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5 Lessons You Learn while Buying Your First House

Buying your first home is exciting, especially now that we have sites like Pinterest and Houzz to get us ready for dream homes and home décor by the age of 14. And so, people often decide on what they want and what the deal breakers are. Many buyers plan their maximum offers, expectations, and maximum offers. And then hit the buyer hits the proverbial brick wall. There is nothing in his or her price range that has all the features of this “dream home”. It’s like dating, when you raise your standards and have too many prerequisites, you drastically reduce your chance of finding the perfect fit.

  • Work with a Real Estate Professional… These pros know about the housing market in your area, and are more inclined to take you to see homes that are under your budget, that may need some work, but that have more ultimate potential than homes selling at the top of your budget. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to become more competitive in order to find what you want, and only looking in your price range may take you out of the running.
  • Shop with Your Head, not Your Heart… You may find the home of your dreams, but it could be way out of your price range, and you could be over-extending yourself, while another home, one that needs your imagination to visualize what it could be, is just down the street, waiting to be discovered. Visit homes more than once before you make a decision. Yes, you want that feeling of “This is the one!”, but there could be more than one home that has “it” potential. You must love the home you choose as it is with an eye towards what it could be.
  • Trust your Real Estate Agent. A good agent is like a salesperson and a CPA rolled into one. They are going to keep in mind your needs and desires – which are different – and what you should and should not be spending. Good agents want to make a sale, of course, but they want you to be happy. Moreover, the pros know which homes have a lot more potential than they “seem” to have, and can help you to see it too.
  • Research is Worth It… When you find homes that interest you, google them, go to the bureau of public records in your town and find out about the home’s history. This is information that is available to the public, and stuff you might want to know. Be aware of things like what school district you’re in, what the utility companies charge, if there is a Homeowner’s Association, and how intrusive they are. Let the professionals do their jobs, but you must do yours. The more info you have, the better your decisions can be.
  • Know What your Priorities and Deal Breakers are… know exactly what you want and get your priorities in order. You are going to have to compromise on some things and make some concessions. You may not get your fireplace, but instead you will have glorious views. Be a visionary.

Above all, be patient! Home buying is a process, and when you are buying for the first time, you should enjoy the process and learn from it. Be creative in your thinking, and be flexible. Rely on the pros for good advice. Allow yourself to be excited and eager, but temper that with good sense. Buying your first home is a great gift. Remember that, with gratitude.

Moving to Your New Home with Pets

The challenge of moving can be highly stressful for any family; but when pets are involved, a completely new level of challenges arise that are difficult on everyone involved. Our pets are a part of our families, and they often feel the stress and angst that we feel, during major life changes. Moving, whether you are traveling across town, or across the country, is one of the most major life changes we can make.

Though moving can be stressful, it is also an exciting experience. It brings with it, opportunities for new beginnings, and fresh starts. In addition, if we have pets, we most certainly want them along for the ride. Making sure that everyone is prepared for this life-changing event is important, so there are quite a few things we may need to consider for ourselves, and our pets, before taking on the challenge.

Here are a few tips for moving with pets, that will make the transition a bit easier, and as painless as possible for the whole family.

Take Your Pets to the Vet

Especially, if your move, includes a bit of travel, car rides, planes, etc.; taking your pets for a general check-up and letting the vet know that you are about to move, is a wise idea. Many pets can have adverse reactions to long distance traveling, or simply being taken out of their familiar surroundings. Making sure that they are healthy and prepared for travel of any kind, will make you feel better, and help keep your pets stay healthy and balanced.

Keep a Good Supply of Meds, Food, and Water

Knowing that you are equipped with everything you need to keep your pets calm and happy will make the move a lot less challenging. If your pets are on any medications, or if any are prescribed by the vet before you move, be sure to have them on hand. Also having enough food and water for your pets will help to keep them on an eating and drinking schedule that is similar to what they are used to. Well-nourished and hydrated pets are usually relaxed and happy.

Make Sure They Are Restrained Safely

All airlines have safe travel requirements for pets. They are normally required to be in a crate or airline safe carrier. If you are traveling by vehicle, the same rules should apply, for everyone’s safety. Loving your pets means that you will keep them safe, and NOT try to hold them in your laps. Having pets roam around inside of a moving vehicle is not a good idea for anyone.

Prepare Your New Living Space For Your Pets

Most pets thrive on the familiarity of their surroundings. As soon as you get to your new location, unpack your pet’s toys, food and water bowls. Take some down time with your pets to make them feel at ease in unfamiliar territory. Their toys, pieces of your clothing, and other familiar items from your last residence, will make the transition much smoother for you and your pets.

5 Tips For Pricing Your Home To Sell

Thinking of selling your house? It can be a daunting task in any real estate market. The goal is to make your home stand out above the rest. It is highly important to get buyer’s attention from the start. First impressions, are the only impressions in the real estate industry; and sellers need to be aware of things they can do to make the process smoother and speedier.

Research the Local Market

Sellers should research the local markets to see how homes that are comparable to theirs are selling, and at what price. Housing prices are subject to their local area demands. A house in one city, may not be able to sell for the same price in your city, depending on the cost of living, the quality of the school systems, and other attractions and opportunities that may or may not be available. Do your research before attempting to price your home. Proper pricing can make or break a sale.

Seek Professional Advice

If you are not sure how to price your home, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Ask your agent to share with you what they think is best. Even if you have yet to make a decision about selling, real estate agents will be happy to assist you with information about home sales in your area, and for your type of house.

Obtain a Broker Price Option (BPO)

Get more than one agent’s advice and a couple of different BPOs, before pricing your home. It is wise to have a list of educated opinions before making a final decision. Homeowners should be well educated on what their house is actually worth before placing it on the market.

The last thing a seller needs, is to be told by a potential buyer, that they have seen a comparable property priced for less. You can avoid this with a BPO. A Broker Price Option allows the seller to set value on their home by a Real Estate Professional, using comparable sold properties comparing the seller’s home to others that have sold in the market place within at least the last 6 months. A Realtor has working knowledge of homes  on the  market currently and those that have sold in the market.  At Smith & Co. or Realtors are all full time agents with Professional training and several years of experience.

Know Your Potential Buyer

It’s good to know who your potential buyer is; single professionals, couples with children, single parents. Knowing the profile of your buyer will help you to make the right choice when it comes to pricing. Study reports that will show you who has been purchasing and selling, the homes in your area. Are the homes near schools selling more quickly, or properties in the heart of the city moving more rapidly? Are condos moving in and out of the market quickly, or are single family homes more in demand? By knowing this information, you can price your home competitively.

Strategic Pricing

Strategic pricing is when sellers consider what other homes in their area are selling for, and decide early in the game to lower their price by a couple per cent. Sellers may sacrifice a bit of profit, but the home may sell quicker. Many sellers would rather have a quick and easy transaction that doesn’t linger on for months, sometimes years, than to make more money from the sale. Strategic pricing gets the attention of potential buyers. Even if your home is not their dream home, they may choose to make the purchase because they will save some money for needed repairs or improvements.

Consider the Deal

Though as a seller, you may have your heart and wallet, set on selling for a certain price; if you are offered a bit less by a well qualified buyer, consider taking the deal. You don’t want to have your house sitting on the market for long periods of time, especially if you are eager to move. If the offer is one you can clearly live with, consult your agent for professional advice, and if they say it’s a good deal, give it serious consideration, so that you can move forward with finding your new home.

Benefits to House Shopping At The End Of The Year

The end of the year is often reserved for holiday shopping and celebrating, but truth be told, the months of October to December are great times to purchase a new home. With most people being pre-occupied with Christmas preparation, you might be able to locate your dream home with less stress than during the busy real estate months.

The buying benefits for the end of the year range from favorable tax deductions to anxious sellers looking to sell for a great price. While there are, on average, fewer homes for sale at this time, you’ll be one of a small select group of people looking over gem properties. Due to limited number of prospective buyers, your chances of purchasing a dream home are increased.

Other perks of waiting to compare MLS listings during the winter months include:

Deducting mortgage interest, property taxes and point on your loan when you file for income taxes (as long as you close by December 31st). This is very beneficial when you spend the first few years of your loan paying off interest.

If the house you desire is a new build, the building company might offer incentives to buy the property by the end of the year. Throwing in complimentary features is not uncommon.

Moving companies are more readily available in their “off season” which is November to December. This makes moving much more doable.

A fresh start for the New Year can begin with a new home. Making memories in a new home you can share with the people you love is the perfect start of new beginnings. To help start you on your newest journey, contact Smith & Co.

Affordable Farm Land and Used Farm Machinery

Almost all of the mid-west and many parts of the northeast and west coast comprise of beautiful farmland that is responsible for growing and feeding the economy with healthy crops. Owning farmland is very profitable, but finding desirable land can be hard to come by.


Farmland is expensive. Whether prepared for planting or not, you are purchasing a large quantity of land. The price for farmland acreage depends on where you are located. Considerations such as rich soil, favorable weather, price for ethanol gas and livestock production are factored into the price equation.


Acquiring new or unused farmland at an affordable price is possible and there’s one solution to ensure this: an auction. Farmland auctions are particularly popular and serve as a reliable source for purchasing affordable land.


A farmland auction begins with an affordable bid price followed by buyers being able to control the amount of money they’re willing to pay. Little is needed in order to attend the farmland auction, which may or may not be held at the actual property location.


Now onto another topic related to acquiring farmland, finding used farm machinery. Farm equipment can be quite expensive. Companies such as John Deere and Caterpillar are known for providing the highest quality of farm machinery on the market. For farmers who wish to purchase budget-friendly and functional farm equipment, seeking out used is ideal.


The task of locating used farm machinery can be a tricky. Two ways of guaranteeing success include knowing what you need and knowing where to begin your search. For example, if you need a hay baler, tractor or manure spreader, narrow down the makes and models that you’re willing to purchase used.


Next step is to attend a farm auction or farm dispersal sale. These kinds of sale avenues are great for spending on a budget. Many auction houses will list the items for sale on a website so you can preview before the auction.


The last step you can take to purchase used farmland is to place an ad in the local newspaper. List exactly what you’re looking for with the following information: make, model, year, condition and price.


If you want to increase your chances of acquiring affordable farmland or used farm equipment, contact Smith & Co. Auctions today.



The 2nd Annual Western Plains Youth and Family Services Christmas Gala

Help Out By Attending An Auction:

Attending an auction is an overall wise investment. You can purchase an expensive item for less money than by going the conventional route. Plus, many auctions are put together to benefit a good cause. Foundations and non-profit organizations benefit from auctions by achieving goals of funding programs and providing assistance to those in need.

At silent auction charitable events, guests can make monetary bids on particular items and the person who makes the highest bit earns the prize. At a typical charity auction, guests receive a delicious meal and drinks to sip while enjoying the night’s festivities. Prized items can range from household items to reservations at high-end restaurants and hotels to vehicles and inclusive-style resort packages.

Purchasing any item at an auction is less expensive than buying it outright at a retailer or online. Also, let’s not forget that you’re helping a worthy cause and you only spend as much as you want to.

One auction in particular that’s dear to us and our community is the second annual Christmas Gala, held on December 6, 2013 at the Woodward Convention Center. This auction is being put on by the Western Plains Youth & Family Services Shelter. The auction’s mission is to continue to have the funds in order to care for the children benefiting from the center’s services.

Your generosity and donations are much appreciated and rewarded with spectacular prizes, entertainment and dining. The “Paper Angels” themed auction begins with a silent auction followed by a live auction thereafter. Your donations help the center continue their community outreach programs which assist with funding and providing critical services to at-risk and in-need families throughout our community.

On Smith & Co. Auction’s website, you can visit the Gala’s information page at http://static.auctionservices.com/documents/75828/Gala_Mailout_2013.pdf. You will find an Auction Donor Form, Sponsor Form and all other pertinent information regarding the auction.

Startup Business Tips: Buying a Commercial Building at Auction

Some of the best ways to get a great deal on a commercial building is to buy one at auction. Generally, prices are pretty low, and there is not too much competition out there. If this is your first time buying a building in this manner, here are some helpful tips for you.

Before the Auction:

Find out as much legal information about the property as you can, and contact a commercial real estate lawyer to look over the paperwork for you. This way, no surprises come when it is too late to back out. Also, be sure to have your finances in order as well. Oftentimes, you will need to put a deposit down on the day of the auction. Be sure to investigate the property, they’re usually sold as is; it’s wise to make sure that you’re not getting yourself into a money pit.

At the Auction:

Make sure you have your checkbook with you with at least one check for your deposit. Also, remember to bring a few different forms of id (driver’s license, passport, utility bills work well). Pay attention to the order of sale, this will be an up-to-date list of all the properties for sale at this particular auction.

After the Auction:

If you were the highest bidder on the property that you were holding out for, congratulations! Typically, with commercial property auctions there will be 30 days to close on the property. It is very important like we mentioned in the beginning to have your finances in order, if you do not close in the 30 days allotted for the sale, you will forfeit your deposit.

Best of luck with your commercial property auction search. If you are looking for a property that just needs a little TLC to be as good as new, this will be perfect for you and your new business venture.

Great Estate Farm Auction in Buffalo, OK August 24th, 2013

Some of the best finds are at estate sales and auctions. It doesn’t matter what your interests are or what you are looking for. There are always great curiosities that you can find. Whether you are searching for some furniture that you want to restore for your home, tools or equipment, estate sales offer these items and more at great prices.

For antique collectors, going to an auction is like opening presents on Christmas morning. Hunting for items that you cannot find anywhere provides a rush that is unsurpassed. Many times at auctions people disregard items that actually have value as junk, and they couldn’t be more wrong.  Often times it only takes a bit of elbow grease to restore something to its original beauty. Then you can turn around and make a profit off the item you bought for next to nothing.

On August 24th we are having a great estate auction in Buffalo, OK.  With this sale we will be selling farm land, equipment, and household supplies. If antique items are what you are looking for, there will be a tractor from 1940 up for auction, which is guaranteed to pique the interest of many people who attend.

Some other tractor, combine, trailers that will be up for auctions include:

  • a 1975 feed grain truck
  • 1998 grain trailer
  • 2001 JD 566 Round Baler
  • 2004 NH 1441 Disc Swather.

There will also be a variety of tools for sale as well that will be handy on the farm including

  • Makita Mitre Saw
  • Large Wrench Sets
  • Pressure Washer
  • Lawn Fertilizer Spreader

View the full list of everything that will be up for auction on August 24th

Benefits of Buying a House at Auction


It is common thought that when we hear of a property going up for auction, we immediately think of foreclosure due to default on payments. However, that is certainly not the only reason for a property to be auctioned off. Often times, gems of homes are sold at fair market value at an auction.


Licensed auction houses or agents who follow all of the necessary protocols perform non-foreclosure property auctions. There are many benefits of purchasing a property through auction as well as many benefits being provided to the seller.


1. Auctions can be reserved for homes of unusual or eccentric appearances, which make it a very appealing option for those who like the less than traditional type of home.


2. Auctions are also a great way for buyers and sellers to gauge the actual value of a home, thus it being auctioned for its fair market value. This gives both parties maneuverability when choosing how much they want to spend/sell for.


3. The real estate company that is in control of the auction will require buyers to register. This gives the company the opportunity to pre-approve buyers to be sure they have good credit. This also gives sellers the peace of mind knowing that there won’t be a financial crisis.


4. Conventional home sales can take months. An auction is much quicker because there’s only one chance for buyers to make a bid. This is appealing to those who need to sell quickly.


5. If a homeowner fears their home will get lost in the shuffle of thousands of homes for sale, an auction is a unique option to put yours above the rest.


6. Before you attend an auction, you should contact the agent or company who is holding the sale. Ask them about restrictions, money needed up-front and how long the seller has to make a final decision.


We encourage those looking to buy or sell a home in an auction to contact us to learn more of why this might be the right choice for you.


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