Monthly Archives: September 2011

Rules of Canceling a Real Estate Contract

Real Estate Purchase

There are rules that must be followed when dissolving a signed real estate contract. If proper channels are not used, the terminating party (buyer or seller) may be defending themselves in court.

In many states there is a three-day period called the “Attorney review period” after the contract has been signed during which either party may withdraw commitment to the contract. In states where this is not a law or if the three days is long gone, there are other options.

Standard legal contracts for the sale of real estate include a date by which time the buyer is required to have loan approval for the purchase price of the property. If the buyer cannot demonstrate his loan approval by the proper date, the seller can legally withdraw from the contract. If the buyer is the one wanting out, he must show that the loan was denied.

 

The contract will also have dates by which the home inspection and a real estate appraisal must be done.

After considering the inspection report, the buyer may legally withdraw from the contract without a reason if the condition reflected in the report is unacceptable, or if he does not want to negotiate with seller for repairs. If the seller is reconsidering the sale and wants to terminate the contract, he may refuse to do any repairs in the hope that the buyer will cancel the sale. If the appraisal values the property at a lower dollar amount than the sale price in the contract, the buyer has a legal right to consider terminating the sale.

 

Either party may build contingencies into the contract.

These are stipulations both buyer and seller agree to beforehand that if not satisfied are grounds for termination. For example, a seller might have his agent put in a contingency stating that the sale is dependent upon his finding another property to move to with a signed contract by a certain date. If that doesn’t happen, the contract can be terminated. The buyer may make the purchase contingent upon a favorable pest control report, a water report, a septic tank inspection, or new carpet installed by a certain date.

If there are no supporting contingencies and the buyer or seller wants to terminate the sale, the best avenue is negotiation. The buyer may agree to forfeit his earnest money to be released from the contract, and the seller as well may agree to pay the buyer a sum of money to dissolve the contract without buyer’s punitive legal action, that is, a breach of contract lawsuit.

Your real estate agent may or may not be representing your best interests… are they a “buyers agent”, or “seller’s agent” ~ make sure you understand the legal consequences of any contract you sign. If you’re not working with a “buyer’s agent” as a buyer, or a “sellers agent” as a seller, always have your contract reviewed by a real estate attorney.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com ~ The Nation’s Largest Free Directory of Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors offering Free Buyers Representation, Free Sellers Competitive Market Analysis and Free Relocation Kits to Any City, USA.

Posted on September 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Featured Gay Realtor: Wesley Piercy, RE/MAX State Line Real Estate, Kansas City, KS

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With over 10 years of Sales, Advertising and Marketing experience you are hiring a well rounded Realtor who can help you get the most out of your real estate transaction.

Whether it is price, ease, convenience or a unique set of circumstances I will be 100% focused on your needs.
The attention to detail and the emphasis I place on educating clients throughout the process have earned me high praise from clients.

Many clients have found me through the web site and have been surprised that one simple contact was all they needed to buy, sell, or get ininformation about the Kansas City Metro.

Please contact me today!

Click here to search for a gay or lesbian real estate agent anywhere in the country.

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Academy of Art College ~ San Francisco, CA Career Education Services ~ Kansas City, MO Continuing Education ~ Kansas City Regional Associattion of REALTORS National Association of REALTORS Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS Missouri Association of REALTORS Kansas Association of REALTORS Heartland Multiple List Service Licensed in Kansas and Missouri LIcensed in Residential and Commercial Properties Past Board Member of KCRAR Board Member of Prairie HIlls Homes Association

Specialties:

Residential and Commercial properties including single family, multi-dweling and condo units in the Kansas City Metro Area

View Wesley’s Complete Profile & Contact him Immediately by Clicking Here

Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

At Gay Real Estate, we keep you posted about all the residential real estate news, gay real estate news and Gay Realtor stories affecting the gay and lesbian home buying and selling community coast to coast, and in your neighborhood!

Click here for list of gay realtors, lesbian realtors and gay friendly realtors Nationwide.

If you have a real estate story that you’d like to share with us with the LGBT community, please contact us at:
manager@gayrealestate.com

Posted on September 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Preparing your Home for Sale

Home Selling Tips and Tricks

Before selling a house, one has to thoroughly prepare their house for selling. By taking certain steps, the home owners can ensure great activity in terms of showings on their home and their home will get sold for the highest amount of money, with the least amount of problems, within a short span of time.

The first step that one has to take is to mentally disassociate from the house where they have lived for many years. By mentally conditioning themselves with the fact that the house is going to be sold, home owners can look at the property with the eyes of a potential buyer, not being attached to the sentimental value the home has brought.

The next thing the home owners should do is to take away much of their personal memorabilia such as photos and souvenirs, these should be largely removed from the walls and bookcases of their home. When a prospective buyer comes to see the property these personal belongings, photos, memorabilia, etc. are a mental distraction and buyers find it more difficult to “imagine” themselves as the new home owners, their interest levels will go down and eventually they go in search of another property.

You’ve heard “cleanliness is next to godliness”? Maybe it’s time for a professional cleaning and deodorizing of the home. As home owners, were generally more worried about finding our next home, packing or trying to figure out the perfect neighborhood for the relocation. It’s a great time get some professional help with de-clutter, cleaning, carpet cleaning, window washing and painting… a great source for quick reasonable help is www.CraigsList.com, but always check for references and insurance.

Prospective buyers are interested in seeing behind every door, every nook and cranny including the attic, so spruce things up, make sure the lighting works. You’ll have to ensure that everything is stored properly in a neat manner.

Then one of the most important things to consider while preparing your house for sale is to set right any problems related to “deferred maintenance”. Some of the areas include maintenance to the eves, soffits and gutters, repairing or replacing cracked tiles cleaning up the grout, repairing leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly… a fresh set of eyes by the realtor you hire from GayRealEstate.com will provide a list of “must do’s”.

With respect to the paint, home owners have to ensure that requiring walls are repainted with a fresh soothing color and not the color which their family might have liked in 1982.

And of course curb appeal is THE #1 First Impression the potential buyers will have… make sure it’s the best looking lawn and landscaping on the block, even if it’s never looked that way before.

 

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com ~ The Nation’s Largest Free Directory of Gay Real Estate Agents, Lesbian Realtors and Gay Friendly Real Estate Agents offering Free Buyers Representation, Free Sellers Competitive Market Analysis and Free Relocation Kits in Any City, USA.

Posted on September 29, 2011 in Home Sales

Featured Gay Realtor: Francisco Mazzagerro, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Agent, New Jersey

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Meet Francesco Mazzaferro

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest events in your life. This major life step should be entrusted to someone with a proved track record of success. I have consistently been rated among the top 1% of realtors in the U.S. and recognized in the top 2% of Coldwell Banker Sales Associates internationally. Please let me help you begin your real estate journey; I’ll be with you every step of the way…
Why? I want to be your REALTOR for life. As your trusted, professional real estate partner, we will work together to achieve your real estate goals, whether buying, selling, leasing or relocating anywhere around the globe!

Click here to search for a gay or lesbian real estate agent anywhere in the country.

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Top Associate Listings Sold & Total Production 2006-2008 – Highest Number of Closed Units – 2006-2008 – 2004-2008 International President’s Elite (top 2% of CB Sales Associates Internationally) – NJAR Circle of Excellence, Gold Level, 2004-2008 – NJAR Circle of Excellence, Platinum, 2007 – NJAR Circle of Excellence Silver Level 2002-2003 – NJAR Circle of Excellence Bronze Level 2001 – NJ Builders Association SAM Awards 2005-2007 – Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle 2000-2003 – Coldwell Banker Multi-Million Dollar Club 2000-2003 – Member of National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals – Member of the Liberty Board of REALTORS – Member of the New Jersey Association of REALTORS – Member of the Hudson County MLS – Member of the New Jersey MLS – Member of the Garden State MLS – Member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) – Coldwell Banker Mortgage Premier Agent – Graduate, Floyd Wickman Institute of Sales – Graduate Star University Power – Luxury Homes Marketing Specialist – Affiliate Member of LuxuryHomes.com – Affiliate Member of LuxuryRealEstate.com – Affiliate Member of UniqueHomes.com – Affiliate Number1Expert Top Selling Agent – Certified Real Estate Consultant – Certified Relocation Specialist – Certified New Homes Specialist – Certified Residential Construction Specialist – 1031 Tax Exchange Specialist – Pre-foreclosure and Short Sale Consultant – GREEN NAR Designee – E-Pro Certified – CRS Member

Specialties:

Residential resales, including single family residences, multi-family dwellings, condos and co-ops, new construction projects from developmental state through title closings, Pre-foreclosure & Short Sale, first time buyer and All phases of mortgage financing.

View Francesco’s Complete Profile & Contact him Immediately by Clicking Here

Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

At Gay Real Estate, we keep you posted about all the residential real estate news, gay real estate news and Gay Realtor stories affecting the gay and lesbian home buying and selling community coast to coast, and in your neighborhood!

Click here for list of gay realtors, lesbian realtors and gay friendly realtors Nationwide.

If you have a real estate story that you’d like to share with us with the LGBT community, please contact us at:
manager@gayrealestate.com

Posted on September 28, 2011 in Gay Realtors

Home Refinancing Basics

Home Loan Refinance Options

In today’s world of tight credit standards, government confusion, and record-low interest rates, it is beneficial to every homeowner, regardless of status, wealth, or property type, to know the home refinancing basics.

Homeowners all across America as well as many other countries are clamoring to take advantage of these low interest rates, and in order for them to be successful, they should consider three factors:

  1. Refinancing only makes sense if the long term savings outweigh the cost of refinancing.
  2. Homeowners should be very thorough in researching and selecting the best loan option.
  3. The choice of financial institution is important.

Refinancing a home involves certain costs, also called “points,” “origination fees,” or “discount fees.” When considering whether to refinance, it is vital that points and fees be taken into consideration. The short term cost (or long term if a “zero point loan” that builds the cost into the new loan,) must be balanced with the anticipated savings, eventually leading to a calculation of how long one must own the house to make up for the costs and realize a savings.

If, for example, a refinance would lower the monthly mortgage payment by $100 and the points on the loan amount to $3,000, the homeowner would need to keep the home for 30 months before the refinance would start netting a savings.

After the mortgage crisis and mass defaults on sub-prime mortgages, it is more important than ever to research what type of loan to refinance into, specifically the term of the loan and the type of interest rate. Mortgages over a shorter term for example 15 years versus 30 years, have a much higher monthly payment but result in a substantially lower total cost of borrowing (interest.) Long-term mortgages have the reverse effect.

Loan variability means choosing between a fixed interest rate that is unchanging for the life of the loan or a variable rate, of which there are many varieties, with rates that change at certain points during the life of the loan. Each type has its own pros and cons.

As far as choosing which financial institution to utilize, the most important factor is to shop around. The holder of your current mortgage may offer a great savings of time in that they already have much of the necessary information and potentially also a monetary savings as a reward for loyal customers. Another option is to ask for referrals from your trusted real estate agent ~ they work with lenders every day… it’s more important to have a trusted adviser than to have an offer of ¼ point less from an “unknown” in another state.

There are nearly infinite banks and mortgage companies worth exploring, and only after researching the institutions as well as the above enumerated considerations of total savings and mortgage type can a truly informed decision be made.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com ~ The Nation’s Largest Free Directory of Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors offering Free Buyers Representation, Free Sellers Competitive Market Analysis and Free Relocation Kits to Any City, USA.

Posted on September 27, 2011 in Mortgages, Refinancing

When Buying a Home, How Do I Find A Good Area?

Gay Neighborhoods, Gay Friendly Areas

Making the decision to choose an area for your next home is a complex one.  You’ll need to consider the school district, if you have or plan to have children, proximity to work, and a vast array of other variables that making the right decision often seems overwhelming.  A good area is a very subjective idea; one property may be perfect for one family, yet a deal breaker for another. 

It’s important to identify a baseline set of criteria so that the subjective idea of a “good area” can be defined.  In our experience, this is best accomplished by initially outlining a few key areas detailed below.

Work:

By far, the most important will initially be the proximity to work.  Unless you actually enjoy the monotony of hour-long drives to and from work each day, you’ll likely want to live as close to work as possible, without sacrificing too many luxuries.

Begin by identifying a maximum travel time to work.  This will create a radius around your place of employment that will help narrow down the areas you’ll have to choose from.  You’ll discover that the larger the city you plan to move to, the more beneficial this particular exercise will be for your future home search.

Schools:

Do you have any children, or plan to?  The school district will play an important role in your decision on choosing an area for your next home.  Even resale values are affected by the school district regardless of your personal desires, so spending time in this area is definitely financially smart!  We’ve already identified a target area around your work – now we’ll identify all of the school districts in this area and list each one in descending order from most desirable to least.

Some factors you may want to consider are student-to-teacher ratios, history of exemplary statuses, prior average grades in testing, and student size.  Larger schools in an area with lower education budgets may experience higher student-to-teacher ratios than average, so carefully research each district using online tools such as http://greatschools.com

As a rule of thumb, compare each district with your present school district to determine if you would be moving up or down in quality, compared to your children’s current school district.

Age of the Area:

Newer, undeveloped areas are in a constant state of change.  You may see a steady increase in home values in new areas if the supply is kept within a modest range of demand.  In some cases, the mere fact of builder competition alone will keep prices low while they are still developing an area, which can cost money if you unexpectedly need to sell right away.

Areas with older homes are opportunities to find properties recently renovated, or homes that exhibit a desirable, traditional characteristic that a new home simply doesn’t provide.  Home prices in older areas are also more stable and less subject to the ebb and flow of the real estate market.

Responsibility comes with age, unfortunately.  Older homes may be more subject to repair costs, and lack many energy efficient features that a newer home can provide.

Choosing the Perfect Area:

Work your way through the above exercise to get a clear picture of the ideal location for your next home.  When in doubt, be sure to contact a Top Realtor at GayRealEstate.com to get expert guidance on the discovery process.  As professionals that do this day in and day out, we’ve developed a keen sense for uncovering the needs that ultimately drive the decision on where to move.  We are experts in the real estate market; who better to talk to?

Contact a GayRealEstate.com agent today to get started.

Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com the Nation’s Largest Free Directory of Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors ~ Offering Free Buyers Assistance / Free Sellers Market Analysis and a Free Relocation Kit to Any City, USA.

Posted on September 26, 2011 in Buying a Home

Featured Gay Realtor: Greg Jarvis, Baird & Warner Real Estate ~ Chicago, IL

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Greg is an award-winning Chicago real estate broker with Baird & Warner, working with buyers and sellers and specializing in first-time purchases, relocations and investment properties.

Originally from New York City and Florida, Greg attended the University of Florida where he received his bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.

After selling wine for several years, Greg made the move into real estate, getting his Illinois broker’s license in 2001.

Greg has been with his partner, a Chicago attorney, since March 1996 and they reside in Lincoln Park.

 

Click here to search for a gay or lesbian real estate agent anywhere in the country.

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Licensed Real Estate Broker Member National Association of Realtors Member Chicago Association of Realtors (Top 5%) Realtor Association of Miami & the Beaches Baird & Warner President’s Club

Specialties:

Working with both sellers, buyers and renters, specializing in relocation, first-time purchases, short sales, FHA purchases, and property rentals. Condos, single-family homes, co-ops, high-rise, flats, rentals. No cost or obligation consultation!

View Greg’s Complete Profile & Contact them Immediately by Clicking Here

Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

At Gay Real Estate, we keep you posted about all the residential real estate news, gay real estate news and Gay Realtor stories affecting the gay and lesbian home buying and selling community coast to coast, and in your neighborhood!

Click here for list of gay realtors, lesbian realtors and gay friendly realtors Nationwide.

If you have a real estate story that you’d like to share with us with the LGBT community, please contact us at:
manager@gayrealestate.com

Posted on September 26, 2011 in Gay Realtors

Relocating ~ How Do I Find Temporary Housing?

Gay Relocation, moving

Relocating your family doesn’t have to be filled with stress, confusion, and desperation as you frantically search for a temporary roof over your head.  Often, a closing date will contradict a desired move date or an unexpected turn of events will cause you to rush a closing, wrecking havoc on your moving timeline.

Temporary housing is the next logical step as a stepping-stone to your new home.  Finding help is free and is a convenient way to get a professional on your side to find an apartment, weekly, or monthly rental that suits the lifestyle you desire.

Apartment Temporary Housing

If you are a single person, or a small family that doesn’t mind putting major items in temporary storage, you may consider an apartment as your temporary residence.  Your apartment will come complete with all household necessities: bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and possibly even your own personal garage.  It’s common for an apartment to be available in multi-floor varieties, so you’ll have a choice of a single floor unit or penthouse suite.

Similar to helping with home purchases, our real estate agents can assist you with apartment temporary housing.  By far the most useful tool we’ll bring to the table are intricate searching tools that help us sort out undesirable units immediately.

Residential Month-to-Month Temporary Housing

We keep a close watch on properties that are available to lease month to month, as this poses a substantial benefit to both an investor without a tenant and a buyer in desperate need of a home.  Month-to-month rentals are a great way to avoid sacrificing the luxuries that a private residence offers your family.  You’ll enjoy a better sense of security, private parking, and your own yard to lounge away the afternoons.

Our real estate agents can also assist with finding a weekly or monthly residential rental.  We’ll manage the communication between you and the landlord, act as your representative during all negotiations, and guide you in carefully constructing a lease agreement that you won’t regret later.

What’s Next?

Once you’ve completed your temporary stay, our real estate agents can assist with discovering your next home.  The process is very similar to finding your previous temporary home.  We’ve found that being focused and proactive in this volatile real estate market essentially guarantees that you’ll find a place to live in that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

If you’re in the market for a new home and are considering temporary living, contact a GayRealEstate.com agent today to get started.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com ~ Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast, offering Free Buyers Assistance.

Posted on September 24, 2011 in Relocating

Featured Gay Realtor: Todd Kratochvil, Edina Realty ~ Minneapolis, MN

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Whether buying or selling, I can assist you with all your real estate needs. My company and I offer full service attention for all aspects of your real estate transaction. Whether it be help with relocation, mortgage programs, title work, home warranty programs, or any other need, I can help you with whatever challenges arise. Our company has an unparalleled customer friendly website with a vast amount of information at your fingertips.

My goal is to make your entire process smooth and stress free, with focus on customer service and satisfaction. I take care of all the details so you can enjoy finding the home of your dreams, or the expertise to get your home sold, even in a challenging market. If you are a first time buyer, or a well seasoned property owner, I can tailor our search/ marketing system to fit your needs. Now more than ever you need someone who has experience and knowledge of today’s quickly changing market conditions.

Whether you are looking for a sleek contemporary loft with a great downtown address and view, prefer to live in a very green, progressive neighborhood like Bryn-Mar or Cathedral Hill, or want some wide open space for your pets or children, I can give you insights on locations which will work best for your lifestyle.

As a member of the GLBT community, I understand the unique needs of our community and you will never feel pressured or uncomfortable with the process. I am active in many GLBT activities, from social to political. I was born in Minneapolis and attended college at Gustavus in St. Peter, and later, settled back in the cities. Feel free to email with any questions, I am here to help you.

Click here to search for a gay or lesbian real estate agent anywhere in the country.

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

 

Specialties:

Existing residential, new construction, condos, townhomes, relocation, multi unit.

View Todd’s Complete Profile & Contact them Immediately by Clicking Here

Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

At Gay Real Estate, we keep you posted about all the residential real estate news, gay real estate news and Gay Realtor stories affecting the gay and lesbian home buying and selling community coast to coast, and in your neighborhood!

Click here for list of gay realtors, lesbian realtors and gay friendly realtors Nationwide.

If you have a real estate story that you’d like to share with us with the LGBT community, please contact us at:
manager@gayrealestate.com

Posted on September 24, 2011 in Gay Realtors

How Long Will It Take to Sell My Home?

How long will it take to sell our home?

You’re probably looking to accomplish two main things with the sale of your home:

  1. Get the most amount of money
  2. Complete the process in the least amount of time

In our experience, achieving both is a careful balancing act.  You can sell your home in a heartbeat with a price low enough and, contrary to this, it will last an eternity on the market if it’s overpriced.

You can estimate how long your home will be on the market by taking into consideration your needs and evaluating how other homes in your area are performing.

Baseline Days on the Market

We’ll begin by determining the average amount of time it takes for a home with similar features and amenities to sell in your neighborhood.  This will establish a baseline that we can use to gauge how both under and overpricing your home affects it’s days-on-market.

Once we’ve established a baseline, we can then consider your timing and financial needs in regards to pricing.  We’ll refer to this statistic as “baseline” later in this article.

Price

You have three choices when it comes to pricing your home: below, at, and above market.  Each comes with its pros and cons, and choosing one will be based on your financial needs and time frame.

Below Market

When you are below market price, you can expect your home to sell faster than your baseline.  The reasons are fairly obvious– you’ve intentionally listed your home at a below-market price with the intention of attracting the most number of buyers in the least amount of time.  Buyers will include both those who plan to live in the home themselves and investors.

The hidden gem with this pricing method is that you can proactively solicit multiple offers and possibly drive up the price of your home.  This simply cannot be done if you are not attracting multiple buyers, and this pricing method almost ensures this to happen.

The biggest concern with pricing under market is that you’re leaving money on the table.  While this is also our concern, we’ll coach you on how much under market you should price to ensure you’re getting more offers, while minimizing the risk of losing money.

At Market

Pricing your home at it’s market price, or the price we determine your home is actually worth based on it’s features, amenities, and condition, ensures that it will be sold in your baseline timeframe.  A seller who isn’t in a desperate need to sell quickly could consider this option.  While you may not get as many buyers as the under-priced method, you will still receive the average amount of interest as other homes for sale in your market.

Buyers with this pricing method will usually include those who plan to live in the home themselves.

Overpriced

Each pricing method has it’s benefits, and the overpriced method is reserved for those homes that could be considered “benchmark” or in a better condition with more features than other homes in their market. 

Overpriced homes should expect to stay on the market the longest, as they’re targeting a very specific niche buyer who values the reasons justifying the increase in list price.

Conclusion

As you can see, the amount of time your home spends on the market is in direct relation to how it’s priced in relation to the baseline. 

Contact one of the gayrealestate.com professionals today to discuss your needs and the real estate market to determine which pricing method is best for you.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast.

Posted on September 22, 2011 in Selling