Two Not So Well-Known Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early!!

 

A 30 year mortgage does not have not live for 30 years. The same goes for a 15 year mortgage. You can pay off your mortgage early a couple of different ways that not many folks know about and save thousands of dollars. One way to pay off early is to pay additional principal with your payment. Did you know that paying as little as $100 extra every month will cut up to 8 years off of your 30 year mortgage? Be sure to pay the extra money on a separate check and write “for principal reduction only” in the memo portion of your check along with your loan number.

Another way is to pay the principal for the upcoming year on the anniversary date of your loan. This reduces your loan by an entire year with one payment. And no, I know what you are thinking. You cannot skip a year of making payments. What happens is that you start making payments on the next year at that point.

BY THE WAY…if you are thinking about selling your home then ask us about our special programs. For example, our team sale fee is just 4.5% of the sales price and we have over 200 active buyers in our database looking for a home like yours right now. No long-term contracts, no high pressure, no hidden fees; just great service and the highest possible sales price.

If you have any real estate questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

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How does the Tax Assessor Choose Which Homes to use to establish the Assessed Value of My Home?

I had this great question from a client and to be frank I had no idea what criteria a Tax Assessor's use. When I assist homeowners in protesting their property tax assessment and they share which homes the assessor used in order to establish a value, (you can obtain a list of the homes the assessor has chosen at your protest hearing) I am often dumbfounded by the homes the assessor is using. I can only surmise that a poorly written algorithm chooses the homes, because sometimes when I review those homes, I cannot determine an obvious pattern related to location, lot characteristics, or even subdivision.

 When I help people protest their property tax assessment, I choose the closest, most comparable and recently sold homes I can locate in my database. I hear many success stories from the homeowners I assist. Property values are increasing so property tax assessments and taxes will follow.

 

If you have any real estate questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross
Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575  

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 Before Selling Your Home: What improvements will return more than their cost?

Homes are selling very well right now, but buyers are still able to cherry-pick only the best deals.

What is considered a “best deal”? All things considered, a best deal is not simply the cheapest home. A best deal will be the home that a buyer can move into without having to do any improvements. Less work, less hassle, and an easy moving experience add a lot of value in the eyes of a buyer.

Homes in move-in condition are selling at pretty high prices when compared to homes in need of work. Keep in mind that even a home in excellent condition is not likely to sell if it’s improperly marketed, however buyers are willing to pay more for a move-in ready home as opposed to a home that needs work. 

As a seller you’re going to want to know which improvements are worth your time and money. Which of them will return more than the cost of the investment? Well, it’s the two things that are the most obvious. Can you guess what they are?

The answer is flooring and paint. The proper flooring and paint will return as much as 150% of their cost. Homes in need of flooring and paint will usually sell for up to 10% less than homes with beautiful flooring and paint already installed.

When it comes to these improvements, not just any color will do. The key to getting the largest return on your investment is choosing colors that appeal to the market. Neutral colors still rule the home sales world. Tans, browns, off-whites, and white. The two best marketing colors you can paint your interior walls are divine white and kilim beige, flat finish, by Sherwin Williams. For the trim, the ideal color is pure white in a satin finish.

In terms of flooring, you’ll want to stick to light tan carpets or moderately dark woods -- sculptured neutral-colored tile works best in the wet areas. If you decide to go with wood flooring, you must be careful, as you can easily overspend and cause your profits to disappear. The trick to profitability is to only install wood flooring in the four areas of a home that should have it . . . and you may not even want to do all of those areas.

Everyone loves wood floors when they’re done well, but the wrong wood floors are an expensive losing proposition. If you are thinking about going with hardwood and you want to make sure you’re choosing the right material and color, then give me a call and let’s talk about how you can install the most popular wood in the most popular areas of your home and come out ahead in the sale of your home.

If you have any other questions about what improvements will return more than their cost, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

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How Simpleminded Agents Actually Steer Buyers Away From Your Home

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, you are entrusting one of the largest monetary transactions of your life to someone of your choosing. The question is; how do you choose? Do you hire your neighbor because they live on your street? Do you hire your brother in-law because he is related?  Do you hire the cheapest agent to walk through your door? Well, those are certainly options you can choose and some people actually trust their big-money investment to agents for those exact reasons. What is the danger in that? Let me ask you a question…have you ever been reading an ad for a home that reads something like this? “Mr. and Mrs. clean live here” or “won’t last long” or “bring all offers”, “Seller is motivated” “will sell fast!, “honey stop the car!”, “better than new!” or my favorite, “Too many upgrades to list!”?  What do those phrases mean?

I have to admit I laugh every time I see an ad containing simpleminded phrases and I wonder if the agent actually believes that their efforts will pay off. I can tell you from experience…those words can actually steer a buyer away from your home. They are boring and without meaning. Your agent’s job is to drive buyers to your home using effective marketing techniques. Ahhh, but not all agents know how to effectively market a home. After all, they don’t teach that in real estate school. So some agents use dead phrases.

Success leaves clues. Obviously, by what you see and read, you know which agents are successful in your market. The aggressive agents are the agents whose marketing you see all the time. And the agents you never see marketing, well if they can’t market themselves, how can they market your home? How will you even know their reputation? All too often, a seller will call a real estate company to sell their home. The agent who answers the call gets the customer. Is that how you want to choose your agent? Do the smart thing, call me. If you choose not to do the smartest thing, then do the second smartest thing and call an agent who has a great online reputation. Check Zillow for online reviews. Just Google “agents name, reviews, Zillow”. If you see no reviews, that means they do not want their client reviews to be public. If you do see reviews, then you can at least learn what other people think about them. Just like every other profession, there are great agents, average agents, and agents who, well you get the picture.

When you are ready to sell your home and want to sell it quickly and for the highest price, then call the Dale Ross Realty Group. We will show you our powerful marketing programs that do exactly that. Call today for a no-obligation consultation. If you are curious as to how your home price is trending, then visit RealtyPriceTrends.com and get a free monthly report. OR visit MyValue123.com for a free, over-the-web market analysis to learn how much your home would sell for today.

By the way, if you are looking for a home to buy, then search the same database that agents search at Homesearch25.com.

Dale Ross. 281-599-6575

 

 

 

 Dale Ross Realty Group

Approximately 27% of all homes listed this fall will fail to sell, and this will cost sellers thousands of dollars in holding costs, crush some families' dreams, and even push some sellers towards foreclosure.

If you read my real estate newspaper then you probably know more about the current real estate market than many of the area's real estate agents. You've also learned that 99.9% of those agents don't track and report this kind of market information the way I do. This means that while they might be noticing that something is different – namely that the market has definitely changed from what it has been over the last 5 years – they likely have no idea just how much has changed, or why.

Without tracking information in detail, they have no idea that we have 3.5 times as many sellers and 30% fewer buyers than we did last year. They have no idea that this trend started in February of this year and that now our real estate market is no longer a seller’s market. They couldn't know without the extensive research that the Dale Ross Real Estate Group conducts to ensure that we're always on top of the market.

We also know that we're now in the middle of a real estate market that many real estate agents have never experienced. Without understanding the market, these agents don’t know how to react to it, and they'll likely be too timid to communicate the flat-out truth to their sellers if they eventually figure out what is happening.

In a market such as we are in, many listing agents fail to return their sellers' calls and emails because they simply don't know what to say. In fact, as of this writing, I have received 4 calls in the last 5 days from sellers who have their homes listed with other agents, and these callers explained the situation in the exact way that I just described.

Some of the homes have been on the market for as long as 219 days with no sophisticated marketing practices to reflect the current market conditions. And that's a huge problem, because marketing that worked in a blazing sellers' market will NOT work in the current market.

How do you know when the change starts? Well, no one knows exactly when the market changes. It is a subtle event that, when either going up or down, takes time to recognize as a trend. The key is that you have to monitor the analytics to recognize changes. When reading my newspaper, you’ll notice that I always mention that this could be a trend whenever my tracking reveals the market behaving outside of the previous norm. My experience allows me to quickly recognize changes and then report them to my clients who, when they react according to my advice, always take immediate advantage instead of reacting after the trend has settled in. After a downward trend starts, it moves quickly. This means that the people who either have no idea of what is happening, or those who wait “to see if it will get better,” will typically lose tens of thousands of dollars. I am officially calling the trend as of this writing. There is no doubt in my mind that we are now in a recessive market.

Do not make the mistake of hiring an agent who has no experience in this type of market. Make the smart decision and choose the agent who keeps up with the current market conditions - and who is still selling houses fast and for top dollar. Selling a home in this market will ONLY be accomplished by the Realtor who is using the right tools and methods, and who is aggressive enough to communicate what you NEED to hear instead of what you WANT to hear.

Remember: Anyone can sell a product to an eager buyer. That's why real estate agents who get into the business in a sellers' market usually end up with inflated egos...but there's a reason why grocery stores have clerks and not salespeople. It's a grocery store – a seller's market – and all they need is someone to take your money and put it in a drawer. A real estate agent who has never experienced a recessive market is going to bring that same clerk mentality, but it doesn't work when actual selling and marketing is needed.

Take a look at these numbers:

Average agents make most of their mistakes within the first 11 years of their career as they experience changes in the market conditions. Average agents close about 10 homes per year, so if a newbie agent closes the average it will take about 11 years for them to close 100 transactions (given they probably won’t close 10 per year during their first two years.) Remember that these hundred-or-so transactions were learning experiences for these agents, not blockbuster deals.

Fortunately, for both my clients and myself, I also made those mistakes of inexperience during my first 11 years. I learned the hard way (as everyone does) what needs to be done in order to help you accomplish your goals in any market. And I learned all of it 23+ years ago. 

That's right. I've been a Realtor for 34 years, and in that time I have experienced every market condition imaginable. Through each of them, I've emerged as one of the top selling agents in Houston. I've worked through buyer’s markets, seller’s markets, 17% mortgage rates, 3% mortgage rates, and a terrorist attack. I have seen homes appreciate 40%, and I have seen homes depreciate 40% during my career.

You don't want a Realtor “learning the ropes” with your transaction, especially in the market that we're currently in. It could be a very educational lesson for the agent, but you'll be the one footing the bill come closing time.

If you choose to make the right choice, then call me for a free home selling consultation. Let’s get started accomplishing your goals.

 

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When selling your home, the age and condition of the components, such as the HVAC system, water heater, kitchen appliances, and your roof can have a substantial impact on the salability and value of your property. When your home goes on the market, keep in mind that you are competing with dozens of other homes and the home with the best perceived overall value in a buyer's mind will be the home the buyer selects. If the components are aged, the seller may have priced the home to reflect the condition, however, the buyer will usually still use the condition as a negotiation tactic. This is how it works…

You have a 15 year old home with the original roof and HVAC system. You never replaced these components because they never failed (that makes sense, right?). You put your home on the market with these things in mind.

A buyer makes a buying decision based on emotion…then logic. Emotion buys the home, then logic sets in (inspections). The inspector comes along and quotes these exact words…”the roof is nearing the end of its service life”….”the HVAC system is nearing the end of its service life”. I guarantee the buyer will ask you to address these issues. So, the question is….how old is “nearing the end of its service life? The following major component ages are likely to draw this remark from an inspector.

HVAC                    15+ years

Roof                      14+ years, (yes, even on a 30 year roof).

Water Heater    9+ years

Dishwasher        6+ years

Pool Plaster        10+ years

Comments from an inspector can have a drastic impact on your home sale, cost you thousands of dollars or, in some cases, even cause you to lose your buyer, especially if you have a weak Realtor negotiating your position and a strong Realtor on the buyer side. When hiring a Realtor, pay close attention to how many sales they have negotiated in the last 6 months. This is an indicator of how often they actually negotiate a sale. Ask them what their list price to sales price ratio is and by all means ask them how long they have been a Realtor. These types of issues are easy to overcome when you have an experienced Realtor negotiating your home sale. As of this writing, I have negotiated 77 home sales in the last 6 months. Were they all easy? Absolutely not, but if your Realtor knows what they are doing, they do get closed with happy customers on both sides of the deal.

When you are ready to sell one of the most substantial investments of your life, choose a substantial Realtor who is experienced and has proven time and time again for over 33 years that they are truly an expert.

Choose the Dale Ross Realty Group.

281-599-6575

daleross.com

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dale ross realty group

Do You Have What We're Looking For?

The Dale Ross Realty Group is continually working with a large contingent of relocation buyers who are looking for one story homes, water view homes, golf course properties and homes with a swimming pool. If you are thinking about selling your home, then do the smart thing and sell your home quickly and for top dollar to one of our waiting buyers while saving thousands of dollars on real estate fees.

 

BY THE WAY, our team sale fee is just 4.5% of the sales price and we have over 200 active buyers in our database looking for a home like yours right now. No long-term contracts, no high pressure, no hidden fees; just great service and the highest possible sales price with the lease amount of hassle.

Call today and save. The Dale Ross Realty Group, Top 20 Real Estate Group in Houston, Texas, 281-599-6575.

 

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Selling a home is not like any other business transaction, and all too often, sellers make emotional or uninformed decisions that cost them money and time. Choosing an honest and experienced Realtor to market your property and negotiate the sale is the most important step in the process... but what are the mistakes that often crop up along the way?

1. “A friend (or family member) sells real estate.”

Friendship alone isn’t enough to establish a professional’s credentials. Use smart standards when selecting an agent, just as you would when hiring an attorney, a doctor, or an accountant to handle your taxes. It's also a good idea to bear this in mind: do you really want your friend or relative knowing detailed personal information about your financial situation?

2.“Your presentation sounds good. I’ll list right now.”

Making an impulsive decision when caught up “in the moment” could be difficult to correct later. Since you normally contract to list your house with an agent for a locked-in period of time, you may find yourself unable to “switch” agents if you find yourself unhappy with the service you receive. The Dale Ross Realty Group NEVER locks you into a long term agreement.

3.“Choosing an agent who agrees with an inaccurate listing price.”

Some agents tell you what you want to hear. In the real estate profession, this is known as “buying a listing” and is employed by agents who are more interested in themselves than they are in you. Unfortunately, this dishonest and misguided practice often works as a way for the agent to get your listing. Your house gets the most attention when it is a “new” listing. If marketed properly, lots of buyers will want to see it right away. If the price is not where buyers think it should be, then it will sit on the market unsold. When you finally drop your price to reflect its real value, your house is “old news” and the most likely buyers have already passed it by. It will always benefit you to go with the right agent – one who will be honest with you about the asking price – from day one.

4.“I don’t need references. I’m a good judge of character.”

A snap judgment isn’t a safe bet. You need to determine if the agent is competent, and the best way to do that is to check the internet for past reviews. You'll also want to carefully look over the agent’s personal website. If the agent still doesn't have a personal website, that's a red flag right from the beginning (after all, this is the digital age!)

5.“I’m going to list with the agent who has the lowest commission.”

This might sound trite, but you really do get what you pay for. Paying a cut-rate commission will usually get you cut-rate service. A sign in the front yard, placement in the Multiple Listing Service, and a minimal effort from your agent. An agent's job is to protect your price; would you trust someone to protect your money when they don't even protect their own paycheck?

6.“The company is what counts, not the agent.”

Way off! The real estate company does not sell your home, an agent does. The agents’ efforts will have a direct impact on whether your home sells and how problems are handled. Big name companies do not guarantee that you will get a competent agent. The competent agents are obvious. Just like you, I want to sell your home for the most money, in the least amount of time and with minimal hassle!

7.“I’ll list with the agent who sold me my home.”

A buyer agent's focus is on finding homes for a buyer. They do not have an efficient marketing system to find a buyer for your home, especially if they are a one person business. Do you really think a single agent can be everything to everyone all at once. Besides, you would not want your listing agent to also be your buyer’s agent on your home, would you?

 

            When selling your home for 100% of market value, with no long-term contract and no cross representation is important to you, then give me a call and I'll show you exactly how I will make that happen (the consultation is FREE.)

            When you're ready to sell your home, be smart and have a top sales team behind you.

Call The Dale Ross Realty Group, 281-599-6575 or visit DaleRoss.com.

                                                                          

 

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I receive many questions about real estate every month, and I’m always happy to answer them. Sometimes, I’ll get a question that bears special attention, and in those cases I like to share the answer with all my readers and subscribers. Feel free to send your own questions! If I publish yours, you’ll receive a gift card for Fleming’s Streak House as my way of saying thanks!

 

Asking a question is easy. Just visit DaleRoss.com and click on “Contact Me” or call 281-599-6575. This month’s question was send in by Clarisse. Thank you, Clarisse! Enjoy your steak!

Hi Dale,

I am renting a home in Cinco Ranch and the owner refuses to replace a leaky faucet connection at the wall. It leaks into the bottom cabinet when the water is turned on so I cannot use the faucet without damaging the cabinet.  He says it is my responsibility to repair everything. Is he correct?  

Hello Clarisse,

As long as you are current on your rental payment and the leak was not caused by your action, then the answer is probably not, but it depends on the lease agreement. If you leased a home through a real estate professional then the proper contract was most likely used and the owner is responsible for all repairs except those required due to tenant negligence or abuse, accidental in some cases and otherwise. If you leased through a real estate professional then see Paragraph 18, items b, c & d.

 

If you leased the property through a “by owner” situation, and you suspect that the proper contract form was not used, then I suggest you contact an attorney as you may have more than a faucet to talk about, Also, if you did not receive a copy of the lease agreement then that is yet another reason to contact an attorney. 

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Why Didn't My Home Sell?

So, your home did not sell and you are wondering what to do now.

It’s a fact that 27.8% of all listed homes are not selling the first time around, and the reasons why are very obvious to an experienced Realtor such as myself. Was your home really marketed? Did your agent know your micro market, and did he or she use an aggressive marketing system designed specifically for your home? Did your agent identify and communicate the market indicators throughout the process and then advise you when and how to immediately react to those indicators when they became obvious?

If the answer was “no” to any of those questions, then the sale of your home was sabotaged from the very beginning.

Now, let me ask you another question: If I sold your home in the next 30 days, would you still act on your plans to move your family forward? Whether you are selling your home now or a year from now, invest a few minutes with me to discover how I will help you sell your home fast and for top dollar. You owe it to your family – and your plans for the future - to make a smart decision.

Most agents want a long-term listing agreement. I do not. I also give you the option to sell your home yourself while you are listed with me; if you do, you pay me zero commission. It's worth a few moments to discuss our possible strategies, as I have many money saving options from which you can choose.

Contact me today for details and let’s get your home sold fast and for top dollar - 281-599-6575 

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3 things your relocation company does not want you to know.

When an employer is relocating an employee and their family, it's common for a relocation company and a relocation coordinator to be brought into the picture. This may very well be the case if your employer is relocating you, and your eligibility to receive financial benefits during the sale of your home will often require you to go along with it.

So what is the purpose of the relocation coordinator?

The coordinator is your contact within the relocation company, and they're the one who tells you that the company will be managing your transaction. However, there are a few things that they may not want you to know. As Realtors, we are advised by the relocation company not to discuss certain aspects of the transaction with the client. These aspects include:

  • The relocation company will steer you towards using a few particular Realtors or real estate companies. Some of these real estate companies will send an agent acting on behalf of the real estate company. This agent may only earn a token fee and actually receives very little compensation for managing the transaction. This might concern you because reduced pay could equate to reduced experience and effort.
  • In any case, the relocation company collects 30% to 40% of the Realtor's income on the transaction at closing. They call it a “referral fee.” The industry standard referral fee among agents is 20% of the commission.
  • The relocation company will deliver a list of appraisers to you so that “you” can choose who will appraise your home for the relocation company’s buy-out offer. However, any appraiser you choose from that list will be one that works for the relocation company; one that's instructed to provide a very conservative appraisal for the guaranteed buy-out. This appraisal will usually come in around 94-95% of the real value of your home.

I know these things because I am an approved Realtor for relocation companies. That being said, I feel that I owe the complete truth to the people who are affected the most by these transactions: you and your family.

Feel free to contact me if you have any real estate questions: 281-599-6575

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Dale Ross Realty group

June 26, 2017

Two Not So Well-Known Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early!!

A 30 year mortgage does not have not live for 30 years. The same goes for a 15 year mortgage. You can pay off your mortgage early a couple of different ways that not many folks know about and save thousands of dollars. One way to pay off early is to pay additional principal with your payment. Did you know that paying as little as $100 extra every month will cut up to 8 years off of your 30 year mortgage? Be sure to pay the extra money on a separate check and write “for principal reduction only” in the memo portion of your check along with your loan number.

Another way is to pay the principal for the upcoming year on the anniversary date of your loan. This reduces your loan by an entire year with one payment. And no, I know what you are thinking. You cannot skip a year of making payments. What happens is that you start making payments on the next year at that point.

BY THE WAY…if you are thinking about selling your home then ask us about our special programs. For example, our team sale fee is just 4.5% of the sales price and we have over 200 active buyers in our database looking for a home like yours right now. No long-term contracts, no high pressure, no hidden fees; just great service and the highest possible sales price.

If you have any real estate questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

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June 22, 2017

How does the Tax Assessor Choose Which Homes to use to establish the Assessed Value of My Home?

I had this great question from a client, and to be frank I had no idea what criteria Tax Assessor's use. When I assist homeowners in protesting their property tax assessment and they share which homes the assessor used in order to establish a value, (you can obtain a list of the homes the assessor has chosen at your protest hearing) I am often dumbfounded by the homes the assessor is using. I can only surmise that a poorly written algorithm chooses the homes, because sometimes when I review those homes, I cannot determine an obvious pattern related to location, lot characteristics, or even subdivision.

 When I help people protest their property tax assessment, I choose the closest, most comparable and recently sold homes I can locate in my database. I hear many success stories from the homeowners I assist. Property values are increasing so property tax assessments and taxes will follow.

If you have any real estate questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

 

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June 19, 2017

3 Secrets to Negotiating the Sale of Your Home to Get the Highest Price

When negotiating the sale of your home, there are certain influences that will net you a higher sales price and on the other hand some that will cause a lower net sales price. I can tell you from experience that not all real estate agents are great negotiators. I would estimate that less than 10% of all agents I have ever negotiated with are above average negotiators.

The first thing you need to consider is who needs the deal the most; the buyer, the seller….or the real estate agent? They are the weakest position in the negotiation and it will be obvious to a seasoned negotiator. Some agents negotiate their own money away so how would you feel about them negotiating with YOUR money?

Secondly, who is your buyer? Cultures negotiate differently. You MUST know the negotiating culture of the buyer you are negotiating with. One wrong tactic or a few wrong words and you could offend your buyer and they might go away. Using the right tactics will sell your home for the possible highest price.

Third, is the type of negotiator? Beware of the whittler. These are the most proficient negotiators and difficult to detect. This type of negotiator requires special skills on your side.

If a good negotiator is important to you and you want someone who has successfully negotiated over 3,000 home sales to be on your side, then call me to represent you. I will immediately identify the type of buyer we are negotiating with when I bring you an offer on your home AND I will provide some advice about how to get the highest price. My client’s list price to sales price ratio for 2016 is 101% averaging 15 days on the market.

If you want results like these don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

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June 12, 2017

WANTED - Single-Story Homes and Homes with a Swimming Pool!!

The Dale Ross Realty Group is continually working with a large contingent of relocation buyers who are looking for one story homes, water-view homes, golf course properties and homes with a swimming pool. If you’re thinking about selling your home, then do the smart thing contact me right away. We can sell your home to one of our waiting buyers quickly and for top dollar, all while saving you thousands of dollars on real estate fees.

BY THE WAY, our team sale fee is just 4.5% of the sales price and we have over 200 active buyers in our database looking for a home like yours right now. No long-term contracts, no high pressure, no hidden fees; just great service and the highest possible sales price with the least amount of hassle.

Are you looking to sell a home that doesn’t fit in the above categories? That’s not a problem! My tailored and aggressive marketing system is known for finding qualified, eager buyers – for any home, in any market. Want to learn more about what makes the Dale Ross Realty Group stand above the rest? Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information. I’ll gladly discuss the proven methods that I’ve been honing for over 30 years as a real estate professional.

If you have any other questions about real estate or would like a free home selling consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

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June 8, 2017

Why Are So Many New Apartment Complexes Popping Up?

I’ve noticed something lately, and I’m pretty sure you have, too. Doesn’t it seem like everywhere you go, there is a new apartment complex popping up in Katy? North or south of the freeway, it doesn’t matter. Apartments everywhere. HUGE complexes with hundreds and hundreds of units. Why now? Why here?

Think back to 2013 during the petroleum bubble; the growth projections for our area were almost unlimited. Everyone thought $100 oil was here to stay and no one had the slightest idea that the price would change so suddenly. Apartment developers saw the growth and decided it was a great time to build here. Most of these developers do not build apartments as a long-term investment. Their plan is usually to build them, fill them up and build a cash flow, and then sell to someone like a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) for a profit. Get in, get out.

In investment terms, it’s a quick turnaround, but the entire process seems slow from the outside. It takes two to three years from the time a developer decides to build until they first open the doors for tenants. The land has to be purchased, the architects design the complex, the permits are applied for, the utilities must be approved, financing must be obtained – all of this before construction even begins. Then, after another couple of years, construction is finally completed and they open the doors. There were many rainy days during the last two years, so that probably slowed the construction process even more.

Developing an apartment complex is like jumping out of an airplane at 5,000 feet. There is no stopping the process once it’s started and committed regardless of what may change during the process. The apartments we see today may look like they’re “springing up” everywhere, but they’ve been in planning and construction for years. Whether the market still holds enough demand for them is another question altogether!

 If you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

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May 31, 2017

What is a property tax certificate, and why must I pay for one when I sell my home?

When you sell your home, the title company will prorate the property taxes so that you only owe for the portion of the year that you still owned it. (Property taxes are paid in arrears, meaning they’re paid at the end of a period, not in advance.)

In order to calculate the proration, the title company will obtain a tax certificate from a tax certification company -- the seller is charged for this certificate. The tax certification company researches the property to determine the outstanding taxes and any other related fees. Sometimes, property taxes are delinquent, and the certificate will reveal the delinquency.

The certificate will also reveal the total property taxes paid the previous year. This is the figure on which the title company will base the proration and you, the seller, will pay that amount to the buyer at closing. The buyer then becomes responsible for paying the full amount when property taxes are due.


Here’s an example:

To keep things simple, let’s say the certified annual total property tax on a home is $365, so the tax rate is worked out as follows: $365/365 days = $1 per day.

To determine proration, the title company will apply that rate to the number of days the seller owned the home. If the seller owned the home for 200 days out of the year in which he is selling, the prorated taxes due would be $200 ($1 per day x 200 days) in this hypothetical example. This amount would be how much the seller pays to the buyer at closing.

This is one of several ways in which buyers and sellers will credit each other in a real estate transaction. Another common example involves Home Owners’ Association fees. In this case however, the situation is reversed because HOA fees are usually paid in advance, not in arrears. This means that the buyer will credit the seller for the remainder of the year in which the seller has prepaid.

 

If you have any other questions about real estate or would like a free home selling consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

Click Here to search all Katy homes
Click Here to search all Houston homes
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May 28, 2017

Before Selling Your Home: What improvements will return more than their cost?

Homes are selling very well right now, but buyers are still able to cherry-pick only the best deals.

What is considered a “best deal”? All things considered, a best deal is not simply the cheapest home. A best deal will be the home that a buyer can move into without having to do any improvements. Less work, less hassle, and an easy moving experience add a lot of value in the eyes of a buyer.

Homes in move-in condition are selling at pretty high prices when compared to homes in need of work. Keep in mind that even a home in excellent condition is not likely to sell if it’s improperly marketed, however buyers are willing to pay more for a move-in ready home as opposed to a home that needs work. 

As a seller you’re going to want to know which improvements are worth your time and money. Which of them will return more than the cost of the investment? Well, it’s the two things that are the most obvious. Can you guess what they are?

The answer is flooring and paint. The proper flooring and paint will return as much as 150% of their cost. Homes in need of flooring and paint will usually sell for up to 10% less than homes with beautiful flooring and paint already installed.

When it comes to these improvements, not just any color will do. The key to getting the largest return on your investment is choosing colors that appeal to the market. Neutral colors still rule the home sales world. Tans, browns, off-whites, and white. The two best marketing colors you can paint your interior walls are divine white and kilim beige, flat finish, by Sherwin Williams. For the trim, the ideal color is pure white in a satin finish.

In terms of flooring, you’ll want to stick to light tan carpets or moderately dark woods -- sculptured neutral-colored tile works best in the wet areas. If you decide to go with wood flooring, you must be careful, as you can easily overspend and cause your profits to disappear. The trick to profitability is to only install wood flooring in the four areas of a home that should have it . . . and you may not even want to do all of those areas.

Everyone loves wood floors when they’re done well, but the wrong wood floors are an expensive losing proposition. If you are thinking about going with hardwood and you want to make sure you’re choosing the right material and color, then give me a call and let’s talk about how you can install the most popular wood in the most popular areas of your home and come out ahead in the sale of your home.

If you have any other questions about what improvements will return more than their cost, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

Click Here to search all Katy homes
Click Here to search all Houston homes
Click Here for a free Home Evaluation

 

 

 

 

May 19, 2017

Short on cash? You can still upgrade your home before you sell!

The Dale Ross Realty Group is always searching for ways to help our clients sell their home for the highest possible price. Often, our clients want to update or upgrade their home before they sell – a wise move since today’s market is so competitive for home sellers that you could call it a beauty contest for the best homes. Unfortunately, upgrading can seem impossible when you don’t have the cash on hand to invest.

The good news is that your home can look great without a big up-front expense.

At the Dale Ross Realty Group, we know that your house needs to look good and be well marketed. We have the marketing covered. We can also help your home look amazing without a big out-of-pocket expense. With proven marketing and an amazing-looking home, you’re leveraging every advantage in your favor as a seller. Only 1 in every 5 homes is selling every month. Do you want yours to be one of them?

We’ve recently forged a strategic business alliance that allows us to offer our clients a unique opportunity to update/upgrade your home when you list with us and then pay for the improvements at closing. This program has already proven to be successful by allowing sellers to be much more competitive when selling their home. Replacing worn components will cause their home to show better and, in turn, the house will sell for more money. Whether it’s paint, flooring, counters, windows, roofing, or something else entirely, our alliance will benefit you.

If this sounds like something you’d like to explore don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

 

 

May 16, 2017

Step aside, Granite. The Next Countertop Has Arrived!

Maybe you’ve noticed, but everything changes with time

When I first became a Realtor in 1981, avocado and yellow laminate countertops were “in”. Then came white laminate in the 80’s, Corian in the 90’s, quartz in 2000’s and then granite counter tops have been a favorite for the last 16 years or so. Granite countertops have had a pretty good run (and will probably continue to dominate the market for at least the next few years) but a new countertop material is on the horizon and is already being installed in many new homes.

It’s an amazing material. You can install it over your old countertops. It won’t scratch or stain, never needs to be sealed, resealed or polished. It takes much more force to break it than granite takes (it’s 30% stronger than granite) and is impervious to heat. The installation lines are seamless. It comes in many patterns, colors, and different levels of glossiness, it has no imperfections or bacteria gathering pits, and it’s not porous.

Sound good so far? There’s even more!

This material comes in huge slabs, which means that you can cover large areas (up to 50 square feet) with a single slab. Two men can handle an entire slab with ease because it’s much lighter and thinner than granite, and it’s easier to clean. Really, it’s virtually maintenance free, and it’s perfect for shower walls, tub surrounds, wet area backsplashes, bathroom walls and bathroom counters. It’s actually a “green” product, manufactured from organic material, and it is even recyclable.

Best of all, it looks exactly like marble

Marble is a very popular choice in the high-end market right now, but marble is expensive. It’s also porous, prone to staining and scratching, and has almost every disadvantage that the new material has as an advantage.

So, what is this miraculous material that’s going to make granite obsolete? It’s Porcelain! It doesn’t look like porcelain. It doesn’t feel like porcelain. It looks and feels exactly like marble. As I said before, it’s really an amazing product. Before you pay through the nose to install granite countertops, I recommend you investigate what’s already becoming the next big thing.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575

 

 

May 12, 2017

What is a “Cloud on a Title?” Can it be Removed?

When you buy real estate, it is recommended that you obtain a policy of title insurance. In order to obtain a title policy, the title of a property must be clear (to a title under-writer’s satisfaction) of any clouds. Without a clear title, a property could be deemed unmarketable.

 So, what is meant by “a cloud on a title?” Simply put, it is anything that prevents the title from being insurable because of doubt. Think of it in an almost literal sense as something that casts a shadow on the title.

A cloud on a title can be many things such as, but not limited to:

  •          A lien of any kind on the property
  •          Probate issues
  •          Failure to properly transfer mineral rights
  •          A break in the chain of title
  •          Contested divorce that does not specify rights of ownership
  •          Divorce that does not mitigate the real property to the title company’s satisfaction
  •          An improperly recorded deed
  •          An old mortgage or deed of trust with no recording showing the secured debt was paid off
  •          A previous foreclosure
  •          An incorrect, previous type of deed transferring ownership.

Even in the case of a legally resolved matter, the title company may require further action to insure the title.

If there are any clouds on a title, they can usually be resolved, although it could take anywhere from a week to a full year, depending on the issue. This is the reason I start the title work as soon as you list your home with me. We don’t want surprises slowing down the process AFTER we have a buyer. Some title issues are more challenging – and require more time to resolve -- than others.

Some people are surprised to learn that title issues can be resolved within the eyes of the law and still not meet the title company requirements. In the end, the title company under-writer makes the final decisions.

If you have any other questions about any “clouds on a title” or any other real estate questions , don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time,

Dale Ross

Dale Ross Realty Group
www.daleross.com
281-599-6575