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Crash Course! - 11/26/07 02:41 PM
When you're buying a home, who do you think is the most important person in the transaction? YOU, of course! That doesn't mean you won't need experienced professionals for guidance and assistance, but quite frankly, if YOU choose not to buy, the entire process comes to a halt. While home ownership is called the American Dream, it's a shame that nobody teaches it in school. Most folks face the biggest purchase of their life without any experience. That's why it's critical for someone to help you understand everything that happens during the process, whether it's your accountant, your banker, or your (0 comments)
Raise the Curtain! - 11/19/07 12:14 PM
Both homeowners and real estate agents are best served when a home sells quickly for a good price. There are many steps both parties can take to achieve that goal, and a recent trend is proving its value: whether the local market is hot or cool, statistics reveal that a "Staged" home will sell faster and for a higher price. This service is called Staging because it's basically about "theater." A professional Stager assesses your home's strongest and weakest features, and creates a series of "scenes" sure to appeal to your "audience" of buyers. There are four major areas of concern: (0 comments)
Buy Now, Retire Later! - 11/13/07 12:40 PM
Have you been hearing that it's a buyer's market? Take a look at local home prices. Have you been told that there's no time like the present to plan your retirement? Again, take a look at those prices, and then think about investing for your future. When retirement nears, many of us consider making a move, either to a more desirable location or maybe into a smaller home. How do you think home prices now will compare to prices in the future? Buyer's market or not, you can bet that home values will rise. Even if you're years from retirement, you (0 comments)
Don't be afraid to negotiate! - 11/05/07 10:04 AM
What's the most important goal behind an Offer To Purchase? Agreement! How do buyers and sellers achieve that goal? Negotiation! And yet the term "negotiation" often sends people running for the door, because they believe that negotiation is simply another word for conflict. Not true! Negotiation is a golden opportunity for everyone involved to get what they want. Of course, it's critical to know beforehand exactly what you want, and an indicator of a successful intermediary is a strong desire to understand the wants and needs of the other party as well. This is where years of experience in the real (0 comments)
I'll let you in on a secret... - 11/05/07 10:02 AM
What's the secret to successfully competing in today's real estate market? It's simple, really - price your home fairly. Once you've made that determination, the real secret is marketing - appealing to the best and widest segment of the pool of prospective buyers. No home sells for more than the highest offer from the best buyer. If your price is right and your home's condition is appealing, how do you find that buyer? To realize the highest sale price, you need to reach the largest market of well-qualified prospects. Unfortunately, sellers who avoid representation can expose their home only to a (1 comments)
Inspection Protection! - 11/05/07 10:00 AM
You've found the home of your dreams, and you're preparing to make your offer. As you consider price and terms, be sure to include one of the most critical components of the offer - a home inspection contingency. The contract should clearly identify how any reported problems will be rectified. By including a satisfactory inspection in the terms of the contract, you give yourself three valuable options if repairs are needed. You can either a.) Request that the sellers complete the repairs before closing, b.) Negotiate a price reduction if you expect to pay for the repairs yourself, or c.) Withdraw (0 comments)
Don't Fail This Test!! - 11/05/07 09:58 AM
Many homeowners are growing increasingly concerned about the emerging "buyers market." The biggest mistake a seller can make is to overprice the home in those circumstances. Trying a higher asking price in order to "test the market" can be disastrous, because by the time the seller adjusts his price down, the home has become "old inventory." At that point, buyers often overlook the older listings, assuming something is amiss regarding the price or the condition. The goal of every seller should be to get a deal within the first few weeks of listing, when the property is "fresh" and buyers will (0 comments)
A Hard-Earned Lesson in Education!! - 11/05/07 09:56 AM
If you're a parent, or plan to have children, then you already understand the advantages of a good school system. Any real estate agent will also tell you that a home in a good school district is a gem when it comes to resale value. As you scope out locations for your next move, there are some basic barometers for judging the quality of education near your home. Begin by checking out test scores. There are standard tests for grade school, as well as the ACTs and SATs in high schools. All you have to do is ask for the results. (0 comments)
A Surprise Pitch! - 11/05/07 09:54 AM
You may be aware that you can avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of your home if it was your primary residence for at least two of the five years prior to its sale. Individuals may qualify for a $250K tax exemption, and married couples up to $500K. But life is funny, and sometimes throws you a curve ball you weren't expecting. What if you've moved into your "forever home," and suddenly get laid off from your job, or need to move for unforeseen family or health reasons? Do you lose your big exemption from profits just because you couldn't (0 comments)
How Much Are You Losing??? - 11/05/07 09:53 AM
Today's real estate market provides an excellent opportunity for renters to turn their monthly payments into equity. While rising slightly, interest rates now are still much lower than in the past ten to twenty years, and home prices in many areas are adjusting back down to reflect reasonable levels of appreciation. It's critical to begin taking those first steps towards home ownership, and here are some reasons why. Money paid for rent goes into the pocket of the landlord, while money paid for a mortgage goes toward equity in the home. In other words, you keep the money you pay for (0 comments)
Good Dollars & Sense! - 11/05/07 09:50 AM
Sellers are competing for buyers these days. Actually, sellers are always competing against each other, trying to offer the best value in hopes of securing a full-price offer. Such offers usually come to sellers whose homes are in model condition and priced at, or below, fair market value. While it's critical to get your home in tip-top shape before your listing, care needs to be taken when you're considering the impact of remodeling and renovating. Homeowners who over-improve run the risk of not being able to recoup their investment, particularly if they find they need to sell very soon after completing (0 comments)
Going back to the nest... - 11/05/07 09:49 AM
Are you among the college graduates who have moved back home this year? Don't sweat it, because you're not alone. About 48% of the class of 2006 is estimated to have returned home, and with good reasons. It's safe, it's secure, and it's convenient, especially when there are car payments and job searching to worry about. Quite frankly, all those years living in a dorm room may not have prepared you for the big step of setting up house on your own. Fortunately, many parents are embracing their "boomerang" children, so graduates can work and save money towards a down payment (0 comments)
Turn Liabilities into Assets! - 11/05/07 09:47 AM
Getting ready to place your home on the market? If it is in anything less than "like new" condition, you'll need a little reality check before you can determine a fair asking price. Since buyers will order one anyway, you should strongly consider having an inspection performed by a licensed professional before you market your home. Why do it now, since the buyers will pay to do it later? Ask yourself if you like surprises! If repair issues are identified, you have time to decide whether to pay now for the improvements, or adjust your asking price accordingly. The old rule (0 comments)
A Balancing Act - 11/05/07 09:44 AM
"Buyers market." "Sellers market." What does it all mean when you find yourself ready to buy or sell a home? The basic concept behind a "buyers market" is that there are more houses or residential properties for sale in your community than there are buyers qualified to make a purchase. This creates increased competition among the sellers for those fewer buyers, and can put the buyers in the "driver's seat" when it comes to negotiation. It logically follows that a "sellers market" happens when there are more prospective buyers than there are homes for sale. Now it is the buyers who (0 comments)
Debt Relief is *Not* Tax Relief! - 11/05/07 09:33 AM
You've certainly heard and read many reports about defaults on mortgage loans. There are many reasons homeowners face such situations, some of which are completely beyond their control. There are also several solutions, but each carries a consequence. In one example, a family had to relocate for an attractive job offer. The home they were selling languished in a slow market for over six months, and they defaulted because they couldn't continue the mortgage payments. Their agent negotiated a "short sale," whereby the lender accepted an offer that was $10,000 less than the loan balance (rather than begin unpleasant foreclosure proceedings). (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.