Archive for Real Estate Tips

Spring Is Real Estate’s ‘Rush Hour’ — Here’s How to Tell If You’re Prepared

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 22nd, 2017

Spring Is Real Estate's 'Rush Hour' -- Here's How to Tell If You're PreparedThe most popular time of year to buy a home is in the spring, and this means that if you’re preparing yourself for getting into the real estate market, you may be experiencing a time crunch. If you’re wondering if you’ll be ready to put your home up for sale in time to take advantage of the season, here are few things you’ll want to think about.

Have You Cleaned Up And De-cluttered?

Spring is not only an optimal time to put your home up for sale, it’s also an ideal time for spring-cleaning! Instead of leaving all of the de-cluttering and clearing away to the time when you know you’ll be moving, get prepared by going through your stuff and discarding anything that you don’t want to move. This will not only make the packing up procedure more streamlined, it will also make the basic cleaning duties like vacuuming a dusting a little easier to carry out.

Are You Prepared To Move?

A home can sit on the market for a few weeks or months, and it can also sell on the first day, so you’ll want to have a game plan for moving beforehand. If you don’t yet have a place to stay, determine a plan for yourself and your family so that you can start looking for a home to invest in or at least rental property. You don’t want to lose out on a good offer by not being prepared, so make sure you know where you’re going before getting into the market.

Do You Know The Market Conditions?

Spring is certainly the most popular time to buy, but if your home isn’t priced right for the conditions of the market, it may linger longer than you’d expect. If you’re selling on your own, you may want to take a look at the MLS listings to determine what similar homes in similar areas are selling for. It can also be a great idea to utilize the services of a local real estate agent who will have background knowledge of the market and be able to do the tough negotiating for you.

With spring being the best time to sell, it’s important to de-clutter your house ahead of time and be aware of the market conditions you’ll be dealing with. If you’re about to put your home up for sale, contact your trusted real estate professionals for more information.

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3 Ways That Buying or Selling a Luxury Home Is Different

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 26th, 2017

3 Ways That Buying or Selling a Luxury Home Is Different From a Regular OneSelling a standard home is fraught with enough concerns about marking it at the right price and staging it properly, but it’s an entirely different ball game when it comes to luxury property. If you’re planning on selling your high-end property and are trying to determine what sets it apart from the average home sale, here are some things to consider before putting it on the market.

The Price Must Be Reasonable

It’s important for the asking price on any home to show an awareness of market conditions, but when it comes to luxury, it becomes even more important. Most luxury homes are going to sit on the market for a longer period of time than a less expensive home because there are fewer potential buyers. In order to facilitate a successful sale, it’s necessary for the asking price to be competitive and in line with the amenities provided so that buyers won’t flock to other opportunities.

Use The Right Marketing Tools

With so many available methods to sell a home nowadays, it’s never been easier to get the word out that you’re selling your home. However, if the asking price is higher it’s imperative that the property is displayed in the right light. When it comes to a luxury property it’s worth having an agent who knows the market and the neighborhood well. They will be able to display your home at its most ideal by creating a website with enticing photography and details to showcase all of your home’s best attributes.

What Are The Market Conditions?

It’s difficult to time the market, but when it comes to the impact economic times can have on a luxury home sale, it’s even more important to be aware of prices. Not only will you want to be aware of the amenities your home has and how much more desirable they’ll be at certain times of the year, you’ll also want to be sure that the market is on an upswing. A market that is on the rise can make a significant difference on the offers you’ll get.

There are many factors involved in putting your home on the market, but when it comes to luxury real estate it’s important to time the market and ensure your asking price is spot on. If you’re currently preparing to put your luxury home on the market, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

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Six Reasons Why You’ll Need a Licensed Real Estate Agent When You Buy or Sell a House

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 8th, 2016

Six Reasons Why You'll Need a Licensed Real Estate Agent When You Buy or Sell a HouseAre you in the market to buy or sell a home? If so, you may be wondering whether to work with a real estate agent or not. While saving on the commission might sound tempting, it can cost you later.

Here are six reasons to choose a real estate agent the next time you buy or sell a home.

#1: Agents Get The Best Price

If you’re trying to buy or sell on your own, it’s going to cost you. When buying, real estate agents are able to tap into market data to know the best price to bid. When selling, they can use this same data to ensure you ask for the highest reasonable price.

#2: Agents Know The Market

Is now the best time to buy or sell? You might not be sure, but a real estate agent will know. They have daily access to local market trends that outsiders can’t see. And since they’re working in your market each day, they can get a sense for what’s coming.

#3: Agents Know How To Negotiate

Are you a strong negotiator? If not, you’ll want to let your real estate agent take care of the negotiations. Remember, the other party in the transaction is likely to have an agent. So, without one of your own, you’ll be up against a skilled negotiator with no backup.

#4: Agents Have The Time And You Don’t

Let’s face it: you’re busy. Unless you’re going to take a vacation to deal with your real estate transaction, you don’t have the time. Real estate agents spend all their time working on their client properties. They make the time to handle inspections, negotiations and other activities.

#5: Agents Know What To Look For

If you’re buying or selling for the first time, you’ll definitely want to contract an agent. They know how to spot deficiencies in the house or property. Their experience allows them to see problems that you might not spot on your own. And they’ll know what needs to be fixed and what can wait until later.

#6: Agents Can Deal With The Paperwork

Do you love dealing with contracts, legal forms and other paperwork? If not, this might be reason enough to work with a real estate agent. They will take care of all the necessary paperwork for your purchase or sale. And if you’ve ever participated in a real estate transaction before, you know there’s a LOT to deal with. Leave this to your agent so you can focus on more fun activities.

The above are just six of the (many) reasons to work with a real estate professional. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, contact your local trusted real estate professional today.

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How to Gain the Upper Hand in Real Estate Negotiations Without Being Mean or Rude

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 29th, 2016

How to Gain the Upper Hand in Real Estate Negotiations Without Being Mean or Rude In a typical real estate transaction, numerous factors may be negotiated, and the terms of the purchase may be negotiated at different times throughout the process. For example, the contract may be negotiated at the time the original offer is made, but revisions to the contract may be negotiated after the property inspection has been completed. Both parties want to have the upper hand in negotiations, but those who focus on a few points are more likely to walk away feeling satisfied with the results of the negotiations.

Research All Factors Related To The Negotiation

A successful negotiation may be about achieving specific, desired goals, but in most cases, there will be a bit of give and take on both parties’ parts in order to find success. Those who have the upper hand in real estate negotiations will take time to research all factors related to the negotiations, and this includes everything from market conditions and how long the property has been on the market to how competitively priced the real estate is, how many other buyers there are and more.

Understand All Motives And Influences

Beyond outside factors related to the negotiation, there typically are personal motives and influences that must be considered. For example, a seller may be motivated to sell quickly due to a job offer in another city, or a buyer may be motivated because the property is the only one of its kind close to a great school. Real estate agents can often provide information about motives and influences that may impact the negotiations and that may reveal who has the upper hand in negotiations.

Consider Alternative Creative Solutions

After all external and personal factors have been researched and itemized, it may appear that one party has a clear upper hand in negotiations and the other party does not. However, in order to be successful in negotiations, typically both parties will need to feel as though they are getting what they want. After all parties’ motivations have been identified, it may be possible to think of creative, outside-the-box alternatives that may be agreeable to both parties.

When a buyer or a seller is preparing to negotiate with the other party, it is important that they fully understand all of the factors that may be at play in determining the outcome of negotiations. When buyers and sellers focus on these points before making an offer or counteroffer, they may find their negotiation efforts more successful. Contact your trusted real estate agent for more information.

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3 Things You Must Do after Inheriting a Home

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 7th, 2016

3 Things You Must Do after Inheriting a HomeThere can be a lot of excitement when it comes to the realization that you’ve inherited a home, but simply because it’s an inheritance doesn’t mean there aren’t a few strings attached. Whether you’re expecting to be gifted with a home in the future or you’re currently going through this process, here are a few things you may need to watch out for.

The State Of The Mortgage

Once a home has been effectively handed over to you, it’s important to determine the status of the mortgage with the lender and if anything is still owed. While you have the option of taking over the mortgage in a lot of cases, in the event that there’s a reversible mortgage or you’re choosing to rent it out as a second property, you may not be able to transfer the mortgage. While this can often be a rather seamless process, if money is owed there can be other factors to consider.

Determine If You Want It

If you already have a first home and don’t want to take care of your second property as a rental unit, it’s important to realize that keeping the home may not be the best decision for you. While you have the option of organizing a short sale if you’d like to get it off of your hands, you can also contact a real estate agent who will be able to provide you with advice on how to proceed if you’re unwilling (or unable) to take control of the property.

Is It In Good Condition?

Whether you want to keep the home or not, there can be cases where it’s not even a question if it’s a home that you’re going to end up investing money into without much return. In the situation that a lot of money is owed on the house or there are serious issues with its general condition, you may want to release yourself from the inheritance and move on with your financial situation still intact.

There can be an instant feeling of acquired wealth in the event that you’ve inherited a home, but a home in bad condition or that you don’t want to take care of can end up being more of a headache than anything else. If you’re currently considering your options when it comes to a home inheritance, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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How to Market Your Home to Renters Online

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 22nd, 2016

How to Market Your Home to Renters OnlineMany people think that marketing their home is best left to the realtor since they have the expertise and knowledge to succeed at selling. However, there are plenty of ways that you and your realtor can approach the marketing for your home for an even more positive impact. If you’ve made the decision to put your home on the market as a rental, here are a few tips so you can be sure to find the right renters.

Make Use Of Social Media

Sites like Craigslist have long been popular for finding a place to rent, but in the times of social media, there are plenty of other ways to reach people who are looking for apartments or homes. Instead of having to rely on traditional means of marketing, take to Twitter or Facebook to post about your home rental and include a few pictures with a brief description. Not only will this reach all your friends and followers, it will ensure that they can pass the information along too.

Create A Home Website

There are many old-school means of marketing a home to interested parties, but the tricks don’t necessarily change when it comes to finding an ideal renter. If you’re entrusting your home to the reliability of renters, a professional website with a respectable realtor is still one of the best means of attracting the right crowd. With a selection of professional photos and a complimentary description, you should have a few good options in no time.

Splurge On Professional Pictures

There’s a reason that professional photography is expensive, but when it comes to marketing your home online, a good picture is one of the best tools you have in finding your audience. Because a professional photographer knows all the small stuff about lighting and accentuating your home’s best features, they’ll be able to provide you with the kind of images that are sure to capture attention. In addition, a professional photograph can go a long way towards getting the rental price you’re asking for.

There was a time when renters walked the neighborhood to find the best rental options, but with so much of the search having gone online, there are other ways to market your home to potential candidates. If you’re planning on purchasing a second home and are putting your own up for rent, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

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3 Things to Consider Before Renting to Students

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 21st, 2016

3 Things to Consider Before Renting to StudentsWhether you have a second property that you’re going to move into or you’re planning on being away from your dwelling place for a while, you may be considering putting your home on the market in order to boost your financial outlook. While students comprise one demographic that is always entering the rental market to scoop up available properties, here are some things you may want to consider before deciding on a younger renter.

Will Your Home Be Rented Consistently?

Many students will require a place to rent out since most of them don’t have the money savings or stable income to purchase a home, but if you’re doing this to make ends meet on your properties, renting to student may not be the best way. While some students may plan on hanging out over the summer, there are those who will be heading home in order to live with their parents and save money for the Autumn semester. A contract’s a contract, but a renter can always flee the coop if it’s inconvenient.

Will They Take Good Care Of Your Home?

From furniture to family mementos, most people’s home is pretty personal to them, and that’s why it can be of supreme importance to have a renter that will respect your home and take good care of it in your absence. While there are plenty of responsible students in the world, you should ensure before settling on anyone that it’s someone you really trust who won’t damage your house or wake up the neighbors every Saturday evening.

What Rental Price Are You Looking For?

If you’re trying to make financial ends meet with your property, you’ll probably want to charge the maximum amount you can while still having a renter in your home. The risk with students is that they may not be able to pay the dollar amount you’re looking for so that you can effectively maximize your investment. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking the financial brunt, it’s important to get the monthly amount that your living space can garner on the market.

There can be a number of downfalls when it comes to renting to students, but there’s also the possibility that you’ll have a responsible renter who will stick around for more than a couple seasons. If you’re currently on the market for a second home, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Four Excellent Reasons You Should Check Your Real Estate Agent’s References and Testimonials

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 8th, 2016

Four Excellent Reasons You Should Check Your Real Estate Agent's References and Testimonials There are different methods that home buyers may use to find a real estate agent to work with. While some may use the services of a real estate agent who they know personally, others may reach out to a professional who they have located online. Regardless of whether you previously knew the individual in a non-professional setting or not, it is important that you check your agent’s reference and testimonials before you get started with the home buying process. There are several good reasons for this.

The Importance Of Accessibility

Whether you are trying to find the perfect property and submit an offer before anyone else or you are actively negotiating with a seller, you need your real estate agent to be accessible to you. Simply because you are friends with the agent or they were friendly to you with the first phone call does not mean that they will continue to be accessible to you until you close on the home. References and testimonials can give you more information about this.

Professional Demeanor Throughout The Process

The right real estate agent is one who remains cool and composed throughout the transaction with all parties. Negotiations can become heated at times, and you want your real estate agent to have a professional demeanor under pressure. References and testimonials can give you first-hand insight about the agent’s demeanor.

Skilled With Negotiations

It is not enough to have a real estate agent represent you in negotiations. You also want the real estate agent to have some skills and a track record for success. You may not get everything you want with negotiations because of the need to compromise, but your real estate agent should be able to structure a deal that works well for you.

An Overall Great Experience

There will inevitably be times of stress and anxiety when you are buying a new property, and it is not reasonable to expect otherwise. However, a real estate agent should be by your side to facilitate the process, to explain concepts and to help you make better decisions from start to finish. When you read reviews and testimonials, pay attention to how satisfied the clients were with the overall process.

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right real estate agent to work with. While you want to have a great interactive dynamic with your real estate agent, you also need to focus on these factors to make the best decision possible. You can begin by contacting an agent today and requesting references from the professional.

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Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best Investment

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 2nd, 2016

Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best InvestmentWhen delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook.

All About Home Equity

Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you have completely paid off the cost of your home, the value of your home equity is this total amount. Of course, because most people seek a lender to borrow money from when they purchase a home, their home equity would consist of their down payment and whatever amount they’ve paid down on the mortgage since purchase.

An Example Of Home Equity

To provide further clarification, let’s use the example of a house that has been purchased for $300,000. In the case that a down payment of 20% has been provided at the time of purchase, the equity in the home would be $60,000. Since this amount is the percentage and cost of the house that’s been paid down, this is the amount of the house that is actually owned and this will be figured among an individual’s assets.

How Home Equity Works

As you pay the amount that you owe on your home each month, you are paying off your total debt and thereby increasing your equity. Since this amount of money is considered an asset that belongs to you, it can be used down the road to buy another home or invest in other important things like education or retirement. While paying off the amount owed on a home is a considerable investment, if the value of your home increases, this means that you’ll still owe the same on it but your home equity will have automatically increased.

As an asset that is part of your financial net worth and can be used down the road to fund other investments, home equity is a very useful term to know when it comes to purchasing a home. If you’re on the market for a home and are considering your options, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

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Video: What Is A Counter-Offer?

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 29th, 2016

What Is A Counter-Offer?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but basically, a seller can respond to a buyer’s offer with changes – a “counter” – that improves the terms.

You need to put yourself in their shoes and construct a modified offer that you think they might take that meets more of your needs. Then it’s their turn – accept, reject, or construct yet another counter.

It’s an efficient market process, but beware: clauses and costs matter. Your broker should be closely involved in constructing a counter. Successful bargaining is best done with a win/win approach where each side is meeting their biggest needs and compromising others to reach an agreement.

Remember that outside conditions like interest rates, and supply and demand, will keep evolving so you’ll need to be patient but decisive to craft an counter-offer that works for both sides.

What Is A Counter-Offer?

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