5 Best apps for Home Sellers & Buyers

Welcome to the 21st century where even home buying and selling are made easier with your smart phone. Knowledge is power and you can improve your realty experience with these 5 powerful apps:

  1. Jackie’s Keller Williams app. With this app, you can get free instant access to local homes for sale from any cell phone or tablet. Jackie’s Keller Williams Realty Real Estate Search is available for Android, Iphone or IPad. You will find three ways to get Jackie’s KW app at JackieEllisOnTheGo.com.
  2. Redfin. This app updates every 15 minutes, so you are always getting fresh information! While this app can’t replace a qualified real estate agent, you can optimize your search with a variety of filters.
  3. Zillow Real Estate. With this app, you can easily search for homes for sale or for rent. Get your house listed on this site to reach numerous potential buyers. You can also take advantage of the Video Walkthrough feature.
  4. Realtor.com. The granddaddy of real estate apps is still going strong. With numerous photos and important details such as sales history, this app and site remain important tools for your home buying or selling experience.
  5. Mortgage Calculator at Quicken.com. Having a good sense of how much you can afford is the starting block for your house shopping adventure. You can use this app whether you use Quicken as a mortgage company or not.

4 Advantages of Selling your Home during the Holidays

The majority of home sellers resist putting their home on the market during the holidays.  The list of reasons is many, but among the most popular excuses is the fact that they are busy and will be having guests.  However, if you’re serious about selling your home and you want to get an edge up on the competition, you may want to reconsider.  Here is a list of the reasons why:

  1. Reduced Competition

As previously mentioned, most people do not want to list their homes during the holidays.  In fact, most people simply refuse to do so.  For the small number of homeowners who decide to bite the bullet, the reward can be significant.  Fewer homes on the market always works in favor of the seller.  “The early bird gets the worm.”  If you know you are planning to sell your home after the holidays, why wait?  It’s a good idea to seriously consider moving forward as soon as possible, even during the holidays.

  1. Only Serious Buyers are Looking during the Holidays!

While most are busy shopping, cooking, decorating, and socializing, there will be a number of buyers who are serious about purchasing a home during this time.  No one is out “kicking tires” during this time, so if a buyer is actively looking at homes, this means they are probably ready to make an offer!

  1. Your Home Looks Amazing during the Holidays!

You spend a lot of time decorating and preparing for the holidays.  Your home is a show place that you want to share with family and friends. It’s warm and cozy.  It’s inviting, and it smells fabulous!  Why not take advantage of this, and list your home when it’s actually all dressed up for an open house? Decorate the exterior as well.  Just don’t overdo it!

  1. Buyers Make Decisions Based on their Emotions.

While sellers employ logic and reason, buyers tend to make decisions based on their emotions.  What better time of year, to play on that, than the holidays?  The cozy, inviting atmosphere you’ve created in your home enables the buyer to see what the holidays will look like in their future home.

So, if you’re planning to put your home on the market as soon as the holidays come screeching to a halt, rethink your decision.  Your willingness to take on a little extra during one of the busiest times of year could really pay off!

Still have questions about selling your home?  Visit WhatIsMyHomeProfit.com for a free home value report.

To schedule a no-hassle consultation with one of our Seller Experts call us at 561-965-1225 or visit JackieEllis.com

7 Red Flags to Consider when Buying Your Next Home

We’ve all seen red flags that stick out like a sore thumb when visiting a particular home or neighborhood such as run down homes and un-kept lawns.  But what about some other major red flags that the average home buyer isn’t trained to notice?  We will discuss 7 red flags that you don’t want to ignore!  Keep in mind that these red flags don’t necessarily mean “don’t buy.”  They simply mean that you should pause to think, gather more information, and make an educated decision before you proceed.

red-flagRed Flag # 1:   Market Value

Is the value of the area you are considering increasing or decreasing?  Your real estate agent will be able to pull accurate information for you and help you in determining the answer to this question.  Of course, increasing values will be ideal.  So, carefully weigh all of the information before making an offer on a property in a neighborhood where the values are headed south.

red-flagRed Flag # 2:  School Ratings

It’s no secret that homes in neighborhoods with the best schools are the most valuable and desirable.  Even if you do not have children in the school system or you send your little students to the best private schools, you should strongly consider what buying into one of the lower rated districts might mean for you in the future when it comes to reselling.

red-flagRed Flag # 3:  New Subdivisions

Purchasing a newer home in a recently developed subdivision can be really exciting.  Before you take the plunge, though, you should consider looking at the overall plans for the community such as where cable/phone boxes will be placed and what types of homes will be built on the vacant lots around you.  If you decide to purchase a home in an area still doing construction, you may have some unwelcome surprises if you don’t do all of your homework ahead of time.

red-flagRed Flag # 4:  Conversions or Additions to a Home

Many subdivisions, especially older ones, allow room additions or conversions.  You will want to look closely at the work done and gather all of the information regarding the contractors who completed the work, especially when it comes to electrical and plumbing work.  Proceeding with caution in this particular area can save you a major headache in the long run!

red-flagRed Flag # 5:  Incomplete Construction or Remodeling Projects

An incomplete addition or remodel should also be looked at closely.  Have permits been pulled?  Who started the work? Can it be completed easily and professionally without having to backtrack and redo work already started?  These are all questions you will want to answer before moving forward.

red-flagRed Flag # 6:  The Floorplan

Any oddity in a floorplan that seems different or bizarre should cause you to pause a bit.  Sometimes “different” is a good thing, but at other times…..not so much!  A layout that seems choppy and doesn’t flow well could cause you problems when you’re ready to resell the home.  Also, if you are looking at a 2 bedroom in the midst of a neighborhood full of 3 and 4 bedrooms, this could drastically decrease your value and make reselling difficult as well.  Another red flag concerning the floorplan is the lack of a dining room.  Strangely, most buyers want a formal dining room.  Homes without them are a bit more difficult to sell.  Think twice before purchasing a home without a fancy feasting facility!

red-flagRed Flag # 7:  Over Improvement

Over Improvement is definitely not a deal breaker, but something you should be aware of.  An amazing home which has been greatly improved can be very appealing, but it could increase the value of the home far beyond the market value of the neighborhood it’s in.  When it comes time to resell, will you be able to get your money back on the property?  It may not be possible.  You have to decide if it’s worth it to you.

Again, these red flags do not mean you have to run the other way.  But before you jump in head first, be sure you learn everything you need to know in order to make the best decision for your future!  Buyer’s remorse is not fun!

Search for homes in your area right from your phone with our mobile app, download for free for Android or Apple at JackieEllisOnTheGo.com

Ready to buy a home? Contact a buyer expert on The Jackie Ellis Team today at 561-965-1225 or visit TheJackieEllisTeam.com to start your home search today!







The Benefits of Ordering a Home Inspection before Listing Your Home

As homeowners, we tend to overlook both minor and major issues within our homes.  This is especially true about areas that we do not frequent such as attics, the rooftop, and the sides or back of the house.  No matter how well you think you have maintained your home, an experienced home inspector will uncover your home’s deepest darkest secrets!  These are the things we tend to ignore until time for the dreaded home inspection, and then we live in fear and turmoil waiting for the inevitable to be revealed.  Finally, there it is in print for all to see.  No more throwing a rug over the damaged floor around the leaky shower!  Everyone will know what’s there as soon as the inspector walks through the bathroom door with his clipboard.  To avoid this embarrassment, many home sellers are opting to have their home inspected before they put it on the market.

billings-home-inspectionsIn all seriousness, a pre home inspection can save the seller big money, and it can also give buyers more confidence when looking at your home.  Bill Billings from Billings Home Inspections tells us that buyers appreciate everything being laid out on the table….literally.  During a showing, if the buyer is able to look at the home inspection along with all of the repairs that you have completed, their level of confidence and trust is dramatically increased.  Of course, if they decide to move forward in the buying process of your home, their agent will still insist on their own home inspection, and that home inspector will probably still find something that needs to be done.  But the list won’t be nearly as long! And, the likelihood of uncovering anything major will be doubtful, insuring you the ability to get the maximum value out of the sale of your home.

So now that we’ve decided it’s a great idea and well worth your money to get a home inspection during the pre-listing process, let’s discuss exactly what the seller is obligated to repair.  If you’ve ever been involved in a home inspection during the selling or buying process, you know that most inspectors list a wide array of issues from cosmetic to electrical and plumbing concerns.  Your real estate agent will guide you through the final inspection report and will inform you of the items you are obligated to repair.  For instance, the “for sale and purchase” contract states that the buyer is entitled to a home that is leak free, structurally sound, and in proper working condition.   However, the seller is NOT obligated to take care of cosmetic items, though taking care of cosmetic items in the first place will increase the value of your home.

Clearly, it’s best to be aware of all of the issues your home may have prior to someone else coming in to make their own assessment.  Scheduling your own home inspection before you list your home really puts the ball in your court, giving you more knowledge and power.  For more information on home inspections, you can reach Billings Home Inspections at (561) 644-0279 or (561) 352-0113.

Questions about selling your Home in Palm Beach County? Contact us at 561-95-1225 or request a free home value report at WhatIsMyHomeProfit.com

Preparing Your Home for the Real Estate Market

Getting your home ready to sell, also known as “staging,” is extremely important.  Once your house is listed, gone are the days of walking through the door and kicking off your shoes.  Living in a home that is on the market means you will be walking on egg shells.  Doesn’t sound fun?  You may actually end up loving your new life in a “model home.”  Whether or not this is true, embrace it.  It will be worth it when you are considering multiple offers!

modern-home-interior_GyiD7DuuLet’s go over the most important areas of the home staging process starting with the exterior.  Curb Appeal is the name of the game!  Some buyers actually decide whether or not they want to continue the buying process on a home before they ever walk through the front door.  If you can’t get them out of the car, you’ll never be able to get them to the closing appointment, so get to work!  The exterior of your home should look well-manicured and clean cut.  Trim trees and bushes, keep the lawn cut, and make sure all debris is removed.  And to put the icing on top, plant some flowers.  Not just any color, though!  Yellow flowers have been shown to improve the curb appeal of homes.  And while you’re at it, add new mulch.  Mulch is the single most cost effective way to spruce up the outside of your home!   The next thing a potential buyer will notice is the exterior paint.  A neutral color is best.  Your goal is to appeal to the masses.  Sure, the bright red door is adorable, but not to everyone.  So save that idea for your next home.  Beige and any shade of tan, cream, or taupe is usually the correct answer when it comes to staging your home.  Furthermore, check for wood rot around the entire exterior of your home.  Wood rot is not acceptable.  Neither are dirty, broken windows or torn screens.  These items are easy to repair, and it’s a good idea to take care of them before you list your home.

Outdoor living spaces are a big deal here in southern Florida, so make sure they are also staged and well kept.  Patio furniture should be in good condition and should appear clean and inviting.  Fences should be repaired, painted, or replaced when necessary.  And cracked concrete on patios should be attended to.  Don’t forget to keep all pool toys and other items picked up and organized.

For more staging tips visit our YouTube Channel and watch #JackiesStagingTips

Have more questions about selling your home? Contact us today!

Buying South Florida Real Estate: Clues of Good Neighborhood

Whether you are buying a primary residence or an investment property in Boca Raton or the Lake Worth area, it’s just as important to identify a dream neighborhood as a dream home. Much of South Florida real estate consists of foreclosures and short sales which can affect a neighborhood, but there are actually upsides of living in an area with some healthy turnover. Just because a home next door is a rental property right now doesn’t mean it will remain one forever. Oftentimes, investors spend a lot of money repairing, fixing up and making a rental property more beautiful to attract good tenants. According to an article by MoneyTalkNews, there are a lot of clues that tell you whether you are buying a home in the best neighborhood.

Getting what you want

Although resale value is paramount, it’s also important that you buy a home in a neighborhood that meets your own criteria. Only you know whether or not you can handle the daily commute, traffic patterns or the proximity to recreation, shops, playgrounds and the beach. If you want a lot of amenities such as a gym, clubhouse and tennis courts, consider a master-planned community. Prepare to pay CDD (community development fees) when buying South Florida real estate in planned developments.

Hearing the buzz of construction

Whether it’s the sound of hammers due to new construction or home improvements, it’s a sign of a healthy neighborhood when there is activity going on. When your South Florida Realtor gives you a tour of different communities, pay attention to whether people are painting, re-roofing, landscaping, putting up new fences and constructing new homes.

Researching school and crime stats

Your Realtor will help you interpret the different data on the schools in the area as well as crime statistics. Other important data that’s important includes how quickly homes are selling and home values. Find out how far the home is from local fire stations and police stations as well as public libraries and schools. Walk-ability is the new waterfront view for a lot of buyers so find a home in a neighborhood with walking and bicycle paths, sidewalks and access to shops and restaurants.

The Jackie Ellis Team handles real estate transactions in Palm Beach County on behalf of buyers and sellers. Whether you are relocating to South Florida or are a longtime Florida resident, let us find you a safe and up-and-coming neighborhood. For more information on South Florida real estate, please contact us.

6748 Blue Bay Circle for Sale in Lake Worth, FL 33467

6748 Blue Bay CircleThe Jackie Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty in Boynton Beach just listed 6748 Blue Bay Circle, a Lake Worth Single Family Home. This home went on the market on July 2 and was listed for $350,000.

The home features a two car garage, three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The home boasts pristine tile floors throughout. Featuring a split bedroom floorpan, one of the most highly desired floor plans on single story homes. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and the master bath has dual sinks, so you never have to share!

The patio and backyard are what really make this home shine! An ideal South Florida backyard! The patio area is partially covered patio and fully screened in, providing optimal coverage to enjoy the gorgeous free-form pool. If that wasn’t enough there’s extra yard space for outdoor activities such as gardening!

6748 Blue Bay Circle in Lakeview Estates is measured at 2,214 square feet, making the price per square foot approximately $158. Lakeview Estates is a beautiful little neighborhood nestled in near Smith Farm and within an excellent school district.

The Jackie Ellis Team is excited to help sell this Lake Worth listing in Lakeview Estates. Jackie Ellis  has a reputation for providing exceptional customer service to clients in Palm Beach County for over 25 years. The Jackie Ellis Team‘s real estate agents get homes in the Boynton Beach area sold on average for $10 per square foot more.

If you are interested in 6748 Blue Bay Circle or in other Palm Beach County real estate listings, Call The Jackie Ellis Team at 561-965-1225 or Visit JackieEllis.com.

See More Homes For Sale In Palm Beach County, FL $300,000-$400,000

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*Pricing and Availability not guaranteed. Call 561-965-1225 to inquire about the status of offers and pricing*

Consider Hurricane and Flood Preparation with Boynton Beach Homes for Sale

named-hurricane-franTransitioning from a home buyer to a homeowner is an exciting experience. However, as you look through and visit properties that you might be interested in purchasing, you also want to consider details regarding hurricane and flood preparation to make sure you invest in the right home.

Keeping the following details in mind when looking at Boynton Beach homes for sale will give you the perspective you need to purchase a home that you will feel safe in for years to come.

Trees and Shrubs

Although overgrown trees and shrubs can look attractive at times, they also become less resistant to wind, which is a major problem during heavy storms and hurricanes. With properties that have a lot of trees and shrubs, you want to make sure you will be capable of keeping them trimmed to a safe degree.

Outdoor Space

Having plenty of outdoor space is great for enjoying the Florida warmth, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility when there is a hurricane warning. Ideally, all outdoor furniture should be brought inside because in heavy winds, they could go airborne and cause damage to property or harm to others.

Storm Doors

As nice as front doors can be, there is no reason to let it be at risk of damage because of heavy rain, wind, or flooding, which makes it a worthwhile investment to get a storm door. It is also worth it to get one for any other exterior doors on your property, but the front door should be prioritized.

If a home you are looking at is already equipped with storm doors, it becomes one less thing you have to worry about when it comes to preparing your home for potential hurricanes and floods.

Hurricane Shutters

While moderate winds are not a problem for most windows, it is when the heavy winds of a hurricane arrive that windows become susceptible to shattering, especially from flying objects.

Buying a home with hurricane shutters means the previous homeowners took the appropriate precautions to prepare their home in the case of a hurricane. It also means you do not have to worry about spending additional money on getting your home properly equipped.

Although it might not be that fun to look out for hurricane and flood preparation in properties, you will find it to be a worthwhile investment of time as it ensures the safety of your family and home.

Contact us for help with buying a home that meets your wants and needs.

4 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

To get the right home at the best possible price, it’s essential to work with a real estate agent. Yet how do you find an agent that is right for you? Ask these 4 questions to ensure compatibility and fit when selecting a real estate agent.

4 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

  1. What types of properties do you handle? If you want to buy a condo, you’d be ill-served by a real estate agent who focuses on selling homes. Agents often specialize in property types; you want to work with an agent who specializes in the type of property you’re seeking.
  2. What areas do you serve? Agents who specialize in communities like Boynton Beach or Lake Worth know these places inside and out. They will be able to tell you about everything from amenities and hidden gems to commute times. You won’t be able to get this information elsewhere, so look for an agent who knows your preferred area.
  3. Will I communicate with you or someone else? Many buyers expect to communicate with real estate agents directly. While many agents always answer their own phone and email, some rely on support staff to do so. To avoid disappointment down the road, ask about this before you commit to a realtor.
  4. Can you provide references? A trusted real estate agent will have references from happy customers. Before you choose an agent, ask for references so you can check out the agent’s track record with buyers or sellers like you.

For more information on working with real estate agents, or to buy homes in Florida, please contact us.

Buy a Home in Boca Raton and Discover Why 88,000+ People Aren’t Wrong

If you want to live in a place with 15 schools, lots of Florida sunshine and neighbors who are middle-aged, buy a home in Boca Raton. As of March 2015, it is home to more than 88,000 people and they can’t all be wrong. The average home price in Boca Raton is slightly over $371,000 and many residents have owned their properties for at least a half decade or more. On top of that, there is public transportation available that will conveniently get Boca Raton homeowners where they need to go.

Let’s take the Palm Tran as an example. It runs year round, seven days a week and often provides door-to-door service. For those Boca Raton residents that don’t need door-to-door service, there are bicycle lanes, pedestrian trails, airports, bus lines and commuter railroad services. Any one of them offers transportation to area hospitals, shopping centers, restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation areas, churches, libraries and more.

Do you want to know something else about Boca Raton? The city government is very much focused on beautification and environmental issues. As such, they’ve worked with others to create recycling, beautification, wildlife preservation and energy conservation programs that are a source of pride for many Boca Raton homeowners. The city’s parks and beaches are a big plus too. Many have lifeguards on duty year round. Among them are South Beach, Red Reef and Spanish River.

Buying a home in Boca Raton will also put you within reach of places like the local community center, Gumbo Limbo Environmental Education Center, Mizner Park Amphitheatre, Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course, Meadows Park Pool and the YMCA. They are excellent places to go when it’s time to exercise the body or the mind. To discover more compelling reasons to buy a beautiful home in Boca Raton, please contact the Jackie Ellis Team.