Posted On: February 20th, 2019 7:15PM
So you’re thinking about your very first home purchase? That’s great! Let me help you out by explaining some of the lingo associated with buying a home.
Real estate salesperson: Another name for a real estate agent, usually one that is not a designated REALTOR®.
REALTOR®: A real estate broker or sales associate who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. This means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics. Not all real estate agentsare REALTORS®.
Offer: An agreement presented by the buyer to a seller to purchase real estate (purchase a home). This is also known as sales contract. In Illinois it’s called the Residential Real Estate Purchase and Sale Contract.
Contingent: An offer on a home has been accepted, but a final sale is contingent upon certain criteria. (typically the appraisal, home inspection and/or mortgage approval).
Temporarily off the market (TEMP): The seller/owner has removed the home for sale for an undetermined period, usually because of improvements/repairs. The intent is to return the home to active status.
Closed: The home is sold and no longer actively for sale.
Expired: The seller’s listing agreement with the agent has expired.
Closing Cost: These are fees paid at the closing table, either by the seller, buyer or both. They include taxes, insurance and other lender expenses.
Counteroffer: The rejection of the original/current offer on a sales contract, with terms for a new offer. This can come from the buyer or seller. Once a counteroffer is made, the previous contract is no longer valid.
CMA: Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA is a report that shows the price and amenities of recently sold homes comparable to a subject home. The sold prices, known as comps, can help home sellers or home buyers determine how much a home is worth in the current market. Usually prepared by a real estate agent, REALTOR®, or appraiser.
Earnest Money: Monies paid by the buyer and held by the Broker or title company in a trust or escrow account. The amount is reflected on the sales contract.
Showing: Appointment made by the real estate agent working with a home buyer, so they can preview the home with the buyer.
Home Inspection: Examination of and written report noting a home’s condition. It is performed by a qualified home inspector selected by the buyer.
Lock box: Locked key-holding device placed on a home for sale. Real estate professionals access the key to a home for showings after obtaining permission from the listing agent.
Multiple Listing Service: An online site, commonly referred to as MLS, that only real estate professionals have access to. Homes for sale are listed here by agents. Agents use it daily to find homes for buyers. Via agreement, homes on the MLS may be found on websites like Realtor.com, and others.
I hope you found this helpful. I have expertise in representing first-time homebuyers in the Chicagoland area. Making the right decisions for your first home purchase can establish your long-term security and prosperity. Please reach out for trusted, patient, guidance.
Posted On: January 28th, 2019 6:24PM
How do you know if it’s a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?
Many factors can influence the real estate housing market; these include mortgage interest rates, inflation, employment figures, and the economy.
If you are planning to purchase or sell a home, it is good to know if it’s a balanced, buyer’s, or seller’s market.
A balanced market means about equal supply of homes and demand for homes. Home prices increases are typically in line with the average rate of inflation. There is a 3-6 month inventory of homes (meaning it would take 3-6 months to deplete the number of homes for sale at that given time, at the current pace of home sales). Homes are most likely selling for at, or close to, list price.
This is also known as a ‘soft’ real estate market and it favors those buying homes. This is due to an oversupply of homes, as more people are selling than buying. The advantage is that there is a greater variety of homes to choose from, typically at lower prices. You will notice that there are an abundance of real estate ads trying to attract buyers, and homes prices may be dropping. There is usually more than a six-month inventory of homes available.
It is known as a ‘hot’ real estate market favoring those selling properties, as more people are looking to buy properties than those willing to sell. Property prices typically increase, as buyers are prepared to spend more in order to get the home that they have set their heart on. Sellers are at an advantage as their homes sell quickly, and at a higher price than the long-term average inflation rate. You may notice that real estate ads decrease; inventory levels are traditionally less than three months.
What is the market like right now?
One way to determine if it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market is to look at inventory (the number of homes for sale). If inventory is low, it is most likely a seller’s market… high, then a buyer’s.
Keep in mind too, that the real estate market can be influenced by the season. Typically, there are more homes for sale in June, July, and August. That means that it could be a seller’s market in the winter but a buyer’s market in the summer.
Market conditions fluctuate as well based on the area. Cities with a lot of available jobs and growing industries will often be a seller’s market, while those with struggling economies most likely favors buyers.
I monitor our local market conditions in Chicagoland and have access to timely reports because of my real estate license and REALTOR® designation. I share vital info that helps you make the best home buying or selling decisions.
Let’s talk soon about your home and neighborhood if you are on the fence about making a move.
Posted On: December 25th, 2018 1:45AM
New Home Tips
Most people buy resale homes, or homes that have previously been sold. But another option is to buy straight from the builder.
Most people think that buying a new home is out of their price range, but it can be an affordable option; it is worth exploring.
Here are three ways new homes can save you money.
Lower taxes: Property taxes are based on the value of the property from last January. For example, if you start building a home in June 2019, the taxable value of the home is from January 2018. At that time the property was just a lot, which has less value. Less value means less taxes for you and a lower payment until the home is assessed.
Warranties: Since everything in the house is new, pretty much everything is under warranty. This will help with costs should anything go wrong in the first 5-10 years of ownership, especially with big items like HVAC systems and the roof.
Energy Efficiency: New homes usually have energy star appliances, double-pane windows, lots of insulation, as well as other energy saving items. This can have a huge effect on the total cost of ownership since your utility bills will most likely be less than in an older home.
Keep in mind, buying a new home has different contracts, timelines, and requirements than purchasing a resale. I have experience in this area and guide my new home purchase clients with care and attention.
Do you have questions about a new home purchase? Curious about new developments in your area? Get in touch, I’d love to share my expertise and market knowledge with you.
Posted On: November 18th, 2018 8:06PM
So… you are ready to buy or sell a home and not sure if you should go it alone, or bring on a professional real estate agent to assist you? As a REALTOR®, I’ve had this conversation with many clients.
Here are a few great reasons to use a professional REALTOR®
Access to the MLS
The MLS is the most up-to-date database of all homes for sale. Having your home listed on the MLS is also important because the thousands of agents in that same MLS have exclusive access to your home’s information. The MLS is their go-to, daily resource for finding homes for their buyers.
You need to reach as many potential buyers as possible. For sale by owner listings do not get as much online exposure a home in the MLS does.
Great online and offline marketing ensures that your home gets noticed by buyers that are searching for the amenities your home has to offer. Taking quality photos, promoting your home’s best features, and tapping into a variety of marketing avenues takes time and energy. Also, networking and word-of-mouth is still very powerful. Real state pros network all day, every day. Realtor.com, a top home search site on the web, only advertises the homes listed on agent-access only MLS.
Questions and Negotiation
It’s inevitable you will have questions that only a knowledgeable and experienced real estate pro can answer. What a time-saver! Looking out for your best interests is what a REALTOR® does, so going to bat for you when a buyer is asking for concessions comes natural to us.
Guidance and Follow-Through
Guidance comes in many forms, from helping you correctly price your home, preparing it for showings, understanding the nuances of local market conditions, to making decision during the negotiation process. Getting successfully to the closing table means relying on your REALTORS® trustworthy advice.
Great communication with all parties, and follow-thru on the dozens of small (and big) tasks that accompany selling a home is crucial. You most likely have a full-time job. Can you really dedicate the time required to prepare, price, market, show, negotiate, schedule appointments, monitor, return calls, and overall keep your home sale on track?
There are many more reasons why working with a pro like me makes great sense that I’d love to share with you. Let’s visit about your real estate needs soon if you are contemplating a home purchase or sale in the Chicagoland area.
Posted On: October 23rd, 2018 1:36AM
Moving State to State? Relocation Tips
Relocating to another state? This can be an extremely stressful time so make sure to plan every detail in advance for a smoother transition.
1.Know where you are going
Find out as much as you can before relocating by taking a trip and getting to know the area and what it offers. If moving with children, check out the schools and which areas are most suitable to live in.
2.Your best advisor is your REALTOR ®
Before planning the move see a local real estate agent for advice on whether it’s best to buy or rent and which areas are most suitable to your needs. I serve the Chicagoland area!
3.Moving your belongings
Ensure that the moving companies approached are licensed with the Department of Transportation and check on-line for reviews. Get quotations from at least three after giving exact details of the items to be moved. Remember, moving insurance is vital.
Planning on packing your personal belongings yourself? Make sure that you start well in advance. Begin with items least used and clearly mark all boxes. Your most essential items should be packed on the day of the move.
Collect all school and medical records. Place these and all other important documents together in a safe place. On the day of the move, make sure you have them with you at all times.
6.Notify your postman and utility companies
Let all utility companies know when you are leaving your old place and when you will be arriving at your new home. Give your new address to your bank and insurance companies and remember to leave a forwarding address with the postal service.
7.Transportation papers and receipts
Do not lose the papers that the movers hand over to you. Upon arrival, check that all your belongings are off-loaded. The receipts from your move will be used for any reimbursement due to you from your company or as a tax deduction.
8.Avoid nasty surprises
Make sure that your driver’s license is valid in the state that you are moving to, otherwise organize to have it reissued. Remember to claim any relocation benefits that your company has promised.
Whether you are moving to our exciting Chicagoland, or away… I offer years of proven experience and can help make your home sale or purchase a smooth transition. Let’s talk soon if you have questions!