Archive for the ‘Southwest Missouri Real Estate’ Category

Agents Gain Advantage With DocuSign

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

We have talked many times in the last year how innovative technology is changing the way real estate agents do business. The end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 began to change dramatically with agents having the capability to get “e-signatures” on documents such as: listings, contracts, addendums, special agreements and repair requests.  2015 seems to be an even bigger year for the “e-signature” business.

 

dotloopdocusign

 

Applications like Dotloop and DocuSign make a real estate transaction easy no matter where your location. Spouses and/or family do not have to be in the exact same place to sign their documents anymore. E-signatures so far are only accepted on real estate transactions and not for the actual closing documents or loan application paperwork.

Lorrie Kleier with Murney Associates, west office states, “All I have to do is scan the documents into DocuSign, then attach the individual emails, mark where each needs to sign and send the documents for each parties signatures. Once one person signs they click the certified signature button and then forward it on to the next party until all have signed.  I have clients who travel for business and sometimes they are on different coasts, but we get the deal signed.  It has made all of my real estate transactions smoother and the process is easy.”

This is not to say that ALL real estate agents use such “e-signature” applications. Some still prefer to hand write the contract and either fax or meet their clients face to face. Yep, we just said faxing!   No matter how your Murney agent requests your signatures, know that your Murney agent is knowledgeable in all new areas of the latest and greatest technology.


When you are looking to buy or sell your home, look no further than the company that DOES MORE, MURNEY ASSOCIATES,REALTORS.


Energy Saving Tips From MURNEY.COM

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The average house uses energy for the following tasks-with percent of annual energy use.

 

energy

 

Heating & Cooling – 43%

Refrigerator – 8%

Water Heating – 12%

Lights, Cooking and other Appliances – 28%

Computers & Electronics – 9%

Save 3-5% of your heating and air conditioning costs for each degree you set your thermostat – below in winter and above in summer – your normal setting.

Heat and cool your home as needed by adjusting the thermostat accordingly when you are sleeping or when no one is home. Also, consider installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified programmable thermostat to make these adjustments easier per Larson Heating & Air in Nixa, MO. 

Proper insulation helps keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. Check the insulation levels in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets recommended levels.

You may be losing energy when heating and cooling your home through air leaks. Check for, then caulk and weather-strip, holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home.

Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained; check owner’s manuals for recommended maintenance.

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, and typically accounts for about 12% of the energy consumed in your home. You should turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, or the warm setting, and insulate it and your pipes.

About 80-85% of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water; reduce this by washing full loads only – and using cooler water with cold-water detergents. Lowering the temperature setting from hot to warm cuts a load’s energy use in half.

Clean or replace air return filters two to three times during summer and winter. On your outside unit, keep fins and coils clear from debris; you can also save energy by planting trees or shrubs to shade your unit.

In the Winter, close drapes, curtains and shades during the day to prevent cool breezes from entering – particularly on the south and west sides.

Increasing lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your electricity bills. Turn off lights in rooms not in use; check lighting needs and use patterns for ways to use controls such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers; and, replace heat producing 75-watt incandescent bulbs with 20-watt compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and receive the same amount of light for just a quarter of the energy – CFLs also last about ten-times longer.

Keep fireplace dampers closed tightly when not in use and get your fireplace cleaned by a professional like “Dr. Flue.”

 

 

About Us: With homes in Springfield MO, Ozark MO, Nixa MO and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance.

We have the largest number of realtors in Springfield MO than any other real estate firm. And with commercial real estate in Springfield MO and surrounding areas, Murney Commercial Realtors can also help you find your next business location.

We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surroundings areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!


Holiday Home Selling Tips

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Halloween is over and all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays is beginning. Believe it or not this can be one of the BEST times to list your home with Murney Associates, Realtors. Here are 4 great tips to selling your home during this holiday season.

 

 tips1. Pricing the home to sell is key. Make sure you have a current Comparable Market Analysis on your home from your Murney Associate, agent.

2. Keep your home available for showings, especially the weekends. Out of town buyers or clients relocating over the holiday breaks tend to  look mostly during weekend time or spur of the moment.

3.  Keep all holiday decorating elegant and not overdone. Make sure it is well maintained. Try not to over personalize and keep clutter to a minimum.

holiday

4. Curb appeal is still very important during this time. Don’t clutter the yard with decorations like large “inflatables.” Rake up the leaves, trim the landscaping and keep all lighting clean and neat. lights

About Us: Murney Associates, Realtors is a full service real estate company in SW Missouri. Dedicated to clients for over 15 years and #1 in SW Missouri for residential real estate sales and client satisfaction. We have over 420 agents to service all of your real estate needs. Give us a call today at 417-823-2300 or email at info@murney.com.


Real Estate Safety Month Tips

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Did you know that September is “Realtor Safety Month?” Some of you may wonder why the real estate industry would have a month dedicated to their safety? According to Department of Labor, being a REAL ESTATE AGENT is in the Top 10 High Risk Occupations in America.

realtor safety

 

In 2013 “120 REALTORS” were either mugged, assaulted, raped and 4 were murdered in the line of duty according to the Department of Labor. We can definitely protect ourselves from this from occurring. Many times as agents we trust what people say but there are times that thinking with our “inner voice” or “gut check” is the best policy when out on the job. Here are some safety tips:

 

1. When you trust your gut you are acting on an instinct, a feeling that something is wrong. You may be in a vulnerable position such as at a showing alone but there are ways to minimize your risk. For instance, always have someone you trust like another agent or spouse with you at the showing or leave someone detailed information about where you are and when you should return, that way they can call you if they feel like you’ve been gone too long.

2. Defend your right to put safety before politeness. Do not waiver from your safety practices just because someone else thinks they are silly. 

3.  Always leave your GPS locations on your mobile device. In case something ever serious happens your phone provider can geo-locate your device and hopefully YOU if necessary.

4. With fall and winter approaching do your best to schedule showings before it gets dark outside. If that is not possible, take a flashlight with you or stop by earlier and have lights already turned on.

5. Don’t live in FEAR, but be aware of your surroundings. Listen to your gut, if you are feeling unsettled in any way, do more homework, take a friend or colleague. When in doubt stay out as well.

 

 


Misconceptions of Real Estate Agents

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Ever notice that some folks have a skewed view of life as a real estate agent? Considering how agents are depicted on some reality TV shows, that’s understandable. Agents with big incomes and lavish lifestyles undoubtedly bring in higher television ratings than your run-of-the-mill agents.

And while those shows are entertaining, they can create a lot of misconceptions about real estate agents. We’re ready to clear those up right now.

Misconception #1: This job is easy.

dude

 

Consider a few of an agent’s daily challenges: marketing “not-so-marketable” properties, managing a huge client database and supervising heated negotiations. Add in the stress of a commission-based income and a up swinging market, and you can understand why few agents say their jobs are “easy.”

“People have this image that being an agent is easy, that all you have to do is show homes,” says Murney Associates agent Amanda Hawn, in an in house interview. “This is an undervalued job for all the work that goes into it. And real estate is a really fickle industry. We have advertising fees (huge if you do a lot of advertising),  board dues monthly, signage fees, business cards, flyers, printing, gas, car maintenance and mainly time.”

 

Misconception #2: I get paid a lot.

money

 

 

Real estate agents drive around in flashy cars, live in mansions, and are up to their eyeballs in million-dollar deals, right?

Wealthy agents are definitely out there, but 6-figure incomes are not the norm among agents. The average gross income for members of the National Association of Realtors who worked 40-59 hours a week was definetly under a 6 figure income . That’s a solid income, but not enough to support a warehouse full of Ferraris or a palatial vacation home.

Most agents quickly learn that a comfortable income is certainly within reach, but that real estate isn’t the quick and easy road to riches. Think of the fact of advertising costs, real estate board fees, signs and insurance that Realtors have to pay on a monthly basis. When it boils down to it after taxes most agents have at least a high dollar amount of expenses each year.

 

Misconception #3: My schedule is super-flexible.

lake

 

Most real estate agents aren’t held to the “Monday-Friday, 8-5” routine. Agents have some flexibility to work at the times and locations they see fit.  A Friday is more like a REALTORS Monday.

But that doesn’t mean agents can abandon the office for days on end or vacation at a moment’s notice. Clients have demands and busy lives as well, and many expect agents to cater to their schedules. Buyers may want an immediate showing of a new listing. Sellers expect listing agents to constantly monitor leads. With the free technology that MURNEY ASSOCIATES offers their agents this is manageable.

At the end of the day, agents can choose how flexible and responsive they want to be. But as success follows hard work, so too must agents follow their client’s needs. Just as agents need to understand their clients families needs, clients should understand as well that some or most agents have families to take care of as well and should be respectful when a showing or listing has to be canceled or changed due to family activities.

Misconception #4: I don’t need any training to do this job.

study

 

We’ll counteract that myth with a simple statement: Agents are a well-educated crowd.

Every licensed agent must meet their state’s training guidelines before starting a practice. Plus,more than 48 percent of NAR members have some type of college degree, and 32 percent hold specialized training certifications. In addition, a third of NAR members have at least one professional designation, such as GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) or ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative).

It’s true that most universities don’t offer a bachelor’s degree in real estate. Don’t let that tidbit obscure the fact that agents undergo rigid license training and continuing education to succeed. One of the very BEST things that Murney Associates, REALTORS offers their agents is FREE CONTINUING EDUCATION!!!!!! No other company around can touch this fact.

The reality is…

Just like any other profession, real estate has its highs and lows, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, or an easy career for someone without the proper training.

But if you love personal interaction, marketing, and being self-employed, working as a real estate agent can be incredibly rewarding. Connecting buyers with their dream homes or helping sellers move on with their lives is a wonderful calling. And you get to look at houses all day long. (Better consider a different career path if that doesn’t excite you!)

 

About Us: With homes in SPRINGFIELD MO, OZARK  MO, NIXA MO and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance.

We have the largest number of realtors in Springfield MO than any other real estate firm. And with commercial real estate in Springfield MO and surrounding areas, Murney Commercial Realtors can also help you find your next business location.

We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surroundings areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!

 


What Home Loan Is Right For You?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Understanding the difference between FHA, USDA, MHDC and conventional loans can help you avoid unnecessary time and expense when you try to qualify for a mortgage. FHA, or the Federal Housing Administration, insures or “backs” loans within certain parameters and through certain lenders. A conventional mortgage is not backed by any federal agency, and you can obtain one from just about any lender, such as a mortgage company or a bank. At this current moment in time the minimum credit score you MUST have to obtain ANY loan is 620.

Qualifications: The FHA uses a credit score of 620 to determine whether you can qualify automatically for a loan. In addition, you can qualify for FHA loans one year after Chapter 13 bankruptcy, two years after Chapter 7 and three years after a foreclosure. With a conventional mortgage, you may have to wait two to four years or more after these events to qualify.

Down Payments: FHA loans require a lower down payment, typically between 3.5 percent and 4 percent of the purchase price. Conventional loans require higher down payments, which can range anywhere between 10 percent and 30 percent of the purchase price. The conventional down payment percentage may also vary based on the type of property, such as whether you are buying a single-family home or a condo. The FHA will allow you to accept a “gift” of money as a down payment, but conventional mortgage lenders usually will not.

USDA Guaranteed Home Loan – This is the most popular and widely used option. It allows prospective home buyers to purchase in a rural designated area and has a higher income limitation than the USDA Direct loan. It allows for buyers to have a qualifying income of up to 115% of the area median household income. Income is the key difference.

USDA Direct Loan – Not as common as the Guaranteed USDA Rural Home Loan. The main reason is that they carry very strict income limitations for qualifying applicants. You must have a very low income (80% of the area median household income) in order to qualify. Applicants also must be without adequate housing and be able to afford the housing payment (including taxes and insurance) which can be up to 26% of the applicant’s monthly income. As of May 6, 2014 USDA is now available for NIXA, MO, which it has not been in the past. This is a huge bonus for clients wanting to buy a home in the Nixa, MO community.

MHDC/Missouri Housing Development Commission, the state housing finance agency, offers first-time home buyers the opportunity to own a home.

Available for those who:
Have not owned or had principal interest in a home in the past three years, have qualifying credit (minimum 620 credit score required),meet income and purchase price limits, household income limits are based on the total gross annual household income for all residents age 18 or older who will live in the home. Income includes wages, overtime, bonuses, commissions, child support, alimony and earnings from a second job, business and investments. Loans made in the program may be subject to recapture tax provisions under federal law. The homebuyer must occupy the home with 60 days of loan closing. Borrowers should contact one of our certified lenders throughout the state. A list of them can be found at www.mhdc.com.

About Us: With homes in Springfield MO, Ozark MO, Nixa MO and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance.
We have the largest number of realtors in Springfield MO than any other real estate firm. And with commercial real estate in Springfield MO and surrounding areas, Murney Commercial Realtors can also help you find your next business location.
We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surroundings areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!


Bike To Work Week in Springfield, MO

Monday, May 12th, 2014

From May 12-17th  it is Bike To Work Week. Not only are we going to have terrific weather here in the Ozarks for biking but also with the new Campbell/James River Expressway interchange  complete it makes biking to work from south Springfield into the city a safer ride. As Realtors it is not exactly easy to bike to work since we would look funny in heels or toting our clients from house to house but I can say a group of us Murney Associates, Realtors do plan on bringing our bikes and biking to lunch together.

So, please do all of us “cyclists” and the earth a favor and watch out for us on the road. Unfortunately the Ozarks is not as bicycle friendly as we like, but the good news is, our grand city and surrounding communities are working diligently to create bike lanes and putting up “share the road” signs. So please don’t honk at us or yell obscenities if we are going slow or in your way. We are trying something new for this good ole earth on which we live and getting some good exercise as well. Watch out for our hand signals to see which direction we may be going and last but not least; if you see a cyclist in trouble, be a friend and stop and offer a hand. We all appreciate your help and lets all get our ride on this week!  The Ozarks Greenways Commission says to please “Remember, if you can’t bike to work this week, you can carpool, telecommute, take the bus or any combination and it still counts as participation in Bike to Work Week. Anyone traveling with a bike on the bus this week gets to ride for FREE! No voucher needed, just tell the driver you’re participating.”

About Us: With homes in Springfield MO, Ozark MO, Nixa MO and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance.

We have the largest number of realtors in Springfield MO than any other real estate firm. And with commercial real estate in Springfield MO and surrounding areas, Murney Commercial Realtors can also help you find your next business location.

We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surroundings areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!


Local “House Hunter” Myths Part 2

Friday, January 31st, 2014

We proposed the question in Part 1 if all the home buying and home selling shows on TV these days show the realistic process of real estate in our Midwest market? Some may, but to be truthful, most of these shows are unrealistic. Noone looks at 3 homes and says, “This is the one!” The average homebuyer looks at an average of 10 to 45 homes before making a decision. So as you watch HGTV and DIY take note that home buying is a tedious process in which you need the right agent for you that fits and listens to your needs and the right loan officer who helps you know the price range in which you are actually able to buy in.

hgtv

 

On the flip side,  “Extreme Open House” sends an unrealistic message as well.  Sometimes it all depends on the location, price range and condition of the home. Our market is all over the place these days. A house maybe perfectly priced and can sell in one week because the right buyer was there or it may take over a year to sell a house. The average price of a home right now according to the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors is in the $160,000 range. So is going “extreme” for your next open house going to bring in the right buyer? Probably not. Some people bake cookies for the great smells for the home, and people walk around longer while eating, some take down all personal pictures and repaint or decorate. While this is all and good what people are truly looking for in a home is price, square footage, FLOOR PLAN, storage space, updating, location and yard.

To close this blog, my word of advice to the home buyer and seller is: find the agent that best meets your needs, stay focused and most of all don’t believe all you see on TV.

 

About Us: With homes in Springfield Mo, Ozark Mo, Nixa Mo and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance. We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surrounding areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!

 

 


Local HGTV “House Hunter” Myths, Part 1

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

In today’s age of technology and the sense of needing to be a “now” generation, the public as a whole looks at buying and selling a home far different now than 10 years ago. First and foremost the internet plays the largest role in finding a home these days. Murney Associates Realtors syndicates its listings to over 65 different websites alone and most of our agents pay large online fees to syndicate their listings to even more. The easiest way by far to search realistically is to search www.murney.com.

 

iPad_Listing_Presentation_pg3

Secondly, television shows such as HGTV‘s “House Hunters,” “My First Place,” or “Property Virgins” show the home buying search as shows like “Extreme Open House,” and “Front Door” help the Sellers process. Here is the question at hand: Does watching shows like the ones mentioned above give Buyers and Sellers here in the Midwest a realistic view of “OUR” market?

 

 

About Us: With homes in Springfield Mo, Ozark Mo, Nixa Mo and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance. We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surrounding areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!



Don’t Wait Till Spring to Sell Your Home-List NOW

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

missouri_home_prices_increase

 

Many homeowners are waiting until the Spring ‘buying season’ to list their homes for saleHere are five reasons why that might not make sense this year:

1.) Demand Is High

Homes are selling at a pace not seen since 2007. The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors(NAR) showed that annual sales in 2013 increased 11.2% over 2012. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.

 

2.) Supply Is Low

The monthly supply of houses for sale is at its lowest point (3.4 months) since May of 2005. The current month’s supply is down 21.6% from the same time last year. Historically, inventory increases dramatically in the spring. Selling now when demand is high and supply is low may garner you your best price.

3.) New Construction Is Coming Back

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative to many purchasers.

 

4.) Interest Rates Are Projected to Inch Up

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association has projected mortgage interest rates will inch up approximately one full point in 2014. Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

 

5.) Timelines Will Be Shorter

The dramatic increase in transactions caused many challenges to the process of buying or selling a home in 2012 and 2013. We waited for inspections, dealt with last minute appraisals and prayed that the bank didn’t ask for ‘just one more piece of paper’ before issuing a commitment on the mortgage. There are fewer transactions this time of year. That means that timetables on each component of the home buying process will be friendlier for those involved in transactions over the next 90 days.

These are five good reasons why you should consider listing your house today instead of waiting.

 

About Us: With homes in Springfield MO, Ozark MO, Nixa MO and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance.

We have the largest number of realtors in Springfield MO than any other real estate firm. And with commercial real estate in Springfield MO and surrounding areas, Murney Commercial Realtors can also help you find your next business location.

We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surroundings areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!