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Problems and Solutions to Common Issues in Real Estate

If you want a job in an industry where everyday is different and no two transaction are ever the same, you into real estate.  A boring day just doesn’t happen when you are working daily with a wide variety of people and personalities.  As much fun as it is to work with several different types of people on a regular basis, there are some challenges that can arise when working to find a buyer their dream home or a seller who is selling more than just a home, but an abundance of memories as well.

Common Real Estate Problems and Solutions

  1. Market Conditions That Are Not Ideal

Realtors do not have control over local real estate markets.  It is inevitable that local real estate markets will have ups and downs that need to be dealt with.  The longer you are in real estate the more you will see the market conditions fluctuate. The market conditions will play a huge role in if a home sells or not and if it sells at, below, or above the average market value. Realtors must understand and recognize if they are currently dealing with a sellers or buyers’ market.  The advice that you offer to your clients will make a huge difference in their perception and the outcome of the transaction.

  1. Emotional Sellers

Many times, the sale of a home can be quite emotional.  Real estate agents will get the full brunt of the emotion’s sellers are feeling during this process.  A wide range of emotion is felt from sadness, stress, excitement, uncertainty, and nervousness.  Selling a home is a time of mixed emotions for homeowners and you as their agent will need to help them overcome the feelings that they are having to get to the point of sale.  It will be important to remind the sellers of their initial motivation to sell, the benefits that come from the sale of a home, and how these play into their situation.  It is important not to become invested emotionally yourself in the sale of any home so that you can remain impartial throughout the process.

  1. Listing Price

There are many sellers and buyers out there that will take your recommendation when it comes to putting an offer in on a home or listing their home for sale.  However, there are times when people will feel like their home is worth more than it is or that a lower offer is better for later negotiations.  Price points are the biggest challenge most realtors will face with their clients. It is important that you as the realtor educate your clients with concrete evidence and current stats to validate your reasoning.   Point out how long comparable houses have stayed on the market and the difference in pricing points.

Most of the time real estate professionals can work out issues with their clients by listening to them and providing concrete information to reassure them.  Proper wording and empathy can often overcome any challenge that arises to help facilitate a compromise.

C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs.  More information can be found at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com/.

The Most Important Repairs to Make Before Selling Your Home

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance… I can’t stress the importance that keeping up with your home’s maintenance, repairs, and overall general well being can make when it comes time to sell.

For many buyers it is important to get into a home without having to do a ton of repairs to make it inhabitable.  It is also not on many buyers’ agendas to make an offer on a home only to determine upon inspection that there are issues that they just don’t want to deal with.  With a little bit of preparation before you place your home for sale, along with regular maintenance and consistent updates while you are actively living in the space your home should be buyer ready when you decide it is time to sell.

Listed below are just a few of the areas to pay special attention to as they are high on the list of priorities that buyers are looking at when buying a new home.

Kitchen & Bath Renovations and Updates:

  • These two spaces have the potential to make or break the sale of a house.  They also employ the most technical mechanics of the house from appliances, to plumbing and electricity, there is a lot that can go wrong.  If not kept up on kitchen and bathroom spaces can easily fall into despair.
    • Kitchen Appliances: Although it can be beneficial to have updated, energy efficient appliances when selling your home, the most important aspect is that they are all in solid working condition.  Maintenance is key in keeping appliances running properly.
    • Cabinets: Cabinets are an essential visual and functional element in both the bathroom and kitchen.  Not only should cabinets be free of damage and in good working order, new hardware never hurts to modernize a slightly older space.
    • Faucets, Sinks, Showers & Tubs: Not only are aesthetics important so is the functionality of drains and faucets. The drains within sinks, showers, and tubs should all drain properly, free and clear of any problems.  Overflow drains should also be in proper working order.  The hot and cold faucets should be properly installed.  (Believe it or not many homes I have remodeled have the hot and cold feature set up backwards) Exhaust vents should be working and clear of debris. Check all surfaces for cracks, chips, and peeling.  Homes that undergo routine maintenance should have addressed all of the above issues as problems arose.

Walls & Ceilings:

    • As part of regular maintenance homeowners should take care to repair nail holes, dings, and dents that occur. If discoloration is seen on the ceiling this will instantly turn off a buyer.  Damage from water should be repaired and brought back up to par aesthetically before placing a home for sale.  All water damage and repairs should be properly documented to give future homeowners a record if asked upon inspection how the problem was solved.

Flooring:

  • Flooring does not need to be replace before selling a home. What is important however is that it is clean and in good condition.  Chips and cracked tiles have been replaced, carpet has been cleaned, and hardwood refinished if scratches and dents are an issue.

HVAC:

  • The heating and cooling systems in the home should be in working order with updated filtration installed. Thermostats should work properly or be replaced.  Hiring an HVAC tech to complete a tune up can be a bonus to ensure everything is in proper order and can be used to market your home.
Electrical Panels and Circuit Breakers:
  • Take time to have the electrical panels in your home meet current codes. This is a perfect time to have the electrical in your home inspected by a professional.  This documentation can be given to your realtor to use as added bonuses that prove maintenance on a home has been done.  This looks really good in the eyes of a buyer even if there is a hiccup somewhere else in the home.

C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs.  More information can be found at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com/.

Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time

The process of buying and selling a home can be very stressful especially if you find yourself in a situation where you are doing both at the same time.  Depending on the housing market in your area it can be tricky for to juggle both process at the same time.  It becomes incredibly important to rely on a reputable, local realtor to facilitate.

 

In this installment, we will provide valuable tips and recommendations to educate homeowners in the process of achieving what may seem like an impossible task, to sell their current home while purchasing a new dream home.

 

Understand the Housing Market

Before you jump right in and look to buy and sell a home, you want to be sure that you find out about the housing market. If you are looking to buy a new home in the same market that you currently live it should be slightly easier than if you were leaving the area for whatever reason.

 

Create a Plan of Action

One of the best ways to ensure that you will be more likely to be successful in buying and selling a house at the same time is to plan. This plan should be as realistic as possible, make all your goals actionable and attainable. There is no sense making a goal that is not achievable, that would be one sure fire way to be unsuccessful. Including a professional real estate company in the process is a must.

 

Don’t Rely on Timing

When buying and selling at the same time there are so many things that can go wrong and timing may seem right, but it could easily change when the buyer of your home runs into problems during closing. It could also happen to you when you are set to close on purchasing your new home and then something sneaks up and throws a monkey wrench into the works and you are stuck. Sometimes even the best plans can go awry, and you will have to go back to the drawing board to salvage your overall goal.

 

Align Your Finances

One way to make buying and selling houses simultaneous much less stressful is that if you are able to work with a new lender that is willing to work with you to establish your new mortgage and discuss the possible need for a bridge loan to help with paying both mortgages until you can sell your home. You can also request a contract contingency option which means that your home purchase is contingent on the sale of your home. This may or may not be a viable option in all circumstances.

 

Don’t Let Fear Make Your Decision

When it comes trying to buy a new home and sell your existing home at the same time it can be a bit unnerving. The likelihood that you could be stuck carrying two mortgages for a brief or not so brief amount of time is fairly high. However, you must at all cost not allow yourself to let the fear of not being able to afford the two mortgages at the same time to make a bad decision that could end up costing you a lot of extra money.

C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs.  More information can be found at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com/.

 

How Staging Your Home for Sale Can Affect Its Value?

When it comes to selling a home, everyone seems to have their own opinion as to what will make it sell faster and for more money.  Some realtors believe that the smell of freshly baked cookies will convince a person to buy, while other real estate agents think that a home needs to be perceived as warm and inviting to entice a purchase.

Well, if you are the type of person that thinks that an empty home is easier to keep clean through all those open houses, and you want to remove everything, you may want to think twice.  It turns out that the aroma of cookies and cozy spaces can decrease the amount of time a house stays on the market, because potential homeowners can see themselves living there.

In addition to staged homes selling faster, most sellers and their real estate agents will agree that the value of the home will increase, due to the way that it looks when potential homeowners are walking through it or looking at the pictures online.  Some real estate agents believe that the home’s value will only increase by a percent or two, while other realtors believe that the value of the home will increase by as much as twenty percent.

One of the easiest things that you can do when staging your home is remove all the personal items from each room.  These items often include family photos, as you are trying to have someone else imagine themselves living in the space, and that is difficult to do when another family is staring down from the walls.

You will also want to remove any clutter, including that pile of shoes by the front or back door.  The idea when staging a home is to show how everything has its place and that there is room for everything.  It gives the appearance that the home is larger than it is, which is why many realtors will also recommend removing half of the items from inside all the closets.

Your real estate agent will want you to stage your home a specific way prior to having any pictures taken for the website.  That will ensure that your home looks exactly right to potential buyers from the start and hopefully will lure them to the open house.

Of course, once your home has been staged by your realtor, you will not be able to make any changes to it until it has been sold.  This can be difficult for some people, as you may feel that you are living in a museum but keep the end result in mind.  That shouldn’t be too hard, as a little extra money can usually motivate anyone.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Dual Agency-Why Buyers and Sellers Should Avoid It

There can be some confusion when it comes to the role of real estate agents whenever a real estate transaction is being executed. In most states, an agency disclosure form is required and should be signed by both seller and buyer. This form is typically a disclosure, not an agreement and details the roles of each party in the real estate transaction.

In a typical real estate transaction, there is either a single agent or a dual agent. A dual agent is a real estate broker who represents both the seller and the buyer. This is important because, in a traditional real estate deal, the broker only represents the seller. Sometimes the lines become blurred and the broker crosses over to the buyer and negotiates a better buying price. While this is a common practice in the real estate arena, it is considered unethical and can even illegal in many states. In a dual agency setting, the broker is required to disclose that he or she is working with both the seller and the buyer.

Single Agency

In a typical real estate setting, the buyer works with a single buying agent. Sellers, on the other hand, work with brokers or selling agents who are working in a single agent capacity listing agents. Legally, these single agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to their clients and documents are signed to this effect. For instance, they cannot share confidential information with the other party or the other party’s agent. Single agency agents must exercise due diligence in the performance of all their duties, be forthright, and disclose all material facts.

Dissecting Dual Agency

Owing to the fact that all real estate agents are licensed under a real estate brokerage, it is not uncommon to find the same agent licensed by the same broker as the listing agent. This situation creates a dual agency. Even if the agents are located in separate offices and do not know each other, nevertheless a dual agency scenario exists because they are both licensed by the broker (one representing the buyer and the other representing the seller).

Here is how dual agency essentially plays out in the real world: after qualifying for a home, the buyer works with a real estate agent who in turn is registered under the same brokerage firm that has listed the home. In this scenario, a dual agency has been created by that real estate agent. In many cases, the agent proceeds as if it is a single agency transaction. The law, however, requires that this dual agency is disclosed.

A listing agent for a property who also represents the buyer of that property automatically becomes a dual agent. Because dual agents cannot operate in a fiduciary relationship with both the seller and buyer, they must treat both equally. They can offer advice to both but cannot disclose confidential information. There are instances where real estate agents have found themselves embroiled in lawsuits for failing to adhere to these standards.

Consider the complications that a dual agency can cause.  If an agent is adamant about proceeding in the representation of both transactions be careful and consider hiring an attorney to review the transaction thoroughly before signing on the dotted line.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

When it comes to buying or selling property it is extremely important that you enlist the assistance of a real estate professional in the area you are looking to buy or sell the property. Regardless of whether you have some amount of real estate experience you cannot equal the knowledge that an agent that is from the area that you are looking at has of the local market.

 

When you find a local realtor that you think you might be interested in working with you should sit down and discuss things in order to select the best one for your needs. We put together a list of essential questions that should help you to glean all of the information from that you will be able to use to make your final selection.

 

10 Essential Question to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

 

How many years have you been in the area?

This is extremely important to get to know whether or not they have enough knowledge of the local community. If they don’t have many years of experience, this should give you a reason not to go with them.

How many clients are you currently working with?

Finding out how many people they are working with will give you an idea of how much time they could devote to your needs.

Do you work with most buyers as compared to sellers or vice versa?

If an agent works mostly buyers or mostly sellers, they may not have as much experience with the other and that could be an issue.

Is there a specific area that you cover?

Finding out up front if your agent is tied to a specific area can end up limiting you in your opportunities.

Does your agency use teams and are you part of one?

Knowing if your agent is part of a larger team is a good thing to know so that you know that you could be working with another agent at some point.

Are you able to handle a few of these unique situations?

Put together a list of unique situations and see how they respond to each specific situation.

How do you prefer to handle communication with your clients?

It is a really good idea to find out right off the bat how you will be communicating with your agent.

 Do you have a rapport with some of the local professional groups?

It is really important for an agent to have a really good working relationship with the key vendors that work in the areas related to real estate.

Can I get 3 references with contact information?

It is always important to get references so that you can find out what other people who already worked with think about them.

Do you have any questions for me?

Last but certainly the least, ask if they have any questions.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

 

Real Estate Tips for Buying Homes on the Water

Living near the water is a dream for most people. It is peaceful and tranquil.  Most often home on the water are away from the city’s utter over population. There is a level of calm that always exists along with a view that is spectacular every time of the day. Living on the water also means more privacy as your house is not blocked by houses stacked one on top of each other.  Water front homes are directly in front of the open water. Which allows you to take part in water-related activities such as swimming, water skiing, fishing, boating, ice skating and more.  Waterfront homes also retain their value better than most other types of real estate.

Often lake homes are more difficult to buy and harder to negotiate than a land-locked property. Here are some tips from professional real estate agents to keep in mind when looking into buying waterfront property.

  1. Finding a Real Estate Agent That Specializes in Waterfront Homes

Many real estate agents do not have the expertise and knowledge it takes to purchase waterfront properties. As a home buyer you should always look for a real estate agent who specializes in lake front property as they would have a better understanding on the pros and cons of different waterfront properties.

  1. Focus on The Property

Don’t just buy a home on the lake to say you have lakefront property.  Many buyers are disappointed on their home once they have moved in when they realize the homes pitfalls.  The basement may leak, the view may not be what you wanted, it can be muddier than you are wanting to deal with or many other issues may exist that you took for granted being focused only on getting a home on the water.

  1. Taking Out a Home Loan/Mortgage

Lake homes are often more pricey than other types of property.  Buyers looking to purchase a home on the water are advised to investigate mortgage preapproval sooner than later.  Lenders often consider the most eligible and credit worthy buyers.  With pricey water front property, it may take longer to work out a loan agreement between the lender and the buyer.  It will be important for the lender to be sure that the buyer has considered the cost of insuring a lake front house as well.

  1. Focus on The Structure of the Home

Properties in front of the water receive more abuse from added elements.  It is suggested that extra measures should be taken to protect the property. For example, using stainless steel locks or storm shutters.  The homes structure should be thoroughly inspected to make sure that there are not signs of any structural damage which could destroy the integrity of the home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

For Sale by Owner Vs. Listing by Agent

Let’s say, for example, you’ve done a great job building your nest egg, then you see a lakefront property for sale by owner sign, would you be confident enough to consider buying the property or would you rather buy a home for sale listed by an agent? Many buyers do not consider for sale by owner homes because they prefer working with a real estate agent who can cut through a few red tapes on their behalf.

When you are new to the home buying or selling game, it helps to have professional by your side who will do more than guide you through the process. Having a house for sale listed by an agent has proven beneficial to many homeowners because for starters, a listing agent has connections and they will know where on the countless websites to list your house, how to up-sell it and how to find cheaper ways to advertise the property.

Also, since you can easily underestimate the value of your property, a listing agent can provide an accurate home value based on a complete market analysis for the right listing price. Realtors are pit bulls when it comes to networking, negotiating better sale contract terms, and preparing intricate and often lengthy paperwork on a client’s behalf. They don’t quit until they make a sale and a homeowner is satisfied.

Realtors know how to present your home to buyers to sell it at top dollar.  Most of us don’t have the eye for detail that real estate agents have especially when it comes to staging our homes.  Real estate agents know what should head into storage and what can stay on display.  The way that your home is presented can matter a great deal to the overall asking price you will receive.

Another benefit of having a real estate agent working on your behalf is that they will help negotiate up until the homes closing date.  You may think once the deal is signed and agreed upon it is over however this is not the case.  After the homes inspection has been completed often buyers will come back to the table with issues that they want the seller to take care of before they close on the home.

This aspect of negotiations is best sorted out between realtors.  Buyers often over estimate the cost of repairs that are needed to the home that they are about to purchase.  This often occurs because of the anxiety that is felt when making decisions of this magnitude.  Real estate agents on both sides have experience that will allow them to make a decision that is best for both parties, wrap up negotiations, and close on the home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Spring is Here: It’s Time to Put Your Home Up for Sale

If you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale, now is the time to do it. Spring has always been known as the best time to sell a home because buyers are eagerly looking to make a purchase that allows them to be settled before summer is here. The weather is warm but not hot, people are out and about and are much happier than any other time of year.  This makes it an ideal time for buyers to look for new homes during this time of year. The real estate market is a year-round thing, but spring really sees a lot of movement in terms of interested buyers. Here are a few more reasons why you’ll want to put your home up for sale this spring:

The Newness of Spring Makes Your Home Look Better

A huge reason why you should put your home up for sale in spring is the fact that the warm weather, the green grass and all the flowers are blooming so potential buyers really see the beauty in your home. Spring’s many factors really set up a pretty view of your home that ups the curb appeal and attracts buyers.

The Days are Longer and There Is More Sunlight

Because there’s more sunlight during spring, which means potential buyers have more time to view your home than in winter. You can have home eyeballs look at your home throughout the day and this only increases your chances of selling your home fast!

Closing Corresponds with The End Of The School Year

If you have kids, chances are you want them to close out the school year at their current school. If you sell in the spring, you’ll most likely close right around the time school finishes, which mean no interruption in their school studies. And they’ll be able to start the new school year at a new school.

Tax Returns Lend to Higher Down Payments for First Time Buyers

Spring is usually a time when first-home buyers start looking for home since they’ve just done their taxes and have more money to use for their down payment.

More Buyers Equals Possible Bidding War and Higher Prices

Selling in spring will increase your chances of getting the most bids for you home with the highest prices. There are been plenty of research that shows the first two weeks in May have higher returns on houses than any other time of year.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

 

Spring is in The Air: What to Look for When Buying a Home

Spring season is house-hunting season. It is time we leave our wintery slumber and decide to get going.  The sun is shining, the ice is melting, and everything appears shiny. If you are considering buying a home during the spring season, know very well what problems tend to show up after a long winter before making that offer.  It is crucial that buyers looking for a new home seek out the assistance of a real estate agent.  A professional realtor assists throughout the buying process in a number of ways including a pre-check for damage prior to the offer and inspection process.  Real estate agents are helpful in spotting common issues that can appear in homes after the spring thaw including:

Water Damage:

When snow melts the running water often can enter into basements, crawlspaces, or cement foundations.  If this occurs, it usually shows up in the form of yellow patches on inside walls or bulging paint patches.  These are not often spotted by excited homebuyers however real estate agents are well trained in finding these smaller issues that can easily be covered during the viewing process.

External:

It is crucial to thoroughly examine the exterior of the home when viewing homes.  Peeling paint, cracks in the siding, and an abundance of mold can be indicators of structural issues throughout the home.

Out of Sight:

Real estate agents will always have homeowners check out the crawlspace, attic, basement, and utility rooms.  These are the areas within a home that often conceal water and mold issues because these areas are often given less care when sellers are getting a home ready to sell.  However, the bones of the home need to be examined.  It is important to take a deep breathe in each of these areas to make sure that you are not catching notes of musty smells that can indicate moisture is getting into the foundation framing and insulation.

Roof Inspection:

Snow, sleet, and rainwater can cause havoc on roofs, especially when shingled with asphalt shingling. Although it may seem just a little silly, a set of binoculars should be used by a real estate agent or home buyer when going for a home viewing.  These can help you get an obvious look at the situation above the gutters. Cracks and curling could indicate the shingles need to be replaced.

Knowing potential trouble spots when buying a home before making an offer, paying for an inspection or worse yet moving in will help to make sure that home buyers make the best buying decision possible.  This is one of the reasons it is so important to use a real estate agent when buying or selling a home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents, call 734-426-6060 today.