Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Marketing tenant-occupied homes.

I listed a Foggy Bottom home for rent last Friday. I am not just the listing agent,I am the property owner.
A terrific 1 bedroom unit in a great location.

The tenant was considerate and gave me over 60 days notice. One of the most important things you should do if your home is on the market,whether it is for sale or for rent and is occupied by a tenant is KEEP A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TENANT. You should keep a positive relationship anyway,but I am depending on the tenant for access to the condo unit.

Rarely do people buy or rent homes without touring them. I am depending on my tenant for reasonable access to the unit. It wouldn't be fair of me to ask her to change her schedule. She works at home during the day and it often involves conference calls and so we mutually agreed that there would be no showings during the day,unless she tells me otherwise. I can show the unit in the evenings,however,I need to give her at least a couple hours of notice,in case she is working overtime,is entertaining or the place needs to be cleaned up.

It is difficult to market an occupied unit and the marketing efforts are limited because showings are basically by appointment. In addition,I have not placed an electronic lockbox outside of the condo building (1)to avoid other agent showing the unit without setting an appointment and (2)my tenant is concerned about the security of her personal property. An electronic lockbox is great,in that only realtors can access them and the lockbox is digitally networked so I can track agents coming and going. However,the tenant wants either myself or herself to be at all showings as well and this is the best way to make sure people adhere to the showing instructions.

As the owner/agent it is admittingly frustrating that the marketing efforts are hindered and I hope potential tenants as well as other agents understand the tenant's needs and rights. The unit is also full with the tenant's furniture and furnishings. She uses every corner of the home. So,it doesn't show as well from photos and I am hoping prospects can look past her belongings and look at the unit itself. I mostly hope that my condo unit will not be eliminated from consideration because it needs to be shown by appointment. If a prospect or agent puts him or herself in the tenant's shoes I think they will sympathize.

On the flip side I am thankful that the tenant is paying rent in July and August to cover the mortgage...whenever you put a home on the market for rent,unless the mortgage is paid off,you need be prepared to pay the mortgage on your property without receiving any rental income. You cannot simultaneously be receiving rent and allowing 100% access to your property to potential buyers/rentes and agents. You can't have your cake and eat it.

Because many people move to DC over the summer for jobs,internships and school,I put the condo unit on the market within a few days of receiving notice and am not waiting for her to move out. So I am living with the situation and the condo has generated quite a bit of interest already.

If you considering placing your property on the market, I'd be happy to meet with you.

For more information about the condo,including setting an appointment to see it,email or call me to set up an appointment.

adambashein@mris.com or call me 301-943-4370

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buying or Selling a co-op in MD/DC?

Effective 10/1/09 closing costs for Co-op units in MD & DC will include transfer and recordation taxes. When I was marketing 4000 CATHEDRAL AVE NW #407B,which settled 6/3/09,one of the "selling points" was that there were no such fees,keeping the settlement costs lower than condo. That being said,there still certainly are benefits to owning a co-op instead of a condo.

If you own a co-op,want to sell,but have been too busy at work to clean,de-clutter,are procrastinating or waiting for the market to turn,we should talk about marketing your home as soon as possible. The increase in closing costs could put your home out of budget or what he or she is comfortable paying.

As a buyer,if you have learned about the benefits of owning a co-op,you don't want to miss the last opportunity to buy a co-op without paying transfer and recordation taxes. Furthermore,
we may find a home owner who has extra motivation to sell his or her place before October,which will be here before we know it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Real Estate lessons learned from Wide Receiver Terrell Owens' experience


I found this story interesting because of the real estate principals you can learn.
It is also compelling to me since friends ask me,so who is moving into the house just sold,rented,what can you tell me about them,etc.
Finally,T.O.'s agent did behave badly and I hope she didn't change your opinion about real estate agents.

1. Real Estate agents have to keep matters with their clients confidential. It seems the agent tried to garner the media's attention and indirectly bring more clients her way by scooping that she was T.O's agent and practically saying where he was going to live. I'll say the agent knew a cord to strike with the Buffalo media as many people love to discuss real estate,get insider information,particularly with a celeberty.

1a. T.O. hadn't moved in yet. He was due to move in July 1. So, the deal wasn't sealed. Any number of things can happen causing a transaction to fall apart. The agent should have waited for 'settlement',when it would be public record and information where T.O. moved.

2. Apparently the neighbors didn't want him in the neighborhood because it would bring the area more attention,more media. They like it quiet there and perceive that it would all change if Terrell Owens moved in.

There is a term in real estate called Blockbusting encouraging owners of homes to sell/rent to only certain types (like race)people. The neighborhood doesn't want "them to move in"


There are also other term in real estate...redlining and steering.This practice includes but is not limited to real estate agents trying to sell/rent properties to people in specific areas/neighborhoods.

These are all fairhousing issues
Protected classes in Maryland

Protected class is Washington,DC

Consider long term real estate investment in Maryland & DC


DC is in the TOP 20 for economic strength in the US. With prices low, may be time to invest for long term in real estate.

Review and know your insurance coverage before the accident happens


Review your homeowners & car insurance policies I was thinking about this over the course of the wknd. Neighbor's homes,was struck by a car that went through the brick into the basement. Home is investment property.Owner must put a roof over the tenants' heads until the home is repaired,passes inspection. Is tenant insured for damaged property? 3 insurance claims.If condo,also master insurance policy.Hope no one was hurt.

Relocating to advance your career? Be Prepared to Rent


You now have an even bigger decision when determining whether to relocate for a job that advances you or your loved one's professional career. Beyond leaving a community where you have planted roots,consider what kind of mortgage you can get should you wish to buy a home in your potential new neighborhood.

Unless the salary of the new jobcan get you solely approved for the loan amount you need,or you pay cash for a new home,you are likely to be renting a home before buying. Are you ok renting if partner doesn't have a job lined up? What are the odds of two people in the same household having jobs lined up in a new area before they relocate? Sounds challenging to me.

To make jobs more attractive to out of towners,will more companies offer creative packages,like PROVIDE corporate housing...free housing for several months as the new employee and his family get settled and landing a job for the person's spouse/significant other? Will companies get into the head hunting business to make it easier for spouses/significant others to land jobs in advance so they can get the mortgage they need in order to move,not stress about the other person finding a job so they can get approved for the loan they need? Will companies offer creative packages/incentives such as helping on closing costs for the new hire? Time will tell.

It seems to me that lenders are going to lose some "relocation business" in the short term at least,with what could be a trend of increase renters. The real estate agents who work with people relocating to the area will probably being seeing a shift in their business,to working more rentals than sales. If the person is happy with his/her new job,and if there is a spouse/signficant other who gets and they were happy with the realtor who found them a rental property,they will likely call that realtor for repeat business when they are settled in,ready and willing to buy a home.