According to East Texas Realtors® and mortgage lenders the Piney Woods real estate market is one of the most stable in the nation. There is no time like the present to buy or sell property … interest rates are low and property values are stable or slightly on the rise according to some experts in the industry. But with all the highs and lows in the economy, changing laws governing real estate combined with the general complexity of any real estate transaction, working with a licensed is a wise decision for a buyer or seller.
For the buyer, he should choose a Realtor that knows the market in which he is shopping. For instance, if a prospective buyer is looking for land suited for farming, harvesting timber or raising cattle a Realtor that is familiar with mineral rights, deed restrictions and water rights fits his needs. This Realtor will understand the difference in financing land and financing residential property. He will be the liaison between buyer and lender, keeping the transaction progressing when difficulties in the loan process arise.
However, if a prospective buyer is searching for a family home, his Realtor should be familiar with neighborhoods, city codes, school districts as well as knowledgeable about home maintenance and construction issues (sagging roofs, signs of the presence of termites, etc.). A Realtor representing a buyer in a residential home purchase will be a great asset when the buyer is reviewing a home inspection, preliminary title policy and going through the loan process.
In order to assure maximum representative from his Realtor, it is advisable to enter into a Buyer’s Agent Agreement. This agreement assures the buyer 100% representation from the agent beginning with the negotiation phase of the transaction and continuing during inspections and concluding at closing. Without the Buyer’s Agent Agreement the buyer has no representation; however, by law all Realtors are obligated to be fair and honest in all transactions.
In the same manner, a seller will benefit greatly by hiring a Realtor to list and represent him. It is not enough to place a for sale sign in the front yard and a reader ad in the newspaper. A seller’s agent has access to forms such as the Seller’s Disclosure of Property Condition, a Listing Agreement that clearly stipulates reservations including everything from mineral rights to the chandelier in the dining room that assist in protecting the seller from misrepresenting facts.
In addition, a knowledgeable Seller’s Agent will have a marketing plan in place to expose the property listed to the clientele that is looking for this particular property type. Advertising in specialty publications, newspapers, social media and real estate websites is done without charge to the seller. In addition, the Realtor may choose to hold a Sunday afternoon “Open House” for the public. Realtor Open Houses has become popular and often more effective than a public open house.
Furthermore, when a seller has moved out-of-town, the Realtor may make sure the lawn is mowed (according to the seller’s direction and expense), check on the property often, makes sure it is secure and may even oversee repairs that are required after inspections and appraisal.
But the Seller Agent is most valuable when negotiation begins because he represents the seller 100%. He is available to home inspectors, appraisers and the title company until the transaction is complete.
Whether buying or selling, it is advisable to interview several Realtors, voicing concerns and desires, then follow the advice of the professional chosen. Continue to be loyal to him because he is an independent contractor and he invests time and money serving his clients.
If you’re in the market for a new house but don’t like your financing options, you may be happy to hear that there are other, less conventional means that can help you make a purchase. Traditional financing may suit the needs of most buyers, but it’s not the only way to go. Check out the following homebuying “hacks” if you’re looking for a different kind of deal.
Most homebuyers get qualified for financing ahead of time and end up spending every penny of that amount. However, sometimes it makes sense to spend less instead of reaching for the top rung of the ladder. Don’t forget that houses almost always cost more than their list price due to wear and tear, ongoing maintenance, emergencies, etc. Maxing out your monthly mortgage budget can come back to bite you (and it often does). Pay less than you can afford and you’ll be in a better position to handle the ongoing expense of home ownership.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a run-down property that requires a lot of work. Be patient and watch for a house that’s been on the market for a long time, one that’s in an area where you want to live. You may find a property that’s not getting a lot of attention for a reason you could live with (like not enough yard space, or no attached garage). Getting a house for less means you’ll be better able to afford any necessary upgrades later on.
People who live in desirable destinations, such as San Francisco or Anaheim, have a unique opportunity to offset the cost of homeownership. One option is to rent out a room — or rooms — in your house to vacationers looking for a good deal on accommodations located near attractions. For example, Turnkey points out that vacationers will often gravitate to rental properties located near popular destinations such as the beach, Disneyland, and Knott’s Berry Farm. You can then take this income and put it toward the mortgage payment or to make improvements that will increase your home’s value. Online rental platforms are excellent business tools because they promote your house to vacation renters and help you earn extra income.
It used to be a hard-and-fast rule of real estate that buyers need to come up with a 20 percent down payment. But let’s face it: 20 percent is a huge chunk of change for a lot of people — it can be out of the question for first-time buyers. Do your research and find out the average down payment in your community. You might be able to get the deal you want by putting down less.
Don’t give up on buying a home because you can’t come up with a down payment. There are loan options through the US Department of Agriculture, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Veterans Administration, which offer no-down-payment, or low-down-payment, mortgages if your credit number is at least 500.
Did you know that you can share home equity with an investor? It works like this: You and your partner investor combine forces and put down a healthy down payment, and you live in the property for an agreed-upon number of years. At the end of that period, you either buy your partner out or sell the property and split the profits. Of course, equity sharing means you’re not the sole owner, but it does give you added financial clout up front.
Sometimes, broadening your financial perspective can bring the property you want within your grasp. Financing through traditional means can restrict your options or saddle you with a mortgage that’s beyond your means, so explore other avenues available to you.
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