? We are just like a doctor, like a dentist, you know, we're paid for our services but our services need to be top notch. And I strongly believe, and uh, just based on the, you know, the, the reviews that we received from past clients, I'm confident and knowing that, you know, we charge what we're worth and that means though that we get your home sold at in record, you know, closing time. And also we get you talk dollars. So Tiffany, it sounds like you are considering selling your home and I would love the opportunity to meet with you of person and go through all the details as far as what our team offers with marketing and what that would mean as far as a net wise to you. So if you are thinking about selling your home and you would like to schedule a listing presentation, you can either call or text me directly. My cell phone number is nine one nine by three eight six four seven seven

Speaker 1: (12:24)
you've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store Holt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole realty.com listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a Cole realty.com and you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128 

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