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Chris Hutchinson

Chris Hutchinson

The Michael Group
Hurst, TX 76054

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Real Estate News, Tips and Stories

What to do if Schools are Important in Your Home Search

Whether you’re moving to a new city or a new neighborhood, you might be wondering about the quality of the schools. Fair housing laws prohibit agents from steering clients, whether toward a particular area or away from that area, based upon the buyer’s race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin. That means your REALTOR® will avoid giving opinions on school districts, because a comment could be construed as influencing your housing choice based on demographic information. However, your REALTOR® can advise you on how to make an informed decision. Here are a few tips for researching schools during your home search.

Know What “Good” Means for You

What is your definition of a good school or a good school district? Do they offer AP courses or special education programs? Is there a variety of sports teams or clubs? Having an idea of what you think makes for a good school can help you narrow down your choices.

Research School District Options

Some school districts allow students to attend schools they aren’t zoned for, or there could be magnet schools that focus on certain disciplines. Also, publicly available data can give a better understanding of a district. For example, the Texas Education Agency posts district test scores and other school information.

Stay Open-Minded

School quality is a subjective issue, and you’ll inevitably hear negative feedback. While it’s good to get anecdotal information, don’t let it be the deciding factor in your school research. Visit schools and talk to administrators and take a well-rounded approach.

Share Your Direction

Once you’ve done your research on schools and you have a particular direction in mind, it’s OK to tell your REALTOR® you want to look for properties within that school district. But since it’s your REALTOR®’s job to provide you with options, he or she may present other listings outside those boundaries. If the district zoning is a deal-breaker, just tell your REALTOR®.

Your REALTOR® can’t tell you what to do, but your REALTOR® is committed to helping you make informed decisions.

4 Ways to Stay Safe as a New Homeowner

Just moved into your new home? Take these simple safety steps as you settle in.

Change the locks. Have you ever made extra keys for your home for the dog walker, your best friend, or as a loaner to give to visitors? You’re probably not the only one. Even though sellers surrender the keys at the sale, there’s no guarantee they remembered to retrieve all of them. Get your own set of keys that no one else has but you. 

Be smart about your empty boxes. Putting boxes from your new TV on the curb might send a signal to potential thieves. Instead of putting boxes out in plain sight, break them down and place them in a trash receptacle or store them inside until pickup day. Better yet, take them to your local recycling center as soon as possible.

Keep your name to yourself. You might want to tell the world about your new purchase by putting your name on your mailbox, doormat, or elsewhere, but be smart about what you reveal. On your mailbox, use just your last name or your last name and first initial. This keeps strangers from knowing too much about you and your family.

Sign up for the neighborhood email list. If there is a local group email list, becoming a member of it is a good way to stay informed about neighborhood happenings, from car break-ins to block parties. 

Is Your Home Search About to Get Easier?

More homebuyers are feeling optimistic about their housing search this year than last, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders

Of prospective buyers surveyed, 22% said they expected their search to get easier in the months ahead—compared to just 16% who had the same expectation last year. There also was a year-over-year drop in the share of prospective buyers who thought their search was going to get harder, from 73% to 67%. 

The spring and summer homebuying season traditionally brings with it the feeling of competition as more buyers end up pitted against one another over limited housing inventory. In the first quarter of 2019, the numbers of buyers who saw more homes they liked and could afford than in the previous three months rose slightly to 30% compared to 26% in the same quarter last year.

These slight changes in buyer sentiments may represent a trend, but whether or not this year’s homebuying season does result in a better environment for buyers, working with a Texas REALTOR® can make all the difference when it comes to finding the right property and making a transaction go smoothly. 

A Sure Way to Kill a Potential Deal

How would you respond to a really low offer?

Many sellers are offended—so offended that they refuse to respond. After all, it’s an insult!

That’s one way to look at it. Another way is that someone just showed interest in buying your house. Isn’t that why you put it on the market?

Perhaps the person who made the offer is willing to come closer to your asking price. Your REALTOR® can help you find out.

One thing is for sure: If you don’t respond at all, you’ll never know how serious the other party is about buying your house. And you’ll never know if you killed a potential deal.

Sellers, Are You Making These 4 Mistakes?

Did you put your house on the market so it would stay there for a long time? Probably not, but if you’re making these mistakes, that’s exactly what will happen. The good news is that it’s never too late to change your ways. See if you’re doing anything on this list, then stop right now.

Don’t linger while buyers view your home. Being around during a showing seems like a great opportunity for you to point out the highlights of your home, right? Wrong. And if you think being present will mean you’ll get honest feedback, you should probably think again. Most buyers are uncomfortable with the seller around because they don’t feel they can be honest about the property. What you want is for buyers to feel at ease in your home so they’re more likely to see themselves living there.

Don’t leave your pets. Even pet lovers may get distracted by your dog with separation anxiety or your cat who growls at anyone who isn’t you. If you can’t take your pet with you during a showing, drop them by a pet daycare or ask a friend or neighbor if they’d be willing to have your furry friend over for a visit.

Don’t go overboard on smells. Whether it’s the smell of lavender or litter boxes, people are sensitive to smells, and not everyone enjoys even those that are meant to be pleasant. Ask your REALTOR® for ideas for making a neutral smell, and think about opening windows and moving the litter box temporarily while your house is on the market.

Don’t base your price on feelings. Sentimental value isn’t the same as monetary value, and even those extensive renovations you made don’t increase your sale price per dollar spent. Trust your REALTOR® to help you price your home properly. He or she has access to information about the current market, other sales nearby, and how renovations really improve your home’s value.

These are just a few common mistakes that many sellers make, but your REALTOR® can help you avoid these and other pitfalls. 

Chris Hutchinson | 972-809-0607 | Contact Me
1845 Precinct Line Rd - Hurst, TX 76054
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