DON’T List Your Home On A Weekend!!

Each morning, all over the Metroplex, buyers receive automated emails from their Realtors with the new listings that hit the MLS the previous day. For example, my buyer clients receive an email early Tuesday morning with listings that were posted between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

I’d say the majority of these automated emails arrive on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. They sometimes arrive on Mondays and Fridays as well, although this is less common.

What about Saturdays and Sundays? Simply put, Saturdays and Sundays are awful days to have your property reach the market, by the time Saturday rolls around, buyers and Realtors have already compiled their list of properties to view for the weekend. Usually, anything that lands in their inbox on Sat/Sun is much more likely to fall through the cracks until Monday.

The odds are just better that a buyer is going to see your newly listed home if it’s put in front of them on a weekday.

Sifting through the MLS updates becomes a part of many buyers’ weekly routine. They open the links in the morning at breakfast, then they connect with their realtor during the day to highlight the best of the bunch, then they run through them again at home later that night. It becomes ritual, a weekday ritual. Weekends, on the other hand, are spent on social obligations, trips with the family, soccer games, and a general reluctance to log-on to the computer and “work through” a list of new properties, not to mention that weekends are when a lot of buyers are actually out viewing properties.

Despite all of the above, sellers still list on Fridays and Saturdays (which means buyers see these listings on Saturdays and Sundays).

Why?

Why would a seller (and/or their realtor) actually choose to have their home pop up on a Saturday or Sunday?

Why would they choose to have their most valuable asset make its debut on a day when the least number of potential buyers are going to catch it?

I think there are probably two main reasons;

Some realtors struggle with the ins-and-outs of how to best market a home.

It’s no mistake that a lot of the listings I see pop up on Sat/Sun are also the ones that have horrible photos! Some realtors are afraid that waiting a few more days to list will also be giving the seller a few more days to possibly change their mind.

Sad but true. Some realtors have been burned in the past and they think, “Hey, I need to get this place under contract and listed IMMEDIATELY, whether or not it’s what’s best for the seller.”

I think there’s a third reason to consider as well. It’s possible that, despite their realtor’s advice, some sellers are in a position where they need/want their home on the market ASAP. “Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day… doesn’t matter. We need it on the market NOW.”

And what’s a realtor to do in that situation? Of course they’re going to list the property. They’ve given their best advice and now they’re going to follow their client’s directions.

For those sellers who have the option of waiting just a few more days though, listing on a weekday is almost always the way to go.

And if you’re realtor is insisting that timing isn’t crucially important to a successful listing, maybe it’s time to find another realtor.

For professional real estate services, contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

What Are The Proper Expectations That You Should Expect From Your Realtor?

images

Hiring a Realtor for the critical job of selling your home is a really key decision. Get it wrong and there could be some serious consequences in terms of your home remaining unsold for longer than you would like and/or not achieving its optimum price in whatever the current market conditions happen to be.

It would be very accurate to say that not all Realtors are operating on a level playing field, not by a long shot!

A search for the right Realtor for you will be considerably enhanced if you know exactly what you should be expecting your Realtor to do for you.

At the very least, a professional Realtor must: –

– Demonstrate absolute integrity.
– Educate you about the current conditions of the local market.
– Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home.
– Co-ordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
– Guide you to homes that fit your criteria and budget.
– Negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.
– Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
– Inform and discuss with you, and suggest solutions to solve any problems that may arise.

Going on from there you should also expect the following: –

– In-depth expertise in and experience of the local market.
– Working as a full-time Realtor, not as a part time hobby!
– Aggressive seller/buyer identification and connection methods.
– Strong customer service ethic/communication/marketing skills.
– A strong online presence; quality website, daily social networking engagement etc.
– Ongoing commitment to continuing professional development; consistently honing selling skills and real estate industry knowledge.

I would strongly advise you to ensure that whatever Realtor you select, he or she fits all of the above criteria. This will hugely improve your chances of meeting your goals the very first time.

For professional real estate services, call The North Texas Home Hunter @ (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com. Put me to the test!

cne_logo_cmyk    untitled

Who You Hire To Represent You Makes All Of The Difference!

cropped-north-texas-home-hunter-wordpress6.jpg

We wait for an offer to come in on a listing and my seller gets excited with the mention of an incoming bid. THEN I see the contract and it is poorly written, missing important addenda, wrong dates and mistakes…

What do we do?

Personally I have ‘graded’ these “F Offers” many times by going over it line by line with the Buyer’s Agent, at their convenience, of course. Most times it is taken with the right intention and I have to make sure that I am being very careful with my tone. My dialogue goes something like this;

“I want to make sure I am presenting your offer correctly,” I say, “may I ask you a few questions just for my own clarification?”

Then I proceed to point out a few items.

“Did you mean for any of the dates to correspond? Are you aware that this closing date falls on a Sunday? You didn’t send the pre-qualification letter or input the earnest money amount…will you tell me where I can find these two items, because they are not where are supposed to be? How many days are you requesting for your Option Period, your financing contingency? Did you mean to add the “AS IS” with no inspections addendum? Are you asking for 50% in closing costs or was that a typo? I am confused!You have waived the right to an appraisal on an FHA loan??Is there proof of funds with this cash offer?I think we are missing signatures on several pages and the other three addenda are blank. Please note the seller’s name and address are not correct and the county and zip code are missing. The loan approval date comes after the closing date…were you looking at another month on the calendar?”

You get the idea. Not all offers come in perfectly written, not even close!

As a listing agent, I need to get the offer presented even if it means having to re-write the entire offer! Hopefully, I can get the Buyers’ Agent to make the necessary changes, because they need to be made BEFORE I present the seller. I can’t fault the buyers because they didn’t realize that their agent is a part-timer with no training! Everyone must realize that the One To Four Contract is indeed that, a contract! If you hire an inexperienced agent, you can find yourself in trouble! 

Most listing agents would reject the offer over and over until it was complete; however, I go over each of the points with the buyer’s agent to see if I understand what the buyer wants. If we can agree that his/her buyer wants to buy and my seller wants to sell and the price and terms are worked out….as professionals we can correct or rewrite the contract offer.

Let’s not be so high up that we cannot help less trained, less competent, less motivated, less experienced and even overworked/ stressed agents, write that perfect contract so the buyer and the seller can do just that, buy and sell!

Houses do sell houses. Don’t let the agent kill the deal. 

For professional real estate services, please contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

kw1546trumpf07

Steps Towards Winning In A Sellers’ Market

Over the past year two years or so, the real estate market has become a very different landscape from years past. If you have been out looking to become a home buyer, it’s possible that you have found yourself putting in offers on multiple houses, and also possibly watching from the sidelines as another home buyer walked away with a deal. If this is not a true seller’s market, to you the difference may not be apparent!

In any case, when a prospective home buyer finds themselves vying for one of the plum homes that are now appearing in the area listings, there’s no need to passively watch as others get the nod. If you are sure of the value of the property you are going for, there are straightforward tactics for improving your chances of winning the day.

– Offering at or above list price –

This is the time-tested way to give you the best shot of getting your contract accepted over bidders who offer less than list. Real estate prices are again on the rise, increasing your likelihood of being able to recoup the extra money if you decide to sell several years down the road. Look at the comparables with your agent to determine what an aggressive, yet realistic price, will be.

– Ask your real estate agent what the recommended earnest money amount would be; then double or triple that amount. It’s a sure way to signal that you’re a serious and financially able home buyer. This tactic has the advantage that it doesn’t really cost you anything in the long run, assuming you hold up your end of the contract. It is a way to stand out from other home buyers without actually spending more.

– In a buyer’s market, it’s almost expected to ask for add-ons like fixing a staircase or leaving the swing set. But in a seller’s market, you can beat the competition by not asking for extras beyond what is offered in the listing. Home sellers may be fully occupied with many outside details (like looking for their own next home!) and often assign high value to an offer that looks uncomplicated.

– Along the same lines, another way to set yourself apart from every other home buyer is to offer to give the seller more than the usual time to move out of their house. Many other bidders, and their agents, won’t think of doing a lease back, but it can make the deal if the sellers are having to cope with difficult deadlines for their own move.

Above all, don’t let yourself get discouraged! The right house is out there, and you will get an offer accepted! Particularly in a seller’s market, any home buyer will be rewarded by just remaining patient and cool-headed.

For professional real estate services, call The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

14 Easy Steps To Buying Your Flower Mound Home

ar12175310781915

14 Easy Steps to Buying Your Flower Mound, TX Home

Consultation – At this first meeting we will discuss everything from the time frame of your purchase to the details of your wants, needs and desires for a new home. In addition, we will also discuss any ‘hidden costs’ that may arise (Inspections, surveys, appraisals, etc.). If you have not already secured a pre-approval, I can assist you in securing a mortgage lender. We will also discuss the importance of having a Buyer’s Representation Agreement to protect your interests as a buyer.

Home Search – I will take the information learned during our consultation and search for all of the available homes that meet your established criteria, including For Sale by Owners (FSBO), new construction, expired listings, withdrawn listings and pocket listings (homes not on the market yet).

Schedule showings – After we have determined which homes best meet your criteria, we will schedule showings at your convenience.

Investigate for any additional information – Prior to writing an offer, I will contact the listing agent to determine if there is anything else I should know about this property before sitting down with you to write an offer.

Prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) – This information gives you as the buyer the assurance that you are offering the seller a competitive price for his/her home.

Discuss price and contract terms – The price is only one facet of an offer to a seller. We will discuss the other terms such as contingencies, closing dates, title search, and closing costs associated with your new home purchase.

Prepare offerI will prepare your offer to be submitted to the listing agent with all, if any, of the necessary contingencies and disclosures in place to protect your best interest.

Negotiate the offer – While our ultimate goal is to prepare a strong offer the first time, it may become necessary to further negotiate on your behalf to get the sales price and terms/contingencies required.

Schedule home inspections – We will schedule and be present for any and all home inspections.

Review home inspection findings We will discuss with you any adverse findings uncovered during the home inspection, or what is to be a concern; and what is not.

Negotiate repair requests – It may become necessary to request further compensation from the seller on your behalf as the buyer if repairs are uncovered as the result of a home inspection.

Coordinate correspondence – An ongoing process, this keeps the transaction moving forward by communicating with the lender, title company and listing agent to make sure all the stipulations in the contract are being satisfied.

Review final documents – Once the lender has prepared the loan package, a HUD-1 Statement will be sent to the Buyer’s Agent for review. I will review this document to make sure all financials have been recorded properly and then forward it to you for your review.

Attend closing with buyer – This gives my buyers the added comfort of knowing they will have an advocate present during the closing if something unexpected should arise.

If you are looking to buy a Flower Mound home, you are 14 easy steps away. Contact The North Texas Home Hunter today at (214) 609-7123 for professional real estate services, buying, selling, or investing.

kw1546trumpf07

5 Mistakes That First Time Home Buyers Often Make.

Buying a home is exciting, especially when you’re buying for the first time. In the midst of all of the excitement, it’s easy to become blinded by beautiful back-splashes, granite and quartz counter tops, hardwood floors, and fenced-in backyards. While looking at homes that are completely perfect from top to bottom, you may begin to rationalize a larger purchase than you had originally planned for:

“This house is perfect for me; it’s worth $50,000 extra dollars for me to have a house with enough space in a perfect location,” or “We were planning on spending a little bit of money on painting; we can spend $50,000 extra on this house because it doesn’t need any work.”

Overspending

Before you even look at a single property, you need to know exactly how much you can afford. There are several online calculator tools you can use, but these tools are only estimates. How much is your current rent payment? Did you meet that payment each month with ease, or was it a bit of a struggle each month? The payment you can afford right now is a good indicator of what you’ll be able to afford in your new home.

Meet with a lender and get pre-approved for an amount you can afford. Also, keep in mind that it’s always better to lean towards a lower amount, rather than a higher amount. You do not have to use the entire amount you’re pre-approved for. Once you know how much you have to work with, then and only then should you start your house hunt.

Counting chickens before they hatch

When determining how much mortgage you can afford, base this amount on what you are earning today. That is, the income that you and your spouse earn from stable sources. If you’re in your last year of law school, for instance, don’t assume that you will be earning much more money in a year or two, so you can afford a larger payment. If your wife is expecting a big promotion, don’t base your mortgage payment off of her potential salary increase. No one can predict the future, and although you may very well be in a better financial situation a year down the road, there is no guarantee.

Failing to account for closing costs, property taxes, HOA, and homeowner’s insurance

When you rent a home, you generally only have one payment, rent, and then maybe renter’s insurance, which is optional. When you buy a place, your mortgage payment is only the beginning of an array of costs. Homeowner’s association fees can be as high as a few hundred dollars per month, depending on where you live and the amenities and services offered.

Homeowners insurance and property taxes vary based on your geographic location. Florida has notoriously high homeowner’s insurance rates, where they average $161.08 per month. In Idaho and Wisconsin, rates are a bit lower, averaging below $50 per month, according to Value Penguin. Property taxes average higher in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Texas and Wisconsin and they’re lower in Louisiana, Hawaii, and Alabama.

On top of all of those costs, if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the selling price, you may end up paying an additional cost, private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is basically insurance for the lender in case you default on your loan.

At the end of it all, your $800 mortgage payment can easily turn into a $1,200 house payment.

Failing to protect yourself with home inspections, contingency clauses, etc.

During your house hunt, you may find a house that looks great at first glance. Then, as you walk through a few of the rooms, you notice problems with the house. Maybe the floors squeak or the kitchen island is off-centered. After walking through the house, you come to realize that someone simply put lipstick on a pig, and this house is in questionable shape.

Home inspections provide you with some protection. The inspector will be able to find problems that you can’t and you want to know these problems before you sign on. “The seller isn’t likely to tell you there’s mold in the basement or the walls are poorly insulated,” reports MSN.

Contingency clauses also offer a form of protection. A mortgage financing contingency clause protects you if you lose your job and the loan falls through or the appraisal price comes in over the purchase price. Should one of these events occur, the buyer gets back the money he used to secure the property (Earnest Money). Without that clause, the buyer can lose that money and still be obligated to buy the house, legally.

Being too naive or too paranoid 

Some first-time home buyers are naive. Overly optimistic, they think nothing could possible go wrong. If a home has a few problems, they view them as easy fixes and are unrealistic when it comes to the cost and time it takes to fix up the home. Some naive buyers will move to a neighborhood on the wrong side of town, forgetting that you can fix up a house, but you can’t change your neighborhood or location without moving.

Paranoid buys are sometimes difficult to work with. They may not believe the price is an accurate assessment of the house’s market value. They’ll submit low-ball offers and then show frustration when they are consistently rejected. Paranoid buyers don’t trust real-estate agents, and may even try to buy their home without an agent, which is generally an unwise choice for anyone, let alone first time buyers.

To protect you during your purchase, and for professional real estate service, contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com