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
News & Tips
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
MAY BE YOUR
PLACE TO CALL HOME, BUT... See your house through the
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
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
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
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
is ready to help guide you successfully through the
Buying & Selling Tips
Is The Best Time To Close? :
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
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.
NOT To Do Before Buying A Home:
No Major Purchases of Any Kind
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,
Move Your Money Around
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.
you have been moving money between accounts during
this time, you may have made large deposits and
withdrawals in some of them.
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
advice...leave your money where it is until you talk
to a loan officer. Also…don’t change banks
during the loan process, either.
You Change Jobs?
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.