Buying a home is an immense purchase, most likely the largest you will make during your lifetime. Avoid self-sabotaging and ensure your journey to home ownership goes smoothly every step of the way. Here are three things you may want to avoid:

1. For Sale by Owner
Trying to sell your home by yourself is sheer madness. Your real estate agent will have your best interest in mind, gearing you in the right direction. This professional will guide you through the process including the piles of paperwork that can seem extremely overwhelming. Please contact GreenTree Properties and we will represent you all the way home.

2. New Lines of Credit
Your credit score can be a game changer. During contract you do not want to do anything that will impact your credit score. That includes buying a car, boat, or any other large purchase that has to be financed. Along the same lines, your credit score needs to remain stable during the closing process. Opening new lines of credit can make your FICO score drop and send up a red flag to your lender. Avoid doing this at all costs!

And here is a great tip from Realtor.com

3. Saying too much—and undercutting your negotiating power
Be careful what you say when you’re viewing a property at an open house or home showing. For instance, if the listing agent hears you say to your spouse, “I love this house, and it’s way under our budget,” the seller might try to play hardball when you try to negotiate on price. Keep private conversations private.

Questions? We are happy to help. Please get in touch with Greentree Properties at (949) 492-0090 or here.

They’re called boomerang borrowers, and they could be changing the housing market in the coming months and years.

The timeframe for borrowers who were significantly hit after the Great Recession between 2007 and 2010 to improve their credit score is about the happen, opening the door for a lot of consumers to re-enter the housing market.

Foreclosures, short sales, and bankruptcies remain on a credit report for seven years, which means these items are due to fall off the credit files of 2.5 million consumers by June 2017, the largest of the group over that time frame.

With millions of borrowers coming back into the housing market, should this be the time to sell?

Consider low inventory.  There is a shortage of homes for sale in many markets throughout the country in relation to buyer demand.  This is economics 101 and happens to create a highly desirable atmosphere for sellers to obtain the best possible sale price and terms.  According to Redfin, buyer demand rose by 13.3 percent over the month in September, it’s highest level in three-plus years.  We’ve seen buyer demand gain momentum since Labor Day, when a pop of fresh listings hit the market.

Home prices are on the rise after several years of dealing with distressed and foreclosed inventory.  As of August 2016, foreclosure inventory included only 0.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage.  As foreclosures drop, home values rise, which could mean higher appreciation for home owners.

Low interest rates hovering around the 3.5 to 3.7 percent range make the cost of borrowing money extremely attractive, especially for those boomerang borrowers who are re-entering the market with now above average credit.  Modern day loan programs offer a wide variety of options to buyers at various price points and stages to purchase property, so you know that when you accept an offer, the loan process isn’t going to diminish on your buyer, thus securing your sale.

Chances are, it’s been a while since you’ve sold your home—at least 7-10 years.  Predictive analytics help optimize buyer searches.  Social Media marketing brings visibility to a whole new level.  Drones and video tours help create powerful story telling campaigns.  All done to attract buyers across the market and secure sales.  Welcome to modern day real estate!

Make yourself ready for boomerang borrowers by preparing your home to show in the best light possible.  Talk with one of our real estate professionals if you’re thinking of selling your home and find out what they can do for you.

So, you’ve decided to do it.  You’ve set a goal, set your budget and location, got pre-approved and you’re ready for it.  You’re doing it.  You’re going to buy a home.

Now what? A home purchase is a significant and expensive transaction with long-term implications. You want to buy wisely, at the right price and on good terms.  But if you overpay for a home or buy one that involves more upkeep than you can manage, you may end up with buyers remorse.

In order to make the best decision on buying your home, you need to have the best possible information and guidance to make a well-informed decision from someone who’s fiduciary duty is to you solely.  Using an Exclusive Buying Agent provides you with the level of representation you need to make sure you aren’t overpaying, overlooking the upkeep, or buying on bad terms.  This also helps to avoid any conflicts of interest.

An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent is just that: a real estate professional branded towards representing homebuyers exclusively.  Compare this with a dual agent, or sellers agent, who’s vested interest lays across multiple platforms—to the seller and to the homebuyer.

An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent will:

  • promote and protect the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity, by law
  • educate you on local market conditions and the home buying process in general
  • perform cost comparisons to protect you from overpaying
  • negotiate price and terms exclusively on your behalf

If an agent gives you dual agency disclosure, they aren’t representing you.  Conflicts of interest arise when a selling agent represents both the buyer and the seller, and still carries a fiduciary duty to the sellers, which means you don’t get the best deal possible.  If you meet a seller’s agent at an open house, for example. and mention to them your need to relocate in one month’s time, that agent must promote the interests of the seller by law and inform the sellers of your situation, thus diminishing your negotiation power.

Location, location, location.  When it comes to the desirability to real estate, we’ve always known location to the most important element.  But, times are changing.  Thanks to HGTV, Instagram, Pinterest and, well, the Internet, key home features are becoming just as important as location.

Close your eyes.  Imagine a quaint home, with a rustic barn door, white shaker cabinets and a big farmhouse sink.  Chances are, you’ve already imagined it yourself, or are even seeking it out.

In a study of more than 2 million listings across the US between January of 2014 and March of 2016 by Zillow, homes with listings including keywords like “barn door”, “shaker cabinets” and “subway tiles” sell for a price 13% higher than expected.

Among other terms analyzed, quartz, craftsman and exposed brick came in behind shaker, farmhouse sink and barn doors in those terms associated with not only the highest sale premium, but also a significantly faster sale.  “Barn doors”, for instance, helped listings move 57 days faster than expected, according to the study.

We hear it all the time, “We’ll replace these french doors with barn doors, paint the cabinets white and put in quartz countertops.” These now classic design elements add charm and character, so it’s no wonder these are in demand.

If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, looking to add value, or looking to appeal to potential homebuyers, try these GT Tips:

  1. The appeal of barn doors, aside from the actual intended use, stems from the rustic and reclaimed element.  Try reclaimed adhesive wood paneling to give your home a rustic, reclaimed vibe, without the commitment of a large barn door.
  2. Many potential homebuyers are going to be looking for white, shaker style cabinets.  If your cabinets aren’t shaker,   try a fresh coat of paint.  Our current favorites are Benjamin Moore’s Simply White and White Dove, for a cleaner or warmer white.
  3. If you currently have an overmount, or undermount sink, installing a farmhouse could be tricky.  You’ll want to ensure that the base cabinet underneath has low enough framing to support the front apron, as you’ll need to cut into it.  Hiding and stacking dishes is easier in a deeper sink, too!

More people are taking the leap to homeownership as a result of rising rent prices, job security, low interest rates and generous home loan programs.  And that just might be your dilemma, that many people are doing this, and for good reason, but it might be making the market a bit more competitive.  In areas where inventory is low, homes are being snatched up in a matter of days.  To help you land the home you want, follow this guide to give you the edge in a competitive market.

Get a pre-approval letter.  A pre-approval letter shows you’ve been vetted, you’re serious and you’re ready.  This also gives you a realistic idea of how much of a mortgage you can afford so you can limit your search to houses in your price range before setting your sites on properties out of reach.

Make sure your agent gets the scoop.  A good agent will find out the scope of interested parties in a house before writing an offer.  Knowing how many people have seen it and written offers on it will tell you how aggressive you need to be.  Knowing the seller’s story and timeline can also work to your advantage.  Something that doesn’t match up with the sellers timeline might get rejected.  It also lets us know in advance to start preparing for a bidding war.

Be flexible with timing.   That being said, you can improve your chances of landing the home you want if sellers know that you are willing to work with their schedules in as quickly– or as slowly–a manner as necessary.

Make it personal.  Real estate is a visual industry: you look at homes, you look at neighborhoods, you look at the numbers, sellers look at offers.  All of this can get cold and impersonal.  Consider adding a personal letter that shows why you love the house and what you plan to use it for.  Some people with an emotional attachment to the home they’re selling may be inclined to sell it to someone they know will take care of it and appreciate it the way they did.

Pay more upfront.  Money talks.  You can beef up your offer by providing more money up front in your earnest money deposit.  The cash works as insurance for the seller in case the buyer backs out of the deal.  Knowing you have more skin in the game might make take your offer as the safe bet.

It’s not because someone has left a hurtful comment on their latest selfie, or because their skinny jeans don’t fit anymore, but many millennials these days are having legitimate concern over their future, and where their future will take place geographically.

It’s no surprise that cities with most economic prospect draw residents from all over the country.  You’re going to go where the jobs are, and where the money is.  Young couples looking to buy a home, raise children and achieve the American Dream are facing a broad dilemma in California.  Macro-economics teaches us that the cities with the least affordable housing often have the best social mobility.  Inversely, cities with the most affordable housing have the worst social mobility.  California is home to six of the seven least affordable housing markets, though has four of the 11 best cities for upward mobility and job opportunity, including Southern California, according to Kolko’s affordability metric.  (Kolko/Chetty 2015)

High-income metros often have greater influence over planning commissions, and rightfully so at times.  The coastal communities, for example, often deter and vote against new construction, as opposed to lower income metros.  The unique thing about Southern California, is that may of these high-income metros and low-income metros, seem to live in symbiosis.  The best advice to give your millennial seeking the American Dream? Uh, we’ll let you know when we find it.  Until then, we’re open to suggestions.

Here’s what you need to know:

A pocket listing is a property for sale that is not listed on the MLS.  These off-market properties carry unique benefits for buyers and sellers in today’s market.

Buyers may seek the help of a real estate professional in search of off-market properties, or properties that have yet to hit the market, in low-inventory markets.  When inventory is low, buyers may find themselves in steep competition, and may grow tired of being outbid.  Pocket listings allow for an added ease in buying a home, since there’s less competition and less stress.

For homeowners undergoing construction, or prior to construction, the decision to list your home as a pocket listing gives you the added benefit of early exposure without the stress of managing showings.  Traditional marketing strategies strive to obtain as much interest in a home as possible.  For high profile homeowners, implementing an off-market strategy to selling their home allows them to maintain privacy, allowing only qualified buyers to preview and tour the home.

Want to know more about pocket listings? Ask us how they might benefit you here.