Thursday, February 28, 2013

Buyers: Carpe Diem.. 5 smart moves in 2013


As a first-time real estate buyer, you probably have no idea how the overall purchasing process works or how to make sure you’re making a smart decision to purchase. And you’ll probably be very surprised to learn how much work it really is just to buy a home. To get you started in the right direction, and this is just a start, here are a few tips that you should consider.

Get lender-qualified

To start off, you should get qualified by a lender to see what price range you can realistically afford and interview some real estate agents to find the right person to represent you in your transaction.

Once you’re qualified and have your price range estimate in hand, you’ll be able to spend your time shopping in neighborhoods that you can afford. But remember: Just because the bank says you can qualify for a certain amount, that doesn’t mean you should spend that amount. Make sure you can actually afford the monthly payment, along with all your other bills.

Make sure you plan to be a long-term owner

Once you know your price range and have looked at some properties, it’s time to make sure that you believe you can find a property that you will own for a minimum of five years. If your price range doesn’t match where you want to live, you’d be better off staying a renter and saving some additional money until you can afford where you want to live. This is because an owner really doesn’t earn any equity, on average, in a property for at least five years. That’s the general breakeven point, and you really need to shoot for longer than that as an ownership strategy. The truth is, long-term real estate ownership can be a great way to earn wealth, but short-term ownership usually will diminish your wealth.
Educate yourself

Buying property is probably the most complex, riskiest and expensive thing you will ever do. Do your homework: Talk to real estate owners, go to first-time buyer seminars, check out online material and read some books to learn what to avoid in the buying process. The more you educate yourself, the better the chances that when things go wrong -- and they will go wrong -- they will only be minor issues, not major headaches.

Find a nice affordable property

The real gems in real estate are the nice, decent shape, moderately priced, boring houses, town homes and condominiums that are within your budget. Most buyers stretch to purchase the most expensive property they can afford. What if you lose your job? How about saving some of your money for retirement? You want your home to be an asset you can afford, not a liability that leaves you with no additional funds over the cost of homeownership. Also, skip the fixers, prize properties or anything that sounds too good to be true: Those always end up having issues, and owners realize, after the fact, that the deal they thought they were getting really was just too good to be true!

Take your time

Realistically it should take you six months or longer to buy a nice quality property that will add to your long-term wealth. Make sure you have a full understanding of what the marketplace has to offer in your price range and that you know what you’re doing.

Those are a few tips to get you started in the right direction. Real estate is buyer beware, so try to make sure you’re one of the buyers who is “aware” of how to make quality wealth-building real estate decisions. Down the road you’ll pat yourself on the back when things work out well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Educating Buyers at the Beginning..Maximize Efficiency

Whether you are working with a first-time home buyer or an experienced home buyer, it is vitally important for agents to discuss some important points with buyers before going on showings, and especially before offers are considered.
Educating your client will not only save you a tremendous amount of time to maximize search efficiency but also the buyer will appreciate being prepared with the knowledge you have provided them. Here are four ways to educate your client:
1. Buyer’s Budget – The most obvious first step when working with a new homebuyer client is to insist they speak with mortgage lenders/brokers to get pre-approved. But just as important is having the discussion of what the homebuyer’s budget truly is. I always provide my clients with a “net sheet” that estimates all the potential costs, including down payment, closing costs, out-of-pocket costs, etc. I also explain the timeline of what may be due when (i.e. pay earnest and inspection after offer acceptance; insurance and transfer taxes before closing; ALL the many expenses due at closing; moving and utilities; monthly PITI; property taxes and home improvements the first year; etc.). As we all have learned, what a homebuyer is preapproved for does not necessarily reflect what they can afford monthly, and if they have the cash necessary to close a deal.
2. Short Sales and Foreclosures – Especially in the current market, having the conversation on the difference between short sales and foreclosures as well as the pros and cons of the potentially long, riskier process is important to discuss before looking at these listings. Most consumers have heard of the great deals out there on homes that lenders are allowing to sell for low market prices. What they don’t usually realize is the process that comes along with it. For many, it is not something they have the time or stomach for. I explain to my buyer clients the difference between short sales and foreclosures/REO, the waiting and flexibility needed, the risk of having an offer contract denied at almost any stage, the lender’s authority, the distressed and “as is” condition of most of the homes, the potential to bear more closing costs, etc. This market of homes is not beneficial for everyone, so this discussion is important to have upfront.
3. Search Criteria – We all have clients that first come to us with, for example, “I would like a three-bedroom home in the Chicagoland suburbs.” To save everyone from having to comb through 300 listings, the search must be narrowed down. I discuss their current living situation and their goals for the future, what their commute is, schools and attributes of the home. We are blessed to have a sophisticated MLS that can search according to all sorts of criteria – finished basements, master bath, school districts, association fees, square footage, lot size, age of home – the possibilities are endless. I discuss options, setup automated searches on the MLS, forward a few attractive listings I would like their opinion of, and review any listings in detail that they indicate interest in. I also have a rule that when I take clients out on showings, we see no more than five homes at a time. Buyers quickly discover that by the time they see the fifth home, they are tired and the details get harder to keep sorted. Maximize everyone’s time!!
4. Buyer Homework – I always strongly urge my clients to do their homework by researching communities, looking into schools, calling insurers and attorneys, getting the best mortgage rate and terms, speaking to contractors, shopping at home improvement retailers, checking sex offender registries, gauging their work commute, etc. I may have many recommendations and advice but I empower my clients to conduct their own due diligence to make the best decisions for themselves and get information before diving into a particular area or home.
Agents really reflect their worth when they educate their clients. My clients know that I not only am there to see them through a deal, but most importantly as their total real estate resource.

Ron Goldstein, MBA
Transnational Referral Certified(TRC)
Quality Service Certified(QSC)
Broker Associate
Prudential RUBLOFF Real Estate
cell (312)771-7190
Carpe Diem(Seize the Day!) Today is your day!...
Certified Eco-Broker
Check out my blog@

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ron Goldstein Inducted to Leading Edge Sociey

Ron Goldstein Inducted to Leading Edge Society


Ron Goldstein
 Prudential Rubloff  Realty is pleased to announce that Ron Goldstein has been invited to join the company’s Leading Edge Society, in recognition of his sales performance last year. Goldstein's outstanding sales production in 2012 ranked him in the top six percent of more than 50,000 Prudential agents nationwide.  
Carpe Diem... Today is your day!
My motto in life and business. As an exclusive senior broker representing buyers, sellers, investors, developers and financial institutions, I am dedicated to providing high quality service in the Chicago suburbs and city as well as exposure on a global level for your property. I possess an intimate knowledge of the local market and specialize in residential and commercial properties of distinction.
I am a certified Eco-Broker and offer an educational based approach to my clients by delivering information on green products, services and market issues. I will educate them on energy, environmental, financial and green market issues.
Practicing the art of uniting extraordinary properties with extraordinary lives, I am ready to devote my attention to your particular real estate needs. I have the TRC designation which affords me the opportunity to conduct and facilitate transactions on an international level.
Over the last 15 years, I have professionally sold in the real estate, banking, legal and corporate environments throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Utilizing the latest in marketing strategies, information technologies and business acumen, I welcome the opportunity to be a thought leader and trusted advisor throughout your real estate acquisition and disposition process.
I understand that real estate, regardless of its price range, reflects the incalculable value of the life lived within.

Ron Goldstein can be contacted through Prudential Rubloff Realty’s Mag Mile office, at 312-264-5846, via email at, or on the web at 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sellers..Time to play..Hardball...Negotiating tactics

Playing Hardball


Playing Hardball When Selling Your Home: Using these strategies will help you get more cash.

Selling your house is probably one of the biggest financial transactions you will undertake in your lifetime, and the decisions you make when negotiating a price with a buyer can have a significant impact on how much money you walk away with. These negotiating strategies will put you in the driver's seat and help you get top dollar for your home in any market.

Counter at your list price
As a seller, you probably won't want to accept a potential buyer's initial bid on your home. Buyers usually expect a negotiation, so their initial offer probably will be lower than what they are willing to pay and lower than your list price.

At this point, most sellers will counteroffer with a price below their list price because they're afraid of losing the potential sale. They want to seem flexible and willing to negotiate in order to close the deal. This strategy does indeed work in terms of getting the property sold, as thousands of sellers can attest, but it's not necessarily the best way to get top dollar. (Bing: What's the median sale price in your ZIP code?)

Instead of dropping your price to get closer to the buyer's offer, counter at your list price. Someone who really wants to buy will remain engaged and come back to you with a higher offer. Assuming that you've priced your property fairly to begin with, countering at your list price says that you know what your property is worth and that you intend to get the money you deserve.

Buyers may be surprised by this strategy, and some will be turned off by your unwillingness to negotiate and will walk away. But you'll also avoid wasting time on buyers who only make lowball offers and who aren't so much interested in buying your property as in getting a bargain.

A variation on the strategy of countering at your list price is to counter just slightly below it, conceding by perhaps $1,000. Use this strategy when you want to be tough, but you're afraid that appearing inflexible will drive away buyers.
Reject the offer, don't counter and invite the buyer to resubmit
If you're gutsy enough, you can try a negotiation tactic that's more extreme than countering at your list price. Simply reject the buyer's offer and don't counter at all. To keep them in the game, you then ask them to submit a new offer. If they're really interested and you haven't turned them off, they will.

This strategy sends a stronger signal that you know your property is worth what you're asking for. If the buyer resubmits, he'll have to make a higher offer.

Also, when you don't counter, you're not locked into a negotiation with a particular buyer and you can accept a higher offer if it comes along. For buyers, knowing that someone can come along and make a better offer at any moment creates pressure to submit a competitive offer quickly if they really want the property. This strategy can be particularly effective if the property has been on the market only a short time or if you have an open house coming up.

Hold off on all offers until a certain date to try to create a bidding war
List the home on the market and make it available to be shown. Schedule an open house for a few days later. Refuse to entertain any offers until after the open house. Potential buyers will expect to be in competition and may place higher offers as a result. You might get only one offer, but the buyer won't know that. On the other hand, if you get multiple offers, you can go back to the top bidders and ask for their highest and best offers.

Put an expiration date and time on your counteroffer
When a buyer submits an offer that you don't want to accept, you counter the offer. You're then involved in a legally binding negotiation with that party, and you can't accept a better offer if it comes along.

In the interest of selling your home quickly, consider putting a short expiration time on your counteroffer. This strategy compels the buyer to make a decision so you can either get your home under contract or move on.

Don't make the deadline so short that the buyers are turned off, but consider making it shorter than the default time frame in your state's standard real-estate contract. If the default expiration is three days, you might shorten it to one or two days.

In addition to closing the deal quickly, there's another reason to push sellers to make a fast decision. While the counteroffer is outstanding, your home is effectively off the market. Many buyers won't submit an offer when another negotiation is under way. If the deal falls through, however, you've added time to the official number of days your home has been on the market. The more days your home is on the market, the less desirable it appears, and the more likely you will be to have to lower your asking price to get a buyer.
Agree to pay the buyer's closing costs, but increase the purchase price
It seems like it's become standard practice for buyers to ask the seller to pay closing costs. These costs generally amount to about 3% of the purchase price and cover what seems to be a lot of frivolous fees. Buyers are often feeling cash-strapped from having to come up with a down payment, moving expenses, redecorating costs and furniture and appliances, so paying for closing costs becomes unappealing. Some buyers can't even afford to close the deal at all without assistance with closing costs.

While many buyers don't have or don't want to spend extra cash upfront to get into the home, they can often afford to borrow a little bit more. If you give them the cash they want for closing costs, the transaction may be more likely to proceed.

When a buyer submits an offer and asks you to pay closing costs, counter with your willingness to pay but at an increased purchase price, even if it means going above your list price. Buyers often don't realize that when they ask the seller to pay their closing costs, they're effectively lowering the home's sale price. But as the seller, you'll see the bottom line very clearly.

You can increase your asking price by enough to still get as high as your list price after paying the buyer's closing costs. If your list price is $200,000 and the buyer offers $190,000 with $6,000 toward closing, you would counter with something between $196,000 with $6,000 for closing costs and $206,000 with $6,000 for closing costs. The only catch is that the price plus closing costs must be supported when the home is appraised; otherwise, you'll have to lower it later to close the deal because the buyer's lender won't approve an overpriced sale.

The key to executing these negotiating strategies successfully is that you have to be offering a superior product. The home must show well, be in excellent condition and offer something that competing properties do not if you want to have the upper hand in negotiations. If buyers aren't excited about the property you're offering, they will be turned off by hardball tactics and walk away.

 Email me for more info. or to assist you or 3127717190
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