A few weeks ago I shared my "#1 Secret Selling Tip" so I thought I'd follow up with something on the flip side of things - buying! Yes, there are even "secrets" when purchasing a home. Here it is:
So, what is it?
It's basically a quick snapshot of your overall finances - what you make, what you owe, and your credit score. All the nitty-gritty details will be ironed out over the course of the transaction but a lender will usually ask for:
Each lender is different in what they ask for so this may be an incomplete list.
So, why do they need this information?
To see if you can afford your home! The two big numbers will be your debt-to-income ratio and credit score. If you have too much debt or your credit score is terrible they will assume there is a high likelihood of default on the loan so they will not loan you the money!
So, why should you get one?
Here are the two phrases I hear all the time: "I'll wait to find the house first" and "I've got good credit so I'm good". I can offer up numerous horror stories to combat these notions:
1) I was helping a client find the perfect home which took over 4 months to narrow down. They really hesitated getting the financing in order until we were ready to write the offer. Upon further investigation it was discovered that their previous home sale from a few years ago was actually in default at the time of sale and registered as a short sale...huge hit to their credit score and history and they no longer qualified for a loan.
2) A quick pre-approval for a client showed up a lot of unpaid and debts in default. Turns out that their ex-spouse had stolen their identity and racked up a lot of charges. It took almost a year to get all of it straightened out.
3) During the pre-approval and house hunting process a client wanted to get their tax refund early and signed up for a "tax anticipation loan". Problem is, loan = debt and their new debt-to-income ratio was now too high. They had to wait until they received their true tax refund and pay off that loan and meanwhile their dream home sold.
I could keep going. Another big issue is when it comes to submitting an offer on a property. When I represent a home seller I will not even entertain an offer without a pre-approval in place. Why should a seller negotiate with someone who hasn't even taken the very first step in purchasing a home? The good ones go fast - show them that you are ready!
Having this information in place will also give you a good idea of what you're monthly payments will look like. This figure will vary greatly as it is dependent on your down payment, interest rate, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. And speaking of interest rates...a pre-approval can also lock in today's interest rates for a certain amount of time. This is nothing but good for you. If rates go up, your payment goes up! To put this in monetary terms, if the interest rates changes from 4% to 4.25% on a $100,000, 30 year loan, the monthly payment would increase by $14.52. You may not think that's a big deal, but, if you compound that out over the life of the loan, it is an extra $25,715.15! Even worse, if the rate was to increase to 4.5% the increases would be $29.27/month and $53,420.00 total!
So, where should you get one?
I always encourage to stay local with your lender selection. I like the notion that I can meet someone in person who is invested in our community and easily contacted. In my experience I've found that the big, national companies take a longer time to close and have more headaches involved because of their sheer size. No joke, I had transaction where the loan originator was in Tennessee, underwriter was in North Carolina, and the closing department was in Texas. It was awful trying to keep things straight and timely answers on things.
I will also encourage you to shop around a little bit. It will not ding your credit score much to get a few quotes on rates. If you're happy with your current bank, contact their mortgage department. Check out a local credit union as they can often offer different qualifications and programs. Finally, also speak with a mortgage broker as they can "shop you out" to multiple lenders and can provide even more options.
People can debate which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I'm telling you the pre-approval definitely comes first when purchasing a home. Do it, do it now! I rest my case!
Want even more home-buying information? Check out our Buyer's Information page!
In my day-to-day activities I sometimes forget that not everyone understands what all is involved in selling a home. Stupid, right? My "schedule" (if you can call it that) has me working 50-70 hours a week and new rules, regulations, and laws pop up all the time so I shouldn't expect my clients to know all the details.
The normal process in selling a home usually takes a couple of appointments and some time for discussion. For example:
1) I first like to meet in the home to take notes on the physical attributes (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, condition) and maybe offer some suggestions on de-cluttering, staging, or repairs.
2) I then take that information back with me to research the local market and how similar homes compare in order to find a pricing range and develop a marketing strategy specific to the home.
3) Back to the home (or in our office) to discuss pricing/marketing and fill out listing paperwork.
4) Take pictures, videos, and measurements of the home.
5) Bring all the information back to the office and, well...the rest of it is kind of boring but takes a few hours to get things compiled and in full swing.
So for those who are just wanting some basic information on the home-selling process and may be entertaining selling their home, wanting to sell their home by themselves, or just wanting some free coffee and goodies I thought I'd develop this seminar to help you out! It will be a casual discussion and all are welcome! In addition to our agents, we'll also have a local lender and home inspector to pass along their respective information and jobs in the whole process.
I believe that it will be a great night of conversation where you can ask questions, get answers, and get a taste (of some excellent coffee) of what this is all about.
You may have heard this phrase before but what does it really mean? It boils down to your high school economics class and supply and demand. Right now in our local housing market there are more home buyers (demand) than actual homes to sell (supply)! Competitively priced homes are selling quickly for near asking prices.
Companywide we have seen an increase in our website activity, requested showings, and offers written over the last few weeks. Personally, I have a database full of home buyers who haven't found what they are looking for and are waiting for homes to come on the market.
Low mortgage rates have helped boost this demand and as the economy improves rates will eventually increase which may tap down the excitement. All of this points to why you should list your home today!
Check out this link to check out the details involved in listing your home: SELLER'S GUIDE
For more detailed information and a personal appointment concerning your home please contact one of our AGENTS - we are all here to help! Want to know what our clients have to say? Check out our TESTIMONIALS page too!
There are numerous reasons why a property sells quickly or not at all. You've probably heard most of them - location, price, size, school system, recent updates, et cetera. These are all important - if a property is placed in the middle of a landfill and is overpriced by $100,000 odds are it isn't going to excite many home buyers out there.
But I'm here to tell you a little secret - there is one thing that will make any property, regardless of location or price point, stand out above the crowd. Landscaping? Staging? Baking cookies for a showing? All nope! Ready for it? Are you sure?
Seems like a no-brainer, right? It's not. Not too many of us have the luxury of placing our home on the market without having to live in it at the same time. However, you have to put yourself in a potential buyer's position. What you think they want to see when viewing your home? You want them to focus on the unique qualities of your home and envision themselves living there for many years to come.
After being in countless homes I can tell you what they don't want to see: your laundry, dishes, dust bunnies, crumbs, pet hair, and more. Unfortunately, for the time your home is on the market you are no longer allowed to "live" in it. It needs to remain near spotless, ready to show, and a showcase where everything is in its place all the time. This is only for a short time and is imperative to reach your goal of a quick sale. Potential buyers also don't want to smell: pets, smoke, and/or strong scents (probably used to cover up pet or smoke smell).
Is this easy? Heck no! I personally have two kids, two cats, and a dog in the house so believe me when I say - "I understand the struggle." Home buyers are distracted by all of these little things and they will be in the front of their minds when speaking later about your home. I routinely hear them describe houses not by the address or the good things about the home but rather the "cat pee house", or the "musty house", or simply, that "one really dirty house."
In the back of my mind when viewing a less than clean home I wonder that if the current owner can't run a sweeper or pick up after themselves then what about regular maintenance or any major issues that may have come up? Have they serviced the furnace or AC unit in the last 15 years? Have they correctly fixed any issues or just cheaply patched things up?
It has also been my experience that when home buyers see these issues they will overestimate the cost to repair or replace certain items. In turn this will either lead them to submit a rather low offer or turn them away from even making one.
So, what to do from here? Here are specific tips that will go a long way to make your home shine above the rest!
While we typically ask for at least 24 hours notice before showing a property I like to suggest people create a "20-minute plan." Worse-case scenario, what would you have to do if someone wanted to view your home in only 20 minutes? This will keep the condition of your home "in check" as you go about your week.
As always, this and more information can be found at our website at www.wagnerauctionandrealestate.com/sellers-guide. Our agents can also provide you with a FREE Comparative Market Analysis to determine the market price for your home and include suggestions for preparing your home for sale...just ask!
Well here it is - our first blog post! You'll find things like upcoming auctions, homes for sale, tips and tricks, and everything in between! So be sure to check it out early and often.
First off, introductions, who are we? We are Wagner Auctioneering and Real Estate. Wagner Auctioneering was established over 50 years ago by the undeniably unique Max Wagner. He is still active in the business and can be found on auction days toothpick in mouth, measuring stick (or some other "weapon") in hand, auctioneering, or yelling out bids. The real estate brokerage part of the business was added in 2011 when Max's son, Andrew Wagner, took over the day-to-day operations and then acquired Reed Realty (est. 1997) from longtime friend, Pam Edwards.
Secondly, what do we do? As the name implies we handle about anything you can think of. The "auction side" of things feature estate auctions, consignment auctions, land auctions, real estate auctions, firearm auctions, vehicle auctions, large equipment auctions, et cetera. The "real estate side" of things feature assisting our clients in the buying and selling of residential, commercial, investment, vacant land, and hunting leases.
Because of these array of services we can offer full-service, start-to-finish, options to you. Downsizing to the point of not only moving but also clearing out the house (or barn, or shed, or basement)? We can catalogue and prepare your personal items for sale, list your home (or sell at auction), then help you find your next home!
Thirdly, where are we? We have been fortunate enough that we are expanding and can now offer two office locations for our clients - Farmland and Muncie, Indiana. Our Farmland office is located at 104 N. Main Street, Farmland, IN 47340 and our Muncie office is located at 2815 N. Oakwood Ave., Muncie, IN 47304. You can contact us at (765) 468-8463, (765) 212-2101, through our website, or any of our agents or auctioneers mobile phone numbers (also on our website). This information and much, much more can be found at www.wagnerauctionandrealestate.com.
Thanks for reading folks!