Tips when Buying a Home by Property Guys

Trouble Selling Your Home? Try Sweetening the Deal

If you're having trouble landing a buyer for your home, maybe you need better bait.

Crafty home sellers know incentives are the prize at the bottom of the box. By offering buyers something a little different, they can improve their chances of selling their homes quickly and for the price they want.

Here are just a few of the ways home sellers can sweeten the deal with extras.

Cover the buyer's closing costs

Many buyers, preoccupied with saving enough cash for their down payment, overlook their closing costs which, at between 3 and 6 percent of the sale price, can amount to several thousand dollars extra. Offering to pay them on behalf of potential buyers may be just the push they need to close the deal.

Help the buyer get a better mortgage rate

Another potential deal sweetener is to offer to purchase discount points on the seller's mortgage. Discount points are purchased up front in order to secure a lower interest rate on a mortgage -- the more that are purchased, the lower the rate. In most cases, one point is equivalent to one percent of the loan amount and will reduce the interest rate by .25 percent.

Discount points may make your home more attractive to buyers in that their monthly payments over the life of the mortgage will be lower. Plus, it enables you to advertise your home with the offer of "below market financing," which may draw in more potential buyers.

Throw in some freebies

If you're planning to purchase new furniture, appliances, curtains or light fixtures for your new place and the ones at your current home are in good condition, try including them as value-adds in your purchase agreement. This works particularly well with first-time homebuyers who may not have much furniture of their own. Plus, leaving some things behind may even reduce the overall cost of your move.

If you don't want to part with any of your possessions or fixtures, another low-cost incentive is to include a home warranty. Offered through insurance companies for around $400 (depending on the extent of coverage), home warranties are contracts that cover the cost of replacing or repairing major appliances that break during the first year after the sale of the home. Plumbing, electrical and heating systems may also be included under the home warranty.

Other attractive incentives that may lure buyers in are gift certificates, golf club memberships, airline tickets and even cars. These types of incentives do cost money, but they can go a long way in helping to get your home listing noticed. You may also consider offering them to your real estate agent as an added incentive to finding a buyer.

Overcome objections or problems

A less glamorous but often equally effective tactic to help close a sale is to offer to rectify any concerns a potential buyer may have with your property. Something as simple as offering to repaint the front steps, re-sod the lawn or adjust the move-in date might push a potential buyer off the fence. You can either offer to make the improvements yourself or to include a renovation allowance in your purchase agreement.

Homebuyers: How to Save Thousands of Dollars When You Buy

If you're like most homebuyers, you have two primary considerations in mind when you start looking for a home. First, you want to find the home that perfectly meets your needs and desires, and secondly, you want to purchase this home for the lowest possible price.

When you analyze those successful home buyers who have the experience to purchase the home they want for thousands of dollars below a seller's asking price, some common denominators emerge. Negotiating skills are important, but there are three additional key factors that must come into play long before you ever submit an offer.

This topic has been the subject of extensive analysis by industry experts, and a summary of their findings, and a specific step-by-step purchase plan for homebuyers, can be found in a new special report called "Homebuyers: How to Save Thousands of Dollars When You Buy".

Make sure you know what you want… As simple as this sounds, many home-buyers don’t have a firm idea in their heads before they go out searching for a home. In fact, when you go shopping for a place to live, there are actually two home competing for your attention: the one that meets your needs, and the one that fulfills your desires. Obviously, you goal is to find one home that does both. But in the real world, this situation doesn’t always occur.

When you’re looking at homes, you’ll find that you fall in love with one or another home for entirely different reasons. Is it better to buy the 4 bedroom home with room for you family to grow, or the one with the big eat-in kitchen that romances you with thoughts of big weekend family brunches? What’s more important: a big backyard, or proximity to your child’s school? Far too often people buy a home for the wrong reasons, and then regret their decision when the home doesn’t meet their needs.

Don’t shop with stars in your eyes: satisfy your needs first. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a home that does this and also fulfills your desires. The important thing is to understand the difference before you get caught up in the excitement of looking.

1031 TAX EXCHANGE - FAQ

What is a 1031 Exchange?

1031 exchanges are specifically structured transactions that join together the sale of an old property and the purchase of a new property for the purpose of deferring taxes.

1031 Exchanges are primarily used for buying and selling investment real estate, but they can also be used for personal property that is used in a business.

Examples of qualifying property include: bare land, rental property, commercial buildings and homes other than your primary residence.

How can a 1031 Exchange work for me?

A 1031 exchange can defer the capital gain taxes that are due when you sell property that has increased in value or been depreciated for tax purposes. These federal and state capital gain taxes can be costly. Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 can benefit you in other ways. By deferring taxes, you can enjoy increased flexibility and leverage and buying power. Exchanges also allow you to change, diversify or consolidate your investments.

WHAT YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT 1031 TAX EXHANGES

REAL PROPERTY USE

Both your old and new properties must qualify as investment or business use. If both properties pass this test, you can exchange nearly any type of real estate.

45 DAY IDENTIFICATION PERIOD

You have 45 days from the closing of your sale to list the properties you may want to buy. There are no exceptions to the deadline.

180 DAY EXCHANGE PERIOD

From the sale closing date, you have 180 days to close on the purchase of one or more properties from the 45-day list. Again, there are no exceptions to this deadline.

QUALIFIED INTERMEDIARY (QI)

The IRS mandates that you use a QI to prepare the legal documents for your exchange. Because the QI must be independent, it cannot be your friend, employee, broker, or even your accountant or attorney. The QI also holds your money, so you don't have access to it.

PROPER TITLE HOLDING

You must purchase and take title to your new property exactly as you held title to your old property.

REINVESTMENT REQUIREMENT

To defer all of your capital gain tax, you must buy a property equal or higher in value than the one you sold. Also, you must reinvest all cash proceeds from your sale.

For Sale By Owner

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SELLING YOUR OWN HOME

Currently, over 10% of American homeowners handle their own sales. But in order to be successful, you need to realistically assess what's involved. The routine parts of the job involve pricing your house accurately, determining whether or not a buyer is qualified, creating and buying your own advertising, familiarizing yourself with enough basic real estate regulations to understand (and possibly even prepare) a real estate contract, and coordinating the details of a closing. The greatest downside is the demand on your time. Remember, mistakes may cost you the money you're trying to save. If you do decide to go it alone, keep the following in mind. But, if, along the way, you find yourself in over your head, don't hesitate to call us. We'll be happy to help you through the process.

DETERMINE YOUR ASKING PRICE

Professional agents determine asking prices based on information you may not have at your disposal, including recent listing and selling prices of homes in your neighborhood. Establishing clear priorities at the outset it crucial. Think of it this way-if you had to choose, are you more concerned with selling quickly, or getting the most money possible? What would you pay for the house if you were the buyer? Third-party views will help you start thinking of your house as a commodity, with positive and negative selling points. Then you should decide on a price that you feel is competitive and consistent with other houses sales in your area.

FIX UP YOUR HOUSE BEFORE IT GOES ON THE MARKET

Unless your house is nearly new, chances are you'll want to do some work to get it ready for the market. The type and amount of work depends largely on the price you're asking, the time you have to sell, and of course, the present condition of the house. If you're in a hurry to sell, do the "little things" that make your house look better from the outside and show better inside.

CREATE "CURB APPEAL"

"Curb appeal" is a common real estate term for everything prospective buyers can see from the street that might make them want to come in and take a look. Improving curb appeal is critical to generating traffic. While it does take time, it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive, provided you keep two key words in mind: neat and neutral. Neatness sells. New and neutral paint, an immaculate lawn, picture-perfect shrubbery, a newly sealed driveway, potted plants at the front door - put them all together, and drive-by shoppers will probably want to see the rest of the house.

MAKE SURE YOUR HOUSE SHOWS AT IT'S BEST

Make your house look as clean and spacious as possible. Remember, people may look behind your doors, closet and crawl space doors, as well as those to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So get rid of all the clutter. After you've cleaned, try to correct major cosmetic flaws. Paint rooms that need it. Regrout tile walls and floors. Replace worn-out carpets. Update old faucets, light fixtures, and the handles and knobs on your kitchen drawers and cabinets.

Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To Your Landlord

It’s a dream we all have - to own our own home and stop paying rent. But if you’re like most renters, you feel trapped within the walls of a house or apartment that doesn’t feel like yours. How could it when you’re not even permitted to bang in a nail or two without a hassle. You feel like you’re stuck in the renter’s rut with no way of rising up out of it and owning you won home.

Don’t Feel Trapped Anymore

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been renting, or how insurmountable your financial situation may seem. The truth is, there are some little know facts to can help you get over the hump, and transfer your status from renter to homeowner. With this information, you will begin to see how you really can:

- save for a down payment

- stop lining your landlords pockets, and

- stop wasting thousands of dollars on rent

The problem that most renters face isn’t you ability to meet monthly payment. Goodness knows that you meet this monthly obligation every 30 days already. The problem is accumulating enough capital to make a down payment on something more permanent. But saving for this lump sum doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Consider the 6 points:

1. You can buy a home with much less down than you think. There are some local and federal programs (such as 1st time buyer programs) to help people get into the housing market. You can qualify as a first time buyer even if you spouse has owned a home before as long as you named was not registered. Ensure your real estate agent is informed and knowledgeable in this important area and can offer programs to help you with your options.

2. You may be able to get your lender to help you with your down payment and closing costs. Even if you do not have enough cash for a down payment, if you are debt-free, and own an asset free and clear (such as a car for example), you lending institution may be able to lend you the down payment for your home by securing it against this asset.

3. You may be able to find a seller to help you buy and finance your home. Some sellers may be willing to hold a second mortgage for you as a “seller take back”. In this case, the seller becomes your lending institution. Instead of paying this seller a lump-sum full amount for his or her home, you would pay monthly mortgage installments.

4. You may be able to create a cash down payment without actually going into debt. By borrowing money for certain investments to a specified level, you may be able to generate a significant tax refund for yourself that you can use as a down-payment. While the money borrowed for these investments is technically a loan, the monthly amount paid can be small, and the money invested in both home and investment will be yours in the end.

5. You can buy a home even if you have problems with your credit rating. If you can come up with more than the minimum down-payment, or can secure the loan with other equity, many lending institutions will consider you for a mortgage. Alternatively, a seller take back mortgage could also help you in this situation.

6. You can, and should, get pre-approved for a home loan before you go looking for a home. Pre-approval is easy, and can give you complete peace of mind when shopping for you home. Mortgage experts can obtain written pre-approval for you at no cost and no obligation, and it can all be done quite easily over the phone.

Don't Believe that Good Agents Always Charge Maximum Commission

House prices have doubled, but I don't think that means real estate commissions should double. The same amount of work is involved anyway. That's why Property Guys offer fixed fee real estate services well below industry standard rates.

Some people argue that a good agent knows how to charge for himself - he "negotiates" or rather refuses to negotiate commission levels, and that is given as some kind of proof that he will negotiate better for you. But just because a discount agent doesn't charge as much as someone else, doesn't mean he could not do it. I myself have negotiated higher commission levels for certain sales at certain times.

I have met real estate principals who were dominating their area at a full REIQ commissions, who now sell at a discounted flat rate. Quite a few agents who formerly worked for others and successfully charged people maximum commission are now working as discount agents.

Why? Some tell me that they want to be able to sleep at night with a good conscience. They want to be able to live with themselves. Its hard to do that if you know in your heart of hearts that you are pumping out "balderdash" in order to charge the maximum possible commission to trusting people. Other agents have begun discounting because they see that this is the way the industry is going and they want to be ahead of the curve.

We really believe in the importance of ethics. We always seek to treat people right, according to the principle "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's why Property Guys look for a winning result for each and every one of our clients.

Our goal is for you to end up with more money for your property than if you had gone with any other agent or if you had sold your property privately. YES, I honestly believe that you will end up with more money under any of our packages than if you were to "go it alone" on a private sale or FSBO basis. And for me to be happy in our work, you have to be happy.

I do look forward to working for you and being of service to you.

Don McGrath, Texas Realtor

Address: 1803 Lorraine Ave., Suite Realtor, Allen TX 75002

Email: Don@PropertyGuys.US

Phone: (972) 897-1017

Fax: (972) 332-2345

Real Estate Licensed in the State of Texas

Texas Realtor Licence # 0602731

Texas Broker License (Mersal Realty) # 0345678