Avoiding Closing Delays in Real Estate


Avoiding Closing Delays in Real Estate

 Buying or selling a house is hard work.  It’s important to remember that having a contract on a house is not the same as closing on a house.  Buyers’ will often lose the steam or urgency once they have a contract and not stay focused on getting to the closing table.

Your REALTOR® should ensure that the schedule stays on track until you sign at closing. Here are some tips to help buyers understand what needs to be done.

I have repeated myself to buyers a gazillion times. It is important that when you are ready to buy a house that you allow yourself enough time.  All too often, I heard from prospective buyers who decide they want to buy a house. They are renting and their lease is up in 30 days and they want to take the leap and buy. My suggestion is that if you are even thinking of buying in the future, that you talk to a REALTOR® as soon as possible. This will help to avoid any hidden pit falls that may occur.

Once you talk to a REALTOR® your next step is to talk to a mortgage officer to determine the dollar amount of the home you can buy. It makes no sense for a REALTOR® to show you a home priced at $650,000 when you can only buy a home priced at $450,000.

Once you have a pre-approval start gathering documents that the lender may require. They will also need updates throughout the process. The next step is critically important – keep your finances stable. Now is not the time to change jobs or make any expenses that are not necessary.  Before changing anything that will affect your finances, talk to your mortgage officer.

One of the most important issues to remember is to allow enough time to complete the steps necessary. For example: often buyers are anxious to get to closing so the agent indicates in the offer that they will go to closing sooner than they can complete several steps. Getting a home inspector will take time to set up an inspection.  Appraisals will take longer than most people expect. A VA loan will require their appraiser and that make take even longer.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Five Mistakes Buyers’ of Real Estate Should Avoid


Five Mistakes Buyers’ of Real Estate Should Avoid

 Buying or selling real estate is a complicated transaction that needs the guidance of a REALTOR®.  Add in the personalities of buyers’ and sellers’ and you have all the makings of a sitcom or worse.

I have said it several times in this blog, wither you are buying or selling it is imperative that you have the advice of a real estate professional – a REALTOR® – to walk with you every step of the way.

Here are five areas that buyers often make when buying a home:

  1. DELAYING – There is a saying in real estate: “The house you looked at today and want to think about until tomorrow, may be the house someone looked at yesterday, and wants to think about until today.”  Buyers’ need to be mindful that sellers are anxious to sell their home and they want to work with a buyer that is ready, willing and able.  If a buyer wants to buy a particular house, I stronger encourage them to be prepared and be ready to make an offer that will convince the seller they are serious buyers.
  2. SUBMITTING A LOWBALL OFFER – Submitting a lowball offer can many times backfire for the buyer. I recently had a client who insisted on submitting a lowball offer.  It made the seller so mad they not only would not counter offer, they would not accept any other offers we were willing to make.  Even if they would accept another offer, or counter an offer, it is possible that while these counters were taking place, another buyer could make an offer that was acceptable to the seller.
  3.   MAKING AN OFFER FOR THE PREAPPROVED AMOUNT – Almost all transactions involve some back and forth negotiating. One mistake buyers do not want to do is make their offer the maximum amount that the mortgage company will loan them.  It gives the buyers nothing to negotiate with.  On the other hand, I had a client a few years ago who was selling his house.  A buyer contacted me and wanted to make an offer.  Apparently, he wanted to impress the sellers and provided me with a preapproval letter for more than they were asking for the house.  Needless to say, the sellers did not come down on the price of their house.
  4. WAIVING INSPECTION CONTINGENCIES – I have said it many times, and advise every buyer I deal with, “You absolutely must have the house inspected by a licensed inspector.” If it is a tight market and you want to have it inspected, but do not want to include a contingency in the offer, you run the risk of losing your earnest money if you decide to back out of the contract. Even new construction should be inspected.  I will say it again, “You absolutely must have the house inspected by a licensed inspector.”
  5. NOT PRESENTING YOUR OFFER IN A FAVORABLE LIGHT – Sellers are looking for buyers who are serious and excited about buying their house.  If the sellers make a counter offer and the buyers do not respond in a reasonable period of time, it gives the sellers the impression that they are not serious about buying their home, especially in a seller’s market.  If there are multi offers on a house, sellers will often accept the offer of the person(s) that they feel they can work with the easiest, that includes the buyers and their agent.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Picking an Agent


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About

Picking an Agent

 As in any profession there are good agents and some “not so good” agents.  But what separates the good from the not so good?

If you asked 100 agents about what makes a good agent, you would most likely get 100 different answers.  And their response will most likely be whatever they are either good at or what they like to do.

Some agents are experts in a given market area and can recite facts of properties currently on the market in a 25 mile radius (slight exaggeration on my part).  Others can suggest staging of a home that makes it look like it is ready for a photo shoot for a magazine.

But if you ask clients you will get a very different response.  Although clients want agents to have a reasonable knowledge of what’s on the market, most clients do not expect an agent to pull everything from memory.  What most clients want from an agent is someone who will listen to the concerns of the client, communicate with them and walk them through the process of buying or selling a home – step by step. That includes many facets of real estate.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

OPEN HOUSE – Sunday May 7 – 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM


This weekend, May 7th, I will be holding an open house at 6330 Spring Forest Rd in Frederick.

This colonial style 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house has 3,000 square feet of living space on over a quarter acre of land.

The open floor plan has a family room with double doors leading to the patio in the back yard.

If you, or anyone you know, may be interested in seeing this property, stop by the open house this Sunday.  If you have any questions, or would like to set up a private showing, contact me today.

Roland

OPEN HOUSE – This Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM


This Saturday, May 6, I will be hosting an open house at 19107 Red Maple Drive in Hagerstown, Maryland.  This home has over 4,100 square feet of finished living space which includes five bedrooms; three full bathrooms and one half bath; two fireplaces; nine foot ceilings; and much, much more.  It has public water and sewer and is heated with natural gas heat.

It is listed at $399,999 which equates to $97.49 a square foot!

I would love to have you stop by to see this property.  If you, or someone you know, may be interested, please pass this information on to them.

This house sits on nearly a quarter acre of well-kept land with a patio to let you enjoy the backyard.

This beautiful, well-maintained colonial style home has a two-story entrance.  This home has hardwood, ceramic and carpeted floors; built-in book cases; crown molding and chair rails.



The front Entrance

Two-story Entrance


The Formal Living Room

The Dining Room

The Family Room with fireplace

The Kitchen

Lower Level Family / Entertainment Room with fireplace

Real Estate Agent vs. Dentist


Real Estate Agent vs. Dentist

 As a real estate agent, I get a ridicules amount of emails telling me that if I advertise with their company I will have a boat-load of clients.  That’s a good thing.  However, as we all know, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

As an agent, I can sign up with a company that will enable me to advertise myself as one of the top ten agents in the state of Maryland.  Sounds great – and all I have to do is pay the $295 annual fee and I instantly become one of the top ten agents in the State of Maryland.

Another company will advertise you as a “premier” real estate agent.  You may have never sold a single property but if you pay the required annual fee you are instantly a “premier” agent.

The email I received yesterday, and has prompted this blog posting, was the one that said that “working with a real estate agent is like going to the dentist”,  unless of course you contract with the agents that advertise with their company.

First and foremost, I want to apologize to all the dentist out there.  I’m sure there are folks who have had bad experiences with dental appointments just as there have been buyers and sellers who have had bad experiences with real estate agents. But the criteria to identify the good ones and the bad ones should not, and does not, depend on whom you advertise with.

Quite often, when I talk with people about real estate, they express their frustration with a real estate agent they had worked with.  When we get to the reason why it almost always boils down to communication.  “We signed a contract with the agent, and never heard from them again.”  Communication between real estate agents and clients is the number one complaint that buyers and sellers have with agents.

When you are looking to hire an agent, ignore the fluff and the labels and see how well you communicate with them.  Agents should understand the market conditions and be able to discuss the current trends in real estate, but they should also be able to sit down and talk with you as a client.  If they are not able to communicate effectively with you, how will they ever be able to communicate with buyers or other agents.

I also believe it is important that clients and agents discuss the best way to communicate with each other.  I had some clients that were selling their house and buying another.  The wife wanted emails and the husband wanted text messages.  Without fail, when I sent each of them a communication, the husband would immediately contact the wife to discuss the topic and the wife would get back to me.  It worked for them and it worked for me.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About – Preparing for an Appraisal


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About –

Preparing for an Appraisal

An appraisal is an important part of home buying or selling.  Most appraisals come within the price that the REALTOR® determined the property, including the house, to be worth. But it is still an important step in the process.

If you are the seller, undoubtedly the listing agent conducted a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine the likely selling amount of your property.  If I am representing the buyer, I too, will conduct a CMA to ensure that my buyer is getting a property at a fair price.

The appraisal is conducted by a state licensed individual who has no connection with either the buyer or the seller side of the transaction.  Their ‘client’ is the mortgage company who also wants to be sure that any mortgage they write will be backed up by a property that is worth at least the amount of the mortgage.

If you are the seller here are some tips that you and your REALTOR® can and should do to facilitate the appraisal process.

  • If you have a current survey of the property, have it available to the appraiser when he arrives. He may already have a copy, but it may help with any questions that may come up.
  • If you have any written agreements between other home owners for such things as a shared driveway, have a copy of that available.
  • Any personal items that will be sold with the home should be clearly identified. They should not be negotiated into the price of the home, but should be identified as included.
  • Any title policy that indicates encroachments or easements.
  • A recent copy of the real estate tax bill.
  • If a home inspection was done, provide a copy of that, especially if it indicates that items are in good condition.
  • List of any home improvements that you did while you lived there. Be sure to have certain items done or inspected by a licensed contractor, such as electrical items.
  • A copy of the Home Owners Associate covenants and fees should also be available.
  • Make sure all areas of the home are accessible.
  • Prior to the appraisal (in fact I would suggest before listing) check with local codes, including fire codes to make sure the property is compliant with smoke / carbon monoxide detectors, etc.
  • Minor repairs, such as leaky faucets, missing or loose door knobs should be repaired as needed.
  • Although appraisers in large part can and will overlook some clutter, try to make the house as clean and organized as possible.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

 

Whether you are a first time home buyer, moving up, scaling down or an investor in real estate, this blog has something for you!

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