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Are you really the neighborhood expert or do you just say so? - 09/30/07 08:24 PM
There are a lot of neighborhood experts.....or so it seems. How can you tell a neighborhood expert? Well they tell you.....or that is what they say on websites, business cards and ad print. So who is the real neighborhood expert? The neighborhood expert actually knows the neighborhood. They know the schoolsThey know the businesses that cover the areaThey know the demographicsThey know the average incomesThey know the education levels of the residentsThey know the crime ratesThe know the home styles and featuresThey know the tax baseThey know the bus routesThey know the trailsThey know the entertainmentsThey know the best pizza placeThey know home (5 comments)
Educating the FSBO - 09/30/07 08:05 PM
When you provide real information, do they listen? Do they understand or care? I just wrote a blog about representing a buyer that had made a verbal offer before contacting me for help. I went with my new client and provided information concerning the market, financing and appraisal requirements. Three hours after my visit to the FSBO with my new client, my client gets a call. Write your offer....my brother and I will consider a written offer. I also took the time to explain the commission process and listing issues they would face since they both live out of town. I finished my presentation off (2 comments)
When sellers make it difficult to buy! - 09/30/07 07:33 PM
Recently I wrote an offer and the seller signed the purchase agreement immediately. Then came time for the inspections....the seller didn't want to have inspections. I thought that meant we may find something that was not disclosed. I had to get the sellers agent involved to make sure the seller would allow us access to the property for inspections. Then the seller followed us around watching everything the inspector did. I finally asked if there was something that concerned the seller? I asked this privately away from others. He said, "no....we have an appointment and this looks like it is going to (1 comments)
FSBO, says I can ask any price I want! - 09/30/07 05:39 PM
I just represented a buyer that had made a verbal offer to a FSBO. The buyer wanted to purchase this property and had a relationship with the owner before she died. So it was emotional and the purchase price the buyer had offered reflected the emotion. I asked the daughter of the deceased owner how her and her brother arrived at the sell price. She said, "I can ask any price I want"! "Yes you can"....was my reply. The problem is with your philosophy, buyers do not have to buy. My buyer had made a verbal offer and the seller decided to (13 comments)
How can my home not appraise? - 09/30/07 04:59 PM
In this market we are experiencing many new issues that we have not faced in years. You can write a purchase agreement that seems logical, seems correct for the market and have an appraiser have difficulty finding comparables. I recently wrote a purchase agreement on a property where I have previewed many homes that were comparable. The locations were quite diverse...but geographically located within a few miles. If you are in a city a few miles can be a significant transition in values. If you are more rural 50 miles can still be in the considered comparable range. My offer was $50,000 below (8 comments)
I am sorry, are you listed with me? - 09/24/07 06:38 AM
Just another open house, or so I thought. I advertised my open house 3 days preceding the actual open house with three different ads displaying the date, time and directions with contact information and a slightly different spin on the property. I also placed a cable ad with the open house information and a 3 photo display of the property. In addition I noted on the MLS the open house dates and on my web site as well. I placed the direction signs and open house information on the key cross streets and main streets directing passersby to the property. I do (22 comments)
Today Show showcases West Michigan as one of Nation's Best Buys! - 09/21/07 04:35 PM
The midwest housing market one of the Nations best buys. The Today show with Matt Lauer hosted a segment reporting the Midwest as one of the nations most reasonable places to live and purchase homes in the current market. Further showcased was Grand Rapids, Michigan in a feature outlining home values. I have provided a link to the segment so you can view the segment that aired this morning http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20874580/ This is a video link provided to the public by msnbc. The link is there material and may not be copied without specific permission from msnbc. The segment outlines several areas of the country and gives very good examples of (10 comments)
Homeowner Associations, Love em or Hate em! - 09/21/07 11:22 AM
Homeowners Associations, this brings all kinds of thoughts to peoples minds. This is a love hate relationship. Homeowner associations were created to protect property values, to create a control element for construction size, shapes and colors. This helped to insure nothing would be produced to large, to small or later be painted in a color to hurt property values of other home owners. These little communities of rules gave a uniform instruction guide for all residents to follow. Some associations had more rules than others. The love part was maintaining the look, the feel, the value for each resident. This can be in free (8 comments)
Foreclosure...cash for keys! - 09/21/07 10:32 AM
Foreclosure terms, "Cash for Keys" You may not have heard of this term. Cash for keys....is a term that describes what happens when a lender forecloses on a property and then sends out a representative to get you out of the property. This happens before the redemption period has run the time you are allowed under the law to redeem and occupy the property. This usually happens after the foreclosure or Sheriff's sale has taken place in Michigan. "Caution" Other states do not have the same foreclosure laws as Michigan so check your laws because Michigan laws will not apply. Some states such as Colorado the redemption period (20 comments)
Do sellers really understand the selling process? - 09/21/07 04:30 AM
Recently I have heard more agents say "sellers" do not understand the selling process. They have this mis-guided thought that I can accomplish whatever they ask me to do! During the listing process we help "sellers" understand the current market. We offer: We provide current market data for pricing which includes, sold, listed and pending properties along with expired listings.We offer suggestions to arrange the home for better showings.We review curb appeal.We discuss how showings are conducted.We arrange marketing materials that display the listing to it's best advantage.We distribute listing notifications through various media outlets.We produce video and slide presentations to review the property.We (22 comments)
One of the most contested issues that can cause tempers to flair is a dispute over earnest deposits. You want a migraine....deal with two sides that both think they have been had! The contract outlines how the earnest deposit can be retained and relinquished if the buyer does not follow the contract. Yet many buyers are surprised when the seller says.....I want the earnest deposit. How does this happen? Simply not understanding the contract.Not having representation that can guide you through the contract.Poor representation.Disregard for the contract, thinking the seller would not claim the deposit.Contract language that requires forgiture of the earnest (2 comments)
Did I get a an accepted offer "as written"? The buyer asked. - 09/18/07 09:06 PM
When homes are on the market a long time...some sellers just cave with the first offer. They are so concerned that they will not be able to move on with their lives they take the first offer they get, sometimes the "only offer"! Sellers have reasons for selling. As buyers agents we do not know those reasons. As listing agents we should be very aware of why the seller wants to sell so we can represent their interest properly. Some reasons for homes sitting on the market are just simply priced to high to begin with. Other reasons are the location, condition, layout, (2 comments)
Market knowlege, are you using media knowledge or actual market knowledge? - 09/18/07 11:01 AM
This is a question that should not need to be asked, but with recent events in my own search to purchase I have been exposed to more sellers and agents that have limited market knowledge. It is very difficult to market a property if you only have media knowledge. The television, radio and newspaper personalities that spout statistics may not even be using information from your area! They may be looking at a general statistic from a wire service. Local stations may have a myopic view purported by a broker that works a specific area and then generalizes about the metro (4 comments)
Oops, I said to much! - 09/18/07 03:46 AM
If you have been reading my posts you may know I have been both a seller and a buyer's agent lately. Not just for clients but for myself as well. It is interesting and my wife is now my client and spouse, not a good client but a great life partner. I do the same methods of representation for myself as I do for my clients. I pay attention to the information that is presented to me. I have the same gripes when I represent myself as I do when I represent clients. I thought it would be different but why should it be? (58 comments)
Foreclosure terms, do you understand redemptions periods? - 09/16/07 10:11 PM
I have been dealing with more clients that are selling and buying in the foreclosure market lately. The price ranges cover the spectrum. This problem with foreclosures is not limited to lower income families or people that just don't pay their mortgage. The term redemption period is the length of time the person that had their home foreclosed can buy it back. Just because a home is foreclosed does not mean it is gone without a way for the former owner to buy it back. The truth is they are not the former owners until the redemption period expires. Here is a little (2 comments)
So you think it is a good deal? - 09/16/07 10:08 PM
I have been looking for a home to purchase for my wife and myself. This have given me an opportunity to preview many homes that I would not have normally seen. It has also given me the opportunity to see what values are available in a price range. It is very interesting that some castles are really made of cards while others are really brick and motar. One of the homes I was considering had a very nice feeling as you walked in the foyer. It looked OK from a curb appeal standpoint but nothing exceptional. As you walked through homes and inspected (37 comments)
How does a Realtor buy a home? - 09/16/07 09:11 PM
It is odd but my clients must think I live under a rock! They know we live in a home but they think we do not have the same concerns or cares about purchasing a home as they do. I just sold my home or it appears to be sold.....just like other sellers it is never sold until the title company hands you the check! Now I have a little more stress than most buyers...because I was a seller now I am a buyer just like my clients. Here is the rub. I am moving from 1300 miles away selling a condo buying (3 comments)
Foreclosures, the long and short of it. - 09/14/07 10:05 PM
I attended another foreclosure seminar today offered by an attorney that has built a business of dealing with foreclosures over the last 25+ years. The nuts and bolts of the foreclosure process, if you have done this before a few time is very repetitive, and the strain on peoples emotions is not so cut and dried. People have all kinds of thoughts and worries when they are in the middle of a possible foreclosure. It happens to very good people that hit a bump in the road and never recover before it is to late. The key if you find yourself in this (7 comments)
I appreciate neighbors, they know everything! - 09/14/07 07:53 PM
I have a secret weapon. I don't pay a fee, I don't have to put gas in it or feed it. All I have to do is be nice and start a friendly conversation. My initial conversation can be about almost anything.....then I ask key questions that lead to my real motive. I use neighbors to fill in blanks when I am a buyer representative. It is common knowledge that every neighborhood has Miss or Mr busybody. They know times and days of neighbors comings and goings. They know repairs like roofs, air conditioning trucks, furnaces, cable even how often the dog is (10 comments)
Do buyers really have so many choices? - 09/13/07 02:14 PM
We hear about the buyers market and all the choices buyers have with so many listing being available. The abundance of homes on the market are for multiple reasons. Some are over priced others are in dis-repair and others are in locations that has caused them to be less desirable. Some of the hidden gems are just not being marketed properly to be found by buyers. So if you are a seller how do you rate your situation? Have you considered how a buyer rates homes they select to view and ultimately purchase? Location, is the home within driving distance to work?Are the bedroom locations (2 comments)
Do sellers deserve to be asked or do realtors just grant permission? - 09/12/07 10:31 PM
I work both sides of transactions, usually not at the same time! I see things happen that I am shocked and surprised with from time to time. This just happened and I was stunned. We do not have a executed agreement. One is in the works at the counter offer stage. The seller is traveling out of state so the buyer asks the sellers agent if they can have access to the property to measure and bring in a decorator. The agent responded, "sure just make sure the lights are out and the property is locked when you leave". Now the neighbor calls (15 comments)
Home inspections...presale or post sale? - 09/07/07 08:29 AM
I have read many posts on this subject and each has merit BUT which one works to for your client depends on which side of the transaction you are on. This post is considering the listing side of the transaction. Having inspections done at sellers expense before the sale, at the time of listing. This can be handled in several ways and will have different impacts depending on the result. If the home is in great conditionwith little to do in the way of repairs and inspection can help support the CMA and keep the price up depicting value against other homes that (17 comments)
My way or the highway attitudes, buyers and sellers - 09/03/07 07:18 PM
Buyers and Sellers need to have an agents direction, to keep focus on the goal. In business dealings keeping focused can make the difference in success or failure. Your buyers and sellers have the same issues. Recently an offer came in from a buyer. The buyer's agent allowed the buyer to over extend on the offer to the point that they had no room, the offer was literally being funded by the seller for closing costs, along with a large sell price discount. Asking for closing costs has become routine and is no big deal...except $8400.00 along with a another $16,000 on (10 comments)
Selecting professionals, it is getting easier by the day. - 09/01/07 08:39 AM
It doesn't really matter what type of service you need, finding a licensed competent provider is the hard part. Today and everyday it gets easier with the Internet. Google or search under the name of the service and the area you need the service.Check under the State you live in, this case Michigan for active licensing. Making sure your company or person of choice is licensed.Ask to see a copy of their insurance certificate....making sure you are covered by their insurance if they injure themselves while on your property. Yes, if they get injured and you hired them and they do not (10 comments)
Unprofessional Behavior, why and who it really impacts! - 09/01/07 08:23 AM
Unprofessional behavior happens in every profession and we see it every day. We see it at the grocery store checkout, we see it at doctor's offices, hospitals, tire places, car dealerships, lawyers, school teachers and the list goes on and on....but when we see it in real estate....why should I be surprised? For that matter why should anyone be surprised? Here's why....we are a service business. Customers hire us directly....we are interviewed, we present ourselves openly to the public that we represent a certain standard. We have rules that we agree too if we join certain organizations within our profession. Membership into those (26 comments)
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