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Why Does It Take So Long To Buy A House?!

2/26/2021
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Understanding the Home-Buying Timeline

Buying a home can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. We often get the same question from clients: “Why so long?!?” 


There are several moving parts behind the scenes once your offer is accepted. You have lenders, underwriters, title examiners, inspectors, and appraisers all working

together toward the same end goal: getting you into your new home!


We have put together an example of the most common closing timeline of events that happen

after your offer is accepted to help you better understand the process.


First Week

  • Earnest-money check deposited within 48 hours
  • Make loan application
  • Arrange for property inspections

Second Week

  • Attend property inspections
  • Make repair requests of seller
  • Confirm that all information requested by the mortgage company habeen submitted
  • Review any HOA documents

Third Week

  • Confirm that repairs have been completed
  • Promptly deliver any additional information your lender requests
  • Appraisal is completed (could be in week 4)
  • Arrange for mover

Fourth Week

  • Walk through home to verify completed repairs
  • Obtain Cashier’s Check for closing
  • Schedule the date for settlement and signing of papers
  • Schedule a transfer of utilities.


Does professional video & photography really help sell homes?

1/18/2021

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Hiring a professional photographer is an absolute must when we put a new listing on the market. I’ve even hired professionals to help market a property listed for 32,000! The price of the home does not matter, every listing of ours is marketed by professionals and here’s why..

Majority of buyers start their home search online. It’s essential to make a strong first impression! Listing photos are the frontline of marketing. Buyers need to be “wowed” from their computer screens before they consider coming to look in person. If listing pictures are out of focus, off-center or blurry, it can create a false impression of the home causing buyer to lose interest. Photos will be the deciding factor whether or not the buyer would like to go visit the property.

Home tours, especially over the last 12 months, have become a crucial part of marketing as well.

Watching a virtual home tour from the comfort of your couch is the “new normal” in today’s market. Regularly, home shoppers watch online home tours before attending an actual showing. This helps sell the property because it can really give the buyer an idea of what to expect and helps them prepare any questions about the property, making the physical showing a more productive experience! 

It’s as simple as this; professional photos make your home more marketable and attract more buyers! That’s why it’s our non-negotiable with every listing.

The Housing Market in 2021

1/1/2021

RelaxedSign.jpgAs we end the 2020 calendar year, we know one thing for sure, the housing market was booming! It’s been a seller’s market for years, and 2020 has been no different. Home prices have been accelerating fast due to high levels of pre-approved buyers and low levels of inventory.

During the COVID-19 shut down, Realtors were prohibited from showing homes. The market was put into a 6-week halt. This 6-week shut down played a tremendous role in the 2020 market boom and here’s why. When the real estate market shut down, more and more buyers got pre-approved and entered into the housing market. At this point, these buyers could not physically view homes in person, but were prepared and ready for when they were able to.   When the market opened back up, it was like releasing the flood gates of pre-approved buyers. It was common for a buyer to compete against 5, 6, or even 7 other offers on a single listing. Buyers pulled out all the “tricks” in the book to win over the sellers. Acceleration clauses, appraisal guarantees and free occupancy were all common terms on a 2020 purchase agreement. 

In 2021, I foresee the market balancing out. Buyers are fed up with constantly competing against other offers and are leaving the market altogether. They are making the decision to put their home search on hold. As a result, there will be fewer pre-approved buyers in the market. With fewer buyers, there will be fewer competing offers. Due to basic supply and demand, if there’s not as many buyers to drive up prices, prices will begin to plateau. I think as 2021 takes off, we’ll see homes selling at asking price, not over the asking price, like 2020.

I don’t foresee a market crash. Interest rates are still record low and there’s still a high demand for housing. The pandemic has forced people to spend more time at home and because of this, we’re seeing people needing or wanting an upgrade. Needing more space is common, needing to relocate for better Wi-Fi connections is common too. This new way of life is a direct reflection of the demand in the housing market. 

All in all, demand is there and interest rates are low; I’m preparing my team for a balanced market in 2021.

How to Increase Your Home’s Marketability

12/4/2020

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Marketability and value go hand-in-hand. Taking steps to make your home more marketable to potential buyers can often lead to higher interest and higher offers. Here are few ways to increase the marketability of your home without breaking the bank.


  1. Improve the overall condition of your home. Take some time to look over the fine details. A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest, most cost – effective improvements to make. It gives the house a clean, fresh feeling. Also pay attention to overgrown landscaping, dusty light fixtures, hard water stains in the toilets and bathtubs, disorganized closets and drawers, and carpet stains.
  1. Offer good terms. Sweeten the deal by offering “a little extra” something with the sale of your home. This may be as simple as leaving the kitchen appliances, mower, or offering a home warranty for new owners.
  1. Improve the way the home shows. Take some time to get your home in show-ready condition. Leave all the lights on throughout the house. Let in as much natural light as possible by opening all the curtains and blinds. Shut toilet seats and shower curtains. Remove personal belongings from shelves, tables and countertops.
  2. Price the home right. Work closely with a professional to ensure your home isn’t overpriced.

A true market value is simply what a buyer is willing to pay. Spending time to increase the marketability of your home before listing it will ideally increase its value too.

Can I have a REALTOR when the house is “For Sale By Owner”?

11/13/2020


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To keep this short and simple, the answer is YES! A Buyers Agent is still able to represent you through a transaction, even if the house is not listed by another Realtor.

Just like any other transaction, we will help you negotiate terms, order title work, arrange inspections and schedule the closing. Many times, a “For Sale by Owner” seller is open to working with a buyer’s agent who brings a pre-approved buyer through their home with an acceptable offer.

One of the biggest reasons a homeowner puts their home up for sale without using a Realtor, is to save money. They save money by not paying the listing commission.

We have found that some sellers feel they do not need to disclose any hidden defects because they do not have the property listed with a Realtor. However, Michigan Law states that all sellers must disclose any/all defects in the home.

If you see a home “For Sale by Owner” and want to be represented by a professional, contact us first, and allow us to do the talking!

Let’s Talk About What a Buyer’s Agent Actually Does!

11/2/2020

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Unfortunately, most buyers think going directly to the selling agent gives them a leg up on the competition. Wrong! The seller’s agent already has a contractual relationship with the seller and has already agreed to get them the most money possible for their home. Is that the person you want representing you as a buyer? Probably not.
 
This is where a buyer’s agent comes in!
 
A buyer’s agent has access to every home on the market. Yup, that right! It doesn’t need to be a RE/MAX listing for us to show you around! First, we meet with you to gain a full understanding of what your wants and needs are in your next home. We also help establish a comfortable budget and monthly payment. This ensures you're looking at homes that will actually work for you and your family. When it comes time to make an offer, your buyer’s agent will solely look out for your best interests and get you the best deal possible. Oh yeah, and did I mention, having the representation of a buyer’s agent is 100% free to the buyer!

Here are 10 services we provide to all our buyer clients at absolutely no cost. 
 
  1. Arrange a meeting with a local lender to get you pre-approved.
  2. Help narrow down your home search by determining what’s important to you.
  3. Set you up on automatic alerts for when a new home that meets your criteria, hits the market.
  4. Make appointments to tour homes.
  5. Provide you with information on a Home Warranty.
  6. Compare other properties sold in the area to the one you’re making an offer on.
  7. Offer recommendations for home inspectors, contractors, home insurance companies, etc..
  8. Make sure you’re buying a home with a clear title.
  9. Attend the closing to finalize all the details.
  10. Continue to be your source of information for any real estate needs long after you buy your home!
 
We are here to guide you through the buying process step-by-step. We prep you to know what to expect and when to expect it throughout the home buying process. The way we see it, if you don’t know what happens next, we’re not doing our job!
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