Raylene Lewis

Realtor®

Raylene Lewis is a happily married Realtor. Her family is comprised of a loving husband, two children, a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl, 2 dogs, and a Parrot. Raylene has been selling realestate for the last 8 years with Century 21 and sold 123 property units in 2008. Raylene loves being a Realtor and a Mommy, and as such, she is constantly on a mission to get things done!

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Call: 979-218-2235

Raylene Lewis

Realtor®

Read my blog below

Selling Real Estate Category

Is Your Home Really Ready For Fall??

Is Your Home Ready for the Holidays?
 
November 2009 is finally here, and that means it’s a count down until the guests arrive.  Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, and the infamous game between Texas A&M University and TU are just around the corner.  So much to do, so little time!  Dealing with the pressure of knowing that people are coming for dinner in a matter of days is similar to the feeling you get when you are just about ready to put your home on the market for sale. Where do you start? It is time to clean, finish the minor house repairs and stage for the holidays!
 
I’ll never forget my clients that wanted to list their home on Thanksgiving weekend.  As I walked up to the front door the husband greeted me on the porch. “Thanks for coming to talk to us about selling our home,” he said. “Please don’t step on the yellow mat. It is covering up a hole in the floor and we don’t want you to fall through!”
 
The first question, when it comes to home cleaning, is deciding if the best use of your time includes grabbing the mop and bucket or simply picking up the phone and calling someone else to do it for you. There are many great and highly reputable cleaning companies in town, and if you need a Ritz Carlton clean at a Wal-Mart price, another option is for you to call your Realtor. No, we don’t clean houses, but with all the sales we do, with clients moving out and not having anytime to make the home ready for the new buyer, we always have a good house cleaner that is on call in a pinch, knows how to clean from top to bottom and is extremely reasonably priced.  The key to a good clean for the best price is to make sure you have supplies ready and that the home is picked up and free of toys, counter top clutter, and pets that can prevent access to the entire home.
 
I got a call once from a service provider that told me “Raylene, the rest of the home is fine, but we couldn’t go into to the master bedroom closet, because there is a large live boa constrictor hanging from the ceiling.”
 
 When getting the home ready for visitors, be sure to remember to clean where it will be most noticeable to guests: ceiling fans and return air vents are the areas most commonly overlooked. And when cleaning that return air vent, might as well change the air filter while you are at it. If you are one of those folks who dust and dust yet seem to be getting no where, an item to add to the Honey Do list before the guests arrive is to buy a tube of clear caulk, climb in the attic, and seal your return air vent on both sides. Often, little bits of insulation dust can be brought into the home from the attic. Sealing the return air vent on both sides with eliminate the problem and result in more free time between house hold dusting. Just remember to wait for the caulk to dry before placing the air filter back in place.  And of course, when you are in the attic, watch your step!
 
“Yes, Raylene…um this is the Heating and A/C Company. We completed the repair you requested on the furnace for the closing this afternoon and the return air duct is all sealed up. Unfortunately, our guy fell through the ceiling on his way out.”
 
When the home is ready, it’s time for the fun part! Shopping and staging for the holidays.  Guests love walking into a home and getting the nice, warm fuzzy feeling of Holiday Spirit.  A good starting place is to find a holiday scent you like and sticking with it throughout the home. Evergreen and Peppermint are popular ones, as long as they are not overwhelming. My mother always told me “the way to a man’s heart is though his stomach,” and I don’t think you can go wrong with a scent of pumpkin spice, sugar cookie or ginger bread. The key is to not mix scents and to try and stay away from smells that are fruity or overpowering.  Scents that smell like fresh sweet cooking also complement the holiday, and guests might even think the great smells came from your kitchen!
 
Many of the stores in Bryan-College Station are great with providing holiday accent pieces for home decor.  Always check the paper for the latest deals of the day.  If you are like me, and want your home staged and looking it’s best for guests, confusion erupts when walking into a store and deciding what to buy. (Personally, I want it all!) A great option to eliminate the buying confusion is to hire a holiday stager. This is very different from having an interior decorator or designer come in, and is just a fraction of the price. For roughly $200.00 – $400.00 depending on what you want done, you can have a stager go with you to pick out floral, art, and accent decor. These folks are also great at finding the best deals in town and are highly creative at getting you the look you want in-budget. You can also hire your stager to dress up the home with items you provide and / or rearrange furniture to make the home look its best. For more information on Staging, you can go to www.stagingbcs.com
 
As always, don’t forget the point of the November holiday season is to be thankful and enjoy time you have with your close friends and family. This can easily be accomplished, no matter what state your home is in.
 
“Mrs. Smith, I am so glad you are thankful to your husband for surprising you with this Master Garden Jacuzzi tub as an early Christmas present! I know you are going to enjoy it. Now, if you don’t mind, can you please get out of the tub so we can finish the final walkthrough of the home? I’m afraid we may be late to the closing.”
 
 
 
 
Raylene Lewis, Realtor
Century21 Beal, Inc.
979-218-2235 Cell
979-764-2100 Office
979-764-0421 Fax
www.BuyInCollegeStation.com
www.raylenelewis.thecenturytreereader.com

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: 1 Comment »

University Title Company — In Selling a Home, the Seller Chooses the Title Company

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3578aMcGo0[/youtube] University Title Company is Brazos County’s largest title insurance provider, and has been helping the people of the Brazos Valley since 1973. It is the job of the title company to research the title, handle the money, and file all the papers necessary at the courthouse.  This means that when the job is given to UTC, they make certain that the property has clear title, all financial aspects with the current lender are handled, and all invoices be it for repair, inspections, or home cleaning/maintenance are taken care of.  The title company is also a great source for obtaining deed restrictions, homestead exemption forms, TREC forms, home warranty order forms, and for finding existing surveys on a property.

There are basically 7 steps to the Closing Process once a property goes under contract and is submitted to the title company.

1) The Contract and Earnest Money is given to University Title Company and UTC deposits the Earnest Money Check

2) UTC issues a Title Commitment – This shows the history of the property and what items need to be taken care of to clear title.

3) All Pre-Closing Items are Provided to University Title Company — This includes inspections, surveys, invoices, payoff information etc.

4) The Title Company Provides a Settlement Statement to all Parties — This can be thought of as a document like a big receipt that shows where all the money in the transaction is going and what each billed item is.

5) The Closing – All parties meet and sign the documents necessary to change the loan and to obtain / release ownership.

6) The Funding – The money is received by the lender or new owner and is actively distributed accordingly.

7) The Title Policy – Within 90 days of funding, the title policies are issued and mailed to the appropriate parties with all recorded documents.

The company has six insurance underwriters, professional title insurance experts, readily available escrow officers (to help address any concerns before closing) and a large title production and closing services staff.  The motto at UTC is “to make each and every transaction as smooth and swift as possible, always expertly tending to the details.”  They can close any transaction for real estate in Texas, and if you will not be able to stay in town for the closing, they can email, fax or FedEx the necessary closing documents to you. 

Their website offers tips for both seller and buyers and, when a contract is submitted for processing, UTC provides an online closing tracking program that allows all parties involved in the transaction see what stage the file is in. It also provides access to documents and emails and lets all parties know when the information is updated.  Their goal is to insure that there are no surprises at closing. Once at the closing table, at UTC you can expect to be provided with a drink and fresh baked cookies.  They also have a patio for pets and DVD’s for children to watch while their parents are signing all the necessary documents.

The company is an active leader in the community and regularly contributes time and support to local charities. They have earned many awards both for the service they provide and for being a great place to work.  If you are going to be needing the services of a Title Company, UTC is definitely a place to consider!

Need information on Buying or Selling a Home in Bryan-College Station? Give me a Call 979-218-2235 or send me an email!

Raylene Lewis

www.buyincollegestation.com

 

Information on Buying a home in College Station

Information on Selling a home in College Station

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Selling Your College Station Home: The Importance of a First Impression – The Exterior –

College Station Real Estate, Selling a Home, ExteriorWhen you are ready to sell your Bryan, College Station home, and it is time to place your property on the market, the goal will be to achieve the best possible sales price and sell your property in the time-frame that best meets your needs.  We are often told when meeting other people for the first time, that the first impression is the most important. This same philosophy is true with houses as well.

Nothing is more important than the first impression a Buyer will receive when they take their first look at a home.  As a Seller, there are two opportunities to provide a buyer with a first impression.  The first opportunity is when the Buyer views photos are advertising the home on the Internet. The second is when the Buyer sees home for the first time.

There are several things you can do make sure your property will provide Buyers with a successful first impression.  It is a good idea to start with the exterior front of the home. After all, that is the very first thing every prospective buyer will see.  Below is a check list to help you get the exterior of your home ready to be placed Read the rest of this entry »

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Selling Your Bryan College Station Home: Advice on Counteroffers

College Station Counter OffersIt can be a very exciting time as a College Station Home Seller when you get your first offer from someone wanting to buy your property. You have finally found someone who, you hope, likes the home as much as you did.  More importantly, if everything works out like it should, roughly 30 or so days later, will be Pay Day for you.

That’s right! The sale of your home will occur and you will be moving on your way (literally) to bigger and better things!

When you get an offer, there are several things to consider. If the offer is an acceptable amount for your property, you don’t want to let a disagreement over a minor issue result in the loss of a good Buyer. It is important to evaluate Read the rest of this entry »

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Selling Your Home in Bryan College Station: Is Offering Incentives Effective?

Buyer Incentives & Selling Your HomeWhen you place your home for sale in Bryan-College Station, you will need to decide if you will be offering any incentives for the sale of the home. There are basically two types of incentives; Buyer incentives and Realtor incentives.

A Buyer incentive is an extra “perk” for the Buyer.  It is something of value that the Seller is offering to entice the Buyer to choose their property over another.  A Realtor incentive is typically a monetary selling bonus for the Realtor who brings a Buyer that purchases the property (typically within X period of time).

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Selling Your College Station Home Pre-Foreclosure: The Hardship Letter

Short Sale College Station TexasA hardship letter is just one of many documents that would be required by the lender when beginning the short sale process.

The point of the hardship letter is for the Seller to notify their lending institution of why they can no longer make payments on their property.

There are many reasons why a Seller can no longer pay for the home they are living in.

A few examples include:

The Seller needs to make sure that their hardship letter is reflective of their unique Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: 3 Comments »

It is Time to Sell your College Station Home: Do You Redecorate?

pinkroom.jpgThis is an actual photo that a Realtor placed on the MLS to advertise their listing for sale. Personally, have a hard time seeing where the bed ends and the wall begins. I like things to match in a room, this however, is a bit much. But you know what? That is just one of the Wonderful things about Real Estate in College Station! There is never a dull moment!

Working as a Bryan-College Station Realtor brings new experiences every day; we get to see all sorts of different taste preferences and decorating ideas! When you walk into someone’s home you are getting a glimpse of their personality and who they are. After all, your house is where you “Make yourself at home!” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Raylene Lewis | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Showing Instructions: What Every College Station Seller Should Know

What Every Seller Should knowEveryone knows the goal of the Bryan College Station Home Seller is to sell their home for top dollar in the shortest amount of time possible. It is the job of the Listing Agent to make the actual home showings as stress free as possible for the Seller.

Once the Seller is ready to put their house up for sale, and allow potential Buyer’s into their home, the last thing they want is their daily routine and way of living completely disrupted or turned upside down. A good Realtor will want to help the Seller keep their “My House on the Market Routine” as close to their normal way of life as possible.

However, it is also extremely important to recognize that the way a Seller chooses to regulate the showings, and the way the Listing Agent advertises those showing instructions to other Realtors, can make a dramatic difference in how fast the house sells and the price the Seller receives. I am talking about the difference between a quick sale at top dollar, a listing that stays on the market an unnecessarily long time and sells for less than what it should have, or even worse; an expired listing.

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Preparing Your College Station Home to Sell

j02819902.JPGWhen it is time to get your Bryan College Station home ready to sell, everyone knows that cleaning, repairing and removing clutter will maximize your homes appearance. However, before you get carried away with home repairs and changes, there are several things you need to think about.

I have found that many times Sellers think they must make repairs to their property that in fact will NOT increase the value of their property or shorten the days on market that the home is listed for sale. It is also often the case Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Prepare for the Listing Appointment with Your Bryan College Station Realtor

What to ExpectAs a Listing Agent, I know that home owners are proud of their property and the place they call home. A home is where memories are made and where owners showcase their tastes and preferences. When I view a home for the first time, I am always impressed by the amount of attention to detail a homeowner puts forward to get their home ready to be placed on the market. Unlike some, I rarely recommend a Seller make major changes to their property before listing it. The main reason for this is because, Read the rest of this entry »

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