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Why Buyer's

As a consumer, how often do you buy real estate? Once, twice, three times in your lifetime? Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. In the majority of cases an agent will represent the seller. Wouldn't you want to have complete and fair representation in the real estate transaction? The real estate buyers' agent is responsible to protect their client's best interests. Research by the NAR has shown that when a buyers agent is used, the prospective buyer found their home one week faster and examined three more properties than those consumers who did not use a buyers agent


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News & Tips

Fannie Mae Offers New Homebuyer & Renter Assistance Program:
The Home Solutions Program is designed to revitalize "Underserved Areas" of the Greater metropolitan St Louis area, providing up to 100% financing at, or near, market rates on purchases only (not refinances) of single family, condominium, or 2 unit housing (owner-occupied) properties  up to $384,900 in price!  For more information, or to see if you qualify, contact our office at 636-936-9393, or go to the REALTOR®.org website.
IT MAY BE YOUR PLACE TO CALL HOME, BUT... See your house through the buyer's eyes if you're serious about selling:

Put yourself in their shoes for a minute... to understand what someone else is thinking, you have to look at the situation from his or her point of view. This sound advice is true when it comes to selling your home.

No matter what the market conditions are, it still comes down to the basics. Price, location and condition determine how fast your home will sell. Here, we will talk about the other elements to a successful sale:  location and condition. Since most of us can't move our homes, location is beyond the control of most homeowners. Similar homes in different areas have always commanded different prices, and they always will. From time to time, values in different neighborhoods will rise or fall, depending on a variety of factors; and your
REALTOR® can help you evaluate current values in your neighborhoods. Of course, new development, changing traffic patterns and other issues can have a positive or negative effect on your home's value.

When it comes to condition, it is important to keep in mind my father's advice. Try to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. It is often difficult for us to get past our family memories and the hard work and money we poured into our homes to objectively evaluate its condition. Your REALTOR
® can be an invaluable partner in helping you see your home through the eyes of its next owner.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your home.

Maintenance: In today's market, potential buyers have more selection available to them. Don't count on a potential buyer's imagination to see past the work that needs to be done and see your home's potential. Plus, a potential buyer that is willing to take on maintenance or repair issues will take the work into account when they make you an offer. Chances are they will discount their offer by two times or more the actual cost of the work that needs to be done.

Take the time before putting your home on the market to do any needed maintenance or upkeep. Plus, a fresh coat of paint, freshly cleaned carpets or a neatly manicured lawn will enhance a buyer's first impression of your home. If your home needs updating, your Realtor can help advise you on what inexpensive updates you might want to consider before placing your home on the market.

Depersonalize your home: When my son was growing up, the refrigerator door was filled with his artwork, little league pictures and other family treasures. Chances are if you have children, your refrigerator has a similar decorating style. When you're selling your home, you want to help potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home. Cleaning off your refrigerator and putting away family pictures that might adorn your tables or bookshelves will help that process.

Potential buyers will be more likely to picture your home as theirs if you have less of your "stuff" in your home. Moving is a great time to get rid of all that excess stuff that clutters up all of our homes. Instead of waiting for moving day, clean house before you put your home on the market. Have a garage sale or call your favorite charity to get rid of clothing you don't wear anymore, those "awesome" gadgets that haven't been out of the closets in a year, and the other "stuff" that you won't be moving with you.

You also may want to go ahead and box up out-of-season clothes, fine china, glassware and other items you won't need until you move. This will help your closets and cabinets look more spacious and open.

Finally, you want to look at your furniture and see how you can position it to give your rooms a spacious feeling for potential buyers. This may include putting some furniture in storage or getting rid of things you won't need in your new house.

No matter what the market conditions, it is still the basics that determine when and if your home will sell. Homes that are in good condition and priced right will always sell. Your
REALTOR® is ready to help guide you successfully through the home-selling process.

Buying & Selling Tips
 When Is The Best Time To Close? :
You may have heard you should close your real estate transaction at the end of the month.  Is this true?  Why do people do this, and what does it accomplish?  In many cases, it has to do with lowering the buyer's "out of pocket costs" by minimizing the amount of "prepaid interest" paid on the mortgage, and figured in as part of the cash (closing costs) needed at closing.

Interest on your mortgage is charged from the date your purchase closes, however, most monthly payments are due on the first day of the month. When you close, you "pre-pay" the interest owed from the closing date to the first day of the next month.  For example, if you close on the 30th of October, your closing costs will include one day of prepaid interest to cover the rest of the interest owed for October. Your first payment, which will be due December 1st,  will actually be paying for November's interest.

As a different example, if you close on the 6th of November, you prepay 24 days of interest at closing.  This means you have to have more cash to close your real estate purchase than would have been required by closing on the October 30th date mentioned before.

However, the benefits of a late-in-the-month closing are only short-term.  With the October 30th closing, your first payment due date will be December 1st.  With the November 6th closing, your first payment is not due until January 1st.

It takes less cash "out of pocket" to close near the end of the month. This is can be a major benefit.  Ultimately, though,  your total costs are the same.

 Things NOT To Do Before Buying A Home:

 Make No Major Purchases of Any Kind

Apply this tip to any major purchase which would create additional debt of any kind. This includes all installment agreements, and purchases of furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, vacations, expensive weddings, and, of course, automobiles.

Don’t Move Your Money Around

When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the major concerns is about is the source of funds for the down payment and closing costs. In most cases, you will be asked to provide account statements for the last two or three months for any of your liquid assets. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, stocks, mutual funds, and even your 401K and retirement accounts.

If you have been moving money between accounts during this time, you may have made large deposits and withdrawals in some of them.

The mortgage underwriter (the person who actually approves your loan) will probably require a complete paper trail of all the withdrawals and deposits. You may be required to produce cancelled checks, deposit receipts, and other data, which can be quite tedious. Asking for all this information may seem intrusive, but the lender is only doing their job correctly. To prevent potential fraud, and to comply with federal guidelines, it is a requirement on most loans to completely document the source of all funds. Theses policies have tightened up considerably after the 911 disaster.  Moving money around, even if you are consolidating your funds to make the process "simpler",  could make it more difficult for the lender to properly document.

Best advice...leave your money where it is until you talk to a loan officer. Also…don’t change banks during the loan process, either.

Should You Change Jobs?

For many people, changing employers will not affect the ability to qualify for a mortgage loan, especially if they are going to be earning an increased income.  For some homebuyers, however, the effects of changing jobs can be disastrous to their loan process.  The best bet is to stay at your current employer until after you close on your home. If this isn't possible, at least attempt to remain working in the same field.






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