Monthly Archives: October 2017

5 Things that Every First Time Home Buyer Must Know

Congrats to you if you have made the decision to buy a home for your family. You will be fulfilling the great American dream and also creating an asset for yourself. Buying a home involves major financial transaction. You do not buy homes every now and then. Any mistake or negligence on your part can not only cost you dearly but also make the procedure tiring and tough for you.

Here are 5 things that you must absolutely know about before buying your first home:

  1. Know how much of a home you can afford

Many individuals become excited after landing a decent job. They are in such a hurry that they start conducting search for a home without knowing how much loan they can get from a bank based upon their financial statements. You are only wasting your and your realtor’s time if you do not know how big a home you can afford to buy.

  1. Location is crucial

Every first time home buyer needs to make an assessment of his requirements. This allows him to shortlist neighborhoods on the basis of amenities available, ease of transport, lifestyle, and the requirements of the family. It is no use starting on your search with your realtor without knowing what you want in terms of location of the house.

  1. Keep in mind your budget

You have saved a small amount of money to be given as down payment to the bank. You can easily calculate the price range in which you can buy a home for your family on the basis of this amount. Do not forget to keep aside money to meet the closing costs as well as the fees of your agent. It becomes easier to see houses that fall within your desired price range and politely refuse the request of your agent to see more expensive homes. Ask yourself if you can bite more than you can chew and you will stay on track when searching home for your family.

  1. Are you ready to pay the EMI’s?

Just because you have some money in your saving account does not mean you will be able to easily afford the monthly repayments to your lender. See what the monthly amount that you can pay comfortably is. Do not commit to until you feel you are ready for this kind of a commitment. Buying a home is easier than repaying monthly installment for a long time period of 20-25 years. Understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage clearly before signing the contract.

  1. Pump in as much down payment as you can afford

Your Down Payment Matters

Money spent on down payment should be considered as a wise investment and not as an unnecessary expenditure. You should offer to pay as high a down payment you can possibly afford to get a lower rate of interest and the confidence of the lender. Some individuals make the mistake of holding on to their savings when they get the facility of a no down payment mortgage loan. If you do not have a solid plan of investment, it is better to pay a large sum of money upfront to your lender.

Final Thought On Buying a Home

Buying a home is a huge transaction in your life. It should be based upon research and understanding of your own requirements and ability to repay the loan. Hiring the services of a reliable and experienced realtor can prove to be a very wise decision when buying 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 Tips on How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re buying or selling a house, understanding how to find a good real estate agent is essential. Your agent will help you through all steps of the process and answer the myriad technical, tactical, and financial questions that arise, so you don’t have to waste hours Googling into the abyss. A good real estate agent will also have a clear handle on the ins and outs of the housing market in your area. Below are some of the best places to turn to find someone you know you can trust.

1. Find the agent with the most listings

One simple, somewhat passive way to find the best real estate agent is to identify which agents have the most listings in your area. Experience with many clients indicates a certain amount of ambition and hustle. Be warned, however.

“If they have the bulk of the listing in your community, what priority do you think they will assign your home and yet another listing?” asks Jason Opland, a Realtor® with Better Homes and Gardens Realty in Columbus, OH.

2. Get referrals from family and friends

Another common strategy for finding an agent is through word of mouth. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors whom they recommend.

“If people close to you have used an agent they liked, then you’ll probably like them as well,” says agent Amy McDonald of Triplemint in New York City.

Be sure to explicitly ask “Would you use the person again?” says Denise Shur, a Realtor with 1:1 Realty in San Jose, CA. Shur also thinks hiring a friend or family member as an agent could work “if you reasonably believe they will look out for your interest like nobody else will.”

3. Get a referral from your previous agent

If you’re moving to a new area, you could reach out to your previous agent for a referral.

My brokerage “has a network of agents we use across the country, and we can refer you to someone who would likely be a good fit,” says McDonald.

4. Ask a relocation specialist

A cross-state or cross-country move can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with any real estate agents in the area.

“Your best option is to contact an agent who specializes in relocation and works with agents from across the country and has access to agent performance and production reports,” says Opland. He says a relocation specialist can collect information on the type of property you’re looking for and use that to match you with a top professional in your area.

5. Look for community leadership

Here’s an outside-the-box approach: Look beyond the performance numbers and find agents who have actually invested in the area.

“Work with someone who believes in your community and does more than sell homes—someone who participates in local schools, developing businesses, or charities,” says Realtor Rodney Camren of Keller Williams Realty Intown in Atlanta. “Someone who is really invested will sell more than your home—they’ll sell your entire community when the potential buyer presents themselves.”

6. Evaluate what ‘good’ means to you

Your idea of a good real estate agent is probably different from someone else’s, so it’s important to make a list of qualities you most desire in the person you hire to sell or find you a home.

“’Best’ is a very subjective term,” says Alex Cortez, a Realtor with Island Sotheby’s International Realty, in Makawao, HI.

Does “good” mean they’re the most ethical, have the highest sale volume, or have the greatest experience? Do you want an agent who takes charge, or one who focuses more on making you feel heard? Is customer service the highest priority?

“Keep in mind, you will be communicating with your agent for (potentially) several months as you search for a home, submit an offer, and go through the escrow process,” says Cortez. “It would be in your best interest to find an agent with whom you have a natural rapport.”

7. Make sure the agent’s license is up to date

Before you sign with an agent, there’s one more thing you should check: the agent’s license. To check that the license is current, go to your state’s real estate department website and look up the agent’s name. You will also be able to see if the agent has faced any disciplinary action.

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/how-do-i-find-the-three-best-realtors-in-my-area/

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Don’t Forget this House Hunting Checklist when You Buy a Home

Most buyers feel shy to enquire about small details when they go for a showing. They behave in a very formal manner and feel awkward to look under the sink or behind the closets when they are being shown around by the owner or the listing agent. But there is no need to think you are being nosy and snooping around. After all, you will be paying a huge amount of money to the owner if you decide to buy his property. Is it better to feel awkward later on when you find any problems with the house or feel awkward now? Real estate experts say it is better to reassure yourself now than repent later on. They suggest keeping a house hunting checklist with you when you are touring a property.

Explore the Bathroom When Previewing a Home

Every home buyer has a desire to get a glance of the bathroom. Owners proudly show their bathroom to the visitor but only for as long as they want, not any longer. If you are a smart buyer, make the most of this showing. Excuse yourself saying you need to use the bathroom for a minute. Now you are free to closely examine everything inside the bathroom from the toilet seat and the flush to the bathtub and the faucets. See if the water pressure is nice and the flush is working properly. Some owners consider it as impolite but include bathroom in your house hunting checklist.

Take a Closer Look into the Closets

Owners take potential buyers around their property and show them the closets that look newly painted with new handles. But they do not like it when a visitor tries to take a look inside these closets. Of course you need not go through his belongings but you are well within your rights when you want to ascertain the actual storage space inside the closets. Include spying inside the closets in your house hunting checklist as you are paying for these closets and you are entitled to find out if your storage needs are fulfilled by these closets or not.

Don’t Wait for the Inspection

It is not enough to take a glance inside the attic and the basement when the owner opens the doors to feel assured. A thorough investigation is what is needed to give a clean chit to these two features inside the house. If the excuse for not showing your around inside both the basement and the attic is the belongings of the owner piled against the walls, you can ask for their removal when you make a second visit to the house. In fact, it should raise suspicion in your mind why the homeowner has stockpiled items in the basement and the attic when he is planning to sell the house? There are reasons why you should feel nervous when you see a packed attic and basement in 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.

 

What to Expect From a Listing Agent

Before you start making lofty demands of your listing agent, it’s important to understand what the agent is actually responsible for. We’re not saying you’re high-maintenance; you just need to know what you can and can’t ask the agent to do.

By setting realistic expectations, you’re likely to leave the home-selling process feeling like your agent really did all she could to get you the best deal—even if you didn’t see or hear about every little thing she did to market your home. In the interest of transparency, let’s dive into the things a listing agent is responsible for once you sign a contract.

What role does a listing agent play?

A listing agent’s job is “to help direct the seller in preparing the house for sale, market the property to buyer’s agents, and handle the offer and transaction process to get the sale to completion,” says Teri Andrews Murch, a Realtor® with Lyon Real Estate in Auburn, CA.

So when you think about your expectations for your agent, make sure they fit within that scope.

However, the specific responsibilities can vary from agent to agent. A good listing agent will help you price your home, attend pitch sessions, recommend a photographer and stager to make your home look its best, and put your home on the multiple listing service.

Some agents might be unwilling to fulfill every one of your requests if they don’t think they will help your home sell. For example, you might want to advertise your house in the local paper, but “depending on the area you are in, print advertising may not be used much at all,” says Murch.

Set expectations from the start

To make sure you’re both on the same page, you should discuss your expectations from the get-go with any real estate agent you plan on hiring. Find out how often you’ll communicate, and by what means.

“Usually I try to touch base with my sellers when I have feedback from showings or agent tours, and at least once every seven to 10 days by phone,” Murch says.

“Don’t be afraid to be upfront and to the point with your real estate agent,” she adds. “We want to know when our clients aren’t happy.”

Once you’re in agreement, put it in writing in the form of a listing agreement.

“A listing agreement should be a partnership,” says real estate consultant Cathy Baumbusch of Alexandria, VA. “Both parties should outline their expectations in the beginning, in detail, and in writing. That is the only way you can do business.”

You won’t see all the agent’s work

Just because things seem quiet doesn’t mean the agent isn’t working on your behalf.

“A lot of the work we do—such as networking with other agents, maintaining the listing, answering calls or inquiries, and sending out information—tends to be invisible to the sellers unless we communicate that,” says Murch.

However, if more regular updates will make you happy, speak up.

When things go wrong

Sometimes, even after you’ve agreed on everything with your agent in writing, your expectations aren’t met. What then?

Before you send that angry email, be honest with yourself and see if you’re holding anything up.

“I would look at the home’s condition—how does it show?” says Murch. “Are there too many restrictions on how or when the property can be shown?”

If you truly believe that your home looks show-ready and that you’ve made it available, Murch says you might need to revisit the pricing. That could be why you haven’t attracted interest yet.

Other ways to troubleshoot your stalled sale?

“Ask your agent to provide you with the list of all marketing avenues, and then see how it looks in comparison with other properties that are active or sold in your area,” says Janice Caputo, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Pittsburgh.

Definitely have a conversation with your agent if you’re unsatisfied, and try to be receptive to the agent’s feedback. If you believe that your agent isn’t taking your concerns seriously, your next course of action is speaking with the agent’s agency.

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/what-should-i-expect-from-my-realtor/

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Original Date: Oct 4 2017