Google Plus Real Estate Articles

Best Google Plus Real Estate ArticlesIt’s that time again, time for a roundup of the best Google Plus articles of the month. You will find some great real estate content from the Real Estate Community on Google Plus for the month of September. It’s all right here.

If you are a real estate professional and you are not currently networking with other professionals on Google Plus, you are missing out. I network with professionals on many social platforms and Google Plus is my favorite, by far. Great discussions happen every day in this community and the original content from other real estate professionals is second to none. This group will inspire and encourage you as a real estate professional.

Let’s start off with a great article from Lynn Pineda entitled 41 Home Selling Mistakes That Prevent You From Having Success.

This is an extensive list covering every aspect of selling real estate. If you have every had your home stuck on the market waiting months for an offer, then you know the agonizing tension that haunts the home seller in this position. The bottom-line is that there are always recognizable problems that keep a home from selling. Lynn’s comprehensive list of problems can help any home seller who is wondering why their house hasn’t sold, and also offers some top level advice for other Realtors who may have a house on the market that won’t sell.

Continuing the discussion on home selling, Bill Gassett discusses some timely advice in his article entitled fall home selling tips. Selling a home this fall? This is one you won’t want to miss.

Seasonal home selling tips can be great for those looking to put their house on the market, or those who have had their house stuck on the market and need a new perspective. In Bill’s article, he discuses tips such as the importance of keeping your yard clean of fall leaves, decorating for the fall, and many other timeless tips to increase your potential success in selling your home in the fall. These tips are great for real estate professionals as well. Take advantage this seasonally relevant advice and learn some new fall selling tactics to implement into your home selling tool kit. Bill advice is always right on track and very valuable.

Our next article covers a topic that is relevant to both home buyers and sellers alike. Kyle Hiscock’s article entitled “Are Home Warranties for a Buyer Worth It?” covers some great points on this common selling tactic.

Home sellers are often coached by their Realtor that offering a home warranty can help sell their house faster. Whether a home warranty is really worth it to a buyer has been a topic of debate in the real estate community for some time. Kyle does a nice job of laying out the pros and cons and really hammers home that a home warranty can definitely be beneficial to home buyers. Seasoned agents know the value of offering a home warranty to home buyers and Kyle’s perspective on this topic makes it easy to understand why home sellers should seriously consider offering a home warranty to buyers when listing their home for sale. This article is easy to follow and a must read for real estate professionals who are on the fence about home warranties.

In our next two articles, we’ll be discussing real estate investments. First, Debbie Drummond wrote an excellent article for investors entitled “Is the time right to Invest in residential Real Estate?”

Debbie does a great job discussing the up and down cycle of the real estate market to help gauge how an investor should react. She explains the difference between the Florida real estate market today in comparison to Las Vegas market. She makes a great case for Las Vegas being a prime investment market and how you can leverage this current market to do very well with your real estate dollars. Debbie’s in-depth analysis of the Las Vegas real estate market is valuable and well laid out. Definitely a must read for real estate investors in Las Vegas, or any market for that matter.

Continuing our discussion on real estate investments, Seth Williams discusses more market timing details in his article entitled “What Investors Needs To Know About Choosing The Right Real Estate Market

Seth illustrates the importance of identifying markets that are easy to work in, compared to others. Choosing an area that allows for easy access to county records is important. Communicating with the county office and obtaining good local mailing lists make some areas easier to deal with than others. Seth also talks about the value of working in an area that has a solid government structure, which makes real estate investing more desirable. The accessibility of the County Treasurer and the Assessors fees can real make a difference when dealing with local investment properties. Seth makes a strong case and helps direct investors to research and compare areas. His advice is timely and well laid out. Anyone who is currently investing in real estate, or has future plans to do so would benefit greatly from this article.

Our final blog entry comes from myself and is entitled “First Time Buyer Tips: Buying a First House”.

In this article, I break down the process of buying a home into an easy to read visual guide (infographic) and then elaborate in more details through the text. Buying your first home can be extremely intimidating. I spent a lot of time trying to simplify the process for first time home buyers and make it as easy to follow as possible, while still making sure to not leave any steps out. If you’re looking to buy your first house and you are wondering how it works, this is a great article to help you feel more comfortable with the home buying process. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Previous Google Plus Real Estate Reviews

Take a look at these Google Plus articles from previous months.

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Do You Need Flood Insurance?

If you have ever lived through a flood you know first-hand how devastating they can be. Not only can they destroy a home and its belongings but in the ensuing aftermath they can bring about mold, bacteria, and unsafe living conditions. It is not surprising they are the most common natural disaster in the world, accounting for billions of dollars in damage and countless claims each year.

Some of the more common reasons for flooding are:Why is Flood Insurance Important

  • Dams/levees
  • Flash floods
  • Heavy rains
  • Ice jams
  • Mud slides
  • New/under developed areas
  • Snow melt
  • Tropical storms

Flood Tips You May Not Know

A common misconception is that if you do not live near a body of water you are not at risk of flooding. The truth is every home is at risk of being flooded! An overflowing dam, a broken sewer line, an unkempt or overwhelmed drainage system, or even a major storm can cause flooding. It can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone with devastating results.

Another misleading thought is that the Government will step in and bail you out. Think again. Unless your area is a federally declared disaster area (i.e. New Orleans and surrounding coastal towns after Hurricane Katrina hit or nearly the entire eastern seaboard after Hurricane Sandy), you could find yourself without federal, state, or often even local assistance. If you are in an area that does receive assistance, it is important to note you will have to pay back (with interest) whatever amount you receive. This assistance is not meant to compensate you for your losses, but rather, it is given out as a low interest loan to assist you with critical expenses incurred as you start the process of getting things back in order.

Most alarming is that many homeowners believe that when a flood disaster occurs, their home insurance will pay for the damages. That misnomer is quickly replaced with panic as they check with their insurance company and find their insurance policy does not cover for floods. A typical home insurance policy will cover damages in case of a fire, robbery, and other incidents, but will not include flood related damages, meaning homeowners must take care of their flood losses from their own pocket. All the more reason to make sure you have a flood insurance policy on your home.

What is Flood Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Be Prepared For a FloodAs you would expect, flood insurance takes care of damages relating to flood and is the first and most important step to take if you want to protect yourself from a flood disaster. What you need to know about flood insurance is something every homeowner should consider! The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) a program directed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is the leading provider of flood insurance policies to protect homeowners from flood related losses.  Here are 3 reasons you need to consider getting flood insurance:

The primary reason is because you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) that requires a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. In an SFHA, where it is likely flooding will occur while you own your home, flood insurance is mandatory. This could include oceanfront or near-ocean properties or living next to a major body of water like a big river, lake, or creek. For some of these areas, heavy rainfall can cause the body of water to swell over the banks, flooding houses and destroying properties. For others, the potential of large waves or tropical storms puts them in the highest risk category. While the allure of living near water has its advantages, there is an inherent flooding risk that consumers need to be aware of and understand.

A second reason you should consider getting flood insurance is because you live in a community that benefit’s from the NFIP. The benefit is receiving flood insurance that is backed by the government. Whether you reside in a SFHA or low risk area, as your community benefits from the program, and nearly 21K communities do, it is hoped that all the residents will take advantage of the program. There are no fees to live in an NFIP community but each area is required to have a flood plain management ordinance, enforced by a local official. The official ensures the flood plain is periodically inspected and that no violations of the ordinance occur. If your community is not NFIP supported, then you would have to look for a federally supported private insurance company that offers flood insurance.

Third, although they are not the most dangerous natural disaster in the world, floods are the most common, causing incredible amounts of damage around the globe every year. According to Floodsmart.gov, the cost of flooding goes up exponentially with each inch of water in a home. For example, one inch of standing water can cause nearly $21,000 worth of damage while one foot of water puts the damage over $52,000. While these are only estimates, it is clear that any amount of flooding can have serious consequences for every homeowner and property affected.

How Flood Insurance Works

When you pay for flood insurance, and your insurance policy is handed out to you, it takes a whole month (thirty days from the issued date) to take effect. So if you decide to wait until the storms come a calling before getting a policy, you will definitely be paying for your losses yourself. If you have not gotten your flood insurance policy yet, it is advisable to seriously consider it before a calamity occurs.

Your flood insurance policy is dependent on how much coverage you are willing to buy. You could decide to cover both your home (the building) and the contents of your house, with the maximum limits of flood coverage for your house of $250,000 and the contents of your home with a ceiling of $100,000. The flood insurance policy pays for the estimated value of the damaged property, or the total cost of replacing your property up to the coverage limit.

In addition, the cost of flood insurance may vary depending on the flood zone you live in. High risk zones usually pay a higher sum compared to the medium and low risk zones. The FEMA maps out the flood risk zones, and it is advisable to check out your address on FEMA’s flood risk zones chart to find out what zone your locality falls under.

If your community has taken preemptive measures to reduce flood risks, you get as much as 45 percent off on flood insurance costs. You should meet with your insurance agent to find out what coverage and cost would be suitable for you, or you could decide to use the website calculator on the NFIP site to have an idea of the cost and the benefit.

Flood Insurance Advice

Like any other insurance policy, obtaining flood insurance should definitely put your mind at rest, especially with the unpredictability of floods and flooding occurring at a moment’s notice. As a reminder, it takes 30 days for your policy to take effect, so if you do not currently have flood insurance, it would be of great benefit to get a policy immediately.

If you think you are safe because you live in a low risk area, think again. A report from FEMA says that twenty five percent of all flood insurance claims since 1978 has been from low risk zones. Every homeowner is potentially at risk, regardless where you live!

Unless it is mandated to have flood insurance, many will roll the dice and opt to save those extra funds for something else. Depending on your tolerance for risk and where you live, that may be a bad gamble. For most, the results of a flood would be devastating, and the ensuing financial burden crippling…all it takes is better planning to give you peace of mind and security knowing your home is covered. Why risk it!

Other Useful Flood Insurance Information

Use these additional resources to understand all you need to know about flood insurance.

Anita Clark RealtorThis article was written by Georgia real estate professional, Anita Clark. Anita works at Coldwell Banker SSK Realtors in Warner Robins, GA. 478-960-8055

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Google Plus For Real Estate

Google Plus Real Estate Articles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What better place to find a wealth of useful Real Estate articles than on Google+. On Google+ you’ll find some of the best Real Estate professionals located in states nationwide. What do you do when you come across a Real Estate article that really stands out? In other words, the headline grabs you, or its on a topic that you’ve been dying to learn more about or what about those eye popping images? You’ll likely head back again and again to the spot where you’ve found these type of articles; welcome to Google+ where these amazing articles are found.You’ll also find one of the best Real Estate Communities is also on Google+ so be sure to check it out too.

Bill Gassett has been publishing monthly lists highlighting some of the best articles each month and he asked for my help in gathering up the list to feature here. You’ll discover modern, non-boring Real Estate articles below that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into to discover some great finds. Read them now, or bookmark, or pin for reading later. And be sure to share them and not hoard them all to yourselves!

Our first article highlighted is: Top Five Mistakes When Selling Your Home.

There are certain situations during the home selling experience that can and should be avoided at all costs. Here, Andrew Fortune goes over 5 mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

He touches on how pricing your home wrong can be downright scary to a Buyer; you’ll see a Buyer’s reaction to an overpriced home too! In addition, Andrew’s article goes over what can happen when you hire the wrong Real Estate Agent. This can have very adverse consequences and you’ll be advised on how to avoid this experience.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “Top five mistakes when selling a home

A compilation of great Real Estate articles wouldn’t be complete without including one from Bill Gassett. Here Bill’s article is: What Appraisers Look At During A Real Estate Appraisal.

A Real Estate Appraisal is a simple part of the home selling and home buying process. Being in the know when it comes to appraisals can get you on the path that leads to a successful Real Estate closing. Here Bill tells you what you can do to make the most of your home’s appraisal, what will affect an appraisal and how to prepare for an appraisal from the inside to outside. He also covers how a Appraiser calculates your home’s value, appraisal myths, what happens when you need to challenge a low appraisal and a whole lot more.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “How to challenge a low real estate appraisal”. As Realtors being involved in a low appraisal is never fun because we are usually in the middle trying to solve a problem one way or the other for one of our clients.

This next featured article by Seth Williams is pretty cool as it talks about cool inventions to be used in Real Estate. This article is: 20 Cool New Inventions for the Modern Day Real Estate Investor.

Who doesn’t like cool inventions? Especially when it can make our jobs and lives easier! This is an incredible list and you’ll be happy to now you can get these inventions now, as their not only available to George Jetson. You remember, George Jetson, right … from The Jetsons of futuristic 2062. If you’re scratching your head wondering, probably you’re too young as it ran in prime time series between 1962-1963 and then new episodes ran from 1984-1987. You can still see re-runs today. Anyhow, look at the list for George Jetson-like inventions!

Here Seth talks about the crazy looking Ball Chair, the under desk hammock that I have got to get, or how about an IPhone Stun gun case? These are just a few of the really cool items you’ll discover in Seth’s list.
Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “ Inventions for the Modern Day Real Estate Investor”. The article is a fun way to look at the real estate business.

Top Google+ Real Estate ArticlesIn this last article, I talk about sweeping a Buyer off their feet, you’ll find sure-fire ways to sweep a Buyer off their feet to get a home sold. This answers the frequently asked Real Estate question of “How to attract Buyers when selling your home”. This article is: How can we Sweep a Buyer off their Feet?

Told in not a typical manner but rather in the form of a story; the story of Olivia and Jacob selling their home. Topics will be discussed that include; pricing a home right, how to make a home pop with excitement to blasting the home across the internet and more! You’ll hear how you can sell a home within 9 days.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “How can we sweep our real estate clients off their feet“. As real estate agents we should always be looking to go above and beyond for our clients. The article shares how this can be done fairly easily!

The next article is by Kyle Hiscock who brings to the table his article My home expired, Why and now what should I do. Kyle explains why some homeowners are not successful selling their homes and what can be done to correct the mistakes they have made. The vast majority of sellers who run into home sale failure have a few common denominators which are pricing their home incorrectly and believing that all real estate agents do the same things to sell homes.   For some reason many who are selling their home believe that all Realtors are alike. This lesson is often times learned the hard way when the owner is unsuccessful and have to turn to someone who is a real pro.

In this next article, the dreaded low ball offer that we see all too frequently is discussed.  Here Debbie Drummond’s article is about Low Ball Offers in Real Estate – Do They Ever Work? From what should Buyers do in their low ball offer they present to how should Sellers respond to a Buyer’s low ball offer, Debbie provides solid advice enabling you to put your emotions aside to get the ultimate scenario you desire.

You’ll find that quite often low ball offers can be avoided simply by pricing a home right at the onset, which would discourage the need by Buyers to present a low ball offer as the home being sold is seen as being priced fairly.  By no means, will this always do the trick as some just like to try and get something for nothing. It’s how it’s handled that can make all the difference as Debbie points out.

Continue your reading here to Debbie’s complete article: Low Ball Offers in Real Estate sales – Do they work?

In the last article to round out the lot here is Seth Price’s article on 7 Keys to Local SEO for Real Estate Marketing. If you’re able to grasp SEO for your local Real Estate business, you’ll be reaching your target audience. Seth provides incredible recommendations to do just that.
Seth offers up tips on how to do it, provides examples of who’s doing it, how to create headlines and that incredible content to attract an audience.

Seth also reminds us about good, quality reviews. Customer reviews are powerful and likely can draw in many a new customer when you’ve proven to be great at what you do, selling homes. There’s so much more to learn in this article by Seth.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “7 Keys to Local SEO Real Estate Marketing”. If you are a real estate agent or anyone who runs a small business for that matter, this is a great article to take your online visibility to another level.

Previous Google Plus Real Estate Reviews

Lynn PinedaThe following Google Plus real estate review was written by Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate agent for 9 years currently at Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty.

 

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Home Sellers Should Expect More From RealtorsAfter 27 years of selling real estate, I’ve come to notice the gap in professionalism in the real estate industry. I see agents who are doing a stellar job, rising above and beyond in their efforts to bring their clients the very best in the industry. I also see agents who do the bare minimum required to sell a home. The sad truth is that many unsuspecting home sellers don’t know the difference.

I’ve written extensively on the issues surrounding the sale of your home, and have taken a strong stand on the need for an experienced, capable real estate agent to market your home. I know there are some other excellent Realtors who feel exactly as I do so I’ve asked my social media friend and fellow real estate blogger, Karen Highland, of The Highland Group – Frederick Maryland, to share her thoughts on what sellers can and should expect from a real estate agent if they desire excellence in service and marketing.

Karen and Chris Highland have been helping buyers and sellers for 22 years, and feel passionately about offering the very best in real estate marketing and services to their clients in central Maryland. All you need to do is check out their real estate marketing videos and photography to know they practice what they preach! Along with leading their team, Chris is the residential sales manager at his brokerage and mentors newer agents. Karen trains and coaches in internet marketing, and writes for their blog, Frederick Real Estate Online. Chris and Karen always have something to say, and fortunately for me, they have agreed to share some of their passion with us. Take it away guys!

Are You Settling for Less from Your Real Estate Agent?

“Bill Gassett has been so gracious to ask me to lend my insights through a guest post on his real estate blog. This post is my version of what I know his readers have often heard from him: Home Sellers: You Can, And Should Expect More from your real estate agent!

It’s time to expect more from a listing agent. The process of buying and selling homes has only gotten more complicated in the recent decade. With the increase in disclosures and legally necessary paperwork, and the added tasks of internet marketing, to the increase in complexity in the process, the bar has been raised a number of times. Is your listing agent up to the task? There is one simple question to ask yourself as you choose a real estate agent to market your home:

Is the Realtor Able to Handle the Complexities of Today’s Real Estate Sale?

I remember when the pages in a contract to purchase a home could be counted on both hands. Yes, I’m certainly dating myself! The last contract I had in both hands was far heavier and had upward of 60 pages, with all the disclosures and addendum’s. To say that the process has become complex is an understatement.

Technical Complexities

Today’s Realtor has to be more than just proficient in the process and the language of the contract; they need to be replete with experience and technical expertise. They need to have a holistic view of where we are in the local real estate market, and where we’ve come from. They need to have a view of other aspects of the real estate industry in the same way…what is happening and why. As we have seen changes in the industry, our understanding of the issues has deepened. Having that background knowledge is an invaluable for a real estate agent.

An example of depth of knowledge:

Realtor Does Not Know Short SalesWe recently got a call from a homeowner who, with his wife, has been looking for a home for two years and were emotionally exhausted from their efforts with two different real estate agents. They put an offer on a short sale and waited 9 months to find out that their offer was not accepted. We were astonished to hear their story because that should have never happened. If their agent had known anything about short sales, they would have known that a bank would never approve an offer with a house to sell contingency.

Some observations:

• An agent may not want to specialize in short sales and go through the training and hard work of learning the process, but they still need to have a basic understanding of the issues surrounding a short sale. If they represent a buyer in a purchase, they are not doing them any favors by not having a depth of knowledge about all the aspects of real estate.

• As with short sales, there are many changes in the real estate industry that have impacted the way we buy and sell. A real estate agent need not specialize in everything, but they need to have a holistic understanding to help buyers and sellers with whatever they may possibly encounter.

• On the flip side, just because an agent specializes, doesn’t mean that they don’t need to know enough about all other aspects to help their clients.

You should expect your listing agent to have that experience and know-how, or at least have resources to draw upon for it.

Transaction Complexities

After vetting the best offer, there are many moving parts to the sale of a home. The success of the transaction depends largely on the skill of the listing agent to negotiate, handle inspections, follow-up, and see the deal through to the closing. Many sellers are quick to realize that the listing agent really earns their pay during the time from contract to close. This is the time when experience and local know-how are most valuable.

What does all this mean to you as a seller? You should expect your listing agent to have that experience and know-how.

An example of depth of knowledge:

Our single-family listing in a desired neighborhood sold in 3 days with 2 offers. At the home inspection, a crack in the foundation brought up a concern. Our seller had purchased the home 10 years earlier as a new home, and in the first year, the settling of the home resulted in a crack. The builder sent an engineer to study the crack and determined it was not of consequence.

The buyers, however, in a state of panic, asked for a $5,000 repair in the home inspection response, at the encouragement of their (inexperienced) agent. We brought in an engineer for a small fee and he gave us his opinion that the crack was still just the result of the initial settling, and was still of no consequence. With his expert opinion, we were able to calm down the entire situation. We all settled happily.
My thoughts on this experience are:

• We’ve seen dozens of, maybe more, foundation cracks. There are inconsequential cracks that result from the home settling, and there are serious cracks that warrant foundation work. Every crack, or every problem, should not elicit panic from the agent. When real estate agents encourage panic-driven actions at the first sign of any problem, it never helps the situation. It actually minimizes truly serious problems that sometimes occur, by turning every problem into something serious. An experienced negotiator will approach problems with an appropriate solution, not with drama. Every real estate agent should have a basic understanding of major home inspection issues so when they surface they are better equipped to handle the negotiations. This is what our clients expect from us. Our purpose isn’t to collect offers and wait to pass go like Monopoly!

• Approaching problems with a “scorched earth” policy blows them out of proportion, and makes their resolution that much more difficult. To address a problem with the request of an expert opinion is usually much better than asking for an exorbitant dollar amount for a fix… a fix to something that is not yet even clearly defined. An experienced negotiator will move toward further understanding and clarity, resulting in real workable solutions. The problems become hurdles rather than road blocks.

• Creating drama, panic, or adversarial conditions does NOT equal the duty to advocate for your client. An experienced and professional agent will not create drama. Rather, they will look for clarity and solutions.

Complexities in Lending

Karen Highland Real Estate AgentIn recent years, we’ve seen upheaval in the financing industry. Getting a mortgage is often a process that takes planning and strategy, as there are many types of loan products and more scrutiny involved.

What does all this mean to you as a seller? A listing agent does much more than market a home. They vet offers, and in that process, they must have an in-depth knowledge of all of the possibilities that each offer presents. This includes the credibility of the buyer’s financing, the potential of all contingencies presented, and the ramifications of inspections and their outcomes. The nuances of a transaction can be many. You should expect your listing agent to have that experience and know-how.

An example of depth of knowledge:

Our seller’s received two offers on their home. One of the buyers was using a loan program which had a down-payment matching feature for county workers. After a quick perusal of the pre-approval letter, Chris remembered that the program was for county workers, but not for school teachers, like this particular buyer. Without the matching funds, they were not able to come up with the down-payment. The lender should have known, but we didn’t know that lender, and we know better than to assume. We encouraged our sellers to accept the other offer, resulting in a successful settlement, without the wasted time and heartache of watching the first contract fall through.

There are many moving parts to a real estate transaction. The nuances of all of these parts are learned over years of real estate sales. The industry changes have meaning to the way a listing agent guides their sellers through the transaction to the best settlement possible. Make sure you choose an agent with a depth of experience.

How Do You Know?

Home sellers, you can and should expect more. When you are considering a listing agent, ask them to tell you their stories. Listen for depth of understanding, even if you don’t understand all of the issues yourself. After all, you should expect the very best when you are selling your home, probably your biggest financial investment.These are just a few quick examples – there are many more!

Choosing a great real estate agent is not about picking the one that gives you an unrealistic market value or that whispers in your ear they will have your home sold in 5 days because they are #1 at everything they do. Pick an agent that has your interests at heart and the knowledge behind them to represent your interests every step of the way throughout the transaction.

This is the kind of real estate agent you will be smiling at across the closing table!

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Mortgage Loan Programs Reviewed

July 31, 2014

Navigating the Alphabet Soup of Mortgage Lending               Many home buyers are overwhelmed by the alphabet soup they encounter when shopping for the right mortgage. Lenders throw out acronyms like FHA, conventional, VA and USDA, but most consumers don’t know the ins and outs of each loan type, or [...]

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Protect Your Home: Stay Ahead of Summer Storms

July 22, 2014

              Severe summer weather, such as hail, thunder, and heavy rain, can result in a great deal of damage to your home and other property. There are many steps that homeowners can take to protect themselves from the flooding and power outages that can result from severe weather events, [...]

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Best Google Plus Real Estate Articles June to July 2014

July 16, 2014

              The internet makes it incredibly easy for information to be found. The problem is much of the information that is found on the internet is junk. Google Plus is one of the best places, if not the best place, to find quality real estate information! Google Plus communities, [...]

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What Types of Flooring Do Home Buyers Prefer?

July 9, 2014

Top Flooring Choices Examined                   If you are looking to sell your home soon (or even a few years down the road), it’s helpful to know what buyers are searching for. I work with many new home buyers, so I see what they are doing before they [...]

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Helping a Buyer Purchase a Home From a FSBO

June 26, 2014

We talk a lot about buyer’s agents and listings agents and the benefits of both but what happens if your buyer finds a home that’s not listed with an agent? This is actually not that unusual because buyers will look for homes everywhere and they don’t really care where they find the house, only that [...]

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What Makes a Real Estate Agent Military Friendly?

June 25, 2014

You may have heard the term “military friendly” used in and around the real estate industry. But what does it really mean to be considered a military friendly real estate agent? While the definition may vary from user to user, the central idea remains the same. These agents want to support military home buyers. Let’s [...]

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How To Get The Best Photos When Selling Your Home

June 20, 2014

Photography Helps Sell Real Estate If you’re like me, you probably enjoy looking at homes online. Many people browse homes on the internet for fun. My wife and I like to look online at homes for sale in Colorado Springs, deep in the quiet mountain areas where we could never live, with our current lifestyle. [...]

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Don’t Get Too Emotional When Buying a Home

June 18, 2014

Keep Emotions in Check Purchasing Real Estate Getting too emotional when buying a home can cost you big time! The last thing you want to do is create a lot of extra stress for yourself when buying in home. In order to make your purchase go smoothly we have consulted with Lolly Spindler of HouseHunt [...]

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Why Have a Buyers Agent in Real Estate

June 13, 2014

Having a Buyers Agent First things first. My name is Mark Brian and I am a REALTOR in Anderson South Carolina. Bill invited me to write a post that buyers would find informative or helpful. I was surprised that one of the most influential Realtors on the web would reach out to me. So a [...]

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The Inspection and Walk Through – What to Look For

June 11, 2014

The inspection and walk through are two very different AND very important things to do when buying a home. A home inspection is a limited and non-evasive examination of the condition of a home by a home inspector. A final walk through is a final inspection where the buyer makes certain that the property they’ve [...]

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How to Mitigate Injuries When Moving

June 6, 2014

Preventing Injuries While Making a Move It’s surprisingly easy to injure yourself or somebody else when moving out of one home and into another. From breaking fragile objects and cutting yourself, to throwing your back out trying to lift heavy furniture, moving can be dangerous for the inexperienced. While it might be safest for you [...]

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How to Find The Right Realtor When Selling A Home

June 4, 2014

                              Most home sellers leave the equivalent of a nice used car behind when they sell their home. That’s right, the “several percent” that most home sellers lose during the real estate negotiation amounts to the same as leaving a nice [...]

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Your Home Is an Investment – So Treat It Like One

May 28, 2014

                              This article comes all the way from Vegas. Debbie Drummond has been a full time Realtor in Las Vegas since 2003.  She specializes in the luxury home and high rise market.  Debbie’s website is The Las Vegas Luxury Home Pro where [...]

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Using Pinterest For Real Estate Social Media Exposure

May 18, 2014

Pinterest For Real Estate                               If you have not heard of Pinterest then you have probably been on a long hibernation from the internet over the last few years. There are not many social media platforms that have stormed onto the [...]

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Best Google Plus Real Estate Articles May 2014

May 11, 2014

              One of the great benefits of being on Google Plus daily is you come across some really informative real estate articles. Whether you are just following a great group or Realtors from other parts of the country or participate in some of the excellent Google Plus real estate [...]

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Judging a Real Estate Agent by The Cover of His or Her Book

May 7, 2014

How Real Estate Agents Can Market Themselves               Mark Jenson, a real estate agent in Cleveland, came to me with a request: “I want a book to promote my business. But not a book about real estate – a book about me!” It was a strange approach, but not [...]

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9 Signs That You Need New Windows

April 24, 2014

Do You Need New Windows? There is a lot more to windows than many homeowners realize. No wonder, then, so many procrastinate in replacing their windows, preferring to believe new windows aren’t necessary, when, in reality, old windows present many hidden costs, not the least of which is astronomical heating and cooling bills. The main [...]

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How to Baby Proof Your Home

October 31, 2013

Moving With Young Kids When moving into a new place it’s easy to forget how different the world looks from the perspective of a baby, but this perspective is important to keep in mind as families prepare to introduce their latest family addition to their new home.  In order to make your house child-friendly, you [...]

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Title V Inspections

August 22, 2013

Title V Inspections 101 If you live in Massachusetts and your home has a septic system, you’ll more than likely need to have the system inspected and approved before transferring ownership or making significant modifications to your home. What is a Title V inspection? The set of state regulations that govern this process is called [...]

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How Real Estate Agents Can Benefit From Semantic Search

May 8, 2013

Semantic Search Explained When I was growing up, last century, buying or renting a house in the laid-back city of Brisbane was a relatively straightforward, low-key affair. You asked your pals who was the Realtor in their community and you visited their office sometime in the week. There were two implicit statements in this approach [...]

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How To Achieve Short Sale Success

April 8, 2013

Closing A Short Sale Short sales can easily take two to three times longer to complete than a traditional real estate transaction. Keeping this in mind it makes sense to be well prepared if you need to short sale a Massachusetts home. Follow the outline below and you will be well on your way to [...]

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How Google Plus Can Help The Real Estate Industry

February 18, 2013

Using Google+ As a Real Estate Agent   The following article is written by David Amerland who is one of the foremost experts on the subject of search engine optimization (SEO). David Amerland is the author of ‘The Social Media Mind’ and the best-selling ‘SEO Help’, ‘Online Marketing Help’ and ‘Brilliant SEO’. His books on [...]

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Educating A Buyer Looking To Purchase A Short Sale

February 13, 2013

Buyer’s Agent Representation For Short Sales   In every real estate transaction I am a firm believer of a buyer having representation. It makes perfect sense for a home buyer to have someone in their corner giving them guidance. Unfortunately when it comes to short sales I have found that so many buyer’s agents are [...]

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A Look Ahead to The 2013 Real Estate Market

December 15, 2012

Underwater Nation: A Look at the New Year   The following article is a guest post from Jared Diamond who writes on a multitude of personal finance and economic topics. He enjoys sharing insights with broad audiences. Jared serves in a consultancy role with a dynamic set of personal finance companies. The views expressed in [...]

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Buying A Condominium Using FHA Financing

November 2, 2012

Why Is FHA Financing So Popular?   I am excited to have Michael Dunsky from Guaranteed Rate Mortgage who will be covering some of the terrific benefits to FHA financing when you are purchasing a condominium. Michael has been one of my preferred loan officers for years and always does an exceptional job with his [...]

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Maximum Real Estate Exposure

October 19, 2012

Maximum Real Estate Exposure in Massachusetts   As a top Massachusetts Realtor, one of the things I am constantly keeping aware of is how to make sure my clients properties and my business itself are marketed to the fullest. There are so many Realtors that don’t pay any attention to SEO or Social media. Anyone [...]

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Home Warranties vs Home Insurance

October 5, 2012

Home Warranties vs Home Insurance: What you need to know.   The following article is a guest post from Kaitlin Ziessler who is a blogger for American Home Shield. Her goal is to inform readers about the differences between home warranty and insurance plans. Other topics she blogs about include appliance repair tips and home [...]

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Short Sale Negotiations|Seller Cash Contribution

January 23, 2012

Negotiation With Short Sale Lenders In working in the short sale arena for the last five plus years, I have seen lenders do just about everything when it comes to negotiating short sales with home owners. There really is no “standard” in short sales. The way one short sale file at one particular lender is [...]

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What is Real Estate Title Insurance

November 29, 2011

Real Estate Title Insurance Explained When purchasing a home one of the things that buyer’s will be asked is whether or not they want Real Estate title insurance. Often times I find that home buyer’s lament over this decision because of the expense involved. Real Estate title insurance is certainly not cheap! While title insurance [...]

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Credit Scoring Impacts Short Sale vs Foreclosure

October 11, 2011

It is probably safe to assume that most consumers like to work with folks they know can be trusted. In Real Estate, like some other businesses there are those that can always be counted on for delivering great advice and others that only care about their own pocket book. I always tell people some of [...]

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A Guide To Mortgage Equity Loan Options

September 19, 2011

When looking to take money out of an existing home or other Real Estate borrowers often have a decision to make on what is the best method to do so. There are basically three financing options that are available to home owners. These include a cash out re-finance, home equity loan or a home equity [...]

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Fixing Your Finances After Foreclosure or Short Sale

August 15, 2011

There are not many things that can negatively impact your credit score more than a foreclosure or short sale. In fact one of the more common untruths you will hear from many Realtors is that short sales don’t impact your credit scores like foreclosures do. This is absolutely WRONG! If you fail to pay your [...]

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Homeowners Insurance: Getting The Right Insurance Coverage

July 10, 2011

Homeowners insurance is not optional if you have a mortgage and is a very important decision you must make in order to protect what will most likely be one of your largest investments. To get the right amount of coverage at the most affordable rate for your home, condo or rental property, you should plan [...]

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Fixing Home Water Damage

June 4, 2011

If you have ever been in the unfortunate position of having a pipe burst in your home, a washing machine hose give way while you were gone for the weekend, or a finished basement become flooded by a 100 year storm, you know what a royal pain in the $#@ it is to clean up [...]

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8 Reasons Why You Will Not Buy My Short Sale Listing

May 5, 2011

One of the grossly misunderstood topics in Real Estate is the short sale transaction. There are a large number of Realtors who unfortunately do not possess the knowledge to properly educate their clients on what should be expected of them when trying to make a short sale purchase. The problem is further exacerbated because there [...]

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Disclosing Murder Suicide or Haunted Homes in Real Estate

April 12, 2011

While working as a Massachusetts Realtor over the last twenty five years one of the questions that always seems to come up is whether or not a Realtor is obligated to disclose a murder, suicide, haunting or other type of paranormal activity that may have occurred in a home or other Real Estate. Wikepedia defines [...]

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Buying a Home After Short Sale or Foreclosure

March 21, 2011

As a Realtor who has been heavily involved closing Massachusetts short sales over the last five years, one of the questions that I get asked quite often from home sellers is how long will it take before I will be able to buy a home again. The answer to this question does not have any [...]

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Increasing a Credit Score With Home Finance Tips

March 7, 2011

Credit scores can have a dramatic effect on a borrowers ability to get the best rates for many types of financing including a home mortgage and a car loan. If your credit score does not meet minimum standards you may not even have the ability to get a home mortgage period! There are a number [...]

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Rental Property Tax Law Changes

February 23, 2011

Here Ye Here Ye “Rental property tax law changes go into effect this year” Yes more great news for those who own Real Estate – NOT! If you are the owner of rental property there is a pretty significant tax law change going into effect for 2012. As of this year anyone who owns rental [...]

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Short Sale Realtor Mistakes

February 16, 2011

As a Realtor who has been successfully completing short sales over the last four years I get to see quite a bit of the inner workings of a short sale transaction. In many of the articles I have written about short sales, I have expounded on how important it is for a seller to have [...]

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Lenders Choosing to Foreclose Instead of Short Sale Approval

February 7, 2011

Why would a lender foreclosure instead of approving a short sale? As a Massachusetts Realtor who deals with short sale transactions on a daily basis, I have seen and learned quite a bit since I started getting involved with these types of transactions four years ago. One thing that I am extremely proud of is [...]

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Fannie Mae Mortgage Interest Rates & Costs Rising

January 30, 2011

Guest blogger Michael Dunsky from Guaranteed Rate is back again to take a look at the recent announcement by Fannie Mae that a borrowers costs and/or interest rate will be rising in the near future. Michael comes to the Massachusetts Real Estate blog on occasion because of his extensive knowledge on what is going on [...]

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Considerations For Renting or Selling a Home

January 26, 2011

Suddenly out of the blue you have found out that a new position has opened up within your company and they are asking you to relocate your family to the other side of the country. The job opportunity is too good to pass up so you decide to take the position. You realize with an [...]

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Bed Bugs in a Home Near You?

January 18, 2011

What are Bed Bugs? Lately, there have been many news reports about the growing problem with bed bugs.  As a Realtor working in the Real Estate  industry it is always important to stay up to speed with current laws and issues facing both buyers and sellers of homes and other property. Like any other known [...]

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Short Sale Low Ball Offers

January 10, 2011

There is no question that short sales are like the wild West. Almost every single sale is different. Each lender and even the investors that hold the loan may have different procedures on how they want things done. There are some folks that believe that because a home is a short sale it is an [...]

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Tax Deductions For Rental Property

December 29, 2010

Given that fact that I am a Massachusetts Realtor, I often get asked if I have any rental property. It is a pretty logical question as I work in the field and would obviously have access to the information necessary to get a pretty good deal on a rental purchase. Honestly I have never been [...]

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Short Sale Lenders Lying to Mortgage Holders

December 21, 2010

Over the last few years while working with Massachusetts sellers looking to short sale their home I have encountered on a couple occasions folks that were deliberately lied to and told that a short sale was not possible. Fortunately these particular home sellers were savvy enough to realize their short sale lender was lying to [...]

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203K Rehabilitation Loan

December 13, 2010

Guest blogger Michael Dunsky from Guaranteed Rate Mortgage is back to take to help review a popular mortgage program known as the 203k rehabilitation loan. The landscape of the housing market all over the country has changed drastically over the last few years. Foreclosures and short sales have become the norm not the exception. Many [...]

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Removing Radon From Well Water

December 7, 2010

Massachusetts Radon removal from wells One of the roles of any good buyer agent when selling a home to a buyer client in Massachusetts is to educate them on the home buying process including the “contingencies” that they should have in their Real Estate contract. The contingencies in a Massachusetts Real Estate contract usually consist [...]

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Short Sale Lawsuits Will Realtors Be Next?

November 29, 2010

Avoiding short sale lawsuits There is no question that in this economic down turn we have experienced over the last five years or so that short sales and foreclosures have become part of our everyday Real Estate landscape. Every week there are countless new short sale listings that hit the market in Massachusetts. In many [...]

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Tax Breaks on Home Improvements

November 17, 2010

There is no question that there are far less people today that have the kind of equity in their home that they did five to ten years ago. In most areas across the country Real Estate values have dropped by a substantial margin decreasing the amount of folks who have capital gains concerns. One of [...]

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Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA)

November 5, 2010

What is a HAFA Short Sale? Over the last four years or so I have been helping numerous sellers successfully complete a short sale in and around the Metrowest Massachusetts area. Short sales are not for the timid at heart and require quite a bit of knowledge of proper procedures in order to get to [...]

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Appealing a Massachusetts Property Tax Bill

November 2, 2010

Taxes on homes or other property in Massachusetts are typically based on two pieces of information including the towns property tax rate and the assessed value. Obviously the tax rate is set in stone and is not something that is going to be changed once it is put in place for that particular fiscal year. [...]

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Great Reasons to Refinance a Mortgage

October 26, 2010

Reducing your interest rate When interest rates are at record lows it creates an environment that is ripe for refinancing a home mortgage. There is no question that a mortgage on a home is usually one of the largest financial obligations that you will have in your life. It stands to reason that if you [...]

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Solving Basement Water Problems

October 20, 2010

Working as a Massachusetts Realtor for almost twenty five years, I can say without question that one of the greatest fears of any home owner is having a water problem in their basement! When buying a home, the uneasiness of having a water issue will be magnified ten fold if the intention of the owner [...]

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Home Energy Saving Tips For The Winter Months

October 12, 2010

It is no secret that energy prices have been a big part of every Massachusetts home owners budget for the last few years. As we head towards Winter there are some fairly easy and inexpensive things you can do to save additional money and conserve energy. Some are fairly obvious and easy. Easy energy saving [...]

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Stopping a Foreclosure Via a Short Sale

October 7, 2010

Avoiding a Massachusetts Foreclosure Foreclosure is something that most people want to avoid at all costs. Nobody sets out to own a home and then see it taken back by the lender. Across the country this has become a common theme as ten’s of thousands of people are losing their homes due to an economy [...]

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How to Interview a Realtor With Great Questions

September 30, 2010

Realtor interview Questions Carefully interviewing a Realtor should be one of the most important things any home seller does when considering selling their home yet many do not. Having been in this business for almost twenty seven years I have found this to be pretty fascinating. There are lots of folks that will make contact [...]

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Hail Damage to Roofs|Insurance Claims From Hail

September 21, 2010

Massachusetts Hail Damaged Roofs If you live in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts there is the strong possibility that the roof on your home may have been damaged by the hail storm that took place in May of 2009. You may be thinking to yourself that you remember the hail storm but looked up at [...]

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Selling a Home in a Buyer’s Market

September 16, 2010

Selling a Massachusetts home in a buyer’s market The title of the article really should read buying and selling a home simultaneously in a buyer’s market. In my daily life as a Massachusetts Realtor I come across lots of folks who do not sell their home even though they want to. The thought process is [...]

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Rhino Shield An Exterior Painting Alternative

September 8, 2010

Rhino Shield is something you may be reading about more and more in the near future. It is just starting to become popular as an alternative to painting a home. If you live in Massachusetts or any of the other the New England states you already know that our varied seasons can do a number [...]

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Realtors Should Not Let Short Sale Investors Negotiate With Lenders

September 1, 2010

The reason why Realtors handling short sales should not let a short sale investor take over negotiations with a lender may not be fairly obvious. If you are a Realtor who works  short sales or are thinking about doing them here is where you really need to pay attention. Without a doubt we live in [...]

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Massachusetts Title 5 Bedroom Count Deed Restriction

August 24, 2010

In Massachusetts the law governing septic system installation and maintenance is known as Title V. Whenever a home owner is going to be selling their home they will need to get what is called a Title V inspection done. In order to close on a property in Massachusetts you will need to have a passing [...]

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Beware of The Short Sale Investor|Short Sale Fraud

August 17, 2010

Any Realtor that regularly works with short sales is bound to come across a proposition from a potential buyer who happens to be a short sale investor. As a home owner you may have also at one time or another noticed some signs around town that say  something like “we buy houses” or “stop foreclosure” [...]

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Divorce and Selling a Home

August 9, 2010

Divorce and selling a home they say are on the list of most stressful events a person can go through in their lives. One of the realities of being a Massachusetts Realtor is that I often encounter folks that are going to need to sell their home due to a divorce. Divorce and selling a [...]

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Moving From a Home During a Short Sale

August 3, 2010

One of the questions I am often asked when consulting a Massachusetts home owner about short sales is whether or not it is alright if they move out of the home. Sometimes  life circumstances dictate that it would be more convenient to live somewhere else. The answer to this questions is an easy one. Leaving [...]

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Massachusetts Moving and Storage With PODS

July 27, 2010

What to Know About PODS and Moving If you are pretty observant like I am you may have  noticed a white container in a local yard that had in big bold lettering the word PODS and wondered what it was. PODS is short for portable on demand storage. More than likely a home owner who [...]

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Buying a Massachusetts Foreclosure Property

July 20, 2010

Are you considering buying a Massachusetts foreclosure property?   Investors that have a long term perspective of the Real Estate market understand that purchasing a bank foreclosure can be an excellent financial proposition. In the Metrowest Massachusetts area there are plenty of them around and they can typically be bought at a discount to the present [...]

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When To Do a Short Sale Home Inspection

July 13, 2010

In most Real Estate transactions there is a buyers agent representing a buyer and a sellers agent representing the seller. In a traditional purchase, the home inspection is generally done within the 1st week or two after a contract has been executed by both the buyer and seller. This is know as a “home inspection [...]

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USDA Loans For No Down Payment Financing

July 7, 2010

A USDA guaranteed loan is a government insured 100% purchase loan. This type of loan is only offered in what is considered a rural area. They are serviced by direct lenders that meet Federal guidelines. USDA loans (US Department of Agriculture) aka Section 502 loans are an excellent mortgage vehicle for those home buyers who [...]

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Realtors Should Be Attending Home Inspections With Their Clients

June 30, 2010

In the Real Estate industry it is usually pretty easy to spot a truly dedicated Realtor who has a passion for their business. It is also just as easy to spot a pretender that does as little as they can get away with. Unfortunately, there are very low barriers to becoming a Realtor. Take a [...]

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Fannie Mae Strikes Against Strategic Defaults

June 25, 2010

You may have heard or read recently about strategic defaults as this topic is all over the news. A strategic default is when a home owner walks away from their mortgage when they are still able to make the payments. The reason why a home owner would consider a strategic default and just walk away [...]

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Home Warranty Benefits For Massachusetts Homes

June 22, 2010

Home warranties are something you see every now and then being offered by a Massachusetts home seller who is looking to provide a perk and piece of mind to a prospective home buyer. The seller pays for the warranty upfront and the Realtor advertises that the property comes with a home warranty. A home warranty [...]

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Picking The Wrong Massachusetts Realtor Can Get Ugly!

June 18, 2010

As a Realtor, knowing how to market your services as well as a clients property online can be very powerful. In the Real Estate field it can certainly be the difference maker in whether or not a client chooses to hire you or NOT! It is not that hard to figure out that Realtors are [...]

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Home Improvements With The Worst Return On Investment

June 14, 2010

One thing I have learned over the years while working as a Massachusetts Realtor is that many folks do not realize the correlation between making improvements to their home and what the corresponding return on investment will end up being. So many people blindly assume that every improvement they make to their home will bring [...]

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Massachusetts Home Buyer Turn Offs

June 10, 2010

Getting a Massachusetts home sold today is a lot more difficult than it used to be. The fact of the matter is that there are far fewer buyers that can qualify to buy a home today.  We all know that lending practices have tightened and rightfully so. There are also millions of people that have [...]

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Fixing Credit Report Errors

June 7, 2010

If you are buying a home one of the things you will absolutely want to do beforehand is to fix any credit report errors! There is nothing that can put a damper on purchasing a home than finding out you need to fix a credit report error so that you will be able to get [...]

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Should I Move or Improve My Massachusetts Home?

June 2, 2010

As a Massachusetts Realtor getting asked the question should I move to another home or improve on my existing home is something I hear fairly often. The answer to this question often depends on each individual home owners circumstances. Massachusetts home improvements are cheaper There is no question that now is a great time to [...]

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Massachusetts Home Owners Insurance Savings Tips

June 1, 2010

One of the things that every Massachusetts home owner is required to have when procuring a loan for a property is to have home owners insurance. Most banks and mortgage companies will not give someone a loan unless their home is insured. Most loan documents will also give the bank the option of taking legal [...]

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Breaking a Massachusetts Real Estate Contract

May 27, 2010

When a Real Estate client expresses a desire to break a Real Estate contract you know the next few days of your life are probably not going to be too pleasant. When people are looking to break a contract it is usually a highly charged emotional event! In Massachusetts we are a two contract state. [...]

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Getting The Best Mortgage Home Loan

May 21, 2010

Getting the best mortgage home loan for your particular needs is all about doing the proper research so you can hand pick the program that works for your situation in life. There are numerous loan programs available to savvy home buyers. The most common loan programs are the conventional fixed rate mortgage and the adjustable [...]

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Acceptable Hardships For Massachusetts Short Sales

May 20, 2010

I have encountered quite a few people in my Real Estate travels that incorrectly assume that anyone who owes more money than their home is worth and wishes to short sell their Massachusetts home can do so with no problem. Sorry folks but it does not always work that way. In some respects it actually [...]

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Painting a Massachusetts Home with Duration Paint by Sherwin Williams

May 17, 2010

If you live anywhere in the New England region you know that are weather can go from being beautiful to down right nasty in the blink of an eye. Where I live in Massachusetts a homes exterior can take a terrible beating due to the elements. If your Massachusetts home has clapboard or wood siding [...]

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Marking a Property Under Agreement or Accepting Back Up Offers in Real Estate?

May 13, 2010

In Massachusetts when you are marketing a seller’s home and you procure a ready willing and able buyer to purchase a property you have hopefully started your journey to a successful closing. One of the things that Realtors are required to do is change the status of the property when we have a signed contract [...]

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Short Sale Tax Consequences

May 10, 2010

As a Massachusetts Realtor that has been doing quite a few successful short sales, one of the things I like to make sure of when I meet a potential client that is looking to do a short sale is to give them a complete understanding of how they work. Short sales can be complicated transactions. [...]

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Staging and Preparing a Massachusetts Home For Sale

May 6, 2010

Getting a Home Ready For Sale Back in the boom times of the Real Estate market from the mid 1990’s until the mid 2000’s getting a Massachusetts home truly ready for the market was far less important than it is today. Every home seller today is in stiff competition with the next guy down the [...]

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Why Most Real Estate For Sale By Owners (FSBO) Fail

May 3, 2010

Top Reasons For Sale By Owners Lack Success One thing that makes the world go around is the desire to save money. Everyone likes to save a few bucks. In Real Estate saving a commission translates into big dollars. It is hard to blame anyone for wanting to save the type of money that is [...]

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Picking a Dominant Online Metrowest MA Realtor

May 2, 2010

It is a fact that 90% of all home buyers start their search for a home online. The days of buyers using newspapers and magazines as a viable means to find a home are over! Keeping this in mind, the goal of any Realtor that is worth their commission is to make darn sure the [...]

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Massachusetts Bedroom Misrepresentation With Septic Systems

April 30, 2010

One of the things that Massachusetts home owners who are serviced by a private septic system need to be keenly aware of when selling their home is to make sure they do not misrepresent the bedroom count. When a home is serviced by a septic system in Massachusetts the advertised bedroom count must meet the [...]

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Realtor Communication Skills The Number One Complaint!

April 28, 2010

If you look at any of the National Real Estate surveys the number one complaint from consumers against Realtors who are representing home sellers is the lack of communication skills. There are countless stories of sellers signing a listing contract and then never hearing from their Realtor again unless they initiate the contact. Obviously if [...]

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How Not to Sell a Massachusetts Home

April 26, 2010

Every week on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) you see countless homes that come up “expired”. For those that are not familiar with the term, an expired listing is a home that did not sell. When looking over the possible common denominators of why some homes do not sell the reason is usually pretty easy [...]

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FHA Loans V.S a Conventional Loan

April 22, 2010

I am excited to announce guest blogger Michael Dunsky from Guaranteed Rate Mortgages who will be covering some of the great benefits to FHA financing. Michael has been one of my preferred loan officers for years and always does an outstanding job with his clients. Check out Mike’s terrific article on FHA Loans v.s conventional [...]

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Why Accompanied Showings in Real Estate are a Big Mistake

April 21, 2010

In the Metrowest Massachusetts area where I am located it is pretty rare to see an accompanied showing. In towards Boston it becomes much more common place. Some areas around the country have them and others don’t. Why? Who knows but more than likely it has to do with tradition. I am glad the policy [...]

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Real Estate Pricing Ending in 900 May or May Not Be a Good Idea

April 19, 2010

When I 1st got into the Real Estate business twenty four years ago we used to carry around the big bulky MLS books. Back in those days this was how we knew what properties were on the market in Massachusetts. The internet was in it’s infancy and jumping online to look at properties was not [...]

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Make Sure You Get Your Massachusetts Short Sale Debt Released!

April 16, 2010

If you are an avid reader of my Massachusetts Real Estate blog you probably have guessed that one of my passions is to help out those that are in need of completing a short sale. Massachusetts home owners struggling to make mortgage payments are often turning to doing a short sale as a means of [...]

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Massachusetts Flooding and The Potential Pollution of Local Water Supplies

April 14, 2010

I am pleased to introduce guest blogger Ashley Connolley from Northeast Water Wells who is here to discuss some of the potential issues a home owner can face from the recent record breaking storms and flooding in the Metrowest Massachusetts area. Ashley was kind enough to drop by and give some things to consider regarding [...]

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Real Estate Commissions Agent Bonus and Unethical Realtors

April 12, 2010

Many many years ago when I got into the Real Estate business every Realtor represented the seller. Consumers did not have the luxury of having a Real Estate agent in their corner to represent their best interests. Consumer law in Massachusetts however, changed in the 1990’s. Buyers are now afforded the opportunity to have a [...]

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Massachusetts Home Sale Contingencies and Right of 1st Refusal

April 9, 2010

If you are selling your home in Massachusetts it is possible you may see a buyer try to purchase your home with a home sale contingency. In other words they write into the Real Estate contract that they will not have to proceed with buying your home unless they successfully close on the property that [...]

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Questions to Ask a Short Sale Listing Agent as a Buyer or Buyers Agent

April 7, 2010

There is no doubt that a short sale is not your run of the mill Real Estate transaction. Anyone who has ever been involved with one as a listing agent knows there are a lot of hoops to jump through! On a national level there is a very high percentage of short sales that never [...]

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Handling Offers When Selling a Massachusetts Home

April 5, 2010

One of my favorite things when selling a Massachusetts home is to receive multiple offers. I know there are a lot of Real Estate agents that hate this situation because on many occasions it can become contentious. When there are multiple offers on a home from a couple of different parties there is only one [...]

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Massachusetts Tax Stamps and Other Costs to Sell a Home

April 2, 2010

One of the things that I have realized over the years while representing Massachusetts home sellers is the fact that many are completely unaware that there is a tax to sell your home! While it is true that if you live in Massachusetts you come to grips quickly that just about everything gets taxed, sometimes [...]

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Massachusetts Assessed Home Values Are Not The Same As Fair Market Value

March 31, 2010

As a Massachusetts Realtor who has been around the block a few times, I often come across things that are written and said by other Realtors that just want to make me scratch my head in disbelief. All this head scratching could partially explain why I started to lose my hair at such an early [...]

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FICO Credit Scores and Increasing Your Creditworthiness

March 29, 2010

How to Increase a Credit Score   Credit scores are one of the largest factors that lenders use in evaluating whether or not to lend money to a borrower. Credit scores are designed to measure the risk of someone defaulting by taking into account various factors in a person’s financial history. If you are considering [...]

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Massachusetts Homestead Protection Act

March 26, 2010

The Massachusetts Homestead Protection Act is one of the biggest no- brainers for any homeowner in Massachusetts to take advantage off. Quite simply, an estate of homestead is protection for a persons residence from most creditors. The declaration of homestead protects the equity in your home for up to $500,000 in the event you are sued. [...]

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Need a Massachusetts Short Sale Realtor? Don’t Pick a Short Sale Buffoon!

March 24, 2010

One of the biggest mistakes I see being made over and over again by those that need to short sell their Massachusetts home is picking the wrong Real Estate agent to work with. Don’t make this mistake and turn into Realtor road kill! The are an abundance of Realtors that are listing short sales and [...]

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Testing a Massachusetts Well When Buying a Home

March 20, 2010

As a home seller or buyer in Massachusetts there are always questions that come up regarding testing the water when a home is serviced by a private well. If you happen to be buying a Massachusetts home that is serviced by a well and not by public water you better make darn sure that you [...]

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Buying a Massachusetts Bank Owned Home

March 18, 2010

There are a few different ways in which a buyer of Real Estate could obtain ownership of a foreclosure. Here is a quick summary of the three possible scenarios: A pre-foreclosure where you are able to buy directly from the home owner before the bank takes over. This is commonly referred to as a short [...]

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Real Estate Value Range Pricing is Nothing But Deception

March 17, 2010

Real Estate value range pricing is not that common in Massachusetts thankfully! The term value range pricing can also be known as “variable pricing”, “value range marketing” and “range pricing”. So what is Real Estate value range pricing exactly? It is when you list a home for sale and rather than going out on the [...]

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Massachusetts Seller’s Statement of Property Condition

March 15, 2010

The Massachusetts sellers statement of property condition is a form that many Massachusetts Real Estate companies require their agents to have the seller sign. Massachusetts however, does not require these forms to be filled out as part of a Real Estate transaction so it is up to the individual company to decide if they are [...]

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Price Per Square Foot is Misleading for Real Estate Values

March 10, 2010

Over the years working as a Realtor I have seen numerous home buyers as well as other Realtors try to use dollars per square foot as a good measuring stick for market values. Sorry folks but that is a very poor way to analyze value. There are a number of reasons why this is the [...]

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Tax Deductions to Remember When Buying a Home

March 8, 2010

When you are getting a mortgage to purchase a home, there are certain deductions that the IRS allows that are well worth remembering come tax time in April. The following is a list of  some of the deductions that many people forget about when buying a home: POINTS Points on a home loan are tax [...]

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Massachusetts Property Tax Relief for Seniors

March 5, 2010

One of the things that Massachusetts seniors face in many of the destination towns where schools are top notch is the growing burden of higher taxes. There is almost always a correlation between a towns popularity and the market value of the homes. When you look at why property values are higher in one town [...]

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What Kind of Massachusetts Realtor Do You Want?

March 4, 2010

There is a lot of talk in Real Estate circles about how Realtors should run their business in regards to returning either another agents or clients phone call. There are of course some pretty differing opinions amongst Real Estate agents themselves on what they should be held accountable to. There are quite a few including [...]

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Massachusetts Public Open Houses Are a Waste of Time For Home Sellers

February 28, 2010

Yes… I am talking about the waste of time that thousands of Realtors continue to participate in week after week on Sundays in Massachusetts….THE PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE. Let me rephrase that…A waste of time for the seller of the home. This will probably come as a surprise to you but Nationally less than 1% of [...]

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Stop Making Mortgage Payments During a Short Sale?

February 18, 2010

The question of whether a home owner should stop making mortgage payments during a short sale is a popular topic for sure! There are a lot of myths floating around when it comes to successfully doing a Real Estate short sale. One of the more prominent untruths is the fact that you need to be [...]

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