Most frequent questions and answers
Throughout your relationship with your Digital Strategist, they are constantly gathering information about your project to provide the most accurate estimate for your project. The cost depends on the amount of time used to design and custom develop your project. We offer business-specific products to help keep the cost as minimal as possible, but custom design and/or development work is billed accordingly. We’re happy to figure out the best plan to make your website work for you!
We build all of our websites on a Content Management System, also known as a CMS. This allows you to make updates to your site without having to know any sort of coding language.
Depending on your business needs, we will make a recommendation for what will fit your needs best. Most of our clients tend to have websites built on FusionCMS because it’s a powerful yet extremely easy to use platform for our users. It ties in with many eCommerce systems as well to give you a full marketing platform. You can read more about it here.
While we love working with local businesses, we actually work with businesses all over the country and are happy to accommodate. Our team is happy to hop on conference calls, video chats, and do screen shares throughout the process so that we can interface with your team the best we can.
Your launch date will depend on the complexity of your website. Our usual turnaround is between 3-6 months, depending on our client’s ability to provide feedback, content, and the overall complexity of the build.
If you have a specific launch date in mind, your Account Manager will be happy to work with you in setting up a timeline to achieve it.
All of our sites are built with best practices and without bloated code, optimizing it for Search Engines. We also like to include SEO Audits in all of our website projects.
An SEO Audit consists of looking at your current keywords, SEO, and PPC strategy and seeing where you can improve based on traffic and content quality. The audit provides a plethora of information as well as installation onto your website and recommendations for strategy moving forward.
A website is more than just the physical appearance, it’s also the site architecture and the technology behind it, both of which may or may not be helping or hurting you in Google rankings and user experience. If you’re looking for just graphic updates or content updates that’s one thing, but if your site is not hitting industry benchmarks (like site speed, mobile responsiveness, content architecture, etc.), then it’s a good time to evaluate your options. Starting with a new website lets you talk about your business as it sits today but also where you’d like to be in the next several years. Modern websites have more functionality available to them to make updating and maintaining your website much easier in the future.
When you are resetting circuit breakers or changing fuses too often. When you turn on your air conditioner and the lights dim in the room. When your lights flicker or go on and off. When you can smell electricity burning. When you have six electronic devices going into one outlet in back of your electronics center. When you have receptacle outlets overburdened by multi-plug strips. When a three-prong plug needs a two-prong adapter. If you have to run extension cords to plug in electrical devices.
Most states call for 100 amps minimum, but with all the new electronic devices, air conditioning and electric heat, I would suggest 200 amps especially in new homes. This also gives you some space for future additions. This is not a job for an unlicensed person to attempt. In most cases it involves replacing everything from the service loop (this is the wire that extends from the top of your meter to the utility tie in ) up to and including the main panel.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step of the home buying process. Getting a pre-approval letter from a lender get the ball rolling in the right direction.
First, you need to know how much you can borrow. Knowing how much home you can afford narrows down online home searching to suitable properties, thus no time is wasted considering homes that are not within your budget. (Pre-approvals also help prevent disappointment caused by falling in love unaffordable homes.)
Second, the loan estimate from your lender will show how much money is required for the down payment and closing costs. You may need more time to save up money, liquidate other assets or seek mortgage gift funds from family. In any case, you will have a clear picture of what is financially required.
Finally, being pre-approved for a mortgage demonstrates that you are a serious buyer to both your real estate agent and the person selling their home.
Most real estate agents will require a pre-approval before showing homes – this is especially true at the higher end of the real estate market; sellers of luxury homes will only allow pre-screened (and verified) buyers to view their homes. This is meant to keep out “Looky Lous” and protect the seller’s privacy. What’s more, by limiting who enters their home, sellers are given extra security from potential thieves trying to case the home (like identifying security systems, locating expensive artwork or other high-value personal property).
From start (searching online) to finish (closing escrow), buying a home takes about 10 to 12 weeks. Once a home is selected an the offer is accepted, the average time to complete the escrow period on a home is 30 to 45 days (under normal market conditions). Though, well-prepared home buyers who pay cash have been known to purchase properties faster than that.
Market conditions are a major factor in how fast homes are sold. In hot markets with a lot of sales activity, buying a home may take a little longer than normal. That’s because several parties involved in the transaction get behind when business suddenly picks up. For example, a spike in home sales increases the demand for property appraisals and home inspections, yet there will be no increase in the number of appraisers and inspectors available to do the work. Lender turn-around times for loan underwriting can also slow down. If each party involved in a deal takes a day or two longer to get their work done, the entire process gets extended.
In sellers’ markets, increasing demand for homes drives up prices. Here are some of the drivers of demand:
- Economic factors – the local labor market heats up, bringing an inflow of new residents and pushing up home prices before more inventory can be built.
- Interest rates trending downward – improves home affordability, creating more buyer interest, particularly for first time home buyers who can afford bigger homes as the cost of money goes lower.
- A short-term spike in interest rates – may compel “on the fence” buyers to make a purchase if they believe the upward trend will continue. Buyers want to make a move before their purchasing power (the amount they can borrow) gets eroded.
- Low inventory – fewer homes on the market because of a lack of new construction. Prices for existing homes may go up because there are fewer units available.
A buyer’s market is characterized by declining home prices and reduced demand. Several factors may affect long-term and short-term buyer demand, like: Economic disruption – a big employer shuts down operations, laying off their workforce.
- Interest rates trending higher – the amount of money the people can borrow to buy a home is reduced because the cost of money is higher, thus reducing the total number of potential buyers in the market. Home prices drop to meet the level of demand and buyers find better deals.
- Short-term drop in interest rates – can give borrowers a temporary edge with more purchasing power before home prices can react to the recent interest rate changes.
- High inventory – a new subdivision and can create downward pressure on prices of older homes nearby, particularly if they lack highly desirable features (modern appliances, etc.)
- Natural disasters – a recent earthquake or flooding can tank property values in the neighborhood where those disruptions occurred.
Home shoppers pay little or no fees to an agent to buy a home.
For most home sales, there are two real estate agents involved in the deal: one that represents the seller and another who represents the buyer.
Listing brokers represent sellers and charge a fee to represent them and market the property. Marketing may include advertising expenses such as radio spots, print ads, television and internet ads. The property will also be placed in the local multiple listing service (MLS), where other agents in the area (and nationally) will be able to search and find the home for sale.
Agents who represent buyers (a.k.a. buyer’s agent) are compensated by the listing broker for bringing home buyers to the table. When the home is sold, the listing broker splits the listing fee with the buyer’s agent. Thus, buyers don’t pay their agents.
If the built-up equity in your current home will be applied to the down payment on the new home, naturally the former will need to be sold first.
Some home buyers decide to turn their current home into an investment property, renting it out. In that case, the current home will not need to be sold. However, your loan advisor will still need to evaluate your risk profile and credit history to determine whether making a loan on a new home is feasible while retaining title to the old home.
Buyers often have a short time frame to sell their current home when relocating to a new city because of a job transfer. If you are moving but taking a position with the same employer, check to see if they offer relocation assistance to help offset some of the costs.