Blog

Why does one click on a property get me four phone calls?

The wonderful world of on-line marketing. The big search sites, like realtor.com and Zillow use agents listings, than market these listings to consumers. As a realtor, I (we) can pay Zillow to show up on others listings, therefore getting "leads" or your contact information when you inquire on a property. If we pay these companies enough, we can eliminate other agents from showing up on our own listings. 

This is where the multiple phone calls, emails, and texts come in. When you click on a property for information, 3/4 agents get notified and many times they will reach out to you. Sometimes these agents buy into zip codes or areas they aren't familiar with or even cover. 

If buyers like these sites to search for properties, I think that's great, they can offer some good information. If you want to avoid multiple agents contacting you and you want a dedicated agent looking out for your best interest, find yourself a buyers agent. Click for More Info 

Dedication that moves you.™

Do you understand market conditions and its affect on pricing and home values?

Probably the second most question I'm asked, besides "How are you", is "How's the market"? Currently it is a sellers market, this doesn't mean as a seller you should over price your house to the point no one looks at it and it also doesn't mean the condition you keep your house in doesn't have any effect on it's salability. And as a buyer this means you need to be patient and have a buyers agent that is looking out for your best interest when deciding to write an offer so that you don't over pay. Ok, back on point, please take a look at this chart to better understand how it is determined whether it is a buyers market or a sellers market. This is a simple understanding of how supply and demand work. For more information, please contact Stephen Oates. 

Curious what is your home worth? Click here for an instant valuation:

 

Show me the money....or a pre-approval.

Ok, I don't need to see a bag full of cash, but proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender is important. There are reasons, as a realtor I ask my clients for this, and it's for their own good. Here are a couple of these reasons:

1. We need to know what we are looking for, without a pre-approval, we don't know your "buying power" or comfort level.  This can save heartache and time down the road also. 

2. Not all loans are created equal. You may qualify or some types of loans, but not others. Also, all loans don't fit all houses.  Which loan best fits your needs?

3. When making an offer, most sellers (listing agents) will want to see that the potential buyer is a capable buyer and require a pre-approval or proof of funds. (I always do)

4.  This also gives you a chance to meet the one who is going to "show you the money". Building the right team around you makes for a much more enjoyable and surprise free transaction. 

I hope this gives you a quick idea on why a pre-approval letter or proof of funds is important. For more information or some contacts for a local lender, please email steve@soates.com 

 

 

Buying a home and the home inspection.

Most people are familiar with the term home inspection, but what are their expectations? First I'll tell you what I tell my clients, the home inspection is an educational tool, used to give you an overview of the home and it's condition. I tell my clients the inspection shouldn't be looked at as a negotiation tool, but rather a way to learn more about the property. That being said, when surprises are found, which weren't disclosed, sometimes re-opening the negotiations are necessary. 

A home inspector is not there to determine value, they aren't there to give you a quote on repairs, they are there to provide you with a thorough, bias report on their findings after inspecting the property. When I work as a buyers agent, I will attend the inspection with my client, so that we may discuss any findings and how to best proceed with the transaction. 

Looking to buy a home or sell a home and interested in pre-list inspection? Contact me (Steve) and we can discuss. 

Dedication that moves you.™ 

Who Represents You in a Real Estate Transaction?

Knowing who represents you and who has your "back" in a real estate transaction is very important. This can make a big difference in what you should and will say if front of the agent. When you call on a listing directly, you typically speak with he listing agent, this means the agent who represents the seller and looks out for the sellers best interest, not yours. 

As a buyer, working with a buyers agent makes sense. A buyers agent will look out for your best interest and sometimes, like in my case, I do not charge a buyers agent fee, I am compensated through the listing side of the transaction. For more information on agency, feel free to contact Stephen Oates of Bean Group. 

Below is the agency disclosure and definitions for MA & NH:

New Hampshire

Massachusetts 

Stephen Oates, Bean Group

Dedication that moves you.™

Curious about some of the expenses you can expect when selling a home in New Hampshire?

Title and/or Attorneys Fees. New Hampshire is considered a Title State as apposed to an Attorney State, this means that closing are coordinated through Title companies. I am a firm believer that every seller should have legal representation. This being said, there are different levels cost of this representation and having a good lawyer who represents your best interest is cheap in comparison the cost you could inquire if there are problems in the transaction without representation. 

Fees may vary, and  rough estimate you can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1000. On a basic home purchase fees will be on the lower end of the scale and if the transaction is more complex the fees may be higher.

Preparing a new deed. In New Hampshire it is the sellers responsibility to have a new deed prepared that gets recorded at the registry. The preparation of a new deed is usually done by the Title Company or attorney representing you and should be disclosed in your fees. 

Other miscellaneous costs for mailing, filing fees etc, will be added to your Settlement Statement prior to the closing of your review. The total of these miscellaneous expenses usually amount to a few hundred dollars.

Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT). 

The RETT is a tax on the sale, granting, and transfer of real property or an interest in real property.  The statute imposing the tax is found at NH Deapartment of RevenueCode Administrative .  The tax is imposed on both the buyer and the seller at the rate of $.75 per $100 of the price or consideration for the sale, granting, or transfer.

Mortgage Pay Off.  Any and all balances and leans on the property will need to be cleared (payed off) at or prior to closing. Knowing what you owe will help you decide if it is feasible to sell now or if you should stay put for a time longer. 

Contact Stephen Oates of Bean Group for more information or to set up a FREE Seller Consolation Session. 

Dedication that move you.™

Curious about some of the expenses you can expect when selling a home in Massachusetts?

Curious about some of the expenses you can expect when selling a home in Massachusetts?

Attorneys Fees. I am a firm believer that every seller should have legal representation. This cost of having a good lawyer who represents your best interest is cheap in comparison the cost you could inquire if there are problems in the transaction without representation. A Real Estate attorney in the sale of a home may do everything from reviewing legal contracts such as the standard Massachusetts purchase and sale agreement (P&S), any association documents (if there is an association), right of ways, etc. The attorney will also attend the closing either with you or as power of attorney for you.  

Fees may vary, a rough estimate you can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1000. On a basic home purchase fees will be on the lower end of the scale and if the transaction is more complex the fees may be higher.

Preparing a new deed. In Massachusetts it is the sellers responsibility to have a new deed prepared that gets recorded at the registry. The preparation of a new deed is usually done by the attorney representing you and should be disclosed in you attorney fees. 

Other miscellaneous costs for mailing, filing fees etc, will be added to your Settlement Statement prior to the closing of your review. The total of these miscellaneous expenses usually amount to a few hundred dollars.

Massachusetts Title V. The Massachusetts Title V Inspection is an expense every seller in Massachusetts has to pay prior to transfer of title, if their property is not serviced by public sewer. You can expect to pay around $800-$1000 dollars for a Title V inspection. The cost may vary do to weather, accessibility to the septic tank or distribution box, and pumping fees.

 A Title V septic inspection is good for two years. The septic certification can also be extended a third year if you pump the system each of the three years. Sellers typically have the Title V done before just before listing the home for sale, once the home is active on the market, or once an offer is accepted. Your realtor can discuss the pros of each. 

Massachusetts Tax Stamps. In most areas of Massachusetts the tax stamp equals $4.56 per thousand dollars of the sales price of the home. For example if you sell your home for $500,000, you would owe the State of Massachusetts $2,280.00  ($4.56 x 500). This fee paid for the tax stamps are forwarded to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Certification. In Massachusetts the seller must have their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inspected prior to closing. The inspections are done by the  local fire department in the town where the home is located. Inspection and certificate generally range from around $25-$100. New regulations have been adopted which you should be familiar with. More information found at Massachusetts Smoke Detector Regulations. New or additional detectors may need to be installed.

Contact Stephen Oates of Bean Group for more information or to set up a FREE Seller Consolation Session. 

Dedication that move you.™ Covering MA & NH

A Move On The Seacoast, by Realtor Stephen Oates

If you or someone you know is making a move on the New Hampshire Seacoast or in the Greater Newburyport Area, Realtor Stephen Oates in dedicated, determined, and creative. Steve works with buyers, sellers, and investor in MA & NH. Reach out today for a free consolation.   

Real Estate, a reflection of where we were and where we are going.

2016 is coming to a close, and it's been a busy year. In the world of real estate, there has been a lot of multiple offers and competing bids, which can be good for sellers, but stressful for buyers. We have seen the rates increase a bit, a lack of inventory, and at times, expectations out of control.

This is the world of real estate and something I choose to do and something I love. My hopes for 2017 are to create more relationships and help more people enter the next chapter of their lives. Rates are still very low and have some room for increasing and that's ok. The inventory needs to loosen up a little allowing first-time buyers, those downsizing, and those relocating a place to buy. 2016 was a good year, 2017 will be an even better year, and if we are treat each other a little bit better, it may even be the best year ever.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, & Happy New Year!

Stephen Oates, Bean Group / www.seacoast-homes.com / steve@soates.com