Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Carpe Diem- Thought leadership & September Real Estate Newsletter from your trusted advisor

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September 2015

Newest LinkedIN review:
Ron helped me buy and sell two homes in Chicago and I don't think we could have done it without him. His attention to detail, knowledge of the real estate market and industry and creative advice to get the best deal are second-to-none. I would recommend Ron to anyone looking for a real estate broker who will be honest with you and tell you all the detailed facts in order to make an educated buying or selling decision.
Carpe Diem!
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 am a Luxury Collection™ Specialist in both residential and commercial properties.
2014 Berkshire Hathaway President Circle-Top 4% in nation
Ron Goldstein
Luxury Broker Associate   |   3127717190
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Understanding Energy Efficient Mortgages.
Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) were formally introduced by the Federal Housing Administration in 1995 to help consumers save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of energy-efficiency features for their new or existing homes as part of their FHA-insured home purchase or refinanced mortgage. The U.S. Department of Energy maintains that an EEM is one of the most beneficial programs consumers can use to capitalize on in today’s real estate market.
You can participate without the need to qualify for additional financing because cost-effective energy improvements result in lower utility bills—making more funds available for mortgage payments. You can upgrade windows and doors, install active and passive solar technologies, insulate an attic, replace older heating and cooling systems and fix or replace chimneys, etc.
The maximum cost of improvements you can add to your mortgage is either 5% of the property’s value (not to exceed $8,000) or $4,000, whichever is greater based on your property’s value. FHA requires that you make at least a 3.5% cash investment on your property based on the sale price. The total mortgage amount is based on your home’s value plus the projected cost of energy-efficient improvements.
Experts believe that an EEM can add an additional 15% of a home’s appraised value to the principal of a new loan or refinance, often at no additional cost, no compromise in the loan-to-value ratio for the borrower and perhaps a better rate. Benefits will vary and your lender will be your best source on what benefits you may obtain. Energy efficiency becomes an attractive selling point when you place the property on the market.
You may apply for an EEM with any HUD-approved lender, such as a bank, credit union or mortgage company. Click here for more information on EEMs.
A green lawn gets attention.
Homebuyers pay as much attention to the exterior of a home as the inside. They want to envision their kids playing in the yard, friends coming over for barbeques and lazy afternoons laying on the lawn.
Sure, bring in flowers, trim the bushes and paint the deck. But don’t forget the lawn. It’s important to get it in shape before showing your home.
Consistent care is key. Failure to invest in long-term turf care can cause a number of problems with your lawn. Give your grass the fertilizing and seasonal treatments it deserves:
·         In the spring, keep the grass high—removing more than a third of the total blade height when mowing can remove the food-producing parts of the blades resulting in a brown lawn.
·         Leave clippings on the lawn to help recycle important nutrients.
·         Water deeply (down to a depth of 6 inches) and less frequently, than lightly and more often.
·         If your lawn dulls in color or begins to wilt, then your lawn needs water.
Grass also acts like a natural air conditioner that cools the air as it releases water vapor through its blades. Lawns are a safer surface for children to play on and provide the cool comfort we desire on hot days. Those are selling points that can help any home sale.
Don’t Drench Your Home Sale by Ignoring Plumbing Issues.
A plumbing checkup should be among your top priorities when preparing your home for sale. Potential buyers will flush toilets, turn on faucets and inspect showerheads. More seasoned “experts” will look under the cabinets for leaks and check for water spots. The last thing you want is to drench a buyer’s enthusiasm because you didn’t fix a simple plumbing issue.
Major plumbing renovations may be huge selling points, but many homeowners can get as much credit by simply fixing leaks and changing out a few faucets. If you can’t make repairs yourself invest in a reputable plumber.
There are some simple things you can do before allowing prospective buyers into your home:
·         Make sure you have adequate water pressure.
·         Hire a local housecleaning company to remove difficult stains on porcelain.
·         Check as much of your plumbing as possible for corrosion or rust.
·         If you do nothing else, fix any leaks—they will surely be an instant deterrent for buyers. If your house has more than one story, a smart buyer will look at ceilings for water stains from leaking pipes. And of course, paint the ceiling following repairs.
·         Make sure that all faucet knobs are easy to turn and that sinks and tubs drain easily.
·         Updated fixtures catch the eye of prospective buyers. A relatively small investment for new faucets can really pay off.
No buyer wants problems. So take care of a few simple plumbing issues and prevent your sale from going down the drain.

If the listing for your home hasn’t been attracting buyers for a few weeks in a fast-paced real estate market, or for a few months in a slower one, you certainly have good reason to be worried.
A home doesn’t sell due to a variety of factors, some of which you can control and some of which you can’t.
Let’s start with the things you can control, which also happen to be the most important elements of any home’s appeal to buyers: price and condition.
Price Your Home Right, From the Start
As I tell my clients in the beginning, the correct price for your home is based on a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA). The reason it’s so important to price your home appropriately from the beginning is that a home that’s priced too high will languish on the market without any offers.
Even if you lower the price later, you will have lost the momentum of the initial listing period and buyers will assume there’s something wrong with the home. Eventually you may sell it, but more than likely the final sales price will be lower than your correct initial price would have been. Price your home too low and you have lost out on potential profit. Buyers today don’t care what you paid for your house when you bought it. They don’t care if you make a healthy profit when you sell. They only care about paying a fair price in today’s market.
Your price should be based on current local market conditions, not on what you need to pay off your mortgage, what your neighbor sold her place for a year ago, nor your guesstimate of what your home is worth. The comparative market analysis (CMA) will look at recent sales, homes that didn’t sell and were pulled off the market, and current listings to guide your price decision. If there aren’t any buyers making offers on your property, it might be time to lower your asking price.
Condition of Your Home- DeClutter and Curb Appeal
Regardless of your local market conditions, buyers have high expectations for your home, beginning with the exterior. While you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money, you do need to raise the level of your home’s curb appeal with some sweat equity. Pull weeds, trim the grass, plant a few flowers and perhaps paint your front door to make sure prospective buyers don’t decide to drive away.
Inside, your home needs to be consistently clean, neat, decluttered and depersonalized so that buyers can visualize themselves living there. Your Broker should be able to suggest ways to prepare your home for a sale, which, by the way, is nothing like the way you live in it. Your kitchen counters should be cleared, your bed always made and your dishes always put away in case a buyer wants to visit.
Marketing Your Home
When you choose a REALTOR® to list your home, make sure you ask about photos and a marketing plan. 98% of buyers look online first at properties so it’s crucial that your home has multiple professional-quality photos that make it look as enticing as possible, and that your home appears on multiple websites so buyers can see it. A listing without a photo or with one badly lit photo isn’t likely to generate many offers.
Make Your Home Available
One of the more challenging aspects of listing your home for sale is that you must make it available to buyers as easily as possible. Buyers prefer to see a home without the owner there, so make sure there’s a lockbox at your property and that you allow nearly unlimited access to prospective buyers.
 Overcome Challenges
Sometimes market conditions or a specific flaw in your home make it tougher to sell as quickly as you would like. I can help you evaluate the market and let you know if you need to offer particular incentives, such as closing-cost help. If your home has an awkward floorplan or is located on a busy street, allow me the opportunity to come up with ways to emphasize its positive aspects and deemphasize any negative aspects, such as by staging the backyard or highlighting the renovated kitchen.

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© 2015 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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