Know Why You Are Selling

If you know exactly why you are selling then it is easier for you to follow the right plan of action for getting what you want.

If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won’t or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on.

It’s always good to know how low you will go in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider all offers seriously and take into consideration the terms of each offer, sometimes, if you know the bottom line and are strict about it, you can save yourself time.

Once you know what your limits and reasons are, discuss them with your agent so that they can help you set your goals realistically. If you decide to list your home on your own, make sure you do research on the current market, and you get the proper advice you need in terms of legal issues, etc. The key is to be realistic and to know what your goals are so they can be met.

When reading an offer, keep in mind that you are out to get the best price AND the best terms for you. If you focus solely on the price, you may overlook terms that could be favorable to you as a buyer.

Some terms that may work in your favor:

  • Higher-than-market-interest in a second mortgage for your home
  • The buyer will pay for most or all of the closing costs
  • The buyer will take care of any repairs
  • Quick close – the buyer is pre-approved and ready to close in a time-frame that best suits you
  • All-cash deal

When reading through offers, remember to look at the whole package. Take the time that you need to assess what is being offered and if it meets your needs.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to why you are selling and what offers to consider? If so, contact Tina Pries at 843-999-1570 and she will be able to explain more in depth of what does a great offer look like for you and help in reaching your goals! It’s never too late to work with “Your very own Real Estate Investor Agent!” – Tina Pries

Plan Of Action

  1. Analyze why you are selling – If you understand your motives, you will be able to better negotiate and to get what it is that you want, whether it be a quick sale, high price, or somewhere in the middle.
  2. Prepare your home for the buyer – Maximize the strengths of your property and fix up its weaknesses. You want the buyer to walk away from your home with a lasting good impression.
  3. Find a good real estate agent that understands your needs – Make sure that your agent is loyal to you, and can negotiate to help you achieve your goals. In addition, they should be assertive and honest with both you and the buyer.
  4. Be prepared for negotiation – Learn and understand your buyer’s situation; what are their motives? Can you demand a big deposit from them? Try to lock in the buyer so that the deal goes through.
  5. Negotiate for the best price and the best terms – Learn how to counter offer to get maximum value from every offer.
  6. Make sure the contract is accurate and complete – Be honest with your disclosures; you do not want to lose the deal because you were lying or diminishing your home’s defects. Insist the buyers get a professional inspection. This will protect both you and the buyer.

Crucial To Use A Buyer's Agent

Lots of consumers wonder why they should have a buyer’s agent when purchasing a home. They ponder whether there is going to be any value. If you are planning on buying a home, it only makes sense to hire a buyer’s agent.

In this market it is more important than ever to have a buyer’s agent. Unfortunately, some uneducated buyers think that going directly to the listing agent gives them a leg up on a purchase. Wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. It would be like going to court as a defendant and not having an attorney. Besides, the listing agent works for the seller. They have an allegiance to the seller throughout the transaction. Their goal is to get the seller the most money possible. A seller’ agent can give you ZERO advice.

Quite often there are agents who practice dual agency – frankly a horrible situation for you and the seller. The real estate agent becomes a neutral party and cannot give either the buyer or the seller any advice. Completely moronic! When you are buying a home, there is incredible value in having someone working for YOUR best interests.

Buyers need to realize that listing agents are contractually bound to act in the best interest of their seller. Not you the buyer! Of course when you meet a listing agent they will tell you that they can take care of you and give insight that no other agent could. What they don’t mention is that they are getting the full commission since they don’t have to share it with a Buyer’s agent. That is why is doesn’t cost a Buyer anything to hire a buyer’s agent as the commission is already set between the seller and the listing agent.

Please do not get confused into thinking there is something wrong with working with an agent as your buyer’s agent if they just so happen to be from the same company as the listing agent. If the listing agent and the buyer’s agent are two different people and they are in a designated office; meaning one agent is designated to work as the listing agent for the seller and one agent is designated to work as a buyer’s agent for the buyer then there is nothing wrong with that. But what you don’t want is to buy directly from the listing agent who tells you point blank he or she is representing the seller.

You cannot just hire any buyer’s agent you need to hire a good one. The wrong agent with a lack of experience could cost a buyer tens thousands of dollars during an offer negotiation. They need to protect your position and help you pay as little as possible. There are a lot of agents out there who just want to sell a home and they will do anything to talk a buyer into making an offer. If your agent treats you this way you should find a new one immediately. Buying a home is a huge decision that cannot be taken lightly. You the buyer need to be prepared and comfortable prior to making an offer. Never let your agent talk you into a house. Of course they should answer your questions and lay out the process to make you feel comfortable but they should not push you into making an offer.

To find an agent like this keep some things in mind:

  • You should not work with a part time agent who does real estate on the side. Any agent who does this cannot be that good because if they were they’d be doing it full time.
  • Do not be so fast to just work with a family agent or family friend who is in the business. Treat it like anything else and interview them. Ask how many homes they have sold in the last year.
  • Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make. When you go to the hospital for surgery do you want the best surgeon or just anyone?
  • Does that agent have an automatic email system that will automatically send you homes matching your criteria on a daily basis? If they don’t that is a problem.
  • Make sure to hire an agent who has experience with all kinds of sales including foreclosures and short sales.

All of these things need to be thought out and taken into careful consideration when hiring your agent.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to hiring the right buyer’s agent? If so, contact Tina Pries at 843-999-1570 and she will be able to explain more in depth of what you want to expect from a qualified expert buyer’s agent to represent you on your next real estate asset purchase! It’s never too late to work with “Your very own Real Estate Investor Agent!” – Tina Pries

Understanding Preliminary Reports

After months of searching, you’ve finally found it — your perfect dream home. But is it perfect?

Will you be purchasing more than just a beautiful home? Will you also be acquiring liens placed on the property by prior owners? Have documents been recorded that will restrict your use of the property?

The preliminary report will provide you with the opportunity, prior to purchase, to review matters affecting your property which will be excluded from coverage under your title insurance policy unless removed or eliminated before your purchase.

To help you better understand this often bewildering subject, Tina Pries has answered some of the questions most commonly asked about preliminary reports.

What is a Preliminary Report?

A preliminary report is a report prepared prior to issuing a policy of title insurance that shows the ownership of a specific parcel of land, together with the liens and encumbrances thereon which will not be covered under a subsequent title insurance policy.

What role does a Preliminary Report play in the real estate process?

A preliminary report contains the conditions under which the title company will issue a particular type of title insurance policy.

The preliminary report lists, in advance of purchase, title defects, liens and encumbrances which would be excluded from coverage if the requested title insurance policy were to be issued as of the date of the preliminary report. The report may then be reviewed and discussed by the parties to a real estate transaction and their agents.

Thus, a preliminary report provides the opportunity to seek the removal of items referenced in the report which are objectionable to the buyer prior to purchase.

When and how is the Preliminary Report produced?

Shortly after escrow is opened, an order will be placed with the title company which will then begin the process involved in producing the report.

This process calls for the assembly and review of certain recorded matters relative to both the property and the parties to the transaction. Examples of recorded matters include a deed of trust recorded against the property or a lien recorded against the buyer or seller for an unpaid court award or unpaid taxes.

These recorded matters are listed numerically as “exceptions” in the preliminary report. They will remain exceptions from title insurance coverage unless eliminated or released prior to the transfer of title.

What should I look for when reading my Preliminary Report?

You will be interested, primarily, in the extent of your ownership rights. This means you will want to review the ownership interest in the property you will be buying as well as any claims, restrictions or interests of other people involving the property.

The report will note in a statement of vesting the degree, quantity, nature and extent of the owner’s interest in the real property. The most common form of interest is “fee simple” or “fee” which is the highest type of interest an owner can have in land.

Liens, restrictions and interests of others which are being excluded from coverage will be listed numerically as exceptions in the preliminary report. These may be claims by creditors who have liens or liens for payment of taxes or assessments. There may also be recorded restrictions which have been placed in a prior deed or contained in what are termed CC&Rs- covenants, conditions and restrictions. Finally, interests of third parties are not uncommon and may include easements given by a prior owner which limit your use of the property. When you buy property you may not wish to have these claims or restrictions on your property. Instead, you may want to clear the unwanted items prior to purchase.

In addition to the limitations noted above, a printed list of standard exceptions and exclusions listing items not covered by your title insurance policy may be attached as an exhibit item to your report. Unlike the numbered exclusions, which are specific to the property you are buying, these are standard exceptions and exclusions appearing in title insurance policies. The review of this section is important, as it sets forth matters which will not be covered under your title insurance policy, but which you may wish to investigate, such as governmental laws or regulations governing building and zoning.

Will the Preliminary Report disclose the complete condition of the title to a property?

No. It is important to note that the preliminary report is not a written representation as to the condition of title and may not list all liens, defects, and encumbrances affecting title to the land, but merely report the current ownership and matters that the title company will exclude from coverage if a title insurance policy should later be issued.

Is a Preliminary Report the same thins as title insurance?

No. A preliminary report is an offer to insure, it is not a report of a complete history of recorded documents relating to the property. A preliminary report is a statement of terms and conditions of the offer to issue a title insurance policy, not a representation as to the condition of title.

These distinctions are important for the following reasons: first, no contract or liability exists until the title insurance policy is issued; second, the title insurance policy is issued to a particular insured person and others cannot claim the benefit of the policy.

Can I be protected against title risks prior to the close of the real estate transaction?

Yes, you can. Title companies can protect your interest through the issuance of “binders” and “commitments”.

A binder is an agreement to issue insurance giving temporary coverage until such time as a formal policy is issued. A commitment is a title insurer’s contractual obligation to insure title to real property once its stated requirements have been met.

Discuss with your title insurer the best means to protect your interests.

How do I go about clearing unwanted liens and encumbrances?

You will wish to carefully review the preliminary report. Should the title to the property be clouded, you and your agents will work with the seller and the seller’s agents to clear the unwanted liens and encumbrances prior to taking title.

Who can I turn to for further information regarding Preliminary Reports?

Your real estate agent and your attorney, should you choose to use one, will help explain the preliminary report to you. Your escrow and title company can also be helpful sources.

Statements of Information

When a title company seeks to uncover matters affecting title to real property, the answer is, “Quite a bit.”

Statements of Information provide title companies with the information they need to distinguish the buyers and sellers of real property from others with similar names. After identifying the true buyers and sellers, title companies may disregard the judgments, liens or other matters on the public records under similar names.

To help you better understand this sensitive subject, again, Tina Pries has answered some of the questions most commonly asked about Statements of Information.

What is a Statement of Information?

A Statement of Information is a form routinely requested from the buyer, seller and borrower in a transaction where title insurance is sought. The completed form provides the title company with information needed to adequately examine documents so as to disregard matters which do not affect the property to be insured, matters which actually apply to some other person.

What does a Statement of Information do?

Every day documents affecting real property–liens, court decrees, bankruptcies–are recorded.

Whenever a title company uncovers a recorded document in which the name is the same or similar to that of the buyer, seller or borrower in a title transaction, the title company must ask, “Does this document affect the parties we are insuring?” Because, if it does, it affects title to the property and would, therefore, be listed as an exception from coverage under the title policy.

A properly completed Statement of Information will allow the title company to differentiate between parties with the same or similar names when searching documents recorded by name. This protects all parties involved and allows the title company to competently carry out its duties without unnecessary delay.

What types of information are requested in a Statement of Information?

The information requested is personal in nature, but not unnecessarily so. The information requested is essential to avoid delays in closing the transaction.

You, and your spouse if you are married, will be asked to provide full name, social security number, year of birth, birthplace, and information or citizenship. If you are married, you will be asked the date and place of your marriage or registered domestic partnership.

Residence and employment information will be requested, as will information regarding previous marriages or registered domestic partnerships.

Will the information I supply be kept confidential?

The information you supply is completely confidential and only for title company use in completing the search of records necessary before a policy of title insurance can be issued.

What happens if a buyer, seller or borrower fails to provide the requested Statement of Information?

At best, failure to provide the requested Statement of Information will hinder the search and examination capabilities of the title company, causing delay in the production of your title policy.

At worst, failure to provide the information requested could prohibit the close of your escrow. Without a Statement of Information, it would be necessary for the title company to list as exceptions from coverage judgments, liens or other matters which may affect the property to be insured. Such exceptions would be unacceptable to most lenders, whose interest must also be insured.

Conclusion

In a business which is directed at risk elimination, the efforts leading to the production of the preliminary report, which is designed to facilitate the issuance of a policy of title insurance, is perhaps the most important function undertaken.

Title companies make every attempt in issuing a policy of title insurance to identify known risks affecting your property and to efficiently and correctly transfer title so as to protect your interests as a homebuyer.

By properly completing a Statement of Information, you allow the title company to provide the service you need with the assurance of confidentiality.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to the preliminary report or the statement of information? If so, contact Tina Pries at 843-999-1570 and she will be able to explain more in depth of what you need to know when it comes to title and escrow! It’s never too late to work with “Your very own Real Estate Investor Agent!” – Tina Pries

Highest Price In The Shortest Time

In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.

The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market and your property’s worth. The key is to get as many people as possible checking out your fairly priced property. If your property is not priced fairly, there will be no buyers because your price is set too high.

The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). The CMA will reflect the following:

Houses in your price range and area that were sold within the last half-yearAsking and selling prices of housesCurrent inventory of houses on the marketFeatures of each house on the market

From the CMA, you will learn the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.

Always be realistic. Understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, etc.) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.

Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor that may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers. For example, improvements you’ve made or even offering seller financing at a lower than market interest rate on a portion of the sale price. Convince them why they should be paying the price you have set.

Lastly, get the buzz out about your home. List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the MLS and on the Internet. On your own, get the word out. It should always be visible to passersby that your house is for sale, whether it is through signs, local advertisements or you telling friends, family, and acquaintances.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to getting the highest price in the shortest amount of time selling your home? If so, contact Tina Pries at 843-999-1570 and she will be able to explain more in depth of what does a great listing offer look like for your home and help you reach your goals of selling your home! It’s never too late to work with “Your very own Real Estate Investor Agent!” – Tina Pries