Category Archives: Buying A Home

Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

When it comes to buying or selling property it is extremely important that you enlist the assistance of a real estate professional in the area you are looking to buy or sell the property. Regardless of whether you have some amount of real estate experience you cannot equal the knowledge that an agent that is from the area that you are looking at has of the local market.

 

When you find a local realtor that you think you might be interested in working with you should sit down and discuss things in order to select the best one for your needs. We put together a list of essential questions that should help you to glean all of the information from that you will be able to use to make your final selection.

 

10 Essential Question to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

 

How many years have you been in the area?

This is extremely important to get to know whether or not they have enough knowledge of the local community. If they don’t have many years of experience, this should give you a reason not to go with them.

How many clients are you currently working with?

Finding out how many people they are working with will give you an idea of how much time they could devote to your needs.

Do you work with most buyers as compared to sellers or vice versa?

If an agent works mostly buyers or mostly sellers, they may not have as much experience with the other and that could be an issue.

Is there a specific area that you cover?

Finding out up front if your agent is tied to a specific area can end up limiting you in your opportunities.

Does your agency use teams and are you part of one?

Knowing if your agent is part of a larger team is a good thing to know so that you know that you could be working with another agent at some point.

Are you able to handle a few of these unique situations?

Put together a list of unique situations and see how they respond to each specific situation.

How do you prefer to handle communication with your clients?

It is a really good idea to find out right off the bat how you will be communicating with your agent.

 Do you have a rapport with some of the local professional groups?

It is really important for an agent to have a really good working relationship with the key vendors that work in the areas related to real estate.

Can I get 3 references with contact information?

It is always important to get references so that you can find out what other people who already worked with think about them.

Do you have any questions for me?

Last but certainly the least, ask if they have any questions.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

 

Real Estate Tips for Buying Homes on the Water

Living near the water is a dream for most people. It is peaceful and tranquil.  Most often home on the water are away from the city’s utter over population. There is a level of calm that always exists along with a view that is spectacular every time of the day. Living on the water also means more privacy as your house is not blocked by houses stacked one on top of each other.  Water front homes are directly in front of the open water. Which allows you to take part in water-related activities such as swimming, water skiing, fishing, boating, ice skating and more.  Waterfront homes also retain their value better than most other types of real estate.

Often lake homes are more difficult to buy and harder to negotiate than a land-locked property. Here are some tips from professional real estate agents to keep in mind when looking into buying waterfront property.

  1. Finding a Real Estate Agent That Specializes in Waterfront Homes

Many real estate agents do not have the expertise and knowledge it takes to purchase waterfront properties. As a home buyer you should always look for a real estate agent who specializes in lake front property as they would have a better understanding on the pros and cons of different waterfront properties.

  1. Focus on The Property

Don’t just buy a home on the lake to say you have lakefront property.  Many buyers are disappointed on their home once they have moved in when they realize the homes pitfalls.  The basement may leak, the view may not be what you wanted, it can be muddier than you are wanting to deal with or many other issues may exist that you took for granted being focused only on getting a home on the water.

  1. Taking Out a Home Loan/Mortgage

Lake homes are often more pricey than other types of property.  Buyers looking to purchase a home on the water are advised to investigate mortgage preapproval sooner than later.  Lenders often consider the most eligible and credit worthy buyers.  With pricey water front property, it may take longer to work out a loan agreement between the lender and the buyer.  It will be important for the lender to be sure that the buyer has considered the cost of insuring a lake front house as well.

  1. Focus on The Structure of the Home

Properties in front of the water receive more abuse from added elements.  It is suggested that extra measures should be taken to protect the property. For example, using stainless steel locks or storm shutters.  The homes structure should be thoroughly inspected to make sure that there are not signs of any structural damage which could destroy the integrity of the home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

For Sale by Owner Vs. Listing by Agent

Let’s say, for example, you’ve done a great job building your nest egg, then you see a lakefront property for sale by owner sign, would you be confident enough to consider buying the property or would you rather buy a home for sale listed by an agent? Many buyers do not consider for sale by owner homes because they prefer working with a real estate agent who can cut through a few red tapes on their behalf.

When you are new to the home buying or selling game, it helps to have professional by your side who will do more than guide you through the process. Having a house for sale listed by an agent has proven beneficial to many homeowners because for starters, a listing agent has connections and they will know where on the countless websites to list your house, how to up-sell it and how to find cheaper ways to advertise the property.

Also, since you can easily underestimate the value of your property, a listing agent can provide an accurate home value based on a complete market analysis for the right listing price. Realtors are pit bulls when it comes to networking, negotiating better sale contract terms, and preparing intricate and often lengthy paperwork on a client’s behalf. They don’t quit until they make a sale and a homeowner is satisfied.

Realtors know how to present your home to buyers to sell it at top dollar.  Most of us don’t have the eye for detail that real estate agents have especially when it comes to staging our homes.  Real estate agents know what should head into storage and what can stay on display.  The way that your home is presented can matter a great deal to the overall asking price you will receive.

Another benefit of having a real estate agent working on your behalf is that they will help negotiate up until the homes closing date.  You may think once the deal is signed and agreed upon it is over however this is not the case.  After the homes inspection has been completed often buyers will come back to the table with issues that they want the seller to take care of before they close on the home.

This aspect of negotiations is best sorted out between realtors.  Buyers often over estimate the cost of repairs that are needed to the home that they are about to purchase.  This often occurs because of the anxiety that is felt when making decisions of this magnitude.  Real estate agents on both sides have experience that will allow them to make a decision that is best for both parties, wrap up negotiations, and close on the home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Spring is Here: It’s Time to Put Your Home Up for Sale

If you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale, now is the time to do it. Spring has always been known as the best time to sell a home because buyers are eagerly looking to make a purchase that allows them to be settled before summer is here. The weather is warm but not hot, people are out and about and are much happier than any other time of year.  This makes it an ideal time for buyers to look for new homes during this time of year. The real estate market is a year-round thing, but spring really sees a lot of movement in terms of interested buyers. Here are a few more reasons why you’ll want to put your home up for sale this spring:

The Newness of Spring Makes Your Home Look Better

A huge reason why you should put your home up for sale in spring is the fact that the warm weather, the green grass and all the flowers are blooming so potential buyers really see the beauty in your home. Spring’s many factors really set up a pretty view of your home that ups the curb appeal and attracts buyers.

The Days are Longer and There Is More Sunlight

Because there’s more sunlight during spring, which means potential buyers have more time to view your home than in winter. You can have home eyeballs look at your home throughout the day and this only increases your chances of selling your home fast!

Closing Corresponds with The End Of The School Year

If you have kids, chances are you want them to close out the school year at their current school. If you sell in the spring, you’ll most likely close right around the time school finishes, which mean no interruption in their school studies. And they’ll be able to start the new school year at a new school.

Tax Returns Lend to Higher Down Payments for First Time Buyers

Spring is usually a time when first-home buyers start looking for home since they’ve just done their taxes and have more money to use for their down payment.

More Buyers Equals Possible Bidding War and Higher Prices

Selling in spring will increase your chances of getting the most bids for you home with the highest prices. There are been plenty of research that shows the first two weeks in May have higher returns on houses than any other time of year.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

 

When Should You Make an Offer Below Asking Price? 5 Clues It’s Time to Take a Gamble

Homes are expensive, and getting even more so every day. (Also, water is wet and the sky is blue!) Making an offer over asking price—sometimes by absurd amounts—has become a harrowing norm for today’s buyers.

But even as the market rockets upward, there are always those buyers. You know the type: You visit their new home for a dinner party, and halfway through the meal, they lean over to whisper in your ear.

“We got a killer deal,” they say. “Under list price.

Then you proceed to silently hate them forever. Because. Homes. Are. Expensive.

But getting an awesome deal on a house isn’t impossible, even in a hot market. If you learn to read the signals, you just might find sellers who are amenable to an offer below asking price.

To be clear: Real estate pros warn against extremely lowball offers (typically more than 15% below listing price) because you might offend the sellers—even if the home’s been on the market for months. Strategize with your agent to determine both how far under listing price you’re comfortable going, and what you think the sellers might respond to.

Not sure where to start? These five signs will help you determine when the time is right for a low offer.

1. When the seller wants out

Not every seller wants to wait for an over-the-top, so-much-money-it-takes-your-breath-away offer. Some homeowners want to sell quickly, and they’re willing to accept lower offers to do so.

“Submitting a lowball offer has more to do with circumstances than the actual property itself,” says Than Merrill, a real estate investor in San Diego. Lowballs “grow increasingly attractive to homeowners the more desperate they become to sell their property.”

A little bit of sleuthing by you and your real estate agent can go a long way in figuring out the sellers’ motivation: Have they recently gone into default on their loan? Are they trying to move to a new state for a job, or to take care of elderly relatives? Did they inherit the house but don’t have any interest in the real estate game?

“If you can identify what the seller really wants or needs, you may be able to negotiate a better deal,” Merrill says. “You never know until you ask.”

2. When the home is blatantly, obnoxiously overpriced

Just because a home is expensive doesn’t mean it’s overpriced—it might be worth every penny. But sellers do often get an inflated sense of their home’s value. And those homes can languish on the market.

Enter: You and your below-asking offer.

Work with your agent to look at the comps for your area, and find out what other homes are selling for. If there’s one that makes you say they’re out of their damn minds, it might be ripe for a low offer.

“You may in fact be the only offer this frustrated and anxious seller has seen yet,” says RJ Winberg, an agent in Orange County, CA.

3. When you’re not picky

Maybe you have a flexible wish list. Two bedrooms, three bedrooms—more space is great but you really need only one, right? Perhaps you care only about how your house looks on the inside. Or maybe you’re planning a full renovation no matter what you buy.

If all you care about is price, don’t feel bad throwing below-asking offers left and right.

“Most buyers are going all-in and looking for their dream home, but some buyers are more concerned about whether or not they’re getting a good deal than how ideal the actual house is,” Winberg says. “If you go around making lowball offers on every home you could conceivably see yourself living in, chances are you will eventually find a seller who will entertain your offer.”

4. When the home has hopped on and off the market

Keep your eyes peeled for a home that’s been on the market, then off, then on again. This home might be a prime candidate for your low offer. After all, imagine the seller’s irritation: Listing a home can be an arduous process, filled with open houses, surprise showings, and negotiations—only to have the buyer back out at the last minute.

“This often means that the seller is getting frustrated with the process of being on the market and may be more open to accepting a lower offer, just to get through the process,” says Klaus Gonche, a Realtor® in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

But before you make an offer, see if your agent can get some intel: It’s possible there’s another reason the sellers are listing and relisting their house—such as they don’t actually want to sell.

5. When the home is outdated

Elizabeth Gigler, an agent in Naperville, IL, has three requirements for going in low: First, the home must have been on the market for more than 60 days. Second, the home must have old mechanicals. (Updating a vintage HVAC system could cost thousands of dollars—meaning that a low offer is entirely justified.) Third, the home “is completely outdated,” she says.

That ’70s-era burnt orange shag carpeting isn’t anyone’s style these days. The sellers might presume they’ll get full asking price without swapping in something more neutral; however, they might change their tune after a few months on the market without any offers.

That’s when you swoop in with a low offer—and get yourself a killer deal to brag about at your next dinner party.

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/when-to-make-offer-below-asking-price/

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Published Date: May 17, 2018

Spring is in The Air: What to Look for When Buying a Home

Spring season is house-hunting season. It is time we leave our wintery slumber and decide to get going.  The sun is shining, the ice is melting, and everything appears shiny. If you are considering buying a home during the spring season, know very well what problems tend to show up after a long winter before making that offer.  It is crucial that buyers looking for a new home seek out the assistance of a real estate agent.  A professional realtor assists throughout the buying process in a number of ways including a pre-check for damage prior to the offer and inspection process.  Real estate agents are helpful in spotting common issues that can appear in homes after the spring thaw including:

Water Damage:

When snow melts the running water often can enter into basements, crawlspaces, or cement foundations.  If this occurs, it usually shows up in the form of yellow patches on inside walls or bulging paint patches.  These are not often spotted by excited homebuyers however real estate agents are well trained in finding these smaller issues that can easily be covered during the viewing process.

External:

It is crucial to thoroughly examine the exterior of the home when viewing homes.  Peeling paint, cracks in the siding, and an abundance of mold can be indicators of structural issues throughout the home.

Out of Sight:

Real estate agents will always have homeowners check out the crawlspace, attic, basement, and utility rooms.  These are the areas within a home that often conceal water and mold issues because these areas are often given less care when sellers are getting a home ready to sell.  However, the bones of the home need to be examined.  It is important to take a deep breathe in each of these areas to make sure that you are not catching notes of musty smells that can indicate moisture is getting into the foundation framing and insulation.

Roof Inspection:

Snow, sleet, and rainwater can cause havoc on roofs, especially when shingled with asphalt shingling. Although it may seem just a little silly, a set of binoculars should be used by a real estate agent or home buyer when going for a home viewing.  These can help you get an obvious look at the situation above the gutters. Cracks and curling could indicate the shingles need to be replaced.

Knowing potential trouble spots when buying a home before making an offer, paying for an inspection or worse yet moving in will help to make sure that home buyers make the best buying decision possible.  This is one of the reasons it is so important to use a real estate agent when buying or selling a home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents, call 734-426-6060 today.

7 Ways To Prepare For Buying A Home

If you’re looking into buying a home soon we recommend that you prepare a few things before you make the big purchase. Buying a home is a huge decision and the process can be quite complex especially for first-time homeowners.  It’s best if you can be as prepared as possible with these few things first:

  1. Saving for a Down Payment and Closing Costs

Buying a home isn’t cheap and will take a huge chunk of savings for the down payment. Although many would love to own their own home, not many do because they can’t afford such a large down payment. Ideally, you should have been saving for your home for a couple of years. The good news is that there are a number of different loan options you might qualify for without even having to come up with the usual 20% it takes for a conventional loan. It is important to look at your budget and speak to a professional mortgage broker and real estate agent before starting to look for a home.

 

  1. Obtain Your Credit Report

In order to get the best loan out there it helps to have a pretty high credit score. This will get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage. You should have between a 670 FICO and a 730 FICO, which is ideal for getting the best interest rates.

 

  1. Hire a Realtor

The key to finding your home is having a good real estate agent which should be a priority for you when you are first embarking on the journey to owning your first home. Ask family and friends for recommendations or look for local agents in the area you would like to buy a home in.

 

  1. Consult with a Mortgage Broker

Usually, your real estate agent will recommend you a mortgage broker that they work in conjunction with. But if not, you’ll have to find one that will help you with your loan to buy the home. They’ll get you prequalified for a home and then help you through the entire process.

 

  1. Research Local Neighborhoods

Doing a bit of research will help you find your dream home which is why you need to narrow down the different neighborhoods you are interested in and see the price range that the houses are going for.

 

  1. Wants vs Needs

Going out and seeing the actual homes is the fun part but before you go out and do that you’ll need to decide on a list of things you’d like your perfect house to have. This way you’ll be able to search homes that have everything on your list instead of wasting your time looking at every home on the market.

 

  1. Strategize

Sit down with your realtor and figure out a home buying strategy so that the entire process runs seamlessly. Are you looking for a fixer upper or maybe you’ll want to write contingent offers? Your real estate agent can help you figure this all out so that there will not be any surprises.

 

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

5 Ways A Realtor Makes Buying A New Home Easier

A DYI house hunting project may seem like a good idea at first. You have a few ideas of what your dream home should be, so you decide to enlist a friend who knows your personality, your style, likes and dislikes, etc. You have a camera and measuring tape in hand, comfortable shoes on, but it dawns on you that you don’t really know where to start.

Buying a new home can get very emotional and challenging to say the least. It helps to have a realtor working on your behalf to simplify the process and to answer some tough questions that often surface. Consider the following ways a realtor can make buying a new home easier for you:

Neighborhood Knowledge

No one knows a local area better than a realtor, whom among other things, has reliable pricing information, they know why a neighborhood has a high distressed rate including neighborhoods that can suit your price range. Only a realtor can narrow the focus to the top two or three homes for you to consider within minutes.

Code of Ethics

If your realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), he or she will make a full disclosure of any problems with a property and be truthful when advertising it. They know that giving you false or misleading information when you are trying to buy a new home may lead to a hefty fine and a year’s suspension or a three-year expulsion from the association.

Finding Available Homes

Some homeowners want to sell their property privately due to financial difficulty, health issues, or from a divorce matter that needs privacy. Such homes are rarely advertised on websites, and sometimes they sold for a lot less. Working with a great realtor can give you access to homes you might otherwise miss on websites.

Pricing Expertise

Realtors have the experience to know whether a specific home is overpriced or underpriced. They can provide you every relevant information on all the houses on sales that you want to see and will advise you on how well a neighborhood holds its value through their years of carrying out various transactions in different neighborhoods.

Assessing Repairs and Handling Paperwork

Once you have your eyes set on a home, a realtor can recognize a few things that you may not see that need upgrading or repair and they can recommend a reliable home inspector who will provide a detailed report on problems with the house before you make an offer. They are also able to help you determine which of the repairs are worth spending money on and which you can comfortably live with.

A realtor will save you a lot of time and headache of finalizing all the necessary documentation. Thanks to their years of experience, they know the paperwork inside and out, and they remain levelheaded in tough negotiations.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

Nine Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be as exciting as it is demanding. Home ownership is a huge part of the long-term goals of many individuals especially as it provides much needed space for growing families. However, it is important to give this plan some thought as there is no time given to “think about it” after the purchase and there is no refund policy for you too. Hence, you must ask yourself the right questions, so you do not end up making costly mistakes. Here are nine practical and important questions you must ask yourself before you buy a home.

Why am I buying a Home?

This is arguably the most crucial question you must ask yourself as it is vital before you begin considering your options. Do you wish to buy and rent it? Are you going to live in it? Finding answers to these questions will help you determine the size of house that you would purchase and the loan structure that best suits the purchase.

What are your Long-term Career Plans?

Although you may have factored in the financial implications of a home purchase and consider yourself ready to buy a home, your career path may be an obstacle. If there is a chance you could be transferred from your current office location in the next few years, it may be ideal to reconsider your options.

What Kind of Neighborhood do you desire?

While your current situation – nature of job and age could play a big factor in deciding your choice of neighborhood, you might want to consider other factors such as the ease of access to public parks, the quality of local schools, and any other relevant environmental factors if you are thinking about starting a family in few years.

What is the nature of the house?

It would be near impossible to get the perfect house upgrade. The beauty of the wood floors or the amazing nature of the bay window may seem attractive, but you must really take a hard look at how outdated the apartment is and how much time you would invest if you engage in DIY projects yourself. This will help you avoid purchasing a home you could regret in future.

How much Utility can you reasonably afford?

Although your usage will largely depend on your family size, identifying the utilities you need to pay, and all the costs associated with moving into a potentially larger home will help you in making a wise decision.

Are there any environmental issues in the neighborhood?

Look out for any polluted sites in the area that may contain hazardous materials or any other contamination that could lead to emission of unhealthy fumes. You can make use of the Environment Protection Agency website to identify such areas.

What is the Security Situation?

You may be satisfied with the nature of the house and the local schools; however, you must consider the security of the area. In many cases, realtors may not inform you about every detail concerning the crime rate and overall security situation of the area. It is recommended that you contact the local police, ask for relevant security statistics and decide.

What would your Work Commute look like?

Have you found the perfect house already? Your work commute in the morning and evening should play a big part in your decision and if you find out you cannot bear the commute; the house is not one for you.

What is the Condition of the Drainage?

It is understandable for you to fantasize about the patios and visually pleasing lawns. However, the gutters are usually expensive to take care of when there is a problem. When it rains, does water pour over the gutters? Are there functional gutter guards in place? What is the proximity of the water emptying system to your house? These factors are crucial as you take that big step.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

What your Buyer’s Agent Will Do for You

Are you considering the purchase of a new home?  Buying a home is never a simple task.  In order to purchase a home there are a number of elements that go into it.  One thing for sure is that you must have the cooperation of the individuals currently in possession of the home you are looking to buy.  Usually sellers have listed their homes with a seller’s agent as they are looking to find a buyer, so this part is usually a fairly simple part of the process.

Buying a house can be a very taxing and time-consuming process.  It can end with its fair share of problems as well if you don’t choose the right buyers agent.  To decrease the stress that comes along with the buying process, hiring a buyer’s agent is what you need to do. A good buyer’s agent ensures that you buy a house at the best possible price and with minimal exertion.

What does a buyer’s agents do?

Agents are essentially the main broker in such operations and deal in every aspect based on their client’s wishes. Hence, agents must have a great knowledge of everything related to houses, including marketing trends, street smarts, and thorough information about all the areas with houses for sale. Agents are the ones to initially advise you about the kind of property you should look for based on your wishes. After that, the buyer’s agent looks for houses meeting the requirements that their clients have expressed.

Real estate agents must have thorough knowledge of all the locations in which houses are for sale and must have a grab of the market trend prevalent in those areas. While dealing with the sale of the property, the agent is the one who talks and deals with the owners of the property, while representing the wishes of their clients. It is a buyer’s agent’s duties to make sure their client purchases the house they want at the best possible price and with the least hassle.

What you should expect?

It is important that buyers work with reputable agents since agents get a cut out of every single successful deal, they may often try to swindle you by brokering deals without disclosing all the details to you. Worse, agents might end up cheating you out of all the money you are entitled to with charges they might not have told you about before. Not all buyer’s agents are like this, with many being honest and highly efficient at their work. It is your job as the buyer of a home to find an agent that is dedicated to your needs.

Finding the Best Agent

It is necessary to hire the best possible real estate agent you can find. It is advised to always look for agents or real estate agencies that have a very good reputation in the market and a good reputation with previous clients. You need to thoroughly search for the real estate agent that works best according to your needs. Often you can easily tell the intentions of any agent at the very first meeting if you go with the intention of judging them. Many real estate deals end up in legal battles because of agent discrepancies, so make sure you buy the best possible buyer’s agent. A good buyer’s agent makes sure that you buy a house at the best possible deal while feeling the least stress during the process of buying a house.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.