Tips to Make Your Move Easier

If you're getting ready to move, this guide runs you through all the most important tasks so you don't miss a thing. Tips to Make Your Move Easier Check out the following sections to get a head start on your next move: Packing Hiring movers Preparing your pets to move Changing your address Here's a closer look at each. Packing Tips Here are a few tips to help you pack efficiently and effectively: Start packing items you won't need in the next week. Be thoughtful in your selections! Pack heavier items on the bottom of boxes. This helps your boxes stay intact and keeps your belongings safe. Label boxes with what's inside and which room they should go in. This saves you time dragging boxes from room to room later. Pack a survival kit of essential items for the first few days in your new home. You'll need entertainment for kids, medications, contact lens solution, toiletries and paper plates - plus whatever else you need to survive. Related: 15 home staging tricks that you can use to sell your home faster Hiring Movers If you're hiring a moving company to help you on the big day, these tips will help: [...]

By |2022-11-01T00:57:33-05:00October 17th, 2022|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Sellers, Selling Real Estate, Tips|Comments Off on Tips to Make Your Move Easier

How to Stage Your Outdoor Living Space to Sell Your Home

When you're selling your home, it's important to help potential buyers envision the lifestyle they'll enjoy if they make an offer you can't refuse. One way to do that is by staging your outdoor living space, so here are seven tips to make sure you get it right. How to Stage Your Outdoor Living Space to Sell Your Home Check out these seven tips to stage your outdoor living space in a way that makes buyers fall in love: Declutter and clean Spruce up your landscaping Bring in portable plants Define each space Add ample seating Choose comfort-themed accessories Use lighting to set the mood Here's a closer look at each. Outdoor Living Space Staging Tip #1: Declutter and Clean Remove everything from your deck, patio or porch that's not in use or doesn't contribute to the space's overall aesthetic. Put away all bikes, toys and outdoor accessories, too, so they don't distract prospective buyers. After you tidy up, it's time to get down to the serious business of cleaning. Scour the floors of your outdoor living space, wipe down handrails, clean the windows and power-wash the walkway. The idea is to make your space as clean as it was [...]

By |2022-11-05T05:34:23-05:00September 17th, 2022|Agent Blog, Blog, Buying and Selling Tips, Consumer Blog, Home Staging, How To, Sellers, Selling Real Estate, Tips|Comments Off on How to Stage Your Outdoor Living Space to Sell Your Home

What Happens After a Seller Accepts Your Offer?

Finding your dream home is incredibly exciting - and it's even more exciting when a seller accepts your offer. But what happens next? This guide walks you through the process that takes place after a seller accepts your offer, as well as what you need to do to prepare for closing. What Happens After a Seller Accepts Your Offer? Quite a bit happens between offer acceptance and closing day. Before you can move in, you need to complete the following tasks: Review your purchase agreement Hire a home inspector Get final mortgage approval Schedule your closing date Transfer funds and finalize documents Your real estate agent will be with you every step of the way, answering your questions and making sure you meet important deadlines. But in the meantime, here's a closer look at each so you know what to expect from the process between offer acceptance and closing. Task #1 After a Seller Accepts Your Offer: Review Your Purchase Agreement Your purchase agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the details of your home purchase, including price, contingencies, deadlines and more. After the seller accepts your offer, you'll need to review the agreement carefully with your agent to [...]

By |2022-11-01T00:59:26-05:00September 4th, 2022|Agent Blog, Blog, Buyers, Buying and Selling Tips, Consumer Blog, Sellers, Selling Real Estate|Comments Off on What Happens After a Seller Accepts Your Offer?

When Can a Seller Keep Your Earnest Money Deposit?

If you're like many people, you know that when you offer to buy a home, you usually include an earnest money deposit. But when does a seller get to keep it? This guide explains. When Can a Seller Keep Your Earnest Money Deposit? To understand when a seller gets to keep an earnest money deposit, you must first understand what an earnest money deposit is for. An earnest money deposit is cash that you give a seller to show that you're serious about making the purchase. After all, you're asking the seller to take their home off the market so you can buy it, but the seller doesn't have any guarantee that the transaction will actually go through. Usually, an earnest money deposit totals between 1 and 3 percent of the home’s purchase price. The reason this deposit exists is so that the seller has some form of compensation if you back out of the transaction without a good enough reason to do so. So what is a good enough reason? That's where contingencies come in. What You Need to Know About Contingencies Contingencies are conditions that must be met before a transaction can go through. Contingencies affect buyers and [...]

By |2022-11-01T01:02:33-05:00August 4th, 2022|Blog, Buyers, Buying and Selling Tips, Consumer Blog, Sellers, Selling Real Estate, Tips|Comments Off on When Can a Seller Keep Your Earnest Money Deposit?

Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

Last week we examined the evolving role of the real estate agent in light of changes happening across our industry. Technology is a major player in both how and why our industry is shifting. This week we’ll look at the role it’s played as well as how agents can harness technology to grow their businesses. Technology’s Impact Historically, agents have served as data providers for their clients—helping potential buyers find properties, guiding sellers through the pricing process based on home prices in the area, and more. But with the introduction of technologies like Zillow, Trulia, and even Amazon’s Alexa, consumers are being increasingly empowered with easy access to information. The power and impact of technology doesn’t end there. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the next big drivers of change with respect to automation and data-driven insights as well as products and services. And many transactions will be moving into the digital space, speeding up the home buying and selling process. For the smart agent, it’s time to pivot from fighting back against technology. Agents must embrace their new roles and harness new tools for greater efficiencies and sales. Smart CRM’s and the Power of Big Data CRM’s or [...]

By |2022-10-12T11:39:05-05:00August 24th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Buyers, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

Benchmark Realty Ranked Among Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Benchmark is excited to share that, for the fourth consecutive year, it’s been ranked on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies in America. With nearly seven million private companies in the U.S., only a small fraction of businesses makes the list by demonstrating consistent high growth. “Wow! Four years in a row!” said our CEO Phillip Cantrell. “Truly an outstanding recognition and accomplishment.  We feel deeply, deeply honored to be found in such rarefied company.”  Since 1982, the Inc. 5000 list has honored the journeys of the fastest-growing companies in America. It’s one of the most prestigious honors for growing private businesses and business leaders. Many companies who have ranked on past lists have become household names like Microsoft, Under Armour, Pandora, Chobani, Facebook, and more. “We have indeed been blessed. By circumstances, by loyal clients, by the hardest-working team in this industry, and most importantly, blessed by God to have achieved these successes,” Cantrell said. “We are grateful, truly humbled by this recognition, and looking forward to many more years of growth.” If you’re a real estate agent looking to make a change, now may be the right time to join ranks with one of Inc. 5000’s ranking companies. Find out [...]

By |2018-08-15T09:38:13-05:00August 15th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Benchmark Realty Ranked Among Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

As a real estate agent, building relationships is a part of the job—maybe even the best part. Connecting with other agents doesn’t just give you the chance to share stories, ideas and best practices, it also lets you build long-term friendships. That’s why we’ve introduced Group Therapy at 5:01 as a chance for real estate agents to connect with each other and potential vendors in a fun, after-hours environment. We meet at a chosen location around the Middle Tennessee area from once a month to once a quarter, depending on company schedules, giving attendees the chance to unwind and relax, with some talking business and others just having a good time. Though Benchmark agents can work out of any of seven our offices at any time, regardless of which office holds their license, it can be hard to get everyone together. Group Therapy at 5:01 has made it possible, drawing agents from across Middle Tennessee. So far, we’ve held meetings at Top Golf in downtown Nashville, Arrington Vineyards in Franklin and Urban Grub in 12th Avenue South (just to name a few). But Group Therapy at 5:01 isn’t only limited to the Benchmark community. We encourage all real estate agents [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00August 7th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

A House as Whimsical as the Man Who Owned It: A Look Behind the Walls of the Late Leon Russell’s Home

The former home of renowned songwriter Leon Russell is now on the market. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, Leon collaborated with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elton John, among others, before he passed in 2016. At 6,120 square feet, the home is a marvel. But its history goes far beyond its four bedrooms, customized elevator, and gargoyle anointed terraces. It’s a place of stories and life that was as magical as the man who last called it home. The house was originally built in 1992 for Dennis Linde, another prolific songwriter. Dennis was best known for the 1972 Elvis Presley Hit “Burning Love” but was also the mastermind behind songs recorded by many other artists including Roy Orbison, Tanya Tucker, Roger Miller, Don Williams, The Judds, Alan Jackson, Mark Chesnutt, and Garth Brooks. After his death in 2006, Dennis’ wife Pam knew exactly who should start their own chapter in this wonderful home. While they had never met the Russells, she felt that Leon was the right fit to continue the legacy of memories made there. Leon’s wife, Jan Bridges, recalls, “It felt like church—like a bit of magic.” She still remembers the first day they saw [...]

By |2018-08-03T09:29:58-05:00August 3rd, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on A House as Whimsical as the Man Who Owned It: A Look Behind the Walls of the Late Leon Russell’s Home

Nashville Among Top Cities for Home Appreciation

The Nashville housing market has been booming for the past few years, and in 2017 we reached the third-highest home appreciation nationwide, with homes growing in value at 12.5 percent on average. Homes sold for a median price of close to $225,000, compared to $200,000 in 2016. Why the growth? Nashville continues to be an “it” city, with people moving from higher-cost markets for better-paying jobs. To these buyers, our high prices are still considered a bargain, making them willing to pay more for a home than a local buyer. In the fourth quarter of last year, homes sold for an average of 51 percent more than what the sellers originally paid, which is even more than the highest profits during the last housing boom. While experts do expect the appreciation to slow, they don’t anticipate a crash. That’s because our growth has driven by demand rather than loose lending standards. Still, if you’ve been considering selling your home, now is the time, before the expected slowdown hits our market. Partnering with the right agent can help you get the best possible sales price for your home. Curious how much your home is worth? Tools like Zillow and Trulia can [...]

By |2018-07-26T09:40:34-05:00July 12th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Nashville Among Top Cities for Home Appreciation

Industry Insider Update: The Evolving Role of the Real Estate Agent

The real estate industry is changing fast. Just two years ago, Benchmark CEO Phillip Cantrell predicted the next five years would have more change than we’d seen in the last twenty, but it doesn't stop there. Now, the next two years may hold more change than the last seventy-five, and many unprepared agents are reeling. We’ll be sharing a two-part series looking at the two largest shifts in the industry and how savvy, professional agents can respond to them and use them to their benefit: the changing role of the agent and the impact of technology. Last year was a major turning point for our industry. Though traditionally relationships and referrals have played a significant role in building a client base, for the first time in history more consumers found agents online than via person-to-person referrals in 2017 (28 percent versus 23 percent compared to 2016’s 26 percent versus 33 percent). This—combined with a client’s ability to find relevant, accurate information on the homes in their market—signals a change in how home buyers and sellers view the role an agent plays in their transactions. Agents are no longer gatekeepers of information. Instead, to remain relevant in a quickly changing world, [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00June 26th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Industry Insider Update: The Evolving Role of the Real Estate Agent
Go to Top