Posted on 18. January 2012 03:46 by qmiskini

 

The New Year has brought with it a number of new negotiation points to work through for Realty Teams representing Buyers making offers on REO (foreclosed) properties.  The most myopic negotiation point to date came up the other day in a multiple offer and highest and best negotiation situation one of our Team’s Buyer Specialists is negotiating.

The property is a foreclosure in a pleasant sub division in Kennesaw, GA.  The Investor (the actual owner of the property’s note that is serviced by a Lender) invested the money to clean up and update the property.  It is a great move-in condition home and perfect for the young first-time buyer hoping to close the deal on their first new home.  A realistic Comparative Market Analysis was completed prior to presenting an offer to the REO listing agent for presentation to the asset manager directing the sale of the property on behalf of the Investor.  The asset manager had smartly instructed the REO Agent to list the property at around 10% below fair market value.  So, here is a great property at a very good price.  Not an unfair tactic on the part of the asset manager, but one our Buyer Specialist was aware of when the offer was written.  A multiple offer situation and a highest and best competition were expected, and the Buyers were told that the property would likely sell for around 10% above initial list price.  Within days there were multiple offers. 

As with all offers our Buyer Specialists present, an Appraisal Contingency exhibit was included.  This is an important protection for the Buyer.  It states that an appraisal will be completed within a specific number of days following binding agreement, and that if the property appraises for less than the initially agreed selling price, the Buyer has the right to ask the Seller to lower the sale price to the appraisal price.  Without this exhibit, the Buyer must pay the previously agreed selling price, even if their lender will only finance a loan for the lower appraisal price.  The Buyer would have to come up with the difference in order to complete the sale.  The use of the Appraisal Contingency Exhibit is a commonly used, fair and necessary protection for the Buyer.

In this offer, however, the Investor steadfastly refused to accept the Appraisal Contingency stating: “The seller rejected your client's last counter.  Seller will not take an appraisal contingency.  Seller indicated he will not agree to appraisal/sale price adjustment. 

Seller staying firm in his belief if the property is on a multiple offer situation, the buyer is willing to pay the difference.

Please note property is available to any potential buyer.  We are getting too many inquiries at the present time, to include buyers that previously submitted an offer. “

 With the seller (Investor) refusing to accept an Appraisal Contingency, the Buyer is being placed in double jeopardy.  First, if the property does appraise for less than the selling price, the Buyer will have to still pay the difference to close the sale.  They will have to pay more than the property is worth and start out under water. But if they refuse to pay the difference and back out of the sale, under the terms of the agreement they will be in default and lose their earnest money deposit.

Perhaps there are some Buyer Agents that will let their Buyer take that risk.  Not us though.   

Buyers… purchasing a home is an emotional experience; but it is also an important, and often, your biggest investment.  In real estate you make your money when you purchase your home, not when you sell it.  Buying your home for the right price at the start helps significantly in managing the home’s equity value when you sell it.

As for this Investor and asset manager:  Are they coy, wise, greedy, myopic?  How tough is too tough before Buyers and experienced Buyer Specialists simply must move on and reject an otherwise great property?

Don’t forget…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 27. September 2011 02:09 by qmiskini

 

Realtors who represent a number of listings throughout the Atlanta Metro Area work hard to help sellers prepare their property to look its best for showings to prospective Buyers and their Buyer’s Realtors.  It makes no difference whether it’s an executive level home in Alpharetta or Roswell, or a once popular Contemporary design in Kennesaw or Marietta, or a 60’s 4-side-brick ranch in Acworth or Canton, putting your home into show quality condition helps sell homes more quickly than when a home is poorly presented.

It takes a partnership between the Seller and their Realtor and Team to sell any home.  They share common goals: sell the home for the best price in the shortest time with the least hassle.  Reaching those goals takes cooperation and, occasionally a few dings to one’s pride in order to get the job done.  If your Realtor and their Team is experienced and marketing savvy, they will advise you on what the best plan is for getting your home and property into show quality condition.  Sometimes the changes they may be suggesting won’t necessarily be a message you want to hear.  Why, you may wonder won’t a Buyer like your decorations, curtains, paint colors. Can’t they ignore cigarette odor, unwashed laundry on top of the washer, unmade beds, cat litter odor… the environment you have lived with for years and are used to.

Buyers are trying to imagine themselves living in your home. They often have difficulty looking past your art and decorating and sometimes unkempt yard or messy interior.  If that sounds a bit harsh, remember a property that has not been carefully prepared and maintained during the entire selling process will inevitably take longer to sell and often sells for less than it would have… indeed should have.  Most Sellers do understand the fiscal importance of preparing and maintaining their home for sale.  But some do not agree and therefore the importance of Buyer feedback.

Effective Realtors gather feedback several ways. In the Atlanta Metro area most Realtors utilize the Supra e-key system which sends showing notices to your Realtor and feedback request emails to the Buyer’s Realtors after each showing. Some Realtors also use 3rd party Feedback survey systems that send detailed Feedback surveys to Buyers’ Realtors.  Additionally your Realtor will call the showing Agent to get further details, especially if the survey feedback is negative.

Feedback information is like a window into the Buyer’s, and the Buyer’s Realtor’s minds.  Both positive and negative feedback regarding a property’s physical and aesthetic  condition, their estimate of its market value, details about what the Buyer did and did not like about the property – from the “kitchen is too small” to “the back yard is overgrown” on the negative side, to “a pleasure to show,” “well maintained inside and out” on the positive.  You want firsthand information about why a Buyer has not made an offer on your property. 

These feedback surveys are shared with the Sellers so they know within a day or two of each showing exactly what the Buyer thought of their home.  If you receive the same feedback from more than one Buyer – it’s is a sure sign you have an issue that needs to be corrected in order to effectively sell the property.  A Buyer’s Realtor who may be working with more than one Client won’t be back.  After a few weeks Buyers will just stop coming because Realtors know when a property is unlovable because it is unkempt and in disrepair.

If a Buyer does not like the floor plan you cannot change that.  But you may be able to stage furniture to help direct the flow.  If your home “feels dark” because of heavy draperies covering the windows, or a large tree close to your home that leans toward the home scares Buyers, you can remove these negatives from the equation.

Caution: Do not ignore Buyer Feedback.  Buyers are telling you what they like and don’t like about your home. And they are telling you how to correct the problems.  Often the off-putting problems are easy to correct.  When you eliminate the negatives and accentuate the positives your home will sell faster, for more money and with a lot less hassle.

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 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 22. September 2011 03:25 by qmiskini

 

Before the housing market deflated in the current economic downturn, many home buyers were using their homes like an ATM machine, borrowing on their property’s current equity, thinking the well of easy to obtain cash would not run dry.  When faced with selling their home in this deflated housing values environment, they have discovered their home is worth less than their first mortgage and will likely never recover value sufficiently to pay off their second and sometimes third loans against their property.  The well is dry and the pump is broken.

Buying the right home for your current and future needs is still, long term, one of the best investments you can make.  Over the last thirty years, the recession and housing downturn we are experiencing is the third and certainly not the last.  Still, over the last 30 years, home values have appreciated many-fold over their original market value.  One difference this time around is the way many recent buyers viewed and used their properties.  Their vision of its value was short term, even though the mortgage contracts they entered into had long-term payback life spans.  True, lots of buyers using sub-prime loan vehicles were under-qualified and over-bought.   But many also viewed their home as a short term investment that would continue to rise in value and which they could both use as leverage to move up to a bigger, more valuable property, and also as a way of using “untapped” resources to buy other non-real estate items.

Sometimes the equity in your home can be a valuable asset for special or emergency needs.  But when choosing a Realtor and their Team to help you find the home that feels right at a great price, be sure they are advising you on how to evaluate the property for its long term economic return on your investment.   Return on investment?  Yes, return on investment.

With the exception of a few 100% loan programs still available such as VA loans for qualified military members and vets, these days a Buyer will be required to provide a minimum of 3.5% of the sale price as a down payment for their loan using an FHA loan vehicle.  Many lenders require no less than 5% and as much as 20% down for your home loan purchase.  For buyers (and some real estate professionals who jumped into the market when it was red hot) who thought the previous “easy money” hey-day of home buying” was the norm, it was not that long ago when lenders, as in today’s market, required borrowers to prove stable employment, have a debt to income ratio that was stronger on the income side, and had 10% - 20% down payment money available plus a cushion to support their purchase.  Loans were for 15 or 30 years.  No tricky mortgages.  And even then, not everyone qualified for a home loan. 

My parents saved for a decade in order to have the 20% down payment required. They purchased their home in 1964 for $29,000 and bought it intending to stay there until the loan was paid off.  They paid a little extra each month and paid it off in 22 years.  They stayed in the home for nearly forty years and sold it, thanks to normal inflation for over $500 thousand dollars. They never borrowed any money using their home’s equity as collateral.  They intended to keep it until they needed to sell it to aid in their retirement and worked to keep it in good condition and fairly well updated.  They kept up with their neighborhood association that helped manage the neighborhood’s home-values by encouraging all the homeowners to keep their properties in good condition.  They viewed their home as the place to build a life and raise their family, a property they carefully considered before purchasing, believing they would be living there for many years to come. It was a long-term economic investment.  They never used it to finance a new car, or vacations, or redecorating.  Even in tough times they stubbornly avoided encumbering their long term investment with unnecessary debt.

Your home purchase should be a happy event.  Buying the right home for a great price is a great goal.  Be sure that when developing your criteria for finding your new home, you let your Realtor know this is not just a short term deal, but a serious economic investment as well.  Finding the right home at the best price with a long term outlook can make your home purchase the best investment you can make. 

Your home will become a valuable asset over time.  Don’t use it like an ATM.

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