Posted on 14. October 2011 02:05 by qmiskini

 

Why do Realtors and their Teams sell houses?  The reasons are as varied as the real estate professionals working in the field.  But here is the number one reason I hear from Realtors I have worked with over the years, and from members of our Team.

Most often I hear it is the “joy of helping people.”  Sounds corny, but it is a prevailing attitude.  Whether a Realtor does a poor job or brilliant job in assisting a Client in purchasing a home, when the transaction closes they get paid.  Then everyone goes their own way.  The difference between doing a poor job and a great job can be the attitude we bring to the work each day.

For many Buyers, whether it is their first time or the tenth, purchasing a home is a big financial undertaking and an emotional roller coaster ride.  Spouses must find agreement; childrens’ excitement and fears about moving to a new school, neighborhood and making friends, sadness about leaving old friends behind and anticipation of meeting new neighbors, packing, unpacking and more all can resonate throughout the home search and purchase.  Helping Buyers focus on their wants, needs and wishes in order to find their “perfect home” also means getting to know our Buyers, making a new friend, empathizing with their concerns and worries and providing an easy to talk to safe haven for working through those concerns.

When a Buyer tells you three months after they have moved into their new home that they “love their home,” that’s usually code for their having made the right choices for everyone in the family.  Schools are good, neighbors are friendly, they feel comfortable and safe in the community and the home itself really did live up to their hopes and expectations.  I love my new home means to our Buyers that what may have seemed like climbing a mountain when they started the buying process, now feels like a walk in the park!

A month or so after a Buyer moves into their new home we often drive by to see how they have adjusted to their new home and surroundings.  It is a lot of fun for us to see and hear how easily and well their lives have “returned to normal.”

I love my new home means we have accomplished our number one objective when working with Buyers:  We’ve made a new friend… hopefully for life!  That’s why Realtors sell houses!

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 10. October 2011 05:43 by qmiskini

In Georgia (as in other states) the practice of Dual Agency is a legal and accepted practice.  Simply put, Dual Agency, when agreed to by the Buyer and Seller allows one Realtor to represent both parties in the transaction.  There are transactions where Dual Agency can work to the benefit of both the Buyer and Seller.  But most often, one Realtor cannot represent both parties to the full benefit of each party.

Both Buyers and Sellers need to be clear about the nature of Agency and the duties and responsibilities a Realtor has to their Client, whether Buyer or Seller.    Perhaps the most important duty a Realtor has to their Client is to protect their Client’s interests in the transaction at all times, including disclosing to their Client all relevant information they have learned about the other party’s interests and finances.  That makes walking the line between two Clients in a Dual Agency relationship difficult and hard to navigate.  

There are some duties and services a Seller Agent - the listing agent in a Seller Agency relationship with the Seller – can perform on behalf of both the Buyer and Seller.  This chart illustrates these primary functions.

 

However, when a Buyer allows the Listing Agent who is already in a Seller Agency relationship with the Seller to represent both parties in a Dual Agency relationship, there are duties and functions a Realtor whose role is also to represent and protect the Seller’s interests cannot adequately perform on behalf of the Buyer.  This chart illustrates those primary functions.

 

 Here is what is stated in the GAR Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement regarding Dual Agency.

Dual Agency Disclosure. [Applicable only if Broker’s agency policy is to practice dual agency] If Buyer and a prospective seller are both being represented by the same Broker, Buyer is aware that Broker will be acting as a dual agent in that transaction and consents to the same. Buyer has been advised that:

A. In serving as a dual agent, Broker is representing two clients whose interests are or at times could be different or even adverse;

B. Broker will disclose all adverse, material facts relevant to the transaction and actually known to the dual agent to all parties in the transaction except for information made confidential by request or instructions from either client which is not otherwise required to be disclosed by law;

C. Buyer does not have to consent to dual agency and, the consent of Buyer to dual agency has been given voluntarily and Buyer has read and understands the brokerage engagement agreement.

D. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained herein, Buyer hereby directs Broker, while acting as a dual agent, to keep confidential and not reveal to the other party any information which could materially and adversely affect Buyer’s negotiating position.

E. Broker or Broker’s affiliated licensees will timely disclose to each client the nature of any material relationship with other clients other than that incidental to the transaction. A material relationship shall mean any actually known personal, familial, or business relationship between Broker and a client which would impair the ability of Broker to exercise fair and independent judgment relative to another client. The other party whom Broker may represent in the event of dual agency may or may not be identified at the time Buyer enters into this Agreement. If any party is identified after the Agreement and has a material relationship with Broker, then Broker shall timely provide to Buyer a disclosure of the nature of such relationship.

 

For a Buyer not represented by a Realtor who finds a home whose Seller is represented by a Realtor that suggests they can represent both parties, these terms and conditions must be clearly understood as they affect the rights of both parties in the transaction.  If you have not already entered into an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement with a Realtor, the Realtor representing the Seller can offer you a good alternative.  It is called Designated Agency.  Here is what is stated in the GAR Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement regarding Designated Agency.

Designated Agency Disclosure. [Applicable only if Broker’s agency policy is to practice designated agency] Buyer does hereby consent to Broker acting in a designated agency capacity in transactions in which Broker is representing Buyer and a prospective seller. With designated agency, the Broker assigns one or more of its affiliated licensees exclusively to represent a prospective seller and one or more of its other affiliated licensees exclusively to represent Buyer.

 

Simply put, the Realtor’s Broker can provide each party in the transaction with qualified Realtors to exclusively represent each party individually and to the benefit of the party the Realtor is representing.  One Realtor represents the Buyer and the Buyer’s interests; one Realtor represents the Seller and the Seller’s interests.

Then, both parties are fully represented; the added stress of one Realtor trying to “fairly” represent both parties is taken out of the transaction; and both Buyer and Seller can feel confident their Realtor is working fully in their individual best interests.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 

 


Posted on 5. October 2011 04:06 by qmiskini

 

What do sellers want?  Buyers!  Pretty simple, right?  No, not so simple. 

First, a few tough but true facts. In the Atlanta Metro Area, the high water mark for residential detached home sale prices peaked in June 2007 at about $275,000.  By the end of July 2011 the average sale price had declined 29.82% to about $193,000.  Interestingly, the number of home sales rose between 2010 and 2011, adding some hope and energy to the residential home sales market.  But that was sparked by a decline in home values overall of 13.96% between July 2010 and July 2011. 

The Atlanta Metro Area is a huge market area, divided into many different Areas where everything from the quality of schools to zoning impact home values in those Areas.  In Area 13 which includes a portion of Alpharetta as well as Roswell and Mountain Park, the average sale price for the months including January through July 2007 was $459,317.  The average original list price to sold/closed sale price was 95.69% of the original List price.  A home run for sellers! 

In the same period this year, the average sale price was $389,859, a decline in home values of 15.12%.  The good news is, in Area 13 the decline is only half the Atlanta Metro Market decline.  The bad news is that unrealistic expectations and pricing showed the overpriced original list price average of $441,924 vs. the final sold/closed sale price average of $386,859, just 88.22% of the original list price.  A home run for Buyers!

If all this sounds very technical, actually it’s pretty basic and very, very important.  Your Realtor and Team must know the numbers, the specific numbers for your Area and your sub division and street, in order to help you accurately price your home for fast sale at full market value.  But price, although a major component of attracting qualified, interested Buyers is only one part of the equation. 

Presentation of a seller’s home – “pin-neat” and “move-in-ready” – elevates a property above the crowded field.  And innovative and aggressive marketing that targets the specific Buyers who would be searching for just this home separates the seller’s home from all those other homes in the price category.  Remember, the numbers are the harsh reality of today’s market.  Understanding what it takes to showcase a seller’s home so that the Buyers in search of the “perfect home” immediately and positively equate this home’s benefits with this home’s price, means the difference between bringing Buyers to the home and Buyers passing that home by without ever crossing the home’s threshold.

Everything about the marketing - from the quality of the photography and presentations showcasing the home, to the articulation of that home’s unique benefits, to understanding what Buyers shopping for a home like this want - must be carefully thought through when showcasing a home for sale.  Even the messages on the yard signs must be unique and enticing to Buyers. 

There is no “trick” to selling a home. There are plenty of Buyers looking for “deals.”  There is an over-supply of homes for sale.    Selling a home in today’s complex market means making sure your Realtor and Team have a firm and clear understanding of pricing and values, past trends as predictors of future pricing, and an aggressive and innovative system of marketing that can elevate your home above the really crowded field.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 26. September 2011 02:51 by qmiskini

 

Sellers were once Buyers.  Why did they choose the home they are now selling?  Was it the location, home style, floor plan comfortability, the yard, the neighborhood, the color of the front facade?  Was it clean and in move-in condition and met all their wants, needs and wishes when they purchased the home?  Was it a fixer-up they turned into their vision of the perfect home? Whatever the reasons and circumstances, this home was the best fit… it came the closest to fulfilling their wants, needs and wishes.

Now its being sold; now the home that once fit the Seller so well has to be the perfect fit for a Buyer.  In order to attract the Buyer who will see this home as the right fit, the Seller must think like a Buyer.  Helping the Seller think like a Buyer is one of the most important elements of the psychology of selling a home. It is among the primary strategies your Realtor and his or her Team must help you – the Seller successfully accomplish.

Every house, whether it is a cottage or mansion is just a box with defined spaces within it.  How does that box become distinguishable from all other boxes? What is required to make that box appealing to people other than its owner?  What is it about this box that feels welcoming, inviting, orderly, functional, safe?  Are this box’s colors pleasing, cold, vibrant, comforting? Is its outer skin clear and smooth or wrinkled and cracked?  Does it look drab or bright?  How about the window dressing? Is the lawn weedy and sparse or lush and green? Bushes neat and trimmed? Trees cut back away from the roof?

How does the home smell: fresh and neutral or like last evening’s fabulous dinner? Carpets cleaned or stained, wrinkled or stretched?  Wow, look at all the great art this family has collected.  Lots of furniture in this room… it feels crowded. There’s “stuff” in the gutters.  The back yard fence is a little tumble-down.  I wonder why it’s so warm in here… is their air conditioning broken?  Oh look, the windows are all painted shut.  Ugh, there’s all that soap film on the shower curtain, I think this is a dirty house. There are bulbs burned out, I hope that fan-light is still working. There’s a lot of “things” on the kitchen counters; this kitchen is small; not enough storage. Wow these closets are stuffed; not enough closet space.

We were previewing a home in Alpharetta. It was a 1980’s vintage in an elegant executive style sub division.  The owner’s décor, from the kitchen to the huge work-out room was beautifully maintained 1950’s “postmodern.”  The home was decorated in the same style and was filled with extraordinary and expensive art.  It felt like you were visiting a time-warp museum.  The seller had lowered the price more than $100 thousand dollars and still had not received an offer.  Wonder why? The home was eventually withdrawn from the market and two years later has still not sold.

Prior to listing a drab looking contemporary ranch in Kennesaw, the focus for the marketing plan was to offer a home with a bright, cheerful, spacious feeling floor plan that was neat as a pin and in move in condition for a first-time home buyer.  The large dog that was delightfully friendly and shed everywhere was temporarily relocated to a daughter’s home.  Carpets were cleaned. Lots of soap and water and “elbow grease” was used to remove finger prints and smudges from the walls and switch plates. Dark draperies were removed and inexpensive but clean and fresh window blinds were hung.  Half the furniture and 95% of their wall are and room décor was boxed up and put in the garage.  The scruffy lawn and bushes were trimmed, edged and decorated with rich-looking red mulch.  Colorful annuals were planted and the exterior was power washed, gutters were cleaned and the largest tree next to the home was removed.  The home sold in two weeks to a first-time home buyer who was delighted with all the space and how fresh everything seemed compared to their crowded apartment, and “how pretty the garden (the colorful annuals) made the home look.”

Helping Sellers think like Buyers helps sellers sell homes.

Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 23. September 2011 02:44 by qmiskini

 

The statement: “I don’t want to give my house away” is, if not clearly articulated by Sellers to their listing Realtor, certainly on every seller’s mind.  It is the seller’s mantra, spoken or unspoken whether the market is a strong seller’s market or a troubled buyer’s market.  Why is this a concern for Sellers?  Likely because they may not trust their Realtor because their Realtor has failed to give them a full, clear market analysis backed up by research data that helps the seller understand the market’s values and how their home stacks up.

The Comparative Market Analysis – CMA, must be a well-researched and presented package of data that breaks down the market in a number of ways so when a home is valued, there is strong market analysis data to back up the price assumptions. Sellers need and deserve to have accurate data that is clearly presented in order to make confident decisions about the ultimate selling price of their valued property.

No two homes are truly alike. Location, condition of the home, neighborhood conditions, and a variety of other physical factors play a role in valuing a property. But values of other homes that have sold and closed on the seller’s street, sub division, neighborhood school district, market area and even city all have impact on a home’s individual value.  A 2-story, 3-sided brick, 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on a basement with a side loading garage in North Fulton County Alpharetta will be valued and sold at a substantially different price than the exact same design in West Cobb County Powder Springs or East Cobb County Marietta or South Cherokee County Woodstock.

What did homes in the seller’s community sell for prior to the economic downturn?  What percentage of deflation can be ascribed to the market and what portion of that value decrease directly affects that individual home?   What were the original list price (OLP) to list price (LP) to sale price (SP) ratios and percentages prior to the downturn? What are they today?  How have they changed due to changing market conditions over the past five years since the Atlanta Metro market’s sale price highs? What were the year to year changes in their Market Area and in their sub division? Were those changes less, more or the same as the Atlanta Metro market as a whole?  Correlate these statistics plus a number of equally important, sometimes subtle market performance factors and you have strong, clear, supportable data from which a simple, easy to understand summary with references to the research can be provided to the seller.

Realtors and their researchers should always remember sellers are not real estate professionals.  The seller is financially vulnerable and emotionally involved.  Their home is usually a substantial portion of their net worth.  The seller must have good information, clear marketing data and clear assumptions of what a range of values and timeline for a sale should be. 

These are tough times for most sellers.  They need and deserve the best research, clearest analysis of their home’s value and the strongest marketing plan linked to a smart pricing strategy in order to garner offers and negotiate a sale price that is clearly supported by their home’s value.

Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 19. September 2011 09:13 by qmiskini

 

In Metro Atlanta, most residential real estate closings are completed at a Closing Attorney’s office.  Whether the sale is in Marietta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Kennesaw, Woodstock or Canton, the closing attorney that is part of your Realtor’s Team should have an office in close proximity to your new home.  Those present at the close usually are the Buyer and the Buyer’s Realtor, the Seller and the Seller’s Realtor, the closing attorney and occasionally the Buyer’s loan officer.

At the end of the closing, there usually an air of relief.  The sometimes long, occasionally arduous, usually emotional and too often stressful journey is complete.  Getting to the closing table should not be a painful and chaotic experience, but all too often it is.  This is the time when an effective professional Team can take the reins and guide the Buyer and Seller to a satisfying and happy conclusion.  The guiding concept is “grace under fire.”  When the inevitable but predictable “unforeseen” issues crop up, your Realtor and their Team should be prepared to mitigate even the thorniest issues and help everyone stay calm, focused and working towards the conclusion everyone desires: a pleasant and successful closing.

Remember that both the Buyer and the Seller want the same thing: to close on time with as little hassle and stress as possible.  Here are the highlights of a closing procedure and the key participants in each step.

Due Diligence

The Due Diligence period is a mutually agreed number of days, beginning most often the first day following Binding Agreement.  During this period the Buyer has the right to inspect the property, and the obligation to complete the financing phase of their loan application process.  Your Realtor should be able to recommend a number of seasoned professionals on their Team such as a Home Inspector, Termite and Pest Infestation Inspector, and any additional inspections the Buyer may feel necessary like Radon and air quality testing, mold and mildew inspections, additional electrical and plumbing and heat and air conditional system inspections and others as a property may require.  The Seller should be prepared by their Realtor for the results of the inspections which will come in the form of an Amendment detailing the Buyer’s concerns and requests for the Seller to address those concerns to the Buyer’s satisfaction.  As the Seller, your Realtor should suggest you have your home inspected prior to listing, and repair all the potentially problematic issues so that they do not become a problem during due diligence and inevitably lead to a request to make costly repairs under stress or even cause the sale price to be renegotiated.  The better the condition of the home, the stronger the negotiating power the Seller has regarding sale price.  This video will add some perspective to the home inspection process.

Loan Approval

This also takes place during the Due Diligence period.  The Buyer, the Buyer’s Loan Office and the Buyer’s Realtor all working together as a Team should be certain all the Buyer’s credit and job history documentation has been verified by the Lender’s underwriter so that once a bound Purchase and Sale Agreement is provided to the Lender, only an appraisal and the inevitable last minute minor verification documents will be required by the underwriter to complete loan approval.  Also during this period the Buyer’s Loan Office will provide the Buyer with an updated Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing all the loan application fees and additional expenses such as the first year’s Hazard Insurance policy, appraisal fee, pre-paid expenses like 2 - 3 month’s escrowed funds for taxes and insurances and other important expenses the Buyer will be required to pay at Closing.  Often a document indicating Lender loan approval is also required.

Preparation for Closing

With all inspections completed, repairs negotiated and completed, and loan approval received, the Closing Attorney will be ready to receive the Lender’s closing package for final document preparation for the Close.  Prior to loan approval the Closing Attorney will have performed a title search to insure clear title to the property can be conveyed from the Seller to the Buyer, will have ordered title insurance (preferably for both the Buyer’s Lender and also for the Buyer) and will be checking the Agreements and subsequent Amendments to be sure the entire Agreement is correct and signed and dated by all parties to the transaction. Based on the terms as agreed from the Purchase and Sale Agreement and the terms and finances as enumerated in the Buyer’s Lender’s closing package, a Closing Statement also known as a HUD will be prepared and distributed to all parties before the closing to check for any possible errors that can be corrected prior to the Closing.

The Close

Now it’s time to close the transaction. There are a variety of ways it can be executed, but if all parties are together at the Closing Attorney’s office, document signing, the exchange of monies for the close and the “handing over of the keys” at the end of the close caps off weeks, and sometimes months of hard work. 

Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 15. September 2011 01:38 by qmiskini

This is a blog from a fellow Realtor in Connecticut, Peggy Chirico, Realtor.  Her explanation about the value of and importance of Buyer Representation for you the Buyer is a clear and fact-filled discusssion of how all Buyers should have appropriate representation in order to protect their best interets in any real estate transaction. Enjoy this excellent Blog.

 

Via Peggy Chirico, REALTOR® 860-748-8900 Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty):
When I am speaking for the first time with potential buyers, one of the most misunderstood aspects of buying a home concerns buyer representation. Although we have had buyer representation in Connecticut since 1996, many people still do not understand that, as buyers, they have the right to have an agent who solely represents their interests. Here are some of the most common questions about buyer representation. I hope this will clear up WHYyou need buyer representation!

What is buyer representation?

When you agree to work with a buyer's agent, you have the benefit of someone representing your best interests and negotiating on your behalf. The agent has a fiduciary responsibility and pledges to you loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, accountability, reasonable care, and diligence. These are not just words; you have an agent that helps you through every step of the transaction and puts your interests above everyone else's, including her own.

Can't I just call the agent whose name is on the sign in front of the house?

You can call that agent, but you must remember that he/she is representing the seller and will work in the seller's best interests. The agent can show you the house, and you must either consent to unrepresentation (you are on your own) or dual representation. If you choose to be unrepresented party, you must sign a paper that says that you understand that. If you want the agent to represent you, both you and the seller must sign papers that you agree to dual representation, and the agent will do his/her best to represent both parties fairly. A third option is that the agent can assign another agent from her broker's office to represent you, in which case you will have designated agency. But my question to you is: Why would you notwant to select your own agent who works just for you?

Won't I get a better deal if I go to the listing agent?

This is a misconception that persists among novice buyers. Some people think that an agent will talk the seller into accepting a lower offer if that agent has both the buyer and seller because the agent will be getting all the commission. The reality is that the agent may be representing both parties, but the people in control of the final outcome are the seller and the buyer.If the seller doesn't want to accept your offer, it isn't going to happen. If you, the buyer, don't want to agree to the terms, it isn't going to happen either. Wouldn't you rather have an agent who will negotiate fully on your behalf so that you don't have to worry about where someone's allegiance lies?

Can you show me properties that aren't your listings?

Yes! No only can I show you any property that is listed on MLS but I can also show you For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). When the sellers list their homes for sale, they agree to pay the buyer's agent if they sell the home. The same is true for most FSBOs as well. The owners of FSBOs save money by not using a seller's agent, but most agree to pay a buyer's agent a commission. So if you see a property that interests, just let me know and I will arrange for us to see it.

How much does buyer representation cost?

In 99.9% of the cases, the commission is paid by the seller, so buyer representation costs you nothing. I have never had an instance where a buyer has paid my commission, even with FSBOs. The buyer representation agreement, however, will spell out that you will be responsible for my commission if the seller does not pay. But two things are important here: First, it is extremely rare; and second, we generally know ahead of time if there are any issues with the commission.

Do I have to sign anything?

Yes, our agreement is called Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer/Tenantand it outlines what each of our responsibilities are. State law requires that I can only show you other brokers' listings if we either have an Exclusive Right to Represent agreement or if I have permission from each seller to show you the property. Rather than getting permission for each property, the Exclusive Right to Represent allows me to show you all properties that are listed by any broker. When we meet, I will go over each section of the agreement so that you understand it, but essentially is says that for a period of time we will work together in an agency relationship and that I will represent you in the purchase of your new home or land. You agree that you will use me exclusively as your agent and will let others know that you have signed a buyer representation agreement. This protects you, me, and other agents by letting them know that we have an exclusive relationship.

How long do I have to sign the agreement for?

The period of time that we are under agreement is negotiable. I want our relationship to be a mutually satisfying one, and I believe that we should both wantto work together. For that reason, I encourage you to select a period of time that you feel comfortable with. If you don't want to sign a long agreement at first, that's fine with me; we can always extend it later if we both agree.

What else do I need to know about buyer representation?

The other thing that many homebuyers don't understand is that buyer representation not just about finding the property and writing up the contract. A buyer's agent is critical in the steps leading up to the closing. The inspections need to be done, and inspection issues need to be negotiated. After inspections are completed, a buyer's agent will monitor the mortgage process, make sure that the commitment date is met, and make sure that the final walkthough meets the buyer's approval. Any extra services, such as coordinating attorney services, utility switchovers, and verifying that inspection issues have been completed may be part of the agent's responsibilities. This conversation does not happen over the phone. I always meet with a potential buyer first so we can discuss each step in the homebuying process. I want to provide as much information as possible and answer any questions they have so they will feel comfortable about the process. After I have explained what buyer representation is, I will ask them to sign an Exclusive Right to Represent agreement. I want them to feel comfortable that I am going to work for them, but I also want to know that they are committed to me. We go over everything they will need to do for homeownership:
  • Do they understand each step of the homebuying process?
  • Do they understand that the monthly payment includes mortgage principle and interest, taxes and insurance?
  • What do they need to provide to a mortgage lender to see what they qualify for in a mortgage?
  • What is the timing? When do they need to move in? Do they have flexibility?
  • What are their criteria for their first home? Are they flexible in what they must have and what they would like to have?
  • Are there any other decision makers?
I hope this answers some of your questions about buyer representation. If you have any other questions, please ask. Or give me a call and we'll get started!

 


Posted on 14. September 2011 04:05 by qmiskini

 

In today’s roiling housing market there are a lot of reasons why a home isn’t selling. Many are actually true!  But when you boil down all the theories about why a home isn’t selling it comes down to just three fundamental elements: Marketing, Presentation and Price.

There are two ways to market a home, “passive selling” and “active, innovative marketing.” Passive selling is placing a sign in the yard, listing the home in the multiple listings, offering the home on the office tour, occasionally running an open house and waiting for an offer to come in.  All too often that is the level of service provided.  Advertising and marketing is expensive. These days if your home is advertised at all it may be incorporated into a broker’s ad featuring five or ten or twenty homes in a single ad. A confident full service Realtor will go way beyond that level of service.  Their marketing strategy will be active, innovative marketing. They will sell your home’s benefits, not its features. They will target market to Buyers looking for the benefits your home has to offer.  “Walking distance to schools.” “Large, private, level, fenced rear yard.” “Quiet, low traffic cul-de-sac home site.” “Awesome lake views.”  Buyers are looking for homes that fit their needs, wants and wishes. Print ads are great.  But how about the Internet with distribution to high traffic real estate portals that syndicate your home’s listing to dozens, sometimes hundreds of real estate sites nationwide?

Great presentation of your home is vital to a sale. Did your Realtor spend the time walking through your home with a checklist of items that make homes saleable?  A home should be clean, neat and uncluttered. Small details that Buyers always notice like carpet stains, fingerprints on walls, household cooking odors, cracked switch plates, dark colors in key rooms like the dining room, family room or master bedroom, unkempt shrubbery and uncut lawns… the list of easy to fix and usually inexpensive repairs that make a home attractive, bright, welcoming easy to view.  The exact things Buyers react positively to.  Did your Realtor take you to other homes for sale in the area that are similar to yours and show you what the competition looks like?  How about a home in your sub division that sold in less than a month?  What made that home so attractive to the Buyer?

The old saw: “price fixes everything” is true. Make a home price cheap enough and someone will buy it.  But that’s not the point of understanding price.  Great marketing will get Buyers to preview an internet feature but price gets them to preview the home.  The Buyer is looking at value vs. price.  If the home has the features they are seeking – number of bedrooms, bath rooms, location, style – and the benefits of the home are appealing, does the home’s price equate in their mind’s eye with their perception of the home’s value?  On the selling side you as well as your Realtor want to sell the home for the highest attainable price.  Does the price your home is offered for meet the value expectations of the Buyers seeking homes like yours?  In this or any market there is often a discernable difference between what you want to receive for your home and what the market is willing to pay.  Has your Realtor done a thorough Market Analysis and developed an achievable pricing strategy?  Were you shown, with statistics to back it up, what the market is saying your home – “in show quality condition” is actually worth? Chances are it may conflict with what you want or “need” to net from the sale of your home.  Did your Realtor give you a preliminary market analysis to see what your home’s completion is, even before you met?

These are not easy time for Sellers. When you chose a Realtor, be sure they understand the three key reasons why homes do, or don’t sell: Marketing, Presentation and Price.

Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

 

 


Posted on 13. September 2011 03:24 by qmiskini

 

Developing a strategy for buying the right home is both an art as well as a science.  The art is understanding your wants.  The science is identifying your needs.  Combining the two provides a picture of the right home for you.

Here is a short primer on some of what your Realtor and their Team will help you identify to get you started on the path to successful home buying.  It all starts with writing it down.  You can call it the wish list, the want list, the need list.  But it’s really all three.

Start with the most important first step you can take – meeting with a Lender to get pre-approved for a home loan.  Your Realtor will have home loan specialists on their Team who can offer a menu of options for loans.  They can provide you with information about the various programs offered, whether or not you qualify for special programs like 203K FHA renovation loans, what you must do to qualify for a home loan, and how much of a home loan can you afford. With a pre-approval letter in hand, you now know what price home you can purchase.

Next you will begin putting all of your specific criteria on paper, developing an image of the size, style and location of the home that fits all your specific criteria. For example, you may want a home in the Walton High School District in Marietta GA, or you want to live in the Milton GA or Alpharetta GA community. You like the schools, but how long will your commute time be to work? How many bedrooms will you need? How about a basement – will storage or expansion be important to you?  Big lot and back yard – room for the kids to play, love gardening? How about a master bedroom on the main level vs. all the bedrooms upstairs?  And you’ve only just begun.  Here’s where working with your Realtor to develop that list in order to generate a daily HomeHunter ® Service list of homes pays off.

Knowing your budget will also help you focus your wish, want and need lists.  For example, a $225,000 budget will buy a newer construction 4 bedroom, 2.5 Bath home on a full basement in the Sprayberry High School District of Marietta GA, but perhaps a somewhat older 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Walton High School District of Marietta GA.  Are you handy?  Will taking on a lower priced foreclosed property in Alpharetta GA needing fix-up work to make it your dream home help you bridge cost vs. size vs. location issues?   Or, is new home construction in a new home community in Woodstock GA a better choice for you?

As you can see, wandering through the maze of options available is not the best way to find the right home in the best location at the lowest price with the least hassle.  Engaging a Realtor with a Team of specialists who can help you focus on the best properties for you – those that meet the important criteria you identify -  will not only simplify your search, it will go a long way toward making it more memorable and enjoyable experience.  To help you get started here’s a brief video – How To Make The Most From Your Home-Buying Experience that will outline the process we’ve been talking about.

Because buying or selling a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home buyers and sellers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home buying or selling decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home buyer or home seller series. 

If you just want to start out by searching the MLS to see what types of homes are available in your projected price range and area of preference CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

 

 


Posted on 12. September 2011 01:17 by qmiskini

Buying a home is not a hop, skip and a jump. It is a process that often begins many months before you ever start visiting properties with your Realtor.  Preparing for the journey is important because once you begin, unless you are prepared for the emotional roller coaster it can sometimes become, you will feel frustrated, become disappointed, and lose sight of the fun it should be and the marvelous end result at the end of the journey.

This is a word of gentle advice and caution to all couples embarking on the search for a new home.  Part of your planning, and a definite chapter in your discussions with your Realtor is for both parties (meaning the adults who will be purchasing and living together in the home) to spend quality time discussing your individual needs, wants and wishes – everything from basement or no basement to which direction the master bedroom faces.  Not to put too fine a point on this, but there will be the inevitable compromises.  However they should not be capitulation because one or the other partner in the purchase digs in their heels and refuses to budge.

It all starts with your search on paper.  We, for example, offer a specialized daily feed of highly costumed listing information through our HomeHunter Service®. The Realtor on our Team working with you will have spent a considerable amount of time talking with you about everything from price to home style to school preferences and distance to work issues and more.  That preliminary information goes in to crafting your daily HomeHunter Service® list of homes to consider.  This is the time to get the big issues out on the table.  You love Cape Cod style homes with peaked rooflines and wide front porches in Woodstock.  Your spouse or partner loves traditional 2-story homes with clean lines and lots of windows in Marietta.  You want to be close to work; he wants to be close to his job too, but you work on the opposite ends of Cobb County. 

You can begin to see that spending days or weeks and sometimes months looking for the “compromise home” can both stretch out the process and add unnecessary stress and discord to the search.  Here is where using your Realtor as a sounding board for ideas, working with your Realtor to help you really break down the positives and negatives of homes you are previewing, and then categorizing those yea’s and nay’s will help you to see the difference between compromise and capitulation. You will have worked through and appreciate those wants, needs and wishes that can divide rather than unite you in making a good decision about the right home at the best price.

One young couple working with one of our Team’s Buyer Specialist Realtors found themselves in exactly the position we all strive to avoid.  Although they were able to agree on most of the major issues, their more subtle likes and dislikes – owing to how a home “felt” to each of them, caused significant strife during the search process.  It was not until they and their Realtor spent some quality time talking about what felt right and what felt wrong to each of them that they discovered what was separating them and stopping them from picking a home to purchase.  Now finding properties they both “felt” good about was much easier and within a week they agreed on the home they will be closing on next month.

All the checklists in the world won’t make a home purchase right if, despite the great price you bought it for, you love it and he hates it… or he loves it and you hate it! We love our new home are the most important 5 words you want to say to one another about your new home purchase!

Because buying or selling a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home buyers and sellers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home buying or selling decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home buyer or home seller series. 

If you just want to start out by searching the MLS to see what types of homes are available in your projected price range and area of preference CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE