10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home | Easy Ideas for Organizing and Cleaning Your Home | HGTV

Buying Secret #10: Keep Your Money Where It Is  It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.

Buying Secret #9: Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford. It also gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs in the loan.

Buying Secret #8: Avoid a Border Dispute It’s absolutely essential to get a survey done on your property so you know exactly what you’re buying. Knowing precisely where your property lines are may save you from a potential dispute with your neighbors. Also, your property tax is likely based on how much property you have, so it is best to have an accurate map drawn up.

Buying Secret # 7: Don’t Try to Time the Market Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out.

Buying Secret # 6: Bigger Isn’t Always Better Everyone’s drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. But bigger is usually not better when it comes to houses. There’s an old adage in real estate that says don’t buy the biggest, best house on the block. The largest house only appeals to a very small audience and you never want to limit potential buyers when you go to re-sell. Your home is only going to go up in value as much as the other houses around you. If you pay $500,000 for a home and your neighbors pay $250,000 to $300,000, your appreciation is going to be limited. Sometimes it is best to is buy the worst house on the block, because the worst house per square foot always trades for more than the biggest house.

Buying Secret #5: Avoid Sleeper Costs The difference between renting and home ownership is the sleeper costs. Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware of the other expenses such as property taxes, utilities and homeowner-association dues. New homeowners also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenance and potential property-tax increases. Make sure you budget for sleeper costs so you’ll be covered and won’t risk losing your house.

Buying Secret #4: You’re Buying a House – Not Dating It  Buying a house based on emotions is just going to break your heart. If you fall in love with something, you might end up making some pretty bad financial decisions. There’s a big difference between your emotions and your instincts. Going with your instincts means that you recognize that you’re getting a great house for a good value. Going with your emotions is being obsessed with the paint color or the backyard. It’s an investment, so stay calm and be wise.

Buying Secret #3: Give Your House a Physical  Would you buy a car without checking under the hood? Of course you wouldn’t. Hire a home inspector. It’ll cost about $200 but could end up saving you thousands. A home inspector’s sole responsibility is to provide you with information so that you can make a decision as to whether or not to buy. It’s really the only way to get an unbiased third-party opinion. If the inspector does find any issues with the home, you can use it as a bargaining tool for lowering the price of the home. It’s better to spend the money up front on an inspector than to find out later you have to spend a fortune.

Buying Secret #2: The Secret Science of Bidding   Your opening bid should be based on two things: what you can afford (because you don’t want to outbid yourself), and what you really believe the property is worth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair and reasonable and isn’t going to totally offend the seller. A lot of people think they should go lower the first time they make a bid. It all depends on what the market is doing at the time. You need to look at what other homes have gone for in that neighborhood and you want to get an average price per square foot. Sizing up a house on a price-per-square-foot basis is a great equalizer. Also, see if the neighbors have plans to put up a new addition or a basketball court or tennis court, something that might detract from the property’s value down the road.

Today, so many sellers are behind in their property taxes and if you have that valuable information it gives you a great card to negotiate a good deal. To find out, go to the county clerk’s office.

Sellers respect a bid that is an oddball number and are more likely to take it more seriously. A nice round number sounds like every other bid out there. When you get more specific the sellers will think you’ve given the offer careful thought.

Buying Secret #1: Stalk the Neighborhood  Before you buy, get the lay of the land – drop by morning noon and night. Many homebuyers have become completely distraught because they thought they found the perfect home, only to find out the neighborhood wasn’t for them. Drive by the house at all hours of the day to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery store and other services. Even if you don’t have kids, research the schools because it affects the value of your home in a very big way. If you buy a house in a good school district versus bad school district even in the same town, the value can be affected as much as 20 percent.

Source: 10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home | Easy Ideas for Organizing and Cleaning Your Home | HGTV

What Is Dual Agency? – Real Estate News and Advice – realtor.com

Dual Agency Cons for the Seller: Your agent cannot advise you as thoroughly when acting as a dual agent. Impartial facilitation is required.The opportunity to earn the full commission might tempt an agent to coerce a deal you would not otherwise accept.

Your listing agent cannot negotiate the highest and best price for you if also negotiating the lowest and best terms for the buyer.

Your agent might inhibit access to your listing by other agents with buyers.

Remember, every real estate transaction is different. The best way to ensure you are properly represented is to clarify your relationship with your agent either through a listing agreement or an exclusive buyer agency agreement.Once everyone’s roles are outlined, there is little room for surprises—even with dual agency.

Source: What Is Dual Agency? – Real Estate News and Advice – realtor.com

Dual Agent: A Misunderstood Concept

DUAL AGENT: A MISUNDERSTOOD CONCEPT Written by Benny L. Kass on Monday, 25 November 2013 2:27 pm

Is the real estate agent you are working with representing your interests? Is she your agent? Is he a designated agent? Is she a dual agent? Do you know, and more importantly, does your agent completely understand his/her role?For many years, the agent represented only the seller. If you were selling, you would list your home with a real estate broker – called the “listing agent”. If another broker/agent found a potential buyer who entered into a sales contract, that agent was the “selling agent”.Today, however, there are many forms of agency: single agency: the agent represents either the seller or the buyer, but not both in the same transaction;designated agency: (also referred to as “designated representation”). Here, the seller has a listing agreement with a broker and the buyer has an agreement to be represented by another agent/broker – but who is affiliated with the same real estate company.Brokers and agents in the Washington metropolitan area are required to provide disclosure of their role to prospective clients. If there is a designated representation, all parties are put on notice that the agent must not disclose information obtained in confidence to other parties in the transaction.Dual representation: (also called dual agency). Here, the agent represents both the seller and the buyer. According to the District’s disclosure form, “the ability of the licensee (the broker) and the brokerage firm to represent either party fully and exclusively is limited. The confidentiality of all clients must be maintained.”This is the area of real estate brokerage that is extremely confusing. According to a survey compiled this year by the National Association of Realtors, many agents who responded do not understand dual agency, cannot explain it to their clients and in fact do not provide the State required disclosures.In Maryland, although the disclosure forms use the term “dual agency”, in fact it really is the same as the District’s “designated agency”. The form that potential clients must sign states “if all parties consent in writing, the real estate broker … (the “dual agent”) will assign one real estate agent affiliated with the broker to represent the seller… and another agent affiliated with the broker to represent the buyer…” Agents in Maryland are not permitted to represent both buyer and seller.Virginia has a new law which will take effect July 1, 2012. It is a comprehensive approach to enhance the agency relationship disclosure requirements between agents and those they represent. Accordingly, single dual agency is permitted, so long as the agent has provided the potential client the written consequences of such practice and obtains the written consent of the client.What does the agent have to disclose?the agent will be unable to advise either party as to the terms, offers or counteroffers;that the agent cannot advise the potential buyer of the suitability or condition of the property;that the agent will be acting without knowledge of the client’s needs, or experience in real estate, andthat either party may engage another agent if either requires additional representation.The question then becomes: why should I – as a potential buyer or seller – agree to a single dual agency arrangement? What’s the benefit to me?Recently, the New York Office of General Counsel issued a memorandum entitled “Be Wary of Dual Agency”. The memo cautioned consumers that “by consenting to a dual agency, you are giving up your right to have your agent be loyal to you, since your agent is now also representing your adversary. Once you give up that duty of loyalty, the agent can advance interests adverse to yours. For example, once you agree to dual agency, you may need to be careful about what you say to your agent, because, although your agent still cannot breach any confidences, your agent may not use the information you give him or her in a way that advances your interests.”And, while most agents are honest, there is always the possibility that what you tell the agent will get back to the other side.Many brokers – and legislators who allow dual agency – believe that it is not a problem so long as buyers and sellers are fully informed and sign a written disclosure form. But in my opinion, that is not the real world. Buyers get excited about a new house and do not pay attention to the various documents they sign – including the real estate sales contract. Similarly, often the issue of dual agency arises only after the seller has signed the standard listing agreement ; the seller’s broker suddenly finds a potential buyer who is not represented by counsel or by another agent.My advice to buyers and seller. While I have serious reservations about the designated agency arrangement, I can live with it since there are at least two agents involved – one r

Source: Dual Agent: A Misunderstood Concept

BAD REALTOR SERIES #8 Judy & Nelson Horn Dual Agency – YouTube

Judy and Nelson Horn, Palm Desert and surrounding areas of Palm Springs, Realtors, developed the BAD REALTOR SERIES. The material in each of the videos is drawn from real life experiences Judy and Nelson have encountered in their careers. The purpose of the series is to educate the public to recognize unethical real estate practices. It further stresses the importance of selecting the right professional representation. This video portrays dual agency, legal in California and other states. If you are involve

Real Estate Commission College episode #2 California Dual Agency Law – YouTube

Dual agency (the double popper) or “double ending the deal” as they call it can be a very attractive proposition in real estate. You could make a ton of money in a real estate commission. You could also lose it all and waste your time. Listen to real estate attorney Attorney Steve Vondran explain California Civil Code requirements when acting as a dual agent, including fiduciary duties and full disclosure.

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