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If you’re in the market to buy a house in Burlington, there’s a lot of due diligence that you and your MHG Agent will have to do. Here’s a list of 10 important questions to ask before making an offer:

1. Have there been any water issues in the basement? With wild weather swings, some years haven’t been kind to home owners. Given some of the basement flooding that has happened, most Sellers should know if they have a wet basement. Find out if there have been any issues and what (if anything) the Sellers did to waterproof the house.

​​2. Is there any knob and tube wiring in the house? Much of Burlington's housing stock is older, (vintage? classic?)  and many houses still have knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube wiring is often hard to find and given a house may have changed several times in the last few years, the Sellers themselves may not know they have knob and tube – but it’s an important question to ask. 

 

3. Can I get copies of the water and gas bills? It’s important to know how much your utility bills are going to be, and there’s no better way than asking the Seller for their bills. Unusually high or low bills are a good indicator of the energy efficiency of the home.

4. Have there been issues with any of the neighbors? Here’s where you have to hope for some honesty (smart Sellers would disclose any ongoing issues). 

5. Were the renovations completed with permits? Are copies of those permits available? If you’re buying a home that’s been renovated, this is an important questions – a lot of renovations require permits (and thus get inspected), but it doesn’t always mean that the home owners got the permits. We often run into renovations that should have had permits and didn’t, so each house has to be evaluated separately.

6. Is anything in the house rented? In Burlington, it’s pretty common for hot water tanks to be rented and it’s important to know all the costs you’ll be taking over.

7. Is there any history of pests? Always a good question to ask. It’s safe to assume that most houses may have issues with squirrels, raccoons, mice, or other pests.

8. Are the pipes lead? Has the supply line from the city been changed? Understanding not only your water cost, but also any potential water issues can be important. City water will have available public information about water quality. If it is a private well, has it been tested? 

9. Is there anything else about the house we should know? Sellers have a duty to disclose anything that could materially affect the buyer’s enjoyment of the house. This is always an important question to ask.

10. Disclosure, disclosure disclosure! Have the sellers filled out a Property Information Report? Ask to see it before any offer!

 

There are more, but we will be there, helping with due diligence, every step of the way. 

Expect More.


Here are three tips for a successful sale:

1. Selling your home is going to be stressful.

 

Although we do as much as we possibly can to lessen the stress and guide you through each step of the sales process, you are still going to feel like that aliens have invaded your life.

Selling your home is simply not a fun process and it will be stressful. Remember that there is a goal to achieve and you are going through the inconvenience of selling so you can achieve your goal. Downsizing? Upsizing? Decide what those goals are first.

Acknowledging your objectives up front will help you make better decisions down the road.

 

2. Make sure you’re truly ready to sell.

 

Take the time to ensure you’re emotionally prepared for the sale. Talk to us and listen to our suggestions. Follow our recommendations. They are based on over 20 years of experience as to what works in the sales process and what does not. If we represent you, yet find yourself resisting our recommendations, it’s probably a sign that you’re not ready to sell. If that’s the case, wait until you’re ready. You should be as dedicated to your goals as we are.

Maybe you have no choice but to sell – which can be even more difficult emotionally. Believe me when I tell you we’ve been in your position and understand what you are going through. Whether you need to sell for financial reasons, can’t manage the property on your own, or have seen your last child move out and are faced with a property you no longer need, we have helped others go through the same process.

The more information you give us, the better we can represent your interests, and we have a responsibility to do just that. Let us help you through the process. Trust in the fact that you have hired experienced professionals to properly represent you.

 

3. Start thinking of your home as a product to be marketed.

 

When you haven’t separated yourself from your home, it’s difficult to see it as a product. But that’s what it is now – a house that will go on the open market to attract a buyer. Buyers don’t view it as your house. They view it as a potential home for them and what you think about it has little impact on its value or its appeal to the prospective buyer.

I know that is difficult to hear, but it’s the truth.

If you think of selling your home as a business transaction, and are able to emotionally distance yourself from the sales process, it will be less stressful, you will make more rational decisions and you will achieve the best possible price for it.

 

We are here to help. Expect More.

 

Tips to Prepare Your Burlington, Vt. Home For Sale

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Home Sale Preparation 

                                            

Getting your house ready to sell does not have to be an arduous process, and can go a long way towards a good selling experience. View these helpful tips to make it easy to get your home ready for sale. These simple ideas will help your home be more appealing to home buyers, easier to pass inspection, and put more money on your bottom line.

Home Sellers: Avoid a nightmare inspection and losing your buyer with these simple tips.

In order to present your property in its best possible light, it is important to make sure that every part of your property looks its absolute best. In a market where there are a lot of properties to choose from, the one that shows the best is the one that will stand out. Remember that first impressions matter! 

Please check the following items in your home against this checklist.

LANDSCAPING:

__ Trees and shrubs trimmed
__ Gardens edged
__ Planting beds edged and weeded
__ Lawn mowed, fertilized, and treated for weeds, if necessary
__ Gravel driveway edged and weeded with no bare spots or ruts
__ Dead limbs removed from trees
__ Flower beds planted/cleaned as appropriate for season and mulched

BUILDING EXTERIOR:

__ Check for peeling paint on house & decks
__ Functional light bulbs in all exterior lights
__ Remove items no longer used (i.e. doghouse, swing set, bikes, etc.)

INTERIOR:

__ Windows washed
__ Trim washed and/or painted as necessary
__ Floors polished, carpets cleaned
__ Kitchen cabinets cleaned
__ Closets organized and as empty as possible
__ Excess/unused furniture removed
__ Smoke and/or pet odors removed
__ Put family photo’s away to depersonalize the house
__ Arrange furniture to promote spaciousness
__ Match paint & touch up wall nicks
__ Bright brilliant colors may need to go
__ Clean out closets for a neat presentation
__ Remove seldom used appliances to another location
__ Wipe down woodwork with a light lemon furniture polish. It will make the room smell very clean.
__ If there too many toys, put away the ones not often played with.
__ Keep bathroom clean and toilet seats down
__ Dust and clean all the light fixtures

STORAGE/BASEMENT:

__ Lights operable and as bright as possible
__ Remove any unused excess items
__ Rearrange and neatly store items
__ Vacuum and/or dust water heater/furnace/boiler & surrounding pipes
__ Sweep or clean bulkhead/stairway area
__ Paint floor (if appropriate)
__ Dehumidifier working (if being used); no visible standing water

GARAGE:

__ Make sure lights are operable
__ Floor swept (use a leaf blower to clean garage)
__ Window sills & windows vacuumed and/or dusted
__ Degrease floor if necessary
__ Vacuum and/or dust inside garage door
__ Remove any excess/unused items

 

These relatively simple items will showcase your home in the best light, allowing potential buyers to view themselves in their new house! 

 

Best,

 

The Matt Hurlburt Group. Expect More.

One of the great mysteries of home buying, at least to those who have never been through the process, is closing costs. While nearly everyone has heard of them, few who haven’t had to pay them really understand them. Some people who have paid them aren’t sure what they spent all that money on. Knowing what these terms mean and what fees they consist of can help you be more prepared for them when the time comes.

Closing costs are the various fees that a home buyer must pay before the mortgage lender will finalize the mortgage. More generally speaking, these costs are about 3 to 6 percent of the amount borrowed. That is in addition to your down payment. This purpose of this blog entry is to identify and explain some of the components of your total closing costs.

The lender will charge an application fee to cover the costs of completing your mortgage application. This may or may not include the fee for your credit report. They will also charge a loan origination fee, also known as points. This covers the administrative costs of processing your mortgage. One point is equal to 1% of the total amount loaned.

Many lenders offer the option to purchase without points, but keep in mind that this will result in a higher interest rate. There are also lenders who will let you pay additional points to lower the interest rate on your loan.

Title insurance will be required by your lender. This protects you and the mortgage company in case the seller does not have the legal right to sell it. There could be unknown co-owners of the property, or it could have an unpaid lien (debt) against it that would prevent the seller from legally selling it.

An appraisal is also required by lenders. This is to ensure that the home is worth the amount loaned to you to purchase it. A home inspection is not usually required, but we recommend that you have one. The cost of the inspection could also be considered part of closing costs.

Homeowners insurance is a standard requirement of mortgage lenders. They will require proof of it and may require you to pay the first year’s premium before closing. Private mortgage insurance may also be required depending on the amount of your down payment, typically if your down payment is less than 20% of the loan amount, and part of the fee will be included in your closing costs.

Taxes associated with the transfer are usually the buyer’s responsibility, unless other arrangements are agreed upon. You may also have to pay for a survey of the property. You will likely be required to pay the interest accrued between the time your mortgage was originated and the due date of your first payment. Attorney and notary fees may also be a part of your closing costs.

Hopefully this begins to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding closing costs. Still confused? Contact us at the Matt Hurlburt Group to get your questions answered.

Risk Free Listings! Exclusively through the Matt Hurlburt Group.

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Risk Free Listing

What makes Risk Free Listing so attractive?

 

Matt Hurlburt’s exclusive RISK FREE LISTING system offers clients the peace of mind to cancel the listing at any time.  If we do not follow through with our responsibilities? You are not tied to a 12 month contract. A flexible fee structure further enhances the property owner's ability to retain more money through their sale.

 

Sell your property to a named exception and pay 3% or 5% commission.

The 3% or 5% commission does not apply to a buyer exposed to the property by an agent other than a member of the Matt Hurlburt Group while your property is listed with RE/MAX North Professionals.  At the time of the listing, any named exceptions who might be interested in purchasing are listed in the listing contract, and may purchase within 30 calendar days of the listing date for seller to pay only 3%.

 

Cancel the listing at any time.

Either you or RE/MAX North Professionals can cancel just by calling and saying: “I want to cancel the listing.”  It’s that simple.  The cancellation becomes effective officially once a mutual release has been signed.  However, please allow two (2) business days to have the sign and lockbox removed, and the listing withdrawn from the MLS.  LISTING CONTRACTS MAY NOT BE BROKEN BY THE SELLER TO AVOID PAYING COMMISSION FOR PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS THAT HAVE ALREADY VIEWED THE PROPERTY DURING THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT.

 

No advanced fees of any kind

You only pay if RE/MAX North Professionals procures an offer that is acceptable to you.

 

“No Pressure” presentation

We will never allow you to be “pressured” by the buyer’s agent.  All offers will be faxed, e-mailed, or delivered to our office, and will be presented to you by phone, so you can make your decisions privately.

 

Contact The Matt Hurlburt Group to find out more about Risk Free Listings and our Flexible Fee Listing Structure.

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Contact Information

Photo of Matt Hurlburt Group Real Estate
Matt Hurlburt Group
RE/MAX North Professionals
40 Main St, Suite 550
Burlington VT 05401
Phone: 802-862-5337
Fax: 866-660-0032