Choosing the Right Gay Realtor to Sell Your Home

The chances of selling your home are only as good as your listing agent. This can be a tricky business because sometimes the agent that you get along with the best or like the best personally is actually not the best person for the job. You only have a short window of opportunity to get your property sold, so do your best to choose someone efficient, experienced, with a track record of successes and who can handle the ups and downs of what can sometimes be quite a rocky business.

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.comSometimes the best agent does not have it all when it comes to personality but this doesn’t matter. You want someone who has marketing and organizational skills, a methodical process starting with a very organized, through listing presentation including a detailed marketing plane with dates and deadlines for specific tasks (place the sign, staging professional walkthrough, professional photographs, brochures, place the property on the mls, etc., etc.). It’s always great to find a listing agent that is hungry, ambitious and that has the most materialistic bent possible.

Check the listing agent’s history of selling. Does she or he have a great track record when it comes to selling properties? Does it take them forever to sell or do they have a reputation for finding buyers quickly? What percentage of their listings sell, and at what percentage of the listing price?

If you are trying to accomplish a short sale then it is a good idea to find an agent experienced in this. Some agents have a line-up and do not get your listing up until it is your turn. A listing agent that specializes in pre-foreclosure or short sales gets that listing up within a day or the same day and keeps in mind that your financial survival is at stake. They do not take your  cry for help lightly. They express a desire to help you avoid foreclosure.

You should also use a listing agent that is honest with you about the market. There are many agents out there that know how to use charm to get your business – they know how to tell you what you want to hear. They price your home too high and it stays on the MLS for weeks, even months. Choose an agent that is not afraid to discuss the worst-case scenario with you. The best agent will also have strategies for dealing with homes that are not get calls. The longer your home is on the market, the less desirable it becomes (market age), so price your home as close to market value as possible, to maximize your net.

When interviewing realtors from GayRealEstateAgents.com, we recommend asking as many questions as possible and also speaking to the agents past clients  do your homework, and you’ll enjoy a real estate transaction to remember.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of GayRealEstate.com. Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast. FREE Buyers Representation ~ Free Relocation Kit to any City, USA ~ Free Sellers Market Analysis for home sellers.

How much home can I afford?

That depends largely on your income. Experts suggest your mortgage payment be no more than 28-35% percent of your monthly income. This income-debt ratio is the percentage of your monthly income dedicated to making your monthly mortgage payment. If you want to maximize your home buying potential, you can assume that more of your income will be tied up in your monthly mortgage payment.

Let’s assume your gross income is a $100,000 a year and you have $20,000 for a down payment. You conservatively elect to spend 28% of your income on monthly mortgage payments. If you take out a 30yr fixed mortgage at 5% interest, you can afford about $393,000 of home (rounded to the nearest thousand).

Here’s how:

-$28,000 of your income *30 years= $840,000(rounded)

-The principal of your loan is $372,000(rounded)

-Your amortized interest will be $346,000(rounded)

-The principal plus the interest will be about $719,000(rounded)

-Assume property taxes and insurance that will cost about $4,000 annually: at $4,000* 30 years, add another $120,000.

 

                                    Principal:                                $372,000

                                    Interest at 5%:                       $346,000

                                    Taxes and insurance:                       $120,000

                                    Total cost =                            $840,000

All told, your annual income of $100,000 plus your $20,000 down payment can buy you 393,000 of home. If this seems complicated, consult an amortization chart. An amortization chart is a useful tool that will calculate how much interest will cost you across thirty years at a given rate. 

Fundamentally speaking, you can calculate home cost by the percentage of your income you are willing to dedicate to a mortgage payment. Again, experts recommend you spend no more than 40%, maximum, of your annual income on mortgage payments. The best place to start is to calculate how much your income you can free up, and then consult a mortgage calculator and/or amortization chart to see what your income can buy.

Regular loans over jumbo loans 

Right now, the prime rate on loans is at an historical low. This means that you have more purchasing power so long as you lock in the rate with a fixed-rate mortgage. It is an incredible time to buy if you are in a position to do so financially. 

You should be aware that an ultra-low prime rate is typically predicated on taking a home loan below $625,000. These are called “conforming loans” because Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the nations two largest publicly trading and federally backed loan securities institutions, will only back loans that ‘conform.’ The average conforming loan is about $417,000. Loans that do not conform are a higher risk for lenders because they are a greater risk, and will come at a greater interest rate. 

Improve your credit score

How much home you can afford is predicated, like most things, on how much income you generate and your credit score. An ideal credit score will get you the best interest rate, and save you money over the course of your mortgage. Do small things to help your credit score like paying down old debt, and tidying-up your borrowing habits and history. This will improve your debt-credit ratio, thus improving your credit score.

Consult a loan officer at www.GayMortgageLoans.com and a real estate agent at www.GayRealEstate.com for more information.

A loan officer can tell you exactly how much home you can afford to buy. He or she will calculate your financial portfolio to the minutiae, and give you the most accurate estimation of your home-buying power. Loan officers often make use of the same tools used in this blog: mortgage calculators and interest amortization charts. If you still have questions, a real estate agent from GayRealEste.com will help you measure the unforeseen, like projected home values and mortgage interest rates.