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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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Real Estate is a Numbers Game

So it’s January and I am starting to see some movement again.  People are looking towards the future and planning moves for the spring (once it gets a little warmer).  Mixed in with clients who are serious about looking at buying a new home are the dreamers.  These are the people who wish to move, but because of any number of personal issues, now is just not the right time for them.

Being a real estate agent, it is important to know who is serious and who will just spin your wheels.  I have had some back to back situations recently where I began working with some people who were in no way able to seriously consider moving.

How do you know when a person is not a good client to take on?  Below is a quick list of signs that might give you pause in deciding to work with someone.

1.  The customer is unwilling or continuously puts off getting their pre-approval or credit report.

Serious buyers will make sure everything is in place before they begin to look.  They know that if they find their dream home, they will want to put in an offer right away.  The market is moving quickly.  Homes won’t last until you have been pre-approved.

2.  You only get an email or a phone number, but not both.  

I have found that these are people who really just want some quick information, but aren’t serious about looking for a home.

3.  The customer’s list of expectations in a home isn’t reasonable.

I have spoken with people who want a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home in an upscale neighborhood for less than half the price of what any home in that neighborhood would go for.  I have also dealt with the people who think they can pick up a foreclosure at a rock bottom price in perfect move in condition.

4.  There is no time line and they are incredibly vague,

They don’t know what they will do with their current residence, how much they are able/willing to spend and what area they are interested in looking at.

5.  They are working with a realtor, their family is full of realtors or their friend is a realtor.

I have been surprised when during the course of a conversation, I am able to find out they already have a realtor.  I will hear the excuses that the realtor is dragging their feet or they just want to look at this one property.  If you have a realtor, I will not be able to help you.

I also get the customers who let me know how many realtors they know.  They won’t say why they won’t work with them, but they tend to challenge what information you give them and after finding out about a specific question (how much their home is worth, or just wanting to check one property) they end up with the realtor they already know.

I was talking with one of the agents at work about the cycle of real estate.  It seems that I will have a dry spell, then get a bunch of potential clients that fall into the above range and then finally get a group of serious buyers. The agent I spoke with put it this way, real estate is a numbers game.  Expect to go through 12 customers before you hit on the serious buyer.

As someone who is used to traditional sales where each person lost is money lost, I have had to change my perspective.  I can’t look at each interaction that falls through as money lost, but instead I must look at it as each lost person brings me closer to the serious client.

For anyone out there who is just starting out in real estate, I hope this information is not only helpful, but will help to take some of the pressure off of you.  I would also like to mention that for every example above, there are clients that will pan out.  The important thing is to be able to ask valuable questions and really pay attention to not only the words, but also the actions of the potential client.  It doesn’t matter if they are serious or not, people will reveal themselves.  The tips above just might move the process along faster for you.

Here’s another great article you might like:

http://www.trulia.com/email/anews/pro.truliablog.com/sellers/7-psychological-red-flags-to-sellers-that-will-cost-you-money

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in advice, business, career planning

 

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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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Once You Find the Home, Give Yourself a Moment to Relax

This scenario has played out time and time again.  I will show a client several homes. They will find a home that makes them happy.  An offer will be submitted.  If it takes more than a few hours to hear from the sellers, the buyer gets antsy and wants to look at some more homes.

I’m not sure why this occurs, other than to think that the adrenaline is running and they just need to keep moving.  Each time this has occurred, a desperateness seems to take over.  People will ask to see homes that are not at all what they are looking for.  They will view the home and walk out disappointed.  There is just this need to confirm that the home they picked is the right one and all other homes are awful in comparison.

I have not seen this scenario ever work out well for my clients.  It’s not like the additional homes they view thrill them and make them doubt their decision.  I guess that in the mind of a buyer, they need to prove to themselves that what they chose is definitely the best choice.

If I could relay a piece of advice to buyers who get antsy, it would be to relax.  Look, you’ve done a lot of research, and spent many days running around checking out multiple homes.  In the end you will drive yourself crazy with self-doubt.  Take a moment to stop and feel the excitement of the home you fell in lpve with.  Remember what it was about that home that thrilled you.  If by some chance the deal falls through, there are many more homes just waiting to be snatched up.

Buying a home is an expensive proposition.  It’s a life changing event.  Give yourself a break when you decide on a home.  There is a reason why the home you chose was right for you.  If you have second thoughts, it’s better to face it head on and figure out why the home might not be the one.  By knowing what you don’t want and what will work for you makes going out and looking for a different home more successful.  If you just aimlessly continue to run around and view homes while you are waiting for an answer, it won’t serve any  purpose other than to frustrate you.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in life, opinion, people, thoughts

 

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My Busy Schedule Begins

When I started working at the office, more experienced agents would often say to enjoy the slow days because they wouldn’t last long.  I always thought this was a crazy thing to say.  I mean, I was ready to be busy.  I wanted to have a schedule full of clients and days where I needed to hustle to get everything done.

After being at the office for two months, I can proudly say that the tide is turning.  I have a home that is listed, a family looking to buy a home, a listing appointment set up and another appointment to view a home with a new family.  It feels great to see that things are picking up.  It didn’t take long to get a few significant leads and start doing the work I was trained for.

Going on a listing appointment means that I need to get paperwork together that explains our company, what I can offer as an agent and comparable homes in the neighborhood (important to figure out how much to list a home for).  Getting together with a potential buyer means getting a list of homes to view that a potential buyer might be interested in seeing.  Setting up appointments at these homes and putting together a folder with a disclosure, contract, lead paint info and information on the company are also part of a successful appointment.

There is a lot of behind the scenes work involved in getting ready to meet a potential client.  My experience has been complete enjoyment in planning the appointments and putting together presentations.  This is what I trained for, and I really love what I’m doing.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in career, job, life, opinion, personal, thoughts

 

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Confidence in the Economy

When I decided to pursue a career as a Real Estate Consultant, I have to admit that I was nervous about the state of the housing market.  I knew we were in better shape than the last few years. I had witnessed several friends who had been working in real estate jump ship.  As always, I have been following the public listings for homes that were for sale and did see a decrease in the amount of foreclosures as well as an increase in the sale price for a good quality home.  It also appeared that these good homes were hitting the market and were being bought up almost as fast as they were being listed.  But, what did I know, I was new to real estate and these were just observations by an amateur.

On Friday, I was in the office and could not believe the hustle and bustle of people moving in and out of the office.  The place was literally packed with people attending meetings to close on the sale of a home.  There was a constant flow of activity.  Each conference room was filled with agents, clients, and representatives.  There was paperwork being signed and hands being shook as keys were exchanged and people congratulated each other.  This went on all day.  As soon as a conference room emptied out, a new group of people entered the room and the process began again.

There has been so many stories about where the housing market is at.  I have heard so much doom and gloom and had bought into so much of the hype.  What I learned that day in the office was that there seems to be a silver lining.  The housing market is not the same as it was before the market collapsed, but from my perspective, there is movement which is more substantial than I had realized coming into the real estate field.

I have been talking with some of the agents in the office to get their view on the housing market.  The biggest challenge that many of the agents seem to be facing is the lack of homes being listed.  Apparently there is an increase in the amount of buyers who have been approved for a loan and are ready to buy a home.  Homes in good shape going up for sale at a well listed price are receiving multiple offers within days of hitting the market.  This is a great sign that there is movement in the housing sector and that the future looks a bit more promising than what I had originally thought.

If you are a Seller, if you are thinking of selling your home, now is a great time to put your home on the market.  If you are a Buyer, make sure you are pre-approved so that you can make that offer.  Homes are selling quickly and you don’t want to lose out on your dream home when you find it.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in career, life, real estate, thoughts

 

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