Posts Tagged as Home Buying Tips

Things You Don’t Know About Mold that Could Land You in Hot Water

Things You Don’t Know About Mold that Could Land You in Hot Water

Mold is a hot-button topic in real estate sales. Today’s tightly-sealed, more efficient buildings provide an ideal environment for its growth, and as public awareness of the issue grows alongside multi-million-dollar mold settlements, it pays to stay on-point when it comes to evolving mold legalities.

You Aren’t Required to be a Mold Expert – But You Can’t Stick Your Head in the Sand

While it’s not up to you to detect and diagnose mold issues, you must be knowledgeable and aware of the basic signs of mold to protect your clients (and your reputation). Red flags include:

– Musty, mildewy odors.

– Stained walls, ceilings, and baseboards, from common to multi-colored varieties.

– Plumbing leaks and drainage problems.

What to Do if You Suspect Mold & Why You May be a Target

Unfortunately, for most states there are no standard practices in effect – though that is rapidly changing. California recently enacted the country’s first mold legislation, listing standards for acceptable indoor levels and requirements for home seller disclosure.

In the wake of recent lawsuits and legislation, home inspectors and pest control operations are rapidly adjusting disclaimer legalese to limit their liability, with homeowners insurance companies commonly limiting compensation. Thus agents should be prepared for the possibility of agent liability with buyer clients in real estate sales involving mold issues.

Tips to Reduce Liability and Protect the Health of Your Real Estate Career:

1. Be diligent about checking for red flags, including odors and visual cues.

2. If you notice mold, carefully word disclosures, avoiding ‘black mold’ and ‘toxic mold’ verbiage. You’re not offering expert analysis. Be generic: Note ‘mold-type’ or ‘mildew-like’ staining/odors and their location(s).

3. Refer clients to ‘contact a qualified specialist for review,’ insisting potential buyers have their own, independent home inspection conducted.

4. Get to know mold experts in your area. Provide a list, but do not recommend particular vendors.

Real estate sales problems growing like mold? PropertiesOnline can help.

What Does the Average Home Buyer Look Like?

Tips for Buyer’s Agents to Countering Over the Asking Price Sales

Sellers coming back with over-asking price counteroffers typically create a lot of drama. Though it may come to a surprise to many buyers, there are many reasons a seller may decline a full price offer. Do you have the right real estate buying tips to help your buyers navigate these shark infested waters?

Take a bite out of emotion
Buyers, who become emotionally attached, picturing themselves in homes, need to be brought back to some rationality, specifically:

  • The MLS doesn’t guarantee prices like an area superstore, it’s a listing service for the industry, holding participants to certain standards, and protecting commissions.
  • The owner, not the agency, makes the decision on final sales price.
  • You do not know, nor do they have to disclose, the financial situation of the seller.
  • The owner may not have ‘changed their mind’ or thought they could get more following full price offers. Homes are often listed, underpriced, at 5-10% to generate over-asking price offers.
  • The seller may have another offer, or be unhappy with the terms.
  • The property may be recently listed, generating high-interest.

Must buyers accept?
No. In this awkward situation, created by the seller, they can…

  • Walk away.
  • Choose to put the offer in a back-up position.
  • Decide if it’s still an awesome deal.
  • Make a strong case for your offer (or counter-offer) with comparative market analysis data.

Life preserver
In future situations, heed these real estate buying tips for agents to prevent such antics. As the old saying about flies and honey: Making a positive impression on the listing agent and seller can work wonders, as can including financing pre-approval with offers – and a brief letter (The Jones enjoyed viewing your beautiful home and look forward to living in it with their 3 kids…).

Feeling out to sea? Properties Online can help you ensure smooth sailing ahead. Learn more.

Rethinking Search Parameters: Lifestyle & Commute Dominate Over Size/Price

Time to Find That New Home
Time to Find That New Home

Do you currently value homes based solely on bedrooms, baths, and square footage? You – and sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia – may want to consider moving to a new neighborhood. Where are we off to in such a hurry?

Meet the new kids on the block…
Lifestyle, affordability and commute. These three amigos can make finding the right home for buyers infinitely easier – all with the help of data analytics searches, the latest in real estate trends.

What the heck is that?
Unlike data searches, which generate an overwhelming glut of options for buyers based on search parameters like bedrooms, baths, price, and location, data analytics searches can help pinpoint a few top houses in a market area that best match a buyer’s needs.

Chuck your thinking cap
You’ll no longer have to try to prioritize thousands of pieces of data in an attempt to solve the puzzle of each client’s perfect housing solution. Reshaping the search experience, analytics search engines like TLCEngine.com take buyers from daydreams to actionable information on…

  • Affordability
    Focusing exclusively on price can result in missed opportunity: Home insurance, utilities rates, homeowner’s association fees, and more can all effect the overall monthly cost of owning a home. Data analytics can help determine if that house with a higher price tag may ultimately end up costing less.
  • Lifestyle
    HomeJunction.com connects buyers with home locations based on everything from demographics and schools to coffee shops and places of worship, whatever’s hot in real estate trends.
  • Commute
    Data analytics can even help determine the best home locations for a given maximum commute time, and the cost of a single vehicle rather than two cars (for walkable/bikeable locations). This can help determine if centrally located, higher-priced homes beat those in the ‘burbs.

Brain experiencing data loss? Take a load off with the help of Properties Online today.