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Category Archives: real estate

Money Back for First-Time Homeowners

Article by Wendy McCance

If you live in Michigan and are thinking about purchasing a home, here is just one more reason that now is a good time to buy.  The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has a grant program in place called the Homebuyer Assistance Grant Program.  This grant is for individuals who are interested in purchasing a single-family, owner occupied, principal residence.

The program supports non-military as well as military homebuyers.  Non-military homebuyers can receive up to $3,000 and Active military and veterans can receive up to $5,000.  Neither grant can exceed 25% of the sales price of the home.  The best part of this offer is that there is no lien and no repayment required!  There is also no sales price or income limit to qualify.

Cash back at closing is limited to the amount the buyer pays into the transaction outside of closing.

To get more information on the Homebuyer Assistance Grant Program, please go to: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mshda/Terms_Guidelines_Homebuyer_404166_7.pdf

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in housing, real estate

 

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Good News for People who Have Faced Foreclosure or are Looking for a Loan Modification

With all of the bad news associated with foreclosures and loan modifications, it’s nice to hear some good news. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) received federal funds from the attorney general for settlements with several bank mortgage servicers.

Basically, if you went through a foreclosure with a participating bank in 2008-2011, you may be eligible for a cash payment.  If you are a current borrower serviced by one of these banks, you may be eligible for a loan modification or another refinancing option.

The five participating banks are:

  • GMAC/ALLY
  • Bank of America
  • Citigroup
  • Wells Fargo
  • JP Morgan Chase

For more information on this settlement and to see if you qualify, Please call:  1-866-946-7432 or go to http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,4641,7-141-45866_45868-285879–,00.html

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in housing, real estate, self-help

 

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Short Sale vs Foreclosure, What you Need to Know

A friend passed along an excellent article which does a good job of explaining what the myths and facts are about short sales and foreclosure.  I just had to share the link with you, my readers.  If you are struggling with mortgage payments, this is an article that you really should read.

Short Sale vs Foreclosure, 10 Common Myths Busted.
http://www.kcmblog.com/2012/05/09/short-sale-vs-foreclosure-10-common-myths-busted/

 

If you are interested in buying or selling a home, please contact Wendy McCance at:

Real Estate One
26236 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 414-1248 x: 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
http://www.wendymccance.realestateone.com/

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in advice, housing, real estate

 

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Selling your Own Home vs Using a Seller’s Agent

If you have ever thought about selling your home yourself, I’m sure you have wondered what the positive and negatives points are compared to a real estate agent selling your home for you.

First let’s go over the positive reasons for selling a home on your own.

1.  You will not be giving a sellers agent a commission.

2.  You will meet any potential buyers yourself.  I’m not sure if this is a positive reason, but it might mean a lot to some home owners.

3.  You are in control of the entire process.  For those of you who like to have their hands in the entire process from meeting buyers to the negotiation process directly with those buyers, this might be a plus.

4.  You decide when to show the home and will be present for those showings.

Now, let’s go over the negative aspects of selling your own home.

1.  You pay for any advertising.  On top of that, you will not have access to the MLS which all agents have access to.  That means that instead of agents emailing their clients your home information when it appears on the MLS, you have to find the interested buyers yourself.  Agents are also more adept at only showing clients who have a definite interest in the features of your home.  You could have people looking at your home that aren’t pre-approved, are just window shopping or truly are not looking for what your home has to offer.

2.  You will need to understand all of the paperwork needed to sell your home.  It is also highly recommended that you hire an attorney to write-up the paperwork and make sure everything is included.  An attorney might be more expensive to use.  Another consideration is that an attorney doesn’t typically write-up paperwork to sell  homes as part of their job and might miss something along the way.

3.  If you aren’t available to show your home, your home won’t be shown if you sell it on your own.  When you work with an agent, it doesn’t matter if you are on vacation.  The home can still be viewed and an offer can still be made.

4.  Knowing what to price your home at.  Why waste your time if you price your home to high?  You also have to worry about what an appraisal will decide your home is worth.  You could get an interested buyer who is willing to pay the price you are offering.  If the appraisal comes back and is lower, the bank will not finance the buyer at that price.

5.  When a buyer knows you are selling a home yourself, they know you aren’t paying a sellers commission.  Because of that, the buyer will typically bid extra low to cover the difference.  Meaning you might still be out the same amount of money or more.

6.  If you don’t offer a buyer’s agent a commission, many real estate agents won’t be enthusiastic about showing your home verse a home that is similar with a commission included.  (Although this is ethically wrong, it has been known to happen quite frequently).

7.  It will take much longer to sell your home on your own.  This is because of the amount of advertising needed. Also, the less you are available to show your home, the longer it will take to sell.

8.  When you take into account fees for advertising and the lawyer, you might end up paying more money, than if you used an agent.

9.  You will have to make sure you understand the laws.  You aren’t exempt from getting in trouble for lack of knowledge.  You must understand the laws regarding who you decide to sell to and why.  You will need to understand how to get a clear title before the closing of the home can occur.  Some cities require a city inspector to view your home and there is a fee.  You must also understand that any defects in the home must be disclosed to anyone who views your home.  Not mentioning that there was a flood in the basement several years ago, for instance can result in a lawsuit if the buyer finds out after purchasing your home.

Many people try to sell their home themselves.  A good majority of these same people end up using a realtor after a lot of frustration and money spent.  If you decide to go it alone, make sure you truly understand what you are getting into before putting up a sign in your yard.

If you are interested in a consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in advice, houses for sale, how to, real estate

 

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Real Estate Agents are not Salespeople. We are Consultants.

When I decided to get into real estate, I figured that my background would be a perfect fit.  I have a strong history in the sales field.  I was really good in my field, and truly enjoyed the social aspect of a sales job.

When I took the classes and worked with a mentor, sales was what was discussed.  There were strategies and outlines.  There were even scripts you could use.  It wasn’t until I really got off the ground that I realized that sales has nothing to do with being a good real estate agent.

I’m sure there are agents out there that will argue that this is a sales job, but let me tell you why I think it’s not. My feeling is that if you are a good agent, you are not a salesperson but a consultant.  This is one of the few jobs where it doesn’t matter how hard you might try to sell someone on a home.  Buying a home is incredibly emotional.  It is also one of the biggest expenses you will have in a lifetime.  I don’t know anyone who is casual enough to allow a salesperson to come in and twist their arm to buy a home that might not be right for them.  Let me state it another way.  I could never be that person who puts pressure on a client.

My personal feeling is that if you are a good real estate agent, you will treat your client like you would treat a good friend.  There is respect, understanding and help in figuring out what type of home might suit that particular client best.

As a real estate agent, you are there to guide your client.  You must be knowledgeable and able to teach them the steps in home ownership.  You are the person that a client will go to for consultation.  Maybe the time is right for a customer to buy, and maybe it’s not.  The goal is not to sell a home, but to help a customer decide what’s right for them.

If you go about your job in this manner, the rewards will come.  A customer might use you later down the road because of your honesty and integrity.  You will gain a good reputation, and yes, you will sell homes and make a good living.

It’s all perspective.  I know that I would be turned off by an agent who felt like a salesperson.  On the other hand, an agent that acted as a consultant would impress me and leave a lasting good impression.

For those of you just starting out in real estate, this way of looking at your job might be of enormous benefit to you.  If you are an agent, how do you approach your job?  Are you a salesperson or a consultant?

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in advice, career, houses for sale, real estate

 

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Selling a Home? Here’s a List of the 5 Most Common Things That Need to be Done.

Well, you have decided to sell your home.  You have found a realtor and put the home up for sale.  Now what?  Below is a list of the 5 most common things you must get before and after closing on the property.

1.  Paperwork (ASAP)

This is by far the most important thing you must do.  Any and all paperwork you can find in regards to your mortgage and any lines of equity you might have must be pulled out.  The better the paper trail, the quicker the closing.  Banks are not great at getting the paperwork showing what you owe and have paid off together.  If you get an offer on your home, you will want to close as quickly as possible.  The bank can stall that process more than 30 days.  It can be a real nightmare to rely on the bank to put all of the pieces together.  Do yourself a favor and create a folder to put all of your paperwork in.

2.  Pipes and the winter weather (Only if you don’t occupy the home)

If you don’t occupy the home you are selling, you will need to winterize the pipes so that they don’t burst in the cold weather.

3.  Utilities (once you are a week or less from closing)

You will need to get a final water reading.  You will also need to call the gas and electric company to notify them of the transfer in ownership.

4.  At the closing

Make sure you bring a photo I.D.  Your driver’s license will suffice.

5.  Homeowners Insurance

Once the closing is complete and everything has been funded, you will want to call and cancel your homeowners insurance.

note:  Each sale is unique.  It is imperative that you have good communication with your realtor.  Make sure you go over the necessary items that are needed so that there are no surprises.  In addition, make sure that you know the timelines for getting each thing accomplished.  If a water meter is read too soon, you will need to get another reading before closing.  Timing is everything when you are wrapping things up for closing.

 

If you are interested in a consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2012 in advice, houses for sale, real estate

 

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Communication is a Key Trait of a Successful Realtor

There is nothing more frustrating than chasing down a person you are relying on for answers.  This is especially true when you are buying or selling a home.  This is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life.  If you don’t have good communication with your realtor, your situation can become extremely stressful.

I live by the motto that you should always fill in the gaps and have the questions answered before your client can come up with the questions.  Lets take the example of selling a home.  Selling a home can be an emotional and sometimes stressful process.  The family has memories in the home they are selling.  The home needs to be ready at a moments notice to show to potential buyers.  Keeping your home in perfect order while you are still living in the home can be exhausting, especially if you have kids or pets.  The reason a family might be moving might not always be under the best of circumstances which can create more stress..  Basically, when the process of selling the home begins, there are already certain expectations about what a client might expect and what the outcome might be.  The last thing a homeowner needs during a time like this is to worry about chasing after the realtor for information.

I worked with a family that was selling their home not to long ago.  The house was put on the market and by the end of that same day, an offer came in.  It all happened so fast that the family barely had time to process what had just happened.  The offer which was above the asking price was accepted and a date for closing was set.

What people sometimes don’t understand is that the date is an educated guess.  Situations come up which can hold up the process.  In this case, title work was not completed by the date the closing was planned for.  This is actually a very common scenario especially when more than one bank is involved.  The sellers at this point would obviously become a little anxious and possibly nervous that the buyer might back out because of the date being changed.

Contacting the sellers right away to let them know what is holding up the closing needed to be done the moment I found out.  Easing any worry was done by checking in with them on a consistent basis.  I might not have an answer to what the new date would be, but I could tell them that I spoke with the other realtor and their client was very understanding of the situation.  I contacted them when I found out that all the paperwork was in and we were just waiting on the bank to process the information.  I wanted to make sure that I was able to make them feel confident about what was going on.  I needed them to know I hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth (even if there wasn’t much to report).

Having good communication with your clients is really a key to your success.  People are putting a tremendous amount of trust into your ability to take care of them.  It has been incredibly rewarding to talk with a client and have them express relief and appreciation for knowing what to expect next and knowing I would be there to take care of them.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in advice, career, real estate

 

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