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You told your Realtor that?

relaxI always tell my clients that the more I know, the more I can help you. The trust between Realtor and client is a special, cherished bond between the best agents and their clients. It's a universal truth that I saw echoed today in a post by Richard Hartian, a former mortgage and real estate professional in Chicago providing tips to help people succeed in all areas of life. Richard posted last year about the "10 Important Things to To Tell Your Realtor." Here are his tips:

1. The truth about your financial situation. If you have ever filed for bankruptcy, had a bad credit report, had a short sale or a foreclosure—even if it was 20 years ago, tell your Realtor. Negative information has a funny way of reappearing after you think it is long gone.

2. The truth about your relationship. This can certainly be done in a lighthearted way, but if you and your spouse (or any other individual involved in the transaction) have widely differing opinions about budget, needs vs. wants, neighborhood, or any other critical matter, say so. Realtors are great at finding compromises, as long as they know what to look for.

3. What’s your credit rating? If you are a savvy buyer, you will request a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus before you even call a Realtor. Share this information with your Realtor, so that he/she knows you will be able to qualify for a loan amount that’s in your requested price range.

The three items above relate specifically to buyers. And now for the seller’s truth checklist, keep reading.

4. How much you owe. It goes without saying that you probably have a first mortgage. How about a second? A home equity line of credit (even if you’re not using it). All these could affect the listing price of your home, as well as your ability to qualify for a new mortgage when the time comes.

5. Why you’re selling. There are many reasons why people sell; divorce, illness, job transfer and job loss are only a few. Communicating your reasons for selling to your Realtor will let him or her know your sense of urgency as well as how to price your home for sale.

6. Who’s on the title? If a husband and wife are selling their home, the Realtor may assume that both their names are on the title. But that’s not always the case. Maybe one party owned the home prior to the marriage and the other party just moved in and the title was never changed. Or maybe your Great Aunt Martha loaned you money for the down payment and her name is on the title. Matters like this can delay the closing so make sure you say something early in the process.

7. What else is on the title? Lawyers and others use a term called “cloud on the title.” This means there is some claim or lien against your property that could prevent you from selling it. This might include an old mortgage or deed of trust with no record showing that it’s been paid off. Other clouds could include a tax lien, a mechanic’s lien, or a previous deed which was improperly written or signed.

8. Skeletons in the closet. Family relationships are often complicated. Here’s an example: Jane had two children—Jack and Jill. She owned her condo free and clear, and in her will she left the condo to Jill because Jill had been her primary caregiver for 15 years. However, when she passed away, Jack (being somewhat jealous and unscrupulous) called a Realtor and listed the property for sale. You can’t sell what you don’t own.

9. Other Realtors in the picture. If you are now working or have previously worked with another Realtor on selling this property, be honest about it. If you’re dissatisfied with your current Realtor and want to make a change, you may have to wait until your contract has expired. A good Realtor will not steal another Realtor’s client, no matter how unhappy you may be.

10. Do you have invisible defects? Things like cracks in the ceiling or a leaky roof may be clearly visible. But there could be any number of invisible issues, such as dampness in the basement, termites or other pests, or even neighbors who are rehearsing their garage band every night until 3 a.m. You may be tempted to conceal such items temporarily and hope no one will notice. Don’t do it. Your Realtor is obligated by law to disclose any defects to a potential buyer and you could both end up in a lawsuit. Um, for clarity, living next to a garage band isn’t a defect, but it may feel like one.

Visit Richard's blog, WinningAgent, here.

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Have you tried the new REMAX.COM?

remax.com If you haven't visited the site already, now is your chance to check out the new REMAX.COM. Our new easy-to-use website lets you search for homes across the US, or anywhere in the world, and is the first real estate company to provide a consistent web experience across all platforms. That means you get the same great experience whether you pull this up on your computer, your tablet or smart phone.

Did you also know that RE/MAX shows you ALL listings in your area -- not just those listed by RE/MAX? As RE/MAX agents, we can show you any property currently for sale, whether it is listed by RE/MAX or a competing broker. Therefore, why should your search be any different?

The new website offers the following benefits:

- create personal preferences for your individualized searches

- bigger photo viewer

- the home page will offer choices suited to your needs the more you use it

- use 'quiet mode' to turn off all other content and text on a page except for the photos you want to view

- save listings and share them via social media with your friends and contacts

 

The RE/MAX network enjoys #1 market share in the US and its agents are regularly recognized for being the most productive among the national franchise brands.

 

 

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Do you know your sewer rules in W Seneca?

If you currently live or are thinking of living in West Seneca, you may know about the 2 controversial ordinances implemented last November. However, you may not know that the Town Board bowed to public and Realtor pressure last month when they overturned these ordinances.

  • The law, which called for replacement of the sewer line lateral for all homes built prior to 1980 has been removed from the Town's code and is no longer applicable.
  • The ordinance which called for the redirection of downspouts and sump pumps, and removal of basement and garage drains has been rewritten so that incapacitating any non-sanitary connection which leads to a public sanitary sewer is acceptable.  This allows property owners to redirect water flow, or plug drain openings rather than requiring them to dig up their basements and garages.
  • The requirement to for a certificate of occupancy to be obtained prior to transfer of ownership has been rescinded.

This is a victory for home owners that will now be eased these extra burdens upon the purchase or sale of their home.

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Free RE/MAX App Unveiled

RE/MAX's mobile app was recently released and downloads of the free app for iPhone and Android spiked well into the thousands in the hours following the announcement.

To download the free app, visit getmobile.remax.com or scan the QR code below with your iPhone or Android. To find the RE/MAX app by visiting the App Store or Android Market, simply search "RE/MAX."

Get details of homes right in front of you that are across town or across the country. Users can:

  • Download and enjoy it free of charge
  • Instantly search nearby homes for sale based on their current location
  • Customize their searches using advanced search filters
  • View properties using the dynamic map search
  • Quickly zoom and navigate neighborhoods with interactive "balloon view" maps 
  • Generate turn-by-turn driving directions from their current location to properties that interest them
  • Save their searches and favorite listings to their smartphone or tablet
  • Easily share properties for sale with friends and family via email
  • Determine the best financial options, loan amounts and monthly payments with the integrated mortgage calculator

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Why should I list my home during the holidays?

Ryan Connolly It seems to defy rational thought, but listing your home during the holidays can actually be a smart selling agenda. Here's why:

1) Only serious buyers are out looking at this time. You have a great chance of turning one of those showings into an offer.

2) Your house looks fantastic. When else do you spend so much time making sure it's cozy, festive and a place any buyer will surely fall in love with?

3) 2011 has been the year of unexpected surprises. Well into the 4th quarter, the market is still busy.

Take advantage of the strengths of the season and call us today!

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