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. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shopping Real Estate - What To Look For In A Good Agent

Researching real estate agents before hiring them is something you don't want to take lightly. You've made the smart choice to buy a home at the lake. Make the smart choice when selecting a realtor to help find that home. The Fran Campbell Team are the best Realtors® at the Lake of the Ozarks for the job.

What's Their Experience?

The length of time an agent has been practicing can tell a lot about their level of knowledge. Ask how long they've been a licensed salesperson and how long they've been actively practicing. Many agents will get their license and then place it in a holding account, but not practice regularly. This could be a huge indication that they may not be up-to-date on the most recent federal and state real estate laws. That's a risk you don't want to take.

What is their knowledge of the lake area? If you get an agent who is not familiar with the unique lake area they may not know important information such as potential future building plans that may change zoning regulations, school districts, or neighborhoods and subdivisions like a local lake-seasoned agent would.

Check out their Track Record

Don't be afraid to ask your potential agent for a report of their recent sales, not just their general sales volume or number of sales, but a list of actual sales they've closed on. This will give you the opportunity to see what the listings were originally listed for and what the closing price was, and it will give you an idea of the type of properties and areas they have experience working with. If you know which area of the Lake of the Ozarks you're wanting to live in, ask the agent to provide you with a list of properties they've closed on in or near that area. This will give you an idea of their knowledge of the area.

Get Those References

You request references from babysitters, employees, and check reviews before buying on Amazon., Hiring a real estate agent is no different. Get references and check them. Read testimonials on their website. Check their social media accounts for customer reviews. Knowledge is power, and you'll feel much more comfortable making a decision if you know the agent has glowing reviews.

Do They Listen or Talk?

Pay attention to how the agent handles the conversation. A good agent will ask you to tell them what you're looking for and take notes. Their goal should be to have an ideal understanding of your wants and needs before starting the search. A good listener will summarize your desires and eliminate the hassle of showing you properties you have no interest in. Find out how involved they plan to be in the search: are they going to actively search for homes, or are they going to sit back and wait for you to bring one to their attention? You don't want to waste time with an agent who makes you do their job.

Fran Campbell Johnson has assembled a top-notch real estate team to make sure every step of your transaction is handled by a professional. Our team of consultants provides you with the communication and service you deserve throughout your entire experience. By having a team, we make buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks easy. Rest assured, you're in good hands with the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks - the Fran Campbell Team!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why YOU Want to be Living at the Lake Year Round

We all know why people choose to visit the Lake of the Ozarks for the summer year after year, but what drives those who stay to dig their roots here? If you haven't taken the opportunity to visit the lake in the off-season, you really have no idea what you might be missing. From some of the best shopping around to some amazing hidden gems, the Lake of the Ozarks has a little bit of everything to suit anyone's desires.


Photo Credit: FunLake.com

In 2016, Ha Ha Tonka State Park was ranked as #1 on Trip Advisor for "top things to do in Lake of the Ozarks". If you've ever been, you know why. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? This park features more than 15 miles of trails leading to lake access, caves, natural bridges, sink holes and a bluff-top castle. This is the place to go for any nature enthusiast. Enjoy the changing of the fall leaves, or the budding of spring flowers at one of the most beautiful places around. Don't miss a changing season - this park is open year round!

Not into the outdoor scene? No worries, there are plenty of cozy Lake of the Ozarks venues to check out that you won't find anywhere else. Ozark Distillery is a local family owned business that hand crafts their special "Ozark Moonshine" along with several other flavored Moonshines, Vodka, Bourbon, and Whiskey. Stop by anytime of year for a tour and tasting. They love sharing their story of how they make their hand-crafted spirits! Not into spirits? Check out the many highly rated wineries at Lake of the Ozarks.


Perhaps the opportunity to shop until you drop is what drives you to the Lake. Osage Beach Premium Outlets is home to over 110 stores all in one location. Talk about convenient! Whether you're shopping for clothes, gifts, home decor, or specialty items, there's a place for all of your needs there. Don't forget about the other great shopping areas at the Lake, like Prewitt's Point Shopping Center or the Stonecrest Mall just off Osage Beach Parkway.


While year round activities and events are great, what about the school districts? School of the Osage has been rated as "Accredited with Distinction in Performance" by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The school's goal is to work hand in hand with families and the community to ensure their students are equipped to reach their maximum potential for lifetime success. Camdenton R-III has also received numerous local, state, and national awards of distinction for the achievements of their students and teachers. So the real question comes down to do you want to show your team spirit in maroon and gold or purple and yellow?

Trust us when we say there are year round events at Lake of the Ozarks outside of the summer season, from Eagle Days in January to the Christmas events in December. If you have an interest in learning more about the Lake of the Ozarks area, don't hesitate to contact the team with the best realtors at the Lake of the Ozarks. Fran Campbell has been a resident and business owner in the lake area for 40 years and is an active member of the community. She and her team are happy to share their wealth of knowledge of the Lake area and will always work hard to ensure client satisfaction. Talk to us about relocating to the Lake of the Ozarks today!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

5 Benefits of Owning a Second Home at the Lake of the Ozarks

With the market booming and interest rates still low, now is a great time to think about investing in real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks. Not only is the Lake of the Ozarks a great place to live full-time, but the area offers an amazing location for second homeowners as well. Keep reading to learn some of the benefits of owning a second home at the Lake of the Ozarks.

1. The Convenience of Always Having a Place to Stay on Vacation.

The Lake of the Ozarks is the premier vacation destination in the Midwest. In fact, it was voted the #1 recreational lake in the country! If you love vacationing at the Lake of the Ozarks and find yourself here multiple times, year after year, you might consider purchasing a second home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Rather than searching for a hotel, motel or rental home each time you make the trip, you'll have a great place to stay every time you're here. You can even leave items such as watersports equipment, boating accessories, and common household items in your home to simplify travel and packing. Returning to the same place time after time can also be comforting; you're able to create a home away from home, a place you can be yourself.

2. The Advantage of Tax Deductions.

Being a homeowner has its advantages when tax time rolls around. Owning a second home can also offers some of those benefits. If your home sits unoccupied when you're not using it or if you rent it out for no more than 2 weeks per year, the interest on the mortgage and the property taxes are fully deductible. For tax purposes, you can treat the mortgage on your second home the same way you would the one on your primary residence. Talk to your tax professional for more information on the deductions you would be able to take as a second homeowner at the Lake of the Ozarks.

3. The Possibility of Rental Income to Offset Costs.

You aren't the only one that loves to vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks. Year after year, people from across the country vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks and need a place to stay. When you own a second home, you have the ability to rent it out to other vacationers. You can easily offset some of the expenses of owning a second home by renting it out during the times you're not using it. Depending on how often you use the home yourself, you might even be able to deduct operating expenses. Again, you'll want to talk to your tax professional about this. 

4. The Fact that You Have a Place to Retire To.

The Lake of the Ozarks is a great place to retire. From the beauty of the Lake to the exquisite golf courses and other activities available, this area has a lot to offer. Buying a second home prior to retirement enables you to experience the benefits of the area and makes it easier to move when you are ready to retire. A common retirement goal is to have a place of retreat, and the Lake of the Ozarks is the perfect place to sit back and relax!

 5. The Ability to Get the Entire Family Together.

If your family is spread out across the country, owning a lake home offers a great place for family to gather. The central location of the Lake of the Ozarks, along with all the recreational activities available, makes it the perfect place for family reunions and annual parties. You can create traditions that bring your family closer together. The memories made in your Lake of the Ozarks home are something you can cherish forever.

If you're in the market to purchase a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, Fran Campbell Team is here to help! We are your Lake of the Ozarks real estate experts, focused on giving you the best possible home buying experience. Our team has the knowledge, experience and dedication that it takes to get the results you are looking for! Give us a call at 573-302-2390 to start house hunting today!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!