Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dual Agency-Why Buyers and Sellers Should Avoid It

There can be some confusion when it comes to the role of real estate agents whenever a real estate transaction is being executed. In most states, an agency disclosure form is required and should be signed by both seller and buyer. This form is typically a disclosure, not an agreement and details the roles of each party in the real estate transaction.

In a typical real estate transaction, there is either a single agent or a dual agent. A dual agent is a real estate broker who represents both the seller and the buyer. This is important because, in a traditional real estate deal, the broker only represents the seller. Sometimes the lines become blurred and the broker crosses over to the buyer and negotiates a better buying price. While this is a common practice in the real estate arena, it is considered unethical and can even illegal in many states. In a dual agency setting, the broker is required to disclose that he or she is working with both the seller and the buyer.

Single Agency

In a typical real estate setting, the buyer works with a single buying agent. Sellers, on the other hand, work with brokers or selling agents who are working in a single agent capacity listing agents. Legally, these single agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to their clients and documents are signed to this effect. For instance, they cannot share confidential information with the other party or the other party's agent. Single agency agents must exercise due diligence in the performance of all their duties, be forthright, and disclose all material facts.

Dissecting Dual Agency

Owing to the fact that all real estate agents are licensed under a real estate brokerage, it is not uncommon to find the same agent licensed by the same broker as the listing agent. This situation creates a dual agency. Even if the agents are located in separate offices and do not know each other, nevertheless a dual agency scenario exists because they are both licensed by the broker (one representing the buyer and the other representing the seller).

Here is how dual agency essentially plays out in the real world: after qualifying for a home, the buyer works with a real estate agent who in turn is registered under the same brokerage firm that has listed the home. In this scenario, a dual agency has been created by that real estate agent. In many cases, the agent proceeds as if it is a single agency transaction. The law, however, requires that this dual agency is disclosed.

A listing agent for a property who also represents the buyer of that property automatically becomes a dual agent. Because dual agents cannot operate in a fiduciary relationship with both the seller and buyer, they must treat both equally. They can offer advice to both but cannot disclose confidential information. There are instances where real estate agents have found themselves embroiled in lawsuits for failing to adhere to these standards.

Consider the complications that a dual agency can cause.  If an agent is adamant about proceeding in the representation of both transactions be careful and consider hiring an attorney to review the transaction thoroughly before signing on the dotted line.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

When it comes to buying or selling property it is extremely important that you enlist the assistance of a real estate professional in the area you are looking to buy or sell the property. Regardless of whether you have some amount of real estate experience you cannot equal the knowledge that an agent that is from the area that you are looking at has of the local market.

When you find a local realtor that you think you might be interested in working with you should sit down and discuss things in order to select the best one for your needs. We put together a list of essential questions that should help you to glean all of the information from that you will be able to use to make your final selection.

10 Essential Question to Ask When Choosing a Realtor


How many years have you been in the area?
This is extremely important to get to know whether or not they have enough knowledge of the local community. If they don't have many years of experience, this should give you a reason not to go with them.

How many clients are you currently working with?
Finding out how many people they are working with will give you an idea of how much time they could devote to your needs.

Do you work with most buyers as compared to sellers or vice versa?
If an agent works mostly buyers or mostly sellers, they may not have as much experience with the other and that could be an issue.

Is there a specific area that you cover?
Finding out up front if your agent is tied to a specific area can end up limiting you in your opportunities.

Does your agency use teams and are you part of one?
Knowing if your agent is part of a larger team is a good thing to know so that you know that you could be working with another agent at some point.

Are you able to handle a few of these unique situations?
Put together a list of unique situations and see how they respond to each specific situation.

How do you prefer to handle communication with your clients?
It is a really good idea to find out right off the bat how you will be communicating with your agent.

 Do you have a rapport with some of the local professional groups?
It is really important for an agent to have a really good working relationship with the key vendors that work in the areas related to real estate.

Can I get 3 references with contact information?
It is always important to get references so that you can find out what other people who already worked with think about them.

Do you have any questions for me?
Last but certainly the least, ask if they have any questions.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Real Estate Tips for Buying Homes on the Water

Living near the water is a dream for most people. It is peaceful and tranquil.  Most often home on the water are away from the city’s utter over population. There is a level of calm that always exists along with a view that is spectacular every time of the day. Living on the water also means more privacy as your house is not blocked by houses stacked one on top of each other.  Water front homes are directly in front of the open water. Which allows you to take part in water-related activities such as swimming, water skiing, fishing, boating, ice skating and more.  Waterfront homes also retain their value better than most other types of real estate.

Often lake homes are more difficult to buy and harder to negotiate than a land-locked property. Here are some tips from professional real estate agents to keep in mind when looking into buying waterfront property.
  1. Finding a Real Estate Agent That Specializes in Waterfront Homes

Many real estate agents do not have the expertise and knowledge it takes to purchase waterfront properties. As a home buyer you should always look for a real estate agent who specializes in lake front property as they would have a better understanding on the pros and cons of different waterfront properties.
  1. Focus on The Property

Don’t just buy a home on the lake to say you have lakefront property.  Many buyers are disappointed on their home once they have moved in when they realize the homes pitfalls.  The basement may leak, the view may not be what you wanted, it can be muddier than you are wanting to deal with or many other issues may exist that you took for granted being focused only on getting a home on the water.
  1. Taking Out a Home Loan/Mortgage

Lake homes are often more pricey than other types of property.  Buyers looking to purchase a home on the water are advised to investigate mortgage preapproval sooner than later.  Lenders often consider the most eligible and credit worthy buyers.  With pricey water front property, it may take longer to work out a loan agreement between the lender and the buyer.  It will be important for the lender to be sure that the buyer has considered the cost of insuring a lake front house as well.
  1. Focus on The Structure of the Home

Properties in front of the water receive more abuse from added elements.  It is suggested that extra measures should be taken to protect the property. For example, using stainless steel locks or storm shutters.  The homes structure should be thoroughly inspected to make sure that there are not signs of any structural damage which could destroy the integrity of the home.
Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

For Sale by Owner Vs. Listing by Agent

Let’s say, for example, you’ve done a great job building your nest egg, then you see a lakefront property for sale by owner sign, would you be confident enough to consider buying the property or would you rather buy a home for sale listed by an agent? Many buyers do not consider for sale by owner homes because they prefer working with a real estate agent who can cut through a few red tapes on their behalf.

When you are new to the home buying or selling game, it helps to have professional by your side who will do more than guide you through the process. Having a house for sale listed by an agent has proven beneficial to many homeowners because for starters, a listing agent has connections and they will know where on the countless websites to list your house, how to up-sell it and how to find cheaper ways to advertise the property.

Also, since you can easily underestimate the value of your property, a listing agent can provide an accurate home value based on a complete market analysis for the right listing price. Realtors are pit bulls when it comes to networking, negotiating better sale contract terms, and preparing intricate and often lengthy paperwork on a client’s behalf. They don’t quit until they make a sale and a homeowner is satisfied.

Realtors know how to present your home to buyers to sell it at top dollar.  Most of us don’t have the eye for detail that real estate agents have especially when it comes to staging our homes.  Real estate agents know what should head into storage and what can stay on display.  The way that your home is presented can matter a great deal to the overall asking price you will receive.

Another benefit of having a real estate agent working on your behalf is that they will help negotiate up until the homes closing date.  You may think once the deal is signed and agreed upon it is over however this is not the case.  After the homes inspection has been completed often buyers will come back to the table with issues that they want the seller to take care of before they close on the home.
This aspect of negotiations is best sorted out between realtors.  Buyers often over estimate the cost of repairs that are needed to the home that they are about to purchase.  This often occurs because of the anxiety that is felt when making decisions of this magnitude.  Real estate agents on both sides have experience that will allow them to make a decision that is best for both parties, wrap up negotiations, and close on the home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Spring is Here: It’s Time to Put Your Home Up for Sale

If you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale, now is the time to do it. Spring has always been known as the best time to sell a home because buyers are eagerly looking to make a purchase that allows them to be settled before summer is here. The weather is warm but not hot, people are out and about and are much happier than any other time of year.  This makes it an ideal time for buyers to look for new homes during this time of year. The real estate market is a year-round thing, but spring really sees a lot of movement in terms of interested buyers. Here are a few more reasons why you’ll want to put your home up for sale this spring:

The Newness of Spring Makes Your Home Look Better

A huge reason why you should put your home up for sale in spring is the fact that the warm weather, the green grass and all the flowers are blooming so potential buyers really see the beauty in your home. Spring’s many factors really set up a pretty view of your home that ups the curb appeal and attracts buyers.

The Days are Longer and There Is More Sunlight

Because there’s more sunlight during spring, which means potential buyers have more time to view your home than in winter. You can have home eyeballs look at your home throughout the day and this only increases your chances of selling your home fast!

Closing Corresponds with The End Of The School Year

If you have kids, chances are you want them to close out the school year at their current school. If you sell in the spring, you’ll most likely close right around the time school finishes, which mean no interruption in their school studies. And they’ll be able to start the new school year at a new school.

Tax Returns Lend to Higher Down Payments for First Time Buyers

Spring is usually a time when first-home buyers start looking for home since they’ve just done their taxes and have more money to use for their down payment.
More Buyers Equals Possible Bidding War and Higher Prices
Selling in spring will increase your chances of getting the most bids for you home with the highest prices. There are been plenty of research that shows the first two weeks in May have higher returns on houses than any other time of year.
Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spring is in The Air: What to Look for When Buying a Home

Spring season is house-hunting season. It is time we leave our wintery slumber and decide to get going.  The sun is shining, the ice is melting, and everything appears shiny. If you are considering buying a home during the spring season, know very well what problems tend to show up after a long winter before making that offer.  It is crucial that buyers looking for a new home seek out the assistance of a real estate agent.  A professional realtor assists throughout the buying process in a number of ways including a pre-check for damage prior to the offer and inspection process.  Real estate agents are helpful in spotting common issues that can appear in homes after the spring thaw including:

Water Damage:

When snow melts the running water often can enter into basements, crawlspaces, or cement foundations.  If this occurs, it usually shows up in the form of yellow patches on inside walls or bulging paint patches.  These are not often spotted by excited homebuyers however real estate agents are well trained in finding these smaller issues that can easily be covered during the viewing process.

External:

It is crucial to thoroughly examine the exterior of the home when viewing homes.  Peeling paint, cracks in the siding, and an abundance of mold can be indicators of structural issues throughout the home.

Out of Sight:

Real estate agents will always have homeowners check out the crawlspace, attic, basement, and utility rooms.  These are the areas within a home that often conceal water and mold issues because these areas are often given less care when sellers are getting a home ready to sell.  However, the bones of the home need to be examined.  It is important to take a deep breathe in each of these areas to make sure that you are not catching notes of musty smells that can indicate moisture is getting into the foundation framing and insulation.

Roof Inspection:

Snow, sleet, and rainwater can cause havoc on roofs, especially when shingled with asphalt shingling. Although it may seem just a little silly, a set of binoculars should be used by a real estate agent or home buyer when going for a home viewing.  These can help you get an obvious look at the situation above the gutters. Cracks and curling could indicate the shingles need to be replaced.
Knowing potential trouble spots when buying a home before making an offer, paying for an inspection or worse yet moving in will help to make sure that home buyers make the best buying decision possible.  This is one of the reasons it is so important to use a real estate agent when buying or selling a home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents, call 734-426-6060 today.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

7 Ways To Prepare For Buying A Home

If you’re looking into buying a home soon we recommend that you prepare a few things before you make the big purchase. Buying a home is a huge decision and the process can be quite complex especially for first-time homeowners.  It’s best if you can be as prepared as possible with these few things first:
  1. Saving for a Down Payment and Closing Costs

Buying a home isn’t cheap and will take a huge chunk of savings for the down payment. Although many would love to own their own home, not many do because they can’t afford such a large down payment. Ideally, you should have been saving for your home for a couple of years. The good news is that there are a number of different loan options you might qualify for without even having to come up with the usual 20% it takes for a conventional loan. It is important to look at your budget and speak to a professional mortgage broker and real estate agent before starting to look for a home.

  1. Obtain Your Credit Report

In order to get the best loan out there it helps to have a pretty high credit score. This will get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage. You should have between a 670 FICO and a 730 FICO, which is ideal for getting the best interest rates.

  1. Hire a Realtor

The key to finding your home is having a good real estate agent which should be a priority for you when you are first embarking on the journey to owning your first home. Ask family and friends for recommendations or look for local agents in the area you would like to buy a home in.

  1. Consult with a Mortgage Broker

Usually, your real estate agent will recommend you a mortgage broker that they work in conjunction with. But if not, you’ll have to find one that will help you with your loan to buy the home. They’ll get you prequalified for a home and then help you through the entire process.

  1. Research Local Neighborhoods
Doing a bit of research will help you find your dream home which is why you need to narrow down the different neighborhoods you are interested in and see the price range that the houses are going for.

  1. Wants vs Needs
Going out and seeing the actual homes is the fun part but before you go out and do that you’ll need to decide on a list of things you’d like your perfect house to have. This way you’ll be able to search homes that have everything on your list instead of wasting your time looking at every home on the market.

  1. Strategize
Sit down with your realtor and figure out a home buying strategy so that the entire process runs seamlessly. Are you looking for a fixer upper or maybe you’ll want to write contingent offers? Your real estate agent can help you figure this all out so that there will not be any surprises.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.