Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I am interupting my usual Real Estate blog to address a situation brewing across the nation.
Apparently, not everyone realizes what the Patriots can and will do in this season of complete wins!
I guess they just have to win them all to PROVE to the doubting Thomas's, that they are UNBEATABLE. (Even on a bad day!!)
Here is a link to a doubting Thomas....I am not debating the Cats prediction, but the Chargers???
UPDATE!!! On to the Super Bowl!!!
If you want to pay your respects to the Patriots click here!
See you tomorrow night!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Today I was chatting with a nice young lady about purchasing her first home.
After the intial focusing on what she was looking for, where she would like to live, what her finances were and was she actively looking into finding a mortgage that was right for her, it occurred to me that she was waiting for me to tell her what my fee was.
Now this does not always occur to me because "I do not charge a fee"
Here is what goes on. First let me say that besides being a Broker, I am an Acredited Buyers Rep. This means that if you are looking for a house, I can assist you in not only finding it, but advise you of best places to go for a mortgage, give you helpful ideas about which mortgages are right for you, why you need the house inspected and places that you can call, how to make an offer that will be accepted or at least countered. I can give you loads of options, because this is my profession. If you have a question I will give you the answer. Now, why would I not charge for all this? Some Buyer Agents do charge in different areas of the U.S., and some right here in the Ocean State, but I do not. The reason is, most of the buyers' I work with are first time home buyers and they do not always have the finances to come up with a separate fee for a Buyer Agent.
Of course I need to make a living just like everyone else. Upon closing, I receive a fee for my services from the seller of the house. So there is no need to worry about paying a Buyer Agent! I actually thought, until my conversation today, that people simply knew this, but apparently it is not common knowledge. What I do is have a buyer sign a contract saying they will work exclusively with me for a prearranged amount of time. This way I know a buyer is committed to finding a house. If, after the prearranged amount of time, I have not found the right home, then we go our separate ways. There is no charge for my time for this either. The reason for this is I am pretty confident in my abilities to find what a Buyer is looking for! I feel that if I can't find it, it's not out there!
I hope this clears up any concerns for Buyers that would like to work with a Realtor, but do not think they can afford it.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Sigh! This picture is a definite portrayal of how I feel after the Holidays! Now its January 2008 and as a Realtor, I am expected to start the new year with a rush! The stats for 2007, especially in Rhode Island, were not good, as you all know. Rhode Island was second to Michigan in losing population. We were 8th in foreclosures. The mortgage industry has realigned and unless you have impeccable credit and a good work history, you can plan on paying much more in interest rates for a home. We are reading doom and gloom everywhere about the Real Estate Industry. I have been working with REO's, which is Real Estate Owned property. This means that the bank has bought back their interest in a foreclosed home. These homes are actually still selling due to the fact that they are cheaper then the regular market. However, there are so many of them, that the prices are actually driving down prices of what we call market value homes! This is a tough pill for Sellers to swallow. Many sellers viewed the equity in their homes as actual money! Real estate is very much like the Stock market. It is not actual money until it is in your pocket!
I was interviewed for a piece in Rhode Island Monthly last month. The advice I gave and still give is: If you do not have to sell your home now, don't! If you do have to sell it, make it pretty and price it well. There is a lot of competition out there, but this does not mean you have to give it away. Check with a Realtor and find out just what prices are doing right now and then price yours accordingly. Do not try to price it by what you paid for it, or what you refinanced it for. Picture yourself as the buyer and view your home with a keen eye. Would you be impressed when you first walked in? Is there any odor from animals? Is it clean? Why would someone want your house as opposed to the 4000 others out there? Remember, location is important, but price rules!!! If your home stays on the market for more than three months, even after you have lowered your price, it starts becoming stigmatized and even a good buyer will pass on it, thinking there is something wrong with it.
Now on the other side. If you are a Buyer looking for a deal and are qualified for a good loan, then I would suggest you also contact a Realtor and get your ducks in a row. The market will go down within this next year, but no so much that you can afford to wait forever. It will also start rising again, my guess, around mid 2009! Take a look around and figure out where you can get the most for your money. History dictates that prices will rise again, so do not miss out by trying to play the market!
Research is key to making qualified decisions. I spend many hours researching the housing market and while I do not have a Crystal Ball (actually I do have one:), my predictions are based on everyday knowledge. This is my career! Be careful who you listen to when you are anticipating one of the largest deals in your life!