Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The 'Hot Market dilemma': Do I write an offer on a home I like on the spot or go back for a second look first?
My clients,who are relocating from Florida to Maryland for a new job,contacted me around a month ago in response to an internet ad that I placed. The move was sudden for my clients as a great job opportunity came up,which required them to relocate.
The listing and property management agreement between the two ends September 25,2009 and they are severing ties at that point. According to the property manager,he tried to end the business relationship earlier because of the tension between both sides,but, according to him, the owners said no--perhaps the owners wanted to find a new property manager before parting ways with the current one. That would make sense to me. But,I don't know.
Anyhow,as soon as my clients sign the lease and the landlord returns the lease signed on his side and everything goes as schedule,the relationship between the owner and listing broker/property manager is over.
My clients gave the listing agent a list of repairs that need to be completed within a short time frame after my clients move in,but since the agency relationship between the owner and current lister is ending,the current lister will not be overseeing or be responsible for execution or failure of execution of repairs. So,my clients and I had to type a seperate addendum to the owner independent of the soon to be former property manager,to guarantee the work will be done in a timely and workmanlike fashion.
The new property management company is going to inspect the home because:
(1)they haven't seen the inside of it before
(2)the owners of the home were shocked at the alleged property condition of their home (which was eluded to in the offer to rent his home) and want the new property manager to (a)verify the condition; (b)budget and schedule repairs.
The good news is that in my conversations with one of the home owners,he seems reasonable and said as long as the new tenants are reasonable,things will work out well.
As the buyer agent,I wish that the transition from one property manager to another took place either prior to the lease signing or after the repairs were completed so there would be less paperwork and we could perhaps more efficiently take care of the home repairs documented by my clients.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Are you looking to buy or sell in Washington, DC
Here are some interesting statistics based on mls,excluding for sale by owners.
When you open the link below you will notice a couple of good trends in the DC real estate market:
1. Over 11% less inventory on the market in August 2009 compared to August 2008 and over 15% less inventory year to date in 2009 compared to 2008. More homes are selling. More buyers are getting off the fence,perhaps for the first time home buyer $8000 tax credit.
2. We saw over 45% more real estate contracts accepted in August 2009 compared to August 2008 and year to date we have seen over 17% more contracts than in 2008.
3. Over 29% more homes sale successfully settled in August 2009 compared to August 2008 and year to date 2009 settlements are up over 11% compared to 2008.
Statistics will vary be marketneighborhood you live in, and type of home you live in,want to buy in and/or sell in. How is the market where you are living in ,buying in or selling in? Let's talk.
If you or somebody you know is looking to buy or sell in Metro DC or just wants to talk about the market,I'd love to hear from you. I am never too busy for any of your referrals.
Life is good!
Adam 301-943-4370,firstname.lastname@example.org,301-718-4100 ext. 132
August 2009 Montgomery County,MD Real Estate Statistics,compared to year to date and 2008 real estate market inforrmation
Silver Spring, MD
A couple of positive signs of the changing Montgomery County, Maryland real estate market that you'll see from the statistics and graphs:
1. 8/09 sold and settled real estate sales up 17.1% from 8/08 and 2009 year to date is up 14.1% compared to 2008 .
2. 8/09 homes under contract ("pending") is up 38.6% from 8/08---a tremendous amount of more buyers getting off the fence go buy last month,perhaps to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit that expires in a couple of months. (There is lobbying going on to extend the credit) and 2009 year to date contracts are up over 30% from 2008.
3. In 8/09 the difference in list price to settled price (not including seller subsidies) was up 1.3% from 8/09 and 2009 year to date is down less than 1% compared to 2008.
4. Active homes for sale in 8/09 were on the market until sale an average 84 days, while in 8/08 it took 98 days on market until a sale. Year to day 2009 homes have been on the market until sale an average of 100 days compared to 101 days in 2008.
5. There was 44.4% less inventory of single family homes on the market in 8/09 compared to 8/08 and 47.4% less inventory of condos/townhouses on the market in 8/09 compared to 8/08.
These statistics are showing more home buyers are making purchases and less homes are now available---an increase in demand for homes. If you are a buyer and see a home that you really like, you shouldn't wait too long before making an offer as these statistics suggest that other buyers may be looking at the same home you are. This is also a good sign for home sellers that if there homes show well, are priced well and are easy for buyers to preview,that they will sell.
Real estate trends and statistics do vary by the city and subdivision you live in. How is your neighborhood? Let's talk.
Life is good!
Licensed in MD & DC
7821 Tuckerman Lane
Potomac, MD 20854
301-718-4100 ext. 132
This information report is created by MRIS. It does not account for for sale by owners or sales not through mls.
Monday, September 21, 2009
7821 Tuckerman Lane
Potomac, MD 20854
21st Century Strategies for today’s consumers!
Ten Facts about the First-Time Homebuyer Credit
Many taxpayers who purchase a home this year will qualify for an $8,000 federal tax credit. The refundable first-time homebuyer credit is a major tax provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. But time is running out to qualify for this credit.
Here are ten things the IRS wants you to know about the first-time homebuyer credit:
•1. To be considered a first-time homebuyer, you - and your spouse if you are married - must not have jointly or separately owned another principal residence during the three years prior to the date of purchase.
•2. You cannot claim the credit before there is a completed sale and purchase of the residence. The sale and purchase are generally completed at the time of closing on the purchase.
•3. To qualify for the credit, the completed purchase must occur before December 1, 2009.
•4. The home must be located in the United States.
•5. The credit is either 10 percent of the purchase price of the home or $8,000, whichever is less.
•6. The amount of the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is more than $75,000 or $150,000 for joint filers.
•7. The credit is fully refundable. A homebuyer with no taxable income, who qualifies for the credit, may file for the sole purpose of claiming the credit and receive a refund. The credit will be paid out to eligible taxpayers, even if they owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax owed.
8. The credit is claimed on IRS Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyers Credit.
•9. Taxpayers can claim the credit for a qualified 2009 purchase on either their 2008 or 2009 tax return. For those who have filed a 2008 return, a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return can be filed in order to get a refund in 2009.
•10. The credit for qualified 2009 purchases does not have to be repaid, as long as the home remains your main home for 36 months after the purchase date.
Qualified taxpayers who have been considering a main home purchase may find extra incentive from this tax credit to buy now so they can complete the purchase before the December 1 deadline.
For more information on this and other key tax provisions of the Recovery Act visit the official IRS Website at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204335,00.html
Whether you or someone you know is thinking of buying, selling, renting, or talking about the real estate market, I’d appreciate you calling on me to make your real estate goals become realities.
Have a great day. Life is good!
Information deemed to be accurate, but not guaranteed
Thursday, September 17, 2009
since that is where I practice real estate. Sometimes getting your security deposit back from a landlord can be a hastle, which is one reason to consider buying verses renting: no responsibility or ties to a landlord;only pay your mortgage and HOA if there is one (and of course follow by-laws).
If you are a landlord,this information is important. You don't just give back the security deposit,you have to give back security deposit with interest. If you are deciding to hold onto your home and rent it while buying another place in order not to "sell low/sell in a down market",keep in mind that you have to deal with (1)paying the mortgage while your home is on the market for rent--as you would do anyway while your home is on the market for sale if it isn't paid off;(2)it may cost you if the rental market value of your home is less mortgage rate---doesn't cover your monthly mortgage payment if you have one (and/or your HOA/Condo fee);
(3)you aren't just paying back the security deposit,but paying interest; (4)you are dealing with possible damage to your home which could cost more than the rental income you collect;(5)you also could deal with tenants being late on rent,not paying rent and having to deal with collecting,and evicting which can be difficult in a tenant friendly town;
(6)we don't know how long it will take for the sales prices to rise to where you want them to be and it could end being years which could cost you your capital gains benefits; (7)you may deal with days on the market and paying mortgage/hoa when you put the home back on the market for sale. There are many issues to consider.
Back to security deposit interest for landlord. You also need to keep a receipt that you gave the security deposit back for 2 years to protect yourself. If you deduct money from the security deposit due to tenant negligence,mess,damage,you must itemize what you are deducting a show receipts. The interest on security deposits,depending on where you live has been 3-4% and every 6 months you multiply the security deposit by the interest. This can add up. So you should read and consider the link below.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I've invested about $100 in parking in the last year for networking events,lunch in the city with friends,meeting clients to work on sales listings and sales contracts,presenting and receiving offers,and for going to properties for inspections and appraisals. Sure, I would rather meet at a place closer to me,even perhaps in a less costly area,but I don't want clients and associates to perceive that I don't have the funding and/or don't think it is a good expense. At the same time, I will certainly not be shy to say it was great meeting you down here,why don't we meet next time,so you can see my neck of the woods.
B.T.W. my colleague got a referral from 1 of them ,which will pay the fee back 100 times.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I was just given an opportunity,of course at a price,to buy an ad that will be:
(1)Name me as the sponsor of their post mailer;
(2)be exclusive as nobody else will be able to purchase an ad...whether they are also realtors or in another industry;
(3)Reach about 1600 people on the organization's mailing list,in a neighborhood where I am want more business.
(4)Where I won't have to "scrub" the list for do not mail as it is the organization's mailer
(5)Once I submitted my art,the organization coordinates the printing,addressing and mailing of the piece
The bottom line cost to me is going to probably be 10-12 cents a mailer, which may be half of the postage cost per piece, and if you do the math that way,then I am paying zero for the printing or addressing. This is my first month sponsoring the mailer and I have to decide how many to purchase in advance before other people seize the exclusive opportunity.
Sponsoring a mailer is a great way to get your name out there in a charitable manner,which will also promote your business and be very cost effective,I think. Look into local organizations and find out about being an "exclusive sponsor",even for a month if not every month. And, if other companies including competitors place ads in these mailers, it is even more important for you to participate to promote your business.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Over the last couple of years the appraisal industry has been heavily scrutinized,as some appraisers have been accused of "making sure their number matches the sales figure"---either due to pressure from the lender,listing agent and/or buyer agent to make sure a deal happens.
Some lenders and appraisors have faced pressure from clients and agents that they will not use their services or refer their services if the homes don't appraise. To be fair many agents want homes to appraise to keep the deals together. If a home appraises for higher than the contract price,which a buyer doesn't have to disclose to the seller,then the buyer is probably happy and should be very happy with how negotiations went on the sales price. Even If when a home doesn't appraise,in a "buyer's market" the buyer may have an upper hand and be happy with his/her agent, since there is so much housing inventory. The buyer may be just has happy if the home doesn't appraise,thinking the seller will agree to a lower price and just be happy to have a buy and not having to look for another buyer. Strictor rules have been enforced regarding appraisers to limit their communication with real estate agents--agents can't choose the appraisers to avoid the appearance of price fixing.
I am currently working with a buyer in Frederick, Maryland and we agreed to sales terms with the seller. One of the terms of the contract is that the home has to appraise at the agreed upon sales figure. I was told that the appraiser was going to complete his report last Friday, meaning to me that he did his diligence,evaluating the market trends for similar homes,actually going inside the homes which he is comparing to the home which my buyer is purchasing, and of course going inside the actual home which my buyer is purchasing. As reluctant as I am to tell other people how to do their jobs,appraisers should go inside of homes to see the homes features and faults. Driving buy a home to see just the outside and/or looking at recent sales history based on sales data on the internet and court records doesn't tell the entire story.
On Friday I touched base with the listing agent,who told me that neither she or the sellers had any contact with the appraiser,which is of particular concern to me because the home is owner occupied and at least one of the sellers is home almost all of the time. So,the owners would know if an appraiser or anybody else came inside of their house.
The listing agent expressed her concerned. If the home does not appraise that it is because the appraiser did nothing more than drive by the home or look at sales data on the internet and court records. She believes the home should appraise. Based on the sales data I have seen, I would be surprised if the home didn't appraise. But,I am not a professional appraisor and don't know everything they do to calculate values of homes.
The listing agent basically warned me that the appraisal will be challenged if it is below the sales figure because to her it appears that the appraisor didn't do his due diligence. Will the home appraise,I don't know. If it doesn't appraise I will 100% represent my buyer and talk about
the fact that the listing agent and buyer agent aren't appraisers.
At the same time,I did tell my buyers to be prepared that, if the home doesn't appraise, then the sellers will likely appeal the appraisal and could file a complaint about the appraisor for not performing his due diligence. Meanwhile,let's keep our heads' cool and wait for the report to come in.
Many homes do appraise and many homes don't appraise. The question is if the evaluation was done in a professional and ethical manner.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
After open houses I call,send notes,and type emails to the open house guests asking for feedback,if they have any questions on the home,any questions in general about real estate and how I can help them out. I continue to follow up with the open house guests,inviting them to future open houses I am holding at that home,in that neighborhood,price reductions on the home,other homes on the market and sales activity in the neighborhood.
So,at about 3:30 p.m. today I received an email from open of these open house guests who I hadn't heard from since March. They are preparing to put their home on the market,want to meet so I can see their home,talk about the market and see if we are a good match. Making positive impressions on prospects and following up does pay off...sometimes the next day,sometimes the next month,sometimes the next season and sometimes next year.
I am humbled that they have such a positive impression of me to invite me into their home.
What a great way to start September
My buyers and probably other buyers as well would have made offers right away on one of the homes,a 4 level split-level with a basement and sub-basement. The first time we looked at the home the floor in the kitchen was in dire need of repair,carpeting in the home needed cleaning or replacing. The home was big and bland. Kitchen cabinets and counters are probably original,baths should be updated.
I went back to see the home again on my own and noticed that the floor in the kitchen was repaired and that the carpeting was cleaned. Although the home still looked "original" these repairs make the home show much better. So I showed again to one of my buyers.
On Sunday I went back again with the buyers and a friend/mentor they asked to come along and to give his opinion on the condition of this home and a second home...a rambler on Kenbrook Drive.
The friend/mentor said that while the home needs some work,it is a good home and for the buyers to consider it. As we were going through the home,I thought to myself,I live in a 4 level-split 5 minutes from this house from Stonington and have done a lot of work on the house. Maybe if the buyers see my home,they will see the potential in the home on Stonington,which will either clinch their decision that they want to move forward on Stonington or remove it from consideration.
I always talk with buyers and sellers about sales comparables...other similar homes on the market and/or other similar homes that have sold. If the other comparable homes aren't on the market or unavailable to be seen,then buyers and sellers can go by the next best thing...a print out of the properties with pictures which the listing agent posted on the internet for the home. Fortunately,I realized that my home was a great comparable home for the buyers to actually see the inside of for what it is...even though my home isn't for sale. Don't let the rumors get started.
I will say that it was easier to act on the idea of showing the buyers my own home because we have established a rapport and are friends. I would probably be reluctant to bring somebody into my house who I don't know very well. But the point is that when you are selling,part of customer service that seperates some sales people from other sales people is to take advantage of all of their resources and to come up with out of the box ideas to help their clients.