Archive for the ‘Mortgages’ category

Is buying a home a good idea in November and December?

October 10, 2014

thanksgivingAs the holiday season approaches, based on my years of experience, the months of November and December are great for home buyers. The reasons for this appear to be:

  1. There are fewer buyers – with all the things going on around the holidays many buyers are simply too busy to focus on finding a home.
  2. Fewer buyers mean Sellers may be willing to deal – when homes stay on the market during the holiday season that indicates the seller is very motivated to close quickly.
  3. I find sellers are more willing to pay closing cost and leave items (like refrigerators) as part of the transaction.

So, if you are looking for a home during the holiday season, be sure to contact me and we will find the best place at the best price.

Are you Taking Advantage of Referrals?

May 13, 2014

How do you handle a referral? When someone gives you the name and contact information of a potential client, do you have a process? If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’re not going to take advantage of the referral.

Your Personal Network

Your Personal Network

Sometimes referred to as a “warm lead”, a referral is not an automatic sale. You must manage and nurture the potential client to prevent them from becoming another name in your client list. Here are five tips recently offered by Zillow.com to turn a referral into a client.

  1. Arrange an Introduction

Try to set up a meeting where the prospect, the person giving the referral, and you can meet face to face. Having everyone together is a great way to create trust, get to know one another and generate rapport which is the foundation for a strong working relationship.

2. Do Your Homework

Once you’ve met the referral, set up a time to discuss exactly what the prospect is looking for and how you can be of service to them. By understanding their “wants” and “needs” is a critical first step in determining exactly how you can best present solutions to meet those wants and needs.

Dig deep, many times people don’t know exactly what they really need or want, but they know what they don’t want. Build a picture for them. Be sure to ask follow up questions regarding what they’ve told you to help explain why they want a specific option or service. “Why is that?” or “Please explain?” are great ways to find out the why behind the want.

3. Assume Nothing

When you receive a referral, the referrer may try to tell you everything they know about the prospect. Don’t rely on this information as the only information you depend on as you move forward. You must get to know the prospect personally. Your relationship may well be completely different than that of the referrer and the prospect may respond completely differently in the context of your dealings.

  1. Don’t Overwhelm Your Contact

It is human nature to want to give the prospect everything they will need to make a decision right at first, but many times this will run them off. We want them to be well informed but remember too much at once can overwhelm and frustrate potential clients. Introduce important information each time you meet with them.

  1. Let Your Personality Shine

It’s quite likely that you received a warm contact through someone that knows you, or at least knows of you. They referred you for two primary reasons: your professional ability and your likability. You can prove your professional mettle in a number of ways — defining wants and needs, educating your client on the local market, and demonstrating your expertise in the buying/selling process. Showing your personality is sometimes more difficult than proving professionalism. It’s important to do though, as people want to work with someone they like. As a real estate pro, you’re used to reading people and understanding what makes them tick. Use that skill to “break the ice” early in the process. While you can’t force someone to like you, making an effort to be personable can pay huge dividends.

Once you’ve taken care of the referral, remember to take care of the referrer. You don’t have to fill them in on every single aspect of what you’ve done for the referral, but a few key points will help strengthen your relationship, especially if you tell them how much they have helped you succeed. Of course be sure to reciprocate with a good quality referral. Building your referral network will do more for your long term success than any advertising campaign.

When does a Buyer’s termination option really end?

April 17, 2014

In a recent blog post on the Texas Association of Realtors web site, asked this very question. When does a Buyer’s termination actually end?

ContractMany Realtors say the deadline is 5:00 PM of the last day of the contract but in actuality “TREC contracts and addenda do not specify a time-of-day deadline.” Further the post commented “The language of the termination-option provision allows for termination at any time within a specified number of days after the effective date of the contract. Therefore, a buyer may provide the notice to terminate up until 11:59 p.m. of the last day of the termination-option period.

The best thing to do, of course, is for all parties to avoid last-minute compliance with performance-of-contract obligations or requirements whenever possible to avoid controversy.

It must be noted that the blog has a legal disclaimer (which is repeated here for convenience):

“The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.”

“While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on TexasRealEstate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on TexasRealEstate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.”

To read the comments about the TAR article click on

https://www.texasrealestate.com/advice-for-texas-realtors/article/what-time-does-the-option-period-actually-end

Finding Design Help on the Web

April 14, 2014

You’ve lived in your home now for many years and its time to start making changes to make it more livable. Where do you go to start your design plans? This article introduces you to a couple of my favorites.

The first site to check out is Houzz.com.

Houzz.com offers great articles, idea books, Advice and weekly e-zine.  Design ideas vary from landscaping to building. This site is very visual. Every article is packed with images of finished projects. It is the perfect place to see what others have done. Check out an example article.

Ella Decor

Ella Decor

Another excellent design site can be found at ElleDecor.com. This site, like Houzz.com, has an eclectic array of ideas, concepts and examples. A word of warning, ElleDecor is much more of a typical web site with more advertizing but it delivers when it comes to Desgin and Decorating concepts.

These are just two of the many web sources to help you design that perfect yard, kitchen, or room. Check back regular for more home ideas.

Locking Your Mortgage Rate is Crucial

November 7, 2008

Trying to decide whether you should lock in your mortgage interest rate or rolling the dice to see if they’ll drop more?  Here a must read for you:

Written by Broderick Perkins

An interest rate lock is always a good idea in any market. But it becomes a better idea when it’s crucial to lock in an interest rate and other loan costs at a level you can afford.

A changing market — especially when the change is for the worst — is one of those crucial times. During the first half of 2008, nearly a full percentage point separated the high of 6.45 percent in recent weeks and the low of 5.48 percent in January, according to Freddie Mac.

Get off the interest rate elevator ride with an interest rate lock. A traditional rate lock is a lender’s guarantee that your mortgage will come with a specific interest rate, points, other costs and terms. Most locks are designed to protect home buyers from rising rates, but those refinancing can also benefit.

A rate lock’s terms include a specified period for the lock. If you fail to complete your home purchase or refinance before the clock runs out, and interest rates rise, brace yourself for higher costs. Those higher costs could come in the form of more up front cash to keep monthly payments in line with what you can afford or what you lender will allow.

With a refinance, if your home ownership isn’t at stake, you have more wiggle room and can wait out the market, take less cash out or otherwise cope. Of course, those refinancing to stave off foreclosure could also find higher rates, without a rate lock, to be just as problematic as for home owners.

In an up-and-down interest rate market, falling interest rates are another strong reason for a rate lock. If interest rates fall during the lock period you can’t take advantage of the lower rate unless you rewrite the lock at additional cost or include a “float down” provision in the original lock.

The “float down” option grants you a lower rate if rates fall within a given window of time. Again, unless specified otherwise, float downs stick you with the higher rate if rates rise during the lock period.

All these rate lock variations underscore the importance of being sure the language of the lock contract gives you the options you need, for a sufficient term.

Get it all in writing. It’s difficult to enforce a verbal agreement. The contract should lock should lock in the interest rate, points and other costs, where possible. The agreement should include your name; the lock’s effective date; lock cost; what terms are locked; the lock’s expiration date and time; and any post-lock options.

Lock as soon as you see the desired rate or “on application” — when you first apply for the mortgage — so that your rate is locked as you spend time getting the application approved. That’s particularly important if you barely qualify at today’s rates, and an increase would make buying unaffordable.

Of course, you can choose to set the lock on approval, especially in markets where loan applications are prolonged due to heavy demand for housing. In any event, the lock period should be long enough to allow for settlement, contingencies, and other potential delays. Locks average 30 days, but can range from 15 to 60 days.

Also consider:

 

  • Locks cost money. Shop around for both the terms of the lock contract and its cost, which varies from lender to lender. Some lenders want up-front lock fees. Others take them at settlement. There are non-refundable fees, flat fees, and fees based on a percentage of the mortgage, among the variations. 
  • Before choosing a lock-in period, determine the average time for loan processing. Ask your lender to estimate the time necessary to process your loan and verify the information with other realty professionals. If the loan doesn’t close on time, lenders can extend your lock for free, charge more for the extension or charge an additional percentage of the loan amount. 
  • Once you lock-in a rate, if you haven’t already, quickly submit the application and other required documents. You should have previously checked your credit report, prepared income, job, debt, asset and other documents to back up your application information. 
  • If you have a floater, it’s your job to keep an eye on the arket.   
  • ——————————————

    I have a very strong referral list of mortgage professionals that can answer all your questions in regards to this topic.  Please contact me if you have any questions on this information.

    Sandy Luedke                                                www.idealrealestategroup.com

    There is Money to Lend!

    November 7, 2008

    Hey gang!   I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that while all we’re are hearing from the media is doom and gloom in the financial and credit markets, there is business being done and money to lend out there for home buyers.

    Take for example people interested in buying a single family home or townhome in certain rural areas around DFW, TX (including: Corinth, Lake Dallas, Little Elm, Sanger, Justin and Ponder).  There is a lender in this area who has a program that allows for 100% financing, which is not credit score based and can even provide you with 6 months of no interest payments!  If this is an area you’re interested in, than by all means contact Kevin Harrigan today (@ Executive Home Mortgage) 972-355-4423 x222.

    So the key is, that this is a tremendous buyers market right now in most parts of the country, as home values are down and inventories are up.  It may be a bit more difficult to get a home loan as restrictions have tightened up, but if you have a solid credit score and good payment history, don’t think that it is not possible to get a mortgage right now.  That just is not the case!

    The current environment provides an excellent opportunity to pick up that ideal home of your dreams, that just a year ago might have been beyond your financial means, or to start to build a portfolio of rental properties that can fund your retirement or children’s college funds.  Get in contact with me, if you have questions on how that can be done with the least money out of pocket.

    Sandy Luedke-

    www.idealrealestategroup.com


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