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

Is Buying A Home Still A Smart Plan

With the burst of the housing bubble, credit crisis, and millions of foreclosures across the country, you may wonder if buying a home is such a good idea after all. However, it’s important to consider all of the facts. The important message to take away from these events is not that buying a home is a bad idea, but that you must be smart about buying your home.

The housing market, like every type of market, unavoidably has its ups and downs. That doesn’t mean buying a home is a bad investment. As a long-term investment, homeownership is still one of the best investments for individual households. Historically, real estate has consistently increased in value, despite shorter periods of depreciation due to local markets and/or national economic conditions. The data shows that homes generally appreciate about 5% per year.

SAVINGS & INVESTMENT

Five percent may not seem like a great return on investment, but you have to think about it in the context of the situation. For example, let’s say you put 10% down on a $200,000 house. That’s a $20,000 down payment, or initial investment. At a 5% annual appreciation rate, your $200,000 home would gain $10,000 in value during the first year. Earning $10,000 on an investment of $20,000 is a whopping 50% return.

For further perspective, let’s say instead of spending that $20,000 on a down payment, you invested it in the stock market. With a 5% return, you would gain only $1,000 in profit.

TAX BENEFITS

So now you’re saying that a home may have a higher return, but that’s before you consider all of the costs of home ownership, such as taxes, etc. Well, think of it this way: your property taxes as well as the interest on your mortgage are both tax deductible. You can deduct those costs from your income, thus reducing your overall taxable income. In other words, the government is subsidizing your home.

OTHER BENEFITS

It’s easy to get carried away with all of the economic reasons for home ownership, but it’s important to remember that not every reason is financial. Have you ever wanted to paint the walls of your apartment? Well when you’re renting, you can’t. Has anything in your apartment ever needed updating, but the landlord refused to do it? When you own a home, you can make the space yours in almost any way you want. And you benefit when you do home improvements, both financially and psychologically. Homes generally have more space, for storage, living, etc. than other living arrangements. Not to mention that you have space outdoors for barbecuing, pets, and kids. Owning your home carries with it a sense of pride, accomplishment, and even an elevated social status.

CONCLUSION

So when you’re considering buying a home, consider the broad range of benefits that owning a home can have. And always make sure you have an experienced real estate agent and loan officer to help make sure you’re getting a home that is right for you, both financially and psychologically.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to buying a home? 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 buying a home & making sure it’s a smart plan for your real estate asset portfolio! It’s never too late to work with “Your very own Real Estate Investor Agent!” – Tina Pries

Thinking About Buying A Foreclosure?

With the housing bubble burst and the subprime mortgage crisis, millions of homeowners found themselves unable to make their mortgage payments. Many found themselves owing more on the house than the home was worth. Many just walked away from their homes. As a result of these complicated issues, millions of homes were foreclosed.

While this isn’t the only reason for which homes are foreclosed, it has been a widespread one. With all the foreclosed properties, there has also been extensive interest in buying these properties at a bargain price.

It is true that foreclosed properties can be priced at a significant discount, but they are also a much riskier investment. Before making an offer on a foreclosed property, do your due diligence.

Things you must do before buying a foreclosure:

  • Do a title search – make sure that when you purchase a foreclosure that you are the only person who has any ownership claim.
  • Check for liens – find out if there are any liens against the property because you will be responsible for paying them.
  • Check for a second mortgage – you don’t want to be surprised by an extra mortgage that you will need to pay.
  • Know how good of a “bargain” you’re getting – foreclosures are sold “as is” and in many cases you will not be able to do a proper inspection. You may end up paying thousands of dollars repairing the property before it is fit to be lived in.

It is also important to consider that there are different types of foreclosure properties and each type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The different types of foreclosure purchases are:

  1. Pre-foreclosure
  2. Auction
  3. Real Estate Owned (REO), also called “bank owned”

PRE-FORECLOSURE

A pre-foreclosure is when you buy the home directly from the homeowner, before the bank officially forecloses. This type of purchase does not require as much capital as other foreclosures. Also, since you are purchasing straight from the homeowner, you will be able to gather all of the necessary information, such as inspection reports, title information, etc. that may not be available with other foreclosure properties. Once you take over the mortgage, you will be responsible for all future payments as well as any overdue back payments.

AUCTION

A foreclosure property will usually end up at an auction. Real estate auction practices vary by state but common practice is for the auction to be held on courthouse steps, in front of the foreclosed home, or at the county clerk’s office.

Real estate auctions offer the best chance for a great deal but also hold the greatest risk. Auction properties are sold as is, with no opportunity for potential buyers to perform inspections. When buying a home at auction, the buyer must pay cash, usually a cashier’s check. It is also possible that there may still be tenants living in the home. In such a case, you would be responsible for the often costly eviction process.

REO

Once a foreclosure has gone to auction and failed to sell, it becomes a Real Estate Owned, or bank owned, property. Most homes do not sell at auction, most fail to even get any bids.

An REO property is the least likely of the foreclosure properties to represent a bargain, but it is also the least risky. The property can be fully inspected, any title issues can be found and dealt with, and the sale can be subject to a mortgage. REO properties also tend to be in better condition than other foreclosure properties.

Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing a foreclosure is that some states have a redemption period that allows the original owner to buy back the property by paying the remaining balance owed. You may be able to have this redemption period waived, so check the state laws on this topic before purchasing.

Still interested in buying a foreclosure property? If so, contact Tina Pries at 843-999-1570 and have her do the research before purchasing! It’s never to late to work with “Your very own Real Estate Investor Agent” today…

Getting A Lender & Pre-Approved

It used to be that buyers could go house shopping and when they have found their dream home, and then they go to get pre-approved. However, in today’s market, that has proven to be one of the least effective methods in landing the dream home.

Most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone. Based on general questions about your income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can estimate how much mortgage you qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved are different things. Pre-approval means that you have applied for a mortgage; you have filled out the mortgage application, received your credit report, and verified your employment, assets, etc. When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

A pre-qualified letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers who are pre-approved. When you are pre-approved, you and the seller know exactly how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility as an interested buyer and lets the seller know immediately that you will qualify for a loan to buy their property.

In addition to being pre-approved, it’s important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Legitimate lenders include: banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders.

Some lenders to avoid: those who lose a form or misplace a file, those who gather information from you in an unorganized manner, those who are not informed about interest rates, points or costs, and those who cannot provide you with the right information.

TINA PRIES – “YOUR VERY OWN REAL ESTATE INVESTOR AGENT”

843-999-1570 | Contact Me