Buyers

Buying a home can seem like an exciting and yet daunting prospect. After all, a home is often times the most emotional and usually the largest investment anyone will ever make.

That is why it is imperative for buyers to work with a real estate professional they trust to guide them through the entire process, to provide them with important information and to be available to answer all of their questions – from the very beginning until the very end and any time thereafter. It may seem simple, but many fail to realize how important it is to have a good understanding of the process and a genuine interest in a buyer’s needs and wants.

  • First - Time Home Buyers*
  • Newlyweds
  • Upsizing - Career Change
  • Downsizing - Empty-Nesters and Retirees
  • Lifestyle Change
  • Divorcées/Divorcees

* I do happen to love working with first-­time home buyers! There is something about that first experience that draws me even closer to the transaction. I am eager to earn your trust and impart my knowledge to ensure you have a very pleasant home buying experience. You can rest assured that I will be extra careful to provide you with all the tools and knowledge you need to make a sound decision.

The Initial Consultation

Think of this as a relaxed and friendly conversation in which we can get to know each other, and I can gain a clear understanding of what you need and want most. In this initial conversation, I will explain the process of buying, in detail, as well as prepare you for what to expect. I will also consult with you regarding your finances to be able to advise you accordingly.

Financing

Determining your purchasing power is key to the home-­‐buying process. Naturally, the first order of business will be to speak to a qualified lender. Prior to that, however, I’ll happily explain how the financing process works, help you prepare to engage your preferred lender and discuss what you may expect to encounter throughout the lending process.

Planning

Planning requires I present you with home options and information on the area in which you and your family wish to live. Communication is key, and together, we will identify what features and characteristics you truly need and want most. I’ll prepare you for home tours and advise you on the next steps. You should feel prepared and informed to make a purchasing decision.

Tours and Selection

This is the fun part! I’ll coordinate, and we’ll tour the homes you like most. And when we find the right one, you’ll feel compelled to make an offer, and so begins the real adventure.

Offers and Agreements

There are a number of agreements, forms and disclosures relevant to making a purchase. Rest assured; I will advise you accordingly. I will prepare the necessary documents, review them with you and answer any and all questions you may have concerning your offer. I will present your offer, negotiate on your behalf and manage the transaction in its entirety.

The Settlement Date

Closing day! This is the finish line and the beginning of a new chapter. Everything we do and discuss during the course of the transaction will prepare you for this event. I will proudly sit with you at the closing table and be the first to congratulate you on the successful purchase of your new home.

A Smooth Transition

Between dialing your handyman, changing the utilities, scheduling the movers and accepting that you just bought a home, it may seem nearly impossible to keep track of it all or even what to do next. Fortunately, I’ll have you covered. I will remain available to you to provide you with guidance and ensure you have as smooth a transition as possible.

The Impetus to Buy

There are many reasons why any person or group of people would make the decision to buy a home, and each of those reasons is unique to the individuals, their circumstances and goals. Whatever the reason, I’m interested in knowing, because in understanding you, I’m better able to help you achieve your ultimate goal of home ownership.

Things you should expect in a real estate professional:

  • Honesty & Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Strong Negotiation Skills
  • Creativity
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Reputation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Frequent & Clear Communication
  • A Plan of Action

Sellers

What’s your favorite feature in your home?

Perhaps, there are several features worth mentioning. What was it that made you purchase it in the first place? Was it something specific or a generally great feeling? Do you know the home’s history? What’s your story? These may seem like simple questions, but the truth is that every home has a story to tell and a new family to harbor. Knowing these details allows me to highlight the home’s best features, describe the lifestyle it provides and convey the proper message via marketing.

  • First - Time Home Sellers
  • Vacation Home/ Investment Property Sellers
  • Divorcing Couples*
  • Heirs to an Estate
  • Short Sales**
  • Banks***
  • Seasoned Home Sellers

Extraordinary Sales

* Divorce is a difficult thing, and selling marital assets can often feel like insult to injury. As a divorcée and member of the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP), I am personally and professionally acquainted with the challenges and intricacies specific to divorce. I possess the experience required to sell a marital property, the knowledge that is necessary to help divorced customers find a new home and the heart to understand the entire grieving process.

** It’s no secret that short sales and bank sales are “extraordinary” in nature. Fortunately, my professional background makes me a bit of an expert in these types of transactions.

Having previously developed policies and procedures to manage short sale transactions, I understand a bank’s perspective as well as a homeowner’s. If you feel that your situation is fit for a short sale, I beseech you to call me. These transactions require an in-­‐depth knowledge and understanding of the process, and few industry professionals are qualified to handle that.

*** Underwriting, auctioning, transitioning…inspecting, securing, and insuring – as a former REO manager, these are processes I’m all too familiar with, affording me the privilege of understanding and mastering the art of REO sales. If you are a bank manager seeking a knowledgeable, professional and efficient agent to handle the disposition of bank-­‐owned assets, you’ll want to reach me.

The Initial Consultation

Think of this as a relaxed and friendly conversation in which we can get to know each other, and I can gain a clear understanding of why you’d like to move and what concerns you may have about the home selling process. My interest is in getting to know you and what you feel are the home’s best attributes, so I’ll likely ask you for some details and request a tour of the property.

Valuation

Taking what I know about your home and the market, I will analyze the relevant data to determine a fair market value, which is the estimate of value placed on a property based on any given buyer’s readiness, willingness and ability to purchase a similar home. My valuations are quite thorough, so you will be pleased to know exactly how I arrived at my conclusion and what you may expect to receive as proceeds from the sale of the home.

The Listing Presentation

The purpose of my listing presentation is to propose customized services that will best suit you and your needs. The presentation doesn’t have to be uncomfortable; rather, it is meant to educate, clarify and propose a tailored plan that will succeed in selling your home. Understanding your expectations is helpful in determining if I’m the right agent for you and vice versa.

Home Optimization

There is always something we can do to get “show ready.” This is also true for your home. As a knowledgeable real estate professional and consultant, I may recommend repairs, enhancements or details to look after to ensure your home is ready to be presented to potential home buyers. Staging may also be an option to consider, and I’ll be happy to discuss all options with you. After all, we need to remember the importance of making a great first impression.

Marketing

From professional photography and creative cinematography to strategic advertisements and detailed storytelling, there is much that can go into the effective marketing of a home. Whatever the plan devised to sell yours, you can be certain that it will be carefully laid out and put into effect. However long the time period, I will bear the full responsibility of marketing your home and its best features in an effort to attract the most attention from potential buyers.

Follow Up

Whether by phone, fax, text or email, I promise to communicate with you clearly and frequently in an effort to keep you abreast of the marketing and sales process. Once under contract, I will also follow up with the buyer(s), their representative, their lender and anyone else I’m able to get a hold of (including the attorneys and title agent involved) to ensure a properly handled transaction.

Negotiation & Coordination

There may be instances throughout the sale process that will require proper negotiation of terms and conditions to effect a sale. As your representative, I will always bear your best interest in mind when negotiating on your behalf. I will also coordinate with you and all parties involved to ensure all necessary steps are taken and time frames are met.

Offers and Agreements

There are a number of agreements, forms and disclosures that can become part of a real estate transaction. Rest assured; I will advise you accordingly. I will review all documents and discuss them with you. I will also answer any and all questions you may have concerning any offers received and/or disclosures that should be made part of the transaction.

The Settlement Date

Closing day! This is the finish line and the beginning of a new chapter. Everything we do and discuss during the course of the transaction will prepare you for this event. I will proudly sit with you at the closing table and be the first to congratulate you on a successful sale.

A Smooth Transition

Getting to the finish line may seem unreal, especially if you’ve found yourself tangled in checklists, bubble paper and packing tape. Fortunately, I’ll be around. I will remain available to you to provide you with guidance and ensure you have as smooth a transition as possible. And if the next chapter involves a house that we’re purchasing, then, of course, I’ll be handling the transaction in its entirety.

Things you should expect in a real estate professional: Things you should expect!

  • Honesty & Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Strong Negotiation Skills
  • Creativity
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Reputation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Frequent & Clear Communication
  • A Plan of Action

Things you should know!

Know Your Market

You should have an understanding of the local trends in your neighborhood, what homes in the area are selling for, what improvements might be occurring in the community -­ those things that move your local market. Your Realtor should know, too!

Clean, Uncluttered Homes Sell

It may seem far -­ fetched, but dirty, cluttered homes take time to sell and more than often sell for less.

Curb Appeal Helps

First impressions are made before a buyer walks to the front door. You wouldn’t believe what a little, fresh mulch will do!

Well-­Priced Homes Sell

It’s that simple! The first few weeks a home is on the market for sale are the most critical. A home priced just right will attract the most buyers. Those buyers may even start a bidding war, especially if your home is presentable.

Selling a Home is Inconvenient

You may need to spend time making a few repairs or sprucing things up, not to mention it’s likely you’ll feel a little stressed by having to keep things tidy for showings. Buyers will be in and out touring the home until someone makes an offer. And once an offer is made and accepted, the buyer is likely to hire an inspector to check every nook and cranny. Additionally, the buyer will want to revisit whenever possible to measure space or take mental notes that are necessary for the moving process.

Repairs Left Undone Can Cost More in the Long Run

Once an issue becomes evident to a buyer, they will wonder what else might be wrong with the house or how much more a needed repair might cost them in the future. This will likely lead to a re-­negotiation.

Overpricing Your Home Can Lead to Selling Your Neighbor’s Home

Pricing your home too high will inevitably result in promoting every other house that might be for sale in your neighborhood. Buyers have budgets, and your house may not come up in a home search, if it’s priced beyond a buyer’s range.

A Home Inspector’s Job is to Find Something

No home is absolutely perfect. Wear and tear can show up as settlement cracks in the foundation, leaky faucets in the bathroom, temperamental outlets in the kitchen or even burnt out light bulbs in the hallways.

Buyers Love to Negotiate After the Inspection Has Occurred

This is the time when buyers will attempt to negotiate a credit or reduction in price in an effort to compensate for needed repairs. You’ll want a knowledgeable Realtor who is a skilled negotiator to handle this part.

Buyers Like to Interrogate Homeowners Who Are Present for a Showing

It’s best you’re not present. Buyers and skilled agents will use this time to try and obtain information helpful to their side of the negotiation.

When the Senses are Affected, So is the Price

Odors caused by pets, smoking or even cooking can turn buyers.

Ignoring Time Frames Can Jeopardize a Home Sale

Time frames are important. Failing to respond to your agent before and during a sale can cause unnecessary delays that can adversely affect the sale.

Cooperation is Key

Buyers will have questions. They will also want to revisit the home. Cooperation can go a long way, ending with a favorable outcome for all parties. Remember, you were once a buyer.

What You Love About Your Home Isn’t Necessarily What a Prospective Buyer Will Love

Styles and preferences are quite personal. Neutralize your home and its environment. It’ll make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves in your home, which is (also).

The Closing is the Finale

The minute you sign your closing documents and receive your funds is the minute you hand over the keys and transfer ownership. You need to have made arrangements to move out.

You are absolutely amazing! You were our lifesaver and did a phenomenal job short selling our home in what felt like an impossible situation. You delivered on every single item you said you would during our first conversation. You explained the entire process to us, from beginning to end, and you did it with a genuine concern for our situation. Your input and guidance was instrumental every step of the way. The short sale process is not for the faint of heart at all, but we always knew we were in the best of hands and had complete faith in you. You went above and beyond our expectations. You stayed on top of the lenders, both ours and the buyers’ (that, in and of itself, is completely unheard of). Your aggressiveness and drive and the ability to do whatever it took to close on our home was remarkable. Your background in the banking world has proven itself in all areas. Your genuine passion, integrity, knowledge and level of expertise are uncommon in any line of business. You truly are an expert in your field. Your level of communication is exceptional by far. You always within minutes answered all of our calls, texts, emails, and questions, even working and negotiating while on your vacation...once again, completely unheard of! We cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for us. We are truly grateful and blessed that we found you and that you helped us through this mess. We know that the only reason we were able to short sale our home was because of your efforts in doing so. There are not enough words to express our gratitude. You are an angel! We thank you very much and would hands down, wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone!”

Milton and Vanessa Murillo

“Raquel Ramirez was heaven sent! After one realtor, then another (and another and another!) we had given up hope --- not so much of selling the property, but we'd given up hope on realtors. She came highly recommended by a trusted friend, and still, we were skeptical. Boy, did she prove us wrong! Attentive, fun, hard working --- text/email Raquel and within minutes, a response! --- at all hours; at midnight, past midnight. The only downside of selecting Raquel as your Realtor is that when it's over and the sale takes place, you miss her.”

Magda Montiel-Davis

We recently worked with Raquel on the sale of a property. Not only did she sell it in record time but was able to obtain a higher price than we anticipated. As with most real estate transactions, last minute issues arise that sometimes delay or impede the closing. Her ability in dealing with such issues surpassed our expectations. Raquel is a true professional, and we would not hesitate dealing with her in the future!”

Mark & Rosana Fleming

“Raquel, it is with great pleasure that I write this letter to thank you and your Featured Properties International team for all your dedicated hard work in selling my two properties in Homestead, Fl. A simple thank you doesn’t even begin to cover my appreciation for your unwavering support and efforts. Where other agencies failed you succeeded. I hope this narrative will in some small way convey my appreciation and belief that you are a consummate professional and an outstanding Realtor.

The selling of both my properties (Oct 2013 and the other in Nov 2015) were riddled with complications due to the market and my then recent divorce. Dealing with four mortgage/lending institutions, the geographical separation regarding my ex-wife who lives in Texas, and issues regarding “short sales” in general would have proven too much for someone less competent but you pushed through those challenges and got the job done. It was obvious during our first meeting that you understood the market and requirements from both the real estate and mortgage perspective. That cannot be said of most of your contemporaries. You were tenacious but professional and courteous in your dealings with all agencies (and admittedly me when I owed you supporting documentation). I never felt uninformed even when things got complicated.

As a retired military member and now working for the federal government, I know what it takes to plan and execute a successful mission. It is no exaggeration to say that without your deliberate planning and decisive actions these homes would not have sold! Without hesitation I would seek you out again concerning all my real estate needs and unconditionally recommend you as you are “simply the best” Realtor I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.

Best wishes to you and continued success in all your endeavors!”

Daniel Cano

I have been both buyer and seller multiple times with Raquel of Featured Properties International, and all of my experiences have been positive. Raquel is upfront about all procedures and possible setbacks in each transaction. She is always easy to reach, and unlike so many others in the real estate and banking industry, she does not disappear when there are questions to be answered or issues to be resolved. She is with you every step of the way, and she understands the process from both the real estate agent and the banker’s perspective. She works with both parties in a professional manner to ensure the best end result for her clients. I would recommend her for any real estate transaction. She treats both small and large investments with great care and uncompromising quality.”

Julie I. Mowrey