Seattle-based online real estate brokerage Redfin has been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging the firm misclassified employees as independent contractors in order to avoid having to pay minimum and overtime wages, payroll taxes and other business-related expenses. Read on HERE.
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We would love to help you buy your new home! Give us a call, text or email. Let's make 2014 the year you move into the home of your dreams!
-Steve and Sandra
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Many people ask us whether they should hire an agent to sell their home or whether they should first try as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). In today’s market, we believe this is an easy decision: you need an experienced professional!
You need an expert guide if you are traveling a dangerous path
The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a buyer ready, willing and able to pay fair market value for your home at a time when lending standards are so stringent is not an easy task. Finding reasonable financing can also be tricky when interest rates are volatile like they have been over the last several months.
You need a skilled negotiator
In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible re-negotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.
Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family? If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal.
We believe that famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.
Call on us today to save you money!
-Steve and Sandra
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Washington First Mortgage
The real estate market is a place where most people will make their largest investment ever. It is a place where fortunes can be, and often are, made. It is not a place, however, for you to “wing it”.
While the myriad TV shows about real estate make the process look so simple – it’s not really that simple… they make it seem like all you need to do is slap a for sale by owner sign in the yard, have one open house with fresh flowers and fresh baked cookies and bam! SOLD! in one day. Well I can tell you that in New Hanover County, North Carolina it takes an average of 121 days to sell a home. An average means that some houses take much longer to sell and some much less than 121 days to sell.
You need a professional, full time, well educated, ethical and trustworthy REALTOR to represent you whether buying or selling real estate.
1 – Paperwork
Currently in North Carolina there are over 24 pages of contracts involved with buying or selling most homes. The state law requires much of this paperwork regardless or whether or not you hire a REALTOR. REALTORS are trained and educated on the contracts, which are constantly changing, so they can advise you during the process. They can also refer you to a real estate attorney to represent you on all legal matters involved in the process.
2 – Process
There are about 180 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction that are normally provided by full service real estate brokerages in return for their sales commission. (Based on a report prepared by the Orlando Regional REALTORS Association). So this means that if you choose to go it on your own, you are going to have to do all 180 things yourself… or they don’t get done… which probably means your transaction doesn’t end in a successful purchase/sale.
3 – Negotiation
While there will always be that one guy (or gal) who thinks he (she) is the all-time greatest negotiator, the vast majority of folks do not like confrontational interactions. A negotiation for the purchase/sale of an asset as large as a piece of real estate can be a very confrontational interaction. The role of the REALTOR is to act as a buffer between the two parties who are in the midst of a very emotional and high-level financial transaction, both wanting to get the best they can get often at the detriment of the other party. A real estate professional is experienced in all aspects of the negotiation and is bound legally to do only what is in the best interest of his/her client.
4 – Values
Perhaps the single most important aspect of the transaction is the value of the piece of property.
If you are a seller you want to know how much you can expect to get for the sales price and how much of that you will walk away with in your pocket. You want to advertise the property for sale at the right price so you sell for as much as possible but you don’t want to price it so high that no buyers make you an offer (and YES if you price it too high MOST buyers will not want to offend you by making a low offer…thus you don’t get any offers).
If you are the buyer, you want to know how much to offer. Now multiple offer situations are happening more frequently and if a buyer offers too low, they can either be rejected completely by the seller or they can cause the negotiation to take too long thus allowing time for a competing bid to come in… allowing the seller to be in the driver’s seat.
5 – Teacher
Any good professional, whether a real estate professional, doctor, lawyer, CPA, etc., will have the heart of a teacher. Real estate brokerage is a service business. The professional REALTOR is there to educate you about the conditions impacting today’s real estate market. It is as easy as picking up the newspaper or searching the Internet for real estate news to see conflicting headline after conflicting headline. “Prices are up 20%”, “Among worst markets in nation”, “Best year since the crash”…well which is it? All real estate is local and your real estate professional will know the local market conditions and will lead you through the process, like any good teacher would, making sure you understand all that is going on around you.
A real estate professional is a crucial member of your team when buying or selling real estate. You could be buying your first home or your tenth home, an investment property or a vacation home, commercial or residential…whichever it is you are best served in the care of a full time, well educated, ethical, trustworthy real estate professional.
Contact Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner today for all your real estate needs.
Our Preferred Lenders
Washington First Mortgage
Are you thinking of selling your home? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge just like a great doctor or great accountant. You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one. Let us help.
If we were hiring an agent to sell my home today, we would require that they:
1. Tell us the truth about the price
Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.
The second sale may be more difficult than he first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.
2. Understand the timetable with which my family is dealing
You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan. This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. I am not suggesting that your agent can pick the exact date for your move. You just want the agent to exert any influence they can.
3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible
It is imperative that your agent know how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.
Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into Superman when they are negotiating for you with your buyer.
4. Help with the relocation
If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.
5. Get the house SOLD!
There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving. You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you.
Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In today’s market, YOU NEED GREAT AGENTS like Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner.
Not every real estate broker is a REALTOR®, be sure to ask if your broker is a REALTOR® before you buy or sell a home. A REALTOR® abides by an enhanced code of ethics.
Check out this video to learn more: http://youtu.be/PhkgUaqFzOQ
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
Broker | REALTOR®
Windermere Real Estate/FN
When you are ready to buy or sell, give us a call; we are ready to put our experience and knowledge to work for you!