I would love to show you this home!!!
My official last day of Go 90x and I have to tell you it has made me do things that I was not comfortable with at all. Yes, I am a people person but to have to blog, that was uncomfortable at first, now I love it. I am getting better at Twitter and I do not like Youtube. I do not like having to video myself, that is not me. It is never about me, not in my family life, not in the PTA and not in my Real Estate. But, I did do a video and figured out how to make it about a home and not me!!!!
Thank you to everyone who tolerated all of my blogs and my ups and downs in the past 30 days. This has done nothing but make me think out of the box and become a better Realtor!! So, if you know of anyone who wants to buy or sell a house, PLEASE send them my way. No, seriously, thank you so much!!
I had 3 of the biggest cheerleaders in the world, the man who stole my heart 12 years ago, my husband John, thank you for putting up with me. I Love You with all of my heart!! Jill Booth, you are an angel!!! Thank you for all of the guidance you have given me but most of all thank you for being my friend!!! Megan Page, you are the best partner out there!!! I am honored to call you my friend and co-worker. Without you I would have never gotten the traffic updates that you gave me knowing I was about 20 miles behind you!!! I can't wait to see where this real estate journey takes us!!!
Have you found the home you want to buy? The next step is to write an offer. Use the following negotiation techniques to reach an agreement with the seller.
What does a purchase offer consist of? A purchase offer is a written contract which you sign and submit to the seller; it is accompanied by a certain amount of "earnest money" (a small good faith deposit to show you are serious about buying the home). The written purchase offer indicates the amount you are willing to give the seller for his or her property. If you are working with an experienced real estate agent, he or she will typically provide a standard purchase offer form which you can complete, sign, and then hand over to the seller to sign. If you are not working with a realtor, be sure you are aware of state laws regarding the information the offer should include. Because your written offer forms the basis of a legal contract with the seller, be thorough. There are some important details you should be sure to talk through with your agent, and to make sure are accurately included on your purchase offer, such as:
Once you make a purchase offer, sign it and submit it to the seller along with your earnest money (this is usually done through your agent), the seller has the right to either sign your offer as is, make a counter offer, or reject your offer outright.
If the seller accepts your purchase offer, the offer becomes a contract, and you are on your way to owning the home. If the seller counters your offer, you may choose to counter his or her offer, or walk away. Note: If, for some reason, you forget to specify contingencies in your offer, there are sometimes legal steps you can take to back out of the deal. Ask your agent what recourse you have.
Why is negotiation so important when making an offer on a home? It's not often a seller isn't willing to negotiate. Barring any competing offers, which are unlikely in today's market, this means you're going to buy lower than the listing price. The average discount varies by market, but it's often about 5% below the listing price. These days, it may be even more. How do you get there? Negotiation.
How should I negotiate my way into an offer? Once you've found a home you're interested in, use the following negotiation techniques to reach an agreement with the seller:
Treat your initial offer as an opportunity to gather information about the seller's motivation for selling. Are the sellers retiring, and would like to downsize? Does the seller need to make a quick move due to a sudden job change? You may not get direct answers to your questions about the seller's motivation for moving, especially if their agent has urged them not to divulge this information, but you might be able to get insight into the seller's willingness to negotiate by making an offer and seeing what the seller comes back to you with. If the seller refuses to come down off of his or her listing price, this may indicate that he or she isn't in any hurry to move. On the other hand, if he or she responds immediately with a counter offer that is higher than what you offered but lower than the listing price, they may be in a bigger hurry to sell.
Be realistic with your offer; don't lowball. This shows the seller you are serious. Nothing is accomplished by going in with a low-ball offer (except sometimes, in the cases of foreclosures or when a home is significantly overpriced and has been on the market a long time). If you go in too low, you're going to insult the seller. Sellers love their homes and offering a lot less than what a property is worth won't win you any points. If your research shows that the property is fairly priced, offer just slightly less than the listing price. If your offer does not elicit a meaningful counteroffer from the seller, your offer failed. How do you negotiate with someone who won't respond? You can't. You have to get them to believe that you are a serious buyer who will actually complete the transaction. To do this, you have to first get them to believe that you're capable of arriving at a price that is agreeable to them. That starts the negotiation process.
Be ready to walk away
If you can't put together a deal on the first property you like, don't worry. There will be a lot more homes for sale, especially in this kind of market. It is VERY common that you'll end up finding a home a week later that you like even more than the first. Not taking that first home might end up being a blessing in disguise.
Don't show enthusiasm. There is a time for trying to convince the seller that you will be broken-hearted if you don't get his or her property---when there are multiple competing offers for a home. In today's market, however, you won't have as many competitive buyers. You should be dispassionate about potential homes and, more importantly, appear to be that way. Fact-driven, highly qualified and ready to walk away at anytime---this should be the attitude you display (even when you don't feel that way) during the home buying process.
Stick to your Guns
By the time you're ready to make an offer, you should have done your homework. You know what homes in your area are worth. And you also know how much home you can afford. Be serious about defending these figures. It is easy to get carried away by emotion and allow the seller to box you into a price that is above what you've decided. If you have chosen your agent well, this won't happen. Nevertheless, bad agents have been known to urge clients to accept counter-offers simply so they can stop working on the negotiation. Be firm.
Set tight deadlines for the expiration of your offer.
You and your agent need to make sellers BELIEVE that if they want to sell their home to you, they're the ones who need to get with the program. You can tell them other homes are on your list, ones you are just as happy with, in fact, and that you'll gladly make an offer on if the sellers don't make a deal with you first. When you make your offer, there will be a space for putting a time limit on it. Make this a very short period, for example, within 24 hours. If you are making an offer in the evening, make the expiration early the next afternoon. Why? Having a longer period just invites a competing offer, exactly what you do not want. Don't give the seller's agent a chance to round up someone else.
Be creative with your offer if the owner is stuck on price.
If the seller seems emotionally tied to a certain price on his or her home, instead of asking the seller to lower their asking price, ask for certain concessions, such as repairs, or that the owner contribute to the closing costs.
Scott Sheldon 5 hours ago Trying to secure a mortgage right now? From higher mortgage rates, to rising home prices to the contraction in buying power — securing financing, for some, can be no easy endeavor. As prices, and rates rise simultaneously, lenders will still place the weighted emphasis on "real income," or, the amount of monthly payment you can afford — as that's what the loan is truly made against. Unfortunately, the amount of debt you have effectively chips away at your "real income." So before you try to get a mortgage, you might want to pay down your debt. Just make sure you do it the right way.
Before I delve into the specifics, here are some quick terms you need to know:
• Debt to income ratio (DTI): Represents the total amount of monthly debt payment (including the house payment) divided into monthly income. Whenever this number exceeds 45% of the gross monthly income, things get tricky.
• Real Income: Also known as "qualifiable income," the net income considered for the housing payment after present liabilities are factored in. If you have $5,000 in monthly income × .45, that gives you $2,250 as a total debt allowance. If your other debts total $250 per month, that means your real income is $2,000 per month. Real income is also equivalent to a proposed housing payment.
• Debt: Refers specifically to the minimum payment obligations the consumer is responsible for. This has nothing to do with the total amount of debt, but what the monthly payments are. Lenders are looking for cash flow, how much or how little of it there is.
Tip: Debt erodes income (ability to borrow money) at a ratio of 2:1; it takes $2 of income to offset $1 of debt.
Now, the strategy for paying off debt to qualify differs when buying a house from refinancing. Let's look at the differences:
Paying Off Debt When Buying a Home
When buying a home, and prior to attaining an accepted purchase offer, paying off debt to qualify is simply a function of learning how much more buying power is achievable by eliminating debt like credit cards, student loans or car loans.
A qualified mortgage lender can run "what if" possibilities, which could become crucial in your endeavor to purchase not only the right home, but ultimately the home you can afford. Let's say there's $5,000 left on your car loan, you have the cash in the bank and the car loan payment is $600 per month. $600 per month on a car loan reduces your ability to purchase to the tune of more than $100,000 in loan amount. Consider this: A $100,000 mortgage loan at 4.5% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage translates to $506 per month, $94 per month less than if you didn't have the debt. If you pay off the debt in full, your DTI is reduced, improving your ability to qualify and increasing your real income.
How to Pay Off the Debt and Still Meet the Lending Credit Standard
If you're paying it off pre-contract, simply inform your mortgage company and they can do a third-party validation and the debt can be omitted. When paying off during the escrow process, monies will have to be sourced and paper trailed, which is a little more technical, but still achievable. The same goes for credit cards and other payment obligations.
Paying Off Debt When Refinancing
When you're refinancing, the lender's going to require that your credit obligations — such as a car loan or credit card — are paid off in full and closed to prevent the possibility of your accumulating further debt, thus potentially affecting your ability to repay in the future. Moreover, the lender would call for an escrow account to pay off the debt through the loan closing.
When it comes to paying off debt to qualify in refinancing, different lenders will vary on their specific approaches. Generally, though, the accounts will have to be closed as well. That won't prevent you from reapplying for credit after the mortgage has closed, however.
How to Pay Off the Debt and Still Meet the Lending Credit Standard
The monies you use to pay off your debt, similar to a purchase transaction, will have to be sourced — and you'll have to have proof that the obligation has been closed. If possible, pay the credit card in full, learn the date the creditor reports to the bureaus, then apply for the mortgage after the creditor has reported it to the bureaus. Doing this will show the updated balance on the credit report, which will improve real income (revealing less debt), making the process more streamlined.
If you have debt that otherwise could be eliminated and have the means to pay off the debt, strongly consider doing so, as higher credit risk mortgages tend to be more pricey overall — compared to those for borrowers with lower debt-to-income ratios and better credit scores.
As you get ready to buy a house or refinance your mortgage, it's important to pull your credit reports and credit scores to see where you stand. You can get your credit reports for free once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies, and you can monitor your credit score using a free tool like Credit.com's Credit Report Card.
When it’s time for the appraisal, you’re at a crucial crossroads in the closing process. Before you can be approved for a mortgage, your house has to be appraised. The mortgage company demands an appraisal because it wants to know the exact value of the home. It needs to know if the price you have agreed to pay for the house is actually what the house is worth. If for some reason you default on the loan, your lender wants to still have a house as an asset that is worth more than the current loan.
Here’s the problem in today’s market. Appraisals can come in very low or under the actual price that you offer to pay for the house. Why is that? For one, banks are now much more stringent and conservative about the value they place on each home. Before the market meltdown of the past decade you could be pretty well assured that most appraisals would magically come in either over the sales price or exactly at the sales price. Rarely would they come in valuing the home for less than what the buyers had agreed to pay. Now it’s a whole new ball game, with appraisers and banks being far more conservative.
Be forewarned: it’s very possible that your appraiser may say your house is actually worth less than what you’re willing to pay for it. If this is the case, you have four options.
Four Steps to Take if the House Appraises for Less Than the Agreed Sales Price
For more great tips: check out Michael's 3 Bestselling Books:
Before You Buy! Find It, Fix It Flip It! and Ready, Set, Sold!
previous next Email Alerts Send to a Friend Post to Facebook Post to Twitter RSS Report Comments By Ben Goheen, Fri Sep 21 2012, 14:25 Step #2 assumes that the appraiser doesn't know the neighborhood. Maybe the appraiser is right and the buyer should walk away because the home isn't worth the contract price. By Mark Acantilado,
Insurance requires you to think about bad occurrences: medical problems, car accidents, emergency home repairs. But while it may sound pessimistic to dwell on what could happen (carpe diem, anyone?), it’s important to protect yourself from some of life’s biggest surprises.
When it comes to protecting your home, it’s not just about safeguarding against structural damage or theft — it’s just as much about feeling secure in where you live. If disaster strikes, your focus should be on reclaiming your sense of stability. The last thing you should worry about is money.
We spoke to LearnVest Planning Services certified financial planner™ Ellen Derrick — and some real homeowners — about the top 11 things you should know about homeowners insurance.
No. 1: What it covers A typical policy will pay for damage to your property and your possessions in the event of certain storms, fire, theft or vandalism. Like renters insurance, it also provides liability coverage if someone gets hurt on your property and decides to sue. Homeowners insurance also covers shelter costs, so you don’t have to face crazy hotel bills if you’re temporarily displaced from your house.
Homeowners insurance can protect belongings outside the home, too. If something is stolen from your car, auto insurance won’t cover it — but your homeowners policy likely will. “Most policies will cover your belongings when they are traveling with you,” Derrick said. “If you have a $1,200 laptop and it gets lost by the airline, call your insurance agent — right after you file the claim with the airline, of course.”
No. 2: What it doesn’t cover A standard policy has exclusions including earth movements (landslides, earthquakes, sinkholes), power failure, war, nuclear hazard, government action, faulty zoning, bad repair or workmanship, defective maintenance and flooding. Windstorms are typically covered, including tornadoes, although insurance companies exclude tornadoes or hurricanes in some high-risk areas.
Water damage is tricky. As a rule of thumb, water from above (rainwater or a burst pipe in an upstairs apartment) is usually covered, but water from below (backed-up sewers or ground flooding) generally isn’t. If your region is prone to floods and earthquakes, you should consider supplemental coverage.
No. 3: Why you should shop around Before committing to a policy, take the time to research an agent whom you trust — preferably one with good reviews online or via a personal recommendation. It’s certainly something that homeowner Ramzy Ayyad, who struggled to receive benefits following a house fire in November 2008, recommends that prospective homeowners do. “I had to deal with a rude adjuster,” he said. After complaining assertively to the adjuster’s boss, Ayyad finally received a check for the damages — but the process was exhausting.
By contrast, homeowner Terri Corcoran has nothing but glowing reviews for her adjuster. After a snowstorm caused a major leak in Corcoran’s laundry room, an insurance agent came to her home to assess the damage and promptly determined that the entire room needed to be redone. “They wrote me a check on the spot for what it should cost,” Corcoran said. “I was really impressed by how the company responded!”
Bottom line? Don’t just shop for a policy. Make sure you also select the best agent.
Trying to cut back on energy costs? Your “money-saving” tricks may actually be costing you more in long haul.
Myth: Programmable Thermostats Save You Money
Well, they do, but only if you program them to do so. Many people mistakenly believe that these computer-chip, electronic devices will automatically set themselves to operate in the most energy-efficient way. But they don’t. You have to program them so that they stop your ducted air conditioning coming on when it isn’t really needed – at night or when you’re at work or on holiday. So read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and learn how to set your thermostat to suit your particular needs – lowering it by just 1°C can reduce your bill by up to 15 percent.
Myth: Fans Cool a Room
Fans do not actually cool the air in a room, they cool the people in it by creating a wind-chill effect on their skin. So there is no point leaving a fan on when you’re no longer in a room. Instead, treat it like a light and turn it off when you leave the room. Otherwise, you will just be wasting electricity and running up a large bill.
Myth: Computer Screensavers Save Energy
All a screensaver does is prolong the life of your monitor by displaying a moving image while you are not using your computer, as any fixed image left on would eventually “burn” itself into the screen, ruining it. Screensavers do nothing whatsoever to save electricity – in fact, they burn up quite a lot. If you want to save energy, without turning your computer off, check if it has a special energy-saving mode: go to your operating system’s control panel or preferences and explore the power-management options available.
Myth: Stand-By Costs Less Than Turning On and Off
This is certainly not true. Leaving a machine constantly in stand-by mode consumes a surprisingly large amount of electricity. If you want to save energy – and money – you should always turn your computer off at night or when you will be away from it for a long period of time. Remember also to switch off other computer hardware, such as scanners, printers and external hard drives and speakers at the mains. If they are powered via a plugged-in transformer, that will remain on even when the power button on the appliance has been switched off.
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Let me show you the best that Johnston County has to offer, let me EARN your trust and let me help make your dreams come true. Whether you are selling your home or buying a new home, I would love to help you start creating new memories in the next chapter of your life.
Mary Kay Clapp
Southern Realty Group