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FSBO’s MUST BE READY TO NEGOTIATE

If you view all the things that happen to you, both good and bad, as opportunities, then you operate out of a higher level of consciousness.”~ Les Brown

FSBO’s Must Be Ready to Negotiate | Keeping Current Matters

Now that the market has showed signs of recovery, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their home on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation. In most cases, the seller is not. The seller must realize their ability to negotiate will determine whether they can get the best deal for themselves and their family.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling.
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired a real estate agent to sell their home has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Meet with a professional in your local market to see the difference they can make in easing the process.

10 WAYS TO STAY WARMER AT HOME WITHOUT KILLING YOUR HEATING BILL

fl girl budled up

                  Brrr, It’s Cold!

As a New Yorker, I thought I was used to the cold.  It seems the cold in Florida however is different.  It could be 68 degrees in New York and we would be out in tee shirts.  But 68 degrees in Florida means we get out the jackets and long pants.  I don’t know for sure that it’s a different cold, or my blood just got thinner after 23 years of living here.

Below is a link with 10 tips to stay warmer without killing your #heating bill.

10 Tips to Stay Warmer Without Killing Your Heating Bill

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” – John D. Rockefeller

I know I have not posted much lately and it is due partly to the new and exciting change in my life.  I’m not talking about a man…. it’s all about success!  I just left one of those big national, highly successful, firms to join a smaller firm.  Although moving 7 years of files and 7 years of stuff from my comfortable, cozy office was very stressful, I know I will be happy and successful at this new company.  Leads are coming in left and right, and yesterday I showed property to three different customers.  It felt like 6 years ago, before the market tanked.

Between the work I do for a specific bank on short sales and now all the leads I am receiving from this new firm,  between what I have learned and what I am now learning, I believe my life is going to change dramatically for the better.  Watch out Gainesville, here I come!

THE BENEFITS OF A HIGH-TECH AGENT

THE BENEFITS OF A HIGH-TECH AGENT

Technology  “If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Unsophisticated home-shoppers tend to select a real estate agent based on a chance encounter at an open house or a friend-in-the-business referral. Savvy home-shoppers, on the other hand, do their homework, contact several successful agents and prepare lists of questions to ask these agents during how-can-you-help-me-buy-a-home interviews. Some of the questions should concern how involved the agent is in the high-tech aspects of real estate. All other qualifications being equal, here are six reasons why a tech-savvy agent can be a good bet.

1. High-tech agents use e-mail to keep in touch with their clients.
If you want to communicate with your agent via e-mail about houses for sale, purchase negotiations and the status of your real estate transaction, you obviously need an agent who not only is equipped to send and receive e-mail messages, but also actually uses e-mail. Even better would be an agent with a laptop computer, alphanumeric e-mail pager or other on-the-go e-mail capability.
2. High-tech agents have great access to information.
It’s no secret that the Web contains massive amounts of pertinent, informative and helpful information about real property and the business of real estate. A high-tech agent can find neighborhood profiles, mortgage qualifying calculators, real estate news, markets trends reports and much more with a few mouse clicks.
3. High-tech agents can steer you toward educational Web sites.
First-time home buyers, in particular, need to educate themselves about the wide world of home-buying and homeownership. A high-tech agent can recommend Web resources that explain everything from how to shop for a mortgage and why you need title insurance to how to pack your belongings and where to get seeds for your vegetable garden.
4. High-tech agents can help you house-hunt on the Web and by e-mail.
The days of squinting at tiny blurry pictures in a proprietary MLS book, then driving around for hours in the agent’s car are fast coming to an end. A high-tech agent can point you to the best and biggest house-hunting Web sites and use e-mail to zap new listings that meet your criteria directly to you.
5. High tech agents network online with other high-tech agents.
E-mail is becoming a popular means of communication for real estate agents, who use it to promote their listings to one another and keep in touch with market developments. In some communities, agents who don’t use e-mail are falling out of the loop.
6. Coming soon: High-tech agents will be able to organize and manage your transaction in cyberspace.
A number of real estate companies and organizations are vying with one another to be the first to launch a truly comprehensive real estate transaction service on the Web. These networks of real estate service providers promise to reduce paperwork, speed up communication and bring buyers and sellers to the virtual closing table faster than ever before.

‘BIG 6’ FACTORS THAT SELL A HOME

‘BIG 6’ FACTORS THAT SELL A HOME

“If you are not in the lead, the view never changes.”  – Unknown

Although they can be stated in different ways, there are only six factors that affect the sale of a home, according to blogger Karen Kruschka.The Sales Associate with RE/MAX Olympic Realty in Manassas, Va., wrote an Active Rain blog post detailing the “Big 6,” as she calls them. These factors are controlled by three main entities: the seller, the agent and the market.

Sharing the blog with your own clients and educating them on their role in the process gives you a perfect entry point to demonstrate your value as a trusted advisor – especially when they’re deciding on listing price and terms.

Here’s an edited excerpt of Kruschka’s post:

SELLERS Control

1. Price – You determine list price for your home. However, a list price above the market for homes similar to yours will negatively impact buyer interest in making an offer. Your Realtor will review price history with you to assist you in making a list price determination.

2. Terms – Buyers have requirements just as sellers do. Your willingness to respect them and be willing to negotiate which terms will be acceptable to both parties can have a very positive impact. Price and terms will usually be negotiated at the same time.

3. Condition – How well you have maintained the home will influence both your price and the length of time it will take to sell. The pool of buyers who are willing to make major repairs is much smaller than the pool of buyers who want a home that has been well maintained.

THE MARKET Controls

4. Timing – Economic conditions operate independently of price, terms and property condition. Similarly, seasons and weather factors can affect the time it takes to sell a home.

5. Competition – The number of homes on the market most certainly bears heavily on your ability to sell your home on a timely basis.

REALTORS Control

6. Promotion – From entry into the Multiple Listing Service to Internet marketing and any other programs, your agent will have an impact on your home sale.

RE/MAX Affiliates may share this article, provided they do not charge for it and this notice

SELLERS; IF YOU WANT IT, ASK FOR IT!

SELLERS; IF YOU WANT IT, ASK FOR IT!

“Ask, and it shall be given unto you.”  –  Jesus Christ

There’s nothing more frustrating to a ready, willing, and seemingly able buyer than to lose an offer to another buyer — especially since the seller was not specific (down to the letter) about what he expected to receive.

Sure, there’s the list price; but in today’s fast-paced market, a buyer/ prospect may offer thousands more than the list price and STILL not be the lucky buyer who gets the property!

That’s why sellers should be as specific as possible with buyers in what they want to receive and achieve in a successful offer.

Let’s tackle the major elements the seller should be prepared to address with serious buyers. I suggest that sellers (or their real estate agent) prepare a “Suggested Contract Requirement” sheet to give to buyers, outlining what they expect in the following:

Loan pre-approval
By now, it should go without saying that buyers without loan pre-approval shouldn’t be competing in the current market; but sadly, some are. That’s why it’s important for the seller to specify that buyers be pre-approved for loans ample enough to fund the purchase price, AND detail the type of loan and respective costs (if any) the seller would cover.

For example, a buyer might claim to be pre-approved for a mortgage of “x” amount. What she fails to disclose, however, is that it’s Veteran’s Administration (VA) financing and she expects the seller to cover her two discount points. On a $140,000 sales price (with zero down) that’s a hefty $2,800 for the seller.
Or what about the buyer who claims to have “cash” coming to him to fund the purchase (often coming from proceeds of an estate or settlement of a law suit.) The buyer’s funds are delayed. In order to close the sale, he must borrow the money, causing the seller a three-week delay in accessing his proceeds. Verifying the buyer’s funding (which is tougher to do in a “cash” sale) is vital for sidestepping potential delays for the seller.

Earnest Money
In the old, slower school of home buying a decade or more ago, buyers would offer a meager amount of earnest money or even a post-dated check with the idea that they could always up the ante if need be. In today’s market, more (rather than less) earnest money is advised in most situations. Not only does it subtly signify to the seller how financially motivated a buyer is, but can serve as a buyer’s first (and often only) shot at a strong first impression to the seller.
By letting prospective buyers know (in writing on the “Suggested Contract Requirement” sheet) the minimum amount of earnest money the seller is seeking, it places a strong buyer on equal footing with competitors. It also gives a heads-up that if you want a stronger foothold with the seller in this area, exceeding the suggested minimum amount is certainly in order! If a buyer structures an offer to include minimal contingencies like obtaining financing in a certain amount and the property appraising for at least the sales price, etc., earnest money would be at little risk of loss.

And what about contingencies? Should a seller require that buyers make all offers free of positively all contingencies if they’re serious about the property? Hardly. But keeping contingencies to a minimum (as we’ll see in Part II of this article) definitely gives buyers an added advantage over their competition and results in a smoother sale for you as a seller.

WILL MY UTILITY BILLS BE PRO-RATED IN ESCROW?

“If a man has money, it is usually a sign too, that he knows how to take care of it; don’t imagine his money is easy to get simply because he has plenty of it.” – Edgar Watson Howe

At close of escrow, certain expenses will be pro-rated, giving the Buyer and Seller any credits they may be due or paying any unpaid expenses owing from either party. The pro-ration of these expenses divides up the expense fairly between the parties, determined by the length of time each party owns the property.

The typical expenses which are pro-rated are the property taxes, interest, insurance premium, rents, homeowners dues or maintenance charges. These are expenses which, if unpaid, could become a lien on the property. Utility bills, on the other hand, are not typically attached to the property but rather to the person’s name alone. Although they typically do not become a lien against the property, there are some states where this is the exception.

In some states, utility charges may become a lien against the property and thereby encumber the title. Water, sewer, and propane charges follow the title of a property and can become a lien if left unpaid. When closing a transaction, the closing agent will be very careful to verify the status of these utility bills, determining if they are paid or unpaid, and any remaining balance due. The charges will be determined and the Buyer and Seller’s proportional share will be pro-rated in escrow at the time of closing.

Verify with your closing agent if utility charges will be pro-rated in your state. If you are the Seller, providing your closing agent with your utility bills early in the escrow will save time and clear up any uncertainties at the time of closing.

If you are the Buyer, ask to verify the utility pro-rations which appear on your escrow instructions and closing statement and be certain that all unpaid bills will be paid at the time of closing. You don’t want any surprises after the close of escrow or to find an unpaid water or sewer bill that could attach to the property and become a lien against your title.

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