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Monthly Archives: July 2016

How to Gain the Upper Hand in Real Estate Negotiations Without Being Mean or Rude

How to Gain the Upper Hand in Real Estate Negotiations Without Being Mean or Rude In a typical real estate transaction, numerous factors may be negotiated, and the terms of the purchase may be negotiated at different times throughout the process. For example, the contract may be negotiated at the time the original offer is made, but revisions to the contract may be negotiated after the property inspection has been completed. Both parties want to have the upper hand in negotiations, but those who focus on a few points are more likely to walk away feeling satisfied with the results of the negotiations.

Research All Factors Related To The Negotiation

A successful negotiation may be about achieving specific, desired goals, but in most cases, there will be a bit of give and take on both parties’ parts in order to find success. Those who have the upper hand in real estate negotiations will take time to research all factors related to the negotiations, and this includes everything from market conditions and how long the property has been on the market to how competitively priced the real estate is, how many other buyers there are and more.

Understand All Motives And Influences

Beyond outside factors related to the negotiation, there typically are personal motives and influences that must be considered. For example, a seller may be motivated to sell quickly due to a job offer in another city, or a buyer may be motivated because the property is the only one of its kind close to a great school. Real estate agents can often provide information about motives and influences that may impact the negotiations and that may reveal who has the upper hand in negotiations.

Consider Alternative Creative Solutions

After all external and personal factors have been researched and itemized, it may appear that one party has a clear upper hand in negotiations and the other party does not. However, in order to be successful in negotiations, typically both parties will need to feel as though they are getting what they want. After all parties’ motivations have been identified, it may be possible to think of creative, outside-the-box alternatives that may be agreeable to both parties.

When a buyer or a seller is preparing to negotiate with the other party, it is important that they fully understand all of the factors that may be at play in determining the outcome of negotiations. When buyers and sellers focus on these points before making an offer or counteroffer, they may find their negotiation efforts more successful. Contact your trusted real estate agent for more information.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2016 in Real Estate Tips

 

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On a Variable Mortgage? 3 Signs Your Mortgage Payment Is About To Increase

On a Variable Mortgage? 3 Signs Your Mortgage Payment Is About To IncreaseFor many homebuyers who are new to the market, it can be very comforting to be on a fixed rate mortgage where fluctuating interest rates cannot have an impact on your monthly payments. While a variable rate mortgage can sometimes lead to significant savings at the end of the day, there are a few ways you can tell if your monthly payment is on the upswing.

An Increase In Your Home’s Value

A marked increase in a home’s value is ideal for most homeowners who consider their home an important investment. However, the downside of an increase in the price of real estate is that your property taxes will probably be bumped up along with it. According to Josh Moffitt at Silverton Mortgage, “If your home value increases because of market conditions, taxes will follow, and it will cost more to insure the home.” In order to determine if a higher payment is on the horizon, you may want to take a look at the listings in your neighborhood.

A Miscalculation

Most people hope that a re-assessment of the value of their home will lead to a bump in its price, but if your monthly mortgage payments were calculated at a specific time during the transaction, this bump may mean a higher monthly payment for you. If there was some overlap between the assessment and the property transfer, or other fees were included in your payment, your tax professional should be able to advise you on the best course of action you can take come tax time.

Insurance Renewal Is Up

In the event that the homeowner’s insurance on your home is about to expire, there’s a possibility that you’ll be paying a bit more following renewal. Instead of leaving this to chance, ensure that your insurance company is communicating with you and keeping you abreast of changes. After all, while insurance is important to protect your investment, you have the option of looking into other insurance providers who may be able to give you a better rate.

It can be hard to plan for the increase in rates that can go along with a variable rate mortgage, but if your insurance is up for renewal and the value of the homes in your area has increased, a higher monthly payment will likely follow. Contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2016 in Home Mortgage Tips

 

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Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Slows in May

CaseShillerAccording to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index, home price growth in May dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.20 percent as compared to April’s reading of 5.40 percent. Analysts said that low mortgage rates continue to support housing markets, but also noted that affordability due to rising home prices is sidelining some would-be buyers. High demand for homes coupled with slim supplies of available homes have driven prices up for months; analysts said that “tentative signs” of slower gains in home prices were seen.

New Home Sales Hit Highest Level Since 2008

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of S&P Dow Jones Indices, cited high home prices and sales of previously-owned homes as contributing factors to a healthy housing sector. Slower home price growth in high priced metro areas may indicate that home prices are topping out in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. With home prices out of reach in high demand metros, it’s likely that rampant home price growth seen in recent years will have to slow in spite of pronounced shortages of homes and high demand in many areas.

Building more homes is the only way to combat outsized competition for homes and astronomical home prices. According to the Commerce Department, June sales of new homes jumped to 592,000 as compared to an expected reading of 562,000 and May’s reading of 572,000 new homes sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. June sales of new homes were at their highest level since February 2008.

Rising Rents Increase Demand for Homes

The national average price for a new home rose to $306,700 in June, while the supply of available homes sank to 4.90 percent. Real estate pros typically consider a six-month supply of available homes a typical reading. 574,000 new homes were sold in the second quarter of 2016, which was 10 percent higher than the reading of 524,000 new homes sold in the first quarter of 2016.

A report on rental vacancies is due out on Thursday. Rapidly rising rents have recently contributed to higher numbers of first-time buyers looking to buy homes and could continue to strengthen demand for available homes.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Mortgage Rates

 

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4 Ways to Safeguard Your Home While on Vacation

4 Ways to Safeguard Your Home While on VacationEveryone needs a vacation at some point, and worrying about your home should be the last thing on your mind while you’re out of town. Here are 4 ways to boost home security when you’re not around.

1. Enlist The Help Of Others

Even if you’re only gone for a short amount of time, asking someone you trust to keep an eye on your home can offer a big-time boost in security.

Hiring a house-sitter to collect your mail, mow your lawn, and make your house look lived in can be a great option for longer vacations, as physical changes to your property can tip-off burglars that you’re out of town.

For short trips, it is worthwhile to ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities. Having someone who is aware you’re not around can nip crime in the bud, as they’ll be less hesitant to call the police if they notice any unexpected guests around your home.

2. No Give-Aways!

Sharing your vacation photos on social media can be a convenient way to share your experiences with your friends, but it’s best to do so after you’ve returned home. The fact that you’re not around is information that can easily fall into the wrong hands on the web, making you a target for crime.

If you decide to change your voicemail greeting while you’re away, be careful that it does not explicitly state that you’re out of town. It’s fine to tell callers that you’re unable to accept calls for a period of time, but they do not need to know it’s because you’re a thousand miles away.

3. Leave It To The Pros

If you’re looking for a security measure that’s even more reliable than your neighbors, it may be worthwhile to install a home alarm system. Houses that lack security systems are burglarized more often than ones that have an alarm installed, making them a worthwhile investment for frequent travelers.

4. Don’t Forget Internal Threats

It’s not only outside threats that you have to consider before heading on vacation! Make sure you prep your home for your absence by unplugging any appliances (toaster, computer, TV) that are at risk of a power surge.

If you live in a cold climate and your pipes are at risk of freezing, ask someone you trust to stop by your home every few days to run the water. Make sure to show them where the water main shut-off is in case a pipe bursts while you’re away.

Interested in more neighborhood safety advice? Contact your trusted real estate professional today!

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2016 in Around The Home

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 25, 2016

Housing Starts, Building Permits Issued Rise

Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued were released Tuesday. Housing starts rose to 1.189 million in June against expectations of 1.165 million starts and May’s downwardly revised reading of 1.135 million starts, Housing starts rose by 4.80 percent on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. This is good news for housing markets, but analysts said that demand for homes continued to exceed available supplies.

Building permits issued also rose in June to 1.53 million as compared to May’s reading of 1.136 million permits issued.

Existing Home Sales Increase: National Association of Realtors®

Sales of previously-owned homes rose three percent year-over-year and reached their highest level since February 2007 in June. Existing home sales rose by 1.10 percent in June to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million sales. Analysts forecasted a reading of 5.48 million sales of pre-owned homes based on May’s reading of 5.51 million sales.

Analysts said that first-time home buyers are returning to housing markets and helped boost June sales and cited changing buyer demographics that suggest a return to owner-occupant home sales. First-time buyers accounted for 33 percent of pre-owned home sales in July, which was their highest reading since 2012. First-time buyers are important to housing markets as their purchases of existing homes enable current homeowners to sell their homes to buy larger homes or to relocate.

Mortgage Rates Rise, New Jobless Claims Fall

Mortgage rates rose across the board last week according to Freddie Mac’s weekly report. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.45 percent, which was three basis points higher. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage also rose three basis points to 2.75 percent; rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.78 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed-rate mortgage and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims sustained their streak and fell last week to 253,000 against predictions of 260,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 254,000 new claims filed. Analysts hailed declining jobless claims as a strong indicator that the economy and labor markets continue to improve. New jobless claims have remained below the key reading of 300,000 for 73 weeks. The four-week rolling average of new jobless claims fell by 1250 claims to 257,750. This reading is considered less volatile than week-to-week readings and offers evidence of steady improvements in labor markets.

What’s Ahead

Next week’s scheduled economic news includes the S&P Case-Shiller Housing Market Index, readings on new and pending home sales and the FOMC committee’s post-meeting statement on Federal Reserve monetary policy decisions. Analysts widely expect the Fed to hold firm on its current federal funds rate of 0.25 to 0.50 percent.

Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will be released along with a reading on consumer confidence.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Mortgage Rates

 

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4 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

4 Reasons Why Your Home Isn't SellingSelling your house can be hard. Emotionally, because it’s become your home, but also economically. If your home isn’t selling, there are usually specific reasons which means there are ways to amend them and make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Here’s a short list of reasons why your home might be stalling on the market.

You Didn’t Spread The Net Wide Enough

No longer is it enough for a sign on your front lawn and word of mouth to carry the brunt of your marketing. With the world moving increasingly online, you need to address social media when advertising your home. Think Facebook. And be sure to use professional photos of your house whenever advertising it, so that it is properly and engagingly represented.

You Didn’t Make Your Home A Blank Slate

People on the hunt for a new home want to be able to picture themselves in the house (or apartment, or condo) they’re being shown. This means your house needs to be a blank slate. If there are idiosyncratic rooms, paint them neutral colors and keep the furnishings simple. Remove personal items from all areas being shown photos, achievements, etc. Open up the space by moving furniture out first.

You Are Not Available Enough or Are Too Available.

Potential buyers can be easily discouraged before they even get into your home. Make sure your house is accessible for as many viewings as you can manage even at odd hours to accommodate them. But you should not go to the showing itself. Having the previous owner around hinders people’s ability to assess the home objectively because they know it’s not objective for you. That discomfort can lead to them not asking the questions they needed to, and being deterred from the purchase.

You Didn’t Talk To The Buyers That Walked

It’s inevitable there will always be buyers that are interested but unwilling to make the final commitment, so use those buyers to your advantage. If you can, reach out and ask what made them turn away. There could be external factors (literally, elements outside your home) that negatively impact a buyer’s decision. If you learn that from almost-buyers, or even from your neighbors you’ll be able to find a fix or adjust the price accordingly.

If your home is listed but not selling, sometimes it can feel like it’s the universe rising against you. But often there are concrete reasons and simple solutions to get your home’s appeal up. And remember, in the end, the best way to find out why your house isn’t selling is to talk to your local real estate agent, who has the expertise to help.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Home Seller Tips

 

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Budget-Friendly DIY Projects That Instantly Boost Curb Appeal

Budget-Friendly DIY Projects That Instantly Boost Curb AppealWe’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but there’s no such rule in the housing market. Curb appeal is the external attractiveness of a home, and if you’re in the market for a house that first impression has a lot to do with your final decision. Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell, it’s an easy area to boost the attractiveness of your home.

Essentially, ensure your home is accessible and inviting to make it appeal to potential buyers. It’s like making new friends, and how you’re much more likely to approach someone who is smiling. Help your home smile by spending a little time and money on outdoor seating, open spaces and color. Note that homes that have personality make stronger first impressions, so also try to put some of yourself into the exterior of your home.

A Place To Sit

Outdoor seating inspires relaxation, providing a great first impression. Potential buyers can pause and get a sense of the community without feeling rushed. They’ll take in the external features of your home in comfort, and will be primed to imagine themselves sitting out there as new homeowners, sunning or sipping tea.

An Open Entrance

Open your home up literally. Creating an uncluttered space in front of your home will help direct and draw buyers. Use pathways and lighting (lamps, candles) to clearly guide the way into your home. A well-lit pathway is not only visually appealing, but safer and a confusing entrance could deter buyers before they even reach your house.

A Dash Of Color

Color draws the eye. Add flowers to the front of your house, or paint the shutters brightly to attract attention from the street. This will also help your home look tidy and put-together.

A Strong Front Door

The front door is the focal point of anyone walking up to your house. Why not paint it your favorite color, or decorate it with something that gives an idea of the interior, like a funky door-knocker or a wreath? Make sure the door is clean and everything works (knob, bell, hinges) to complete the look.

A Personalized Mailbox

If you have a mailbox out front, you can give it the same personalizing treatment. Paint it, or plant it in a flowerbed. Keep it clean, functional and inviting, and it’ll add to the overall impression of your house.

Riff off these easy, cheap projects to increase your home’s curb appeal. Contact your local real estate professional for more information.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Home Seller Tips

 

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