We take a look at the best real estate content online in September 2022. From answering the deceptively simple question “What are Realtors?” to helping sellers make the difficult decision to cut the price of their home, there has been a lot of valuable information posted.
Most of the articles this month will help inform home buyers and sellers, but one post is written specifically for real estate professionals. If you are new to the industry, getting advice on how to succeed from those who have already succeeded is well worth the read.
What Are Realtors?
While this might seem like an easy question, the answer might not be relatively as straightforward as you imagine. Realtors and real estate agents are terms often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same. What is a Realtor happens to be a question asked by many consumers.
Bill Gassett covers the difference between Realtors and agents in his expansive look at the subject. He touches on the history of the National Association of Realtors and even the demographics of members in the organization.
Bill also answers questions like; how do clients benefit from the services of a Realtor, and how much do Realtors make? The article will reveal much more about Realtors and what they can do for buyers and sellers.
Explaining Earnest Money
When you finally find a home you want to buy, it’s time to make an offer. If the seller accepts, they will remove their home from the market. But in this situation, the seller is taking a lot of risks, and to balance this out, they ask for a deposit.
This deposit is known as earnest money and shows good faith to the seller. Earnest money does ensure that buyers can’t easily make multiple offers on different homes and stops them from backing out of the deal without a valid reason.
But it is still possible to cancel the purchase contract when you buy a home and get your earnest money back in some circumstances. The earnest money deposit is paid into escrow and only goes to the seller if the buyer backs out of the deal without the protection of contingencies.
Luke Skar tackles the surprisingly complicated issue of earnest money. Explain how much it typically is, how it is paid, how the buyer gets the money back, and how they can lose it. Learning about earnest money could save you from losing your deposit when things go wrong if you make an offer on a home.
Necessary Change of Address Notifications
Moving home is stressful enough without losing some crucial mail because you forgot to notify everyone you should have. There could be legal issues and other problems if you don’t inform the entities you need to when you no longer live at your old address.
Bill Gassett helps you avoid adding to your worries by highlighting the organizations you must contact with your change of address notification. He gives you the starting point to create your own change of address checklist.
Utility companies might be an obvious addition to your checklist, but if you don’t contact them at the right time, you could find yourself without electricity or the internet. Bill provides you with a guide, so your move doesn’t become any more stressful than it already is.
When is The Right Time to Cut The Price of Your Home
If your home isn’t attracting as much buyer interest as you think it should, you could reduce the price. But is now the right time, and will it help you find a buyer? Paul Sian delves into the situations that could mean cutting your price is necessary to help you sell.
Cutting the price might be unnecessary if you are in a seller’s market. But if potential buyers are few and far between, the reason might be the price. There could also be other issues that are putting off buyers, and Paul gives his expert advice on what to do in these situations.
Has your home had a bad inspection report? Are buyers commenting that the home needs a refresh? Should you deal with these issues directly or cut the price to meet buyer expectations? These are all difficult questions to answer, but Paul helps you navigate this tricky decision in his article.
Avoiding Home Inspection Problems
When buying a home, the inspection could make it feel like your purchase hangs in the balance on the inspector’s findings. If the report shows severe issues with the home, your dream property could begin to look like a nightmare. Bill Gassett demystifies what a home inspector does and looks at five additional inspections that could help ensure you aren’t buying a money pit.
Buying a home is a serious financial commitment that you won’t pay off for decades, so ensuring you’re making the right decision is very important. Home inspections help you ensure you aren’t buying a property that will cost you a lot more down the line.
Though you won’t want to pay extra fees, optional additional inspections could save you a lot in the long run. For instance, paying extra for a pest inspection could help uncover a termite infestation before you buy the home.
It will then become the seller’s problem that they could choose to fix or drop the price to keep the sale on track. If anything serious is discovered during the inspection, the cost will undoubtedly have been worth it.
Improving Curb Appeal
The importance of curb appeal can’t be underestimated. If you want to sell your home quickly and for the best price, making sure it looks its best is vital. The front of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see when they attend a showing, and first impressions tend to be lasting.
Even though they will have seen photos, seeing the home in person will leave a stronger impression on them. Kevin Vitali gives six great tips on what you can do to make your home the best looking in the neighborhood and boost its value.
He advises homeowners to consider what needs to be done, the details involved, and the available budget to make the home look as good as possible. Tackling the landscaping is one of the steps recommended by Kevin to make the home look more appealing.
Simply maintaining the lawn, adding some new plants, and power washing brick and stonework will increase the home’s good impression.
What Makes a Real Estate Agent Successful
Making it work in the beginning can be challenging if you decide to become a real estate agent. Learning from others who have already walked the path you are taking, and succeeded, can provide a lot of insight.
Deborah Ann Spence has asked 26 successful real estate agents to give their thoughts on what it takes to succeed in real estate. This advice could be invaluable if you are a new agent or contemplating a career move into real estate.
She recommends carefully listening to clients’ requirements and learning to differentiate their must-haves from the things they could compromise on. This will better enable you to help them meet their goals in either selling or buying a home. This is just one of the many useful pieces of advice for anyone new to a career in real estate.
Keep in mind that earning a real estate income isn’t as easy as it seems.
The Advantages of Being Prequalified For a Mortgage
When you are ready to begin seriously looking for a new home, being prequalified offers many advantages. In his article, Eric Jeanette covers the three main benefits to show why being prequalified is essential. It helps you fully understand how much you can afford to spend on a home, helping you narrow down your search.
Prequalification also shows real estate agents that you can afford to buy the home and indicates to sellers that you are more serious about buying. Prequalification and preapproval are often confused, and Eric helps clear up that misunderstanding.
He also reveals the importance of working with a lender with fewer restrictions to get qualified for the amount you need to buy the home of your dreams.
Identifying Where Property Values Are Dropping
Whether you are concerned about the value of your home or you are looking to snap up a bargain, knowing where property values are falling can be beneficial. The housing market is in constant change, with the fortunes of some areas rising while others fall. With the pandemic almost in the rearview mirror, the dramatic changes it brought to the market have now stabilized.
G. Brian Davis reveals the 54 areas of the country experiencing the largest drop in prices. He also looks at the causes of these falls and rising interest rates’ role in making mortgages less affordable. He also considers where the market is heading and expects prices to begin to level off in most areas. And, of course, the situation varies in different states, with the housing shortage preventing prices from falling very much in some areas.
What Home Inspectors Look For
When you have made an offer on a home, you can hire a home inspector. They will tour the home looking for potential problems, but what are the main things home inspectors look for? Bill Gassett dives into the world of home inspections to reveal what is included in the inspection report. An experienced home inspector will go through the home from top to bottom to ensure the home buyer can have confidence in their purchase.
They will look at the foundations, check that the roof is sound, and ensure that the electrical and plumbing systems are functioning correctly. But these are only a few of the vital checks a home inspector uses to gather information for their report.
For these reasons, while you can avoid a home inspection, it isn’t advisable. Not having a home inspection could end up costing you a lot more than the fees the inspector would have charged.
Home Design Blunders
While the popularity of home improvement shows on TV might have encouraged you to start your own renovation project, it might not turn out quite as well as you expect. Even if you bring in experts to help you realize your vision, you could make costly mistakes that don’t increase the home’s value.
It could even be worse than that, with some renovations making the home more difficult to sell. But even professionals can get this wrong, losing money when renovating and flipping properties. Gabrielle Olya asks real estate professionals what their biggest renovation mistakes were.
These real estate professionals tell stories like adding a shallow swimming pool to a house, which made the home more difficult to sell. Swimming pools typically only add 5% to the home’s value, and when they cost, on average, $40,000, this is often more than 10% of what the property is worth.
PREVIOUS REAL ESTATE ROUNDUPS
- The best real estate articles for August 2022 – see multiple bloggers share exceptional advice on buying and selling homes.
- Best real estate articles for July 2022 – get spot-on advice from real estate experts.
This month’s round-up of top real estate articles has covered some diverse topics within the subject that will be useful to many. Offering valuable advice to help on your real estate journey and providing some hints on where the market might be heading in the future
About the author: the above roundup of the best articles from September 2022 was written by Luke Skar. Luke is a 19+ year veteran of the mortgage industry. He strives to stay updated with the latest changes and trends in mortgage lending and real estate.
Through his mortgage blog, websites, and social media accounts, his goal is to help the community with as much factual knowledge as possible that benefits all parties in real estate transactions.