Posts Tagged ‘Real estate broker’

Home EquityYour house has been sitting vacant, or maybe you are days away from moving.  You’ve got that nagging in the back of your mind, “We need to sell! We need to sell!”  I can detail for you several ways to make sure you don’t sell your home!  Read on for a few very recent, as in the last 30 days, situations I have personally encountered:

In Tennesee, when an offer is put in on a home for sale, there is a Time Limit of Offer in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.  The time limit can be as short or as long as the buyer would like.  Usually 24 hours is a reasonable amount of time for a response.  If the contract is not accepted or countered within that time frame, the offer terminates, and the buyer is free to move on.

We all know offers are frequently made in the evenings or on the weekends.  That’s just the name of the game in the real estate world.  So, we put an offer in on a home with a 24 hour time limit.  Two hours before the offer expired, I (working as the Buyer’s Agent) touch base with the Listing Agent.  “Have you heard anything from your seller?”  No response.  Tick, tock… tick, tock… 30 minutes before the expiration, I call.  “Just trying to touch base, let me know what your seller thinks.”  Nothing.  At the exact moment the offer expires, a text message from the Listing Agent, “He’s doing a counter now.”  Well, guess what?  Too late!  The offer is technically terminated.  Now some buyers and Buyer’s Agents will understand, and continue to move forward with the counter offer.  But some will move on to the next home.  The lack of communication and timeliness potentially costing you the sale of your home.

This same home was listed on the Multiple Listing Service (at least it was listed!), though there were no updated pictures of the new carpet and paint.  And most importantly, it had been on the market for nearly two months with no “For Sale” sign in the front yard.  When I went to show it, my buyers even asked, “Are you sure it’s for sale?”  You can imagine how detrimental that can be to the sale of a home.

At another home recently, I arrived to show it to a couple of potential buyers.  There was one problem; no lockbox on the front door.  No instructions in the MLS.  I call the listing office and whoever answers the phone sounds exasperated.  “Did you look on the back door?!”  Ummmmm, this is a new construction home, no sod or grass and it rained about 8 inches in the last 24 hours.  Do you really want me to treck through 5 inches of red clay mud and then walk through your new construction home?  “The builder is about 10 minutes away, he’ll let you in.”  Click.  Tick, tock… tick, tock… 10, 9, 8, 7…  10 whole minutes (or longer) for my buyers to say, “Nevermind, it’s getting dark, let’s go look at something else.”  Potentially costing you the sale of your home.

This same home did not have a lot number displayed visibly.  Anyone who has been out looking at new constructions without a plat map will understand how frustrating this can be.  Additionally, the flyer for the home displayed the incorrect address and list price.  All of which have the potential to cost you a sale.

Another lockbox scenario:  The home for sale is occupied, and I make an appointment to show.  I show up at the home with my buyers, and I can see the lockbox on the front door through the tightly secured and LOCKED glass of the storm door!  No way possible to access it.  So I call the appointment line, who calls the Listing Agent and says they will call me back.  Tick, tock… I call the Listing Agent and leave a message.  No response.  5 minutes go by out there standing in front of the home with buyers.  “Ok, well why don’t we head to the next home on the list.”  Moving on.  Two hours go by, we are well into our home search, and the Listing Agent calls back and leaves a message that the door is now unlocked.  We are on the other side of town and they’ve already found a home that they love.  No thank you, maybe next time.  The lack of communication and timely response which ultimately may have cost you the sale.

Not a lockbox this time, but another lock situation and another new construction home:  We are out and about in the neighborhood.  There are several nice homes that my buyer likes, but we just haven’t found “the one” yet.  I think back to all of the homes I have been inside of in this particular neighborhood, and I say “You know what?  I know you don’t prefer a corner lot, but there is one more out here I think you would like.”  We head over and I access the lockbox and the key fits, but I can’t seem to get the door to unlock.  I wiggle, and jiggle it to no avail.  I go around to the backside and try the backdoor.  No luck.  I call the Listing Agent who DOES answer, but says, “Yeah, I’m aware.  It is difficult to open but keep trying.”  So I do.  Turns out, this one is nice, but not the one for her.  A little over a week later, the same scene.  I have a different buyer, and cannot get the key to turn.  Frustrating!  Why hasn’t this been fixed?!  If it were my listing, I would’ve gone out and changed the lock myself!  I was almost over it, when I inserted the key and twisted once more.  Voila!  It opened.  I am writing the contract on it today.  But how many agents would have stayed and continued to try to open the faulty lock?  Especially when there are 80 other new construction homes available within a mile radius.  There certainly was not timely follow-up, which potentially may have cost you the sale of the home several times over.

Final scenario:  The unhappy sounding, unhelpful agent.  “Good afternoon!”  I say.  “I was out at your listing with my buyer and she is interested.  Is there anything else you can tell me about the home?”  Silence.  “Ummmm, have you had any activity?  Any offers?”  I ask again.  Distractedly, she responds, “Yessss.”  Ok, I think.  This isn’t going far.  “Well, can you tell me anything else about the home?”  Silence.  Possibly even typing in the background.  Again, sounding distracted she says, “It has new carpet and paint.”  I sit there for a moment, yes we saw that on the MLS, and out at the home just now, I think to myself again.  Ok, clearly this conversation is going nowhere.  “Thanks for your time.  Have a good day.”  I explain to my buyer that I can’t offer her any other information, and we move on.  No follow-up or feedback requests that potentially cost the sellers the sale of their home.

Before I tell you the #1 way to sell your home, think about all the factors you consider when it comes time to sell.  You may have been told:  stage your home, clean it, unclutter, price it right, it might not be possible in a market that is down, list it with a popular company or team, hold frequent open houses, etc.  But really…

The #1 way to sell your home is to find a Listing Agent that you can communicate with.

Think about it… Can you get ahold of your Listing Agent at all reasonable times?  Or at least get a timely return call and regular follow-up?  If not, neither can your potential buyers!  Call the listing office and pretend to be a buyer.  Ask for information on the home.  Are they friendly and helpful?  Are you put on hold for 5 minutes?  If so, then it is likely potential buyers will be disregarded too.  Follow up.  Is the sign in the yard?  Lockbox on the door?  Are the flyers accurate?  A great agent will ensure all of these things from the start, but with communication between you and the agent, as well as between the agent and potential buyers can go a LONG way!

It will be much easier on you and everyone involved if you get it right from the start.  Make sure that in the beginning your listing agent is worthy of being HIRED instead of fired later down the road and after money spent.

Cardboard sign with the words "Fired", "Hired

If you are seeking or interested in selling real estate in the Clarksville, Tennessee or Fort Campbell, Kentucky area or know anyone who is, call today or submit your information below.

© Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com, 2013.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

So you are ON FIRE!  You have decided to look into purchasing a home, and you are ready to get the ball rolling… like, yesterday!  Hopefully you have already read Tell me how this “buying a home” thing works?  A Guide, and now you are ready to read on for why NOT to stop, drop, and roll with the first lender!

Zelda__Stop__Drop__and_Roll__by_Gabi_hime

©2005-2013 ~Gabi-hime

All mortgage lenders are not created equally.  You deserve a second, third, or fourth, fifth, and sixth opinion when it comes to a major investment like a home loan.  Just because the bank is larger does not mean you will get the best interest rates, and sometimes there are additional fees that you may not be aware of.  Furthermore, your loan will be sold once it closes and nobody needs your approval to do it.  There are very few mortgage companies who keep their loans in house.  So do you feel like you have banked with USAA since you had a bank account and that you are being loyal to the company?  They will sell your home loan.  You have everything in your whole life with Navy Federal?  They will sell your home loan.  Your best friend’s sister-in-law, Sally Sue, works at Bank of America, and can hook you up?  They will sell your home loan.  This usually happens immediately after the closing and can happen multiple times over the life of your loan.   Here are a few things you need to know when it comes time to mortgage shop:

  • Having your credit run does effect your credit score.  However, what you may not have been told is that you are allowed to shop for mortgage, auto, and student loan rates.  Your credit can be run as many times as needed and lumped under one inquiry for mortgage, auto, or student loans as long as you complete your search within 30 days.   The theory here is that if you apply for multiple sources of revolving debt, you will likely be approved.  Versus if you apply for multiple mortgages, you will only receive one approval.  Therefore the revolving debt impacts your credit more significantly.  Do NOT stop, drop, and roll with the first lender! 
  • You can shop as many mortgage lenders as you would like, but you should do it within a limited time frame.  Ideally, consider mortgage shopping for 14 days, though you are protected with inquiries made within the 30 days before scoring.  Do NOT stop, drop, and roll with the first lender!   
  • Checking your own credit score will not hurt your credit.  It is a fallacy to assume that checking your own credit report should be done sparingly.  To prevent identity theft, or mistakes on your report you should check it at least once a year if not more.  Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), you can check your report for free once a year.  However, there may be a small fee to receive your actual score.  That is where a lender can be useful to you.  However, do NOT stop, drop, and roll with the first lender.
  • You have no obligation to go with a mortgage lender that you have spoken with.  It may seem like you have given them access to everything you own, including your first born child, but do not let that dissuade you from shopping for mortgages.  You are not bound to a particular lender because they have run your credit and told you what you qualify for.  Even once you are into the buying process with your Realtor, you can still switch mortgage lenders.  You may even be under contract and preparing to close, but you can still switch!  One more reason you should NOT stop, drop, and roll with the first lender you speak to. 

One more point I feel compelled to add since many of my readers have the ability to use VA home loans:

  • There is no minimum credit requirement that is set by the VA!  The individual lender determines the credit score they are willing to accept.  The VA does not fund your loan, they simply guarantee a portion of it.  There are mortgage lenders out there that are willing to work with a bit riskier of a credit history.  It all depends on the individual circumstances, but this is THE BIGGEST myth I hear on a daily basis.  Once again, the VA does not fund your loan or have a minimum credit requirement.  Read for yourself, right here from the Veteran’s Benefits Administration Home Loan Guaranty Factsheet.  You can speak with your Realtor (preferably yours truly… ME!) who will typically have the scoop on a lender who may be able to help you if you have a trickier credit situation.  But you do NOT have to stop, drop, and roll with the first lender your speak with while giving up on your dream of owning a home.

As I speak of in Tell me how this “buying a home” thing works?  A Guide, you should be able to communicate easily with your Realtor.  The same holds true for your mortgage lender.  You should be able to get in contact with them easily.  They should return your phone calls, emails, and answer your questions.  The benefit to using a local lender is you will likely have their cell phone number and email address and can easily contact them on the weekends and evenings.  They work for you, and let’s face it, many home contracts go through on the weekends and evenings.  Your Realtor works for you, and so should your lender.

So did you learn something today?  How many mortgage myths have you been subject to?  Don’t assume that your Realtor knows it all either since after all, mortgage lending is not our area of expertise.  I see misinformation sent every day to consumers by Realtors who do not understand mortgage lending.  Hopefully I taught you Realtors reading a thing or two as well!  Most importantly, be an informed consumer!  Do not leave an office or end a phone call without understanding what you have been told.  You are not a burden, and you should not be treated as such.  If you get the feeling you are, then take your business elsewhere.  Informed consumers stimulate the housing market, and in turn stimulate our economy.  This FDIC Mortgage Shopping Worksheet may assist you when shopping for the best loan option for your family.  Happy home hunting!

If you are seeking real estate in the Clarksville, Tennessee or Fort Campbell, Kentucky area or know anyone who is, call today or submit your information below.

© Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com, 2013.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow developed a psychological theory of basic human needs.  The foundation of the pyramid includes physiological requirements which among others include breathing, food, water, sleep and shelter.  The pyramid theorizes that the next level of human needs include bodily safety, health, and the security of property.  Having a place to call home is one of the most important motivators of human behavior and it is equally important to find the right person to guide you through the process.  Read on for tips to find the Realtor that is right for you!

Maslow

Word of mouth (or keyboard) is the best advertisement!  Ask your friends and family first.  Sometimes that is more difficult if you are being relocated to an area that is new and unfamiliar.  As a fellow military family, we have been in that situation more than a few times.  That is when social media can be your best friend.  Utilize Facebook and different public forums.  At Fort Campbell alone there are several different active Facebook pages to include PCSing ~ Relocating to Fort Campbell, KY ~ Clarksville, TN and Fort Campbell Wives Page.  Ask around!  Then once you get names of a couple of Realtors, ask if they have a couple of clients that wouldn’t mind speaking with you about their buying experience.  According to The 2012 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, “buyers most commonly choose an agent based on a referral, with trustworthiness and reputation being the most important factors.”

Visibility in the marketplace matters!  While you are getting recommendations and speaking to clients, check the Realtor’s visibility.  One of the fastest ways to do that is to run a Google search.  For example, search “Ariel Anderson” and see what comes up.  Try “Ariel Anderson Realtor” or “Ariel Anderson real estate”.  If you don’t get any results, that is no bueno and a good sign that the Realtor is not well-established in the community.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the Realtor is all over every billboard, shopping cart, and magazine that you see, chances are that you will be working with more than one person, or likely even a team.  Typically when working with a larger organization or team, you may have several different hands on documents, there may be longer waits for return phone calls, and that “home town” feeling might be missing.  Be cautious if someone entices you to use their services and then sends you on to another person, who may send you on to another.  You need to know who is on your side, and that you will not be lost in the shuffle.

What exactly do you do for a living?  Another good way to tell if a Realtor is right for you is to find out if they practice real estate full-time in this area.  According to the latest update, the Clarksville Association of Realtors has 703 active Realtors registered.  Not all of them practice full-time, and some of them may not even be in the area.  You want to make sure that whoever you are working with takes your quest for a home as seriously as you do.  They need to be directly involved in local real estate, knowledgeable of the area, and familiar with homes currently on the market.  If the Realtor is spread to thin and constantly distracted by other duties, you may not get the time and diligence needed.

You may also want to be sure that you aren’t being used as a referral.  There are some Realtors who make a living off of collecting referral fees.  They may tell you they are familiar with the area and have a lot of contacts that may be able to assist you.  They will get your personal information (name, phone number, email, etc), send it to a Realtor or team who is actually based locally, and then behind the scenes they collect a percentage of the commission that the Realtor they referred you to makes when you close on a home even when they did not personally do any work on the deal.  Make sure that the Realtor represents themselves honestly from the start, that the individual you speak to is here, and that they are willing to meet with you personally versus passing you off to someone else while collecting a fee.

Communication is key.  As I speak of in Tell me how this “buying a home” thing works?  A Guide

Make sure you feel like you can communicate with easily and that you are working with someone who will answer your phone calls, or return them at least.  Can you ask questions without being rushed?  Do they answer your questions or give you vague replies?  You want to make sure the individual is enthusiastic about their work and is confident with the process.  They need to be willing to explain things over and over again without getting frustrated, until you understand completely.

Do not drive around or search online, find a pretty home, and call the number on the sign.  The agent on the sign is the listing agent and works on behalf of the seller.  You see, with any real estate transaction, there are two sides; the selling side, and the buying side.  You want to find someone to represent you and your best interests!  There will be an Exclusive Buyer’s Representation Agreement which says that you agree to work with your realtor for a certain, mutually agreed upon, amount of time.  If you decide you do not like your realtor, once you have signed this agreement… if you go out and do the deal on your own… you may still be responsible for paying your realtor a commission, even if you did all the work on the side.  Make sure it is a good fit before you sign.  Read the fine print and remember that everything is negotiable until it is in writing!

Check your gut.  What does your instinct tell you?  Before signing a Buyer’s Representation Agreement, ask if the Realtor can show you a couple of homes.  Pay attention to the feelings that you get now so that you aren’t stuck in a binding agreement later with someone who is just isn’t a good fit.  As reported by The 2012 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, “Two out of thee buyers interviewed only one agent.  Eighty-nine percent of buyers are likely to use the same agent again or recommend to others.”  My personal recommendation is that you speak with a couple, unless you come across me first, and then look no further… You’ve found a Realtor on your side!

One more word to the wise;  Older and in the system longer does not necessarily mean better.  Sure experience is important!  They need to know the ropes, and understand the market.  But you also want someone who is eager, enthusiastic, and up to date with the market.  They need to be up to speed with the latest technology, social media, and community in general.  How cool is to find a realtor that utilizes text messaging, or Facebook?  Yeahhhhh, come on out of the stone ages!!

In conclusion, and back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, buying a home and the people you choose to work with can affect many of your basic needs at some point along the way.  At the upper part of the pyramid you will see a need for friendship (love/belonging), respect by others (esteem), and problem-solving (self-actualization).  A great Realtor will not only help you with the most basic of needs, finding a safe shelter, but will also be a friend, will respect your choices and desires, all while helping you to problem solve through the process with your best interests at heart.

Pick Me!So if you are seeking real estate in the Clarksville, Tennessee or Fort Campbell, Kentucky area, pick me, pick me!  Call today or submit your information below so I can be your own personal Buyer Representative!

© Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com, 2013.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.