Role of a Real Estate Lawyer Know Their Role When Buying or Selling a Home

Role of a Real Estate lawyer

First your lawyer will send you a letter outlining what documentation he or she may need from you. Since you will likely be paying at least $1300 plus for legal services, I think it’s important that you know what your lawyer will be doing for you! Below is some detailed information on the role of a real estate lawyer and on what you need to do when working with your lawyer and securing a mortgage. Don’t wait to higher a lawyer just before you taking position of your new purchase, make sure you interview them way before your closing date.

Your Real Estate lawyer should advise you what expenses you’re likely to incur with respect to the closing procedures, including:

Land Transfer Tax

disbursements

legal fees

property tax

If you’ve bought a new home from a builder, the Real Estate lawyer can give you an educated estimate as to how much you should budget for „hidden charges“ such as:

Ontario New Home Warranty Enrolment Fee

Hydro and Water meter installation charges

Fencing charges

Grading Deposit charges

many others

If all the conditions in the Agreement have been met and the Offer is firm, the lawyer proceeds to investigate the title to the property. Initials searches include:

utility searches

property tax searches

building, zoning and planning searches

registered title searches

Letters are sent by your lawyer:

to all municipal or regional utility departments to confirm that there are no arrears or outstanding charges

to ensure there are no conditional sales contracts, easements or unregistered agreements, liens

to discover other encumbrances affecting the property or equipment being left by the Seller

Easements are a big issue and cases are always being written up in the newspapers and real estate journals, about buyers who didn’t realize they weren’t allowed to put up fencing or create a parking space because the property survey they were working from didn’t actually show the City’s rights to access the property. Your lawyer’s job is to make sure all this is disclosed to you. Your lawyer will also advise the utility departments of your name and the scheduled closing date, and request that final meter readings be done on the closing date so the final bills can be sent to the Seller.

A Tax Certificate is requested by your solicitor to verify the amount of the current year’s taxes and to ask about any arrears and outstanding charges for taxes. Your lawyer will also write to the Building and Zoning Department to get the full particulars of zoning by-laws and restrictions and permitted uses (so you’ll know if you’re allowed to operate a business from your home or build a huge deck, for example). It’s important that you send your lawyer a copy of the survey for the property as soon as possible – if the Seller has a survey, I’ll get it for you if it’s not already included in the offer documents. If no survey exists, tell your lawyer so he/she can advise how your interests can be protected through Title Insurance.

A Search of Title to the property is begun in the Land Registry Office to make sure the Seller is the true owner of the property, has the right to sell you the property, and that the property is not subject to any encumbrances, encroachments, easements, liens, agreements or mortgages that were not disclosed in the Agreement or Purchase and Sale. You may have heard of fraud cases where people’s homes were sold out from under them by con artists who had no title to the land! This is where your lawyer really earns his fees. This search has to be completed prior to the Requisition Date (title search date) shown on your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Other important functions of your lawyer include:

Carry out a search of Executions in the appropriate Sheriff’s Office to ensure that there are no executions against the prior owners of the property that would affect your title.

Prepare and deliver a letter to the Seller’s lawyer requesting that any items revealed in the initial searches be dealt with on or before closing.

Review the contents of the Mortgage Commitment letter your bank will prepare when you arrange your financing, and consult with you about the results of signing it.

Advise you of any closing-day costs related to mortgage financing when your financial institution provides you with a final Mortgage Commitment Letter.

If your lawyer is also acting on behalf of the financial institution (it often happens), he/she will prepare all necessary documentation for the mortgage and submit this package to the financial institution for approval prior to closing:

– Certify title of the property to the financial institution on closing.

– Advise you about any government programs designed to assist home buyers that would apply to you, including Land Transfer Tax Rebate programs, Ontario Home Ownership Savings Plans, RRSP plans, and CMHC 5% Down Payment information.

– Let your insurance broker know the name, address, phone number and fax number of both your lawyer and of the financial institution providing your mortgage. Your lawyer needs a letter confirming that insurance coverage is in place effective on closing – this is super important because the bank will not advance the $ to close your purchase until they know that you have property insurance.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Photography Tips for Beginners

Even with the recession, real estate is a billion dollar market in all the major developed and developing countries. What do you think is the first thing people see when scouting around to buy property? The answer would be the pictures of the property in question. Human beings respond better to visual stimulation.

Therefore, quality and interesting photography matters a lot and if you are a property photographer you should take it seriously. Why? Because your livelihood depends on it! If you are trying to sell real estate photographs to realtors and they are not worth the dollars the realtor pays, your effort goes to waste.

Real Estate Photography Tip #1: Capturing the Best Images

The intention is to sell the property so your photography should definitely be appealing to the people who view them. Try to highlight the best features of the house; the features that potential buyers will like to see matter the most. The photography also depends on the nature of the property – residential or commercial. Actually the pictures should showcase your talent and skill. While searching for realtors to see the images, sometimes you need to provide samples so capturing the best of images will greatly help to clinch the deal.

Real Estate Photography Tip #2: Selling the Images

To earn a living in this type of photography professionally, give yourself 1-2 years of time for creating a solid base of clients. You can set up a professional website with your portfolio, current projects (if any), specialization, skills, and lots of high-definition clear pictures for prospective buyers to see. Of course, you need to do a lot of marketing for getting the clients. Begin by scouting the area you are living in and any others that you have easy access to. Contact the realtors in the area, show them sample images and if luck is on your side, you will land your first deal soon!

Real Estate Photography Tip #3: Getting High Profile Clients

Getting high profile realtor clients who will buy your pictures is not easy because there are always better photographers around you and also you lack experience in the beginning. So after working for a year or two with local realtors, think of migrating towards getting high profile clients. The pay rate is definitely higher but you need to have real skill and knowledge to get an edge over others. Question yourself – what is there in you that sets you apart from other real estate photographers? Once you answer this, build on that aspect for better projects.

Of course, getting the high profile clientele is not easy. Be prepared for sample photo shoots as part of a personalized sales pitch.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Risk of Buying a House During the Redemption

Financial distress may force a homeowner to sell his property. But there are also times when it is foreclosed by the financial institution to which the property is mortgaged. Yet, the redemption period still gives an opportunity to reown the house. However, there are risks which should be considered in order to take advantage of the stipulated time.

First, the redemption period is time-constrained. This means that the homeowner will be given a short period to reown the house after the buyer or the third-party has filed the necessary paperwork to the court. After such period, the chance to regain ownership of the house will be forfeited.

The second risk is associated with the price to regain ownership. Normally, the price tag isn’t all that should be shouldered as there are also mortgage overdue, taxes, and documentation costs. All of these should be paid within the period allotted.

Third, there are personal risks such as the capacity of the owner to raise huge amount of money to cover the necessary expenses to reown what used to be under his namesake. During the financial distress, there might be other expenses that arose such as unpaid utility bills, credit charges, and school fees. These can come on top of regular costs of daily food and travel.

There can also be associated risks that can pop up from the situation such as when relocation is an option until such time that the house is reowned. If moving out is the top choice, then there can again be expenses that could eat up the amount trying to be earned for the redemption. But there are circumstances when the third party would still allow the owner to dwell until it is redeemed or until the redemption expires.

The redemption period is like a last ticket to a must-see movie. But unlike movies which can possibly be streamed on the internet, reownership of a house is tricky. It concerns effort, time, and money. These three needs to be combined seriously along with the right mixture of perseverance in order for the redemption period to be a fruitful endeavor towards repossession of the property where memories and moments are shared and created.

If you are currently under a redemption period and you’re quite unsure of the steps to take, your friendly local real estate agent is just a call away. He will be more than happy to guide you step-by-step and will even give you advices on the situation.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

6 Things You Must Demand From Your Real Estate Agent!

In the United States, there are well – over, one – million, licensed real estate professionals, although, only a relatively, small percentage of them, are responsible for, the vast – majority, of closed – transactions. Therefore, whether, you seek to sell you home, or are a potential, qualified buyer, it is wise, to carefully, choose, your agent, based on, your personal, best – interests, and, after interviewing them, feeling, they have the combination of attitude, aptitude, skills, persistence, professionalism, and expertise, to serve your needs, goals, and priorities! After, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I strongly, believe, these 6 things, you must demand, of the individual, you hire. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means, and represents, and, why it matters.

1. Integrity: The real estate professional, you choose, must, consistently, exhibit, absolute integrity! To serve and represent you, you need, and deserve, someone, you feel confident, you can, consistently, trust, in good – times, or less!

2. Allegiance: Nearly every state, as well as Realtor Board’s, include a Code Of Ethics, regarding, the conduct, required by a realtor, to his clients, and customers, etc! One of the key components is, owing a client, complete allegiance, and protecting their privacy, etc. Your chosen professional must put – you – first, consistently, and never provide, any information, which might harm or compromise, your interest (however, that does not mean, violating the law, and/ or, providing any material misstatements!)

3. Tell what they need to know: My service – marked, slogan, is, I will always tell you what you need to know, not, just, what you want to hear. You need, and deserve, someone, who will inform you, in a realistic manner, rather than, wearing, rose – colored, glasses!

4. Prepare a client: Agents owe their clients, a readiness, and willingness, to thoroughly, consistently, prepare them, for potential, possibilities, in order to make this process, as stress – free, as possible! When one prepares his clients, properly, the transaction period, becomes, an easier one!

5. Negotiating expertise: One of the reasons, to hire, a specific agent, is their degree of negotiating expertise, in order to achieve the best price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle! This requires the individual, to thoroughly, understand, and know the local, real estate market, etc.

6, Handling details: The transaction period, is, often, full of challenges, and requires, handling the details, effectively, and efficiently, on a consistent basis!

Since, for most, the value, of their house, is their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to do, whatever, possible, to ensure, you protect it, and make the best decisions, and take the smartest actions! Consider these 6 things, when you hire your real estate agent!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Purchase A Home With Free Downpayment Assistance Grants

First-Time Home Buyers Assistance

Florida Housing is a State Financing Corporation created over 20 years ago to help Floridians obtain safe, decent housing that might otherwise be unavailable to them. Their „First-Time“ Homebuyer Program provides low interest mortgage loans and financial incentives throughout the year, for eligible homebuyers who haven’t owned a home as a primary residence within the past 3 years.

Program Highlights

The program offers low-interest 30 and 40 year fixed-rate loans, downpayment and closing costs assistance as well as access to credit counseling.

Teachers, firefighters, healthcare workers, police officers, as well as active duty and veteran military personnel could be eligible for lower interest rates.

Eligible applicants include individuals who:

 have never owned a home,

 don’t claim their mobile home as real property,

 haven’t owned a home as their primary residence within the past three years,

 have established credit worthiness,

 have an annual income that does not exceed program limits.

Downpayment Assistance

Florida Housing offers two downpayment and closing cost assistance programs in the form of second mortgage loans, and one in the form of an upfront cash assistance to help eligible homebuyers cover their downpayment and closing costs.

Downpayment Assistance

Programs: Offers Up To:

(Income limits apply)

FLORIDA ASSIST PROGRAM $10,000- Applicants with annual income at or below 80% Area Median Income

ASSISTANCE FOR MODERATE INCOME (HAMI) $5,000-Applicants with moderate income

The City of Orlando offers a Downpayment Assistance Program, available to low and moderate income first-time homebuyers for the purchase of a home within the City limits of Orlando. Depending on the gross household income, assistance may be $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000.

Teachers and public safety personnel, who are moderate income, may qualify for $20,000 of assistance. City of Orlando employees, teachers, and public safety personnel who are purchasing homes within the city limits of Orlando do not have to be first time homebuyers. Purchasers must occupy the property as a principal residence for at least ten (10) years. The downpayment assistance becomes a grant once the period of affordability has been satisfied.

Orange County provides funds to qualified first time homebuyers for down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The program provides assistance to qualified low and moderate income persons in Orange County on a first come, first ready basis. The program also requires that potential homebuyers complete a pre-purchase and post-purchase education program.

The buyer must:

 Meet the income requirements. Annual household income cannot exceed 120% of the area median income.

 Provide at least $1,000 of their own funds.

 Complete a home buyer’s education seminar.

 Secure first mortgage financing.

The property must:

 Be new or existing and located in Orange County, outside the city limits of Orlando.

 Not exceed a sales price of $219,000.

 Receive competitive fixed rate financing.

 Be fee simple ownership.

The assistance:

 Maximum ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 depending on household income.

 The County’s assistance is provided to the buyer’s closing agent at closing in the form of a soft second mortgage at 0% interest which is forgiven after fifteen (15) years if the home remains owner-occupied.

 In addition, the total first mortgage and Orange County’s second mortgage may not exceed 105% of appraised value.

Home Buyer’s Education Program

All participants requesting down payment assistance must attend a free Homeowners Education workshop. This provides education and technical services to assist eligible low and moderate income families in the process and procedure connected with the purchase of an affordable single family fee-simple housing unit. Homebuyers Education addresses such topics as choosing a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, inspecting a house, contracts for sale, home maintenance and credit issues.

The Orange County Finance Authority is a government organization that provides mortgage financing with lower interest rates than what is available in the market. Their financing products reduce long-term mortgage costs. Plus, if eligible, you may obtain additional down payment/closing cost assistance from other sources along with this financing!

In order to qualify for home financing, certain eligibility requirements must be met:

 You have not had an ownership interest in a primary residence during the previous three years. (Unless the property is located in a federally designated „Targeted Area“.)

 Property must be owner-occupied for the term of the loan or until the property is sold.

 Have the legal right to permanently reside in the United States

 Meet credit and loan requirements

 Do not exceed the income & purchase price limit

 Veterans can waive First-Time Homebuyer Rule

City of Kissimmee Community Redevelopment Agency offers financial grants to new homeowners within the Community Redevelopment Agency district (CRA), in order to provide economic support to the downtown businesses. It is designed to attract new residents to targeted areas within the Community Redevelopment district. There will be no income limitations placed on the granting of these funds.

Funding will be granted based on establishment of owner occupancy of the subject property. The grants will be given on a first come, first served basis after certain qualifications have been met.

The agency offers financial grants to eligible employees of employers in the CRA Overlay District on a first come, first served basis to be used towards the purchase of a home. Plus, there are incentives for Teachers to be used towards the purchase of a home in the CRA Overlay District on a first come, first served basis.

Osceola County provides funds to qualified first time homebuyers for downpayment, closing costs associated with purchasing a home, and financing with lower interest rates than what is available in the market. The program provides assistance to qualified low and moderate income persons in Osceola County on a first come, first ready basis. The program also requires that potential homebuyers complete an education program.

The buyer must:

 Not have owned a home in the last three years.

 Attend a Home Buyers Orientation Session and complete a Home Buyers Education Program.

 Have a minimum of $1,000 to contribute toward the costs of buying a home.

 Have an annual income that falls within the area median income guidelines as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additional terms may apply.

The property must:

 Must be located in Osceola County.

 New home or existing homes must not exceed $200,000. If within the City of Kissimmee homes must not exceed $240,000.

 No mobile homes.

 Manufactured homes must have DCA insignia seal.

 Must be a single family home, condominium, town home or villa.

The assistance:

 Maximum ranges from $39,000 to $69,000 depending on household income.

 The Loan is provided to the buyer’s closing agent at closing in the form of a soft second mortgage which is forgiven after ten (10) years if the home remains owner-occupied.

Repayment of the loan becomes due if:

 Borrower defaults on the first mortgage.

 The house is sold refinanced with equity cashed out.

 The house is rented, leased, subleased or ceases to be owner-occupied prior to the end of the loan period.

 No Home Equity Line of Credit borrowed against the property.

Home Buyer’s Education Program

All participants requesting down payment assistance must attend a free Homeowners Education workshop. This provides education and technical services to assist eligible low and moderate income families in the process and procedure connected with the purchase of an affordable single family fee-simple housing unit. Homebuyers Education addresses such topics as choosing a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, inspecting a house, contracts for sale, home maintenance and credit issues.

SHIP Program (State Housing Initiative Partnership)

The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program provides funds to produce and preserve affordable housing through the creation of a partnership between the public and private sectors. The funds are derived from the collection of documentary stamp tax revenues, which are deposited into the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. Based on a population-based formula, SHIP funds are distributed to local governments each month.

These funds are available to Home Buyers through the Downpayment Assistance programs above.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

What You Need to Know About Buying House in Summer 2018

The sunniest time of the year when sun is shining brightly is surely a great time for exploring new neighborhoods and visualizing future patio parties during viewings. If you are planning to buy home this summer then it is important to understand the housing market prior starting any serious shopping. You must have to know what housing market is like for buyers now and what you can do to end up the best home with best price that fits right in your budget.

Owning a home is an investment in your future and with that in mind you wants to make sure that you are making educated decisions so that you could get the best possible deal. Housing market in 2018 should be just as strong this summer as it’s been all spring. List prices and existing home sales have risen this year but there are perks to house hunting right now, too. We present you some of the facts and tips to help you get the most out of this year’s summer housing market.

SUMMER MARKET FACTS

DURING THE SUMMER PRICES DROP: Although summer is busy home-buying season but still it is not crazy as prices drop from May through October. Anyhow if you hang out until late August then you could find a really great deal-that is when nearly 14 % of listings get a price cut.

Private Mortgage Insurance Is GETTING MORE Reliable: PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance getting cheaper after PMI lenders MGIC and Radian lowered their rates this spring; it is great financing news for homebuyers. That’s going to cause most of these PMI companies to be competitive with each other which in result going to bring them all down. Less than 20 % of down payment makes the home buyers to get PMI. It means it will be cheaper for some buyers to get into homes sooner.

HOMEBUYING TIPS FOR SUMMER 2018

DON’T DISCOUNT OLDER LISTINGS: At the times when homes are flying off the market within days due to strong competition, it is easy to think a listing that’s a week or so old is a red flag. But keep in mind that it is not always the case. It is often because buyer got cold feet and pulled out of a deal on a perfectly good house. But thanks to the assumptions home buyers make about older listings in busy markets, the delay can cause the price to come down.

There are just more of these in market. The number of homes in market is shrinking but still there are 8.3 % more fixer-upper among them than there were six years ago. If you are dead-set against a fixer-upper to be prepared to move quickly then there is only ever going to be a couple of options at a time. And when new listings come up it’s going to be pretty ferocious.

GET TO KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The plus point of competitive market it gives you temptation to make an offer on any available property that fits your criteria but if it’s in the wrong neighborhood, you may never want to purchase the house. It is better to take some time and do community scouting before making an offer. You can even find out what your future neighbors have to say about the area by communicating with them.

MAKE THE STRONGEST OFFER: To stay in the market make the strongest offer, even your offer is not the highest because now is not the time for low ball-offer. No doubt, coming up with cash offer could be tough for many home buyers but there are some ways to make a strong offer that don’t require gobs of money. Substantial eventualities like a shorter closing or inspection period and writing a great offer letter can help make your offer stand out.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Sell Your House on The Internet

Did you know that over 88% of all house buyers search for their house by looking on the internet? The internet has become the primary medium for potential buyers to search for a house. Using the internet to market your house is a comprehensive mass marketing approach to selling a house. And when selling your house on your own you need to take an all out approach so you can distribute the message that your house is for sale to the masses. You also need the message to be loud, clear and appealing. There are many websites that can assist you in selling your house, though some are more effective than others, and these websites will get you as much exposure as any real estate agent will get you. Regardless of what website you do choose to use, make sure you have great pictures and a great virtual tour to upload to the website. Great photos and virtual tours sell houses.

Since 88% or more of potential buyers will use the internet to search for their next house, it is clear you need to focus your attention to internet marketing and make sure you are marketing in all the right places. So where do you market on the internet? Don’t waste your time marketing in places where your house listing will get mediocre or zero exposure. Based on years of experience we recommend you only market on effective internet websites that have been proven to get mass exposure and successfully sell houses. We have many websites to recommend, but there are a few that stand out. Most of which are FREE.

The first place to market your house is Craigslist, which has become an excellent online classified resource used to sell real estate. Make sure your headlines and ads sparkle and the content of the classified is clear and detailed. Make sure you respond quickly to inquiries since internet prospects will continue to look for houses to see what else is around the bend.

The second website is Facebook, which now has over 140 million unique visitors in the U.S. and can give you incredible trustworthy exposure. You can share your listing with your friends or create a separate new page specifically for your house.

The third effective internet resource to market your house is Postlets, which is a website service that automatically posts your house listing on many other online websites. It’s easy to use and gives you great exposure to the masses.

The fourth are for sale by owner websites, also known as „FSBO“ websites. FSBO Websites are the Do-It-Yourself option that allows you to market your house listing through the Multiple Listing Service („MLS“) system, which was once a place exclusive to real estate agents alone. Marketing through a FSBO website will give you the same exposure 99% of real estate agents have. And if you combine that exposure with the other places we’ve touched upon, you will outshine most real estate agents‘ marketing efforts.

Now of course there are other great places to market your house, but the ones listed will get you pointed in the right direction.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Homes For Sale by Owner – Top Ten Secrets For Selling Your Home Yourself

So, you have decided to sell your home by yourself! You can save many thousands of dollars if you are successful. I have written this guide to assist you. I have seen many FSBOs have unrealistic expectations, and make mistakes along the way that ultimately prevent them from being successful. Did you know that 80% of FSBOs ultimately list their home with a Realtor? I hope these ideas will help put you in the other 20%.

Am I trying to put myself out of business? No. Do I think everyone has the right to sell their home however they see fit? Yes. If your circumstances change, and you decide you want a professional to sell your home for you, please call Gold Valley Realty. We are a full service brokerage firm with a flexible commission structure that is hard to beat.

Tip 1 * Plan Your Strategy

First of all, by when must your home be sold? Is nine months from now OK? Or will you not be able to close on your new home if your current home isn’t sold in nine weeks? What are the consequences and financial impacts if your deadline is not met? Time is a FSBO’s friend.

As of October 2008, the average marketing time for an average priced home listed by a Realtor in the Tucson MLS (Multiple Listing Service) was 78 days. This time varies considerably by location and price range. Ask Gold Valley Realty what the average is for your neighborhood. As a general rule, it normally takes a FSBO about twice as long to sell their home as it does a Realtor with MLS access. In either case, add to that the normal 30 day period from contract negotiation and acceptance until the final closing of the deal.

The name of the game in selling a home is getting as many qualified buyers through the door as possible. Who is a qualified buyer? One who can afford your home! One who verifiably has either the cash or financing available to buy your home. Realtors quickly learn to qualify their buyers before spending a lot of time working for them. You should too.

Speaking of Realtors, are you going to „cooperate“ with them? That is, if they bring the buyer that ultimately buys your home, are you willing to pay them? If so, how much? The vast majority of homes listed in the MLS offer compensation of three percent of the sales price to the buyer’s agent. In my experience, around 90% of FSBOs offer compensation to buyer’s agents.

How do you plan on getting qualified buyers through YOUR front door? Various methods are discussed in detail below.

What is your marketing budget? When and on what are you going to spend it?

Who is going to negotiate and prepare the contract for the sale of your home? Who is going to monitor escrow to quickly identify and resolve any potential deal breakers?

Tip 2 * Price your home correctly.

This obvious step will have the single biggest impact on the success or failure of your temporary career as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). Yet for most FSBOs this can also be one of the most challenging actions.

The market value of your home is what a ready, willing, and able buyer is willing to pay you for it.

How much a buyer is willing to pay for your home is dependent upon his personal circumstances and motivation; available competing properties in your area; and the prices of recently sold comparable homes in your neighborhood. Information on competing properties and recently sold „comps“ is available through several sources. We highly recommend getting a professional appraisal of your home. That will cost you around $300. Having an objective appraisal in hand has several advantages, not the least of which is being able to provide your buyer with a solidly defensible price established by an independent expert.

There are situations in which it may be more important for you to sell your home quickly rather than getting every last dollar out of your home. In this case, you may wish to price your home a few percent below the appraised value. However, your best bet if time is a serious consideration for you is to list your home with a Realtor. One of the extra benefits of listing with Gold Valley Realty is that we reimburse you for the appraisal at closing! Even if you had the appraisal done while FSBO.

Tip 3 * Marketing Materials

The single most effective marketing tool, by far, is the yard sign! Make yours professional looking. Look for a sign company in your city. Buy one of the information tubes that hang below your yard sign, and stuff it with flyers.

Your flyer should include at least one color photograph, and highlight the facts about your home, especially the asking price, number of bedrooms, square footage, special features, and schools.

Ask if you can post your flyers at nearby grocery stores, churches, schools, apartments, health clubs, country clubs, golf courses, travel agencies, insurance agencies, beauty salons, title companies, mortgage companies! Give some to your friends and neighbors too.

Publish your home information on the world wide web. An increasing number of homebuyers use the internet as a valuable information source.

Newspaper ads can be somewhat useful, more so if used in conjunction with open houses.

Tip 4 * Staging Your Home for Showing

As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression! Make sure it is a good one. Make sure your front yard is looking good. Is the handle on your front door showing its age? Replace it. Make sure your home is clean and tidy. Open all drapes, blinds, and shutters. Turn on every light in the house, day or night. A sparsely furnished room shows better than a cluttered room. If you have accumulated a lot of extra stuff over the years, put it in storage! You are moving soon anyway. Does your home pass the sniff test? If you have pets, or are a smoker, it might not. In that case, either replace or professionally deodorize your carpets. If you are having an open house, bake some bread or cookies to make your home smell great.

Tip 5 * Security & Showing Your Home

You can show your home either by appointment or by holding an open house. Setting appointments can be difficult if you are not usually available to answer the phone number on your ads and flyers. You might consider using a voice mail or a live answering service (starting at about $35 per month) to field your ad calls rather than using your home telephone. This offers some security benefits as well.

It is unlikely, though unfortunately not impossible, that criminals will use this opportunity to steal your possessions or hurt your family. A little preparation can go a long way to minimize that possibility.

Consider renting a safety deposit box to store your valuable jewelry, coins, guns, stamps, and memorabilia. Make a list and videotape the contents of your home, and store them in your safe deposit box, or at work. You should also hide cash and prescription drugs in a non-obvious place prior to showing your home.

Have your spouse, friend, or neighbor with you when you show your home. If the „buyer“ is making you nervous or acting suspiciously, ask them to leave.

Tip 6 * Cooperating with Buyer’s Agents

Virtually all homes offered for sale in the Tucson Multiple Listing Service (MLS) have a standing offer of cooperation for a three percent (3.0%) or more commission for the agent that ultimately procures the buyer. You might want to make the same offer to any Realtors that contact you. Why?

Most homebuyers are either already working with a real estate agent, or will be soon after their home search starts. Why? They can get professional representation at NO COST, as the buyer’s agents commission is paid for by the home seller. This means that a buyer can have an agent screen homes for him, set up appointments, accompany him on appointments, advise him as to a home’s market value, write up the offer, negotiate with the seller (or the seller’s agent), set up escrow, be there for inspections, handle any problems that arise, coordinate with the other businesses involved (mortgage company, home inspectors, escrow, title insurance), review final documents for contract compliance, and be there at the closing, all for FREE. Why then would a buyer buy a home without a Realtor working for him?

Tip 7 * Pre-qualify Potential Buyers

Failure of the buyer to qualify for a loan is the single most common cause of a FSBO’s deal falling apart.

Realtors get their buyers pre-qualified with a lender before spending much time and effort on their behalf. I personally will meet with a buyer for an initial consultation whether or not they are pre-qualified, but won’t go beyond that until I know they can either obtain financing or pay cash. I certainly recommend that you don’t enter into a contract with a buyer until you have independent confirmation of their ability to get financing or pay cash. Ask for the name and phone number of their loan officer. Call the loan officer and explain the situation; ask him or her if the buyers can qualify for a mortgage sufficient to buy your home.

Tip 8 * Use Professional Contracts

The contract in use by Realtors nationwide have evolved over time to cover almost all contingencies and disputes that have arisen in the past. I highly recommend that you use this contract, rather than a generic, do-it-yourself real estate contract. Arizona has unique laws and customs about selling real estate. A contract that is useful in another state will not be optimized for use in Arizona. If you have found a buyer, and want to write up a contract, contact a local real estate brokerage and see if you can get a copy of a blank contract.

Tip 9 * Monitor Escrow Closely

You are almost there! You found a buyer, negotiated and signed a contract, and opened escrow with a reputable title company. Actually, there is still much to be done before you sign over the deed at the title company and collect your money.

The buyer will normally have the right to perform whatever inspections he desires in the first 10 days or so after contract acceptance. If he finds problems with the house, roof, appliances, heating, cooling, plumbing, etc., he can either cancel the contract, or ask you to repair or replace the deficiencies. This can be a vexing situation. You as the seller may feel that the buyer is asking for too much. This is something that can be negotiated, but needs to be done diplomatically. Try to keep your pride and emotions from interfering with you ultimate objective of getting the house sold.

Get a written Conditional Loan Approval (CLA) from the mortgage company within the first 10 days after contract acceptance. This is much stronger than a verbal „pre-qualification“, and means your deal has a high probability of closing. Contact the mortgage company about 5 business days before you are scheduled to close; make sure that their documents will be available to the escrow company at least one day before you are due to sign the closing papers.

Tip 10 * Closing Escrow

One last note about closing. Closing on a home sale in Arizona is defined as the documents being recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. After the buyer and seller have signed, the loan package must go back to the mortgage company for final inspection. The mortgage company will then actually transfer funds to the escrow company. Only then can the escrow company send a runner down to the County Recorder’s Office and record the sale. The bottom line is, sign the paperwork the day before the actual closing.

Congratulations!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

History of Real Estate Agency Relationships

In the beginning, real estate brokers were known as middlemen and optioneers. Back then, the customary practice was for a middleman to know about a property for sale, but to keep it secret from other middlemen. It was difficult for these middleman to collect a fee for their services so they would resort to tactics that were not always in their seller’s best interest. Optioneers, on the other hand, were usually more successful in collecting their fees because they would tie up the seller’s property on an option to purchase, sell the property to a buyer at a price over the option amount, pay the seller the option price, and then pocket the rest.

The early real estate brokerage business was loosely organized and used methods of brokering that were often dishonest, subject to fraud, and that took advantage of sellers and buyers. Eventually, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and owing a fiduciary duty to the seller and receiving payment for his services was developed. This new concept forced the seller and broker relationship to a higher level of service and duty. It also allowed brokers to list property for sale using contracts. These contracts are what we now refer to listings. The earlier forms of listings we called open listings. The open listing is a type of non exclusive listing contract authorizing a real estate broker to offer a property for sale, find a buyer and get paid for services upon the closing of that transaction.

Other brokers could also have open listings for the same property, but only the broker who actually found the buyer would receive a commission. In addition, no broker would get paid a fee if the seller sold the property. The open listing discouraged cooperation between brokers, since each broker could obtain their own open listing. To solve the open listing problem, the exclusive agency listing became popular.

The exclusive agency listing is a type of listing contract wherein the seller offers only the listing brokerage compensation if the buyer is procured through the brokerage’s efforts or the efforts of other real estate brokerages. This means that in certain situations, such as For Sale by Owner, the listing brokerage may not receive compensation when the property is sold. In the exclusive agency listing, the listing brokerage or another brokerage working with the listing brokerage must procure the buyer in order to have a claim on compensation.

The exclusive agency listing encourages competing brokers to find buyers for listing, since the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage’s fee. However, the seller still does not pay a fee when a seller finds the buyer. The exclusive agency listing eventually gave rise to the exclusive right to sell listing.

The exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing brokerage is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the buyer. The exclusive right to sell listing guarantees that the listing broker will get paid a fee, even if a competing broker or the seller sells property. It provides the most protection for the listing broker and is considered in the best interest of the seller because the listing brokerage will put effort and resources into marketing the property, since a commission is guaranteed during the term of the agreement.

Even after the exclusive right to sell listing became popular, there was little cooperation between brokerages, since a buyer who wanted to buy a specific property would have to deal with the broker who had exclusive listings of interest. It was also quite clear to all parties in that the broker represented the seller and that the buyer had no representation.

By the 1950s there was pressure for more cooperation between brokerages. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokerages to to learn of their inventory and possible matches for their clients. Deals often resulted where the selling agent did not know the seller or their agent and the selling agent’s only dealings were with the buyer. Suddenly, the concept that the selling brokerage owed its fiduciary duty to only the seller was no longer a neat and logical concept. However, it would take many years before the unworkable agency concepts would be sorted out and lead to buyer representation.

As the 1950s and 1960s progressed, a more formalized cooperative brokerage system, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), was developed. Through the MLS, the concept of subagency evolved. Simply stated, this meant the listing broker was the agent of and represented only the seller. The listing brokerage would hire sales associates who were considered subagents of the seller. The listing MLS brokerage was required to make the listing available to all cooperating brokerage within their MLS. These cooperating brokerages were also deemed subagents of the listing brokerage, who were agents of the seller. If the cooperating brokerage had sales associates, they were subagents of the cooperating brokerage, who were subagents of the listing brokerage, who was the agent of the seller. During this period, an agency relationship with a buyer was not possible, since the agency relationship was always with the seller. The only duty a licensee owed to a buyer was to not lie when asked questions about a property. The concept of „buyer beware“ was truly the reality of how the brokerage business operated and buyers were always unrepresented.

The rise of consumerism, as manifested in numerous court decisions, put pressure on the brokerage business to be more concerned with the interests of the buyer. Because of that, licensees working with buyers had an affirmative duty to disclose known matters affecting a property. For example, if the broker knew that a roof leaked, he would have to disclose this fact. This disclosure concept was later expanded by the courts to include conditions about the property that the brokers should or could have known.

By the 1980s, a government study found that nearly three-quarters of all buyers thought the brokerage they were working with was representing them as a client. The same study concluded that nearly three-quarters of all sellers also thought that the cooperating brokerage represented the buyer’s interests. It soon became obvious the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to impose in order to simplify and clarify the agency relationships had not worked. Continued pressure from consumer groups and the courts finally led to the buyer representation movement of the 1990s.

In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® formed an advisory group to study agency representation issues. Testimony was received from real estate practitioners, industry experts, the public, and state regulatory authorities. The advisory group’s report made the following recommendations:

  • The NAR’s multiple listing policy should be modified to make subagency offers optional. If subagency was not accepted by a cooperating brokerage, then the listing brokerage was to offer compensation to the brokerage representing the buyer.
  • The NAR would encourage state associations to promote changes in real estate law and regulations in order to promote disclosure of agency options. These options would include seller agency, buyer agency, and disclosed dual agency. The purpose of this recommendation was to assist consumers in making informed decisions regarding representation.
  • The NAR should encourage real estate brokerages to adopt written company policies addressing the handling of agency relationships with its clients and customers.
  • The NAR would encourage education of all members on the topic of agency representation. State regulatory agencies would also be encouraged to include agency as a mandatory topic in continuing education requirements for all licensees.

As of 1992, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the following policy:

„The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions. The association respects the need for all REALTORS® to be able to make individual business decisions about their companies‘ agency practices. Furthermore, NAR endorses freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers or real estate services when creating agency relationships with real estate licensee.“

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Represent buyer agreements now allow a buyer to contract with a brokerage to find, and negotiate, the purchase of real property. Generally, these agreements are for a specified period and require the buyer to pay a commission upon the closing of the real property transaction. As an agent of the buyer, the buyer’s brokerage owes all of the fiduciary duties (care, loyalty, disclosure, obedience, and accounting) to his principal, the buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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