Monthly Archives: September 2011

Featured Gay Realtor: Christopher Gregg, Prudential Preferred Realty ~ Pittsburgh, PA

1297644764_510888630_profilepic

I proudly represent the LGBT community in the City of Pittsburgh, East Suburban, South Suburban and near North Suburban neighborhoods.

As an “Out” Real Estate professional, I understand the needs and concerns of my clients and work hard to achieve the results they expect. As “your” agent, I understand how important your real estate representation is. I take the “worry” out of the transaction and make sure you receive a fair price for your dream home!

I look forward to working with you and helping make your housing dreams come true!

Call me today for a FREE buyer consultation or seller’s home market evaluation.

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

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Professional Distinctions: QSC (Quality Service Certified) E-Certified Relocation Certified Member West Penn Multi-List National Assoc. of REALTORS Pennsylvania Assoc. of REALTORS RAMP (REALTORS Assoc. of Metro PGH.) Personal Distinctions: Member of Human Rights Campaign Member of National Humaine Society Member of ASPCA

Specialties:

Single family residential; New Construction and Resale Townhomes, condominiums and loft living!

View Christopher’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 22, 2011 in Gay Realtors

Should we Remodel our Home or Sell “As Is”?

Remodel or sell as is

This question is a common headache for many homeowners visiting Gay Real Estate when considering placing their home on the market.  On one hand, a remodel could create a diamond in the rough, and possibly even encourage a faster sale.  On another, selling as-is in a competitive market could save months of listing time if priced right.

 

When You Should Remodel

Analyzing your competition can be a great way to gain insight into what buyers are looking for in your market.  It’s easy to assume a feature or amenity should immediately increase the value of your home.  In some cases it will, but many times a remodel will only bring your home to the market readiness of other similar homes in your neighborhood.

You should consider remodeling a room in your home if any of the following applies:

1) When analyzing sold history and currently active homes on the market, you find that this particular remodel is commonly found.

2) The room is in dire need of attention and a simple clean up won’t suffice to get it market-ready.

3) When analyzing sold history, a predominant higher price is offered for homes with this particular remodel.

You’re likely to never recoup the entire cost of a remodel, but getting your home up to par may be necessary to get your home sold in a reasonable amount of time.

 

When You Should Sell As-Is

If your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that is already loaded with amenities not commonly found in your market, you should consider selling as-is.  While a pricey remodel will certainly make your home shine during an open house, it usually costs more than it’s worth.  

You should consider selling your home as-is if your home meets any of the following criteria:

1) The average price per square foot in your market is deteriorating (down market).

2) Your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that has more features and amenities than the competition.

3) Your home is already on par with other active properties in the area.

 

The Rule of Thumb

First, ensure that your home meets the standard set by the competition currently for sale in your market.  If your home is not up to par, you should consider remodeling. 

If your home shares the same features and amenities as its competition, then you should consider selling as-is to avoid leaving any money on the table.  A remodel is always a nice selling feature, but many times it does not make financial sense and is simply a waste of time.

Take the time to get with your real estate agent to analyze your competition, and base your decision on what buyers are demanding in your particular real estate market.

Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealestate.com ~ Instant Free Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast-to-Coast.

Posted on September 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Featured Gay Realtor: Bill Pearson, ERA Herman Group Real Estate. ~ Denver, CO

Denver Gay Realtor Bill Pearson

Bill Pearson came to Denver in the early 80’s to attend the University of Denver and fell in love with the climate, mountains, and the area … so he decided to call DENVER “HOME.” He has owned many businesses in the metropolitan area of Denver, most recently The Capitol Hill Mansion Bed and Breakfast.

His knowledge of neighborhoods has helped sellers and buyers find the right match for their situation. He believes in Education in order to be aware of the trends in the marketplace of Denver and that is why he got his GRI and SRES designations.

Just as I chose COLORADO for my home, let me help you with your next MOVE!

A quote from a recent client~
“My partner and I recently relocated to the Denver area. We were referred to Bill Pearson by the Prudential relocation folks. We specifically requested an agent who really knew the area, who had a great sense of humor, and who wouldn’t have issue selling a home to two women. Well, we got all that and more in Bill! We think Bill really excels in working with people in our situation, long-distance relocation (we moved from Virginia). We knew next to nothing about the area and Bill spent hours touring us around and had a wealth of knowledge about all the neighborhoods we visited. He had a great knack for showing us areas that matched our needs and wants. He was exceedingly patient with us and showed us everything we asked to see (even the properties I suspect he knew were just not for us!). Bill was always accessible, knowledgeable and genuinely helpful throughout the entire process. Whether you’re buying or selling, if you’re looking for an agent who is “on top of his game”, look no further than Bill Pearson!” Sincerely, Allison and Suzanne

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

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

 

Bill has lived in Denver over 30 years after graduating from the University of Denver. He is a member of National Association of REALTORS Colorado Association of REALTORS Denver Board of REALTORS He has also gotten his GRI and SRES Desiginations. GRI SRES

Specialties:

Residential Single Family; Resale and New Construction plus Condominiums, Townhomes and Loft Living!

View Bill’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 18, 2011 in Gay Realtors

Should the Realtor we hire to sell our home be from a big national company?

gay couple selling with gayrealestate.com

Although there may be advantages if a Realtor works for a big national company, the most important factor is that the Realtor is ethical, has a track record of success and genuinely has the skills, tools and expertise to sell your home.

Working for a big national company used to help with national or international exposure, but because of the multiple listing service and seamless web access, all Realtors have the same information when it comes to assisting you in selling your home. The multiple listing service (MLS) offers all Realtors computer access to listings, as long as the Realtor subscribes to this service. Because of this, it does not matter if the Realtor works for a big national company or not.

The Realtor you choose to help sell your home should be knowledgeable in all areas of real estate, including the contract, being a good communicator and excellent negotiator.

The Realtor should also have a pulse on the neighborhood in which you live and should be able to give you a list of comparable listed properties (your competition) and sales so that you know where to price your home. The price you choose should be based on your specific area or neighborhood and will help determine how quickly you will sell your home.

Are there similar homes to yours for sale, or is your home unique? Your Realtor can assist in determining the exact value your property, if you have doubts get a second or third opinion but never go with the “highest estimate”, it’s often a ploy to just get the listing ~ the numbers are clear and you’ll easily be able to determine the value… in this market, nothing is more critical than the price!

The Realtor you choose to help sell your home should also be able to give you tips on what will help make your home more attractive to buyers, thus placing your home in a bracket that is more likely to sell. Does your home need painting? Does the landscaping need work? Do any of your rooms need updating? Do any of your appliances need replacing?

Your home will more than likely have to pass an inspection, so it is in your best behalf to have a home that will not raise red flags. If anything such as a roof, plumbing or electrical work may not pass an inspection, it would be best to have those repaired or replaced before placing your home on the market.

The Realtor you choose to sell your home should be someone you feel comfortable with, someone you trust and someone whose track record you can verify. The Realtor should have a detailed marketing plan in writing, and show a willingness to do whatever it takes to sell your home. To sell your home, it needs exposure. How does the Realtor plan to get the real estate community to participate in showing your home to other buyers?

A big national company cannot guarantee your home will sell ~ follow your instincts.

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 ~ GayRealEstate.com has independent agents and real estate agents from the nation’s largest companies, visit the site today to choose your perfect agent.

Posted on September 17, 2011 in Selling

How Long Will It Take to Sell My Home?

home sales at www.gayrealestate.com

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 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 16, 2011 in Selling

Featured Gay Realtor: Jay Iseli, Coldwell Banker Bain Associates Real Estate ~ Tacoma, WA

Gay Realtor Jay Iseli

I have been serving the Tacoma GLBT community for 8 years as a Real Estate professional. Having been born and raised here I am intimately familiar with Tacoma and the surrounding communities. Whether this is your first home, you are moving here or you are are moving up I can help you with my knowledge of the local market trends, neighborhood profiles and community services.

Even if you are not ready to buy or sell, but are looking at your future goals, feel free to contact me and we can discuss where you think you would like to be in a few years.

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

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Washington Association of Realtors, Tacoma/Pierce County Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors

Specialties:

Residential Single Family, Condominiums/Lofts, Investment property Fernando Branco is a Member of the National Association of Realtors®.

View Jay’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 16, 2011 in Gay and Lesbian

How Much Cash Do I Need for a Down Payment when Buying a Home?

mortgage cash

Getting pre-qualified before touring homes can be a great way to ensure that you can act fast in today’s real estate market.  When you’re on the prowl for that perfect property and are ready to pounce, the last thing you need is a pre-qualification delaying your offer.

One of the questions your mortgage professional with inevitably ask is, “How much do you want to put down?”  Your down payment can be a gateway into a variety of useful mortgage programs suited for a wide range of needs.

It’s important to note that mortgage program guidelines are always in a state of flux, so be sure to contact one of our real estate professionals to make sure you’re prepared with the latest information.

Mortgage Programs

There are three main mortgage programs you for which may qualify, based on your down payment amount and credit scores:

  • FHA (Federal Housing Administration)
  • Conventional
  • VA (Veteran’s Administration)

Down payment requirements for each program were consistently updated in relation to current market conditions.  In most cases, the more you put down on your new home, the more incentives the loan program provides.

Since most consumers are primarily concerned with interest rates (and rightly so), remember that the minimum down payment may not always get the best interest rate, while a higher down payment will expand your loan program opportunities.

Mortgage Insurance

If a lender is at a higher risk of loss when a buyer may default on a loan program, the lender will usually require you to pay for an insurance policy on their behalf called mortgage insurance (MI).

Traditionally, this is required on a loan with a down payment less than 20% of your new home’s purchase price.  VA loans, however, are exempt from paying MI.

Down Payment Tiers

There are three main down payment levels that will progress you through the various loan programs for a traditional single-family home.

  • No-Money Down (currently limited to VA loans only)
  • 3.5% down (FHA)
  • 5% down (Conventional

VA loans are limited to those currently enlisted in the military and veterans.  While there is no down payment requirement on VA loans, a funding fee will be required by law.  This fee can be reduced with a down payment of at least 5% down and also be financed with your loan if needed.

FHA financing will require a minimum of 3.5% down and an up-front mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) to be paid.  This fee is also constantly revised through mortgagee letters issued by HUD, so be sure to check with your mortgage professional for the latest UFMIP amounts.

Conventional loans require a minimum of 5% down and have the largest variety of loan programs available.  A conventional loan is a traditional loan by a bank with competitive interest rates based on your credit scores.

Talk to your Real Estate and Mortgage Professional

As you can see, obtaining financing can be a difficult process if tackling it alone.  Luckily, our real estate agents have dedicated themselves to understanding this process completely and have teamed up with mortgage professionals who share the same passion.

Contact a gayrealestate.com agent today to get started.

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 15, 2011 in Buying a Home

Featured Gay Realtor: Phil Stern, Realty ONE Group Real Estate ~ Arizona

1297314000_1025322931_PhilRufus

It is my goal as your full service GLBT Real Estate Agent specializing in the Phoenix, Glendale, Surprise, Peoria, Cave Creek, Carefree, Wittmann, Wickenburg, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Paradise Valley, Laveen, Buckeye, Sun Cities, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills and Scottsdale areas, to provide you with superior service at all times. My local expertise and extensive real estate experience will benefit you whether you are buying or selling a home at this time, or are checking out the MLS Listings.

Buying a home? I look forward to helping you select the home of your dreams by taking time to listen to your needs and desires.

Selling a home? My real estate expertise and many effective marketing programs will give you the exposure and edge you need to sell your home quickly for top dollar.

I consider this community an excellent place to reside and would love to share with you my enthusiasm for the many neighborhoods that encompass it. I pride myself on providing unparalleled service and look forward to developing a long-term relationship with you. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss how I can best assist you with your real estate needs.

Phil Stern serves these Cities (in alphabetical order):
Buckeye, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Goodyear, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Waddell, Wickenburg, Wittmann

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

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Member National Association of Realtors Member Arizona Association of Realtors.

Realtors Specialties:

Residential, Horse Properties, Golf Properties, Vacation Homes, Condos

 

View Phi’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 15, 2011 in Gay Realtors

Dealing With a Low Real Estate Appraisal

low real estate appraisal

When selling your own home or another property, dealing with a low appraisal can be a heartbreaking affair. While the buyer might be happy with the condition of your property, his or her lender can be worried about certain things and in turn, can make it harder for the buyer to buy. If the bank has contracted a private firm to evaluate and appraise your property, it may be impossible to contact them to know exactly what you could improve, repair, or change. In any case, a low appraisal is a sign that your property can possibly be bettered, and sometimes the tasks required are not difficult to achieve.

There a few things that can help one to increase the value of your home or even change the mind of the bank. One of them is actually contacting your buyer’s lender or appraiser through your real estate agent, if at all possible. If they hired an outside appraisal company, it may be possible that company’s records of your neighborhood were out of date or even mistaken. It is always prudent to make sure that the low appraisal is proportional to the condition of your property and the property value of the surrounding houses in the neighborhood.

If that’s not an available solution, another great tip is to talk to your lender. In many cases, banks and other types of lenders have contacts to appraisers all over the country. If you can get your house reappraised by their contractors, you can request to see the faults of your property, and in return, negotiate with your buyer and their lender after fixes and improvements are done.

If you receive a low appraisal, it’s time for your real estate agent to get to work, and time for you to ask for a review of the low appraisal… many times I’ve seen an appraiser from outside the city give a low appraisal because they just don’t understand your neighborhood or city. It is your right as a home owner to ask for a “review” of a low appraisal.

If nothing else works, there is a more complicated method to get where you need to go regarding your home sale. Appraisers must follow a code of rules and regulations when appraising your home. They must not only know the market at large, but also follow the ebb and flow of your local market.

If you are still not satisfied by the result of the buyer’s lender’s contractor or your own bank’s private appraiser, it is possible to contact an appraisal company by yourself, but ultimately it’s the buyer’s appraisal that will matter.

It’s always a sound idea to hire locally, since local appraisers are much better at knowing the market local to your property… but new rules after the financial meltdown now requires an appraiser be picked out of a hat, so make sure your real estate agent has done their homework, meets the appraiser at the property with sold comparables and provides any other assistance they may need… it’s part of the job.

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

Posted on September 14, 2011 in Mortgages

Featured Gay Realtor: Michael Carnahan, Red Rock Realty ~ Colorado Springs, CO

colorado gay realtor, colorado gay real estate agent, gayrealestate.com

Buying a home is one of the most significant decisions in a person’s life. Therefore, it is essential that you are both confident and comfortable with the individual representing you. Michael stands out in his field with his personable style. Buyers and Sellers equally appreciate his creative eye as well as his meticulous business approach. His formula for success is simple; He discovers your primary goal, and makes it his own.

Michael has experience working in many diverse markets in Colorado. He has successfully facilitated many transactions in Colorado Springs and Denver, as well as the resort community of Breckenridge. He has also worked with clients in all price ranges, from entry level to luxury homes.

As a Colorado native, Michael has a unique understanding and appreciation not only of local real estate, but also of the geographical features that make this state so special. When not enthusiastically representing his clients, he can be found hiking the remote trails of Pike National Forest, or snowboarding the majestic slopes of Summit County.

While Michael has the experience to be a firm negotiator for you when contracting a home, he also prides himself on making the real estate transaction fun and enjoyable for his clients. Contact Michael today for a refreshing professional perspective.

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

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

National Association of Realtors Colorado Association of Realtors Many happy clients: Referrals make up 90% of Michael’s business.

Specialties:

Representing both buyers and sellers. Residential Sales: New Construction, Income Property, Vacant Land, Luxury Homes, Single Family, Townhomes, Condos and Lofts

Michael Carnahan is a Member of the National Association of Realtors®.

View Michael’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 13, 2011 in Gay Realtors