The days are getting longer, birds are singing, and the grass is getting greener. Can you feel it? Spring is in the air! In the real estate world, spring is like Christmas. Lots of people are getting ready to either buy or sell a home, and this is the busiest time of the year for mortgage lenders, real estate agents, and the accommodating service providers.
To help all the agents and consumers, I have assembled the best articles from Google+ in March to give you actionable advice and assist you in your real estate endeavor.
Making a Case Against Dual Agency
Real estate agents provide a service by either
- Helping someone find a home to buy OR
- Helping someone sell a house
That sounds rather simple, but there are lots of steps needed to accomplish these two feats. One agent is trying to help someone, or some family, find a home with the right features, in an excellent location and at a price that is not too high.
The other agent is trying to help someone, or some family, sell a home at the best price possible. These two goals are not one in the same. Bill Gassett points out some key reasons why dual agency can be a bad thing not only for the seller of a home but also for the buyer. Bill has done a great job in multiple articles this month explaining why dual agency does not benefit buyers or sellers.
Real Estate agents cannot serve two masters in real estate transaction without practicing illegal dual agency, where they provide advice to both parties during the sale.
Understanding Facts of FHA Loans
When we were in school, teachers, friends, relatives, and parents have stressed to us the importance of studying. Take time to do the homework, pay attention in class, take comprehensive notes and always prepare for a test. Why all the fuss? People that are well prepared usually make better decisions compared to folks that just wing it.
The good people at Inlanta Mortgage took this sentiment to heart and prepared a list of pure facts about FHA loans.
The facts cover things like the definition of FHA, who lends money on FHA loans and a wide range of other topics designed to help consumers and real estate agents alike.
Pluses and Minuses of Investing in Real Estate
For many years people have pursued real estate investing as a way of either adding to their income, preparing for retirement, or both. There are literally thousands of books, videos, and courses on the subject.
Paul Sian has taken the time to point out the bad and the good of various real estate investments. The article does not suggest that only one kind of investment is better than another. Instead, it points out pros and cons of each type so that the reader can make their own informed decision.
Should You Buy a Piece of History
Most every town across the nation has a historic district. From time to time, one of the homes in this area will come up for sale. Anita Clark tackles the idea of buying a historic home from both the positive and negative side.
Without a doubt, there are some aspects of a historic home that appeal to many people. The antique charm, the uniqueness of the house along with many other attributes. But there are some downsides to buying such a property. Some people may view the negatives as a small matter while others may consider a completely different type of home altogether.
Avoiding Home Staging Disaster
Getting a home ready to sell can be quite stressful for owners, especially if they are trying to live in the home and carry on their normal life while also being prepared at a moment’s notice for a real estate agent to drop by and show the home off to potential buyers.
For this reason, people will try to stage their home to make it more appealing to wide range of people. However, there are some things that simply don’t work when it comes to staging a home and sellers need to be aware of these pitfalls, as explained by Michelle Gibson.
Michelle points out obvious things like worn out furniture; niche minded decorations and unattractive artificial plants. She also points out other items that may not seem so obvious but can have a significant impact on people’s first impression of the home.
Proper Home Shopping Etiquette
There is a time and place for everything, as the old saying goes. People that have never bought a home before may not be aware that there are some generally accepted rules about how to behave when pursuing various homes in search of that perfect spot. This fantastic article from Sharon Paxson does a great job of summarizing little things that buyers can do to show their respect towards real estate agents as well as sellers.
There are various things, like don’t bring food/drinks into a home and remind all children to be on their best behavior. But there are some subtle pointers too such as how to handle pets and true intentions that may not be apparent to people new to the real estate market. Taking this advice to heart will make you seem like a better buyer not only to the agent but also to potential sellers.
To Be or Not To Be a Landlord (apologies to Shakespeare)
Many a home seller has pondered the question: should I really sell this home, or keep the place as a rental property? While it may seem like a fundamental math problem, there are so many other things to consider.
Joe Boylan goes through many aspects of being a landlord, as well as keeping the home as a rental, in his new article. There are things to consider such as maintenance on the property as well as fees paid to a management company, the TIME required to find renters, make repairs, and prepare the home when one renter moves out, and another moves in.
The article does an excellent job of presenting both sides of the argument so that potential sellers can put themselves in either position and determine what is best for them at this time.
Getting in the Mind of Home Inspectors
Although most people will agree that buying a home is one of the largest financial transactions they will undertake, it is surprising how few take the time or money to get a good home inspection. Kevin Vitali spoke with many home inspectors near and far to find out things that buyers really need to know about a home inspection.
People should take the time to join the inspector when they view the home. This will give the buyers the best chance to learn everything about the house and whether it is the right fit for them. But there are many other things to understand about the inspection. Kevin uses the input from the pros to reinforce the significance of the inspection and interpreting the report.
Moving to a Smaller Home
It is common for people to move to a smaller home for a variety of reasons. Most notably is the fact that the children have moved out and the aging parents do not have a need for so much space. But there are other reasons, and there are things to consider when going from a larger home to a smaller house.
Chris Highland points out some clever tips for what to do with all your belongings if you are downsizing. Although selling it is one easy answer, some other things can be done with the stuff that could help you as well as some folks in the local community.
Picking the Right Shade of Gray
Hardwood floors have gained a lot of steam in popularity over the last few years so much that different colors are now available. One popular option that is neutral and accommodating to many different decorating themes are the gray hardwood floors.
Debbie Gartner, aka The Flooring Girl, reminds us that it is not as simple as choosing the cheapest material from the first site that pops up on a Google search. Her article points out things that some buyers may not be familiar with and how to choose the right hardwood floors for your particular needs.
Summit It Up
And there you have it! Advice for sellers, buyers and maybe some help for agents too. I hope you found this collection of articles helpful and I look forward to bringing you more information from my peers and partners on Google+.
Previous Google Plus Real Estate Round-Ups
Take a look at the previously published articles of the best of Google+ for more great real estate advice.
About the author: This article was written by Luke Skar of Inlanta Mortgage – Madison which serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida. Since 1993 Inlanta Mortgage has provided award-winning customer service to clients, who need to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage.
Luke serves as the Social Media Strategist for Inlanta Mortgage. His role is to provide original content for all of their social media profiles as well as generating new leads from his website, MadisonMortgageGuys.com NMLS ID #1016.