Real Estate Corner Q&A

Real Estate Corner..

Q.  What do buyers really want when looking for a house?

A.   Here are ways to tap into what every buyer wants:

  • Every buyer wants a place to call “home.” The decision to buy is emotional, not 100% logical. Buyers look at a “house,” but they’re really evaluating it for its potential to become their home. Properly staging your house allows buyers to have an emotional experience – seeing their family living there.
  • Every buyer wants a bargain. Subtly influence buyers by using such phrases as “priced to sell” or “a unique bargain at this price.”
  • Every buyer wants to claim special discounts. You can motivate a sale by creating a sense of urgency. Consider using special terms that expire on a fixed date.

Want to learn more secrets about how to sell your home fast and for the most money? Call and ask for my Free Consumer Report called “6 Steps For Selling Your Home For TOP DOLLAR.” I’ll send a copy right over to you.

Do you have a real estate question you want answered? Feel free to call me at 541-441-8930 or email me. Perhaps I’ll feature it in my next issue!

Q. How can I build wealth with real estate rental properties?

A.   Before purchasing rental property, consider the following factors to make a good investment:

  • Find moderately priced properties, so you can generate more cash flow than higher priced properties. Your tenant’s rent should cover the mortgage, utilities, and additional expenses in order to produce a cash flow.
  • Get the full cost of owning and repairing the home. Have a property inspection before you purchase the property to identify any potential repairs. Also, get written quotes from contractors for repairs you’ll need to make before renting out the home.
  • Carefully select your tenants. Each time a renter leaves, you have to prep it for another tenant by paying for repairs, possible upgrades, and other costs such as advertising, credit and background checks, plus taking time to show the unit. Long-term tenants are better for your investment, so choose wisely and treat them well!

To learn more, call me to request my Free Consumer Report called “How to Avoid 8 Dumb Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make.”

Do you have a real estate question you want answered? Feel free to call me at 541-441-8930 or email me. Perhaps I’ll feature it in my next issue!

Q.  How can I make my home attractive to buyers?

A.    When selling your home, look at your home through a potential buyer’s eyes, and follow these steps to make it show well and receive a good offer:

  • Clean and repair. Your buyer’s first impression is from the street. Clean up the yard, the landscaping and check your exterior paint job. On the inside, shampoo the carpets, scrub the floors and clear off all the counters. Remove old wallpaper and paint the walls a neutral color. Fix things that need fixing, like squeaky doors, broken tiles etc.
  • De-Clutter. Get rid of all that “stuff” you’ve accumulated in the garage, the backyard and the basement. And don’t forget the closets!
  • “Stage” it to look like a model home. Put away your personal items and remove large pieces of furniture. Ask your REALTOR® for ways to “dress up” your home (candles, new linens etc.) to maximize your selling potential.

For more tips, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “Make Your Home Show Like A Model Without Breaking the Bank.” I’ll get a copy to you.

Do you have a real estate question you want answered? Feel free to call me at 541-441-8930 or email me. Perhaps I’ll feature it in my next issue!

Q. What advice can you give to first-time homebuyers?

A. The best advice is to learn from the mistakes of others. Here are three common examples:

Not knowing what you can afford. Examine your budget, get a copy of your credit report, and sit down with a qualified lender to determine how much of a loan you can afford. Feel free to ask me for a list of lender recommendations, then make sure you comparison shop for a mortgage.
Forgetting to consider the overall costs of home ownership. You can make the monthly payment, but remember to add in the cost for homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, utility costs, plus maintenance.
Paying too much for a beautifully staged home. The home looks perfect, but will it look that way when you move in your furniture?

If you’re buying a home for the first time, you should have a copy of my Free Consumer Report called, “Top 10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes To Avoid.” Call me and I’ll send a copy out to you.

Do you have a real estate question you want answered? Feel free to call me at 541-441-8930 or email me. Perhaps I’ll feature it in my next issue!

Q. I’m thinking of buying a home soon.  Should I get a Buyer’s Agent, or should I go it alone?

A. I recommend getting a Buyer’s Agent because the agent will be specifically representing you, and, because a Buyer’s Agent generally gets paid by the seller, you pay no commission.  A Buyer’s Agent will take time to help you find the type of home you want, in the location you want, and the properties that fit your particular needs and desires.  Research by the National Association of REALTORS® reveals that buyers find their home faster when they use a Buyer’s Agent.

A Buyer’s Agent can also help you with financing your home.  The agent will determine how much you can afford and help you become pre-qualified to purchase a home.  Getting pre-qualified puts you in a stronger negotiating position by letting the seller know you are serious and able to purchase the home.  You hire a Buyer’s Agent by signing an agency agreement, which is legal and binding. If you have questions about Buyer Agency, or if you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 541-441-8930.

Q. My wife and I are interested in investing in real estate.  What should we know before we jump in and put down our money?

A. Investing in real estate can be a very profitable investment, but there are a few things you should know. • Financing investment properties may have a higher interest rate than in a home where you reside.  You also may be required by the lending institution to have a larger down payment. • The secret to making money is to buy right.  Choose a property that will appreciate over time.  You want to buy an “average” home in a very strong neighborhood or area – then improve the property.  Be particularly careful about the location of the property, and any future changes to the area. • If you are handy at making repairs, and available to make them, buying a fix-up property can be profitable.  Make sure you choose a neighborhood where the houses are well-maintained at a higher value. • Lastly, you’ll need to become knowledgeable about landlord tenant legal issues whether you lease the property yourself, or enlist a management company to handle your property.  If you have any questions, or if you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 541-441-8930.

 Real Estate Corner…

Q. I’d like to do a makeover on my house and make it the look more luxurious, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend.  What do you suggest?

A. 1) You can make your home look more luxurious with a fresh coat of paint and a little bit of creativity.  Try the new faux treatments and other new painting techniques.  Your local home improvement store-brand paint usually runs about $30 per 5 gallons. Give your kitchen cabinets a clean, quick makeover by applying a coat of flat primer. After it dries apply a top coat of semi-gloss latex enamel.  Another trick: add crown molding where the wall meets the ceiling for a elegant style. Kits are available at home improvement stores.

2)  Ceramic tile flooring can add luxury to your entryways, kitchens and bathrooms for $2-3 per sq. ft. If you’re handy, you can do the work yourself; otherwise installation is usually $2.50-3.50 per sq. ft.

3)  New overhead lighting fixtures can change the look of a room and create a luxurious ambiance.  Shop for off brands or contractor packs at home improvement stores that’ll save you money.  If you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 541-441-8930.

 Real Estate Corner…

Q. I’m looking for a larger house and will be selling my current home.  I keep seeing “Value-Range Pricing.”  I’m confused.  What is Value-Range Pricing, and what should I know about it?

A. Value-Range Pricing is a relatively new pricing strategy that is popular in some parts of the country.  Typically, most houses are sold when the seller lists their home with a fixed price based on an analysis of similar properties in the area.

Some real estate agents now use Value-Range Pricing as a marketing strategy when selling a home.  Instead of a fixed price, a house is listed within a particular price range. For example, a range price of $260,000 to $290,000 would bring in more potential buyers (and potentially more offers) than a fixed price listing.

There are additional terms that can be negotiated beyond the price:  closing dates, costs, home warranties, or title insurance.  One word of caution: homes that are Value-Range Priced don’t necessarily sell more quickly, or at a higher price, than fixed priced homes.

If you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 541-441-8930.

 Real Estate Corner…

Q.  I’m in trouble with my mortgage. How can I get help? 

A.  If you don’t know where to turn for reliable answers or need to sort through your options, turn to these experts for advice:

1. Your REALTOR® can determine the current value of your home and review your options if you owe more than the home is worth.  Knowledgeable agents can also explain more about government programs available today. 2. A Foreclosure Counselor will help you evaluate your current financial situation by reviewing your monthly expenses and income.  They can also identify assistance programs and serve as an advocate with your bank, free of charge. 3. A Tax Expert may be needed if you decide to do a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure as forgiveness of debt is sometimes considered taxable income. 4. A Credit Counselor can help develop a plan to avoid future financial difficulty and work to repair your credit score if you’ve already missed payments. 5. An Attorney can help if your lender has filed a foreclosure lawsuit.  They can review the lender’s paperwork and see if the loan servicing company made a mistake in applying payments or assessing fees.

If you have any questions, or need capable and trustworthy representation, please call me at 541-441-8930.

 Real Estate Corner…

Q.  Should I buy a short sale property?

A.  In a short sale, a buyer pays less than the amount a seller owes the lender. When home values are dropping, homeowners might find they owe more on their mortgage than their home will sell for.  In these cases, lenders will sometimes accept less than the amount owed on the home, assuming the homeowners don’t have other assets that can be sold.

The question you have to ask yourself is: Are you really getting a great deal?  If the house was purchased at the peak of rising home values, the homeowners might have paid a premium price for the property.  If values are dropping, the lender may only be able to discount the property to current market values, so you wouldn’t be getting a bargain at all.  Here are some tips:

• Know what similar houses on the market are selling for. • Find out how long the home has been on the market and make sure you get good inspections.  A seller in financial trouble often can’t keep up with repairs. • Remember the lender will be looking for a better deal than a short sale so he or she probably will not instantly agree. • Make sure you have an attorney experienced in this sort of sale.

If you have questions about short sales, or need capable and trustworthy representation, please call me at 541-441-8930.

 Real Estate Corner…

Q.  What do I need to know about buying “As Is” property?

A.  An “As Is” property could be a foreclosed property, part of an estate or a house where the owner can’t afford to make repairs.

Your first step is to work with a good real estate agent. The agent can set up a home inspection, which is particularly important with an “As Is.” You need to know if the place just needs carpet and paint or if mechanical systems like heating or plumbing need to be replaced. The roof’s condition is also a factor.

Arrange to be present when the home inspection is made so you can talk with the inspector. Make sure the utilities are on for the inspection.

If you’re still interested after the inspection results, it’s time to make an offer. Because a defect could be found after the inspection and before closing, have your agent include a statement that says you have the right to withdraw your offer and have your earnest money returned if a defect becomes evident before the closing date. Be cautious in each step of the buying process, and you could get a valuable property for a bargain price.

If you have any questions, or need capable and caring representation, please call me at 541-441-8930