Get a Pest Inspection Before You List

Getting a Pest Inspection Before You List
Before your real estate agent places the “For Sale” sign in your front yard, you want to be sure that no stone has been left unturned when preparing your home for marketing. The “To Do” checklist that your agent gives you is created to help protect you from the unknown once you are under contract to sell. It is also a great checklist for taking care of everyday preventative maintenance of your home.

One of the key items on your list will be the recommendation to obtain a professional structural pest inspection prior to listing instead of waiting for an acceptable offer to see if your home is the subject of hidden pest or water damage.

For a fee of $100-$200, a state-licensed pest inspector will scrutinize everything from the rafters down to the foundation, looking for signs of active wood-boring invaders and/or dry rot.

Termites and certain beetles can be causing behind-the-scenes damage to the structure, while water could be causing wood to rot where it is not properly protected. Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a report with suggested remedies and estimated costs for any areas of active infestation or dry rot. If and when you want to correct any problems is up to you.

Having this information before you move ahead with an offer gives you great advantages when selling your home. You will know the cost to get a clear pest report prior to agreeing on a selling price. Your buyer’s loan approval may depend on having a clear report so closing delays will be avoided.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the home selling or buying process. I’m here to be your resource.


Meet Two Women Changing the World, One Life at a Time

As the season of New Year’s resolutions gives way to a rapidly unfolding new year and decade, optimism may waver in the face of the political, economic, and environmental challenges that humanity faces.

This March, Women’s History Month is a welcome and inspiring reminder that there are those who seek to make the world a better place, starting with their very own communities. The following fierce females show that no matter how small the positive action, its ripple effects change and enrich many lives.

Chicagoan Shante Elliott grew up as a ward of the state until she was adopted at age 13. Armed with firsthand experience of the challenges youngsters face in the foster care system, Elliott launched TasselTurn, a platform that uses technology to boost educational attainment for foster teens. TasselTurn pairs at-risk kids with “virtual coaches” (graduate students and young professionals) who ensure their mentees graduate and go on to attend college or find jobs.

Fellow L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth 2019 honoree Brittany Schiavone launched Brittany’s Baskets of Hope in 2014. Drawing on her own experiences as a woman with Down’s syndrome, the Huntington-based nonprofit offers support and guidance to those welcoming babies with Down’s syndrome into their lives. Since 2016, she has delivered 750 homemade baskets containing informational books, baby essentials, and gifts to families across 48 states.

Not only are these women working to change lives, they are single-handedly changing the narrative around foster kids and Down’s syndrome, shaping history as they boldly go forward into the future.


How to Make the Most of Your Spring Cleaning

The first spring clean of the year is a golden opportunity to refresh, renew, and rejuvenate not only our surroundings but also our own inner sense of well-being. Don’t know where to start? Take note of these handy hints to help tackle your big 2020 spruce-up with a spring in your step.

Create a plan of action for each room/area in your house. From there, home in on specific jobs and make a list to break things down into easily manageable chunks. It’ll be incredibly satisfying as you check off each job!

In your kitchen, pay extra attention to overlooked areas, like the microwave, oven, sink, fridge, pots and pans, and that often-forgotten junk drawer. If you like to keep things eco-friendly, citrus can go a long way: rub a slice of lemon on your cutting boards to help get rid of tough stains.

In the bathroom, delegate your time between machine-washing shower curtains (just be sure to use the gentle cycle), decluttering and getting rid of make-up, ointments, and medicines, and refreshing shower drains and grouting. Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to grout and scrub with an old toothbrush. Afterwards, spray the grout with white vinegar and water, and let the mixture bubble for 30 minutes before rinsing.

Don’t forget to refresh your bedding. Pillows should be replaced every one or two years (depending on their quality), while comforters need a deep clean at least twice a year.

When you finish your spring clean, remember to clean your tools and stock up on cleaning supplies so your next cleaning job is efficient and easy. Vacuums, brooms, dryers, and dishwashers deserve your attention too!


Wondering What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? Do I need a house inspection? These are all critical questions that shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home.

Whether you’re curious about prices in your area, whether it’s an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, I can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!


It’s Tempting, but Don’t Do It: The Perils of Moving in Prior to Closing
It is not a given that every sale will close on the contracted closing date. With this in mind, it is important to have contingency plans to cover any delays that will hinder moving plans for both buyer and seller. The buyer who wants to move in prior to a delayed closing and the seller who accommodates such a request may find themselves in a predicament if things don’t go according to plan. Keep in mind that even if there is a written agreement to allow an early move-in, a legal dispute can still evolve from the unforeseen.

Early occupancy by a buyer means that the seller will have to maintain insurance on the property until closing, but there will be a potentially costly change to that policy. The new coverage would be landlord insurance to cover the now “tenant-occupied” home. Part of the closing process is the funding of the buyer’s loan and a final check of clear title. If a final verification of employment is not in order for the underwriter, funding will not occur and may cause the lender to withdraw the loan commitment. If the final title check reveals a last-minute recorded encumbrance against the property, the sale closing could be indefinitely delayed. These are all good reasons for early occupancy to be avoided.

While the buyer benefits the most from an early move-in, the seller potentially suffers great loss in the event of any buyer default. The seller will have vacated their home, thinking it was sold. This, coupled with the house possibly having been altered or damaged by the buyer during early occupancy, could create unanticipated financial hardship. The seller still owns the house and remains liable for activities on the property.

In any of these scenarios, it wouldn’t be long before buyer and seller would find themselves entangled in a legal battle over monetary damages. The message is loud and clear. Both the buyer and seller need to plan their moves with a flexible timeline and avoid early buyer possession in the event unexpected delays cause a late closing.

If you’re considering upsizing or downsizing, let me know what I can do to help make that transition as smooth as possible for you.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Want to Sell Your Home Fast? Get My Free Guide
Preparing your home for sale can make the difference between getting the price you want – or ending up disappointed.

Discover some easy things you can do by requesting my free guide, “50 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Speedy, Top-Price Sale.”

Just call me and I’ll send it right out to you.


Quick Quiz
Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

Which woman founded modern nursing and was nicknamed “Lady with the Lamp”?


Roasted Potatoes with Green Goddess Dip
Here is a recipe for St. Patrick’s Day that brings to mind the green hues of the Emerald Isle and features the versatile potato.
Serves 6
1 pound roasted baby potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
2 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup fresh basil
2/3 cup fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon brown mustard
Salt to taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place potatoes in a bowl with oil, garlic, and a generous sprinkling of salt. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast until tender, turning occasionally, for about an hour.

Drain cashews and place them in a blender with tahini, lemon juice, herbs, maple syrup, and mustard. Puree until smooth.

Place the potatoes on a platter and the dip in a bowl in the center.

Can be served as a side dish or additional items like mini sausages, crudités, and pita chips can round out the platter and be dipped in the green goddess dip.


Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What is earnest money when you’re buying a home?

Now that you have found a house that you want to call home, it’s time to sit down with your agent and write an offer that will get a positive response from the seller. The stronger your offer, the more likely your home can be purchased on your terms.

One of the first items that your agent will discuss with you will be the earnest money deposit that should accompany the purchase offer upon presentation to the seller. This is the money that shows your good faith and demonstrates that you are serious about going through with the sale. Usually the earnest money deposit is offered in the form of a cashier’s or personal check. In some locales, it may be electronically transferred into a designated escrow account upon acceptance of the offer.

While 2-5% of the purchase price is the customary amount of deposit, keep in mind that the higher the good faith deposit, the more likely the seller will be to accept your offer. The seller will have confidence that there would be little chance of you walking away from the sale and surrendering your considerable deposit as damages to the seller.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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