Discussion #2: I’m Selling. Why Do I Need a Lender?

If you’re in the market for a new home and you plan on gaining financing, then chances are you have already talked with a lender. Maybe even before you’ve contacted a real estate professional you have obtained a handy little note saying you are approved for financing. And in the event that you find a new home can immediately put down an offer.

Sounds great. For buying the process couldn’t be more simple, but what if you’re on the selling endcottage of the transaction. Should you talk with a lender before putting out that FOR SALE sign?

Here is the situation. Almost 70% of Americans have a mortgage. You plan on selling your home, whether to downsize, upsize, job transfer, whatever the reason. Your goal could be to buy a new home while closing proceedings are happening with your old home.

Sounds pretty straight forward. You’re really just transferring one loan for another. It should be no big deal.

Or that’s what you think.

The reality is that it is a very big deal and every seller with a current mortgage should consult a lender. The reasoning is that you can pay on your current monthly mortgage but still have bad credit, or still be swamped with bills or have employment problems.

When the time comes to close on your old home, the last thing you want is to find out that you don’t qualify for a new loan. That dream home you were hoping to get could turn into a rental where you have to stay until your situation improves.

This is a sad situation, but it happens to a lot of people. Don’t let it happen to you!

So the big question is: when should you talk with a lender? You can do it one of two times:

1. Before you talk with a real estate agent. That way you know before you get the selling-ball rolling. If it takes credit repair or more down payment you can start working on those things before moving the process forward.

2. After an introductory meeting with a real estate professional. They can give you an estimate on what the market value of your home is worth or for how much it’s likely to sell. That could be very useful information for lender.

The important thing is to be prepared. Don’t wait until the last minute to talk with a mortgage company. Even if you are selling and planning on buying, it is one of the first steps you need to take.

What Is Roof Flashing and Why Should You Care?

One of the most dangerous things that can happen to your home is water damage. It can cause the ceiling to cave in and it can cause mold and mildew.

No one wants to walk around buckets in the living room during a storm!

That’s why Roof Flashing is so important. images

What is roof flashing? you ask. The short answer is that its metal sheeting installed on your roof wherever there are breaks or edges. You can see this in the picture here. When the roof butts up to a chimney or to a section of siding, you have flashing to keep the water from seeping into the house.

In other words, it’s very important! How can you tell if your roof is prepared for the coming fall and winter seasons? Check out this blog I found at Homeowner’s and Trades Resource Center. The article is Getting the details right: 4 biggest roof flashing errors to avoid.

The article can be a little construction technical, but there are diagrams and pictures to help out. The important things is to educate ourselves on these things. If you’re ever buying a new home this a must area to inspect.

 

A Month of Personal Reflections

The last month has been a busy one for me. For the first time since I started as a real estate agent, I experienced the feeling of having multiple closings in one week and it definitely kept me on my toes!images

I have had closings before. These were not my first two properties that I’ve helped clients buy, but it is the first time that they happened in the same week. It was an exciting time for me as an agent. I had the opportunity to help one client own her own home and one young couple purchase their first home.

What an exciting time for them!

For me, I was so glad I could help them all find homes they would be happy in for years to come. What I was unprepared for was the pre-closing activities.

I knew going into a closing there are things I needed to take care of and monitor, lender paperwork, appraisals, title documents. What initially caught me off guard was juggling two entirely different processes.

There were two different title agencies, two different lenders, and I had to always keep them both straight. For me, this is a good problem to have. It means that I’m able to help find properties that meet my client’s expectations.

This month has been a great learning experience. I have developed systems to help me in the future differentiate between client transactions. I’m excited to keep working and assisting clients, and I hope to do it much more in the weeks and months ahead.

Small Lake Homes You Won’t Believe!

Location and size. Those two things are so important when buying a home or building. It seems that everyone wants to go bigger when they’re buying and for most that works out great.F4EED99075679B691B4BFE20F275CB

Bigger family, new job, more parties. Whatever the reason, most people enjoy bigger homes.

Yet not everyone needs one. Check out this photo gallery from MSN on 10 Tiny Lakehouses.

These are perfect for spending a little time on the lake. You could even say the entire outdoors is the house and the people just so happen to have a cozy, little nook in which to sleep.

My favorite is the greenhouse-style house set on a wooded lake. What’s your favorite tiny home? Or better yet could you live in a super-small house?

 

Discussion #1: Who Pays My Agent?

There are some very prevalent myths and misconceptions about real estate agents and the real estate industry in general. Before I became an agent I believed some of them myself.

One of the biggest misunderstood concepts for new home-buyers and seasoned buyers alike is:affiliate-commissions

How does the agent get paid?

I wanted to take just a few moments to clear this up because in recent weeks I’ve met a number of people who do not want to use an agent to buy a house. Their reason:

They do not want to pay for them.

On the surface it’s an honest question. No one works for free (unless you’re an intern). Obviously someone has to pay for an real estate agent’s assistance. The thought being that since they’re helping me buy a home, I must be the one forking over their commission.

Here is the truth: buyers do not pay for their agents commission.

And here is why. When an individual wants to sell their home, they hire an agent to sell the property. That selling agent/brokerage will charge a percentage of the home price for commission for all parties involved in the transaction. Here is my example:

A home selling for $100,000 is on the market. An agent helps sell the property and says the broker charges a 6% commission rate. When a friendly buyer comes along with their buying agent that commission is split between the two brokerages. It could be split any way they want. In our example lets say they split it in half. The selling broker gets 3% and the buying broker gets 3%.

And that’s how it happens. Buying agents only get paid when a property sells because it comes from the cost of the home.

So why would you not want an agent to help you buy a property? Please share this post with your friends and family and help me debunk the myth that buyers pay for their agents.

Did you find this topic helpful? Let me know if the comments below!

Kitchen Backsplashes that Pop

Are you wanting to do a kitchen remodel? Or maybe you just want to freshen up your cooking space but are tired of the same old designs and materials?

If you’re looking for some new ideas and new materials to use, then I have the best article for original_Heather-Pond-modular-textured-kitchen-backsplash_s4x3_lgyou! If you’ve been following along with me for a while, you’ve caught my post Countertop Conundrum. Here is a great follow-up article for that one. This time we’re honing in on the Kitchen Backsplash.

We’ve all seen the options: tile maybe granite. If you have an older home then maybe the linoleum back-splash is still hanging on.

Here is a fantastic photo gallery from HGTV on 30 Splashy Kitchen Backsplashes.

Throughout this stunning visual library, they introduce us to a myriad of materials used as kitchen focal points such as glass, stainless steal, river stone, and even plywood. My favorite is the copper backing.

Check out the link and let us know which backsplash design you like best!

YOUR FIRED! 3 Signs It’s Time to Change Agents

I’d like to say that every agent will work as hard as they can to get your house sold.

I’d like to say each one will go over and above what you could ever dream of wanting in an agent.

I’d like to say that your agent will treat you like their only client.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to say that may not always be the case. It’s a shame really, but it’s the truth. You-re-Fired-Rubber-Stamp-43311040Just this weekend I was talking with a friend about their current experience in selling their home. They are on their THIRD real estate agent! Each agent hired seems to have a different opinion on how to conduct their business. This is not a bad thing. Everyone has a different business model, and they should. That business model should work for YOU.

Sadly this is not always the case. Here are 3 Signs you know it’s time to fire your agent.

1. Seems like my agent has forgotten about me.

Communication is key! This is probably the mantra for every career field in the history of the world. When your biggest asset is on the line, you’d like to have an agent contact you regularly and update you on the status. Weekly communications, occasional emails, texts. Anything to let them know you have not been forgotten.

It doesn’t matter how many listing they may have, you should still feel like their most important client.

2. And your game-plan is what?

Each agent should have a clear plan on how to market your house. What’s their plan to let others know that your home is on the market? Canvasing the neighborhood, target mailings, videos, open houses. These and more are all tools that can and should be utilized to proclaim to the world THIS HOME IS AWESOME! The important thing is, you should know what their plan is.

If your agent’s only strategy is listing it in the local MLS, then maybe you should have an agent replacement strategy.

3. Gotta catch ‘em all!

It’s your responsibility to do research on your agent. How many homes have they sold? could be your first question. I’d like to pose a new, better question:

How many homes do they have listed?

May not seem like that big of a deal. If they have a few homes on the market that means they’re good, right? What if your agent has 20 or 30+ homes on the market? Maybe the better question is why do they have so many homes on the market?

Do they have a plan to sell homes or just collect homes? I’ll let you think that over.

So now I ask you, what do you think is the worst quality in a real estate agent?

How do you get the Latest Remodeling News?

It happened purely by accident. There I was minding my own business when suddenly

BAM!newspaper

I came across a very cool website. It happens to all of us and the first thing we want to do is share it. So that’s what I’m doing.

If you ever need to remodel your home or you want to see what a particular remodel can do for your property value then you have to check out this site:

Remodeling: News, products & advice for pro remodelers.

Why do I think this website is worth talking about? Simple. It has so much to offer. The content is relevant and up-to-date, the articles are well-written and researched, and there are so many things to read. The content doesn’t always come directly from the writers though. Sometimes the website acts as a hub for directing readers to other useful resources.

Example: I found a great article on the status of the House Flipping Market. The site directed me to a great research piece from redfin.com. Lots of chart and tables.

I liked it.

Along with research articles, there are design trend articles, notes on the business of remodeling, how-to instructions and more.

All in all I found this website very handy and one that I will frequent. Is it something you can use? Let me know what you like about it.

It’s a Secret you’ll Never Want to Share

If you’ve every watched the old cartoon “Scooby Doo Where are You?” then you remember that just about every ghost and ghoul popped out of any number of secret passages hidden around the mansion. And of course you thought:hidden-door-library-shelf

Man, it would be sweet to have a secret room!

You would not be alone. There are companies right now who specialize in secret rooms, secret doors, and hidden cellars. All kinds of ways to secure your clandestine spaces. You would be surprise the amount of information on not only companies but how-to guides on creating your own secret passages.

Wouldn’t it be great to have your own private retreat right in your own home? People could look at a mirror or a bookcase every day and not know it hid an entire room. What about a floor mat that hid a secret underground passage? The sky is the limit when it comes to hiding things.

Check out this article 35 Passages Built into Homes. Most all of these designs come from hidden door company Creative Home Engineering. You’ll be sure to pick up some great ideas on how to hide that priceless family heirloom that’s just laying around the house or to disguise your safe.

Have you ever wanted a secret passage or room in your home?