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GETTING TO POINT(S) - 10/30/07 01:39 PM
If you have recently purchased a home, don't overlook the tax break available for the points paid to get a home loan. Each "point" is one percent of the loan amount. Lenders charge points a means of generating a profit, and borrowers generally pay points in exchange for lower mortgage rates. On a conventional mortgage(usually a fixed rate, 30 year loan that is not insured by a federal agency, points may be paid by the buyer, the seller or split between them. Even if the seller pays the points, the buyer gets the deduction. Loan points are fully deductible in the (3 comments)
THE IMAGE OF THE PERFECT HOME - 10/30/07 11:49 AM
TO PRESENT THEIR HOMES IN THE BEST POSSIBLE LIGHT, SELLERS ARE INCREASINGLY "STAGING" THEIR HOMES. THIS STRATEGY INVOLVES HIRING DESIGNERS AND DECORATORS TO COORDINATE THE POSITIONING OF OF FURNITURE WITH THE PLACEMENT OF HIGH-END AMENITIES AND ACCESSORIES IN AN EFFORT TO TRANSFORM A HOUSE INTO SOMETHING OF A MODEL HOME. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT THAT MAKING YOUR HOME LOOK LIKE SOMETHING FOUND IN AN ARCHITECTURAL MAGAZINE WILL HELP IT TO SELL, SELLERS REPORT THAT STAGING ADDS 10-20% TO THE SALE PRICE OF A HOME. IN ADDITION, STAGED HOMES SELL FASTER. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF Realtors 80 PERCENT OF (5 comments)
LITTLE ROOM FOR ERROR - 10/23/07 01:22 PM
If a house is put on the market at too high a price, it will sit. At this point, sellers have squandered their best opportunity. Pricing a property correctly has always been a key factor in making a sale. In today's market, proper pricing is more critical than ever. While sellers may understandably harbor subjective feeling that may get in the way of setting a realistic asking price, their agents know that pure objectivity is what is needed. In fact, experience and objectivity are two of the most important elements that agents bring to the table when it comes to selling (8 comments)
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES - 10/20/07 11:50 AM
By checking the difference between list and sales prices, sellers can learn a number of things. This differential sheds some light on the validity of asking prices, and it gives some indication as to how strong the market is and how long it might take to sell a home. Generally, when the average percentage difference stands at 5 % or less, it is indicative of a healthy market in which houses sell close to their asking prices in relatively short order if they are priced correctly. Percentage differences between five and ten percent indicate a softer market in which prices may (4 comments)
MORE THAN YOU BARGAINED FOR - 10/19/07 12:29 PM
If you are a buyer who thinks that you will get a better deal from a seller without an agent, you may want to rethink your strategy. The fact is that the majority of FSBOs (For Sale by Owner) are undertaken with the notion of making money for the seller, not passing along any potential savings to the buyer. In addition, many FSBSs start out by pricing their properties above market value without paying proper attention to actual comparable sale prices. Then, when prospective buyers factor in a FSBPs emotional attachment to his or her home and the associated inability to (2 comments)
TO MARKET (BERKELEY HEIGHTS AND BEYOND) - 10/19/07 12:09 PM
It is one thing to list your home for sale, but it is something else to market your home. Anyone who is actively engaged in commerce know that you do not wait for clients to show up at your door. Similarly, sellers want agents who will "market" their properties aggressively. This means conducting a market analysis, which involves comparing our home to similar homes in your area that have sold recently. Then it is the agent's responsibility to "get the word out" by advertising in newspapers, conducting open houses, listing the property on the Multiple Listing Service and connecting with buyers (0 comments)
THE LONG AND SHORT OF INVESTMENT PROPERTY in BERKELEY HEIGHTS - 10/19/07 11:32 AM
If your purchase a piece of investment property(non owner-occupied) with the intention of selling it for profit, watch your timing. If you hold the property and sell it in less than a year, you must treat it as a short-term capital gain. This means you pay tax on any profit at ordinary income-tax rates that can range as high a 36% depending on your tax bracket. On the other hand, if you were to keep the investment property for more than one year, you are taxed at 15% rate. That is a dig difference. One way to avoid higher tax on (1 comments)
TAKING INVENTORY in Berkeley Heights and Beyond - 10/19/07 10:14 AM
As the inventory of the unsold home grows, sellers face greater competition that they did a year. While it has always been essential for sellers to price their properties realistically, it is even more important to do so during times of a changing market realities. To get a realistic assessment of the current real estate market sellers should conduct their own surveys of comparable home in their area in addition to asking real estate professionals to suggest an asking price. Sellers should also visit open house in an effort to identify the competition and make comparisons with their own homes. In the (0 comments)
THE PRICE IS RIGHT in Berkeley Heights and Beyond - 10/16/07 05:16 PM
The most important part of selling your home involves pricing it properly. Sellers must realize that buyers look at house in particular price ranges. If the asking price of a home is placed out of their range, buyers will not even consider the house. During their searches, buyers become quite experienced at knowing the reasonable price range for homes they can afford. If a seller sets an unrealistically high price in the hope that someone will be lured into paying more, he or she should rethink the strategy. An overpriced home is not likely to attract offers, which means no sale. (3 comments)
ACTING IN YOUR BEST INTERESTS - 10/16/07 02:22 PM
To be successful, real estate agents must invest considerable time, energy and yes, money. Thus sellers will want to engage the services of agent who will take an interest in surrounding properties. Agents of this type are quick to see and evaluate newly listed properties that their clients may find appealing. They are well integrated with other brokers, have considerable field knowledge, and make themselves readily available to respond to inquiries with pertinent information and qualifying questions. Real Estate agents such as these are likely to have enviable track records that reflect their dedication and thorough enjoyment of their work. The more (6 comments)
AN ACADEMIC LEARNING CURVE - 10/15/07 05:42 PM
The quality of the school district consistently ranks among the top five factors that home-buyers consider when purchasing a home. Consequently, whether or not you have school-age children, it pays to purchase a home in a community with a good school system. The fact is that homes in the best school districts tend to appreciate better than homes where the school districts' reputations are not as good. This should help dispel any notion on the part of homeowners without school-age children that they receive little in return for their property taxes. Any benefit that the schools realize from taxes makes the (8 comments)
USING NATURE TO SELL YOUR HOME - 10/13/07 01:13 PM
If you believe there are no reasonable limits on the number and type of factors that you can use to sell your home, give some thought to Feng Shui. This the ancient Chinese philosophy of understanding harmonious relationships between nature and ourselves. Simply put, a home that follows the principles of Feng Shui appears more attractive. Some simple steps sellers can take to improve the feel of their home is to repaint the front door, set down a new door mat, and position two healthy red,flowering plants on either side of the front door. To further increase the welcoming atmosphere, place a (11 comments)
FOLLOW THE RULE 28/36. A REALTOR CAN DO THIS. - 10/13/07 11:52 AM
As climbing interest rates force many a homeowners to face rising monthly payment, it pays to reviews the "28/36 Rule", which many mortgage lenders use to estimate how much debt a home-buyer can afford. For a solid financial footing, prospective borrowers should limit their mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowners's insurance, and other home related costs to no more than 28% of their gross income. Beyond that, total debt obligations including home debt, credit card debt, auto loans and other money owed on loans should not exceed 36% of gross income. As some homeowners have found out, if an appreciable portion of (2 comments)
MOTIVATING CIRCUSTANCES - 10/13/07 10:30 AM
Whether it is a buyer's market or a seller's market, there are personal factors at work that usually play a primary role in any home sale. Both buyers and sellers should bear this in mind as they enter the real estate market. While it is certainly necessary for buyer's and seller's to have a good idea of market conditions, they should not necessarily see this macroscopic view as the definitive and overriding factor guiding their strategies. Divorce, death, or a job transfer may prompt the sale of a home more quickly that one might otherwise think, research shows that a homeowner's (8 comments)
SWEATING THE BIG STUFF - 10/10/07 05:41 PM
If you are looking for an increasingly scarce bargain in the housing market, consider the time-honored tradition of using you own "sweat equity." By purchasing a property that needs some repairs and renovations that you can handle on your own, you can have a finished product that has your personal touch for less the the cost of a home that is already similarly finished. As always, we have to make sure that the location of your fixer-upper is good. Remodeling a bad house in a good neighborhood is preferable to fixing a relatively good property in an undesirable neighborhood. After that, make (19 comments)
SELLERS AS LANDLORDS - 10/08/07 06:46 PM
According to some estimates, a combination of more renters and fewer rental units nationwide may boost rents five to ten percent in the coming year, This could provide an opportunity to sellers, who find themselves in the unenviable position of having purchased a new home without having sold their own. These homeowners find themselves caught between two homes, paying mortgages on both. One way out of this circumstance, besides placing home in a favorable market position, involves sellers becoming landlords and renting their homes until conditions become more favorable in the housing market. In some cases, they may find renters who make (8 comments)
A TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE - 10/08/07 04:55 PM
It should come as little surprise to homeowners that nearly half of the homes being built for first time buyers are equipped with high speed wiring that makes it possible to network computers and view televisions in virtually any room in the house. What this means for sellers with older homes in this market is that must "keep up with the Joneses." If your home is already wired for high speed Internet use, show your home to prospective buyers with working computer monitors, laptops and TV screen in as many rooms as possible. Otherwise, consider having you home wired, It may (1 comments)
SELLING YOUR HOME - 10/08/07 04:16 PM
We live in the information age, in which purchase decisions are based on all the available facts. With this in mind home sellers should regard fact sheets(or house brochures) as one of the strongest marketing tools at their disposal. By providing prospective buyers with a sheet that contains all the answers to pertinent questions they might have, sellers place their homes at the top of the buyers' mind After viewing perhaps dozens of houses, fact sheets help buyers distinguish on e home from all the others they have seen. Fact sheets also put all the salable features of a home in (0 comments)
TOUTING YOUR HOME'S ENERGY EFFICIENCY - 10/08/07 11:44 AM
As fuel costs rise, consumers are paying increasing attention to energy efficiency, This means that, just as car buyers are looking for high-mileage vehicles, prospective home-buyers are giving more scrutiny to the heating/cooling costs of any house in which the might be interested. Sellers can appeal to this concern by doing their utmost to tout their homes' energy efficiency. Because of warm winters and cool summers can render actual fuel costs as somewhat in-precise fuel-efficiency indicators, sellers should mention insulation R-values in ceilings/walls, energy-efficient windows, furnace/boiler upgrades, passive solar rooms, wood-burning stoves, and other forms of alternative energy devices. If any (0 comments)
A HOME THAT WILL FLOOR BUYERS - 10/08/07 10:50 AM
If the floors in the home that you are about to sell are worn, it may pay to update the flooring, By the same estimates, refurbished flooring increases a homes' value by five to eleven percent, all things being equal. In some case, it may be best simply to rip up worn carpeting and lay down hardwood floors. This flooring has a solidity and richness that prospective buyers like in a home that they are going to purchase. If you already have hardwood floors, consider having them sanded and refinished. Otherwise replace them entirely with some type of natural stone. Buyers (0 comments)
SOLD ON THE IDEA - 10/08/07 10:24 AM
The most common type of listing agreement, known as the "exclusive right to sell" is likely to be the most effective. It entitles the listing agent to a commission regardless of who sells the property. If another agent comes up with a buyer, he or she splits the commission with the listing broker. As far as the seller is concerned, this type of agreement assures that the agent (who is guaranteed a commission) will make a diligent effort on his or her behalf to find a buyer. Full service of this type involves analysis/research, advertising/marketing, displaying, counseling, and negotiating. The reward (0 comments)
A CLAUSE OF YOUR OWN - 10/02/07 02:57 PM
If you are selling a home in today's market, you will likely be presented with offers that have contingencies. One contingency typically tacked on by buyers is the one that makes the sale contingent on their selling their own home. There is also a financing contingency, which allows buyers a certain amount of time to get their their loan commitment. During this time the seller has to take his or her home off the market. While these contingencies are perfectly proper, seller's agents may suggest strategies for protecting their clients' best interests.For instance, experienced agents know that sellers may counter with (4 comments)
PRE-EMPTIVE ACTION - 10/01/07 01:17 PM
Prospective buyers commonly have a contingency in their contracts that calls for a satisfactory house inspection in order for the deal to go through. If so, sellers can make this inevitability work to their advantage by engaging the services of a professional house inspector prior to placing their properties on the market. By offering the report to prospective buyers, sellers can provide a degree of reassurance that my help facilitate a sale. In the meantime, sellers should take the time to accompany house inspectors during their inspections. This can prove to be a very enlightening experience that may help sellers recognize (4 comments)
THIS IS NOT THE STOCK MARKET - 10/01/07 11:15 AM
Some media folks show little reluctance in using terms such as "boom" "bust" and "bubble" when referring to the real estate market. To be sure, real estate in many areas has exhiteted considerable run up prices. It is also an immutable law of nature that gravity will, at some point, exert its influence on anything that soars too high. On the other hand the word "bust" and "bubble" seem to be more descriptive of a 1929-style stock market crash than a correction in real estate prices. After all, a home is a tangible asset that represents more inherent value that a mere piece (2 comments)
HELPING YOU MAKE THE SALE IN BERKELEY HEIGHTS - 10/01/07 10:23 AM
Today's sellers have more reasons than ever to enlist the services of an agent. One way that experienced agents know how to sell a home in a tough market without reducing its price is to offer an interest-rate buy-down on the buyers mortgage. With a typical 2/1 buy-down, the buyer gets a rate that is two percentage points below market rate for the first year of the loan. During the secondly year, the rate is one point lower. After that, the rate reverts to the market rate in effect the time of the settlement. This way, the seller can help the (1 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.