They don’t teach this in high school, but maybe they should. The difference between a Dagsborobuyer’s agent and a Dagsboro seller’s agent can be pivotal, yet first-time home buyers have to figure that out on their own. You can read quotes on the web that say things like, "I looked for a buyer’s agent instead of a real estate agent" (true story!) that illustrate how little knowledge is out there. It wouldn’t take much classroom time to explain that buyer’s and seller’s agents are both real estate agents, after all. And while the subject is being explained to the class, I’d put in these five very good reasons for using a buyer’s agent in Dagsboro home purchases:

1. There for You

A buyer’s agent is by definition obligated to promote the interests of you, the buyer. When you are being shown a home by a personable real estate agent, it’s tempting to simply go with that agent, who may be quite a nice person. After all, he or she knows the house and knows the seller. But the problem is that the agent is duty-bound to act on behalf of the seller—and in any business negotiation, you want somebody who is unequivocally in your corner. Especially since-

2. It’s Free!

A buyer’s agent is compensated through a commission. In this case, it is paid out of the proceeds from the sale price of the house. You’re reading that right: since it issues from the sellers’ proceeds, you get the service for free! Of course, the size of commission the buyer’s agent receives can impact negotiations if the seller thinks the rate is unreasonable. Remember that you can negotiate most things, including agent compensation.

3. Advice

If you rely on the listing agent, he or she can only answer certain questions that don’t transgress their duty to the seller. Issues like price, tactics, and timing can be crucial in striking a good deal—but it is precisely on those kinds of issues that a listing agent is likely to be unable to advise you. Especially if you like the agent, you might be tempted to assume silence on a point means endorsement; and that could be a costly misunderstanding. Again, a buyer’s agent in Dagsboro knows the area market from the buyer’s perspective, and can provide a wealth of information that point you in the right direction.

4. Your Personal Traffic Cop

In a typical real estate transaction, you will encounter an array of players, including lawyers, the seller or sellers, the seller’s agent, the financial institution, the home inspection team, and on and on. Buyer’s agents keep things running smoothly. They help organize the process so it makes financial and emotional sense to choose your buyer’s agent carefully.

5. It’s Free!

If ever there were something worth repeating…

The point worth remembering is that buying a house or a condominium is such a major event, securing a professional to watch out for your interests is good common sense. It’s why giving me a call even before beginning any house-hunting venture is a very good idea!

One of the advantages of reaching retirement age is that your needs can be much clearer to gauge than they were in the past. When it comes to planning for buying a home in Dagsboro, for instance, you no longer have to worry about many of the contingencies that created vast unknowns earlier on.

When we were at the starting line in careers and family life, we couldn’t know exactly where our career would send us, so the level of certainty we had when we bought our first house was sketchy at best. Likewise, the shape of our family, needs of our children (and even those of our parents) loomed as giant question marks. We might have had definite ideas about what we wanted the future to bring, but sooner or later, most of us learned that what happens is up for grabs. In the words of the immortal philosopher John Lennon,

Life is what happens to you

While you’re busy makin’ other plans…

But as more life experience builds, the better we get at predicting what the future holds. But that’s a skill that is only useful if we take what we now know and apply it. As retirement nears, here are four areas where most of us should be better able to make much better informed decisions when it comes to buying a home in Dagsboro :

1. Choose an Appropriate Size

Many couples seek large houses early in life because they expect to have children. Once the next generation has vacated the premises, though, staying in a home that’s larger than necessary means blown money—not to mention wasted time spent cleaning unused rooms. Retirees may be slow to recognize their new downsizing option: buying a home that better correlates with current needs. They may even want to consider a condo or apartment if minimal upkeep will free up income to direct toward more enjoyable activities.

2. Consider a Single-Level Home

Most people experience mobility issues as they age. Some solve the problem by installing expensive devices in their homes, even though they could deal more directly with those problems by moving to a home configured to present fewer challenges. For some people, moving to a simplified home lets them live independently for many additional years--for example, a single-level home without a front porch eliminates stairs entirely.

3. Find a Convenient Location

At some point, retirees may reluctantly decide that they don’t feel safe driving their cars. If anyone experiences warning signs of unsafe driving, it’s prudent to give up the keys before an accident forces the issue. This causes fewer problems when a retiree has chosen a convenient location. It could mean living close to stores, public transportation—or near relatives who can help with everyday tasks.

4. Stay under Budget

Retirees need to take seriously realistic budget expectations, since it’s usually true that they will have less money coming in than heretofore. An inelastic income may take some getting used to—but knowing what’s coming will make intelligent planning possible.

When it comes to locating and buying a Dagsboro home that fits your specifications, I hope you will give me a call to discuss the current crop of appropriate available properties!

It’s usually the curb appeal Dagsboro properties put out there that either plants a winning first impression…or a ho-hum (maybe it’s more interesting inside) reaction. This holds for casual passers-by as well as serious prospects who are pulling up for a scheduled house showing. It’s simply true: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

If you will be listing your home this year or next, adding a thoughtful extra touch or two to the outside can transform your Dagsboro property’s curb appeal into its first strong selling point. After all, what buyer won’t favor a home they’d be proud to have friends and co-workers visit?

Here are some simple and affordable projects—each of which can be started and finished in a single weekend!

  • Exterior lighting styles are constantly being reinvented, so if it’s been more than five years since the last time you thought about the amount of curb appeal your current fixturesadd, this one’s for you! Once the sun goes down, take a look at what passers-by see—and compare it with your Dagsboro neighbors’. Explore the latest fixtures available at area lighting shops and the big-box hardware stores—there are plenty of imaginative new designs. Even consider improving your home’s nighttime sparkle by adding a lighted path from driveway to door.
  • Your prospective buyers will be favorably impressed when an Dagsboro home’s curb appeal invites them to see themselves as part of the picture. That’s not an abstract notion—investing in a few pieces of attractive, comfortable-looking outdoor furniture and arranging them on the front porch all but compels it! Buyers will automatically picture themselves enjoying a leisurely chat out there…and if the porch layout is right, you might make it extra-inviting with a warm indoor/outdoor rug and some weatherproof decorative pillows.
  • Extensive flower beds can turn some buyers off if they don’t want the hassle of upkeep—but a few flower pots or window planters look wonderfully inviting when people drive up to the house. Decide if some large pots along the driveway, sidewalk, or entryway would provide color and character; or put up a pair of ready-made window boxes. Filled with easy-maintenance annuals like marigolds, petunias, or impatiens, this simple touch can make a disproportionately effective difference.
  • Sometimes you don’t have to paint the whole house when you put your house on the market: just spruce up the front door, shutters, or trim. Some sandpaper, a wire brush and modest amount of paint can do the trick. This is a quick and affordable way to add curb appeal to the entire house—a facelift without spending tons on painters and paint.
  • Ancient, peeling house numbers on the mailbox or by the front door can destroy curb appeal. Dagsboro prospects usually spot them first when they search for your address, so save the day with a new mailbox (or just some gleaming new replacement numerals).

Ready to list? Preparation should start weeks (even months) before the marketing goes live—making for a much less stressful opening weekend. Contact me soon for a preliminary evaluation to get your Dagsboro home ready for the market!

Congrats! Your offer has been accepted and you are officially in escrow. Now what?  Usually the first order of business is to arrange your Dagsboro home inspection. When you were house hunting, you were weighing so many factors it was next to impossible to thoroughly examination of every nook and corner of every one of the serious contenders…in fact, it wasn’t necessary. But now that you’re moving forward to a purchase, you want to do more than kick the tires. It’s time to get under the hood!

Here is a taste of just some of the areas you and your inspector will be examining during your Dagsboro home inspection:

Plumbing

You will be taking a close look at the tiles around the handles on the bath tub or shower. If they are a different color, it could indicate a plumbing problem. A look under the kitchen sink for stains beneath the pipes can also indicate leaks—something you’ll want to know more about from the seller.

Mold

HGTV’s home inspector Rick Yerger lists water as enemy #1. \"Of the many homes I have inspected,\" he says, \"water damage to the structure has been the most damaging and costly, causing foundation problems, rot and the dreaded mold.\"  He recommends close examination of exterior grade for sloping (or draining) back toward the home; stucco issues where they’re applicable, and roofing materials.

Inspect the Yard

If there is a yard on the property, take the time to do a thorough walkover. Look at the condition of the shrubs, grass and flowers. Check the irrigation, the lighting. You should also look closely at the fencing and gating: they can be expensive to repair.

Electricity

Exposed wires can result in a house fire or other devastating damage. Open splice wire (where wire is conjoined using only electrical tape and/or wire connectors) is a common do-it-yourself mistake often seen in attics, garages, and crawlspaces. Any issues found with the wiring should be corrected ASAP.

These are only a few of the many areas your Dagsboro home inspection will cover, so when you are scheduling the day, don’t make other appointments that might rush the process. Of course you hope that everything will be found to be flawless, and if only minor problems are uncovered, the seller may simply volunteer to correct them. But if the home inspection reveals that a significant amount of work will have to be done to bring it up to an acceptable standard, you and your agent will probably be submitting additional terms reflecting the requirements. As always, if you’re looking for that agent—the one you will want by your side throughout the entire home-buying process—I hope you’ll give me the call!

Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.