Monthly Archives: August 2017

What to Expect When Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are your fairy god-parents when it comes to buying or selling property because their job is to keep an eye on the market to know where a house needs to be sold and which one is being eyed a lot by the buyers. Quite honestly, the average man does not know about the homework it takes to be a good real estate agent. Hiring one can significantly improve your chances of carrying out a deal in your favor.

Real estate agents work for both buyers and sellers.  Here is what you can expect from them under each case.

For Sellers

This is the faction where most of the real estate agents are employed. Essentially, the job of the agent is to place a price on the house which is acceptable in the market. You can expect your agent to know everything about your locality, the plot where your house/apartment’s building is located, and the traffic in the market for buying houses in your area. The level of competency of the services you get depend on you staying fully honest with him/her, because there is a chance that he/she will instruct you to carry out a few repairs before you put your house up for grabs on the market.

Payment

In the case of the seller, there is an agreed band that the agent and the seller follow according to which the agent states the amount of commission he/she will be taking if the house gets sold. In addition, there is a primary hiring fee that you will have to pay in order to get the services, but considering how you can expect a great result in the end, it is certainly an investment worth making.

For Buyers

This is the faction where fewer real estate agents are employed.  The main tasks of the buyers include searching for houses in the areas where the hirer wants one, bargaining with the sellers regarding the cost, getting the pre-approval letter for the house loan readied (if applicable), and informing the buyer about the condition of the house and any problems relating to the house or the neighborhood where it is located. Even though the number of real estate agents employed for buying property are quite less, because at the end of the day it depends on the purchasing power of the authority wanting to buy a house, the costs you can save in the short and the long run are certainly worth the effort of finding a good agent.

Payment

The buyer usually takes a fixed a percentage of the amount for which the house was sold, in monetary terms. Payment is rarely ever done in installments because once the documentation procedure is over and the place is handed over to the new owners, the job of the real estate agent comes to a close. In any case, you can expect the cost and wait to bear excellent results for you by the end.

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.

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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Buying and Selling During a Seller’s Market

Buying a home during any type of market offers many different demands of your time and resources.  There are times in which the situation may be more demanding of the buyers than others, one such time is during a seller’s market.  This is when the housing market is experiencing a low inventory of houses with an exploding population of buyers looking.

When you are looking for a new home and/or selling a home during a seller’s market you need to work with a local realtor that understand how the market for the home you are selling and looking to purchase work.  A local real estate agent can answer all of your questions and detail the local amenities, schools, and neighbourhood climates.  This allows them to highlight your property and answer questions that buyers have about your home.  The same is true of homes you are looking at.

When selling your home it is important to know exactly what the realtor is going to do for you.  What type of marketing will they offer?  How do they use social media?  Do they offer a responsive website design to feature your home?  These things are all crucial elements in developing a plan to market your home.

Agents must consider and completely understand the market that currently exists.  Buyer’s markets, seller’s market, and balanced markets are the three common real estate markets.  A seller’s market exist when there are several buyers competing for the identical home due to a shortage for housing options available for sale.  A buyer’s market exists when there is an abundance of homes available for sale.

For most people buying a home is the single most expensive purchase that they will make at any stage in their life.  For this reason it is a good idea to grasp the ins and outs of buying real estate along with the present day market situations before you begin the search for a new home.  It is however important to consider the market at the time and determine if the market is a seller’s or buyer’s market to see if this is the right time to buy or sell.

The real estate market is a perfect example of the economic principals of supply and demand.  When the supply is abundant and the demand is low the market is in favour of the customer.  On the flip side, when the supply is scarce and the demand is high the market is in favour of the seller.  Buying and selling during these market ups and downs is by no means impossible however it is important that you understand the challenges and limitations that can be faced during each.

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 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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