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Sellers & Buyers

What Causes A Home To Appreciate or Depreciate In Value?

what causes a home to appreciate or depreciate in value?

What Causes A Home To Appreciate or Depreciate In Value?

There are many factors that can affect the value of a home.  Some factors can cause a home’s price to increase in value whereas other factors can cause the value to go down.  The factors that affect home value are not always internal to the home, external factors can also have dramatic impacts on a home value just as internal factors can.  By knowing and understand what factors can impact the value of a home, homebuyers and home sellers can better position themselves in the real estate market for success.

External Factors That Can Affect The Value Of A Home

The National and State Level Economy

When the economy at the national and state level are running great the values of homes have a tendency to increase.  With more people employed and with more access to credit there will be more homebuyers ready to move into a home.  As a result this will have an upward effect on home prices.  Now just because the national economy is strong does not mean the state or local economy will be strong as well.  If a large local employer decides to move their operations to another area along with all the employees who work there that will result in many of those employees wanting to sell their home at the same time which can depress the price of homes in the area.

When the national and local economies are down due to recession or some other factors that will put downward pressure on the value of homes.  Lower employment and lower access to credit means fewer people will be able to afford to buy a home or be willing to sell their current home...

Tips For Picking Real Estate Professionals When Buying or Selling Your Home

tips for picking real estate professionals when buying or selling your home

Tips For Picking Real Estate Professionals When Buying or Selling Your Home

When buying or selling a home there are a number of different professionals involved in the process.  These professionals are involved in critical parts of the real estate transaction that in order to be successful having the best and brightest is important.  One of the main reasons for bringing in the best professionals possible is that the buying or selling of a home is usually one of the largest transactions a person will have in their lifetimes.  As a result home buyers and sellers would like everything to go perfectly so that their investment in a home can keep itself going over the long haul.  With that in mind the following tips below will help home buyers and sellers choose the best professionals to help make sure the transaction is a successful one.

Picking The Right Home Inspector

Whether you want a home inspection for buying a home or prior to listing your home for sale picking the right home inspector is important.  Your home is a long term investment and therefore you want to make sure the home you are buying is properly evaluated or as a seller you want to make sure the home you are selling is putting its best foot forward when it comes time to sell.  By taking care of home inspection before listing your home for sale you make it less likely you will have to scramble around to find contractors in order to get things done before closing.

If you live in a state where home inspectors...

Telltale Signs You May Have Hired The Wrong Real Estate Agent

telltale signs you may have hired the wrong real estate agent

Telltale Signs You May Have Hired The Wrong Real Estate Agent

Depending on the state you are in the bar to get a license to become a real estate agent can be quite low.  Take a few classes, pass a test and you too can become a real estate agent.  On the other hand skilled real estate agents are continually doing more to enhance their knowledge and skills so they can better serve their clients.  So what are the exact signs that can let you know you got stuck with the wrong real estate agent?  Read on below to learn more.

Agents Not Returning Calls

If from the start of your relationship with a real estate agent you are having issues with them calling you back on time or they don’t call you back at all that is a major problem.  One of the greatest way to kill a real estate deal is by not returning phone calls.  In very fast moving real estate markets time is of the essence and if an agent is not able to put in an offer to buy a home within a reasonable amount of time of you calling them you could lose the home to some other buyer whose agent was timely in responding to their clients.

A typical example of this is after seeing a number of homes during the day you decide to take a few hours to consider which home you would like to make an offer on.  After finally deciding on a home that best works for you, you call up your agent and leave a voice message saying you would like to make an offer on one particular home.  If your agent never returns your call to get the details of your offer that means they are not able to get the details of what you want to offer submit it to the sellers. ...

Dealing With Multiple Offers On A Home For Sale

dealing with multiple offers on a home for sale

Dealing With Multiple Offers On A Home For Sale

In an active real estate market when a home is properly prepared and priced right the chances of a buyer or seller facing the situation of multiple offers on a home is increased.  By handling a multiple offer situation properly both home buyers and sellers can ensure success on their part.  When handled incorrectly multiple offers can cause some buyers to waste money during the purchase process and lead some sellers to think their house can be priced much higher than it currently is and reject good offers in hopes for more money.

How To Deal With Multiple Offers As A Home Seller

While it may be a great feeling to have your home in a multiple offer situation you need to make sure it is handled properly otherwise you could end up scaring buyers away.  A multiple offer situation is a chance to get a little more money for your home and possibly get some better conditions when it comes to the offer contingencies.  Sellers should definitely not get greedy when it comes to multiple offers as that could cause buyers to look elsewhere.  Demanding much higher offer prices or removal of contingencies (inspection, appraisal, financing) is going overboard and will send up red flags with buyers.  Not only that if the price is too high to meet the appraisal price then you could look at having to renegotiate the price or having the buyer walk away under the appraisal contingency clause.

Ideally if a buyer offers to buy your home at the same or better price and waive certain contingencies like home inspection that offer...

Real Estate Scams To Watch Out For

slick businessmen in suit real estate scams to avoid

Real Estate Scams To Watch Out For

Anytime you find an activity with money involved you are sure to find scam artists who are more than ready to part you with your hard earned money. Real estate is no different and there are many scams that individuals with less than honest intentions will try. By being aware of these common real estate scams you can make sure you do not become a victim yourself and if something does seem too good to be true have an idea of where you can dig for more information.

Real Estate Scams That Target Renters

This particular scam targets both home sellers and people looking for a place to rent. The scam artist in this scam will take pictures of a home for sale from a real estate website and then post those pictures on rental sites hoping to draw in potential renters. Part of the scam also involves not actually getting you into the rental home by saying it is occupied so only pictures will be used. Even if you are allowed into the rental home you still need to be careful as there are some rental companies that let anyone in through a home unattended so long as they provide some identification and a credit card. The scammers can get in using stolen identities or using your own information you gave them on an application.

Usually but not always the rental amount they advertise the place at seems too good to be true. For example you might see a rental advertisement showing a nice home for rent for only $700.00 where if it looks to good to be true it probably isn't picture of home for rent...

How To Negotiate After The Home Inspection

how to negotiate after the home inspection picture of a man reading a letter

How To Negotiate After The Home Inspection

Once your home inspection is completed and depending on the age, condition and how you are selling your home you can expect to receive a list of requested repairs to deal with any issues your home may have. While a good buyer’s agent will counsel their clients that the home they are buying is not a new home and everything won’t be in perfect condition, asking for repairs of safety related issues is advisable. If you as the seller get a large list of requests requesting even simple things be repaired then it may be the case that the buyer’s agent did not counsel their clients properly when it came time to draw of the list of repairs. If you were advertising and selling your home as-is then the home inspection report is mainly for the buyers to know what they are getting when they purchase your home. Anything in need of repair on an as-is home is for the buyers to deal with and your home should be priced accordingly.

Timing and Market Condition Affect Your Ability to Negotiate Home Inspection Repair Requests

Your ability to negotiate will depend on the type of market you are in and how long your home has been on the market. If your home is in a seller’s market where as soon as a home pops up for sale they are under contract in less than a week then you are in a stronger negotiating position than if it were a buyer’s market with too many homes up for sale and not enough buyers. In a buyer’s market you must make...

Comprehensive Guide To Buying Or Selling A Home

guide to buying or selling a home

The Real Estate Transaction Guide For Buyers And Sellers

If you have never bought or sold a home before or haven’t bought one in a while you may not be aware of all the steps that go into the home buying or selling process. The process does not just start the instant you decide to sell or buy a home but instead starts out well before and requires plenty of planning and coordination with a number of different professionals. This guide to buying or selling a home will take you through the steps a seller and buyer must go through in order to buy or sell a home.

Jump To The Sellers Guide

Buyer’s Process of Buying a Home

Mortgage and Credit

When getting ready to buy a home the process should not start with getting online and searching for homes that look nice or searching for a hot neighborhood to buy in. Instead the first step should be contacting a couple of different mortgage lenders and exploring your financial options for buying a home. Borrowing to buy a home is a long (15-30 year) term commitment and over spending on fees or the interest rate you pay means you will be paying more money than you have too. That money can be better spent on saving for retirement, paying for your children’s college, or on up keep of the home. There is no need to spend extra money when you don’t have to. So interview a number of different mortgage lenders and find out what they are offering and what are the costs associated with their mortgage options.

In addition to shopping around for mortgages you should also take a close look at your credit history....

8 Great Negotiating Tips For Real Estate

8 great negotiating tips for real estate graphic

8 Great Negotiating Tips For Real Estate

When attempting to sell or buy a home often times emotions and the competitive spirit can get the best of people resulting in a failure for anyone to reach their goals. What brought you to the negotiating table in the first place is a desire to sell or buy a home. Part of negotiating is knowing what position you stand in compared to the other party.

If you are in a seller’s market where there are more buyers than homes you as a buyer may not be in the best position to demand and expect to get everything. The reverse applies as well where you as a seller are in a buyer’s market where there are glut of homes. Standing pat and hoping to sell your home at a price you want without concessions will leave you with an unsold home and buyers moving onto something better priced. With that in mind here are some negotiating tips for both the seller and the buyer, which can help you reach your final goal.

Negotiating Tips For Seller

1. Take Pricing Out of the Equation

Probably the best negotiating tip for a home seller is to get the home pricing right the first time and then it becomes an issue you don’t even have to negotiate on. If your home is priced just right then you will get offers early on and may even get multiple offers allowing you to pick the best offer without having to haggle over price. Take the pricing issue off of the table and there is no need to negotiate about it.

2. Come Prepared Knowing Your Goals

Know ahead of time what you are willing to do and not willing to do with your home. Do you know your home...

Podcast #9: Real Estate And Appraisals

Podcast #9 Real estate and appraisals

For this podcast Real Estate and Appraisals I sat down with John Jardine owner of Jardine Company. During our conversation we discussed the appraisal process, what is an appraisal, how to prepare for an appraisal, FHA appraiser steps, and more. This podcast is helpful for those wanting to sell their home and want to learn more about what appraisal involves.  

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.

Listen via YouTube:

You can connect with John Jardine on LinkedIn.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+LinkedInYouTube and Instagram.

About the author: The above Podcast “Podcast...

What To Know About The Real Estate Residential Property Disclosure Form

residential property disclosure form image

Residential Property Disclosure Form

Most residential homes when put up for sale must have a residential property disclosure form filled out disclosing the known conditions of the property. Many residential disclosure forms require the disclosing of not only conditions that are in existence now but also conditions that have happened in the past and have been repaired. Some state disclosure forms (like Ohio) set a limit of 5 years for reporting past issues, so if it happened 5 years or more prior and has been repaired you may not have to disclose it now. Always use the property disclosure form created by your state government as it will contain state specific items that forms from other states may not cover.

The property disclosure form is not a warranty or guarantee for the things disclosed. Instead it is simply notifying buyers of issues and then it is up to the buyers to decide whether they wish to purchase the home or not. Improper disclosure or lack of disclosure can result in a lawsuit where the seller may be forced to pay damages to the buyer or even worse the seller can be forced to take back the property and make the buyer whole monetarily.

Actual Knowledge Requirements in Disclosure

When filling out the property disclosure form you should answer based on your actual knowledge of the conditions in the home. What this means is that you personally know of an issue that is present or has happened in the past. So if your basement sump pump failed a year ago and the basement flooded as a result this would be required to be put on the property disclosure form. Now on the other hand if a neighbor mentioned that he had heard your house or perhaps a neighbor’s house flooded 7 years ago (before...

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections (Infographic)

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections

When selling your home there is a good chance that the buyer will request a home inspection. Having too many issues in the home inspection report could send up red flags to the buyer that causes them to back out of the deal. Many of the issues found in home inspections can be remedied beforehand so that the home inspection will turn up nothing but a clean check of the home and useful suggestions on various aspects of the home. Ideally getting your home inspected prior to listing it for sale is best since a home inspector will go through your home just as they would for a buyer and give you a list of all the issues they find. With that pre-listing inspection list you can repair those problem areas ahead of time so there is one less thing to cause your home sale to go bad.

Regardless of whether you decide to go the pre-listing inspection route or not there are some common issues found in home inspections that you should be aware of. By checking your home with regards to these common issues and making repairs before you list you are in better position to reach the closing table. Additionally you may end up saving yourself time and money since having to make repairs while under the deadline of a closing date means you may have to go with whoever is available and pay whatever price they charge since it has to be repaired.

Top Issues To Be On The Lookout For

1. Electrical

Electrical Issues are the number one issue to be on the lookout for as they are one of the most common problems found by home inspectors....

Podcast #8: Real Estate and Family Law

Podcast 8 Family Law and Real Estate graphic

For this podcast Real Estate and Family Law I sat down with Michael McNeil, Attorney with Graydon Head Law Firm. During our conversation we discussed divorce and selling a home, prenuptial agreements, the effects of divorce on mortgage payments and more. This podcast is helpful for those wanting to sell their home and may be going through the process of divorce.  

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.

Listen via YouTube:

You can find Michael McNeil's Graydon Head Link Here.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+LinkedInYouTube and Instagram....

20 Important Mortgage Terms To Know

20 Important Mortgage Terms To Know

20 Important Mortgage Terms To Know

Whether buying or selling a home it is important to know the terms that are being used when a mortgage is involved so you don't end up under water. First and foremost the professionals you are working with should be telling you what these terms mean and what is the cost for you for the type of mortgage you choose. If you are not getting the answers you need then you are better off looking for someone else to assist you in the process.

While these terms are not overly complicated, knowing them before you start your home sale or home purchase will save you some time. The early legwork in getting a pre-approval to know what you can afford or seeing what your mortgage payoff is so you know if you can pay off the mortgage upon sale are important steps. Mortgages are long term commitments that can affect your lifestyle for some time to come. By fully understanding the terms of your mortgage and the amounts you will be paying you will be in a better position in the long run.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

A mortgage whose interest rate can adjust during the payback period based on market interest rates. ARM loans usually have limits on how much the interest rate can adjust per year and the maximum amount an interest rate can be adjusted to over the lifetime of the loan.


Is the paying off a debt (principal plus interest) in fixed payments over a set period of time. Often times you will be presented with an Amortization Schedule when you take out a loan. The Amortization Schedule details what part of each payment goes towards principal and what part goes towards interest.

Construction Mortgage

Typically a short term loan where the borrower is given money...

Should I Use A Discount Broker To Sell My Home?

Picture of confused lady with caption

Should I Use A Discount Broker To Sell My Home?

Now that you have prepared your home to sell with these great tips, you may be wondering what is the value of a regular real estate brokerage versus a discount brokerage. After all you can get great deals at your local big box store and save money rather than spending it on a more expensive version. While you can get a better deal at a big box discount store the question remains will you get a better value? The same applies with a traditional real estate brokerage versus a discount brokerage, you may be getting a better deal up front by saving on the commission but what is the long term cost to you in terms of your home selling price and help in getting to the closing table?

What a Discount Brokerage Can Provide

Discount brokerages vary in their business models. Some will offer more service for a slightly reduced commission, whereas others offer you nothing other than listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with a flat fee or large discount on commission. The amount of services they provide will also vary based on the business model those brokerages choose to follow.

Be on the lookout for any of these discount or deep discount brokerages that cut the commission paid to the buyer’s agent. In all fairness the buying and the selling agents should be getting an even 50/50 split commission. Discount brokerages that cut the buyer commission while keeping their own commission high are only hurting you as the home seller in the long run since there is less incentive for buyers agents...

What Does It Mean To Be House Poor?

Picture of lady looking at computer with text what does it mean to be house poor?

What Does It Mean To Be House Poor?

You purchased a home but now you find yourself regretting the decision, mainly because the house payments or the money needed to properly maintain the home are taking up a large portion of your monthly budget leaving you in a cash crunch situation. That is what is referred to as being house poor. The best way to avoid being house poor is by purchasing a home within your budget. For those who already have a home that is stretching their budget there may be some other options to look into.

Determining Affordability Prior To Purchasing A Home

Prior to purchasing a home it is important that the potential homebuyers look closely at their month to month income and expenses as part of an affordability analysis. All payments such as car loans/leases, car insurance, utilities, student loans, and other debts must be added up and compared to your total take home pay. If you are a married couple or soon to be married couple, you should add up both the incomes and debts for each person as part of the analysis. Now you may currently have rental expenses which may or may not be equal to what a mortgage payment will be. The rental payment still should be counted towards your debt since your mortgage payment for your home is also paid once you purchase the home. You may need to add some amount to the rent payment in order to account for a larger mortgage payment, in the case where you don’t currently have rent payments use a mortgage calculator like the one found here to get a rough idea of what a mortgage payment will be at a certain home price point.


10 Ways To Avoid Being Sued In Real Estate

10 Ways To Avoid Being Sued In Real Estate

How To Avoid Being Sued During the Home Sale Process

Getting involved in a lawsuit is never a pleasant experience.  Often times the lawsuit process drags on for quite some time and can be very costly to boot.  Not many people set out with the intention of wanting to get sued, but often times by not following the advice of those professionals who are helping us or attempting to do things on our own can lead us down the path of getting sued.  With this article I am providing you with some tips and advice on how to avoid being sued in a real estate.  This is by no means intended to replace legal advice from your local attorney, but it should give you ideas of where the pitfalls are to help you better avoid them.

Tips For The Sellers

1. Disclosures

The biggest thing that can trip a seller up after a sale has closed will be the lack of making proper disclosures about hidden home defects.  With disclosures for residential property you as the seller are required to inform potential buyers of any defects that you know about and are not readily visible.  An example of a defect that must be disclosed is where a basement leaks whenever it rains but on most clear and sunny days it may look fine or the effects of the leak have been cleaned up.  The failure to disclose to a buyer that the basement has leaks can result in the buyer suing the seller for lack of disclosure.

If the issue with the home is noticeable then there is no duty to disclose.  So for example in the leaking basement case if there was a huge crack in the wall that is readily visible to anyone who walks by the disclosure need not necessarily be made.  You as the seller should still be cautious when filling out government created disclosure forms and make...

Podcast #2 Topic: Insurance

Podcast 3 Insurance


For this podcast I sat down with Rey Rivera, Sales Manager with Allstate Insurance.  During our conversation we discussed homeowners, condominium, and rental insurance, as well as umbrella policies and rider policies.  If you want to learn more about insurance and how it can protect and benefit you this podcast is for you.  I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also share with those who may find it useful.

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Watch (listen) on YouTube

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Feel free to ask any questions via the comments section below or to email either Rey or myself.  Also if you have any ideas for future podcast topics you would like to see let me know!

You can connect with Rey on Facebook and LinkedIn.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+, and ...

How To Prevent A Home Closing Failure

Picture of stunned lady

How to Prevent a Home Closing Catastrophe.

Having a good negotiator in your corner always helps both sellers and buyers work effectively through the home sale process and limits the possibility of a home closing failure. Issues sometimes arise that can derail a home sale, so it helps to have insights as to where you as a buyer or the seller have the ability to keep things on track through individual effort. While good negotiation skills are a must, understanding your role in the process can also help prevent a home sale catastrophe.

For the Seller

So you have found a buyer who appears ready willing and able to buy your home and they have committed to buying your home by submitting an offer along with proof of mortgage pre-approval and earnest money. How do you make sure you get to the closing table and not let the deal fall apart? Read on to get the answers.

Home Inspection

From the get go you as the seller should be open with letting the home buyers inspector come into your home for the inspection process. You or your agent should be present during the home inspection in case you need to answer any questions. Any resistance to the home inspection process and you run the risk of raising red flags with the buyer and their agent. Yes there may be problems with the house but covering them up will not be helpful in trying to get to closing. By being upfront with issues and being ready to remedy issues that do come up during inspection your home sale will go smoothly.

When request for repairs are made by the buyer make every attempt to complete the repairs in a timely manner so the buyer has time to check the repairs prior to closing. If the repairs are not made prior to closing or the buyer does not have...

21 Real Estate Terms You Should Be Familiar With

21 Important Real Estate Terms To KnowImportant Real Estate Terms To Know

All too often when buying or selling a home we run across a number of different real estate terms that we don't usually encounter in our day to day lives.  In this post I define/explain many of the common terms you will come across during a real estate transaction.


An appraisal is the process of evaluating a piece real estate (can be a residential, commercial or industrial building built on land) and all it's features to come up with a value of that property.  An appraisal is normally performed by a professional appraiser who is trained to provide their opinion as to the value of the real estate and its building.  The appraisal report an Appraiser provides is normally used by banks for purposes of determining how much money they will lend for a person to buy the property.  If the value of the real estate is appraised lower than the amount requested for a loan to purchase the property then the buyer will have to come up with more money out of their own pocket, the seller can reduce the selling price or depending on the terms of the contract the deal can be cancelled.

An appraisal report can also be used by an insurance company to determine premiums and reimbursement cost in cases of building damage or destruction.

For more information on Appraisals and the Appraisal process visit the blog post "How the Appraisal Works in the Home Buying Process" by Shannon Slater.

Back-Up Offer

A back-up offer on a real estate property is an offer that will only be considered if the offer that is pending at the moment falls through.  The primary offer can fall through for any number of reasons like...

Podcast #1 Topic: Home Inspections

Home Inspection podcastHome Inspections

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Ohio Home Inspector Todd Engle of Good Eye Inspections and chat with him about the home inspection process.  Todd has over 14 years of experience in the real estate industry and obtained his InterNACHI certification to show his commitment to the home inspection field.  During my podcast conversation with Todd we discussed a variety of topics including pre-sale home inspections, common problems uncovered during inspection, ways to prepare for a home inspection, new construction inspection and more.  I hope you enjoy and find the podcast informative.  Please share with those who may also find it useful.

Watch (listen) on YouTube

Feel free to ask a question via the comments section or to email either Todd or myself.  Also if you have any ideas for future podcast topics you would like to learn about let me know!

You can follow Todd on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

You can follow me on FacebookPinterest...

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