Friday, November 14, 2008

How to Bring Out Home's WOW Factor

Home prices have fallen and many homeowners are mortgaged to the hilt. This makes it difficult for some sellers to justify spending a penny to get their home ready for the market. However, when buyers have a choice, they pick the best. They want a home at a good price, in a good location, and one that they can move right into without having to do any work.

If you're a seller who's selling in a market where there is competition from distressed sale foreclosures or from other sellers who offering their homes in top condition you will be at a disadvantage if you don't fix up your home before selling. It will take longer for you to sell and you could sell for a lot less than if you had invested time and money in properly preparing your home for sale.

There is a lot you could do to get your home ready that doesn't cost much money- it takes time and hard work. For instance, most people have too many personal possessions in their homes, particularly if they have lived there for years. Decluttering benefits you in a couple of ways. You won't pay to move things you no longer need or want. More importantly, buyers will be better able to see what your home has to offer instead of focusing on your things.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: It's worthwhile to consider hiring a home staging decorator. Some sellers need only a consultation of one to two hours. Ask the stager what you should keep and what should be moved out before you start showing the house. Also, get recommendations for furniture and artwork arrangement. The way you live in your house is not necessarily the best way to show it off to prospective buyers.

Today's buyers have alot to think about when they buy a home. Are they buying at the right price and time? Will the house work for the long term? Can they qualify for and afford the financing they need? It helps the process along if you can create an ambiance that enables a buyer to fall in love on the first visit.

THE CLOSING: You need to create the WOW factor so that when buyers walk in they say, "I better act quickly. This house won't be on the market for long".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There Are Agents, And Then There Are Agents.

Yes, it sounds confusing. That's because the term "agent" is often used in a casual manner, referring to any real estate practitioner.
But agent also refers to someone with whom you've established a formal agency relationship-someone who represents your best interests in a real estate transaction and owes you fiduciary responsibilities, and requires:
reasonable care and diligence

For many years, real estate was practiced in such a way that agency relationships were only extended to sellers. This all began to change in the 1980's, when buyer agency started to gain momentum in residential transactions. That's why it is very important to talk to the agent or broker early in your working relationship about his/her agency status. You may find yourself working with someone who is actually negotiating for the seller, not you the buyer. So, the best way to be certain your interests are being considered and protected is to sign a buyer agency agreement with a trained buyer's representative, which clearly establishes client-level services and spells out what services you can depend upon.
If you have any other questions regarding agency relationships, I will be glad to assist you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 authorizes a $7500 tax credit for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a home on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. Here is basic information about the tax credit. I strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax advisor or legal professional with specific questions pertaining to your unique situation.

Q. Who is eligible to claim the $7500 tax credit?
A. First-time home buyers purchasing any kind of home-new or resale.

Q. What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
A. The law defines that buyer as one who has not owned a principle residence during the 3 year period prior to the purchase.Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principle residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

Q. How do I claim the tax credit?
A. It's easy. You claim the credit on your federal income tax return. No other applications or forms are required. No pre-approval is necessary; however, prospective home buyers will want to make sure they qualify for the credit under the income limits and the first-time buyer tests.

This is just a few questions that are answered. For a more complete list of questions and answers, please go to

I specialize in working with first-time home buyers. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding purchasing a home or qualifying for a loan to purchase your first home.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Buyer Representation

Buying a home is no small matter. Besides being the largest financial transaction you may ever undertake, it's probably also the most complex. There are so many good reasons to work with a qualified real estate professional-especially a trained professional who has earned the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) designation, representing best in-class buyer services.
When you look for an ABR before you look for a home, you'll be served, not sold. Your interests become their interest. And you'll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer-representation services. Plus a REALTOR who has an ABR Designation also has an established track record, with proven experience in representing the concerns of home buyers.
I am designated as an Realtor and an ABR. I also specialize with helping first-time home buyers. So, if you have any questions about today's market, or want to find out if you qualify in buying a home, I will be glad to assist.