Buyers-Please do bother your Realtor!

The other day I was holding an open house for sale and welcoming the guests.  As I have done for many years I always like to ask a series of questions to find out first if it is a serious buyer or seller and second to see if they understand the process of  how a realtor helps and if they are currently working with a realtor.

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.


Most buyers answer that they are working with a realtor, great news.  What is surprising is that most don’t understand the process and that is the lack of our industry sitting down and educating the client as to what the protocal is for having a realtor represent a buyer and assist them in the proocess.  The is an edicate in the real estate industry that needs to be communicated at the first meeting with the buyer.  So for all you buyers that this information has not been passed on here is some basics.

Your realtor should be your exclusive agent to help you in locating homes, previewing homes if market time allows, and set up all showings appointments as well as accompany you at all times when seeing homes.  Too often I hear ” I don’t want to bother my realtor so that is why I am looking on my own”.  Guess what, that is why the realtor gets paid the big bucks-to show you homes based on what you have told your realtor of your needs.  If your realtor has given you the impression that you are bothering  them then you may want to find a realtor that has time to invest in one of  life’s biggest investments, buying a home.  Besides, a busy realtor has a team to help with the other details of our job so that the realtor can focus on the client’s real estate needs and showing them homes.  Can you imagine if a realtor just sat at the office and buyers just showed up on the day they want to make an offer and got paid .  I think the real estate industry would be flooded with people wanting an easy dollar.  Don’t get the wrong impession, realtors do earn thier keep.

Next is the phrase I hear quite often and that is, “I’m working with my relator but I want you to show me homes”.  I then follow up with the qualifing question of  “If I show you this home  and you want to buy it will you allow me to represent you and write up the offer?”  9 out of 10 buyers say they would have thier own agent write it up.  Proper real estate edicate is that if you are interested in seeing a home  call your realtor, isn’t that why you hired them.  You have to remember that realtor’s  time is valuable and they can better serve thier clients than someone who they just met and know nothing about thier needs.  Build your real estate relationship with your realtor by using them and asking questions along the process.

  Your realtor has to care and have the desire to help reach your real estate needs and you have to be respectful and loyal to your realtor for all the time and work they are spending and doing for you before they ever see a dollar.  Realtors need to explain the procedures to thier clients.  The more your realtor talks with you and shows you home, the more they will understand your true needs and be able to show you what you really want and can afford.  Save yourself time and heartache and call your realtor, they are there to take care of your real estate needs once you commit to eachother.  Make sure you understand the process as this will help with realtors better representing thier clients and not stepping on fellow realtor toes. You will get the most out of the home buying experience.  Happy buying!

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My 2009 Recap message

Wow, what a year we have had. It really has been a roller coaster ride for real estate. We began the year with a very slow sellers market. Prices were dropping and homes just sitting on the market and buyers were getting amazing home buys. By the time June came around we saw multiple offers and all cash began to be the norm in some of our markets. We also saw interest rates drop to a 50 year low down in the low 4% range. By November we saw inventory of homes available for sale drop below average, an increase in the number of sales and more motivated and happy sellers. Bank owned properties in the high end market began to appear and short sales began to actually close and with quicker turn around times than we had seen in the previous two years.  By the end of December we saw rates begin to slowly climb in order to keep inflation in check and the market becoming a more stable environment.

The good news is that we have all found a way to survive this ride and we should see a payoff of this emotional trek we have been on  in 2010. Happy New Year’s and hope 2010 will be one filled with peace and prosperity!

If you would like more specific information please feel free to email or call me and I will be more than happy to provide that to you.

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Senators agree to extend homebuyer tax credit

Below is the latest information regarding the first-time home buyers tax credit:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators agreed Wednesday to extend a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers and to offer a reduced credit to some repeat buyers.

The tax credit provides up to $8,000 to first-time homebuyers but is set to expire at the end of November. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales fell 3.6 percent in September, and some industry representatives blamed uncertainty about the tax credit.

Senators agreed to extend the existing tax credit for first-time homebuyers while offering a reduced credit of up to $6,500 to repeat buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years, said Regan Lachapelle, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The tax credits would be available to homebuyers who sign sales agreements by the end of April. They would have until the end of June to close on their new homes, according to a summary of the legislation being circulated among lawmakers.”

Please feel free to comment on the above article. I’d love to hear what first buyers or soon to be buyers are thingkng about the credit.

Why are my offers not getting accepted on REO’s in San Jose?

That is a very good question that many buyers are having in our current market.  There are three main reasons; price, terms and paper work & process.  We have to remember that when dealing with REOs, bank owned  properties, we are dealing with an asset manager who will make decisions based on guidelines and policies not emotions.  Let’s address these three categories that if done properly by buyer and Realtor will get offers accepted in most cases.

First is price.  Currently many REOs are being price just below the market value range of a property in order to create the activity needed to produce multiple offer and obtain the highest possible price for the owner.  Your Realtor should be able to give you a market value range so that you know what you are willing to pay for that property.  Just because it is an REO doesn’t mean it will sell for less, more likely it will sell higher than asking price if there are multiple offers.   If you really want the home put your best price and make sure you will qualify and/or have the cash to close.

Second is terms.  Terms under what circumstances are you willing to buy the property.  This can be the amount of cash down and financing needed, all cash, as-is, how quickly you will  remove any contingencies and close escrow.  You have to be able to perform on the terms in the contract and the easier the terms the better for the owner.  Know how much you can qualify for, will the lender accept and as-is purchase for the loan they will give you, what repairs will they require for the property to qualify.  If all cash you should be able to provide evidence of money to close and even if it is not all cash this will be a requirement.  Make sure your terms are not only acceptable to you but very likely acceptable to the owner as well.  Keep it simple and the less you ask of the owner the better.

Third is the paper work and process.  If yo have the first two solid and this one weak, your offer will not get accepted.  This part is where an experienced Realtor  is so important to have in your representation of buying any home.  Your Realtor should inform you on how many offers there are, when is the deadline to have an offer in, how long the response time should be, what paper work will need to be included with your offer and what will be the process for presenting your offer.  Your Realtor should follow up to confirm you offer has been received and when it will presented and communicate all information to you immediately.

If you do all of the above you should have a strong edge in getting your offer accepted.  Put you best foot forward when making your offer.

If you have any comments, opinions or questions I’d love to hear from you.