Tuesday, April 18, 2017

3 Spring Cleaning Tips to Help Your Home Show Better

Spring is here which means now is the best time to start thinking about what you need to do to get your home in tip-top shape. Beautiful weather will bring out the buyers and if you're selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, you want your home to be ready for all the showings you're likely to have coming up. The Fran Campbell Team wants to provide you with some helpful tips to make sure your home is show-ready and entices those buyers!

Take Care of These 3 Spring Cleaning Items to Make Your Home Show-Ready:

1. Maintain your Lawn
Lawn maintenance is one of the biggest first impression make or break items homeowners should pay special attention to. Your home's exterior is the first impression that a buyer gets of your home. If your lawn is overgrown and unkempt, that will give the impression that you don't put care into the home and gives the idea that there could be other neglected maintenance issues with your home. Plus, a neglected lawn is not very inviting. Keep your grass cut regularly, trim trees limbs away from your home's roof, power lines and driveways. Prune the bushes in your yard and make sure they are trimmed neatly so as to avoid covering up windows or entry ways.

2. Touch up paint
Don't let your home get passed by because a buyer sees it and immediately thinks of work to make it pretty again. Scuffed trim and door jambs, and dinged up walls are going to scream extra work required to any potential buyer - and if they're not looking for a project home, they're going to mark your home off their list. Take the time to touch up paint throughout the interior AND exterior of your home to give it a fresh crisp facelift.

3. Power wash exterior of home and driveway
Fall and winter tend to be pretty harsh on the exterior of our homes and driveways. To wash away the built up dirt and grime, power wash your home's siding, decks or patios, and driveway. This will give the exterior of your home a fresh look and help to create a good first impression to those buyers who may drive by before scheduling an appointment to view the home. Take it a step further, and hire a power washing company to come out to do this for you, as they can look over the exterior of your home objectively and may see things that you might have missed since you're not sure what to look for.

With these helpful tips to get your home ready for spring time and for those potential buyer showings, you'll be well on your way to selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks! For more helpful tips and help with anything relating to real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks, subscribe to our blog and check in weekly or give us a call at 573-302-2300. Our expert real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks will be more than happy to help you with your buying and selling needs!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

3 Reasons Why You Should Complete a Seller's Disclosure in its Entirety

One thing we see all too often when listing a home for sale at the Lake of the Ozarks is partially completed seller's disclosures coming back to us. While most sellers feel like this part of the paperwork is unnecessary and inconvenient, there are very valid reasons why you should complete the disclosures in their entirety and with full honesty. The Fran Campbell Team is happy to share with you 3 important reasons why you should take the time to complete your seller's disclosure and make sure it's as accurate as possible.


  1. Protects the Seller from future litigation. The most important reason to fill out a seller's disclosure is that is purpose is to hold the seller and real estate agent harmless if you've disclosed the truth about the property. The disclosure can help prevent potential buyers from filing lawsuits against the seller if after the home has been sold a problem arises with the property. It's not a guarantee that there won't be any litigation, but it definitely helps to protect the seller if the buyer is made aware of all known defects up front. 
  2. Helps the Agent listing the home have more accurate information. Much of the information provided on the seller's disclosure can be used by the listing agent to provide accurate information on the listing itself when advertising. For example, on the disclosure the agent will be able to see if the property is on city water or a shared well. If your home uses a shared well, there is likely paperwork that needs to be retrieved for that, and the possibility that there are monthly or annual incurred costs that will need to be disclosed to buyers. These are things that you may not think of initially when listing your home, but by providing a completed disclosure, your agent is able to catch those things for you and make sure that all the necessary documentation is taken care of.  
  3. Provides the Buyer with a fair and honest idea of the home's condition. Don't be afraid of the seller's disclosure. This document discloses material information to the buyer about the home, which can help them make an informed decision about their purchase. It's not meant to be a deal-killer, but a deal-maker. Many agents provide a copy of the disclosure to interested buyers so they can get an idea of the home's condition before they make an offer or have an inspection. 

Now that you know why filling out a seller's disclosure in it entirety and as accurately as possible is so important, you can feel more confident in your home's listing and worry less about potential post-closing issues that could arise. Remember, when in doubt, it's best to provide more information than not enough. If you have questions about completing your seller's disclosure, the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks are your go to agents. We'll be happy to answer any questions you may have and help walk you through the process to ensure your listing is as accurate as possible. For all of your Lake of the Ozarks real estate needs, contact the Fran Campbell Team!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Few Things to Consider Before Buying within a HOA

With more than half of the Lake of the Ozarks real estate listings being part of a homeowner’s association or condo owner’s association, the Fran Campbell Team feels that it’s important for our buyers to have a good understanding of what a HOA/COA is.

A Homeowner’s Association, or HOA, is the governing body of the development or complex, usually comprised of homeowners who have volunteered to serve on the HOA board. The primary purpose of a homeowners association is to manage a neighborhood's common areas such as roads, parks and pools. Most HOAs have their own set of bylaws and regulations that all homeowners and their guests are required to abide by within the subdivision. 

Here are some things you should consider before buying a home or condo within a HOA:

What Additional Association Expenses will there be?

The majority of HOA/COAs have association fee structures. This will vary for each community. Knowing the fees you'll be required to pay will have an impact on your short and long-term finances. Because of this, you should make sure to ask these questions and compare fees against other associations and local cost:
  • How are HOA fee increases set?
  • How often do increases occur, and by how much have they historically been raised?
  • Can you get a printed history of HOA dues by year for the last 10 years?
  • How large is the HOA's reserve fund?
  • Also, ask for a record of special assessments that have been made in the past and ask if any special assessments are planned for the near future. Note that economies of scale can mean that special assessments are higher in smaller HOAs.
  • Find out what the monthly dues cover. Will you still have to pay extra for garbage pickup? Is cable included?

Research Rules, Regulations, Declarations, and Bylaws

As previously pointed out, most associations have their own set of bylaws, declarations, restrictions and regulations. It's important for you to request a copy of those documents for review prior to purchasing. Here are some things you'll want to pay special attention to when reviewing these documents:
  • Check the bylaws for things such as the voting rights of the members, meeting requirements, and budget and assessment procedures.
  • Look especially hard at what actions of the Association (such as raising assessments or creating rules) can be done without a vote of the members
  • If you plan to purchase for investment purposes, make sure to check the rental restrictions. Some HOA have restrictions that prohibit renting a property within the community or even restricts the length of rental terms. 
  • Check the rules and regulations for restrictions on owners’ use of private property.

Review HOA Financing and Meeting Minutes

Request copies of the most recent meeting minutes and budget and financial reports before you buy. These documents can be very helpful by providing more information about the policies of the HOA and more. Here are some things you should look for in the minutes:
  • Are there any major maintenance issues that could potentially cause need for a future special assessment? 
  • Is there a history of under-management of building or lawn maintenance?
  • What are current and past conflicts?
  • What is the process for resolving any conflicts?
  • Has the HOA sued anyone? How was that resolved?
  • Do the financials reflect that the Association has been run too lean, or hasn’t collected enough assessments to meet the budget? This could also be a sign of potential future expense.

Get Information about HOA Amenities

Amenity perks may be the main selling point that draws your interest. A lot of complexes and communities include the use of amenities in the cost of the association fees. However, some do require additional fees to be able to have access. Here are some things you should check into when considering amenities:
  • Do the hours of operation meet your peak use time or will you be paying for amenities that you can't use due to time restrictions?  
  • Is there extra cost to use the amenities or is the cost included in your dues? 
  • If you plan to have guests over often, be aware of the HOA rules about guest use for common facilities. 
With these handy tips for considering a home or condo in a HOA community, you can feel confident that you'll be able to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks comfortably and with little surprises. Our expert real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks is well-seasoned in the world of HOAs, so if you have any questions about a home located in one of the HOA communities at the Lake, you can trust that we'll be able to answer your questions or get the answer quickly for you.

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Your Timeline for a Smooth Closing Process - Part 2

In last week's blog we covered some of the initial timelines you'll see when closing on a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. These tasks are essential to keep track of to ensure a smooth and successful process. This week, the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks will focus on some of the timelines you need to be aware of toward the end of your transaction for a smooth closing on your real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks.

What needs to be done before closing: 

Turn On Utilities

You'll need to get utilities turned on or transferred into your name for the new property. Generally sellers provide all of the relevant utility contact info in the Seller’s Disclosure. If it isn't provided in the disclosure, your real estate agent can assist in compiling that info for you. Make sure you schedule utilities to be in your name for the date of closing so there are no issues between the sellers and you or with taking occupancy that day if you plan to start moving immediately.

Schedule Closing Date & Time

The closing date has been set in the purchase agreement, so the title company is aware of the closing date. Either you or your real estate agent will need to contact the title company to schedule a time slot for closing. If you wish to be there during the same time as the seller, you'll need to coordinate times with the seller's agent or check with the title company for available coordinating times.

Final Walk-Through

It's important to do one last walk-through of the property before closing. The purpose is to verify that any repairs have been completed, that all of the seller’s personal belongings have been moved out, and to make sure that all contractual agreements have been met. It’s just another way to make sure that no major issues arise that could cause the closing to fall through.

Close The Transaction

On the day of closing make sure to bring a state issued ID or some form of government issued identification. If you have to pay any funds at closing, be sure to either have a cashier's check with you or wired funds submitted prior to closing. Most of the time, closings take place at the title company to sign all closing documents. Once the documentation has been signed and your lender has funded the transaction, you officially receive possession of your new home!

While this all seems like a lot to remember, that's what real estate agents are for. We take the difficulty out of closing on a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our agents are well-educated in the closing process and have experience and knowledge that will make your closing a breeze. If you are considering buying or selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, but don't know where to start, put your trust in the Fran Campbell Team for all of your real estate needs!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Your Timeline for a Smooth Closing Process - Part 1

Closing on a home at the Lake of the Ozarks means a lot of tasks to keep track of to ensure a smooth and successful process. Most of these are outlined in the sales contract for easy tracking. However, we understand that if you don't do this regularly, those contracts can be pretty overwhelming. The best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks has broken down some important information in an easy to read format for your convenience. This week we'll focus on some of the initial items you need to be aware of to ensure a smooth closing for your real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Earnest Money

Earnest money is a deposit made by the buyer as a show of good faith in a transaction. Typically the amount of earnest money required to secure the closing is agreed upon and outlined in the contract agreement. It's important to make sure that you have your earnest money delivered in a timely manner according to the contract agreement terms to avoid being in breach.

Property Inspections

Once a contract is executed the clock starts for the inspection period. It's important to schedule all inspections in enough time for the inspector to be able to complete the inspection, produce and deliver a report prior to that deadline. By having an inspection done, you're removing any potential risk of unforeseen future maintenance issues with the home, so this is a very important step to follow through with.

Lender Documents

As soon as you have an executed sales contract, you will need to communicate with your mortgage
lender so that they will start the mortgage process. Get any requested documentation to them to prevent timeline issues. Check in with them to verify that they are on track. Your REALTOR® should help you with this as well. If a lender does not complete the loan process in a timely manner, it can cause you to be in breach of contract by not closing on time.

Title Commitment

This process is handled by the title company. They will issue a title commitment that reviews the title history of the property and discloses any liens against the property that need to be resolved before closing. Review your title commitment carefully. If you see anything you're unsure of or concerned about check with your agent or ask an attorney about it.


Once you have cleared the inspection process, your lender will need to order a home appraisal to verify that the value of the home is worth the loan amount requested. More than likely you'll be responsible for the cost of the appraisal, so it’s best to wait until after you have completed the inspection process. Just be aware of the contract timelines for the appraisal.

Homeowners Insurance & Warranties

Most lenders require you to have a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy for the property you're buying. Some mortgage companies can bundle a policy in the loan, but if not you will want to shop around and choose a homeowners insurance provider and policy that works best for you. Once you have the policy in place, let your lender, REALTOR®, and title company know.

If in your purchase agreement the sellers have offered an allowance for purchasing a home warranty, you’ll want to shop for home warranty companies as well. Once you have found the right home warranty provider, be sure that the title company knows who you plan to use.

Stay tuned for next week's blog (part 2) for more timelines to be aware of leading up and including closing on your Lake of the Ozarks real estate purchase. As always, for all of your real estate needs, trust the most experienced real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks to guide you in the right direction!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Looking for St Pats Day Celebration Activities at the Lake of the Ozarks? Look No Further!

Visiting the lake and looking for some fun ideas for celebrating this St. Patrick's Day? Whether you're looking to entertain your family for the day, or looking to have a fun night out with friends, we've got some great suggestions for you to check out. Keep an eye out for your favorite real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks, you may just see us out and about at some of these upcoming events - We'll be the ones in green!

St. Patrick's Celebration Events at the Lake!

St. Patrick's Water Parade

Sponsored by: Lake West Chamber
March 18, 2017 at 8:00am - 4:00pm
Captain Ron's Bar & Grill, Sunrise Beach, MO
The 26th Annual St. Patrick's Day Water Parade. The parade is a fun day trip on the water and a perfect way to kick off the spring boating season! Decorate your boat and join the fleet or take a cruise on the Tropic Island or Celebration Cruise boats. Optional Breakfast Buffet beginning at 8 am. Boats board at 9:30 am and depart at 10 am. The Lake West Chamber of Commerce has tickets available for the cruise boats on the water for those not putting a boat in the parade.

St Patrick's Short Bus Shuffle

Sponsored by: Lake West Chamber
March 18, 2017 at 4:00pm - 2:00am
Multiple Venues, Sunrise Beach, MO
The 7th Annual Short Bus Shuffle on the West side of the Lake will run up and down Hwy 5, go to 135-3 and down O Road. Each stop will have live entertainment, drink specials and St. Pat's festivities! REQUIRED $10 wristband to ride shuttles available at all locations. Souvenir shirts are available too. Participating lodging facilities will be offering special rates for everyone involved, however, you must make reservations before the event.

St. Patty's Open Golf Tournament

Sponsored by: Osage National Golf Resort
March 19, 2017 at 11:00am
Osage National Golf Resort, Lake Ozark, MO
Annual event to kick off the season is a 3-person scramble. Brunch before and prizes after.

Not only do we know what's coming up for St. Pats, we're the Lake of the Ozarks real estate experts. So if you have any questions about the Lake area, don't hesitate to contact us. We're happy to help! If you're just coming to visit and find that you've fallen in love and want to relocate to the Lake of the Ozarks, contact us and we'll be happy to find the perfect lakefront property at the Lake of the Ozarks just for you. We hope to see you out and about this St. Patrick's Day. Don't forget to wear your green! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Testimonial Tuesday: Feel Confident in Your Choice to Work with Our Agents!

Over the years we've had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful clients. Yet every time we see their testimonials, it still gives us the warm and fuzzies because we know our hard work and dedication to every transaction we take part in means that we've helped our clients succeed in selling or buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Check out some of the wonderful things these folks have to say about our stellar team!

"We recently purchased a condo at Cape Royale with the assistance of Sophia Marr. Over the years we have bought and sold many properties and have never had a more professional experience as we had with Sophia. Ms. Marr was able to zero in on our needs very quickly. She showed us what was available in our desired area and our budget. Kerry stayed right on top of our closing and kept us well informed. We would like to thank you, your team, and especially Sophia and Kerry for all the helping making this our most fun purchase." - Mr. and Mrs. Illian

"We recently closed on a condo at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our agent was Billi Miller. We highly recommend her and the Fran Campbell Team. Billi was very professional and knowledgeable without being pushy. We felt quite comfortable working with her. It was a business deal, but we also feel that we formed a friendship. Even though everything is final, we feel that we can call her if we need help or information about something." - Tommy and Marianne Hunter

"My wife and I recently contacted REMAX Lake of the Ozarks, The Fran Campbell Team in search of property on the lake. We met with Virginia Kirvan on a Saturday and toured several condos and private residences. She had the entire day filled with visits and provided a wealth of knowledge regarding those sites visited. Additionally, she explained the local real estate market and provided suggestions that were helpful in our search. We made a second visit to tour two condos. We then provided an offer on one and she walked us through the process until closing. She provided the logistics that allowed us to do all of the paperwork from our home in central Illinois. We closed on November 14, 2014 with Virginia's assistance. She continued to assist us after the sale with some local issues. I would highly recommend Virginia Kirvan at the Fran Campbell Team RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks for anyone searching for property in the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding area. Their services were essential and we were completely satisfied with their performance."
- Stuart & Lynnette Erlenbush

"I contacted ReMax Lake Ozark Realty/Fran Campbell Johnson via email (Tammy Rosenthal) & received a prompt phone call in return regarding wanting to look at a specific condo. She came & showed it to us 2 hours later. We decided to pursue negotiations for purchase & Tammy was in our court from the start. She is smart, knowledgeable, professional AND very nice. She answered my MANY questions via email, text or by phone. She was always available. I purchased & closed on my condo in 2 weeks & got moved in on closing day. Fabulous. I was very impressed with Tammy & her work ethic. Thank you Tammy for helping make my dream of lake home ownership a reality. And now I have a new friend as well. Great service!! 5 stars." - Tena Shutterhead

"Debbie Richardson, our agent, was an absolute delight to work with. She is very informative, knowledgeable and went out of her way to give us answers. She showed us quite a few condo's before we found the right one. Always just a phone call away and ready to answer any questions we had. She kept us in the loop of what was going on and we closed in a very short time frame. She is a charming person and the Fran Campbell Team is lucky to have her on board!" - Erika W.

"The key to selling our condo was finding the right price point. The Fran Campbell team helped us understand the market and how to price it to sell. Thanks to Fran and her team, we sold in less than 100 days and can move on to our next adventure. Thank you [Closing Coordinator] Kerry for your help!" - Jeff H.

"Fran and her team are true professionals. They have made the selling experience completely hassle free and they were spot on with their analysis of the value of our home. Fran's experience in the real estate market, understanding our needs, and following the transaction through front to back receives my highest recommendation. In my opinion she and her team went over and beyond what I would have expected from anyone in a real estate transaction. Fran will be referred to anyone, family or friends, that we know that are in the market to buy or sell a home at Lake of the Ozarks."
- Jeff Johnson

Words cannot even begin to express our gratitude to all of our clients! We wouldn't be the team we are today if it weren't for the placed trust in us. For all of your real estate needs, we're here to serve the Lake of the Ozarks real estate needs for many years to come. Whether you're buying or selling, we've got the perfect agent to help you on your journey. Give us a call today at (573) 302-2300.