Benefits of Knowing Your Utilities Before Moving In

UtilitiesBuying a home is a big decision and one that should be taken lightly. While you’re following through your due diligence and moving forward in finding your dream home, there is a lot of information to digest. One important factor many homebuyers overlook, or ignore, is asking about utilities.

Now is the time to ask the seller’s agent for the last year utility bills. Although the seller is not obligated to give you this information, it never hurts to ask. Plus, it will help you establish a realistic budget on what you may pay on your monthly utility bills. In addition, if the utility bills come back on the high side and are out of your price range, you have time to walk away.

If you’re still good on moving forward with purchasing your home, once you’re in the final stages of closing on the home, now is the time to transfer the utilities under your name. Before you do this, ask your real estate agent about when the best time to do this is.

To keep the transferring process simple and quick, here are 5 simple tips to follow:

  1. Determine your shut-off and activation dates.
  2. Have your account numbers in front of you when you call.
  3. Pay any balances that may be lingering.
  4. Provide a forwarding address.
  5. Check all your features after activation.

Want more tips for making the transfer process easier, check out this article by Unpack.com. What are some things you wished you’d known before buying your first home?

Real Estate Advertising vs. For Sale by Owner

Real Estate Advertising vs. For Sale by Owner

When deciding to list, many homeowners contemplate their opSOLD Signtions: employ a real estate agent or go it alone and list for sale by owner (FSBO). Both scenarios have their benefits and challenges. It all comes down to getting the most bang for your buck.

The National Association for Realtors reports that an agent could sell your house for 13 percent more than you could. It is true that the average selling price in 2014 for FSBO was $208,700 compared to $235,000 for agent-assisted home sales. However, roughly nine percent of FSBO homes are mobile or manufactured homes which have a lower selling price point anyway.

So what is a seller to do? Evaluate what exactly a realtor brings to the table and then decide if you can manage all of what they do on your own.

Your realtor will handle all aspects of the selling process. Essentially, you will benefit from hiring a realtor for these five reasons:

1.They will do all of the negotiating

At first glance you might be thinking, “What’s so great about that? I can negotiate just as well. I got the salesman down $1,500 on the price of my car.” But many don’t realize how many people are involved in the real estate transaction process. If you decide to list FSBO, you can expect to work with all potential buyers, all of their agents, in some state’s the buyers’ attorneys, home inspection companies, appraisers and banks. For some, paying the agent’s small commission ends up pays for itself right here.

2. They ensure exposure

There’s no denying that the internet gets results. You can’t afford not to have a solid strategy ready to promote your new listing when 92 percent of buyers search online listings. The days when putting up a sign and listing in the paper would work are over. Real estate professionals use multiple listing services and employ numerous marketing strategies to get your listing the exposure it needs.

3. They handle all of the paperwork ensuring a smooth sale process

Minus a lot of signatures of course. The paperwork involved in a real estate transaction has increased over the years as industry regulations and disclosures have become mandatory. An experienced agent will not only know what paper work you need but can act according to ensure an error-free, successful and smooth closing.

4.Buyer perception

Oftentimes buyers see FSBO as the chance to get a steal-of-a-deal. You could get taken advantage of unless you have the necessary skills needed in selling your home. Another consideration, the majority of buyers will be represented by an agent of their own. This means that if you are saddled with paying the buyer’s agents commission you are only saving 3 percent.

5. You’ll have an expert in your corner

All of those people mentioned earlier that you might have to deal with are on the buyer’s side. They are looking out for the buyer’s best interest. Can you afford not to have someone looking out for your best interest?

Kelly Waters Earned Ranking for 2015 Home Sales.

Local RE/MAX Agent(s) Named Among “America’s Best”

Kelly Waters with The Waters Group Earned Ranking for 2015 Home Sales

 Layton, Utah, July 20th – Kelly Waters (The Waters Group) with RE/MAX Metro is among the 2,691 RE/MAX agents and teams featured in the 2016 REAL Trends “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” survey. The agents included in the survey represent less than 1 percent of all real estate professionals in the United States.

“We truly consider it an honor and a privilege to be given the opportunity to serve you and to forever be your real estate professionals of choice.” said Waters. “Being recognized alongside so many hard working and dedicated real estate professionals is an accomplishment, and we’re honored to be named among ‘America’s Best’.” 

“America’s Best” is the industry’s largest ranking of agents based on homes sold in 2015. The survey is open to individual agents who closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume and teams who had at least 75 sides or $30 million in volume.  The fourth annual ranking groups agents by state and metro area. Both individual agents and teams are recognized for their number of transaction sides and/or sales volume.

The Waters Group has more than 10 years of experience in the Utah market. This is the first year The Waters Group has been recognized among “America’s Best.” RE/MAX agents accounted for 22 percent of the more than 12,000 participating agents who qualified for the survey. This year, RE/MAX had more agents named in the survey than any other brand.

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About RE/MAX Metro:

RE/MAX Metro is a locally owned and operated full-service real estate brokerage located in Layton, Utah.The brokerage has 82 Realtors® and specializes in Residential and/or Commercial real estate. RE/MAX Metro is a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities, and is located at 579 Heritage Park Blvd. Layton, Utah 84041.             

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7 Ways Professional Photography Can Help You

canstockphoto152699047 Ways Professional Photography Can Help You
Outstanding photography can benefit your brand, website and business. Great photography can even benefit your own personal image. This list contains the top seven ways professional photography will benefit you!
1. Credibility
Consumers interested in your business can tell the difference between amateur and professional photography. Top notch photography can keep you competing with large online businesses. Inferior photos and images will bounce visitors from your business and website to one with quality photos. Professional images also help with establishing your credibility by showing potential customers that you are willing to invest in your company’s image.
2. Exposure/Publicity/Awareness
Use your professional images to lure in consumers and keep them interested. Others, especially competitors, will notice your quality photos. Once noticed, people will ask you to share your images on social media, magazines, blogs and news articles. This generates free publicity, increased exposure and awareness.
3. Let Your Personality Shine
As it turns out a picture is not worth a thousand words, it’s worth so much more. A valuable photo helps depict you and your business. Potential clients investigate to see who they will be dealing with and you don’t want them to be disappointed. So what are you waiting for? Hire a photographer to take head shots of you and your staff today!
4. Inspires Imagination
Photography can get your own creative juices flowing. It can inspire new ideas and encourages you, your staff and clients to look at things from a different perspective. Get inspired today and start thinking outside the box.
5. Relieves Stress
Whether you have calming images in your office or are taking photos yourself, photography is a great way to relieve stress. Taking a break from that all-consuming problem to focus on that perfect picture gives you a much needed break. Don’t worry the problem will still be there, but you will be more ready to tackle it head on.
6. Readability
Photography is a great tool especially for websites. Readers can easily glance at a photo to gain information about the company, its products and its staff. Research has shown that individuals are drawn to images more than copy. Also, images and photos can clarify what the text is saying ensuring that provided information is easier to absorb for the consumer.
7. Conversion
You only have a few minutes in person or online to seal the deal. People are going to base their decisions in part on the quality of the images they see on your website, marketing materials and in your office. The higher the quality, the more likely you are to convert potential consumers to buyers or clients. Professional photos can provide accurate representations of your products and services which will foster confidence in potential clients.

10 Tricks Every Clever Gardener Needs to Know

Gardening, like any hobby, takes time, effort and money. Clever gardeners figure out little hacks and short cuts that save them in more ways than one. After all, gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes!canstockphoto19089257

  1. Soak your seeds in warm water before planting is an inexpensive trick that can help get your plants ready to root and grow strong, durable plants.
  2. Make your own garden markers. Homemade garden markers are not only functional, but cute too. You can use rocks you find outside or in your garden. Use a sharpie and paint to make your homemade markers more colorful. You also can use plastic silverware you have laying around the house. Find out more about DIY garden markers here.
  3. Lay diapers in your pots to moisten your soil longer. Make sure to cut the elastic edges off and lay the diapers with the absorbent side up to maximize moisture retention.
  4. Repurpose milk jugs into homemade watering cans. The best part is that you get a watering can that always pours how you like. If it doesn’t, you can just make a new one. Here are the step-by-step instructions.
  5. Quit throwing away your egg shells. They can be used as a natural fertilizer for your soil and to start seedlings. Want to protect your plants from insects? Just place the egg shells around the base of your plants and viola, you have a homemade insecticide minus all the chemicals and toxins.
  6. And your leftover rice water can be used as an environmentally safe and chemical-free fertilizer. So instead of throwing your rice water down the drain pour it on your plants to naturally provide much needed nutrients.
  7. And your used coffee grounds naturally ward off slugs. They also help prevent mold and mildew growth. Besides, used coffee grounds are an essentially free natural fertilizer that you would have just tossed out anyway.
  8. Use toilet paper to make seed tape. Honestly, seeds can be tiny and the toilet paper can help you organize, space and plant these small seeds as evenly as possible. Here you can find the instructions on how to make seed tape from toilet paper.
  9. Have an awesome party last night? Great! You can use the left over vodka to keep cut flowers fresh longer. Don’t forget the beer, it can be used to ward off and kill slugs.
  10. Plant more herbs and vegetables from left over store bought plants including herbs, celery, onions and more. With green onion you can chop off the bottoms, let them dry, plant them after a few days and they will start sprouting in no time.

Top Father’s Day Gift Ideas

 

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Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate dad and let him know he’s still our #1 guy. However, sometimes finding the perfect gift for dad is not is easiest thing, especially if he already has everything.

To help you come up with the ultimate gift for your pops, or give you a direction to explore, here are * noteworthy gadgets and services looking into.

  1.  Dollar Shave Club Membership. Help dad stay looking his best this year with these high quality razors and grooming products, starting at $3.00 a month. There’s various razors, face moisturizers with screen, and hair care products any dad would love.
  1. Essential EDC Kit. Does your dad enjoy spending time in the great outdoors? Give him the gift of a paracord pod EDC (everyday carry) kit! This ultimate key chain gives dad the most need tools he’ll need while outside fishing, camping, and hiking.
  1. Amazon Fire TV Stick. After a long, hard day, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting down and watching your favorite movie or show. If you’re dad enjoys streaming, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great gift to give dad a better picture while watching TV.
  1. Hipstreet Touch Gloves. Although the cold months are a little ways away, being prepared for the winter is a good idea. These warm and cozy gloves are touchscreen compatible with any device which means dad won’t have to keep taking off his gloves to use his phone this winter.
  1. Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner. If your dad love to grill, but hates the clean up the Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner may be the perfect gift. Brushes are easy to remove and dishwasher safe so dad can have fun grilling this summer.
  1. Scene It? Seinfeld Edition. Is your dad a fan of the TV show, Seinfeld? This game is packed with trivia questions and real clips, it’s sure to entertain dad and the rest of the family for hours.
  1. Detroit Grooming Company Beard Butter. Made from the best and finest organic ingredients, Detroit Grooming Co. beard butter will leave dad’s beard feeling softer and moisturized. Enter the code ASKMEN for 20% off all orders.
  1. MPowered Inflatable Solar Lantern. This lantern with a waterproof PVC enclosure delivers up to 80 lumens, providing up to 15 square feet of light. The perfect gift for dad, this solar lantern is designed to float in water and is a fun addition to any social gathering.
  2. 9.Grid-it Organizer. Today there are various cords that go with each device, it’s  hard to keep them organized and to remember which cord goes with which device. Help dad get more organized this year with this Grid-it Organizer. Now dad won’t forget his keys, phone, or chargers when he travels.

 

Need more ideas? Check out these Top Father’s Day Gift Ideas.

What would you add to the list? Tell us about your best gift to dad below in the comments.

Want to be a millionaire? Think like one first.

money-163502_960_720When starting out in life, not all of us receive a “small loan” of a million dollars from our parents. However, we all want to be millionaires but just how many people actually get there? More importantly how do they do it and what can you learn from their experience to increase your bank roll. Most Americans believe that roughly 15 percent of households hold millionaire status, but in reality, it’s more like five percent. Following is a recipe for success in your personal quest for wealth.

Ingredients:

Similar to any great recipe, you start with the ingredients. Every pantry has its basic, staple ingredients (flour, milk, eggs and butter) just like every person looking to increase their wealth. These basic staples include: ambition, the “millionaire mindset” and critical thinking skills. In regards to ambition, many people have the drive and many others have the vision to be a millionaire, but the magic happens when you combine your unique vision with your indomitable drive. The “millionaire mindset” is nothing short of being frugal. You want to be the person known as the “penny pincher.” The one that always finds the best deals. All our lives we are told to think outside of the box. Thinking differently along with always learning and seeking knowledge will set you apart from the average joe. After you acquire these ingredients, you must find that combination to get the skills working for you.

Directions:

1. You need to set a goal. Not just any goal will do, you need a SMART goal, one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Your objectives and goals guide your vision. They set you on the right path. They give you a plan that allows for evaluation and feedback.

2. After you have a solid plan to work from, you need to do your best to make good choices. This means three things: do not be wasteful, think before you spend and stick to a budget. The best way to avoid wasteful spending is to repurpose. Think about new ways to use old items and “make do” with what you have. Before every purchase you should ask yourself three questions: Sticking to a set budget is harder than it sounds. When setting your budget, you should plan for extra spending, fun and entertainment. Keeping track of all spending and not forgetting that you have goals and a budget in place will all help. For more tips and tricks to help with your budget visit Lifehack.

3. Strategize, strategize, strategize. After you have set the goals and developed a plan, you need the tactics that ensure success. Most millionaires have an average of seven income streams. They harvest this cash flow by investing, saving for a rainy day and living below their means. Investing can be intimidating, but it’s well worth it. Investing and diversifying your portfolio are life changing decisions and should be handled appropriately. You can find some great starter advice from Money Under 30, but I recommend speaking to a financial advisor. Saving is an important aspect in money management. “Stuff” happens and having a nest egg for those pesky emergencies and major expenses like education, homes, cars and retirement gets you one step closer to millionaire status.

1. Do I need it? 2. Can I borrow it? 3. Can I find it cheaper somewhere else?

5 Must Do Projects To Sell Your Home Faster

Your home is an investment. An investment you want to take care of, not only for pride of ownership, but as a financial asset which will pay off in the long run. If you’re ready to sell your home and grow into your next dream home, now is the best time to make the move. shutters-669296_640

As you prepare your home to sale, here are 5 simple projects you can do to help your home look its best and appeal to potential buyers.

  1. Paint the front door. When it comes to selling your home, curb appeal is a big deal. One way to help make your home stand out and appeal to buyers is to give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Pick a color that pops and complements your home. Also, if your door knob is broken, rusty, or has seen better days, replace the knob since this will be noticed by potential homebuyers.
  1. Maintain a healthy lawn. Another important part of curb appeal is taking time to properly take care of your lawn. If you’re lawn is brown and near death, potential homebuyers won’t waste time looking at your home. Now is the time to fertilize, aerate, mow, and water your lawn. The healthier your lawn is the better it will make your home will sale.
  1. Power wash your walkways. Dirt, debris, and other clutter on your pathways is another way to get potential buyers from stopping to look at your home. Take some time now to power wash your walkways and pick up any clutter which will minimize any accidents. Not only does this look better, but it will protect you from any liabilities.
  1. Architectural lights. Floodlights or landscape lighting is a great way to highlight various focal points to show off the beauty of your yard and add depth to your corners. In addition, extra lighting can add a safety feature to your home, steps, and pathways.
  1. Replace any broken window screens. Broken window or screens makes your home look like a dump. Before you put your home on the market, replace any broken windows or screens. This will not only make your home look better, but will increase the value of your home.

If you’re ready to sell your home, your real estate agent can help you decide which home projects will help your home sell faster.

6 Must Do Habits To Succeed In Life

With the new month, now is the time to set new goals or refocus your objectives. To help give you a fresh start, here are 6 habits to incorporate in your daily routine to boost your success:

  1. Talk it out. Don’t let problems build up. Instead take some time tonight, each month, to discuss your finances and other issues with your spouse. Even if there isn’t an issue right, keeping the communication lines open is important (even in business partnerships).
  1. Make smart hires. If you’re expanding your team, hire new people who will benefit the team and be a team player. Ask yourself, what characteristics do you value in potential hires?275H
  1. Slow down. We live in a busy world, with commitments (both professional and personal) and the constant chatter of social media. Take a moment to slow down, unplug, and reconnect with yourself, family, and friends. Also, when at work, make it a habit to avoid rushing through things and delivering quality work to each project.
  1. Take some smart risks. If you’ve been hesitant to decide on a big decision that’s been on your mind, why not take the leap and just do it? Now is the time to trust your gut and go for it. What do you have to lose and, if nothing else, you’ll learn from the experience.
  1. Partner up. When it comes to personal and professional relationships, you can’t always do things alone. Before you go to bed tonight, write down the names of the people who can help you reach your next goal. Then, ask them to be your mentor or, if they’ve succeed where you want to go, ask them to share their insights and what they did to get there. Most people are happy to share their insights.
  1. Find your why. We all have moments when we feel unmotivated or are unsure which direction to go, but if you know your why—the purpose behind your work—the better you’ll be able to clearly communicate that to your team and clients.

Want to learn a more tips to help you succeed? Check out this article by Success Magazine. Have something to add? Tell us about some things you’ve done to reach your goals below in the comments.

Is This Your Year For Finally Buying A Home?

With Utah’s strong economy and affordable housing market, it comes to know surprise that more millennials are turning towards home ownership. Already in Ogden and Clearfield, an estimated 39.8% of new homes were to sold to those between 25 and 35, according to Builder.com home-1194442_640

For first time home buyers, purchasing a home can be an intimidating experience. As you start the process to toward buying a home, take some time to ask yourself these questions to make sure you understand what you’re getting into. If you’re not prepared, home ownership can stretch you financially.

Once you’ve decided your ready to buy a home, take a moment to get pre-approved by your bank, credit union, or a mortgage lender can help you get a home loan. This is also a great to time to talk to them to find how much you can afford. Be aware of the extra costs and taxes (property taxes, HOA fees if you’re buying a townhouse or condo, etc).

A real estate agent can help you during this process of finding a home and is there to answer all your questions. If you’re ready to move forward in buying a home, give us a call and let us help you find your dream home.