Posted tagged ‘buying a home’

Finding a real estate agent, and what they need to know

January 30, 2014

Real Estate Agent InterviewsNo matter what type of business you are in, referrals are what keep the business alive. The same is true for real estate agents. Even with a good referral or two, due diligence needs to be done when looking for the realtor who is right for you.

First, be sure to ask around. Find someone who has actually used a full-time real estate agent in which they had a great experience. There are many people who “know” someone in real estate, but that does not give you an actual reference as to how the person performs.

Also, each agent will have different services they offer as well as different information they may require from you. There is a certain level of developed trust that is needed prior to divulging sensitive information, so it is best to begin looking for your ideal real estate agent as early as possible.

In addition, if you are looking to build a home instead of buying one from an owner, an agent can still be a great benefit to you as you deal with the home-builder’s sales agents.

For more specifics on what to look for when undergoing a search for your real estate agent, click here to visit our resource page titled Buying Your Home – Working With a Real Estate Agent.

If you are looking to build, buy, or sell, and have any questions regarding the process, please contact Ideal Real Estate Group at any time, and let us help you find your way home.

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Whether buying or selling, do you really know what the home is worth?

How do you find the right home?

Buying a home – pricing, negotiations, and disclosures

January 16, 2014

Finding a bargain homeIf you are in the market for purchasing a home, do you know the difference between the home’s list price, sales price and appraised value?

If not, click here to check out this resource page for home buyers on our Ideal Real Estate Group website.

Another area home buyers wonder about is how to find bargain homes, how to be successful at purchasing a home below market value, and whether or not to put in a low-ball offer. Click here (the same page is linked above) to learn about five ways you can find and buy a bargain property, and find advice on submitting a low-ball offer.

Also found on the page linked above is another hot-topic you need to know about when purchasing a new home – contingencies. Make sure you are familiar with various contingencies that can be put in an offer to purchase a home.

Along the same topic, be sure you know what the seller’s responsibilities are on disclosures. Laws vary state to state, so it is always good to know your rights. Sellers should disclose everything that affects the life and budget of the new homeowner, which might include:

  • homeowners association dues
  • whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements
  • the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice, such as a dog that barks every night or poor TV reception
  • any death within three years on the property
  • any restrictions on the use of the property, such as zoning ordinances or association rules

To learn more, including more on negotiations tips, click here and visit Ideal Real Estate Group’s resource page to be informed and prepared for the road ahead as you consider purchasing a new home. We’re here to help you every step of the way!

Defining closing costs and the role of a title company for home buyers

January 9, 2014

What are closing costs and why do I need a title companyWhy are there additional closing costs when purchasing a home? Closing costs are the fees for services, taxes or special interest charges that surround the purchase of a home. They are a part of every home buying transaction and include upfront loan points, title insurance, escrow or closing day charges, document fees, prepaid interest and property taxes. Unless, these charges are rolled into the loan, they must be paid when the home is closed.

If closing costs are not rolled into the home loan, which typically isn’t done unless there is some kind of special provision allowing you to finance 100% of your home purchase (like the veteran’s home loan benefit), you still have options for lowering your up-front fees (like closing costs) of purchasing a home.

For instance, did you know you can negotiate your closing costs, or ask the seller to pay for your closing costs? (5 more tips on reducing your closing costs can be found by clicking here.)

Another consideration that is highly encouraged, and sometimes required, is that you include the cost of a title report in your closing costs. Why is this important? A clear title report ensures there are no liens placed against the prior owners or any documents that will restrict your use of the property.

The last thing you want after going through a new home purchase, is a contractor coming up to your door saying he has a lien on the property because of past-due renovation bills by the previous owner. This scenario is actually more common than you think, and a title report can help ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

These are just a few tips you will find on the Ideal Real Estate Group’s website, and you can click here to read more!

Why Sellers Shouldn’t Wait Until After the Holidays to List Homes

December 7, 2013

By ​Brendon DeSimone

With the holidays approaching, sellers often wonder if they should keep their properties on the market or take them off? Or if they haven’t listed their homes yet, should they wait until after the first of the year? Maybe hold off until spring?

Conventional wisdom used to be that you shouldn’t even try to sell your home during the busy holiday season. Potential homebuyers were too preoccupied with attending parties, cooking meals, buying presents or planning vacations. With all that going on, there just wasn’t time to ride around with a real estate agent, looking at properties.

But with the Internet, smartphones, tablets and our always-on lifestyle, that conventional wisdom isn’t relevant anymore. The reality is, the homebuying season is now year-round. Here’s why you should consider listing your home during the holidays, or even in January.

Today’s buyers never stop looking online: Serious buyers are always looking — and the holidays are no exception. They may check out the latest listings in a Zillow Mobile app before bed or while waiting for the kids’ school holiday show to start. Our hectic lifestyles also play a role.

Many serious buyers today work hard. They don’t shift into holiday mode until the last minute. Even during the holiday break, they’re still squeezing in work. There’s no such thing for them as “going off the grid.” So why not continue to monitor real estate listings, too?

The inventory — and the competition — is usually lighter: Despite our always-on lifestyles, many sellers still believe buyers can’t be bothered to look for a home between, say, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. At the same time, sellers who’ve had their homes on the market often take them off during the holidays. The net effect is that the inventory for good homes often tightens this time of year. So there’s less competition for sellers, at a time when motivated buyers are out there looking — and no doubt wishing there were more properties to see.

If you’ve been considering selling, are motivated, are flexible on timing and have a home that truly sparkles, after Thanksgiving there’s still a window of several weeks to get buyers into your home before the end of the year. And those buyers flipping through listings at their kids’ basketball game will be excited to see something new and awesome hit the market — especially if there’s a lack of good inventory in their area. These buyers will be motivated to see your home, regardless of what the calendar says.

Home not selling? Now’s the time to lower the price or change your strategy: If your property has been on the market for months, most buyers and their agents will see it as stale or overpriced and disregard it no matter how great it is or how light the competition is. In that case, it’s time to take action, and the year-end holidays can be a great opportunity to shift course. Dramatically reducing the price or overcoming some major obstacle that’s been preventing the sale might be what’s needed to sell your home.

If you received lower offers early on but weren’t ready to accept them, or you keep hearing there are issues with how your property shows, this is a good time to show the market you’re listening and are serious about selling. The motivated buyers, desperate for good inventory, will notice you and take a look. You might even get a sale closed before the end of the year.

Before you make any big changes, talk it over with your real estate agent, as always.

Don’t want to be bothered during the holidays? List in January: Admittedly, the thought of keeping the house clean, holding open houses and vacating to accommodate last-minute showings during the holidays is a deal killer for some would-be sellers. If so, consider listing your property after New Year’s Day.

Traditionally, not much inventory comes onto the market in January. It’s cold in most places, the leaves are off the trees and landscaping is dead. Many sellers wait until the spring instead, a more conventional time to sell.

January inventory is still very tight. And yet, each January, buyers call up agents, wanting to get into the market. Often, new buyers — with their fresh New Year’s resolutions to stop wasting money on rent and buy a home — are ready to jump into the market as soon as possible. Some buyers are motivated to search for a home in January because of year-end tax planning.

Whatever the buyers’ motivation, for sellers it means one thing: Demand for homes can increase at a time when inventory is traditionally low. And that means if you’re ready to sell, you’ll have an even more “captive” audience during the holidays, all the way through January.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Sandy Luedke.

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