Negotiating Tips for the Home Buyer

When it comes to buying a home, the ability and willingness to negotiate is a must for both the buyer and seller. In general, sellers ask for more than they are actually willing to accept and buyers offer less than they are willing to pay. The trick is to find the perfect balance so that you, as a buyer, feel good about the purchase price without leaving the seller feeling insulted.

Know Your Marketnegotiate-price

Real estate is a business that either favors the buyer or seller, hence the terms buyer’s market and seller’s market. When negotiating a purchase price, it’s important to know which of the two you are in. As the buyer, you will have the best chance at a successful negotiation if you research the price of other comparable homes in the area before making an offer.

Make It Personal

When you make an offer, the seller will see nothing more than a piece of paper with some numbers on it that represent the price you are willing to pay. If you really want the seller to take your offer to heart, let them know why you want to buy the home. You can do this by preparing a handwritten letter expressing your interest and the reasons you fell in love with their house. If you have a family, tell them about everyone who will be living in the home. Let them get to know you and allow them to picture the happiness that you can bring to their house. Believe it or not, some sellers actually look at the process like finding a good home for a lost puppy. They want quality people to buy their home, so do your best to show them that you are sincere.

Nobody Likes Rejection

Not every offer is accepted, so don’t be disheartened if your first offer isn’t a winner. In some cases, the seller will make a counteroffer for your consideration. Have you ever heard the old saying, “never take the first offer?” The same is true in real estate, and almost every seller knows it. Your first offer is likely to be less than you are actually willing to pay, which leaves you some bargaining room.

Why Your Offer May Not Be Accepted

There are a number of reasons why a seller may choose to reject an offer, including a feeling that the offer was just too low, the house is newly listed on the market or another offer may be higher than the one you created. In some cases, sellers may also reject an offer that includes owner financing or other requests that are impossible to meet. One example may be an offer that requires the house be available within a certain amount of time. Most contracts require that the seller move out within 30 – 60 days, but anything less would require negotiation.

Read The Fine Print

Before you sign anything relating to a real estate transaction, make sure that you read over every detail of the agreement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. After all, negotiating is a major part of my job!


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

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Is Buying a Fixer Upper a Good Idea?

Always dreamed of renovating a home exactly to your specifications, or have you found an older house that is structurally sound but needs a lot of work inside? Perhaps the price is right and you can’t resist all that house you can get for your money. Whatever the reason, buying a fixer-upper can be both an exciting and rewarding purchase or a financial and time consuming disaster, depending on whether you are prepared for what you have gotten yourself into. So what should you know before buying a home that requires a little or a lot of tender loving care?

The Benefitshome_remodeling_mistakes

The benefits of purchasing a fixer-upper are obvious. The price is usually right, and if the seller wants a quick sale because of decreased interest in the home, you may be able to negotiate a really great price. Also, if you intend to flip the home after the renovations, the profit for the money and time you have invested can be quite considerable. The trick to getting these benefits, however, is knowing what type of property to look for, as well as having an accurate idea of the associated costs, and realistic expectations of the time and labor it will take.

What Makes A Great Fixer-Upper?

There are several features that may make for a great fixer-upper.

Location—Buying a home in a desirable neighborhood is always a smart idea, particularly with homes that require a lot of work. Purchasing a house in a sought after area can mean a greater profit margin for resale value.

Layout And Configuration—This is especially important if you plan to sell the home after the renovations are finished. Selecting a home that will appeal to the greatest number of buyers will get you the best price. Also, choosing a home with a layout that flows may save you a considerable amount on the actual renovation costs because you are less likely to need custom installations and work.

Condition—Ultimately the most important consideration is the actual condition of the home. Choosing a fixer-upper with only cosmetic problems such as damaged flooring or old fixtures and appliances, and in need of only a new paint job, can often have the greatest profit margin and require much less money and time.

Overall, when purchasing a home that needs work, getting a qualified home inspector’s advice and getting estimates of the cost of work to be done before making your offer can make all the difference.

Tips For Qualifying For A Better Interest Rate

When it comes to a home loan, the interest rate is a very important factor. It can make all the difference between being able to afford the home of your dreams and having to settle for something less. On a large mortgage, even a slight increase in the interest rate can make a big difference in the monthly payments. Thus, getting the best interest rate possible is the goal of every home buyer.

Your Credit Is Key

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The number one factor in determining what kind of interest rate you will get on your home loan is your credit rating. Keeping tabs on your credit is important for anyone, but especially for those hoping to own a home. Before you apply, you should check your credit report for any errors that you can correct ahead of time. You should also look for anything you can do to improve your credit.

If you have a high debt to income ratio it will hurt your credit. Try to pay off things like high interest credit cards before you apply for a home loan, or at least pay them down to a place where that ratio is improved. You should also avoid applying for credit in too many places—too many checks on your credit can adversely affect your score.

Lock It In

When rates are low, you should get that application for a loan in as soon as you can. In most cases you can lock in a certain interest rate for a particular period of time. Interest rates fluctuate all the time, and sudden changes in the economy can send them up. When they are low, you should be prepared to take advantage. Even with imperfect credit, the higher interest rate in a low set of rates is the better deal, so get it while you can.

Go With Who You Know

In some cases, a financial institution may offer a slightly lower interest rate to long time customers. Because they know your financial history and you have built trust with them, they will be more willing to disregard small credit problems and give you a better rate.

Your interest rate will make a big difference in how fast you pay off your home and how much you can afford. Be sure you do whatever you can to qualify for and lock in a great rate.


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
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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
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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
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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