Posted on 8. February 2014 11:42 by qmiskini

HOUSING NEWS WATCH - February

The Love Doctor is in… (For those who remember this message from last year – we thought it was well worth repeating again!)

If Ira was writing this by himself, this is what he’d probably say: “Not that I am the Dr. of Love or anything like that… But then again most men like to believe they are.  After all – ‘Love is a many splendored thing’… or so they say!”

Here’s what we both say.  When we were planning our wedding way back in 1974, we wanted to reveal to all who attended words that would convey our LOVE for each other.  Those thoughts are best summed up in a wonderful bible verse from 1 Corinthians 13 which says: “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”

Of Course we are talking LOVE because February is the love month, rightly celebrated with Valentine’s Day.

We could go on with all kinds of examples like – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, and even go all business on you with accolades about how much we love doing business with you, or how much we love your referrals and more – but the bottom line is we do love helping people buy and sell real estate.

In fact, if it’s ok with you, we’ll focus just a bit on the REFERRAL request.  Please know that our Team and we, are eager to help you or anyone you know really wanting to make a move, so much so, that for your friends, neighbors associates or relatives considering it, we are willing to make an offer that they will love.

For the month of February, anyone considering making a move that you refer to us, we will guarantee them in writing that their home will sell or we’ll buy it at a price acceptable to them.

 We just need to agree on price and possession date with the seller.

AND remember, YOUR referrals help the kids…

Any one you know considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us without hesitation or delay!  It’s very easy for you to do that and on top of the great services outlined above; your referrals will help the kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!!!

We are on a mission this year to raise $25,000 for Children’s Health care of Atlanta!

They do such great work in helping kids struggle to recover from debilitating diseases.  It’s gut wrenching to see these young people whose lives hang by a thread, struggling for survival.  BUT at Children’s they have a chance, a GREAT chance.

And like many children’s hospitals, they depend on donations and givers to fund worthwhile projects.  These kids who are suffering are made better quicker thanks to Children’s Recovery Center complete with electronics and other fun stuff kids LOVE. But that recovery center requires money to operate and continue.  So we are donating a portion of our income on every home we sell this year to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, so the kids in their care can continue to recover from these horrible diseases and grow up to experience and LOVE life.

It’s easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move and we hope you will take a few minutes to consider who you know who will benefit from the Exclusive Guarantee we are offering: Your home sold or we’ll buy it*. 

Simply go to www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com to pass along your referral.  Or of course you can always call us direct as well at 770-672-7832.

 As we move forward in a brand new year, please know that we and our Team love thanking you for being a special part of our business.

 


With much appreciation,

Stephanie and Ira Miskin

 This month donations to CHOA were made thanks to Team members Amy Johnson, Nitya Grenham and Stephanie Miskin and their Clients Denise & Robert Kinnebrew, Eric Coleman, Colleen Lanning, Kevin Miller and Thomas Mitchell.                   …….The Kids thank you all!

P.S. We love honoring past clients like you. Read all about that at www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com. You can read more about Children’s at www.CHOA.org. 

 

P.P.S. We have enclosed an article that discusses the issues many area home owners are facing in today’s market.  As you read it, you will see that our unique offer to guarantee the sale of a home or we’ll buy their home for cash gives home sellers great peace of mind when selling in today’s market.

Market News

Pending Home Sales Drop 8.7% in December, is Housing in Trouble? 

by Peter Ricci      January 31, 2014  See more at: http://atlantaagentmagazine.com/pending-home-sales-drop-8-7-december-housing-trouble/#sthash.s59LhvwR.dpuf

Last year closed out on a sour note for pending home sales, according to NAR’s final tally.  Dec. 2013 was a rough month for pending home sales, with the Pending Home Sales Index dropping 8.7 percent from November to a reading of 92.4, according to the latest report by the National Association of Realtors. That’s the lowest level for the Pending Home Sales Index since Oct. 2011, and in addition to its monthly declines, pending sales were down 8.8 percent from Dec. 2012. 

Weak Pending Home Sales – What’s to Blame?

So, what’s to blame for the sizable drop in pending home sales? Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that several factors went into the lower numbers. “Unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country in December forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes or making offers,” he said. “Home prices rising faster than income is also giving pause to some potential buyers, while at the same time a lack of inventory means insufficient choice.”

 

Indeed, the weather/inventory impediments seem to account for the lion’s share of the declines. As the Wall Street Journal‘s Nick Timiraos pointed out, pending sales declined the country over, including in housing markets not affected by weather. The numbers are quite striking: pending sales were down 10.3 percent in the Northeast, 6.8 percent in the Midwest, 8.8 percent in the South and 9.8 percent in the West, where sales were down a whopping 16.0 percent from last year (they were also down by yearly measures in the other three regions).

The Secret Ingredient to a Housing Slowdown

Though Yun’s analysis is sound, there is one dimension to    the housing slowdown that he neglected to mention – rising mortgage rates. Take a look at this graph, which charts the Pending Home Sales Index through 2013: Notice when the index began to falter? In May, when mortgage rates initially spiked. Pending home sale hit a six-year high that month, but as soon as rates increased, the effects on the housing market were immediate. Does this mean the wild and crazy days of early 2013 are history? It’s still too early to say, but we’ll have to watch these numbers closely the next couple of months for any emerging trends. For 2013, though, the data is quite clear – higher mortgage rates slowed the market.

  

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA NEWS

Teamwork Helps Adopted Daughter Make Important Progress

David and Laura Kelly knew adopting a pair of daughters, Nikki and Karah, from Russia would produce a unique set of challenges. Those challenges were compounded by an injury to the youngest of the pair, Karah. She would require specialized treatment to help her develop into a capable, independent young woman.

While in the Siberian hospital, a nurse left a tourniquet on Karah's left arm after placing an I.V. in the top of her hand when she was 10 months old. It cut off blood supply long enough that doctors had to amputate her middle finger and parts of her wrist, including the growth plates. The injury and resulting surgeries left Karah's forearm scarred and thin and her hand curled and bent toward her forearm.

Early Steps

Laura and David waited to pursue further surgical treatment for Karah's hand after bringing her daughter home when she was 2 in August of 2000. When she finally asked Karah what she wanted, Laura received a definite response.  "I drew a picture of her hand how it is curled up and another of her hand flat," Laura said. "I asked her which hand she wanted, and she said 'flat' enthusiastically."  

When the family lived near Philadelphia, Karah had surgery to remove most of the scar tissue in her hand and to graft on new skin. After they moved to Atlanta nine years ago, they started searching for other options. "Children's came up because Karah went online and did one of her own searches," Laura said. "She sent me an email out of the blue to check this website out and that she wanted to talk about getting her hand improved."

Coming to Children's

The family met with Allan E. Peljovich, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric orthopaedic hand surgeon and the Medical Director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Program at Children's.  Rather than opt for more surgery, however, Dr. Peljovich recommended Karah receive a consultation with the limb deficiency team to explore non-surgical options. "We were thrilled," Laura said. "We weren't leaping into surgery. We are doing a progressive treatment, and then Karah can make that informed decision about having another surgery."

After a comprehensive evaluation of her limitations and abilities, Karah began occupational therapy with Amy Bohn, C.P.A.M., O.T.R./L., at Children's at Meridian Mark in July 2013. In the first month of therapy, Amy completed scar management techniques, splinting, and range of motion and strength exercises. She also designed an exercise program to help Karah develop strength and function in her left hand.

Moving Forward

Karah, who is now 15, will continue to receive hand and upper extremity therapy for another six months to a year before making a decision about more surgical treatments. They are thrilled with the progress their daughter has made. While the future is still uncertain, Laura said one thing is for sure: Karah will be returning to Children's for the next step in her treatment, whatever that step might be. "Children's has made her feel really comfortable," Laura said. "They work so well as a team and you can see that. They were so compatible."

 

 


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 4. October 2011 02:47 by qmiskini

 

When choosing a Realtor and their Team to guide you in the purchase of your next home, be sure to ask how familiar they are with the Market Area and local communities you are interested in.  An experienced Team will not only have access to all the homes that match your criteria listed by all Realtors, and access to homes whose owner’s listings have expired or been withdrawn yet may still be interested in selling their home, but will have specialized knowledge about individual homes that may not have made your initial criteria list.

Experienced Realty Teams meet regularly and share information about properties they have previewed and researched, and properties they have visited with Clients.  They will discuss the attributes and negatives of these properties and evaluate them as potential properties to preview for current or future Buyer Clients.  This is really important because a Team of Realtors working together may have visited 50 or more properties in one week.  Many will be just average.  But some will be memorable for their negatives while others memorable for their positives. Sharing that research with first hand feedback provides valuable specialized knowledge with assessments from both the Realtor and their Buyer Clients that can be provided to you by your Realtor.

Recently one of the Realtors on our Team, working with a Client, previewed a home that was in very good condition in a well-tended sub division in a strong school district at a competitive price.  Although the home did not suit her Client’s needs, the information about that home was passed along and provided to another Realtor on the Team who was working with a Client for whom this might be an excellent choice.

Client #2 had some specific travel time and distance criteria concerning travel from home to work in Cobb County’s always congested traffic.  They had previewed a number of homes in Marietta within their work to home radius with no success.  Travel time seemed to be dominating their search to the exclusion of some potentially suitable properties outside that constraint.  Their Realtor took the suggestion of previewing this potentially suitable property in Powder Springs, just next door to the west of Marietta.  She researched it.  She reviewed her Client’s list of needs, wants and wishes.

Before starting their next home previewing appointment she asked her Client to spend a few minutes reviewing their criteria and especially their travel criteria.  She asked them to consider, in the “grand scheme of things” how important an extra few miles travel would be if the property they came home to really fit their list of important needs, wants and wishes… with a minor adjustment to their want or wish lists.  They agreed to look at the home, but travel time was “real important.”

Their Realtor had listened to them as they previewed other properties.  She felt she did know what features and benefits were really important to her Client.  In Metro Atlanta, where traffic is either horrible or terrible, letting a few miles travel distance dominate their search was diverting attention from finding the best home for them.  So they visited this home that was rejected by Client 1 but which seemed perfect for Client 2.  And perfect it was!

It is of great advantage to every Buyer when their Realtor and Team have the specialized knowledge of both the market and individual homes to help them search out that perfect new home.  Their Realtor needs to have a sense of where they are.

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 29. September 2011 02:23 by qmiskini

 

An appraisal is a critically important building block in the purchase and sale of a property.  It is important for the Buyer who does not want to overpay for their new home; important for the Seller because nearly all transactions are contingent upon a home appraising at or above the agreed-upon sale price; important for the Buyer’s lender in order to verify the property they are providing a mortgage for meets or exceeds the amount of the loan value they will be funding.

In Metro Atlanta, the market is large, spread out and varied.  In some Market Areas home values generally have plummeted more than 30%.  Yet in pockets in those same Areas home values have declined significantly less.  Individual sub division communities in some Areas hold valuations despite the market crash; other sub division communities riven by short sales and foreclosures in the same Areas have declined at a rate greater than the Market Area.  Realtors and their Team including research experts have to be clearly in touch with the many variations in home values from community to community, school district to school district and Area to Area.  That keen awareness and thorough research and price analysis can help significantly when pricing a home for sale or when making an offer to purchase a property.

When making or accepting an offer, Buyers and Sellers need to heed their Realtors’ market analysis so they have a clear picture of their home’s fair market value.  Offering or accepting a price that may not be consistent with recent appraisals could foster difficulties in late stage price negotiations and may lead to termination of the transaction.

One of the documents that manage the wrinkle of when a home appraises for less than the agreed upon sale price is an exhibit called the Appraisal Contingency.  This Contingency provides for a specific amount of time for the Buyer, if it is an all cash transaction, or the Buyer’s lender if the Buyer is seeking loan financing, to order and complete the property appraisal.  This is the nail-biting period. Everyone hopes the appraisal value of the property is consistent with the sale price.  But what if the property appraises at an amount less than the sale price?

In this same document there is a provision allowing the Buyer to ask the Seller to lower the sale price to the appraised value.  If the seller agrees, the Buyer is obligated to complete the purchase.  If the Seller refuses, the Buyer can terminate the Agreement and have the earnest money deposit refunded.  Of course, any of the costs for inspections and any other due diligence work will be lost by the Buyer.  There are a number of ways to remedy appraisal-price discrepancies, but for the most part, if Buyer and Seller cannot reach a re-negotiated agreement on price, the deal is dead.  The use of such contingencies is important.  They protect the rights of Buyers and Sellers; they set definite time frames for completing critical tasks and proscribe specific mechanisms for resolving differences. 

But in the end, when a sale fails to complete because of an appraisal, everyone is disappointed.  The appraisal is necessary to protect all parties' interests, but when Buyers and Sellers agree on prices that are inconsistent with researched market valuations, there is always the chance the appraisal will not be the deal maker confirming the value of the property, but a deal breaker, confirming all parties involved miscalculated the property’s true market worth.  Are there times when an appraiser will get it wrong?  Certainly.  But unless an appraisal is grossly out of step with researched market values, the appraisal rules.  Thorough market research and a clear understanding of a property’s market value make the appraisal a validation of price and not the arbiter of price.  It makes the appraisal a deal maker not a deal breaker.

   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 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 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

 

 


Posted on 16. September 2011 03:04 by qmiskini

 

Nearly every “great deal” distressed property for sale comes with strings attached.  That’s because it’s not just the home that is “distressed.”  It is the seller and the selling situation that is distressed.  So, before starting your search for your great deal distress sale property, whether it is in Marietta, Alpharetta, Roswell, or anywhere in the Atlanta Metro area, be sure you select a Realtor who is well educated and experienced in representing Buyers in distress sale transactions.  These types of sales can easily become distressing for the buyer as well as the seller if both Realtors in the transaction are unfamiliar with managing this specialized purchase and sale process.  They can be great opportunities for a buyer, but closing a distress sale transaction takes skill as well as patience.

A distressed property can be a foreclosed home owned by a Bank or investor.  It can be a short sale, sometimes referred to as a “pre-foreclosure” property.  It can be a home being sold because of a divorce, or an estate owned property.  No matter the condition of the property - and they can range from neat, clean and in move-in condition to smelly fixer-uppers or even total rehabs - as the Buyer, you must view both the property and the sale from the point of view of the seller, or you will have a really difficult and unpleasant experience when trying to actually buy and close on a distress sale transaction.

Here are some of the “strings” attached that must be either tied into neat bows or removed altogether in order to have a successful distressed property sale for one of the fastest growing categories of distress sale purchases, the short sale.

A short sale property is one in which the Seller can no longer afford to keep the home and is asking their lender, or lenders (often a home will have more than one loan that must be satisfied) to accept a loan payoff amount that is less than the seller owes and forgive any deficiency (the amount not paid back by the seller at closing) allowing the sale to close with no further debt burden for the seller. There are many reasons why a seller must short sale their home including job loss, divorce, personal or family illness resulting in extreme financial distress… and intense personal distress.   Although the home may be in good condition remember, the sellers are definitely in distress.  These homes are usually sold in “As-Is” condition with a variety of special stipulations and sale conditions.  The time frame to close a short sale transaction can range from sixty to ninety days on the quick side to many, many months.  Many of these homes can be purchased at below fair market prices. A great deal!  But unless the Buyer is willing to wait for the seller’s lenders to assess the short sale request, assess your offer and make a decision about whether to even accept the short sale vs. foreclosing on the property, making an offer on a short sale property can be an exercise in futility. 

From the seller’s point of view, when a Buyer loses patience and pulls out before the short sale negotiation with their lenders can be completed, it often kills the seller’s chances of finalizing a short sale and they lose the home to foreclosure.  From the Buyer’s point of view, if the seller’s Realtor fails to keep the buyer updated and informed, even if there is no progress to report, the absence of information scares buyers who come to believe nothing is happening or will ever happen, and prompts them to rescind their offer before the seller can complete the short sale work to close the sale. Lose-lose.

If buying a sort sale property offers the best opportunity for a great home that may need nothing more than some TLC, be sure the Realtor you choose to guide you through the process has experience, patience and tenacity to help you walk knowledgeably through this often difficult but usually rewarding purchase process.

There are many excellent opportunities to purchase a distress sale property.  This Distress Sale video series will help you choose which type of distress sale property is best for you.

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 whether it is a distress sale property, retail sale or new home construction, 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 BUYER VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line. 

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

When searching, remember: Distress Sale property purchases require patience and focus.

 


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