The Advantages of Using a Realtor

This subject gets pondered a lot, by both buyers and sellers. I want to address it, but I want to disclose upfront that I am a realtor, so my perspective will be somewhat biased.

If you are purchasing a new home, I would always, ALWAYS recommend using the services of a realtor. First of all, and this may be your most important reason, you do not pay for any of the services provided. That’s because the realtors on both sides of the transaction are paid by the seller as part of their Listing Fee.

Beyond any economic reasons, however, a realtor will have access to every property for sale that is listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for your area. Simply by providing a few details about what you are looking for and where, a realtor can literally make hundreds of homes available to you for your review (depending on how specific your parameters are). That gives you the chance to review the list from the comfort of your home and weed out those properties that don’t suit your needs. If any questions are raised during your research, your realtor will be the one to track down the answers for you..

When you have narrowed down your selection and have chosen properties you’d actually like to visit, working with a realtor is key. Most sellers that list their home, do so in order to make sure that their home is being shown to „real“ buyers being accompanied by a licensed real estate professional. For convenience, most listings provide for a lockbox or Sentrilock box for secure access to the home. Obtaining the lockbox code will be impossible unless you are a licensed realtor. Homes that are being sold by the owner (FSBO’s) are a different matter and I will get into that later in this post.

The buying process includes a number of steps that a realtor can not only facilitate, but expedite, as well. Once a buyer has decided on a property, the realtor can prepare your offer documents (contracts, addenda, disclosures, etc.) for your signature and present them to the seller. One your offer is accepted, your realtor can guide you through the process to a successful close of escrow. This will include having the home inspected, the attorney review of the contracts and the processing of your mortgage financing. If a buyer doesn’t have access to an attorney, lender or home inspector, a realtor will be able to provide references for those services.

Your realtor can also provide significant help in the negotiating process. They know the current market and can tell you whether the home is priced accordingly. They will also be able to assess the market value of the home based on its condition or any upgrades the seller has made.

From a buyer’s perspective, it only makes sense to utilize the services of a professional as you search for your dream home. This is especially true when you consider that you pay no fee for those services.

As a seller, the decision becomes a bit more complicated. Many sellers are discovering that the market value of their home is not as much as they had hoped and they have to sharpen their pencils in order to break even. When you consider a realtor may charge a listing fee of anywhere from 4-6%, the list of costs to sell your home, after the payoff of your mortgage, can make that break even point difficult to attain.

The advantages to listing your home with a realtor are myriad. They include, but are not limited to, the accurate analysis of your home’s market value, the Open Houses, staging recommendations, signage, Multiple Listing Service inclusion and, most of all, the extensive marketing of the home (THE most important advantage).

If a homeowner decides to sell their home by themselves (FSBO or For Sale By Owner), all these costs are borne by the seller. Obviously, the marketing becomes the most costly item. Putting a For Sale sign in your yard and paying for a 2″ x 2″ ad in your local newspaper will not reach the amount of prospective buyers needed to sell your home in a reasonable amount of time. The speed at which a home is sold is directly proportionate to the amount of buyers that view the home. A realtor’s marketing campaign, if effective, can produce a consistent stream of showings. Showings produce offers and offers lead to successful closings.

In the final analysis, a seller has to look at their net proceeds to determine the viability of listing with a realtor. Even with all the advantages listed above, if a seller has to bring money to the closing table, that will weigh heavily on their decision. Being a realtor, I would always recommend listing your home with one of my esteemed colleagues. However, I am not oblivious to the economic conditions that many homeowners face and many people have successfully sold their homes as a FSBO.

Whatever your decision and whether you are a buyer or seller, there are always going to be obstacles that you must overcome. If you find you can’t seem to navigate these obstacles alone… call your local realtor.

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Boise, Idaho Flat Fee MLS

People look to preserve gains in the sale of their home; if there are no gains, they look to preserve as much of their original equity as possible. Boise no doubt felt repercussions of the real estate boom as well as some real estate deflation afterwards. After all, who in Boise is not familiar with someone who deployed their plentiful California home sales proceeds into a Boise-area home or investment property? Likewise, some of the same investors who were buying properties in Arizona and Nevada moved on next to Boise. Years of low interest rates also allowed many more people to get into the housing market, and at higher prices than before.

Understanding Boise flat fee MLS programs requires you to first understand how real estate brokerage works in and around Boise. Brokers in Ada and Canyon Counties are members of the Intermountain MLS system. (The system is actually quite large and extends to even areas outside of these counties such as Twin Falls) This MLS system provides brokers a place to list their properties for sale. It also allows brokers the ability to offer compensation to other broker-members if they represent a buyer that purchases a listing. Being a member in this system is the main reason that a real estate licensee becomes a Realtor® and joins the local association in the first place.

Because the MLS gives agents and buyers the ability to know exactly what is for sale, what is under contract, and what has recently sold, it has become the de facto marketplace for any and all real estate for sale. Someone looking for a 4 bedroom home in Kuna, over 2000 square feet, but under a particular price point can do a targeted search and find exactly that. They can also use the MLS to see recent comparable sales in determining what they want to offer for a property.

Most Boise home sellers still hire a traditional, full commission agent to get their property on the MLS. A few, however, have discovered the fact that you can hire a flat fee MLS company to list your home on the MLS for a flat fee and no listing commission. While they are licensed by the State of Idaho as real estate brokers, they operate on a low cost, high volume model that allows them to provide this service. Sellers in Boise and virtually every submarket including Eagle, Meridian, Kuna, Caldwell, Nampa, Middleton, Star and others have successfully sold homes through these programs. The trend clearly shows an increase in these types of listings and these sorts of brokers have gotten all sorts of positive encouragement from the United States Department of Justice which is interested in increasing competition in the real estate brokerage sector. Even sellers who engage a traditional agent to sell their home will benefit from flat fee MLS programs in Boise because their agent will need to provide proof of extensive services being provided to justify the higher fees. Look for flat fee MLS listings in Boise and throughout Idaho to increase in the coming years.

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Public MLS System in Canada – How Does It Work?

The public mls system is the official site of the Canadian Real Estate Association. It is the gateway to all the listings across Canada. As stated at their website the public mls website is a medium provided by REALTORS® across Canada to help market properties that are listed on the mls.

Ths definition of mls is multiple listing service.

Almost all local board mls systems provide data to the public mls system to facilitate the public’s search of mls listings in their particular areas and across Canada.

All people who have access to a computer have access to the public mls system in Canada. It is similar to the public mls system in the United States.

Most real estate boards in Canada (the Toronto Real Estate Board – TREB – being one of them), upload partial listing information to the public mls system on a regular basis.

It is important to know that the public mls system is for the public and only provides limited information about the particular listings. Realtors utilize their local mls system to search and find mls listings and they have access to far more details and information about a particular listing than what is available on the public mls system. The privacy act in Canada is the main reason for this.

Conclusion

The public mls system is available to everyone to use to search and see mls listed properties across Canada.

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Choosing How to Search for Condos for Sale Makes a Big Difference on What Is Found

When someone is buying any kind of real estate, they are going to want to make sure that they have a good selection to pick from. Nobody is going to want to buy the very first piece of property that they come across. Searching for condos for sale is no different than searching for any other kind of real estate other than the location.

A realtor is able to show buyers the ones that are listed for sale. They may be looking for ones in a certain area. The only difference with condos is that they may not be built yet when they are being sold.

There are many companies that are selling them before they are built. The buyer is able to customize some of the features that these have. There are a lot of different types of things that can vary from one condo to another.

The general design is going to stay the same though. This is something that includes the actual layout of the condo. As far as paint colors, flooring and appliances, these can be chosen by the person that purchases that condo.

This can affect the price of them, but they will have what they want to have instead of settling for something that someone else designed for them. They will have a brand new place to live and be the first ones to live there too. This can be exciting to a lot of people.

There are many different choices that people will choose when they are buying a condo. The size of them are going to be very important too. They have many different things that need to be perfect for the buyer.

The location is another thing that people have to consider. They need to have a lot of different choices for every one of them. There are many different opportunities that are in each neighborhood, but many times, the location is chosen because of the employment that a person has.

There are a lot of these condos that have heated parking garages and more also. This is something that can be very beneficial in some areas. The garbage removal is also an added benefit to living in these communities.

Every place is going to offer something different for the tenants. The landscaping that is done can be enjoyed by everyone that lives there too. The grounds are maintained by the facilities too.

There are several other things that can be enjoyed by everyone too. Some of them will have shared pools and other activities. The location will determine how much they have in each of the communities.

When someone is choosing which condos that they want to look at, they will often choose ones that offer the most convenience for them as well as the most amenities that they can take advantage of. They will also look at the location as a benefit or not. There are a lot of things that are important to people when they are searching for a place to live.

Everybody has a different preference of what they like to have the best. They have many different things that are going to be beneficial to living in one of these communities, but also have many things that may make a person feel constricted on what they can and cannot do. Everybody has something different that they like and want to have in their living arrangements.

There are many different sizes and types of condos for sale all around the world. Finding the best suited one for the person that will be buying is going to be a task though. There are a lot of options that are available, but not everyone likes all of those features.

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Townhouse or Condo – What Is the Difference?

Between a townhouse and a condo, there is a lot of difference. Everyone dreams about owning a home some day and if you are considering either of these as your first, or maybe your last, home it is important to know what each one is and how they differ.

Townhouse

It is a type of row or terraced house that is similar in shape and size and will usually share common walls. They are considered a single-family residence with each having a separate entrance. When you buy a townhouse, you are buying a special unit from a long line of properties that are similar. In historic Ireland and UK, it was a house for aristocrats inside a capital city that they used when they had to attend parliament sessions or during social functions.

Condo

It is also referred to as a condominium and is a type of housing tenure that also means common ownership. These were a part of a certain estate that are sold or leased to a tenant. The owner of the whole estate did this. Today it is a term used as a substitute for special unit, or apartment that are leased or purchased.

Major differences

• Ownership specifications-when you own a condo you will be the legal owner of everything that is inside the interior and if the condo owner wants to use the rest of the amenities, they must pay a monthly fee to the condo association. All members who own a condo form this association.

• Property taxes-the one that owns the condo also has to pay property tax on their individual living area but the townhouse homeowner has to pay not only for their living area but also for the ground on which it is built. This can mean that the cost for a townhouse may be higher than the price of a condo.

• The townhouse owner will have to pay a sum to a homeowner’s association for the maintenance of the complex but the monthly dues that a condo owner pays takes care of the overall maintenance without paying an extra fee.

• Structure of the home-mo matter what size of a townhouse that you purchase it is located on the ground level. There are no more floors on top except for maybe a terrace or it could be built in a different style of architectural like Cape Cod. The condo is usually located in a two or three floor complex. It could also be in a luxurious high-end multistory building along with exotic views.

• Condos are safer than townhouses as they are surrounded by a close neighborhood

• Townhouses offer more privacy as you are not surrounded by a lot of neighbors.

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Condos for Sale – How to Choose the Right One for You

Have you ever lived in a condominium unit? If like me you grew up in a house with a garden then chances are you have no idea what factors and features to consider when looking at condos for sale. Not being aware of key aspects that could affect your quality of life as well as the unit’s resale value could leave you with a condo you can’t live in or sell.

What to prepare before checking out condos for sale

When a person decides to try buying a condo unit the first thing they do is look through adds, this is one of the most common mistakes buyers make. Prior to looking at units, preparations have to be made which can make looking for a condo easier and in the end more advantageous for you.

Down through the ages people have always said information is the key and looking at condos for sale is no different. Prior to visiting different units hire an experienced realtor. He or she will be able to give you invaluable advice plus his or her services are free since the seller will pay the commission. Another person you need on your side is a lawyer. „Legalize“ is a language not everyone is familiar with and it’s always a good idea that we understand everything we sign, trust me on this my siblings are lawyers. Next, crunch the numbers and look through mortgage requirements. Being ready on the financial front will give you a realistic view on what you can and cannot afford.

What to avoid while looking at condos for sale

Unfortunately not everyone is able to realize that small details can make a big difference in ones‘ quality of life. The following are some things you may not have thought to take into consideration:

• Steer clear of units that overlook the entrance to the garage or where vehicle traffic is if you value peace and quiet.

• Once again for peace and quiet do not choose a unit across from or beside an elevator.

• Make sure your suite does not look over the area where garbage is picked up; this is self-explanatory but is a detail most people will miss.

• Make sure most of the condo’s occupants are owners not tenants.

• Avoid condo buildings that are not easily accessible by any number of public transport services. Trust me you’ll need the service one of these days even if you do have a car.

• Avoid condo buildings where the neighborhood is not as pleasant as you’d like. The building itself maybe top notch but if the location is not at par then think twice.

• Avoid making a decision before going to the condo several times and at different times of the day and night.

• Remember to chat with the neighbors. You’ll need inside information about the area and if you can stand living beside them.

• Do not commit before you have discussed all the monthly fees, maintenance costs, association dues, closing fees and all financial matters. You need to know you can afford it all without breaking a sweat.

• Do not buy a suite with a view you can’t live with, no matter what the building’s amenities are.

Happy hunting.

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How To Value My House: What Is My House Worth – Being Realistic

„People only see what they are prepared to see.“

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Part 1: Being Realistic

What is my house really worth? How to value my house may seem difficult to answer when selling your house on your own, but it is not. It is important for you to value your house objectively and not subjectively by leaving your preconceived notions and emotions at the door. It is difficult to do, but you need to look at your house as if it is someone else’s house and without the personal emotions that may cloud your judgment. Yes, you do know your house better than anyone else, which will help you value your house and sell your house, but you can’t let that information over influence the value you set for your house. In this article we are going to discuss a few points on how to value your house from the many detailed strategies in our eBook Sell Your House Now: Without A Real Estate Agent and Save Thousands.

Although you likely will be selling your house on your own, the number one frustration most real estate agents have is the fact that house sellers always believe their house is worth more money than it really is. This is understandable, as we seem to overestimate the worth or value of our personal belongings while possibly underestimating the worth or value of others peoples belongings. Now I’m not saying that some real estate agents don’t try to price homes low so they sell quickly, save on marketing costs and can receive a commission more quickly. But a real estate agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to sell your house as quickly as they can while getting you the most money for your house. If a real estate agent is truly upholding their responsibilities, the price they set should be the best price based on their research and not motivated by anything other factors. The last thing they want to do is price a house too high, unless they are just trying to make you feel good and win your business, which means the house won’t sell and they’ll have to have that uncomfortable conversation with you in a month or so to reduce your asking price.

With this in mind you need to be realistic on pricing your house. Ultimately the true value of your house will be what someone else is willing to pay you for your house. Remember, the price of your house is what you are asking someone else to pay, but the value of your house is what you and a buyer ultimately agree the house is worth with the consummation of a contract. If you set your price to high initially and have to continue to reduce your price, potential buyers could see this as desperation and wait to see how far you will reduce your price. It could also increase the „on the market time“ for your house, which could convey the message to potential buyers that something is wrong with your house.

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Why A Waterfront House For Sale Is A Good Investment

Waterfront property is immune to most market trends, and for good reason. Splendid summers can be spent on a lake or river, promising family bonding time and decreased stress. Full-year houses and cabins are becoming more frequent. They can also be converted into permanent residencies that promote privacy and communing with nature. A waterfront house for sale is rarely on the market for long and should be pounced on by interested buyers.

Privacy

Privacy is an increasingly valuable commodity. With lakefront property, real privacy is obtainable. The distance between homes and dense foliage dampens sound, leaving the owner to appreciate their thoughts and conversations with friends and family. With limited space for development, no houses will pop up between the property and water’s edge, resulting in a clear view of the water. A waterfront house for sale will also likely feature a private dock, or at the very least, an intimate, walk-up access to the shoreline.

Fun Water Activities

Water activities are a great way to bond with families and friends. The water presents a wide range of options for fun, such as fishing, skiing, swimming, and boating, among others. Many of these activities cannot be replicated on land and give a thrill of being unique. Even simple activities like reading a favorite book while drinking a cup of coffee are suddenly mystical when paired with a lake sunset.

Limited Supply

Substantial property directly on a body of water is rare and priced accordingly. They retain their value, especially compared to fluctuations of city housing, and can be sold at almost any time if need be. When not in use, renting cabins can provide large profits. Owning a waterfront property requires some amount of upkeep. However, a house for sale in an area that is desirable can be a great family experience, as well as a smart investment.

Closeness to nature

While this depends on the area, lakes and rivers are a natural habitat for a plethora of wildlife. You can watch birds from the dock, fish for sport or food, catch the occasional appearance of deer or owls, and experience an intimate moment with nature that a city cannot duplicate. Of course, having a fully operational house means that nature can be enjoyed on the individual’s terms, which is especially important in humid climates and at night.

Health Benefits

Many studies have shown that spending time close to water has immediate health benefits. For those who have spent time around or on water, this should come as no surprise. Spending time on the lake creates a serene atmosphere that reduces stress. For those who are used to living in a city, the clean air and decrease in noise and light pollution will be a welcome change.

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Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your

answer.

There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income

property;

2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial

building;

5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,

and;

3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will

be:

Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

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Hemingway Woods Subdivision – A Great Neighborhood In A Great Location

Filled with homes that are less than twenty years old and in good condition, the Hemingway Woods Subdivision located in Lake Orion, Michigan is a great place to live and raise a family.

The location of the Hemingway Woods Subdivision allows quick commute to many popular places inside and outside of Lake Orion. The subdivision is only ten minutes from The Palace of Auburn Hills, providing a short trip to Pistons games, concerts, and other activities. The Pine Knob Ski Resort is only fifteen minutes away from the subdivision, also providing an easy trip for some fun in the snow. Major roads such as West Clarkston Road, Joslyn Road, North and West Baldwin Roads, and South Lapper Road are just minutes from the Hemingway Woods Subdivision to provide quick access to many places.

Children living in the Hemingway Woods Subdivision can attend the neighborhood elementary school, Pine Tree elementary, or attend one of the three focus elementary schools: Carpenter Elementary, Stadium Elementary, or Orion Oaks Elementary. This gives the students and parents several options as to which school to attend. The neighborhood middle school for children in the Hemingway Woods Subdivision is Scripps Middle School, and for high school the children attend Lake Orion High School. All of these Lake Orion community schools have been praised for high achievement and fantastic opportunities.

The Hemingway Woods Subdivision is not only the location of some wonderful homes; it is also filled with wonderful people. The subdivision can be found on Facebook and on Twitter. Both of these resources make it easy for residents to keep in touch with the happenings of the subdivision.

So check out the Hemingway Woods Subdivision of Lake Orion, Michigan today to find nice homes, an overall great location, an honored school district, and wonderful people. It is a great place to live.

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