Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Time Homebuyer's Word of the Day is Buyer's Agent


The average home buyer only buys a home once every eight years. That said, even a repeat home buyer can forget some of the simple terms used in real estate on a daily basis. It can be hard to remember whether the earnest money or the money escrowed is a down payment and (if it is, on what?) Often buyers are easily confused by similar sounding terms like easement and encroachment as they both deal with property lines and usage but what do they really mean?

Whether you are a novice, first time buyer or someone who hasn’t purchased a home for several years, sometimes a refresher on real estate terms can be very helpful. I often notice buyers (and sellers) with a glazed look on their face when certain terms come up so I thought an online real estate glossary would be helpful. The real estate term for today is:

Buyer’s Agent An individual contracted by the buyers to represent them in the purchase of their home.

When buying a house, the home is listed by a broker or company. The REALTOR® that lists the home is the listing agent for the home and is under contract with
fiduciary duties to the seller. When a buyer calls on a sign or enters an open house, the information they provide is shared with the seller because the listing agent is required to disclose all information to their client.

A buyer can have their own representation when purchasing a home. They do not have to work with the listing agent. In fact, many buyers prefer to have their own agent working on their behalf. If a buyer signs a contract to work exclusively with a specific REALTOR® that agent will work on behalf of the buyer to get the best deal while keeping all private information confidential. A buyer’s agent can show their clients any listed home and it doesn’t cost anything to hire your own agent because the fee is paid for by the seller of the home with a shared commission.




Copyright 2011 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

REALTOR Operating on Cruise Control? Not in a Minnesota Winter!


Okay, I’ll admit, this Minnesota girl found out just recently a year or so ago that cruise control was a no-no when the snow is flying. It is surprising even to me that I didn’t know this as I learned to drive in the winter but the cars I learned on didn’t have the cruise option. Now I do have it and I just never gave a thought to how dangerous it would be to hit ice with the cruise on….until it happened to me. No accident, thankfully…just a wake-up call. I know better now and when I am white-knuckle driving in snowy weather, I manually adjust the speed while I keep focused on driving.

I wonder how many REALTORS® felt a bit like they hit ice when the housing market took a nose-dive a few years ago? Bet they were cruising along doing the same-old, same-old when it came to their listings: Put in the MLS with a few good pictures and stick a sign in the yard and wait for the buyers to arrive. Operating on cruise worked pretty well when buyers were plentiful. Unfortunately, I realize some agents still are on auto-pilot and when a listing crashes and burns; it is the homeowner that pays the price.
But like driving in a Minnesota blizzard, a good REALTOR® will shut off the cruise control and create a unique plan to aggressively market your home in this changed real estate landscape. Here are just a few of the things I have changed during the last few years when I shut of my cruise control to get my clients listings SOLD.

Blogging about the Home—Writing up a blog with features to excite potential buyers about the property. It also helps internet searchers find information on the home by the address.
Virtual Tours—People love to view the interior and exterior of homes on a virtual tour of the home…even if it is just a slideshow of photos.
Dozens of interior and exterior photos—It takes time in this market for homes to sell. Photos should be reshot when the seasons change.
Staging Recommendations—A good agent is going to want you to put your home in it’s best light before the first potential buyer walks through the door.
Pricing Advice—Traditional sellers need to understand how their home will compete against area foreclosures and lender-mediated homes. Finding the right listing price is essential to getting a sold sign on the door.

I create a unique marketing plan for each of my listings taking into account its location, price and unique features. If you are thinking of listing your Anoka or Washington County home and want an agent that is not on auto-pilot, give me a call.



Copyright 2011 www.terieckholm.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year 2011! Real Estate Resolutions for Home Buyers and Sellers in Minnesota


During the past decade we have experienced some highs and lows in the real estate market in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the extended Twin Cities suburbs. In the later part of the decade, home sellers began to count market time in months rather than days. Home buyers stayed hidden in the woodwork coaxed out only by extremely low prices on bank-owned foreclosures and tax credits offered by the government. We have been through the proverbial wringer during the past ten years, with terms like short-sale and REO that were once seldom heard when describing Minnesota real estate creep into the media on a daily basis. And then there is that abundant inventory...In every price range and most locations there are several OPTIONS at all price points on the market. Town homes, single family, split levels, ramblers, two stories, remodels, foreclosures, short sales and new construction. No longer flying off the market as soon as they were listed as in the early 2000's. The bubble popped and we are working our way toward recovery.

As a REALTOR
® working in Washington and Anoka Counties, including Ham Lake, White Bear Lake and all communities in the Forest Lake School District, I keep a close eye on the Twin Cities real estate market. During the last few months of the year, I noticed bit of a change in the wind. Activity was starting to pick up and inventory is leveling off. Sellers that need to sell choice to price their homes attractively to entice buyers. Buyers balancing for months even years at the top of the fence jumped into the real estate market and wrote purchase agreements. Negotiations were made and offers accepted. The Twin Cities real estate market took one baby step toward forward at the end of 2010.
So what does that mean for those considering purchasing a home or selling their property in 2011? From Ham Lake to Forest Lake and East Bethel to East St Paul we have a strong foundation in our real estate market. Our communities have long been some of the most affordable areas in the country. With continued low interest rates, there will be opportunities to buy a Minnesota home. Even lakeshore and acreage has become more affordable. As we move forward into 2011
, we should all Resolve to be Real Estate Savvy!
Resolutions for Sellers
*Team up with a professional REALTOR
®
*Price your home correctly from the start
*Make all repairs
*Declutter
*Make each showing count by staging the home for sale.
*Be willing to negotiate.
Resolutions for Buyers
*Team up with a trusted
REALTOR®
*Get Pre-approved and check in with your Loan Officer regularly to discuss market changes.
*Write realistic offers that encourage negotiation.
*Understand the foreclosure and short sale process—While prices can seem like a deal, the assumed risk to buyers on an as-is sale can be great.

Resolutions for Homeowners


*Even if this isn’t the year for you to sell, there are things a homeowner should be doing to maintain and retain property value.
*Maintain the interior and exterior of your home and make repairs on a continual basis rather than deferring to time of sale.
*Stay current with your mortgage and discuss any financial problems with your lender immediately.
*Be a good steward of your neighborhood.
Resolutions for Investors*Team up with a professional REALTOR®
*Take advantage of the abundance of foreclosures that are continually hitting the market.
*If holding the property, offer a safe and maintained residence at a fair price to the renters
*If flipping or repairing/reselling the property, be realistic with the numbers. Don’t over invest in materials and curb enthusiastic inflated resale estimates. 2011 buyers are market wise!
*Be a good steward of your properties and the communities in which they are located.
*Maintain the properties to retain value for portfolio as well as the neighborhood.

If buyers, sellers, homeowners, investors and real estate professional alike work together to maintain slight momentum in the market, 2011 could be another babystep forward toward recovery in the Twin Cities real estate market. 

Copyright 2011 terieckholm.com

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Time Homebuyer’s Real Estate Word for Today is Deeded Access


The average home buyer only buys a home once every eight years. That said, even a repeat home buyer can forget some of the simple terms used in real estate on a daily basis. It can be hard to remember whether the earnest money or the money escrowed is a down payment and (if it is, on what?) Often buyers are easily confused by similar sounding terms like easement and encroachment as they both deal with property lines and usage but what do they really mean?

Whether you are a novice, first time buyer or someone who hasn’t purchased a home for several years, sometimes a refresher on real estate terms can be very helpful. I often notice buyers (and sellers) with a glazed look on their face when certain terms come up so I thought an online real estate glossary would be helpful. The real estate term for today is:

Deeded Access Deeded access is access to the lakeshore as outlined in the deed for the property. As a Minnesota REALTOR® I deal with lots of lakeshore properties. Heck, it is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” after all. Some properties are right on the shoreline and the riparian rights (right to use the lakeshore) is obviously the property owners. But sometimes a property within close proximity to a lake will allow homeowners to use the lake as well. These rights can include the ability to use a private beach, put in a dock, dock a boat or other various rights. Not all deeded access is created equal. To understand the riparian rights associated with the property, a buyer must inquire and read the specifics outlined in the deed.


Copyright 2011
terieckholm.com