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



Posted on 5. September 2011 08:36 by qmiskini


Working with a Real Estate Team when you are buying a home – whether it’s your first or the next - your relationship with your realty “team leader” should not be an adversarial relationship. Trust between you, the Client, and your service team leader – your Realtor – should be the first aspect of the relationship to be established.  Yet that often seems to be the most difficult and elusive part of the relationship to establish.

For the Client, this as an unusual, often daunting process, fraught with shifting emotions and financial ambiguities.   Since most Clients only buy or sell one or two homes in their lifetime, and usually years apart becoming comfortable, no less schooled in the current market conditions, financial and credit requirements, home valuations, location concerns and so many more items on an ever-growing and increasingly complex check-list of do’s, don’ts musts and must not’s, means you must find a professional to educate and guide you. .. a professional you can rely on and trust. 

For the Realtor this is their business…and in order for your Realtor and their Team  to be successful in helping you achieve your goals and dreams, he or she not only needs to provide you with all the education, resources and a team of experts to support your needs, they also need to help you become comfortable in revealing both what you think and feel about the process and the outcomes you are experiencing.  And that takes trust.

To start with, education and patience is key.  Your Realtor has to provide you, not just with a list of homes to go and see, but with a step by step process and plan for helping you determine what price, style, condition, location and dozens of other large and small criteria options are needed to create a picture of the home that will truly fit your home-buying needs. 

Very important from the start is your Realtor’s ability to help you establish your unique criteria using such programs as a HomeHunter ® service to help you begin framing your wants, needs and goals.  For access to a 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 purchase 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. 

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

Remember, buying a home is a process, not an event.  Finding a Realtor to help you step through the process  – one you can trust – will go a long way toward achieving your goals.


Posted on 3. September 2011 07:56 by qmiskini


Experienced Buyer’s Agents hear this one all the time from their Clients: “We’ve looked at so many houses today, this is the last one, and it’s not very pretty, let’s just call it a day and start again tomorrow.”  Any Realtor who is an advocate for their Client, especially those who have shown thousands of homes and sold many hundreds of homes knows that you should never judge a book by its cover.   A property that you may not think, from the outside is “cute’, or ’pretty” or “elegant,” may have all the attributes you are seeking on the inside; and because it may not be the “prettiest” home on the block, may be far more negotiable in price.  And if you don’t like the home’s color, or the porch is ugly…there’s rarely anything about a home that cannot be changed to suit your individual tastes.

As is often the case, when you open the book’s cover and peer inside at the pictures and words… you discover a story well worth reading.  For example, one of our in-town Clients had very definite views on what they were looking for.  They were at the end of a long day, having seen nearly 20 homes that did not suit.  This last home didn’t have any of the street view attributes they were looking for and they decided to just pass it by.  In their carefully customized HomeHunter ® daily list of the hottest new listings, it looked, on paper, that it had nearly everything they wanted – space, renovated and updated features, right neighborhood, close to favorite shops and restaurants… but a lack of curb appeal turned them off.  It was the last property on the list on a long day of disappointments.

“We’re here,” urged their Realtor, who had heard this refrain before.  Tired, grumpy, disappointed, hungry are all symptoms of frustration, and work against tenacity and judgment, two important attributes Realtors hope to imbue in their Buyers… or that their Buyers come already equipped with.  “Either way,” she urged with the bribe, “I’ll buy the snacks to tide us over until dinner…”

Long story short, inside it was everything - from the front entry to the back fence - they were looking for!  The last home at the end of a very long day at the end of an even longer search turned out to be exactly what the Buyer was searching for.  Offer made, terms negotiated, inspections, appraisal, closing… MOVE IN DAY– WOW “WE LOVE IT – WE’RE SO HAPPY!”  Even the “boring” front, with just a few touches, now ranks high on their “I Love My Home” list.

So don’t give up, and don’t judge a book by its cover… because more often than not, sometimes the last is the best!


Posted on 16. July 2010 02:35 by qmiskini

"I Love my new home."  Those words are music to every real estate professionals ears.  But singing those words the week after you've moved into your new home and singing them again after you have been living there for a year are very different songs.

Buying a home, whether it is your first home or your 10th home is a process, not an event.  The Realtor you select to guide and assist you must be operating with that clearly in mind or else your Realtor is just trying to make a sale and not guiding you through an often emotional time.  But as much as buying a home is a life choice, it is also a business venture... yes a business venture. You are committing to tens of thousands, often hundreds of thousands of (and occasionally a million or more) dollars of long term debt.  That means that your long term asset will be a long term liability until it is fully paid off or returns a profit (equity) when you resell it. 

That means your home - for all the emotional and practical reasons you purchased it - must love you back.  That means your choices like area or neighborhood or sub division, schools, distance to work and transportation, shopping, recreation, friends, relatives and more, all the elements of life and lifestyle your home provides proximity to and "sanctuary from" should be considered when choosing to purchase your next home.  The size, the style, the floor plan, the age it's condition and more are important factors in your purchase.  And it's value - are you making the best possible use of your hard earned money because buying a home is an investment in your future as well as where you are living today. That too is an important part of the home buying process.  Although no one can accurately predict a property's future value, your Realtor can provide you with a well researched history of a property and the area it is in. The research along with the experience of living through the cyclical ups and downs of the economy and its effect on your local communities can give you a perspective that can aid you in your decision making.

Buying a home is exciting. Loving it when you move in and remembering it fondly after you've sold it and moved on - two great songs!



Posted on 14. July 2010 02:42 by qmiskini

This is a tough housing market. Property prices that soared during the housing "bubble" have dropped like a rock since the bubble burst.  Many sellers are paying mortgages on homes that are worth less than they owe, and may be valued at less (meaning negative equity) for some years to come.  There are more foreclosures and distress sale properties on the market than in recent memory.  By some estimates an astounding 12% of all home mortgages are in some stage of default - as many as 7 million home mortgages in default!

For Buyers, there seems to be a lot of "good deals" available. But when you find that good deal, finding a loan to purchase that home is like walking a tightrope in a circus with a blindfold holding flaming torches while being dive-bombed by bees... at least that's how it seemed to one buyer who did finally get his loan but was exhausted and frustrated by the end of the process.  Why is the process so difficult? Because lenders have no confidence in the economy and less confidence in you. As a consequence, lenders, despite ads and ministrations to get you in the door with low interest rates and a variety of new lending plans, look at the economic landscape and continue to make the underwriting process as tough as possible in order to weed out as many future defaults as possible.

That does not mean no loans are available to qualified buyers - people with good credit scores, a consistent work history, money for the down payment and closing expenses, and a property that will appraise at the sale price or more. It does mean even well qualified buyers will have to jump through hoops - prove, verify, re-verify and re-prove their credit worthiness. For buyers whose financial picture is less than perfect it's the tightrope walk for you.  So what do you have to do in order to get a mortgage loan for that good deal?  Homework!

Yes, homework.  Buying a home is actually a business deal... and a pretty big one at that. So if you are not a real estate expert, a significant part of doing your homework is assembling a team of experts to help you through the process - jump through those hoops or walk that tightrope with knowledge, patience and persistence.  Key members of that advisory team are your Realtor and your loan officer. You Realtor will tell you that the most important first step in the process, taken BEFORE you even begin to look at homes, is to work with your loan officer to become a PRE-APPROVED Buyer. Pre-approved means getting, in writing, all the requirements of the lender's underwriters to qualify for a home mortgage loan. Then work with your loan officer and go through the process - right up to the point where the only element lacking is a home that will appraise for a loan. 

You'll get a Pre-Approval Letter from your lender and will have jumped through a bunch of hoops. But when it comes down to obtaining final loan approval for that good deal, there will be no tightrope walk and far fewer hoops.  


Posted on 12. July 2010 06:23 by qmiskini



"Is there any wiggle room in the price?"  It's a great, simple innocently straight-forward question every well-schooled Buyer's Agent should always ask. Why? Because it sets up the conversation with the Seller's Listing Agent that hints the Buyer is interested and is looking at options - of which price is always a big concern. It's a good psychological tactic - and it gets the Listing Agent prepared, when an offer is received, to feel there is flexibility on both sides ("wiggle room") so that the Seller becomes more inclined to find a pricing solution and not be insulted if the original offer is lower than expected.

These days, the strategies and tactics employed in helping a Buyer get the absolute best deal on their home purchase - one of the principal roles of the Buyer's Agent, or helping the Seller receive top dollar for the sale - one of the principal roles of the Listing Agent, requires a higher level of negotiating skill and problem solving posture than any time in recent memory.  So what constitutes a great deal and a win-win for both a Buyer and a Seller?

For short sale and Foreclosed properties, it's all about finding the seller’s lender or the Foreclosure Bank or Investor's bottom line.  The bank's and investors have no emotional attachment to the property; they have a balance sheet and a time-line and are managing revenue and expense - gain and loss and an ever-increasing pile of federal legislative dictums.

Despite the media focus on foreclosures, retail sellers still populate the majority of the home selling market (counter to the belief that distressed properties make up the vast majority of homes for sale today.) Balancing the Fair Market Value (FMV) of a home, the physical condition of the property, level of “showability” and the true bottom line requirements with the perceived “hot competition” of all those supposed “undervalued” distress sale properties is becoming an art as well as a science. 

Everything should start with the bottom line – what is the net cash left in the transaction for the Seller after all fix up costs, fees, expenses and the like. Sale price is actually less important than the net figure at the end. And of course, market pricing in this tough Buyer’s market is critical.  For the Buyer, working with a Realtor who can clearly understand and articulate what the Seller is facing and needs to achieve makes framing a smart, price conscious and negotiable offer – one which beleaguered Sellers can work with – a very important part of pre-offer research.  The same goes for Listing agents who must carefully and fully brief their Sellers on the current prevailing Buyer psychology so that Sellers do not get over emotional when receiving low first offers, and do not miss the opportunity to find areas of agreement that can overcome price negotiations and unnecessary hard feelings.

If ever there was a market that requires patience, persistence and GREAT RESEARCH AND NEGOTIATING SKILLS, well… we’re here!