When Should I Reduce My List Price?

It can be disappointing when your home isn’t selling as fast as you thought is was. When you set a listing price for your home, unless you and your agent misread the market, you expect your home to sell by a certain time. So what do you do when your expectations haven’t been met yet? It may be time to reduce your price and re-think the marketing strategy. It’s important to understand when it’s a good time to reduce your price.

Price Reduced words on a home for sale sign to illustrate a home owner in distress and needing to sell immediately as a short sale or negotiated lower value to the right buyer

Good Ole’ Supply and Demand

In today’s market, there is relatively low inventory, and lots of buyers. Homes are selling fast. So when your home is in a hot market, and it’s not selling, the market is trying to tell you something: your home is overpriced. If you aren’t seeing much activity in your home, or have been getting feedback from buyers that are expressing it’s over priced, it’s time to sit down with your real estate agent.

Hurry Up & Wait

If your home has been listed on the market for what is considered to be a lengthy time for your area, it may be time to consider a price reduction. This is especially true if you are in a hurry to sell, which may be the case if you are planning to purchase another house upon selling yours. In some cases, a homeowner will make an offer on another house and that offer will be contingent upon selling their current home. When this happens, the homeowner is likely to be in a hurry to sell so that they can honor the terms of their new agreement before it expires. Real estate can often be a waiting game, but sometimes it may be necessary to hurry up the process, through a price reduction, if you need to complete the sale.

Adapt to the Always-Changing Market

We all know how the market fluctuates. If you own real estate, property values can go up one year and fall the next. If your house is currently listed and the property values have fallen, you may want to consider reducing the price in order to remain in the running with potential home buyers. If your house is priced far above market value, most lenders would refuse to approve a loan for your asking price. Having an appraisal would be one way to know how much your home is worth.

What Does Your Agent Say?

If you’ve hired a real estate agent, you obviously trust him or her to guide you through the process of selling your home. If your real estate agent suggests a price reduction, it may be in your best interest to consider it. Nobody knows the business like a real estate agent. They know what buyers want and, in most cases, what they are willing to pay. If you’ve trusted a real estate agent enough to hire them, trust them enough to value their opinion.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

 

Tips on Buying Your First Home

There’s a lot that goes into making the decision to purchase your first home. Becoming a homeowner for the first time can be overwhelming for many people – but don’t fear, our team is here to help you through the entire process, start to finish. Here’s a few tips to help ease the anxiety of owning your first home.

Do Your Research

It is best to speak with your lender to discuss the many incentives available for first-time home buyers. They will discuss the many options that can assist you. 3-5% down payments and low interest rates make home buying very attractive for first-time home buyers. The best way to understand your options in regards to down payment options, interest rates, and different loan programs, is to sit down with your lender and compare your options.First-Time-Home-Buyers

Save That Money

Save as much money as you possibly can so that you will enough money to put a decent down payment on a home. You want to have enough money to be able to pay for closing costs and still have money to furnish and decorate your new place.

Don’t Mess With Your Credit

Obtaining a loan from a lender relies a lot on your credit. You want to make sure that your credit information is up-to-date and accurate. You don’t want to have an offer accepted on your dream home and then get denied by the bank. Unfortunately this happens all too often. When applying for a loan, it is very important that you do not make any big purchases such as a car.

Starting You Search

With the World Wide Web being what it is today, it’s no surprise that many potential home buyers start their search online. Our website here offers our clients the ability to search for homes directly through us. When you see something you really like, you just let us know and we set up a showing for you.

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Negotiating Your Buying Price

There is perhaps no more exciting and nerve-wracking time in the home buying process than when you decide to make an offer on a home. If it is accepted, you will be on your way to owning a new home—if not, you will be forced to make some difficult decisions.

As your Realtor, I will help you get through the process of making an offer on a home. I can give you advice on how much to offer and what concessions you will make. But there are a few decisions you will have to make yourself, and be prepared to stick to them.

How High Will You Go?

real-estate-negotiationsIf your initial offer on the home of your dreams is rejected, the seller will usually come back with a counter offer. In most cases they will ask for a higher purchase price and may refuse some of the items you requested in your initial offer, such as repairs to be done to the home prior to the sale. This is a normal part of negotiations, but especially for first time buyers it can feel like a very frustrating process.

When the counter offer comes back, you will have to decide if the purchase price is one you can live with. Is it within your budget? Is it a fair market price for the home? Your REALTOR® can give you the answer to this second question, but the first is up to you to decide.

What Is Non-Negotiable?

What parts of your offer are you unwilling to back down on? If the house really needs a new roof and you don’t want the expense and hassle of taking care of it yourself, then don’t back down. It might be worth paying a little more in the purchase price with the agreement that the seller will have the roof replaced than to pay less for the house and have to do it yourself.

Decide in advance which items are completely non-negotiable, and stick to your guns. If the seller won’t budge, be prepared to walk away. As hard as it might be to say goodbye to that home you want, you have to be realistic about what you can afford and what work needs doing on the home.

It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of negotiating and the desire to own that particular home, but try not to let emotions rule your decisions. After all, once you sign those papers and the deal is final, you won’t be able to change your mind.

How To Handle A Motivated Seller

Often ads for homes on the market include the phrase “motivated seller,” and while this sounds as if it may be to your benefit as a home buyer, what does it actually mean? If a seller is truly motivated you can benefit from a number of potential perks they may be willing to throw in to get their home sold, or they may even be willing to accept a lower offer than the asking price. Here are a few tips on how to find motivated sellers, and how to get the best deal possible.

Is The Seller Really Motivated?motivated-seller

Believe it or not, all “motivated sellers” are not really motivated. The phrase is often used by sellers and real estate agents to get a response from potential buyers. From the perspective of agents, if a seller is fairly insistent that they want a particular price for their home, which the agent feels is above the market value, they may use this phrase to encourage bids below the asking price. Sellers, on the other hand, may request this phrase be used whether they are motivated or not, in order to encourage a bidding war. Whether the seller is actually motivated or not may not always be apparent, but the best way to gauge the situation is by contacting the agent and making a low offer if you are interested.

So The Seller Is Really Motivated! Now What?

If you have put in a below asking price offer and it has been accepted, or a counter offer has been given, then you may really be dealing with a motivated seller.

So what should you do to make the most of this situation while protecting your own interests? The first thing you should always do is be sure you are clear about why the homeowner is so motivated to sell. Is there something wrong with the house or the property? Getting a qualified home inspector to carefully check the property before signing anything is very important to protecting your investment. If all goes well with the home inspection, you may have the opportunity to negotiate other bonuses as well, including the appliances, financing options, or a renovation budget.

Whatever the situation, it is always a good idea to have an agent represent you through the home buying process. They are your insider in getting the most out of the situation, and can help you wade through all the jargon of the home purchasing experience.

Improving Your Credit To Get A Loan

Your credit is one of the most important factors in qualifying for a home loan, and it will determine what sort of interest rate you are able to get. That interest rate can make all the difference when it comes to how much home you can afford and keeping your payments within your budget. If you have some credit problems, it’s a good idea to try to improve your score before you buy a home. Here are some simple ways to do that.

Careful Use Of Credit

MK-BN883_SBCARD_G_20110727170236Credit cards are unsecured debt, and a lot of that type of debt can make lenders nervous. If you are carrying high balances on your credit cards, paying them down can make a big difference in your score. It will give you a better free credit to debt ratio and show that you handle credit responsibly.

When you are looking to buy a home, it’s a good idea to avoid taking on any new debt. Don’t apply for any more credit cards or increase the limits even if they are offered to you. Keep your credit stable and focus on paying off the debt you currently have.

Be sure to make all of your payments on time. Missed or late payments can hurt your credit score quickly.

Avoid Large Purchases

When you are trying to buy a home, it generally is not the time to take on a large loan for another big purchase such as a car, boat, or RV. These purchases will increase the amount of debt you have and make it more difficult to qualify for a loan. It will also likely affect the amount you are able to qualify for.

It’s best to save those types of purchases until after you have completed the home buying process. Getting loans like this off your credit is also a good way to improve scores. If you are able to, consider selling or paying off a car loan or other similar loan.

Pay Off Small Bills

Getting rid of some of the smaller items on your credit is a good way to improve things without having to put out a lot of money you don’t have. If you have a little bit left on a student loan, consider paying it off. The same goes for any outstanding medical bills or judgments against you.

The fewer items you owe on, the better your credit will look to lenders. Get a copy of your report before you start applying for loans, and clean up what you can. In the end it will make buying your home easier and more affordable.


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

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FHA Loans – What They Are And Who Qualifies

In your house hunting you may have come across a mention of FHA loans. FHA stands for Federal Housing Authority, and the loans available through this program are designed to help people qualify for loans and purchase homes more easily. If you are wondering about getting an FHA loan for your home purchase, the first thing to do is to learn a little about them and find out if you might qualify.

FHA And HUD

The FHA is part of HUD—the U.S. Departmentmortgage-lump-sum of Housing and Urban Development. It exists to help people who might not otherwise be able to apply successfully for a home loan purchase a home. The FHA insures the loan against default, which means that if the buyer fails to pay the mortgage, the lender will not lose the money because the FHA will cover it.

Who Can Get An FHA Loan?

Just about anyone can apply for an FHA loan. There are no income level requirements, either on the high or low end, and even people with some credit problems can qualify. You will have to meet a certain credit level, however, and you must have a debt to income ratio that is acceptable for the program to prove you can pay the mortgage.

There are specific FHA loan programs for first time buyers, seniors, and people looking to purchase a “fixer-upper” home as well. The many programs can suit just about any buyer.

Limits With FHA Loans

The main problem many people run into is that the limit on how much you can borrow on an FHA loan may make it difficult to purchase the house you need. Allowable amounts are usually on the low end of the market, and it can make house hunting a challenge. If you are willing to take on a home that needs some work, you will probably have better luck with an FHA loan.

If you need to buy a home with a low down payment and are having a little trouble qualifying elsewhere, an FHA loan might be a good option for you. Every state has different laws and requirements for qualification, so check with your state to find out what the process will be. FHA loans can help people get into a house who might not otherwise have the opportunity to buy.


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

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Buying A Home That Can Grow With Your Family

If you are a first time homeowner, or are purchasing a home after a major life change such as marriage or having children, what should you consider to be sure your new home can grow with your changing family? The time and effort that go into purchasing and decorating a new home, not to mention finding it in the first place, means that you’ll want to ensure that your home will be right for you and your family for years to come. So what should you look for in your new home so that it will give you enjoyment and be functional both now and in the future?

Size

Though a cute two-bedroom home may be right for a newlywed couple, this type of space will likely soon be outgrown if there are any children in your future or if you and your spouse like to entertain. You will also want to consider the number of bathrooms and the facilities in them. Having only one toilet or shower can certainly put stress on a growing family.

Featuresyoung-family-buying-home_fqbd92

Special features of a home, such as a finished basement, central air, and a large yard can make your home a more functional and enjoyable space, especially if you have or are considering starting a family in the near future. You may also want to consider the age of the home you purchase and its features or appliances, as this may lead to future costs that may put stress on your financial situation at a time when one spouse may be at home caring for the children.

Location

Location is also an important consideration when choosing a home that can grow with your family. Choosing a safe neighborhood is always an important point when selecting a family home, but you will also want to consider the proximity of good schools, community centers, and shopping. Also, facilities such as parks and libraries can make a neighborhood truly a great place for families. You may also want to consider the demographics of the area in which you are purchasing in order to be sure it is a match with your values.

As the old adage goes, home is where the heart is, and choosing a family home that is right for your family can really make all the difference in having a happy, fulfilling, and safe family life.


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

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Tax Breaks for First-Time Homebuyers

Are you thinking about purchasing your first home? Tax breaks available for first-time homeowners may make it worthwhile. Consult your accountant or tax professional about which of these conditions apply to you.

  • Young adults moving in new homeYou may be able to deduct the total amount of interest paid on your mortgage.
  • If you make a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, you will need private mortgage insurance – which may be deductible. Mortgage insurance on government-backed mortgages may also be deductible in the same way as mortgage interest.
  • You may be able to deduct local real estate property taxes you pay on your new home.
  • You may be able to deduct points and charges you paid to your lender to obtain the mortgage for your first home purchase.
  • If you choose to install renewable energy systems in your home, such as solar panels, you may be eligible for deductions of up to 30% of the installation costs.
  • If you purchased your first home for a job opportunity and moved more than 50 miles for it, you may be able to deduct your moving expenses.
  • If your new home required some upgrades, you may deduct the value of donated construction materials or demolition waste donated to a qualified charity.

If you are ready to buy your first home, please do not hesitate to contact me today!


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

5 Ways to Use Your Tax Return to Update Your Home

It’s tax season! What better way to use that tax refund than to invest it into your home? Maybe you’ve been dying to update your kitchen, or put new tile into your master bath. Invest your tax refund money back into your home – it could help increase the value of your home! Here’s fix ways to put your tax refund to good use: Read more