Monday, March 29, 2010

Gray, Maine Homes for Sale, Short Sale, Foreclosures

I have been working as a Realtor in Gray Maine for over 11 years representing both buyers and sellers. I like representing both, but they are completely different many ways. Finding the right home is a process that takes a lot of work. Sometimes the houses for sale on the market are not the right home. That is when a good buyers agent will be worth every cent YOU pay them.

Yeah, I said YOU pay them. That's the truth because you are the one paying for the house and you aren't going to get it any cheaper with or without representation, so why wouldn't you want a professional helping you in your searching for homes you might like to buy. In some ways it is like going to court in a law suit, not bringing a lawyer with you, and paying for the other side's attorney to argue against you. Who would do that?

Back to having a good agent.

So you have looked at all the homes for sale on the market and you just haven't found the one you want to purchase. Here is one way I personally stand out from many other brokers. Not only do we have several searches continually looking for new listing that come on the market, I look at listing that have expired or were withdrawn in the past 6 months to a year. Sometimes people change their mind about selling or the house just wasn't marketed correctly and they still would like to sell. So I call or stop at those people's house and see if they still have an interest in selling their home. If they are then I take a few photos and send them to my clients to review. If there is interest, then we set up a private showing.

Now for the best part:

My clients will likely pay less for that home because the commission is only half of what it would be because there is not another realtor involved. Now that is what I call BUYER REPRESENTATION!

Call or email me to discuss how we can work together to take care of your Real Estate needs.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gray Maine Houses for sale , How not to sell a home?

What to do if the buyer and seller cannot or will not agree on the price? How far apart is too far to bring the two together? Is $5000 too much? What about $10,000? How about $30,000? It obviously depends some on the value of a home, but in this example lets say the price is $430,000. The buyers offer $370,000 and the seller drops to $400,000. The buyers hold firm. Is the deal dead in the water? Perhaps in most instances, but is that the case because the realtors don't work hard enough or get creative enough to keep working and find a way to bring the parties together?

Here is one way to start getting creative? Is there other properties being sold and purchased, the buyer selling a house and the seller buying a new house? There are ways to tie some of the money from those deals into this deal that may or may not help bring the two into agreement. If working with the seller who is stuck at $400,000, and they are buying a home with part of the proceeds, take a good look at the home or homes they are looking at. Can they expect to get a good reduction in price in the area they are going? For instance, if buying in some areas in Florida where the market is taking a bigger hit than homes for sale in Maine, you should be able to show your client a savings on the next transaction of $5000 to $10,000 that they did not expect. So maybe they can accept a little less knowing they can get the new home for less as well.

If I am working the buyer who is holding firm at $370,000, and they have a home to sell (although they don't have to sell in order to buy the new home) then there are a couple of options. Perhaps they rent there old home for a couple years until the market comes back and then sell and get more for their home, or the realtor could offer to sell their home for a big reduction in commission, netting them more on their home and allowing them to pay a little more on the new home.

By using these ideas and some more which I will blog about later, I was able to bring the parties together, at least for a little while (read the next blog to find out what else happens and what lengths a realtor will go for their clients).

Everyone has to remember what the parties goals are, and try to keep a positive attitude about things. The realtor(s) needs to be looking ahead for issues and try to find solutions and have answers incase problems do arise.

Homes for sale in Gray, New Gloucester, Maine

There are some great opportunities for home buyers right now. Interest rates are still low and inventory is high. Here are some homes priced right in today's market. This is not the best news for sellers, but they should see it as a time to let their home shine. A good realtor can help with making some simple changes. The two biggest things you want to remember is to declutter everything and fix those little things you have been putting off (like painting, cracked tile, broken light switch cover, ...)

Both buyers and sellers should be expecting more from their realtor. As the market tightens more, a good realtor can easily make the difference in whether a sale closes or doesn't. Experience and creativity on bringing two sides together is not something all realtors have. One of my own recent transactions, the parties were @ $21,000 apart and the deal seemed dead. After a day to let things settle I brought both parties back to the table on good faith plans, and the deal was back on with both sides meeting in the middle. Not the last bump in the road, and we had a $2500 and an additional $3000 problem. Negotiation, and my knowledge of alternative companies who I've done business with over the past ten years, got the problems resolved for $1000 and again the deal was saved for another day.

Not many realtors would or could have saved that deal. It takes more than just experience, it takes a personal caring about the parties involved and keeping everyone focused on the main goal.

I tell this story more to make one think about their own choice of a realtor. Interview a couple realtors and ask what sets them apart from other realtors in the area. If needed, and the situation allows, will they contribute a portion of their commission to save the deal? Is the commission flexible at all? How confident are they about the market analysis they did when suggesting pricing of your home? Check out the things you need to know before listing your home for sale with a realtor.

This goes for buyers as well. I have saved buyers a lot of time, money, aggravation, but most important they have always had someone looking out for their best interest and they could rest easy knowing that I had them protected throughout the deal.

Better know this before you list your home for sale

Thinking about listing your home for sale? There are many things to consider before selecting a realtor to assist with this process. WAIT, thinking of selling your house on your own without using a realtor. Check out my blog, "For Sale By Owner- the pros and cons" of being a FSBO (For Sale By Owner).

HOME VALUES or what your home is worth, is a big part of the equation. Realtors generally use what is called a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis. Similar in some ways to getting an appraisal done, but we are not liscensed as appraisers and there are no set guidelines for us to follow. Basically, it is just an opinion of value, and like all opinions, two people can have some very different ideas. You had BETTER BE INVOLVED AND INFORMED when you have a CMA done to help determine what your property value is. There are realtors out there who, in my opinion, don't look closely enough at the homes they are using for comparibles, and therefore don't end up adjusting the selling or listing price accordingly. Example, many homes often report selling at or above the asking (list) price. Any home that is sold at or above the list price in todays market most likely gave concessions (paid the buyers closing cost, gave money for new carpet, roof, ect.) A realtor doing a CMA and using a home that sold for more than the asking price has an obligation in my opinion to call the agents involved in that transaction and find out the details of what transpired and adjust the CMA accordingly.

THAT IS ONE REASON you can get two very different opinions of values on your home. Another reason is that some realtors adjust higher or lower for certain items. A detached 2 car garage that you have, and the comparible sold property they are using to price your home doesn't have a garage, did the real estate agent add $6000 to the value of your home or did they add $16,000. Big difference for the garage that you know only cost you $4500 to build.

Change it a little, and lets say the comparible sold property does have a 2 car garage, but it is attached to the home with a small mudroom between the garage. Did the realtor adjust at all or just say, you both have 2 car garages so they are similar. The average person is willing to pay at least $10,000 more for an attached garage over a detached garage.

So through the process it is pretty easy to get a very inflated price on your home. So get involved in the process and ask questions.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You want to find the realistic price (what it will most likely sell for in 45-60 days) of your home and price your home according to goals. List your home at the price that will accomplish two things, GET YOU THE MOST MONEY and ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS.