December 2012

There are 5 blog entries for December 2012.

You have many things to consider when choosing an agent to help you purchase or sell a home, but the very first one is this:

Choose an agent who is familiar with the area where you plan to buy or sell.

It's easy to be lured by fancy advertising, and it's easy to give in to pressure from friends or family who want you to use someone they know or love. But if that agent isn't familiar with the homes in the area in question, you won't get the representation you deserve.

First – the listing. Your agent needs to interpret sales data to determine the proper price for your home. And while it's true that the numbers are there in MLS, if the agent has never seen any of the homes in question, he or she won't know if they are comparable to yours.

In

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Yes, of course it is.

Now is the time when non-serious buyers and sellers are off doing other things. The sellers who have their homes on the market and the buyers who are touring homes right now are the ones who are serious about moving.

Negotiations should be easier, because you both have the same goal in mind: transfer of the property. Buyers in general aren't just looking around to see if they can find a good deal. Sellers aren't just "testing the market" to see if they can get a good price.

Inspections and appraisals should be easier to schedule, because fewer people are buying and selling right now. Thus, provided that the buyer began their search with a lender's pre-approval, closings should go faster.

Sellers should consider listing in

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How many bedrooms, baths, extra rooms, and square feet do you actually need in your new home?

With today's low interest rates you may be able to buy a much larger or much more extravagant home than you'd been considering. But should you?

First think about how you'll use the home.

Do you have enough furniture to fill 2 or 3 extra rooms – or to fill extra-large sized rooms? And what about those extra rooms? Do you really need a wine cellar? Will you actually use the office or the exercise room? If you'll use them, you should go for it. But if they'll sit empty, they'll become "junk repositories" and a drain on your resources.

So before you choose, consider your lifestyle and what you'll actually use and enjoy.

Then think about the amount of

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If you just came from your lender and learned that you can spend more for your new home than you thought, it could mean one of two things:

  • Interest rates are lower, so you can "buy more house" for the same money.
         If this is the reason – it's time to celebrate.
  • Your lender didn't consider the other priorities in your life.
         If this is the reason – stop and think before you take his or her advice.

Some of us simply need more money left over after the monthly bills are paid. Stop and think about how you're spending that "extra" money right now, and whether you're willing to change your habits.

If you cherish a weekly night out, love to attend concerts, or need that week on the beach or a ski mountain every few months, you'll grow to

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