3 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Credit Score-The homebuyer’s credit score is among the most important factors when it comes to qualifying for a loan these days.

Evaluate Assets and Liabilities –So you don’t owe too much money and your payments are up to date. But how do you spend your money? Do you have piles of money left over every month, or are you on a shoestring budget?

A first-time homebuyer should have a good idea of what is owed and what is coming in.

Organize Documents –When applying for mortgages, homebuyers must document income and taxes.

 Typically, mortgage lenders will request 2 recent pay stubs, the previous 2 years’ W-2s, tax returns and the past 2 months of bank statements — every page, even the blank ones.

Tips for Buyers & Sellers

Buyer Tips 

Step 1

Get Pre-Qualified. Contact your lender or your mortgage broker. They will pre-qualify you and let you know how much money you can borrow, what your down payment will be, and how much your monthly payment will be. If you don’t have a lender or mortgage broker call us, we can recommend a good one for you. We will need a pre-qual letter from your lender when we get ready to write up and present an offer. Most real estate listing agents will not accept an offer without a pre-qual letter attached. If you are paying cash we will need a “proof of funds letter” from your bank. Again most real estate listing agents will not accept a cash offer without “proof of funds”. Real estate agents are advised not to show properties to prospective clients that have not been pre-qualified.

Step 2

Find a Home. With pre-qual letter in hand you are ready to begin the home finding process. Contact your real estate agent or go to their website and start shopping for your dream home. Your agent will set the appointments for you to see the inside of the property or properties that you have selected. When you have found the perfect property your agent will write up a purchase contract that you will sign, and submit it to the listing agent.

Step 3

Making an offer. The contract will be negotiated between you and the seller, through the agents. Once the contract is agreed upon and executed, inspections can be ordered as well as the lender ordering an appraisal. If everything checks out ok closing can be scheduled.

Step 4

Closing. Closing is the process of going to the title company and signing the necessary papers, deed, note, settlement statement, etc. upon funding the property belongs to the buyer.

Sellers Tips

Step 1

Determine the Market Value of your home. Contact your real estate agent and have them prepare a Comparative Market Analysis on your home. Your agent will have access to the MLS and can compile a list of the recent home sales in your neighborhood. This data will assist in determining a fair market value on your home.

Step 2

List your home. Your agent will provide the necessary paperwork to list your home. Agent will then take pictures of the home, put a sign in the yard, lockbox on the door, and add the listing to the MLS. Your home will be “on the market”.

Step 3

Prepare your home for showings. Once you are on the market prospective buyers and their agent will be coming over to view your house. Try to keep it neat, clean and de-cluttered. Some prospective buyers cannot see past bold colored walls and family portraits, it is usually wise to re-paint with neutral colors and to remove family pictures. Offensive odors (cigarette smoke, cat and dog odors) turn most buyers away, so shampoo carpets and deodorizing are essential.

Step 4

Negotiate the Offer. Buyers that are interested in the property will submit a purchase contract that you and your agent will look over. Once accepted by both parties a closing will be scheduled. The seller then goes to closing signing the necessary papers to convey the property to the buyer, and collect any funds due. 


What You Need to Know About Home Appraisals

When you think about buying a house, you think about the plentiful cabinet space you hope to find in the kitchen, or ample bedroom size. You probably aren’t thinking about the home appraisal.If you’re selling a home, you’re probably daydreaming about the home you plan on moving into next. You’re probably wondering how much you can sell your home for, too.But whether you’re selling or buying, you probably aren’t thinking much about the home appraisal process. It isn’t one of the most glamorous parts of buying or selling a home, and yet if home appraisals disappeared tomorrow, the real estate market would come crashing down.So if you’re about to buy or sell a home and know little about appraisals, it’s time to change that.What are they? A home appraisal is a very educated guess as to how much your property is worth.

Why are home appraisals important? No credible financial institution will lend you money for a house without an appraisal.

The appraisal lets a bank or lender know what the loan collateral will sell for in a worst-case scenario.In other words, to go with an extreme example, the bank doesn’t want to be stuck with a home they lent the borrower a million dollars for but can only sell for $100,000 because that’s all it is worth. The home buyer shouldn’t want that either, of course.

So appraisals exist for good reason, but what can make them a tense time for all parties is that they’re conducted after you’ve negotiated a price, agreed to buy or sell the house and signed the contract. So it’s in everyone’s best interest that the appraisal is close to the price that both seller and buyer have agreed on.That said, if it turns out you’re about to buy a house for a wildly inflated price, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re obligated to buy the house. But if you aren’t careful, it could mean just that.

The sales-and-purchase agreement should address the possibility that your appraisal comes in below the purchase price, and allow you to terminate the contract or renegotiate the price.

If not, you could be obligated to cover the difference for a lowball appraisal, and that could mean you’re on the hook for thousands.Who pays for the home appraisal? Usually, it’s the seller who pays for it at closing, which can be as high as several hundred dollars. The national average cost for a property appraiser is $309, according to data compiled by HomeAdvisor.com.

How do home appraisals differ from home inspections? The two often get confused, but they aren’t the same thing. Both an appraiser and inspector will walk around the house and take a good look at it (usually, the inspector comes first), but they’re each at the house for different reasons. The appraiser is looking at the value of the home; the inspector is looking for any defects with the home that may cause you financial grief later.
Of course, if the appraiser notices a problem, he won’t ignore it. If the appraiser spots a leaky sink or some loose wiring, he may request an inspection.

How long does the appraisal process take? It used to take a couple of days, but in recent years, ever since the recession – when federal guidelines changed the appraisal process – it’s more often a week or two. Underwriters can request more information about the house than they could in past years, and gathering that data and photos can take time for the seller and real estate agent, which can mess up the closing date, putting everyone on edge.

What factors go into deciding the worth of a house? Plenty. The appraiser is looking at the key characteristics of the property including square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, condition of the home, current recently sold comparable’s that are close in proximity and health and safety issues.

That said, most real estate agents will tell you that it’s the recently sold comparable’s – that is, houses that are similar to your own – that are the main factors in appraising a home. It’s all about property values.

If you’re a homeowner, what can you do to improve the process? Nothing, once it starts. You’re powerless during the appraisal process, but before the appraiser comes by, you can take these common-sense steps.

It’s important to have the property look as good as it possibly can. You want to help the appraiser see your property’s potential so they will possibly reconcile a value closer toward the upper end of the range.After all, appraisers are only human. You could have a really cool house easily worth between, say, $300,000 and $325,000, but if it’s junkie, it’s easy to imagine the appraiser coming down closer to $300,000.

The day the appraiser comes, the lawn should be mowed, the landscaping weeded and the bushes trimmed. Clean the house. Get out the air freshener. Turn on the lights and open the blinds.It’s also very helpful to sit down the day or night before the appraiser arrives and make a list of repairs and improvements that have been done to the house over the past several years.

So if you’ve put on a new roof or bought a new hot water heater, let the appraiser know. Note anything you can think of – the appraiser will decide what is important to the value. It does not have to be formal or detailed. Just thoughtfully note everything so you can give it to the appraiser before he or she leaves.

But don’t get too excited if you’ve spent a lot on repairs and renovations. Your $30,000 kitchen remodel may help the appraisal, but it won’t automatically mean your house is worth an extra $30,000.

What a good real estate agent will do. If you’re selling the home, your agent will be there to meet the appraiser and share the home improvements you’ve jotted down – and offer other data as well.In the past, we would just meet the appraiser to open the door so that they could view the home. Now agents will come armed with a folder of information on comparable homes that justify the sale price.

We even call around to other brokers to ask what other properties that have not closed yet are currently under contract for since they are often slated to sell for a price well above asking, and it’s critical that the appraiser has this information.
The more information a seller and their agent can give an appraiser that they can’t find out just from checking the listing and walking through the home, the better.appraisal

Home Inspections

For most of us, purchasing a home is the biggest investment we will ever make. The process of purchasing a home is both rewarding and often times stressful. Dealing with contract negotiations, mortgage loans, and mountains of paperwork can be quite overwhelming. The last thing a home buyer needs to worry about is an unforeseen problem with his or her investment. This is why taking the time and investing in a professional home inspection is so important.

Every home has its secrets. A thorough home inspection will not only reveal these secrets, but provide the home buyer with a degree of confidence in the purchase. In addition to the home appraisal, required by most mortgage lenders, the home inspection will help justify the selling price of the home and, in fact, can be a large factor in negotiations.

Unlike a home appraisal, which only provides a cursory market value for the property, a home inspection offers a detailed analysis of the home’s condition. These inspections, when performed by professional contractors, should include an analysis of the home’s major mechanical systems such as furnace and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical components, as well as an overall analysis of the roof.

A home inspection will alert the buyer to any safety concerns or potential threats with the property such as the potential for mold, lead-based paint and asbestos. A qualified home inspector will be able to suggest actions for remediation in these instances. In addition to these environmental concerns, a home inspection will single out any code violations that may be present. This type of problem is quite common in older homes which were “grandfathered” in prior to changes in the local building code. It is important for the home buyer to be aware of these deficiencies and possible hazards.

A home inspection is a great tool for future planning, especially when purchasing an older home in need of upgrades. A detailed home inspection will provide the buyer with a “life expectancy” for certain items such as roofs, furnaces and appliances. A local home inspector will be able to inform the buyer of any local codes as they pertain to fencing laws, the addition of decks, etc. so that the home buyer may plan accordingly for future home improvements.

There are several avenues to finding a reputable home inspection company. Your real estate agent as well as your mortgage lender will undoubtedly be able to recommend one for you. Although you can typically trust a Realtor to provide you with a reputable contractor, you will also want to be aware of the source. The home inspector should be a licensed contractor in the state in which you are purchasing your home. They should be able to provide you with references, other than real estate agents. Other good sources for home inspectors include local Builder Associations, trade unions, the Chamber of Commerce- even your local hardware store may have a contractor advertising section. Home inspections will range in price according to the size and value of the home. Typically the average price for a home inspection is around $300. The emphasis should be on “professional” when looking for a home inspector. Though family members have good intentions, trusting a relative who “knows a lot about houses” is not a wise decision when dealing with your investment.

A home inspection is quite common in the real estate industry today. The majority of home purchase contracts will call out a home inspection as a contingency on the sale. Buyer beware, however, you must request this contingency as it is not an automatic clause. When purchasing a home it is a wise decision to invest a few hundred extra dollars in a home inspection. This small investment will help provide peace of mind when investing your life savings in a home.

Content provided by Helium Inc. This information is provided for your convenience; it is not indented as insurance advice. The views, opinions, and advice expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not those of Homesite Group Incorporated.


Fried Marketing

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 Marketing   is truly your life source in business. Marketing changes your life. In the real estate business your realtor is only as good as their marketing skills. Marketing changes the world.

So how do you do that? Well, you need to understand that everything starts with you and your values.

This is as true for individuals as it is for companies and brands. When you identify who you are, what you believe in, what you stand for, what you value, and then always act on those values, it makes life (and business) so much easier. Life still throws at you all the shit it always has, but you know exactly how to respond in a way that is true to you.                                                                                        NEVER STOP LEARNING


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Your brain on Real Estate


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Two heads are better then one

Hello out there in the world of real estate. My blog will consist of all the implicit challenges we face on a daily basis while “hustling” houses. I know that sounds defective but I must admit there are times when it feels just like that. Working as a realtor for ten years now after exiting a thirty year career as a cosmetologist is quite a call to take part in !

Lets come together and use our minds to share some interesting experiences.Lets try to explore options to help each other grow as entrepreneur’s. Share general information that you dealt with on your journey as a Realtor.  What kind of market are you working ? Write till your hearts content. Remember body , mind and spirit is the path to success !