Category Archives: In The News

What Are Real Estate Agents’ Hours Like?

When you have a home to sell or want to buy a home, you’re probably going to start wondering about real estate agents’ hours. If you’re like most of us and have an even mildly insane schedule—work, kids, you name it—meeting with anyone during normal business hours can be a serious challenge. So how hard is it to find someone who can work around your hours? And what type of hours does a real estate agent keep, anyhow?

Real estate agents’ hours vary

So what hours do they work? The simple answer: Everything depends on the agent. If you’ve looked for houses before, you know that most open houses happen on weekends around brunch time or into the early afternoon. That’s a time frame that most real estate agents expect to dedicate to their clients. Saturday at 8 p.m.? Not so likely.

Still, if your schedule allows you to view houses only on weeknight evenings, there is probably an agent out there who can accommodate you. You just have to look.

The 80-20 rule often applies when it comes to real estate agents, says Lee Dworshak, a real estate agent with Keller Williams LA Harbor Realty in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

“Twenty percent of the licensed agents out there are handling 80% of the sales,” she says.

What about the other 80%? They are agents most likely working part time, possibly around their kids’ schedules or a primary career. That means their hours are more limited, although they could coincide with the hours when you are available. Just ask.

Real estate agent Ashlie Roberson of Triplemint tells clients her office hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“That said, a great broker understands that this is an industry where we work around our client’s schedule, and we do what we need to do to provide the best service possible, regardless of what time it is,” Roberson says.

Communication is key

If you know your schedule is hectic, be sure to mention this to your agent before you start working together. Have a frank conversation about how well your times will sync up before you sign an agreement. This will ensure you’re not signing up for months of mutual frustration.

Roberson makes herself available for emergencies occurring beyond her office hours. But she says planning is crucial. So if you need to schedule an early-morning or late-night showing, be sure to bring it up well ahead of time. There’s no guarantee that your agent will be able to accommodate you, but providing notice makes it more likely.

The home you’re interested in buying might be occupied while it’s on the market, Roberson adds. “This just means there’s another party’s schedule you need to take into consideration. So there are a lot of factors that contribute to your schedule.”

To make the process work for everyone, you will need to be flexible, too. Keep in mind that this inconvenience is temporary. A little sacrifice of time now will pay off later. But the good news is, whatever your hours, there’s probably a Realtor who can work with you.

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/what-are-a-realtors-hours-like/

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Original Date: Sept 1 2017

FSBO Risks: 4 Scary Scenarios ‘For Sale by Owner’ Home Sellers Face

Going the “For Sale by Owner” route is a tempting alternative to hiring a real estate agent to sell your home. After all, listing agents charge a commission for their work that can eat into your own profits. So why not try to save money by selling your home yourself?

Here’s why: There are some major risks with going FSBO, from a lower sales price to landing in legal hot water. So before you pursue this DIY route, here’s a warning of some of the bad things you might encounter when you attempt a FSBO arrangement.

 1. Your listing won’t be seen by many buyers

One key thing a real estate agent will do for you is create an eye-catching ad for your home, with attractive photos and a winning description that will reel in buyers (by, say, playing up those hardwood floors and granite countertops). Sure, you can probably cobble together your own ad, but there’s one thing you absolutely can’t do if you go FSBO: Post that ad on the multiple listing service.

Real estate agents pay to put their listings on the MLS, which is then distributed far and wide, including to sites such as realtor.com®. Which is great, since that way you know your home can be seen by thousands of potential buyers and their agents. With FSBO, however, your home won’t go on the MLS; instead, it’ll go on sites that cater to FSBO listings, which get far less traffic.

“There are thousands of agents trying to sell your house when it’s on the MLS, but when you do it alone, only one person is trying to sell your house—you,” notes Realtor® Denise Briez with Pro100 in Neosho, MO.

2. Your home could sell for a much lower price

Pricing a home can be far more challenging than most newbies assume. The majority of sellers price their home based on emotions, or what they hope it should sell for in some dreamy best-case scenario.

“Often the seller is too personally invested in the situation and too close to be objective,” says John Powell, chief development officer at Help-U-Sell Real Estate in Tucson, AZ.

But buyers want a bargain, and they know when a place is overpriced. As such, listings with bloated prices tend to sit—and sit—on the market. Even if you eventually lower the price, buyers are likely to wonder at that point if there’s something wrong with your house since it’s languished on the market so long.

A real estate agent, by contrast, will provide an accurate home value based on a solid market analysis, plus serve as a buffer between you and buyers to facilitate successful negotiations and a resolution both parties can live with. This, in turn, means you can earn top dollar for your home—which means your agent will likely earn every penny he’s paid.

3. You could run into legal trouble

Selling a home is fraught with legal pitfalls that only a real estate agent will know. As such, when you choose the FSBO route, you could do something that skirts the law but not even know it.

“There are a lot of potential legal problems that can arise during home selling,” says David Welch, a Realtor with Re/Max 200 Realty in Winter Park, FL. “I would say disclosure requirements may be your most likely issue. Most states, maybe all of them, have requirements involving seller’s disclosure of defects in the property.”

Disclosure requirements vary by state, but might include information on lead-based paint, nearby environmental hazards or sex offenders, and even whether someone died in the house. If you know of such info but keep mum, you could be committing a prosecutable offense and have one highly irate buyer on your hands to boot.

4. You might end up with a buyer who doesn’t pan out

Even if your FSBO listing gets an offer that you accept, you’re not out of the woods quite yet. For one, buyers fall through or back out for all sorts of reasons. For instance, you might inadvertently choose a buyer who can’t get a loan, which means you’ll have to start back at square one.

A real estate agent will be your ally in confirming a buyer is pre-approved for the correct loan amount, and then will ensure there is an airtight contract in place so the entire process will proceed smoothly.

Due to the risks of FSBO homes, many sellers eventually realize they can’t afford to not hire a real estate agent. So make sure to weigh the FSBO trade-offs against your money, time, and peace of mind.

Original Source: http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/four-risks-fsbo-homes/

Original Date: Aug 16 2017

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7 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before Your Home Inspection Even Begins

What are some questions to ask a home inspector? Given this professional is charged with checking out a home for any flaws before you buy it, he’s an important safeguard who could protect you from purchasing a lemon—and squandering tons of cash in repairs.

Questions to ask a home inspector

So, how do you separate a great home contractor from a merely good one? It boils down to interviewing home inspectors to gauge how thorough a job they’ll do. To help, here are some of the best questions to ask. Bonus: This’ll also help you know what to expect! Knowledge is power, my friends.

1. “What do you check?”

“A lot of people don’t know exactly what a home inspector is going to do,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

It’s a lot! A home inspector scrutinizes a long list of more than 1,600 features on a home.

“We inspect everything from the roof to the foundation and everything in between,” Lesh says.

Going into the inspection with a clear understanding of what the inspector can and can’t do will ensure that you walk away from the inspection happy.

2. “What don’t you check?”

There are limits. For instance, “we’re restricted to a visual inspection,” says Lesh. “We can’t cut a hole in somebody’s wall.”

As a result, an inspector will often flag potential problems in the report and you will have to get another expert—a roofer, HVAC person, builder, electrician, or plumber—to come back and do a more detailed examination.

“Understand that we’re looking at what exists in the house today,” says home inspector Randy Sipe of Spring Hill, KS. “I can’t see into the future any more than anybody else.”

3. “What do you charge for an inspection?”

Home inspections usually cost between $300 and $600, though it will depend on the market, the size of house, and the actual inspector. Generally you’ll pay the inspector the day of the inspection, so you’ll want to know in advance how much and what forms of payment are accepted.

Lesh cautions against going with an inspector who quotes you a very low price. “That’s often a sign they’re having trouble getting customers,” he says.

Spending on a good inspector will more than pay for itself in the long run.

4. “How long have you been doing this?”

Or perhaps more important: How many inspections have you done? A newer inspector doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality, but experience can mean a lot—especially if you’re considering an older home or something with unusual features.

5. “Can I come along during the inspection?”

The answer to this should be a resounding yes! Any good inspector will want prospective owners to be present at the inspection. Seeing somebody explain your house’s systems and how they work will always be more valuable than reading a report, and it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications in the moment. If an inspector requests that you not join him, definitely walk away. Run!

6. “How long will the inspection take?”

Inspections often take place during the work week, when the seller is less likely to be around. Knowing how much time you’ll need to block out will keep you from having to rush through the inspection to get back to the office. You’ll get only a ballpark figure, because much will depend on the condition of the house. But if you are quoted something that seems way off—such as a half-day for a two-bedroom apartment, or just an hour for a large, historic house—that could be a red flag that the inspector doesn’t know what he’s doing, says Lesh.

7. “Can I see a sample report?”

If you’re buying your first home, it can be helpful to see someone else’s report before you see your own. Every house has problems, usually lots of them, though most generally aren’t that big of a deal. A sample report will keep you from panicking when you see your own report, and it will give you a sense of how your inspector communicates. It’s another opportunity to ensure that you and your inspector are on the same page.

Original Source: http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/questions-to-ask-a-home-inspector/

Original Date: Aug 1 2017

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8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t Buy a Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your first—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters might waste money on “magical” weight-loss pills or silly exercise equipment (remember the shake weight?), misguided home buyers could be doing far more serious damage—like undermining their ability to purchase a house at all. Don’t be one of them! We asked real estate agents to shed light on some of the dumbest reasons people can’t buy a home. The good news? These flubs are easily avoidable. Read on and beware.

Dumb reason No. 1: Waiting to line up financing

Your first step in the home-buying process should be to meet with a mortgage lender to discuss your financing options, says Benny Kang, a real estate agent in Irvine, CA.

“You don’t truly know what you can afford until you meet with a lender,” says Kang. In other words, just because you think you can buy a $1 million house doesn’t mean you can actually get a loan to purchase a home that nice.

Dumb reason No. 2: Using a fly-by-night mortgage lender

The mortgage industry is rife with scams—including a slew of fake or unreliable lenders. Placing your trust in a bad lender can cause a deal to fall through. That explains why “sometimes sellers reject offers because of the buyer’s lender,” says Philadelphia real estate agent Kathy Conway. To make sure your financing is rock-solid, ask your real estate agent for lender recommendations instead of, say, just Googling it. And read up to know your mortgage basics.

Dumb reason No. 3: Getting pre-qualified rather than pre-approved

Pre-qualification and pre-approval might sound similar, but they’re not. Essentially, anyone can get pre-qualified for a loan, because it only involves having a conversation with a lender about the state of your finances (no documents are exchanged). Getting pre-approved, meanwhile, involves the lender gathering all necessary documentation—your tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and more—packaging the loan, and submitting the file to an underwriter for review. If everything checks out, the lender will issue you a written commitment for financing up to a certain loan amount that’s good for up to 90 or 120 days.

When you submit an offer on a home, you’ll need to include a pre-approval letter from your lender, says Conway.

“Educated sellers won’t even entertain an offer unless the buyer has a letter of pre-approval” from a reliable lender, Conway says.

Dumb reason No. 4: Shopping outside your price range

“It sounds obvious, but some home buyers just have trouble sticking to a budget,” says Kang. Therefore, resist the temptation to shop online for homes that are simply outside your price range (i.e., how much you’ve been pre-approved for).

Dumb reason No. 5: Making lowball offers in a seller’s market

You need to rely on your real estate agent to determine whether a house that you’re interested in has a fair listing price. (Your agent will do this by performing a comparative market analysis, which entails looking at recently sold properties that are comparable to the house that’s up for sale.) If a home is priced well, it might make sense to offer full price, says Kang. Moreover, “if you’re in a seller’s market, making a crazy lowball offer can piss off the seller” and kill your offer, says Kang.

Dumb reason No. 6: Writing a bad personal letter to the seller

If you’re competing against other buyers, writing the seller a personal letter can help strengthen your offer. But Julie McDonough, a real estate agent in Southern California, says some home buyers are inclined to overshare, in which case a letter can actually hurt your offer.

“Stick to the fact that you love the house and the neighborhood,” says McDonough. “Don’t get into personal details” such as the fact that you’ve lost out on other homes or want to remodel the dated kitchen.

Dumb reason No. 7: Making a big purchase while in escrow

Some home buyers make the mistake of opening new credit accounts while they’re in the process of buying a house. But purchasing a big-ticket item like a car or a boat while you’re buying a house can jeopardize your financing. Why? Because your mortgage lender’s underwriter is going to re-evaluate your finances and recheck your credit report shortly before closing in order to determine that you’re still able to qualify for the loan.

“Even buying a fridge can throw off your credit or debt-to-income ratio,” says Conway. Translation: Don’t make any big purchases until after you close on the house.

Dumb reason No. 8: Not budgeting for closing costs

If you don’t have enough cash to cover closing costs, you won’t make it to settlement; and if that’s the case, you could lose your earnest money deposit. Thus, make sure to get an estimate from your mortgage lender of what your closing costs will be before making an offer on a property (currently, this is legally required—just make sure to read it).

Closing costs vary widely by location, but they typically total 2% to 7% of the home’s purchase price. So on a $250,000 home, your closing costs could come to $5,000 to $17,500. Both buyers and sellers usually pitch in on closing costs, but buyers shoulder the lion’s share of the load (3% to 4% of the home’s price) compared with sellers (1% to 3%), so you need to make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay your portion.

Original Source: http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/dumb-reasons-people-cant-buy-a-home/

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Original Date: Jul 11, 2017

Outlook For Spring 2017 Real Estate Market

The 2016 real estate market was quiet a success.  Interest rates were lower than they had been since the 50’s.  Home values exceeded expectations and an end was in site to the housing recession.  With the federal housing administration offering grants and low interest rate loans there was a monumental increase in first time homebuyers.  With this in mind there are some Real Estate trends to consider as we enter the spring real estate season.

Increased Home Prices

As with 2016, home prices will continue to rise however it will happen at a more gradual pace.  With the buying demand already starting 2017 at a rate that is above 2016 it isn’t a surprise that there will be an increase in the median home price.  Many industry experts expect the increase in home prices to be upwards of five percent.

Increase in Inventory

Interest rates are currently low.  In order to take advantage of these lower interest rates more and more renters are looking into purchasing homes right now.   The same is true of many current homeowners looking to upgrade.  The one disadvantage to this for first time home buyers is that the inventory of homes within the low to average price range is low and moving quickly when it does hit the market. The inventory of homes is expected to increase in 2017 but is still at a historical low.

Volatile Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates remain low even with the slight increase that occurred following the 2016 election.  This was only the second time that we have seen a rate increase in housing interest rates in a decade.  It is important to note that the Federal Reserve, who controls the rise and decline of interest rates, has stated that they expect interest rates to increase at least three more times this year.  Realize however that these rates even with a few small increases will still be less than we have previously seen.

Availability to Credit Will Improve

With a new president in office there is talk of rolling back many of the financial regulations that were put into place post-crisis in the Dodd-Frank Act.  This means that the regulations on lending the banks are currently under would be removed and less strict rules would take their place.  It is also speculated that the new president would make moves to return mortgage companies that are government-controlled to the private sector.

The spring real estate season is getting started in just a few weeks.  If you are thinking of buying a home or selling your home now is the time to contact a local real estate agent for assistance.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Attracting Home Buyers During The Hot Fall Real Estate Season

Autumn is literally right around the corner.  The kids are back in school, the weather is becoming a bit more bearable and there is downtime between summer vacations and the holidays.  There is no doubt why fall is the second best season in real estate especially when it comes to selling your home.  Not only do the colors start to explode amongst the trees, for sale signs also start to reappear.  Below you will find some of our top tips to help sellers attract autumn home buyers.

Shape Up the Landscape

In order to attract buyers a home must appear well maintained inside and out.  Make sure to take time to rake up fallen leaves and clean debris before it settles.  Overgrown vegetation should be trimmed including small bushes and large trees around the home.  Dead flowers should be cut down and prepared for next spring and vine growth should be eliminated to enhance the exterior of your home.

Create an Autumn Atmosphere

Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home for top dollar.  One way to enhance the feeling of warmth and fall is add a little bit of it to your home.  Take advantage of the beauty that comes from all things fall like corn stalks, pumpkins and mums.  Accent walkways and entrances to add to the fall appeal.

Window Washing

Everyone considers spring cleaning however the momentum often dies going into the fall season.  When looking to sell your home during the fall real estate season it is beneficial to thoroughly was dusty, streaked windows.   Clean off pet prints and wipe down window ledges.  The little details may not get noticed when they are on point but if they are left uncared for you can guarantee that buyers will take note.

HVAC Maintenance

Just as homeowners take time to have central air conditioning system evaluated at the beginning of the spring season, heating systems should be checked as well at the beginning of fall.  You will want your home to smell clean and dust free.  A dirty heating system says a lot about your home that you don’t want it to.  Replace furnace filters, have vents cleaned and do the yearly maintenance that needs to be done to ensure your system is running efficiently and clean.

Prepare Fall Edibles

The scent of fall is quiet attractive and should be used to your advantage during open houses and home visits.  Fresh apple cider smells, pumpkin spice cupcakes or leaf cut out cookies left out on the counter are all ways to welcome guests into your home.  People looking to purchase a home want it to be warm, cozy and inviting.  Make sure that appeal is what they feel when they first arrive.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Don’t Get Caught Up In Curb Appeal When Purchasing A New Home

When it comes to purchasing a new home many buyers get caught up in the visual aspects of the home.  This is a mistake that often hurts buyers.  Instead of seeing the potential in a home they are driven off by brightly colored walls or unconventional flooring.  In reality these aspects are easily changed.  Instead staging often fools buyers and they forget that beauty is only skin deep allowing them to forget about the costly realities like roofing, electricity, plumbing and foundation.

Real estate professionals often warn clients from making mistakes like this but fall on deaf ears.  To prevent the same mistake from happening to you consider the following when considering a home to purchase.  Even the ugliest of ducklings can have the makings of a castle given the shape of the homes foundation, roofing and a fundamentally strong structure.

Consider the shape of the homes windows.  Realtors stress that it is important for buyers to look at the external state of the windows over their age.  New windows that are installed incorrectly are far less attractive as older, sturdier windows that have been well maintained.  If the exterior of the windows are in good shape it is a great indicator of the condition and level of maintenance that the current homeowner showed the home.  If you push on the window and can easily push the window frame in at all then it means the windows are starting to rot.  If the windows are double hung and you can visually see any sort of condensation the windows are faulty.

The roof is also an important aspect when looking into purchasing a home.  An asphalt shingle roof has a life expectancy of between fifteen and twenty years.  If you are unsure of when the roof was last replaced it is best to have a professional roofer out to inspect any homes you are interested in.  A professional roofer will know what to look for to age a home roof.  Certain things buyers can see themselves such as if the roof has a bunch of missing shingles or if there is substantial curling that can be seen on the shingles.  These are all signs the roof will need to be immediately replaced.  If this is the case be sure to negotiate the expense of a new roof into the purchase price of the home.

Another item a buyer often over look is the homes electrical system and power sources.  Electrical wiring that is not done by a professional electrician leaves a lot of room for error.  Improperly ran electrical wiring is dangerous.  Check out the shape of the fuse box and test the circuit breaker to ensure that it is functioning properly.  Rewiring a home is a messy and expensive job to undertake.  It is often a job that new homeowners are not looking to involve themselves in.

In our next installment we will continue to look into the items often overlooked by buyers as they concentrate on the less important visual aspects of a home.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Buying and Selling During The Spring Season

Spring time in the north is one of the greatest times.  The landscapes are turning from brown to green, color is coming back to the skies, softball starts and home buyers eagerly start to look for a home to purchase.   There is no doubt about it; spring is the most popular real estate season.  No matter if you are looking to purchase or sell a home now is the perfect time to forge full speed ahead.  Below are some tips to assist buyers as they look to gain insight into the spring real estate market.

First things first:  Talk with a Mortgage Broker

Before you even begin to look at homes are meet with a real estate agent talk with a mortgage broker.  You must be able to secure a home loan to buy a home.  Sellers are looking for buyers who are preapproved.   Sellers do not want to waste time accepting offers from buyers who will not be able to secure a mortgage.  A pre-approval is valuable because it shows that the buyer will be able to obtain a home loan as well as a point of reference on how much the buyer can afford.  A pre-approval means that you are a serious buyer.  If a seller needs to choose who to enter into a contract with they will always go with the buyer that has already secured financial backing in the form of a pre-approval.

Secondly: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent is the next step in looking to purchase a home in the spring.   Get referrals from family, friends and individuals who have recently purchased a home.  After you get several names and numbers start by calling their office to schedule an appointment to meet to discuss what you are looking for, how much you have to spend and the needs verse the wants in the home you are looking to purchase.

It is critical when interviewing real estate agents you find someone that is not only experienced in local real estate but also one that is available to communicate with you in a productive manner.  Buying a home is the biggest financial decision in your life; you will want a partner to help you find a home that is in it for you and not just for the commission.

Check out the Neighborhood

Take time to look into neighborhoods that your real estate agent thinks best fit what you are looking for.  Drive by the area, check out the schools and such before ever stepping foot into a home.  Find several locations that you are interested in to help narrow down the search.  The last thing you want to do is spend day after day walking through home after home especially in areas that are of little appeal to you.  If you don’t love the neighborhood falling in love with the house does very little in getting you to the finish line and purchasing a home.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Tips To Find Your Dream Home This Spring

Spring is a great time to buy a home.  With the spring home buying season about to fully get underway there are a few strategies to keep in mind to ensure you find the home of your dreams within your budget.

Professionals within the housing market industry are anticipating a busy home buying season for 2016. The inventory is here, the market itself is stable and there are concerns that the interest rates on home loans have seen their lowest days are on the rise.

If you hope to be successful in the present market it is important to have a strategic plan in place to approach finding the home of your dreams.  Be prepared and incorporate the tips below when buying a home this spring.

  • Ditch The Computer

With over ninety percent of homeowner looking online for the home of their dreams it may benefit home buyers to look elsewhere.  Get outside; start canvassing areas in neighborhoods that meet your needs.  Work with a realtor to help narrow the window of area homes that meet all of your wants and needs within your budget.  Having a real estate agent that completely understands what you are looking for at the start of the busy spring season is a must.  They often have ties to homes going on the market, which you can preview before anyone else.  New homes hit the market quickly.  Get in, preview the space and make an offer before the seller is even prepared to list the home to ensure you the pick of the litter when it comes to homes hitting the market this spring.

  • Understand the Current Housing Market

Each housing market is a bit unique.  This is true of different neighborhoods, school districts, towns and more. The area in which you are looking is distinct and the housing market within will be exclusive to that space.  It is important that buyers understand the current housing markets of the areas that interest them and hire a real estate agent that fully embraces the concept.  The entire process can hinder on the uniqueness of the market in which you are looking.  Research and educate yourself before it’s too late.

  • Get Pre-Approved and Lock In Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have begun to fluctuate.  The economy of 2016 is different than that of years past.  We are seeing economic recovery, new construction and home remodeling increases and with that eventually come higher interest rates.  Mortgage specialists have indicated that they don’t expect these low mortgage rates to last into the summer buying season.

Mortgage brokers have indicated that all signs pointing from the Federal Reserve are that interest rates will begin the spring buying season low and will increase slowly throughout the season and into the summer buying season.  The concerns about heightened home prices and increases in rent will continue to exceed the increase of earned wages; before it is too late lock in a low pre-approved mortgage rate.

  • Construct a Dream Team

The spring home buying season can be competitive and fast paced.  With this in mind it is important that buyers have a team in place that allows them to make an offer on the perfect home at a moment’s notice.  Your dream team should consist of a professional real estate agent, a mortgage specialist with several lenders and loan options in place, a lawyer and home inspector.  With your pre-approval in hand you are ready to complete the mortgage process quickly once a property is found.  Eager sellers will often benefit from a quick sale and can compensate accordingly.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

The Perfect Time To Buy A Home Is Now

Do you think you are ready for the commitment of buying a home?  With the home buying and selling market that we are experiencing right now it is the perfect time to start looking.  Whether you are looking to buy your first home or upgrade the current interest rates and home market make it an ideal time to hire a realtor to begin your search.

A trusted realtor with experience in the local area is a must when you are looking to buying a home.  Some buyers are hesitant to use a realtor because they don’t want to pay the fees involved with using a realtor.  It is important to remember that the fees that realtors are paid, the commissions, are paid for by seller.  It is crucial that buyers remember that listing agents do not have their best interest in mind. They represent their client, the seller and their best interest.

No matter if you use a realtor to buy a home or not the commissions are paid by the seller.  Therefore not using one only allows for the sellers listing agent to be paid both sides of the commission.  Using an real estate agent that is savvy can help to protect your interests throughout the home buying process from negotiating the sale price to helping you navigate through the home inspection process.

Buying a home requires you enter into a legal contract.  One major difference in contracts dealing with the purchase of a home is that they are negotiable up until the time at which you sign on the dotted line to buy the home.  If you want time to review the home inspection report, time to obtain a well inspection or want to ensure that the sale is subject to a certain condition such as the ability to obtain a home loan this can be negotiated into the deal.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments that most of us will ever enter into.  With this in mind it is important to consider changes in your future before making a purchase.  If you are looking to start a family in the next two years buy won’t want to move again within that period of time it is essential you consider the additional member of your family in the purchase.  Consider the number of rooms in the home, the day care centers in the area, local recreation and all other aspects that are important to you.

When you buy a home you are making an additional commitment to your time.  You will need time to keep up on daily maintenance as well as future home improvements.  Find a home that meets the commitment level you are ready for.  If you don’t have lots of time for yard maintenance or exterior upkeep consider the purchase of a town home, condominium or home with significantly lower maintenance requirements.

An affordable home is important as well.  Take into consideration the amount you have to put down on a home, the interest rate you will pay, monthly utility payments and such before purchasing a home.  The cost of the home is essentially unimportant if you can’t afford to live in it.  All of these items should be added up and accounted for before fixating on a home of your dreams.  Affordability comes from more than just the initial cost to purchase the home.

An experienced real estate agent is invaluable to the buying and selling process.  They offer extensive knowledge of the process as a whole and therefore decrease the amount of stress that is usually associated with buying a home.  A great way to find a reputable real estate agent is to talk to family, friends and associates about their experiences.  Newer agents with less experience can still offer a reliable amount of knowledge to the process depending on your level of experience in home buying.  If however, this is the first time you are buying a home look to work with an agent that has been working within the industry for a significant amount of time.  Time in real estate improves upon the knowledge of an agent as well as the different number of situations they are familiar with.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.