Is your Real Estate Website Keeping you Current on Inventory?

shutterstock_1958376_soldHi there, everyone.  Hope you are having a wonderful week.

Today, I’d like to spend some time on real estate property searches and how critical it is to have up to date information on listing inventory.

In the KC Metro, we are firmly in a seller’s market.  If you read these posts on any kind of regular basis, you know that I publish many tips on how to prepare yourself as a buyer in all stages of the transaction.   No matter how much you’ve prepared yourself, however, there is not much you can do with it if you don’t have quality data on listing inventory.

Homes that go under contract in 7 hours are here and gone if the website you are using does not refresh but once per day.

Here is what I recommend to stay up to date and have the most current information.  Local KC Metro agents are members of Heartland Multiple Listing Service.  Your buyer’s agent needs to be setting you up on some type of automatic notification of listing inventory in the area you are looking in.  It is a fantastic feature and you can receive instant notification on new listings, price changes and status changes as fast as the listing agent hits enter.  At Domicile One Realty, we set this up first thing.

I’m not saying to pitch your favorite website.  Some folks are very loyal to their sites because of the layout, the photos, the school/mortgage info, etc.  By all means keep using your favorite, but have this in place as well.

Best regards and feel free to contact me with any questions,

Terry Jackson — Broker Owner — Domicile One Realty

913-488-5623   —   www.DomicileOne.com —  Terry@DomicileOne.com

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hot Seller’s Market and Appraisals

shutterstock_370794533

Hi there, everyone.  Hope you are having a terrific day.

When you think back to how miserable the housing market was just 5 and 6 short years ago, a topic about appraisal issues due to high purchase prices sounds like a champagne problem, doesn’t it?  Still, anytime we swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, it ushers in a new set of issues.

My focus on this, as with all others in a real estate transaction, is “how can I best anticipate issues and prepare/protect my client”?

In the case of appraisal issues….lets use an example to hone in on the issue.  A great home (good condition/competitively priced) comes on the market Sunday and there is an open house scheduled the very day it comes on the market.  The listing agent is so confident that the buyers will come in that they tell us that offers will be presented to the seller at 5:00p.m.  Remember that the Open House is scheduled from 1:00-3:00p.m. so we already know we have to act quickly.

Now, this listing agent is not being arrogant….this is how brisk our seller’s market is right now and they know it.   More than likely, they will have several offers to present to the seller.  These multiple offer scenarios are driving purchase prices up….higher than the asking price.

This is where the appraisal issue comes in.  Once the contract is signed by all parties, inspections are completed and any repair issues agreed upon, here comes the appraiser.  Most transactions are financed so the lender will send out an appraiser to make certain that the home value is in sync with the purchase price based on condition and area sales.  If the purchase price has been pushed up due to this multiple offer scenario we might find ourselves addressing the issue of “what if the house doesn’t appraise for what I’ve committed to paying?”

Your  agent should be explaining to you — in your early consultations and throughout the transaction process — what each step will look like…including the appraisal process.  This is time well spent as you don’t want to find yourself in a rush and hearing new concepts as they are unfolding live.  At a minimum, the client should be hearing what the plan is, in the event the home will not appraise for the contract amount, when they review and sign their offer.  It should be specific and in writing.  What are the options of each party and how many days we have to get it resolved  (ex. reappraisal, renegotiation of purchase price, etc).   Lastly, what are the options of all parties if it cannot be resolved and what happens to the buyer’s earnest money?

No matter which side of the transaction you are on, your agent will be key in walking you through scenarios and making sure that you know your options if this were to happen.  You don’t have to fear this issue, you just need to have a plan in the event it occurs.

Take care everyone  and let me know if you need anything.

Terry Jackson

Broker Owner and Realtor — Domicile One Realty

www.DomicileOne.com          913-488-5623

** Don’t forget that we are offering free, home buyer classes each month.  Click here to register.  We’d love to meet you.

 

 

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying, KC Metro Home Selling | Tagged | Leave a comment

Employee Real Estate Benefit — InLocation™

shutterstock_103680230_Benefits

Hi everyone.  Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday break!

Today’s blog post is on a topic that many folks are unfamiliar with and one that I’d like to share called Employer Assisted Housing.  EAH addresses the employer including real estate assistance to the employee’s benefit package.  So often, we think of relocation as the sole corporate benefit when it pertains to real estate.  No doubt, this is a traditional and valuable benefit to the employee, but a couple of things stand out when considering ReLocation.

1.  It is not always available to all employee levels.

2.  Not all employees relocate.

So where does this leave the employee that doesn’t relocate, but is part of the tens of thousands of transactions that take place in the KC Metro each year?

Domicile One Realty is Kansas City’s only brokerage specializing in First Time Homebuyers and we are excited to launch a new service benefit for employer consideration– Inlocation™.

We are presenting the KC Metro’s first Employer Assisted Housing Forum in Grandview, MO on July 14th, 2016.  We have invited area employers, non-profits, elected officials, and human resource professionals.  The goal is to initiate a discussion on how a program of this type would benefit both the employee and employer  — recruitment, retention, productivity and community recognition. A local lender will be attending to discuss their role in this initiative as well.

We will be hosting these forums throughout the KC Metro on an ongoing basis.

Domicile One Realty is locally and independently owned and we are excited to be able to approach KC Metro organizations with this service.  With no administrative fee to implement, an organization of any size may participate.  The benefit that each employer creates could be as unique as each organization.  We want to work with you to achieve a program that makes sense for your team.

If you’d like more information, please go to www.DomicileOne-Inlocation.com or call at 913-488-5623.  If you are an employee reading this and are interested, please contact us as well and we’d love to discuss with you as well.

Take care,

Terry Jackson — Broker Owner — Domicile One Realty

913-488-5623  —  www.DomicileOne.com www.DomicileOne-InLocation

 

 

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged | Leave a comment

First-Time Homebuyers

Happy Friday, everyone.  Wanted to insert another shameless plug for our FREE, First-Time Homebuyer classes we are offering each month.  We have had a great turnout and wonderful questions from each group.

I’d say that the most common categories of questions are in the area of down payment/closing costs and potential credit issues.  We are fortunate that we have an excellent lender representative from North America Savings Bank at each of the classes so we are equipped to discuss!

We’d love to see you out there so feel free to RSVP via EventBrite or just email or call me and I’ll save you a seat.  We offer the classes the 2nd Tuesday of each month all through 2016.  Our next class is Tuesday, June 14th.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Terry Jackson

Realtor at Domicile One Realty — Terry@DomicileOne.com — 913-488-5623

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged | Leave a comment

It’s raining buckets, but keep that showing appointment!

Who wants to get out and look at homes in the rain?  You do.

In the Kansas City Metro, May is a great time to check out potential homes for so many reasons….

1.  More people are starting to list their homes for the summer sales so the selection/inventory is much better

2. You’ve got more light in the evening after work to schedule showings.

3.  It rains ALOT.  A Kansas City May is the stress test of gutters, downspouts and  waterproofed basements.

Stop by a home the day after one of these monsoons and walk right down into that basement.  See how it held up after the rain.  If you can’t see the moisture/water, do you smell it?  Wet basements have that dank smell so follow your nose.

If you can’t make it over after a big rain, don’t worry.  The seller’s disclosure has very specific questions regarding water so pay attention to that section.

As always, if there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out.

Take care,

Terry Jackson

Domicile One Realty  — 913-488-5623 —  www.DomicileOne.com

Sign up for my free Home Buyer class.  Offered monthly.

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

KC Metro Seller’s Market Continues

Hi there, everyone.

If you’ve been out house hunting this spring, I don’t need to tell you how fast some of these homes are flying off the market.  In some cases, we are talking hours instead of days and its not unusual for listing agents to have 3 offers to present to the sellers.

So the sellers, as my grandmother used to say, are in “high cotton”.  Days on the market are nice and low and the median sale prices are increasing due to the lack of inventory and these multiple offers don’t hurt one bit.

If you are a buyer, don’t despair in this market.  There are some things you can do to help yourself out.

  1.  Get that preapproval letter — It is very important that you take this step and get your lender all the documentation they require.  In this market, its doubtful that your offer will be considered if you don’t have this letter to go along with your offer.
  2. Get a buyer’s agent lined up — Your agent will be able to share with you how brisk the sales are in the area you are looking in.  They will be able to preview properties for you that you might not be able to get to until evenings or weekends.   They will also be able to put together an offer that might be appealing to the seller based on that seller’s specific needs (ex. Longer time in escrow if seller needs more time to move).
  3. Be flexible about showings– If you are a serious buyer (needing to be in a home by a specific date), this market will require you to look at houses at lunch breaks, after work, etc.  A well priced listing in good condition that becomes active on Tuesday may very well be under contract by Friday.  Your ability to be responsive will make a big difference.

 

If you have any questions or need more info on a specific area in our market, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  We’d be happy to help.

Take care,

Terry Jackson — Realtor at Domicile One Realty

913-488-5623      http://www.DomicileOne.com

Terry@DomicileOne.com

Click here to subscribe to our monthly email newsletter on topics on buying/selling/KC Market Activity.

 

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged , ,

Free Home Buyer Workshops for 2016

Hi there, everyone.  Hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

One of my objectives for 2016 is to offer more educational opportunities to homebuyers so that they may step into the buying process with confidence.

With that, I’m pleased to announce free, monthly workshops for homebuyers throughout 2016.  On the second Tuesday evening of each month, I’ll be partnering with a local lender to go over process, timeline, costs and many other topics.

This would be a great opportunity for a first time buyer and a wonderful refresher if it has been a while since you’ve been involved in a purchase.

Please feel free to contact me to register and I’d love to see you out there.  Our first workshop will be on 1/12/15 from 5:30 to 6:30.

Take care, Terry

Realtor at Domicile One Realty — Leawood, KS

http://www.terrysellskchomes.com

913-488-4523

 

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying

Tax Refunds and Home Down Payments…but wait, there’s more.

Hi everyone.  Hope all is well.

With last week’s warm up and tax refunds coming in, the home search has begun for many people.   In fact, I was recently a speaker at a home buyer workshop and was encouraged by both the turnout as well as the research already underway by so many of the prospective buyers.

What I also noticed, however, was the misconception by some that the down payment would be their only out of pocket cost to purchasing the home.  Without a doubt, that is part of it.  With a conventional loan, the buyer will be expected to have at least 5% down…3.5% for FHA.

In addition, there will be a lender origination fee, credit report, appraisal, title insurance and inspections just to name some.

The intent of this blog post is buyer awareness. When you sit down with your buyer’s agent, he or she will go over the estimate of the costs to purchase a home in the price range you desire.  The buyer should leave that consultation with a good idea of what all the upfront costs will be.  I like to also include which items will be out of pocket prior to your closing.  For example:  It is customary to provide earnest money that will be deposited in an escrow account upon acceptance of your offer. This money will be credited back to you at the closing, but for now, it has departed your checking account!

Remember that this is just an estimate that the buyer’s agent is initially providing. Still it is a good indicator of what funds will be needed. But what if I want the seller to pay for all or half of the closing costs you might ask?  That is certainly a consideration, but you need to know what you’re asking for.  Once you’ve found THE ONE, your agent will prepare another estimate of costs based on that specific home so that you can clearly see all costs and then know what to negotiate.

I hope this has been helpful.  Feel free to contact me with any questions and have a great day,

Terry

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How much is that Doggie in the Window? Homesellers and Pets

Put simply, if there is a “doggie in the window”, the buyers and their agents probably won’t even try to go in.  The question should really be “how much will this doggie cost me in terms of days on the market”, but the other title works much better.

The reality is that most sellers have some type of pet.  Most times this is not an issue whatsoever.  I can, however, share some insight as to how these showings are perceived by the buyers touring the property.   A pet should not reduce your chances of a swift sale, but there are some things you can do to help yourself out on this.  Today’s mantra is to make the HOME memorable, not the PET.

#1 — If at all possible, removing the pet(s) from the home during the showing is always going to be the best option.  This really is the best scenario for all (and I’m including the pet in this).  People will be walking up and down hallways, opening and closing all doors including exterior doors, the animal will hear unfamiliar voices and probably get pretty frightened.  A barking dog during a showing speeds it up and you want the potential buyer to spend time looking over the house, not trying to talk over the barking.

#2 —Never leave your pet wandering around freely during the showing.  Don’t even accept the showing if this is going to be the scenario the buyers walk in on.  If the pet must be at the property, have it kenneled somewhere out of the way….spare bedroom or basement.  This is a solution that I see often, but you still might miss that buyer that is allergic or afraid of dogs or cats.  While I’m at it, yes, cats should also be kenneled.  Hand to the Good Lord, I have seen a cat growl and hiss and keep my clients from entering a family room.  I’ve also had showings where my clients have been startled with a set of glowing eyes in the basement. This would be an example of Pet Memorable, not Home Memorable.  Additionally, it is very easy for a cat to run out of an exterior door so it is just not worth the risk.

#3 — Listing agents need to make the buyers agents aware of the pet before the showing.  Most agents are very good at updating remarks in the Multiple Listing Service. This will include what type of pet, how many, and where the pet will be during the showing. When I initially consult with a buyer, I will ask them if they have any pet allergies just for this reason.  We can make arrangements with the listing agent to schedule a showing with the pet removed from the home if necessary.  To date, I’ve never had a showing wind up in the emergency room and I’d like to keep it that way.

#4 — Does your home pass the sniff test?  Odors are a big turnoff for buyers.  Have the carpets cleaned to freshen up the place.  In some cases, consider new carpeting in rooms that need it.  Vacuum each day and get those cute little nose prints off the windows.  Not so cute to the buyer.   Ever heard of the saying “Dogs leave paw prints on your heart”?  Lets keep them there and not on your floor.  Also, litter boxes should be neat and clean with as few “artifacts” as possible.

I know that these seem like common sense items and they are.  Having pets does not have to be a negative when it comes to selling homes.  Like I’m always stating, however, make it easy for the buyer to buy.  Show them that you’ve taken them into consideration during their showing.  In return, they are now free to have a thorough showing and see all that your home has to offer….HOME Memorable.

Take care and let me know if there is anything you need,

Terry Jackson
Realtor — Domicile One Realty
913-488-5623
http://www.terrysellskchomes.com
Licensed in Kansas and Missouri

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Selling | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Short-Sale Purchases…Tips for the buyer

Hi there, readers.  I hope you had a fantastic Independence Day weekend.

Today’s post is focused on home buyers and, specifically, those that are interested in purchasing short sales.

First of all, let’s define just what a short sale is.  In real estate sales, a short sale is a situation where the property market value is less than the outstanding loan against it.  Depending upon the circumstances, the lender may approve the sale of the property for less than the loan amount and they are very much involved in the sale price approval.

Just to clarify, a short sale is not the same thing as a foreclosure property.  In a foreclosure, the bank has already taken back the property.  In a short sale, the owner is attempting to negotiate a sale price that the lender will agree to.

A few years back, there were more short sale properties in the KC metro than a buyer could shake a stick at.   Due to a steady rise in home sale prices since then, buyers see much fewer opportunities for this type of purchase than before, but there are still some out there.

It has been my experience that buyers that purchase short sales fall into two categories.  The first are the buyers that found a home they liked and it just so happens to be a short sale and the second are the buyers that only want to look at short sales.  While we all like to get a good deal, there are some considerations to take into account on short sale purchases.

#1 — Are you handy or do you have the resources to manage repairs?

I ask this because the home will be sold “AS IS”.  The seller/lender will not be making any repairs or providing cash in lieu of repairs. Because of this, it will be on the lower range of market price depending upon the condition and any repairs required. The good news about a short sale versus a foreclosure in this regard is that you will at least get a seller’s disclosure stating the condition of the home and what, if any, updates, repairs, or adverse conditions exist.  You wouldn’t have that in a bank-owned scenario. This coupled with the buyer hiring a licensed inspector to evaluate the property top to bottom should provide some idea of what needs attention and to what degree .  Armed with all of that, the buyer can get estimates on repairs or materials needed and then decide if this is a deal after all.

#2 — Are you in a hurry?

On a typical sale (one that is not a short sale), a buyer can reasonably expect to take possession of their home within 45 days after the contract has been accepted.  This is not the case at all on a short sale.  Even though the seller may sign your offer, expect months to go by before you even hear back from the bank.  The lender will assign the property to a processor who is working on numerous offers in their assigned region.  Your buyer’s agent won’t be able to do anything to speed that up aside from making sure all paperwork submitted is complete and accurate the first time.  Ditto for the listing agent.

#3 — What if you don’t want to wait any longer?

Buyer’s agents assist with finding homes, knowing markets and negotiating, but we also want to protect our client’s earnest money.  In a short sale, you want to make sure that you have a reference in your offer paperwork that you can cancel the contract if you have not received written acceptance of your offer from the lender within a specified period of time and that your earnest money will be returned to you.

So lets say that you submitted your offer and 6 weeks have gone by with nothing from the lender (not at all uncommon by the way).  Problem is, your circumstances have changed and you need to be out of your current residence earlier than originally planned.  By having addressed this, you can have that deposit returned to you to be used in your next offer.

I hope this has been helpful for you.  There are many success stories on short sales for those in a position to wait it out.   Don’t hesitate to call me with any questions you might have.

Take care,
Terry Jackson
Realtor — Domicile One Realty
913-488-5623
http://www.terrysellskchomes.com
Licensed in Kansas and Missouri

 

 

 

Posted in KC Metro Home Buying | Tagged , , | Leave a comment