The Home Sale Contingency

The Home Sale Contingency

You have a house. You want to buy another one. You can’t afford both payments so you have to sell your current house before you can buy a new one. You can sell it and then look for a new one but where will you live in the meantime? Will you pack and store your belongings and rent an apartment or stay with a friend or family member? Sometimes that’s the only option. Sometimes that is best to save more money and to give you an advantage over the competition, but it can cost you money to move and store your things. Another option is the home sale contingency. So what is it and what are the pros and cons? The home sale contingency is a stipulation in a real estate purchase and sale agreement that the buyer’s current property must sell in order for them to be obligated to buy the new one. The property doesn’t have to be a primary residence. Often times a buyer is wanting to buy a house on the beach but they want or need to sell their lake house prior to closing on the beach house. It is a point of negotiation. A Seller doesn’t have to agree to accept the contingency. A Seller can agree to it with stipulations of their own. The Seller can give the Buyer a certain amount of time (typically 24-48 hours) in which to remove the home sale contingency if the Seller receives another acceptable offer. If the Buyer cannot remove the home sale contingency, then the Buyer must terminate but in most cases, they will receive their earnest money back. Pros: The pros are mostly all in favor of the Buyer. The Buyer can move forward with the purchase of a new home without theirs being sold yet. This prevents them from having to move twice or being “homeless.” For the Seller, in a Buyer’s market, this may be the only way certain homes will sell. If the Buyer is in control, a Seller may be lucky to get any contract and may be very willing to take a home sale contingency. Some Sellers actually agree to the home sale contingency because they haven’t found a new home and it gives them time to get one under contract as well. The risk of this is having all the dominoes fall when they’re supposed to. Cons: Depending on the terms of the contingency, the buyer’s house could get under contract too late and the Seller may not extend the closing date, ultimately, making it necessary for the Buyer to go find another house or any number of variables. A Seller now has to wait for another...

Read More

How Technology Has Changed Real Estate

How Technology Has Changed Real Estate

It’s the 21stcentury. I would guess most Americans have at least one computer in their household. Most have multiple wireless devices and carry them just about everywhere they go. We have access to so much information, literally at our fingertips. So much has changed because of technology. YouTube has “How-to” videos for pretty much anything you can think of. You can fix things, find things, sell things and buy things. So, how has technology changed real estate? Buyers can find houses online.Buyers can shop and apply for a loan without ever putting a pen to paper.Buyers can read blogs about everything from appreciating neighborhoods to decorating.Sellers can list and market their homes for sale online.Sellers can watch videos to learn about home staging.Sellers can even find general real estate contracts online.Buyers and Sellers can listen to podcasts on the art of negotiations. So, if technology can give Buyers and Sellers so much information, what does the professional real estate agent bring to the equation? Time: Since most homeowners only buy or sell a property every 5-7 years, you would need to brush up on new laws, Codes, and trends. A professional real estate agent helps clients buy and sell many houses each year so they are up to date on current laws and education, saving you hours upon hours in research. They hold open houses – saving you time on a weekend when you likely would rather be with friends or family. Your house will likely sell quicker or you will get the right one under contract quicker using a professional real estate agent.Experience: Because of the amount of real estate transactions a professional real estate agent has been involved in, it is likely they already know pitfalls and how to avoid them. They know what is important to Buyers and Sellers, helping their client have a leg up in negotiations. It is common for agents to have worked with each other and can make the deal that much smoother because of the professional relationships they have built over the years. They are great resources for everything from painters to inspectors, stagers to title companies. They also have built-in networks of people that share un-listed properties, and that they market to as well, something you would likely never have access to. There isn’t much that technology can do to beat a professional real estate agent who has been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions.Money: It is true, you can find just about anything you need online and you can do it all yourself. Besides time, you can most likely save money by hiring a professional real estate agent. They pay for photos, videos, digital and print marketing, dues...

Read More

Keep Your Resolutions with a New House

Keep Your Resolutions with a New House

Did you make some resolutions for 2020? The biggest resolution is based on health – eating better and exercising. Next on the list is personal finances. I see plenty of friends on social media talking about what books they want to read and places they want to travel this year. You might wonder how buying a house can help you keep those resolutions. Well, let me tell you. Save More and Spend Less: When you buy a house, you have to save money for the down payment and a lot of buyers put themselves on a budget in order to save before and after their big purchase. So, buying a house will help you save more and spend less.Get Organized: When you move, you pack up your belongings. This is the perfect time to donate unused items, recycle, and get rid of things you just don’t need anymore. You don’t want to take all that stuff to a new house. Getting organized is a by-product of buying a house.Reading More: If you have ever bought a house, you know there is a ton of paperwork to be completed in order to make an offer to purchase and finalize the sale. Now, it may not be the self-help type books you were thinking of, but I guarantee you will learn something. You can’t buy a house without reading, so check that one off the list, too.Getting Healthy: There are a few ways to get healthy by buying a house. First, you will likely be much more physical than normal, due to packing and unpacking, lifting, moving, etc. Second, many people eat more meals at home after they buy a house which is typically healthier than eating at a restaurant (you’ll also save money). Third, you will be so exhausted from the whole process that you will sleep great. Eating better, exercise and adequate sleep are the main ingredients of getting healthy!Learning New Hobbies: Chances are, there will be things that need to be put together, hooked up, and set up at your new home. You may find that you like being handy. You may also need the perfect art piece or photograph to go in the new living room and instead of buying it, you may paint it or use camera skills you didn’t know you had. And, that bathroom that needs to be re-tiled might be a great opportunity to learn that skill. Arts, crafts, photography, landscape architecture, decorating, and handyman projects are all things you may find you really enjoy.Live Life to the Fullest: Most Americans have a goal of owning their own home at some point. For most, reaching goals is part of living life to the...

Read More

New Year – New Home

New Year – New Home

For many, the new year is a time that we focus on goals. Some want to get into better shape – eat healthier and exercise more. Others will quit their job and follow their passion. There are those that will get out of a bad relationship and heal. Then there are those that have been patient and have been saving their money for a house of their own. They want to stop renting and make an investment in real estate for themselves. They are excited to scream, “New Year – New Home!” I can help those people. There are a few general things you want to have in place for the new home you will be getting in the new year. Loan approval. Get with a local, reputable lender. If this is your first home, you will have a lot of questions and you want to make sure you are working with someone who is knowledgeable and will take the time to make sure you are comfortable with the huge investment you are about to make.Purchase. Hire a Realtor you trust. You will likely be spending a lot of time with them. You will communicate your wants and needs and look at several houses that fit your criteria. You want to make sure you have someone that not only listens but can read in between the lines of what is important to you and will stay within the budget you have set. You also need someone who is willing to take the time to explain what you are signing. Buying a house can be very scary and the contract makes it even more daunting. Make sure you understand what you are agreeing to before moving forward.Move. Please do your research and save enough money to hire a well-reviewed mover. Your friends don’t want to help you move for pizza and beer anymore and the valuables that you have won’t be worth anything if they get ruined by careless workers. Accidents can always happen but read reviews of how companies fixed issues when they arose. Also, make sure to schedule in advance and confirm a couple days ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about them showing up on moving day. There are so many details that go into buying a new home. If you do these three things, you won’t have to deal with many of those details yourself. Hire the right people from the beginning and you will be glad you took the extra time and maybe spent the extra money. Happy New Year and Happy New...

Read More

The Old Ones Need Love Too

The Old Ones Need Love Too

  I can hear the jokes rolling in…but, seriously. If you know me, or have been following my blog, you know that I LOVE animals. November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. I am a big fan of the ASPCA and the work they do to help animals and promote animal rights. They wrote an article on adopting senior pets. It reminds us that the old ones need love too. In a lot of cases, there is no house training to do, you can leave them unattended and not worry they will get into things they shouldn’t, and you will probably already know if they are going to get along with your family members, including other pets. The other thing to consider is that they are probably much lazier! If you are looking for a pet that will sit next to you while you binge on the latest Netflix series, chances are, an older one is a great choice for you. Now, the elephant in the room is, yes, you likely won’t have as many years with them as you would if you chose a younger pet so I get it, it’s not for the faint at heart. But let’s face it, most of us will outlive the pets we currently have so owning a pet at all can be heartbreaking when that day finally approaches. I mean, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it, so let’s move on. “I thought you were a Realtor? What does this have to do with real estate?” you ask. Well, let me tell you. Just like animals, new houses often seem to get more love than older ones. People assume they need less work, they have some warranties still in place, and they still look shiny. We Realtors know that no house is without its set of quirks and there is almost always items that need to be fixed, even in new construction. So what about the older home? The one with the mature landscaping and creaks in the floor. The one with a little a little work that will need to be done. Well, it could be registered as a historic home. It may mean that you are getting character that no new home could ever replicate, even with an unlimited budget. You may find an older home that has already had its “kinks” worked out. A previous home owner may have put all new plumbing, electric, and mechanicals in. Most of the settling may already be done so you may deal with far less nail pops and settlement cracks. You’ve probably heard the expression, “they just don’t make things like they used to.” Well, this applies to some houses, as...

Read More

Say What? The Art of Listening

Say What? The Art of Listening

Do you feel like you constantly repeat yourself? I said, do you feel…never mind. Most of us are going a hundred miles an hour in five different directions. We have work appointments, errands to run, phone calls to make, emails to answer, kids activities, making sure we eat right, exercise and have some quality time with our loved ones. We are constantly interrupted by phone ringing and dinging, doorbells, people walking in on your quiet space, and alarms telling us it’s time to get to our next obligation. It’s no wonder that our attention span is that of a 2-year old or worse. We may hear what others say but are we really listening? In real estate, as with many other businesses, it is imperative that we actually listen to what’s being said. A lot can be learned and negotiated in our favor if we pay attention. Most people love to talk. If you listen, you could gain knowledge and insight into motivations, which could give you an advantage in negotiating your side. As a Realtor, we should be listening to every word spoken and unspoken. In today’s impersonal society, it is a lot harder to hear the unspoken word, as it is picked up on most often in the tone or inflections of the voice. Text messages and emails are much easier to misinterpret or read into and, therefore, are not as helpful when needing to use information gathered in a negotiation setting. Buyers and Sellers should be listening to their Realtor. Learn from their experience. You wouldn’t let someone that pulled a splinter out of their thumb when they were 12 operate on your hand. Why would you think you know more than a professional that has sold hundreds of houses? This is not to say that you shouldn’t ask questions. In fact, this is part of the art of listening. Be engaged in the process. Be engaged in the conversation. Learn to communicate effectively by listening first and asking questions and responding second. This seems like such a simple idea. The idea of hearing what others say. But it has become apparent that with all that is being thrown in our faces and competing for our attention, that we all need to get back to some basics. Let’s become masters at the art of listening and it may surprise us at how much more efficient we are and how much more we will...

Read More