Buyers are far more discriminating, and a large percentage of the homes listed for sale don’t sell the first time. It’s more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home fast and for the most amount of money.

The Real Estate Market Has Changed

Remember not so long ago, when you could make your fortune in real estate? It was nothing then to buy a home, wait a short while, and then sell it at a tidy profit.

And then do it all over again.

Well, as you know, times have changed. Since markets are constantly fluctuating, real estate markets are unpredictable because of changing prices and interest rates. Therefore, it is now more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home fast and for the most amount of money.

The 7 Deadly Mistakes Most Homesellers Make

  1. Failing to analyze why they are selling.
  2. Not preparing their home for the buyer’s eye.
  3. Pricing their homes incorrectly.
  4. Selling too hard during showings.
  5. Signing a long-term listing agreement without a written performance guarantee.
  6. Making it difficult for buyers to get information on there home.
  7. Failing to obtain a pre-approved mortgage for ones next home.

The 9 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

Selling your home is one of the most important steps in your life. This 9 step system will give you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home-selling process:

1

Know why you’re selling, and keep it to yourself.

The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What’s more important to you: the money you walk away with, the length of time your property is on the market, or both? Different goals will dictate different strategies.

However, don’t reveal your motivation to anyone else or they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.

2

Do your homework before setting a price.

Settling on an offering price shouldn’t be done lightly. Once you’ve set your price, you’ve told buyers the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home, but pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low. Remember that the average buyer is lookin g at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. means that they have a basis of comparison, and if your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you’ve set, you won’t be taken seriously by prospects or agents. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time, and with this knowledge new buyers on the market will think there must be something wrong with your home.

3

Do your homework.

(In fact, your agent should do this for you). Find out what homes in your own and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past 6-12 months, and research what current homes are listed for. That’s certainly how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home.

4

Find a good real estate agent to represent your needs.

Nearly three-quarters of homeowners claim that they wouldn’t use the same Realtor who sold their last home. Dissatisfaction boils down to poor communication which results in not enough feedback, lower pricing and strained relations. Another FREE report entitled “10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Agent” gives you the straight, to-the-point questions you should be asking when you interview agents who want to list your home. You can obtain a FREE copy of this report from my website.

5

Maximize your home's sales potential.

Each year, corporate North America spends billions on product and packaging design. Appearance is critical, and it would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home.

You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. Before showings, clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, un-clutter, scrub, scour and dust. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a “wow” response from prospective buyers.

Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Prospective buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new suit of clothing. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your decor is so different that it’s difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves an owner.

6

Make it easy for prospects to get information on your home.

You may be surprised to know that some marketing tools that most agents use to sell homes (e.g. traditional open houses) are actually not very effective. In fact only 1% of homes are sold at an open house.

Furthermore, the prospects calling for information on your home probably value their time as much as you do. The last thing they want to be subjected to is either a game of telephone tag with an agent or an unwanted sales pitch. Make sure the ads your agent places for your home are attached to a 24 hour prerecorded hotline with a specific ID# for your home which gives buyers access to detailed information about your property day or night 7 days a week without having to talk to anyone. It’s been proven that 3 times as many buyers call for information on your home under this system.

And remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better, because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver’s seat.

7

Know your buyer

In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is your buyer’s motivation? Does s/he need to move quickly? Does s/he have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation because you know how far you can push to get what you want.

8

Make sure the contract is complete

For your part as a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, s/he can’t come back with a lawsuit later on.

Make sure all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale and resist the temptation to diverge from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.

9

Don't move out before you sell

Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It could even cost you thousands. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably highly motivated to sell fast. This, of course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating table.

For more information about any of our innovative homeowners programs, give us a call.

For Sale by Owner

If you ask anyone who has ever tried to sell their home themselves, they’ll tell you that from the moment the “For Sale by Owner” sign goes up, the phone begins to ring. Unfortunately, many of those calls will not be from prospective buyers but rather from real estate agents looking to obtain your listing. Obviously the idea of not having to pay a commission to a real estate agent is attractive to any homeseller. But because of all the issues involved in the process, selling a home on one’s own can be as challenging as many homesellers will attest to.

The key is to be properly prepared. If you are not, your home could remain on the market longer than you expect because you are not attracting and getting offers from qualified buyers. This can be the point where many homeowners become frustrated and consider giving up their dream of selling their home themselves. However, there are sellers who successfully accomplish selling their own homes. You can be one of them.

This industry report has been especially prepared to assist homesellers, such as yourself, understand the elements involved so you, on your own, can sell your home quickly for the most amount of profit. To help you prepare, here are 10 inside tips that you should be aware of before you make the decision as to whether or not this is the right approach for you.


10 Inside Tips for Selling Your Home Yourself

1

Price it Right

Correctly setting your asking price is critical. Setting your price too high can be as costly as setting it too low. Home prices are determined by fluctuations in the marketplace, not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. In order to establish a realistic price for your home, objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones that have sold in recent months. It is also important for you to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today’s market. Carefully budget your selling costs and prepare a net proceeds sheet to calculate your best estimate of what you will take away from your home sale. Prospective buyers may also request this kind of analysis of buying costs.

2

Prepare Your Home for Sale

First impression is crucial. Make sure your home makes a positive statement by carefully inspecting all details and viewing it through the objective eyes of a buyer. Don’t gloss over needed repairs and fix-ups, as your prospective buyers won’t. Your job is to ensure that your home stands out favorably from the competition.

3

Prepare Yourself With All Necessary Legal Documentation

Not surprisingly, there are many important legal contracts and documents which you must assemble, complete and understand. A partial checklist of forms that you will require for prospective buyers and for legal documentation is as follows:

  • Seller Disclosure
  • Purchase Contract
  • Mortgage Payoff
  • Loan Application
  • Deposit Receipt
  • Property Profile Fact Sheet
  • Buyer’s Cost Sheet
  • Closing & Settlement
  • Personal Property
  • Exclusion List
  • Property Survey
  • Sellers Statement/Plot Plan of Representation

4

Market Your Home Effectively

Beyond the sign you will put on your lawn, you should find effective ways to spread the word about your home. Local buyers can be reached through the newspaper, but this is only a small part of the market you are after. Be sure you include the many buyers who could already be working with a Realtor®. To locate them, target as many top agents as possible in your market to see if the criteria of their buyers matches that of your home’s. Because out-of town buyers are also an important target, you should create a strategy to reach these people as well. Above all, you should be very service-minded and make it easy for pre-qualified buyers to view your home. Ensure there is always someone available to answer the phone, pick up messages promptly, and be ready to give qualified prospects a tour of your home as soon as possible.

5

Remain Objective During a Showing of Your Home

Keep emotion out of the sale of your home, and the best way to do this during a showing is to remain physically in the background. If a prospective buyer says something negative about your home, it is better to counter-balance this point of view by illustrating the positives rather than becoming defensive.

6

Pre-Qualify Your Prospects

Don’t waste your time entertaining buyers who could never afford your home. Research their financial steadiness with respect to job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit standing.

7

Negotiate Effectively & Knowledgeably

There will be many details to resolve before a sale can be considered final: price, terms, inspections, possession date, buyer concerns and objections. Make sure you fully understand the contract you have drawn up so you can in turn explain details and ramifications to the buyer and make any amendments to the sale that are necessary. The contract you use should be thoroughly examined by your real estate attorney. Some real estate brokers may be willing to help you do this. While this is going on, manage the buyer’s interest in your home so that it doesn’t wane during negotiations.

8

Know Your Buyer

Your objectives during negotiations are to control the pace and set the duration. Try to determine what your buyer’s motivation is. Does he or she need to move quickly? Do they have enough money to pay your asking price? Knowing this information will give you the advantage in the negotiation because you will know up front what you will need to do in order to get what you want.

9

Don’t Move Out Before You Sell

Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant. It looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It could even cost you money. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are motivated to sell fast which can, of course, gives them an advantage at the negotiating table.

10

Know Why You're Selling and Keep it to Yourself

The flip side of “understanding your buyer” is to “understand yourself”. Your reasons for selling will affect everything from your list price to how much time and money you will invest in getting your home ready for sale. Your motivation will help you determine what is more important to you: the money you walk away with, the length of time your property is on the market, or both. Different goals will dictate different strategies. As someone who wants to sell without a real estate agent in an effort to save the commission, it is likely that money is one of your primary considerations (see inset box below). Whatever your reasons, however, it is very important to keep them to yourself so as not to place yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiation table. When asked, simply say your housing needs have changed.


How to Assess Your Net Gain

To analyze whether or not you will end up ahead by choosing to sell on your own, consider the fact that most buyers do use a real estate agent because it doesn’t cost them anything for this service (i.e. the seller pays the agent’s fee). Be cautious as buyers, investors and speculators who seek out For Sale by Owners are typically those in search of a bargain. The low-ball offers from these types of buyers will often net you much lower in the long run. What you will have to judge for yourself is the following:

  1. Be as prepared as possible
    with your marketing, negotiations, evaluations, showings and all legalities.
  2. Consider what it will cost you
    to effectively market your home and assemble all necessary materials from the “for sale” sign to any contracts?
  3. What price will a buyer offer you
    as a For Sale by Owner minus the costs identified in point 2 above. Is this net price higher than the price an experienced agent could net for you minus his/her commission?

If you’re like most renters, you feel trapped within the walls of a house or apartment that doesn’t feel like yours .

Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To Your Landlord…

It’s a dream we all have – to own our own home and stop paying rent. But if you’re like most renters, you feel trapped within the walls of a house or apartment that doesn’t feel like yours. How could it when you’re not even permitted to bang in a nail or two without a hassle. You feel like you’re stuck in the renter’s rut with no way of rising up out of it and owning your own home.

Don’t Feel Trapped Anymore

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been renting or how insurmountable your financial situation may seem. The truth is there are some little known facts that can help you get over the hump and transfer your status from renter to homeowner. With this information, you will begin to see how you really can:

  • save for a down payment
  • stop lining your landlord’s pockets
  • stop wasting thousands of dollars on rent

6 Little Known Facts That Can Help You Buy Your First Home

The problem that most renters face isn’t your ability to meet a monthly payment. Goodness knows that you must meet this monthly obligation every 30 days already. The problem is accumulating enough capital to make a down payment on something more permanent.

But saving for this lump sum doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Consider the following 6 important points:

1

You can buy a home with much less down than you think

There are some local or federal government programs (such as 1st time buyer programs) to help people get into the housing market. You can qualify as a first time buyer even if your spouse has owned a home before as long as your name was not registered. Ensure your real estate agent is informed and knowledgeable in this important area and can offer programs to help you with your options.

2

You may be able to get your lender to help you with your down payment and closing costs

Even if you do not have enough cash for a down payment, if you are debt-free and own an asset free and clear (such as a car for example), your lending institution may be able to lend you the down payment for your home by securing it against this asset.

3

You may be able to find a seller to help you buy and finance your home

Some sellers may be willing to hold a second mortgage for you as a “seller take-back”. In this case, the seller becomes your lending institution. Instead of paying this seller a lump-sum full amount for his or her home, you would pay monthly mortgage installments.

4

You may be able to create a cash down payment without actually going into debt

By borrowing money for certain investments to a specified level, you may be able to generate a significant tax refund for yourself that you can use as a down payment. While the money borrowed for these investments is technically a loan, the monthly amount paid can be small, and the money invested in both home and investment will be yours in the end.

5

You can buy a home even if you have problems with your credit rating

If you can come up with more than the minimum down payment or can secure the loan with other equity, many lending institutions will consider you for a mortgage. Alternatively, a seller take-back mortgage could also help you in this situation.

6

You can, and should, get pre-approved for a home loan before you go looking for a home

Pre-approval is easy, and can give you complete peace of mind when shopping for your home. Mortgage experts can obtain written pre-approval for you at no cost and no obligation, and it can all be done quite easily over the phone. More than just a verbal approval from your lending institution, a written pre-approval is as good as money in the bank. It entails a completed credit application, and a certificate which guarantees you a mortgage to the specified level when you find the home you’re looking for.

Consider dealing only with a professional who specializes in mortgages. Enlisting their services can make the difference between obtaining a mortgage, and being stuck in the renter’s rut forever. Typically there is no cost or obligation to inquire.


There are many important issues you should be aware of that affect you as a renter. Why on earth would you continue to lose thousands by throwing it away on rent when with your agent you could take a few minutes to discuss your specific needs so that you can stop renting and start owning.

This conversation costs you nothing. And, of course, you shouldn’t have to feel obligated to buy a home at the time you review this. But by taking the time to explore your options and learning about the ways you can afford to buy a home, think how prepared and relaxed you’ll be when you are ready to take this important step.

Because your home may well be your largest asset, selling it is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.

In order to sell your home successfully in today’s highly competitive market, an industry insider report has been prepared explaining how you can sell your home for full market value providing it is priced correctly and marketed effectively.


Why is it so important that your home is correctly priced and marketed property?

While many agents may promise to sell your home for the money you want, the reality of the real estate market is that this simply doesn’t always happen. The fact of the matter is, the majority of homes sell for a price which falls short of what sellers may have been led to believe.

There are two factors at play here. On the one hand, you need to be cautious of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings. This is really unfair because it can set homeowners up for disappointment and failure.

On the other hand, you have homes that are priced correctly but are marketed ineffectively. Without a proper marketing program in place to ensure a home is exposed to the highest number of qualified buyers, many homesellers feel forced to accept a lower offer.

There’s nothing worse to a homeseller than having their home sit unsold for many months because of improper pricing and/or marketing techniques.

Needless to say, either of these situations is highly frustrating to any homeseller. But more than that, it can be financially crushing if you’re counting on the full proceeds of the sale of your home to fulfill some other obligation.

To prevent this scenario when selling your home here are some points to consider before choosing the agent you want to represent you.


Deciding on an agent

A good agent knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience and qualifications.


Are they pricing your home correctly?

Home prices are determined by the marketplace, not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. You should work closely with an agent who will suggest establishing a realistic price for your home. They will help you to objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today’s market.


Do they set themselves apart from the others by offering innovative marketing plans to sell your home fast and for top dollar?

Will they set up an aggressive marketing program to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers?

How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus other agents? In what media do they advertise, (newspaper, magazine, TV. etc.)? Do they use a 24 hour hotline, “For Sale” signs, lock boxes, a Tour of Homes program, and Talking House signs and transmitters? What does this agent know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?


Are they accountable to you?

In other words, when they promise to sell your home for the price you mutually agree upon, do they offer you a guarantee (in writing) that you will get this amount of money for your home?


Your home sold for 100% full market value guaranteed

A new and innovative program that some agents offer actually guarantees, in writing, that you will receive 100% of the mutually agreed upon price for your home before you list.

Here’s how it works!

When you list your home with an agent offering the 100% Full Market Guarantee program, here’s what happens:

  1. This agent will review the Full Market Value Guarantee program with you and explain the details. (See a sample of information on reverse side that may be found in such a certificate.)
  2. They will then ensure that an aggressive marketing program is put in place to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers.
  3. They will also review what is required on your part to have your home in “showcase” condition in order to make maximize the showing of your home to prospective buyers.
  4. No empty promises. These agents put their money where their mouths are. They are accountable to you. The guarantee is in writing. If your home sale does not net you the price promised, these agents will pay you the difference out of their own pockets.


Full Market Value Guarantee Certificate

This is to certify that, upon the successful sale of your property (your address here) by (name of agent) during the contract period specified below, if this property is not sold for a minimum price of (your agreed upon price here), (agent’s name) will reduce his/her commission to make up the difference between a lower sale price and the price noted above up to a maximum of the agent’s portion of the commission due to (agent’s name) as a result of this sale subject to the terms conditions laid out in the agreement.

Such an agreement could also include the following conditions:

  • seller agrees to list property for (X) days with (agent’s name)
  • the listed price is set within 2% of a mutually agreed market value price determined on the basis of market conditions and comparable homes
  • the property is made available for showings during reasonable hours and maintained in “showcase” condition during these times
  • the seller allows (agent’s name) to execute a full, approved marketing strategy
  • a successful sale of the stated property must occur before expiration of the listing agreement
  • the seller understands that this is not a representation to purchase the above said property

At the bottom of the certificate there should be a place for you and your agent to date and sign the agreement.

If you are looking to purchase a home but find that you either do not have enough saved for a downpayment or that you do not want to liquidate financial assets to use as a downpayment, this report reveals how you can purchase a home with no money down.

This special insider, industry report has been prepared to outline what you need to know in order to take advantage of this innovative program which allows you to get into the housing market immediately, with zero down payment.


Now you can realize the dream of owning your own home with zero downpayment.

The Zero Cash Downpayment Program offers you a way to buy a home with no downpayment. That’s right – ZERO DOWNPAYMENT! You may have owned a home before and are presently renting, or are a first time homebuyer and need a way to break into the housing market, but held back because you thought you required a substantial downpayment. Or you may be in the position where you do not want to liquidate your financial assets to use as a downpayment on a home. Regardless of your present situation, you want a way to get into or to re-enter the housing market without having to make a cash downpayment. The Zero Cash Downpayment Program may be just the answer you need. Here’s what is required to qualify for the Zero Cash Downpayment Program.


Program Qualifications.

1. An excellent credit history.

  • no recent history of bad debts
  • consistent and timely payment of current liabilities

2. Limited liabilities.

You will be required to disclose all current liabilities you have in order to determine how much more debt you can carry (ie. present car loan, credit cards, etc.).

3. At least 3 years of employment stability.

You will be required to show proof of employment for the past 3 years, ie. a letter of employment from your employer or financial statements for the past 3 years if self-employed.

4. The financial ability to carry larger monthly payments.

Without a downpayment you will be required to meet the obligation of larger mortgage payments. Your monthly payments could vary from a few to several hundred dollars more per month.


Under the Terms of the Program You Can Purchase Many Types of Properties.

They include:

  • detached or semi-detached homes
  • free-hold townhomes
  • condominium townhomes

It is important to note that not all properties qualify for the Zero Cash Downpayment Program.

To ensure that you get an accurate picture of what properties may or may not be included in this program in your particular area, it is advisable to review the terms of the program with your Realtor®.


Benefits of the Zero Cash Downpayment Program.

1. No Downpayment.

If you are renting, why pay your landlord’s mortgage? Why not reap the benefit of building your own equity? Are you renting because you think you need a substantial downpayment to own your own home?

The general perception of many would-be-homebuyers and even that of some Realtors® is that a substantial downpayment is required in order to purchase a home. This is simply not true. Because of this perception many would-be-homebuyers feel they have to save for years before they have enough money for a downpayment, finally allowing them to enter the housing market. In the meantime they are lining someone else’s pockets, while waiting a long time before they are able to start building up their own equity. Well, with the Zero Cash Downpayment Program you don’t need a downpayment to buy a home.

2. Buy a Home Now!

If needing a downpayment is keeping you from owning your own home, this new program offers you an immediate way to get into the housing market. With the Zero Cash Downpayment Program you don’t have to wait to purchase a home.

3. Approved Bank Program.

It is important to know that the Zero Cash Downpayment Program is an approved bank program. Review this program with your lender or Realtor® who has specialized knowledge in financing and can assist you with the Zero Cash Downpayment Program.

When you analyze those successful homebuyers who have the experience to purchase the home they want for thousands of dollars below a seller’s asking price, some common denominators emerge.

How to Save Thousands of Dollars When You Buy a Home

If you’re like most homebuyers, you have two primary considerations in mind when you start looking for a home. First, you want to find a home that perfectly meets your needs and desires, and secondly, you want to purchase this home for the lowest possible price.

When you analyze those successful homebuyers who have been able to purchase the home they want for thousands of dollars below a seller’s asking price, some common denominators emerge. Although your agent’s negotiating skills are important, there are three additional key factors that must come into play long before you ever submit an offer.

These 3 Steps Will Help You Save Thousands When You Buy a Home

Make sure you know what you want… As simple as this sounds, many homebuyers don’t have a firm idea in their heads before they go out searching for a home. In fact, when you go shopping for a place to live, there are actually two homes competing for your attention: the one that meets your needs and the one that fulfills your desires. Obviously, your goal is to find one home that does both. But in the real world, this situation doesn’t always occur.

When you’re looking at homes, you’ll find that you fall in love with one or another for entirely different reasons. Is it better to buy the 4-bedroom home with room for your family to grow, or the one with the big eat-in kitchen that romances you with thoughts of big weekend family brunches? What’s more important: a big backyard or proximity to your child’s school? Far too often people buy a home for the wrong reasons and then regret their decision when the home doesn’t meet their needs.

Don’t shop with stars in your eyes: satisfy your needs first. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a home that does this and also fulfills your desires. The important thing is to understand the difference before you get caught up in the excitement of looking.

Find out if your agent offers a “Buyer Profile System” or “Househunting Service,” which takes the guesswork out of finding just the right home that matches your needs. This type of program will cross-match your criteria with ALL available homes on the market and supply you with printed information on an on-going basis. A program like this helps homebuyers take off their rose-colored glasses and affordably move into the home of their dreams.

To help you develop your homebuying strategy, use this form:

What do I absolutely NEED in my next home:

1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________
4. ______________________________
5. ______________________________

What would I absolutely LOVE in my next home:

1. _______________________________
2. _______________________________
3. _______________________________
4. _______________________________
5. _______________________________

How Sellers Set Their Asking Price

For you to understand how much to offer for a home you’re interested in, it’s important for you to know how sellers price their homes. Here are 4 common strategies you’ll start to recognize when you begin to view homes.

1

Clearly Overpriced

Every seller wants to realize the most amount of money they can for their home, and real estate agents know this. If more than one agent is competing for your listing, an easy way to win the battle is to overinflate the value of your home. This is done far too often, with many homes that are priced 10-20% over their true market value. This is not in your best interest because in most cases the market won’t be fooled. As a result, your home could languish on the market for months, leaving you with a couple of important drawbacks:

  • your home is likely to be labeled as a “troubled” house by other agents, leading to a lower than fair market price when an offer is finally made
  • you have been greatly inconvenienced with having to constantly have your home in “showing” condition… for nothing. These homes often expire off the market, forcing you to go through the listing process all over again.
2

Somewhat Overpriced

About 3/4 of the homes on the market are 5-10% overpriced. These homes will also sit on the market longer than they should. There are usually one of two factors at play here: either you believe in your heart that your home is really worth this much despite what the market has indicated (afterall, there’s a lot of emotion caught up in this issue), OR you’ve left some room for negotiating. Either way, this strategy will cost you both in terms of time on the market and ultimate price received.

3

Priced Correctly at Market Value

Some sellers understand that real estate is part of the capitalistic system of supply and demand and will carefully and realistically price their homes based on a thorough analysis of other homes on the market. These competitively priced homes usually sell within a reasonable time frame and very close to the asking price.

4

Priced Below the Fair Market Value

Some sellers are motivated by a quick sale. These homes attract multiple offers and sell fast – usually in a few days – at, or above, the asking price. Be cautious that the agent suggesting this method is doing so with your best interest in mind.

A systemized approach to the homebuying process can help you steer clear of these common traps, allowing you to not only cut costs, but also secure the home that’s best for you.

Buyer Beware

No matter which way you look at it, buying a home is a major investment. But for many homebuyers, it can be an even more expensive process than it needs to be because many fall prey to at least a few of the many common and costly mistakes which trap them into either:

  • paying too much for the home they want, or
  • losing their dream home to another buyer, or
  • (worse) buying the wrong home for their needs.

A systemized approach to the homebuying process can help you steer clear of these common traps, allowing you to not only cut costs, but also secure the home that’s best for you.

This important report discusses the 9 most common and costly of these homebuyer traps, how to identify them, and what you can do to avoid them.


9 Buyer Traps

1

Bidding Blind

What price should you offer when you bid on a home? Is the seller’s asking price too high, or does it represent a great deal? If you fail to research the market in order to understand what comparable homes are selling for, making your offer would be like bidding blind. Without this knowledge of market value, you could easily bid too much, or fail to make a competitive offer at all on an excellent value.

2

Buying the Wrong Home

What are you looking for in a home? A simple enough question, but the answer can be quite complex. More than one buyer has been swept up in the emotion and excitement of the buying process only to find themselves the owner of a home that is either too big or too small. Maybe they’re stuck with a longer than desired commute to work, or a dozen more fix-ups than they really want to deal with now that the excitement has died down. Take the time upfront to clearly define your wants and needs. Put it in writing and then use it as a yard stick with which to measure every home you look at.

3

Unclear Title

Make sure very early on in the negotiation that you will own your new home free and clear by having a title search completed. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, leases or the like.

4

Inaccurate Survey

As a part of your offer to purchase, make sure you request an updated property survey which clearly marks your boundaries. If the survey is not current, you may find that there are structural changes that are not shown (e.g. additions to the house, a new swimming pool, a neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.). Be very clear on these issues.

5

Undisclosed Fix-ups

Don’t expect every seller to own up to every physical detail that will need to be attended to. Like you, the sellers will be looking out for themselves. Ensure that you conduct a thorough inspection of the home early in the process. Consider hiring an independent inspector to objectively view the home inside and out, and make the final contract contingent upon this inspector’s report. This inspector should be able to give you a report of any item that needs to be fixed with associated, approximate cost.

6

Not Getting Mortgage Pre-approval

Pre-approval is fast, easy and free. When you have a pre-approved mortgage, you can shop for your home with a greater sense of freedom and security, knowing that the money will be there when you find the home of your dreams.

7

Contract Misses

If a seller fails to comply to the letter of the contract by neglecting to attend to some repair issues, or changing the spirit of the agreement in some way, this could delay the final closing and settlement. Agree ahead of time on a dollar amount for an escrow fund to cover items that the seller fails to follow through on. Prepare a list of agreed issues, walk through them, and check them off one by one.

8

Hidden Costs

Make sure you identify and uncover all costs – large and small – far enough ahead of time. When a transaction closes, you will sometimes find fees for this or that sneaking through after the “sub”-total – fees such as loan disbursement charges, underwriting fees etc. Understand these in advance by having your lender project total charges for you in writing.

9

Rushing the Closing

Take your time during this critical part of the process, and insist on seeing all paperwork the day before you sign. Make sure this documentation perfectly reflects your understanding of the transaction, and that nothing has been added or subtracted. Is the interest rate right? Is everything covered? If you rush this process on the day of closing, you may run into a last minute snag that you can’t fix without compromising the terms of the deal, the financing, or even the sale itself.


Find out if your agent offers a Buyer Profile System or “House-hunting Service,” which takes the guesswork out of finding just the right home that matches your needs. This type of program will crossmatch your criteria with ALL available homes on the market and supply you with printed information on an on-going basis. A program like this can help you to affordably move into the home of your dreams.

Subtle changes in the way you approach mortgage shopping, and even small differences in the way you structure your mortgage, can cost or save you literally thousands of dollars and years of expense.

Mortgage Regulations Have Changed . . .

Mortgage regulations have changed significantly over the last few years, making your options wider than ever. Subtle changes in the way you approach mortgage shopping, and even small differences in the way you structure your mortgage, can literally cost or save you thousands of dollars and years of expenses.

Get the Right Information

Whether you are about to buy your first home or are planning to make a move to your next home, it is critical that you inform yourself about the factors involved. Industry research has revealed that there are 6 common mistakes that most homebuyers make in mortgage shopping that can have a significant impact on the outcome of this critical negotiation. If handled correctly, these issues could result in a mortgage that will cost you less over a shorter period of time.

6 Things YouMust Know Before Obtaining a Mortgage

Before you commit your hard earned dollars to monthly mortgage payments, consider these 6 issues. Effective consideration of these important areas can make your payments work much harder for you.

1

You can, and should, get pre-approved for a mortgage before you go looking for a home.

Pre-approval is easy and can give you complete peace of mind when shopping for your home. Your local lending institution can provide you with written pre-approval for you at no cost or obligation, and it can all be done quite easily over the phone. More than just a verbal approval from your lending institution, a written pre-approval is as good as money in the bank. It entails a completed credit application and a certificate which guarantees you a mortgage to the specified level when you find the home you’re looking for.

2

Know what monthly dollar amount you feel comfortable committing to.

When you discuss mortgage pre-approval with your lending institution, find out what level you qualify for, but also pre-assess for yourself what monthly dollar amount you feel comfortable committing to. Your situation may give you a pre-approval amount that is higher (or lower) than the amount of money you would want to pay out each month. By working back and forth with your lending institution to determine what this monthly amount is and what value of home this translates into at today’s rates, you won’t waste time looking at homes that are not in your price range.

3

You should be thinking about your long term goals and expected situation to determine the type of mortgage that will best suit your needs.

There are a number of questions you should be asking yourself before you commit to a certain type of mortgage. How long do you think you will own this home? What direction are interest rates going in and how quickly? Is your income expected to change (up or down) in the near term, impacting how much money you can afford to pay to your mortgage? The answers to these and other questions will help you determine the most appropriate mortgage you should be seeking.

4

Make sure you understand what prepayment privileges and payment frequency options are available to you.

More frequent payments (for example weekly or biweekly) can literally shave years off your mortgage. Structuring your payments so that they come out more frequently will significantly lessen the amount of interest that you will be charged over the term.

For the same reason, authorized pre-payment of a certain percentage of your mortgage, or an increase in the amount you pay monthly, will have a major impact on the number of years you will have to pay and could shorten your payment term considerably.

These two payment options can cut years off your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars in interest. However, not every mortgage has these prepayment privileges built in, so make sure you ask the proper questions.

5

Ask if your mortgage is both portable and/or assumable.

A portable mortgage, where available, is one that you can carry with you when you buy your next home and avoid paying any discharge penalties. This means that you will not have to go through the entire mortgage process again unless you are making a move up to a much more expensive home.

An assumable mortgage is one that the buyer for your home can take over when you move to your next home. This can be a very powerful tool at the negotiating table making it much easier and more desirable for a buyer to buy your home and again saves you any discharge penalties.

6

You should seriously consider dealing with a Mortgage Expert.

Consider dealing only with a professional who specializes in mortgages. Enlisting their services can make a significant difference in the cost and effectiveness of the mortgage you obtain. For example, they can make the process faster thereby avoiding costly delays. Typically there is no cost or obligation to inquire.

. . . you have to sell your present home at exactly the right time in order to avoid either the financial burden of owning two homes or, just as bad, the dilemma of having no place to live during the gap between closings

6 Trade Up Mistakes to Avoid

Unlike the experience of buying a first home, when you’re looking to move-up and already own a home, there are certain factors that can complicate the situation. It’s very important for you to consider these issues before you list your home for sale.

Not only is there the issue of financing to consider, but you also have to sell your present home at exactly the right time in order to avoid either the financial burden of owning two homes or, just as bad, the dilemma of having no place to live during the gap between closings.

Six Strategies

In this report, we outline the six most common mistakes homeowners make when moving to a larger home. Knowledge of these six mistakes and the strategies to overcome them will help you make informed choices before you put your existing home on the market.

1

Rose-colored glasses

Most of us dream of improving our lifestyle and moving to a larger home. The problem is that there’s sometimes a discrepancy between our hearts and our bank accounts. You drive by a home that you fall in love with, only to find that it’s already sold or that it’s more than what you are willing to pay. Most homeowners get caught in this hit or miss strategy of house hunting when there’s a much easier way of going about the process. For example, find out if your agent offers a Buyer Profile System or “Househunting Service”, which takes the guesswork away and helps to put you in the home of your dreams. This type of program will crossmatch your criteria with ALL available homes on the market and supply you with printed information on an on-going basis. A program like this helps homeowners take off their rose-colored glasses and affordably move into the home of their dreams.

2

Failing to make necessary improvements

If you want to get the best price for the home you’re selling, there will certainly be things you can do to enhance it in a prospective buyer’s eyes. These fix-ups don’t necessarily have to be expensive. But even if you do have to make a minor investment, it will often come back to you ten-fold in the price you are able to get when you sell. It’s very important that these improvements be made before you put your home on the market. If cash is tight, investigate an equity loan that you can repay on closing.

3

Not selling first

You should plan to sell before you buy. This way you will not find yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, feeling pressured to accept an offer that is below market value because you have to meet a purchase deadline. If you’ve already sold your home, you can buy your next one with no strings attached. If you do get a tempting offer on your home but haven’t made significant headway on finding your next home, you will know to consider putting in a contingency clause in the sales contract giving you reasonable time to find a home to buy. If the market is slow and you find your home is not selling as quickly as you anticipated, another option could be renting your home and putting it up on the market later – particularly if you are selling a smaller, starter home. You’ll have to investigate the tax rules if you choose this latter option. Better still, find a way to eliminate this situation altogether by getting your agent to guarantee the sale of your present home (see point number 5 below).

4

Failing to get a pre-approved mortgage

Pre-approval is a simple process that many home owners fail to take advantage of even when it doesn’t cost or obligate them to anything. Pre-approval gives you a significant advantage when you put an offer on the home you want to purchase because you know exactly how much house you can afford, and you already have the green light from your lending institution. With a pre-approved mortgage, your offer will be viewed far more favorably by a seller – sometimes even if it’s a little lower than another offer that’s contingent on financing. Don’t fail to take this important step.

5

Getting caught in the “Real Estate Catch 22”

Your biggest dilemma when buying and selling is deciding which to do first. Point number 3 above advises you to sell first. However there are ways to eliminate this dilemma altogether. Some agents offer a Guaranteed Sale “Trade-Up” Program that actually takes the problem away from you entirely by guaranteeing the sale of your present home before you take possession of your next one. If you find a home you wish to purchase and have not sold your current home yet, they will buy your home from you themselves so you can make your move free of stress and worry.

6

Failing to coordinate closings

With two major transactions to coordinate together and all the people involved such as mortgage experts, appraisers, lawyers, loan officers, title company representatives, home inspectors or pest inspectors, the chances of mix-ups and miscommunication go up dramatically. To avoid a logistical nightmare, ensure you work closely with your agent.

Because your home may well be your largest asset, selling it is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.

To better understand the homeselling process, a guide has been prepared from current industry insider reports. Through these 27 tips you will discover how to protect and capitalize on your most important investment, reduce stress, be in control of your situation, and make the most profit possible.

1

Understand Why You Are Selling Your Home.

Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine one approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer thus determining a different approach.

2

Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself.

The reason(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself you don’t provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is only for you to know.

3

Before Setting a Price – Do Your Homework.

When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high, you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents and pricing too low can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.

Setting Your Home’s Sale Price.

If You Live in a Subdivision. – If your home is comprised of similar or identical floor plans, built in the same period, simply look at recent sales in your neighborhood subdivision to give you a good idea of what your home is worth.

If You Live in An Older Neighborhood. – As neighborhoods change over time each home may be different in minor or substantial ways. Because of this you will probably find that there aren’t many homes truly comparable to your own. In this case you may want to consider seeking a Realtor® to help you with the pricing process.

If You Decide to Sell On Your Own. – Agood way to establish a value is to look at homes that have sold in your neighborhood within the past 6 months, including those now on the market. This is how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home. For most communities, a trip to City Hall can provide you with home sale information from the public records.

4

Do Some “Home Shopping” Yourself.

The best way to learn about your competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other open houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of lot, location and other features. Particularly note not only the asking prices but what they are actually selling for. Remember, if you’re serious about getting your home sold fast, don’t price it higher than your neighbor’s.

5

When Getting an Appraisal is a Benefit.

Sometimes a good appraisal can be a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the figure you hear.

6

Tax Assessments – What They Really Mean.

Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.

7

Deciding Upon a Realtor®.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed who sell their own homes say they wouldn’t do it again themselves. Primary reasons included setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a Realtor®, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high.

All Realtors® are not the same! Aprofessional Realtor® knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust. Make sure you feel confident that they will do a good job on your behalf.

If you choose to sell on your own, you can still talk to a Realtor®. Many are more than willing to help do-it-yourselfers with paperwork, contracts, etc. and should problems arise, you now have someone you can readily call upon.

8

Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate.

Before settling on your asking price make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to know if you’ll price high to maximize your profit or price closer to market value if you want sell quickly.

9

Appearances Do Matter- Make them Count!

Appearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and “feel” of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.

10

Invite the Honest Opinions of Others.

The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgement. Don’t be shy about seeking the honest opinions of others. You need to be objective about your home’s good points as well as bad. Fortunately, your Realtor® will be unabashed about discussing what should be done to make your home more marketable.

11

Get it Spic n’ Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems Insignificant.

You’ll never know what turns buyers off. So scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal killers. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resale homes but brand-new ones as well.

12

Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home.

The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone’s life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.

13

Deal Killer Odors – Must Go!

You may not realize this but odd smells like traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog or that you smoke, they’ll start being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.

14

Be a Smart Seller- Disclose Everything.

Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent law suits later on.

15

It’s Better With More Prospects.

When you maximize your home’s marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.

16

Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations.

Let go of the emotions you’ve invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.

17

Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated.

The better you know your buyers, the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process. As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly? Armed with this information you are in a better position to bargain.

18

What the BuyerCan Really Pay.

As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her down payment is. If their offer is low, ask their Realtor® about the buyer’s ability to pay what your home is worth.

19

When the BuyerWould Like to Close.

Quite often, when buyers would “like” to close is when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for you.

20

Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home

Beware of closing on your new home while you’re still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.

21

Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage.

It has been proven that it’s more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it becomes forlorn and looking forgotten, no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have a another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.

22

Deadlines Create A Serious Disadvantage.

Don’t try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.

23

A Low Offer- Don’t Take It Personally.

Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer knows he’ll pay for your property. Don’t be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a closing date and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.

24

Turn That Low Offer Around.

You can counter a low offer or even an offer that’s just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer wasn’t seen as being a serious one. Now you’ll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.

25

Maybe the Buyer’s Not Qualified.

If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to make sure the buyer is qualified to carry the size of mortgage the deal requires. Inquire how they arrived at their figure and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood.

26

Ensure the Contract is Complete.

To avoid problems, ensure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include such items as the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, where deposit monies will be held, date for loan approval, date and place of closing, type of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.

27

Resist Deviating From the Contract.

For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Tell them that you’ve been advised against it. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.

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