Thinking of Selling…How do you find the right Realtor?

Q. How do I find a Real Estate agent to sell my house?

A. Selling Real Estate is a matter of Marketing.  So, the question is:  Who best to expose your property to the largest audience?  Where do you start?  The first place you should look is close to home.  Are any of your friends Realtors?  (They may be friends, but they’re also professionals.)  No?  Then who helped your friend/family co-worker sell their house?  A referral is probably the best start you can give yourself.

Then, have a list of questions ready to ask.  Include:  How close to list price do their properties sell for?  In what period of time?  And be sure to ask to see their marketing plan.

Most importantly, get motivated!  A good Realtor will work hard for you and want to sell- in other words, if you are motivated to price your house right, cooperate with your agent and do what is necessary, they will also be willing to do whatever it takes.

Perhaps the single most important thing you can do for yourself is ask for references- and be sure to speak with them.  Then, trust your gut instinct.  If you interview someone that you feel good about and comfortable with, go with that person – you are probably right.

Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Thinking of Selling…Not Staying Local? Here are some things to consider to make the closing easier.

Q. I am selling my home at the end of next month immediately before I relocate across the country. What should I do to protect myself in advance?

A. When you are selling your home and relocating, small delays can cause major stress. It would be helpful to have your own attorney ready to accept Power of Attorney for you should you need to depart before the transfer takes place.  A power of attorney can be drafted quickly and will allow another party to sign all closing documents for you should you be unable to attend the closing.  Another important issue is to be sure you receive a certified check at the closing so that your funds are negotiable when you reach your destination. Many attorneys in other States will not accept the checks of your local closing company and will require either a certified or bank check for your purchase.  Be sure to ask your local closing agent for a certified check prior to your closing.

Published in: on June 21, 2010 at 10:28 am  Comments (1)  

Buying a Home…Should I use the Listing Agent or hire Buyer’s Agent to protect my interests?

Q. Is it a good idea to hire a Buyer’s  Agent to help me purchase my new home?

A. A Buyers Agent works for you and only for you. He/She is hired by you and is paid by you.  This agent, unlike a Seller’s Agent, can discuss pricing information with you and what a good offer would be; can negotiate on your behalf with all involved parties; and can give you advice regarding any and all aspects of purchasing a particular property.  The most knowledgeable Buyer’s Agents are the ones that have had specific training in that regard – don’t hesitate to ask about their qualifications.  Typically there will be no additional cost to you as your Buyer’s Agent will be paid out of the commission the Seller pays to their Listing Agent.

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

What is a “Homeowner’s Association”? What does it mean to a buyer?

Q. What is a “Homeowner’s Association”?  What does it mean to a buyer?

A. Some new subdivisions and Planned Unit developments have a Homeowners Association.  You will find it referred to in the deed.

When you purchase this property, you are automatically a member of their Association, as are all homeowners in the development.  Sometimes, not always, there are annual dues involved.

An association is meant to help the neighborhood maintain its value by putting restrictions on future looks and function.  Some rules may be fairly general, but often they are very detailed.  Be sure you understand the documents as some Homeowners Associations can have power over many aspects of daily life.

However, should you find yourself in a dispute with a neighbor, you may find your association to be a godsend!  They have authority over anyone violating the rules and will often mediate such disputes.

You might want to consider becoming an active member of this group, as they have authority over modifying the rules.

My suggestion would be to make your Purchase & Sale Agreement subject to your Attorneys review of any covenants, conditions or restrictions pertaining to the property you are purchasing.  You would be well advised to have a clear understanding of these documents before entering into a contract.

Published in: on June 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Selling Your Home? Do you need to accept the first offer?

Q. As a seller, do I need to take the first offer that comes in? What else can I do?

A. Offers, even very attractive ones, are rarely accepted as-is. Usually a Seller will be willing to accept some of the Buyer’s terms and want to modify others. This is done by making a “counter offer.” Counter offers, for example, may be based on:

Price — The Buyer has made an offer below what the Seller is looking for;

Closing Date – The Seller cannot meet the requested date;

Household Items – The Buyer has asked for items not listed – i.e. appliances, etc;

Most important to note is that for a contract to be binding, the initial offer, and all counter offers, must be in writing. Any changes to a contract must be initialed by all parties. There is no contract until all parties have initialed all changes and signed. Until this is accomplished the property could be sold to someone else!

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 9:03 am  Comments (1)