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Life of Real Estate Agent
09/30/2014 03:11 PM

So many people think real estate agents just put their home on MLS and wait for a buyer to call. Get an offer, Go to closing and make a commission. Here is the reality of what an agent does for the commission from the "Behind the Scenes" of the job.

Agents work Holidays, Nights and Weekends as that is when the people buying are available to look at properties. 

Agents work directly with Lenders and Mortgage Brokers so you do not have to do all the leg work for your loan. 

Agents order title work and deed and review to make sure there are no legal issues before submitting to lenders.

Agents prequalify potential people so offers and time negotiating an offer is not time wasted. 

Agents work hand in hand to take out the added frustration of showings, open houses, marketing and monitor the marketing to see what is working and what is not. Agents network not only for new listings but to sell the listings they already have. 

When it comes to showings an agent meets strangers at the property, discuss the market, the positives of the home and answers questions about building, zoning, comparable sales to help motivate the potential buyer to make an offer. 

During the time the home is under contract to sell; an agent will spend a lot of "Out of Pocket" money to get it SOLD.

This is just some of what an agent does it is always ongoing. 


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Highest Offer NOT Always the BEST
08/15/2014 09:23 AM

In Real Estate people believe that the highest offer will seal the deal.

Although it is an agents dream to have multiple offers on a property; it can cause frustration for the potential buyers of the property. 

As we take a minute to think about this please keep in mind that highest offer does not just pertain to multiple offers but to ANY offer. 

When making an offer on a property your agent should be able to assist (unless dual agency applies) in determining the strategy of the offer. I am providing an example (hypothetical).

Seller is moving out of state. The house has been on the market for 2 months.  Buyer wants to offer $15,000 below list price.

At this point Buyer could offer to close and allow seller possession for 30 days after closing. Buyer could offer to cover all closing cost. Buyer could offer to pay Broker Fees. Buyer could offer to accept all taxes due with no Proration. 

There are several ways to make an offer. Together you and your agent can discuss offer options and allow your agent to negotiate for you.


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Things needed for Mortgage
08/06/2014 11:39 AM

Looking to buy a home? I am providing a list of things for a First Time Buyers to gather to better prepare for the loan process. 

Each Grant used and each loan has different requirements, however, I have found most lenders will need these Items:

1. Last 3 years W2's (Unless you have only worked 2 years)

2. Last 45 days pay stubs

3. Last 60 day Bank Statements

4. Letter from Landlord confirming Rent amount and length of time renting

5. If you have any late payments a letter explaining why this/these payments were late

These are just a few things you will need to collect. As every loan type and lender are different this list could include less or more.

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Rural Development
07/30/2014 11:45 AM

What is Rural Development Loan? 

First off; RD (Rural Development) is actually a "quasi" Grant that Insures 100% payment of a loan should the buyer default. This "Loan" is provided by the Department of Agriculture. When a loan is "Going RD", here is how it works:

1. Every lender is different and the borrower (home buyer) MUST meet the "Lender Requirements".  (Often Lender is more stringent than Rural Development)

2. Upon Underwriter approval of the loan, the documents are then submitted to RD Underwriting for "RD Commitment". 

       *Rural Development can often run behind on processing. This will slow up the process*

       *Rural Development will review appraisal, Home Inspection and ALL Documents. RD can then ask for repairs to be done as a contingency to approval* if they feel there is an issue with an item.

3. Upon Rural Development Commitment you are then ready to go to Closing.

Rural Development Direct Loan 

This is a mortgage loan provided by US Department of Agriculture. This loan and all processing is handled by USDA. Through this loan loan terms can extend out beyond 30 years. With this loan the USDA can be a little more flexible in lending guidelines. What you need to think about with this loan is "Your rate is fixed, however, extended term over 30 years is how they subsidize the loan. If your income increases the term of your loan can be shortend which in turn raises your mortgage payment."


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To Rent or To Buy
07/16/2014 10:20 AM

Should I buy? This has probably went through your mind several times. ONLY you can determine if owning is right for you. There are pro's and con's to buying your home vs renting, but one must look at the whole picture of ownership to determine if owning is the right choice for them. I suggest to any first time home buyer that they sit down and make a pro's and con's list before ever looking to buy. Things first time buyers generally are not thinking about, when looking, are the expenses of owning. A buyer must think about the "Emergency Fund" that savings account you need so if there is a break down or immediate repair needed you have the funds. Look at your job, if there is a chance of potential relocation, can you afford to support a mortgage and rent. One should buy where they feel they are going to be for at least 5 years. It will take 5 years (unless you pay extra on principal) to acquire Equity. (Unless you are buying a home below market value rarely will you see Equity within 5 years). 

Of course with that being said, if your renting at 550.00 month paying your own utilities and mowing, then you could probably own for about the same. The 550.00 a month would be going into your pocket "So to Speak". When you own you have collateral and over time build equity. This collateral/equity provides a level of security and stability that most people strive to achieve. Interest rates are low and if you shop around for Home Owners Insurance and Loan rates you can generally get a mortgage for cheaper than renting. 

It is up to the individual as to whether one should own or rent. You must look at your situation, conditions, job, income and of course credit to determine if owning at this point in time is right for you. It was said to me and I quote "I would never want to own, I do not want the burden of repairs and maintenance, I would rather spend that money on my kids and call the landlord if there is a problem." There is no shame in renting; as a home is a home.


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Steps to the Buying Process
07/16/2014 09:55 AM

First Time Home Buyers generally have all the same questions so here is the buying process in a nut shell:

1. Go to the Bank or Mortgage Provider. (You need to know what you can afford before you ever start looking)

2. Search websites and drive by to find homes that interest you. (NEVER look at more than 3 or 4 in any given day as you will start to get the properties mixed up)

3. Make an offer. (At that time your agent will go over the whole contract and process. Be prepared to put down money for earnest)

4. Negotiate the Contract (Agent will handle all the calls and text back and forth to reach agreed terms)

5. Within 3 business days you need to get the "Lender/Mortgagor" all the documents they need.

6. Home Inspection (Your agent will provide you with a list of home inspectors in your area IT IS YOUR CHOICE as to who you use)

7. Appraisal (Ordered by lender)

8. Negotiate repairs (If Any)

9. Termite Inspection (You decide on Inspector and contact. Agent will assist and let you know when it is time to order)

10. When all conditions are met and underwriter approves loan you are ready to go to closing! (Agents will get with all parties and schedule a time based on EVERYONE involved)

11. At Closing the "Closing Agent will walk you through ALL DOCUMENTS, loan papers, deed, title, HUD1. (You will sign your name and initial A LOT!!)

12. You get the keys!! (WELCOME HOME)

This is a quick breakdown of the process. There is more to it but your agent will walk you through it and you generally will not see what is going on behind the scenes. It is important to remember that EVERY transaction is different and sometimes unseen things come up that "throw a wrench" into to process. These "Obstacles" with the help of your agent can be overcame. Do not give up and stay in constant communication with your agent and lender.



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TV vs Reality
07/15/2014 10:38 AM

As I talk to the public and perform showings I've been hearing "I watch HGTV". This is great as the Newer Generations are becoming more self-sufficient as buyers, sellers and in the way of remodeling. However, there are a few things you must always take into consideration:

1. It is TV: Shows that you see on paid channels such as "Bravo" and "HGTV" are exactly that. "Shows" If you watch the credits there are directors, producers just at there are in movies. These shows assist people on an "Edited" situation. The show is editied to only highlight the good and the bad. In some cases even over emphasied to show better on TV. 

2. Most of the filming is done, if you have ever noticed, in Canada or in large cities where the economy, buyers and sellers are completely different. Example: It is not uncommon in markets for sellers to offer a Bonus "Above commission"to a "Buyers Agent" that brings a buyer within first 30 days. "This you generally will not see on TV as it would detract from the show and the quick sell.

3. Vernacular of Real Estate and Real Estate Laws very from State to State and Country to Country. Terms used on TV are not always the same terms used in this region and the TV shows are in other regions and countries. Example: In some states an agent who has a listing can not also bring a buyer for that same property. In these states "as an agent" you start and set your business as a "Listing Agent" only to list and market the properties; or as a "Buyers Agent" meaning you only show clients homes and write offers for the buyer side of the transaction. **In most of the shows I have observed that they follow the Listing Agent/Buyer Agent as the person writing the offer generally NEVER is the listing agent**

This is just some of the differences within the Real Estate profession vs what you see on TV. Talk to your Real Estate Agent about your area and the area in which you are looking to buy or sell. They KNOW the market and are best able to work with you.

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First Time Home Buyers
07/15/2014 10:24 AM

With grants available for First Time Home Buyers it is now possible for renters to own! These grants have stipulations in them some requiring the buyer bring $1000.00 toward the purchase and of course debt to income ratio's have to be "in line".

Did you know that if you owned a single wide mobile home you might still be able to get first time home buyer grants.

Unlike the purchase incentive in 2007-2009 where you got money back after closing towards buying a home. These grants actually go toward down payment giving you equity within a 5 year period.

The grants do have stipulations as to length lived in the home. If you live and maintain the home for "X" amount of years, the money is then forgiven. If you sell within the time frame of "X" years, then grants will have to be refunded on a proration based scale.

Contact me for more information!!  garyloy.realtor@gmail.com 217.820.0608

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