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Moving to the Area

4 Tips For Buying A Home From A Distance


Chances are, if you’re looking for a new home, you’re ready for a change of scenery. And while that might mean just a new property or a new neighborhood, for many potential homebuyers, that often means a new city. And if you’re considering buying property in a city other than the one where you currently reside, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. Will you have to fly to your new city every weekend to look at properties? Will you miss out on hot properties? Is it even possible to buy without physically being in your city?

Buying a home from a distance certainly presents its own set of unique challenges, but by no means is it impossible. Here are four tips for buying a home from a distance to make the process easier, faster, and less stressful for you and your family:

1. Gather information


When you’re buying property in an unfamiliar city, the first thing you need to do is educate yourself. Gathering information on the city, the neighborhoods, the cost of living, and general property information is essential to help you make an informed decision. Without it, you’ll likely waste time and energy exploring homes that ultimately aren’t the right fit for you.

For example, you might see a home that matches all of your criteria and think “Great! We should look at this home!” But once you do your research, you might learn that while the home is great, it’s in an undesirable area, doesn’t have the walkability you’re looking for, or has a subpar school system that wouldn’t be the right fit for your children.

Thoroughly researching your new city and the different areas within it will help you save time by only viewing properties that fall within the neighborhoods you want to live in. Do research on the internet and, if possible, connect with residents of the city (friends of friends are always a great resource) to get their take on where to live and where to avoid.

2. Choose the right real estate agent


The key to successfully buying a new home from a distance is choosing the right real estate agent. You want to work with someone who’s an expert in your new market and who you trust to check out properties on your behalf when you’re not around.

Since you’re not in town to pop by and view properties, you only want to spend time on properties that check all of your boxes and that could be a serious contender for purchase. Ideally, your real estate agent will act as your eyes and ears, going to see properties, eliminating ones that aren’t the right fit for you, and only bringing your attention to the ones they feel hit the mark.

You also need a real estate agent with a sense of urgency. Most markets move quickly, and since you’re at a distance, you need to trust that your agent is working for you and making sure you don’t miss any hot opportunities.

3. Decide your boundaries and parameters up front


Once you find your agent, it’s important that you set your boundaries and parameters up front. How often will you fly in to view properties? If the perfect home came along, would you purchase it sight unseen? Do you want a virtual tour of every home your real estate agent is considering or just the ones they feel are perfect?

By setting proper expectations up front, you’ll avoid any miscommunications or misunderstandings during the purchase process, which could otherwise be exacerbated by the distance between you and your agent.

4. Leverage technology


Thanks to technology, there’s never been a better time to search for properties from afar. And if you want to have the easiest, fastest, and most positive experience with distance homebuying, you need to leverage the technology available to aid your home search.

When exploring neighborhoods, use online sites to get an idea of how easy it is to navigate your new neighborhood. Use real estate sites to explore everything from selling history to school systems and ratings to estimated taxes for properties you’re considering purchasing. Have your real estate agent use video conferencing technology during property walk-throughs so you can get a sense of the layout and flow of properties. And when you’re finally ready to buy, have your real estate agent use a file management program to get all the necessary documents signed and delivered (without you ever having to leave your computer desk).

Trying to find and buy a home in a city you don’t live in can be a challenge. But when you do your research, know what you want, find the right agent, and make technology work in your favor, finding your dream home in a far away zip code won’t be as difficult as you might think. 

Check out our listings to see some great properties at an affordable price. 

When You Hire a Realtor, You’re Also Partnering With These 10 Pros


Whether you’re putting your home on the market or searching for your dream house, a Realtor is going to help you achieve your goal as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

From striking the best deal to simplifying that often-daunting paperwork, these pros truly do and know significantly more than their job title implies. In order to maximize your value and minimize your stress level, your agent must take on many roles to get the job done.

1. Photographer

We’re all familiar with that expression, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” but when it comes to selling houses, a great photo might be worth a thousand walk-throughs. Because most homebuyers are browsing the web before hitting the open house circuit, photography has the power to reel them in or convince them to keep scrolling.

Who’s going to make that tiny half-bath look like it’s large enough to host Thanksgiving dinner? Photographers, er, Realtors know just the right angles to show off your home and make it look so good you might wonder why you’re putting it up for sale in the first place.

2. Magician

Though they may not carry a wand, Realtors are experts at working a little magic when it comes to transforming the average home into a stunning showplace. They also have the ability to make things happen. Negotiation stalled? A great Realtor is often able to reach an agreement when others would’ve considered all hope lost. Pulling proverbial rabbits out of their hats is par for the course.

3. Chauffeur

According to the National Association of Realtors, its agents log approximately 30,300 miles annually for business-related driving. With their trusty GPSs and chargers, cars are virtual mobile offices for agents on the go. Visiting the car wash is almost a prerequisite for this post.

4. Home stager

Knowing exactly which furnishings to keep and which to store takes a home from meh to marvelous. Recognizing that clean countertops, perfect accessories, and a well-placed plant may make all the difference, Realtors will put your furnishings to work for you and remove those that work against you. (Dogs playing poker painting, we’re looking at you!)

5. Landscaper

Never underestimating the value of curb appeal, Realtors aren’t afraid to whip out their green thumbs when yards require a little TLC. Let’s be honest: If a lawn doesn’t look well-maintained, buyers assume the interior is probably in shambles as well. Enough said.

6. Psychiatrist

For most people, a home is the largest asset they’ll ever own. So it’s natural that from time to time both sellers and buyers require a little hand-holding along the way. According to home design and improvement site Houzz, simply making home renovations can lead 12 percent of couples to consider divorce. We imagine those figures only increase when you think about all that’s at stake with a home sale or purchase — not to mention moving!

7. Plumber

Toilets have an uncanny knack for overflowing just seconds before an open house begins. Water pressure in a bathroom sink or shower somehow dwindles down to a trickle moments before a buyer is about to cross the threshold. But never fear, Realtors are ready. If they can’t fix it themselves in a hurry, chances are they’ve got a connection who’ll have it repaired in no time.

8. Life coach

Whether buying or selling, sometimes clients need a little pumping up — as in “You’ve got this!” From qualifying for a mortgage to hiring a mover, Realtors have your back and are rooting for you every step of the way.

On other occasions, clients may benefit from a bit of tough love. Realtors aren’t afraid to tell clients what’s best for them when they lose perspective.

9. Home inspector

Going beyond the simple white-glove test, your Realtor will notice everything from less-than-gleaming light fixtures and mismatched doorknobs to sagging gutters and cracks in the foundation. If you’re selling, these extra touches will make your home sparkle during an open house and prevent any unwanted surprises from popping up on an inspection report.

If you’re the buyer, you want these eagle eyes on your side as well, pointing out repairs that may help you get a better price or at least help you negotiate when the time comes.

10. Marketing guru

Marketing is so much more than ‘For Sale’ signs and postcard mailers — but, of course those are important too. Having a branded online presence and knowing how to harness the power of social media is key when it comes to promoting properties. Much like Mad Men‘s Don Draper, Realtors are powerful storytellers at a time when every word counts.

With so many talents wrapped up in one title, it kind of makes you look at those commissions in a whole new light, right? We are here to help.

Pricing Myths

7 Pricing Myths You Need to Get Past If You Want to Sell Your Home

When homeowners are preparing to put their properties on the market, the most important aspect usually foremost in their minds is money. Setting the asking price accurately can mean the difference between getting an offer quickly and having a house languish for months, drawing little interest.

With that in mind, it’s important that potential sellers block out a lot of the noise that often surrounds the intricate art and science of pricing. There are plenty of myths that may cause sellers to lose sleep at night as they attempt to separate fact from fiction.

1. ‘If we keep waiting, a better offer will come along!’

When sellers receive an offer from the first showing, they may be skeptical or hesitant to accept it, wondering if other prospective buyers would be inclined to pay more. Thoughts of potential bidding wars could cause sellers to want to wait and see who else falls for their place. But, remember the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” If the offer is a fair one, entertain it and count your blessings.

2. ‘Getting an offer right away, means the agent priced it too low!’

When sellers receive an offer early in the process, as excited as they might be, many can’t help but wonder, “Should we have asked for more money? Did our agent price it too cheaply?” While it’s natural to be skeptical (and even a little greedy), receiving an offer on the early end of the spectrum most likely means your home was priced accurately and attractively. If you trust your agent, you know he or she didn’t pick a number out of the sky, but rather based it on extensive market research. So, be glad your sale is moving in the right direction.

3. ‘We should price it so there’s room to negotiate!’

Let’s be honest: Most sellers would love to get top dollar for their homes. But overpricing it with the intention of being willing to accept a lower offer may just leave you empty handed in the long run. Plus, if you have to drop your ask multiple times, buyers may begin to wonder what’s wrong with the place — other than the price, that is.

4. ‘That’s not what my Zestimate says it’s worth!’

Have you ever noticed how homeowners are eager to believe Zestimates or other automated valuation models when that price exceeds their expectations? Yet, when the opposite happens, they assume it’s outdated or erroneous information? The point we’re making is, these numbers can be inaccurate, so again, trust your agent over the Internet. 

5. ‘We can add all renovation costs to the asking price!’

Sellers may adore the improvements and renovations they’ve made and want to add in those costs to the asking price. But remember, not every change is going to land a huge return on investment. If you’re curious about what you can expect on those fixes, check out Remodeling Magazine‘s annual ‘Cost Versus Value’ report to get an idea of which upgrades yield the biggest bang for your buck. Also, as you’re making changes, bear in mind that the infinity pool you view as an asset may just seem like a huge liability to a buyer.

6. ‘My Realtor® overpriced my house to make a larger commission.’

Agents are paid a percentage of the selling price of the home. However, even if they were to raise the ask by $25,000, in most cases that would yield an additional $1,500 in commission, which would then be divvied up between the broker the agent is working for and the buyer’s agent, leaving your agent with less than $750 more in his or her pocket. It’s hard to imagine an agent would blow a potential quick sale — and take on weeks or months of additional showings and marketing expenses — for a few hundred dollars.

7. ‘Reducing the price is a sign of weakness!’

While no homeowner is eager to drop the listing price, if time is passing and there’s been little interest, it could be time to consider lowering the ask. Remember, time is money. While you’re waiting for someone to meet your price, you’re still paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance etc. Plus, sometimes, lowering the price can put your home in front of a group of new buyers, which could generate a lot more interest and, ultimately, get the price back up closer to where it was in the first place.


Think Owning A Home Is Out Of Your Reach? Think Again

In the current economic climate, a lot of renters thinking homeownership is out of their reach. But if you think buying a home is out of reach, you might want to think again.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors Confidence® Index, first-time buyers accounted for 29% of all home sales from late 2016 to late 2017. That’s nearly one-third of all home sales! And there’s a reason so many people are making the transition from renting to owning…

Rents are rising. According to a recent Zillow study, the median US rent is taking up 29.1% of household income, and costing tenants a whopping $2,000 more per year.

Data Source: Zillow

As renting becomes less economical, more and more tenants are exploring homeownership. And thanks to low down payment mortgage options (61% of first-time buyers made a down payment between 0 and 6%, according to the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors Confidence® Index), homeownership is more accessible for first-time buyers than ever, making it the ideal time to make a move.

The Takeaway

If you’re currently throwing a large chunk of your paycheck towards your rent, now’s the time to make a move and buy your first home. Not only is homeownership one of the best investments you can make in your future, but thanks to rising rents, you may also find yourself saving money in the short-term.

Call us at Crites Real Estate Auction & Appraisal we would love to help you find your new home.


Welcome to the Crites Real Estate, Auction and Appraisal Service Blog. Please check-in regularly for tips and information on buying and selling your home.

Getting ready to move into that new home, selling or simply putting a new face on your current abode, here are some reported hot and not so hot trends in home decor for 2018.

Many different sources say it is time to wave good bye to the drab hues and neutral tones. The word in decorating is exciting. Color everywhere and patterns. Colored appliances...don’t panic…not mom’s harvest gold and avocado, yuck, but bright new colors bold blues and radiant reds. Also out is the gray couch and beige chairs. Spice it up with cool herringbone, geometric and floral patterns for furniture, walls and floors. Don’t know what to choose? Mix it all up in complementary designs and colors.

Other trends on the horizon for 2018 include spa-like bathrooms, curvy furniture, rich jewel tone colors and luxurious velvet fabrics. Just imagine the focal point of your room being a soft velvety sofa in this year’s pantone favorite ultra-violet. Throw on some patterned pillows and even the most persnickety buyer will be ready to make an offer.

Whatever your preference, it looks like the experts are saying just about anything goes for 2018. Your home is your refuge. Keep it easy, comfortable, relaxing and natural, but lose the barn door and the cutesy word wall art. The barn door belongs…well, on the barn and expressing your feelings on your living room wall is said to be so 2017.

While you are here make sure to check out our listings. Crites Real Estate, Auction and Appraisal Service, Inc. has been helping clients in the central Flint Hills of Kansas navigate home buying and selling since 1962. “Do it right with Crites” hey maybe we should put that on our office wall, or maybe not.  Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon.

Laurie Crites | 785-375-9272 | Contact Me
339 West 6th St - Junction City, KS 66441
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