Discover the Home’s Past the Seller Won’t Tell You

Stigmatized properties, no matter where they’re located, aren’t always obvious. You might expect a seller or listing agent to reveal details about a home’s past that are pertinent to the sale, but they’re not always required to do so. Most states require sellers to disclose physical property defects, but a stigma—an intangible, often psychological effect—is a bit more nebulous.

Many states don’t require the disclosure of a stigma, so your buyers may never know the house they bought was, say, the scene of a violent, gruesome crime until they hear it second-hand from neighbors after moving in. That can leave your clients with a serious case of buyer’s remorse, feeling uncomfortable with the place they call home.

Read more HERE.

How to Create a Welcoming Entryway

Don’t discount the entryway with staging, even if it’s tight on space. It’s the first area that potential buyers see as they walk in the front door. It’s your chance to make them feel welcome and fall in love with the home instantly. The entryway is also a high-traffic area, so it needs to be functional, too—a ready place for muddy boots, wet umbrellas, and shoes.

Read more HERE.

Millennials: Homebuying, Retiring Prioritized Over Marriage

First comes the house and then maybe marriage or children, according to surveyed millennials detailed in Bank of America’s 2018 Homebuyer Insights Report, which was culled from 2,000 consumer responses. The survey finds that 23- to 40-year-olds value homeownership above nearly everything else: 72 percent call it a top priority compared to 50 percent who say getting married or 44 percent who say having children are top priorities. “Being able to retire” topped homeownership in the survey at 80 percent.

What Buyers Should Ask After a Home Inspection

After an inspector has finished a home report, buyers may feel overwhelmed by any flaws that might have been found. That’s why it’s important they take the opportunity to learn more so that they can move forward confidently in the transaction.

A recent article at® recommends home buyers ask their inspector clarifying questions like: “I don’t understand this; what does it mean?” or “Is this a major or minor problem?” and “Do I need to call in another expert for a follow-up?”

High Debt-to-Income Ratios Prompt More Mortgage Denials

A high debt-to-income ratio has superseded poor credit history as the number one obstacle for mortgage applicants, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic. Though the number of borrowers who have been denied a mortgage has steadily declined over the last few years, nearly one in 10 were turned away in 2017, CoreLogic says. About 30 percent of those denials were attributed to debt-to-income ratio.

Homeowner’s Lack of Flood Insurance Costs Billions

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, a new problem is surfacing: The shrinking number of households that have flood insurance.
Flood damage is not included in a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. So if a mortgage lender does not require a borrower to obtain it, the onus falls on the homeowner to seek it out. For some, the extra money to do so may make this unlikely. As of April 2017, the average annual premium for a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program was $878.

Read more HERE.

Market Shifting to Buyer’s Favor

A housing market defined by rapidly rising home prices, bidding wars, a lack of inventory, and sellers with the upper hand in negotiations may be changing. “The signs are pointing to a market that’s shifting toward buyers,” says Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist. “But in most places, we’re still a long way from a full reversal.”

Read more HERE.

Reasons You Should House Hunt in the Fall

The frenzy of the summer real estate market has cooled by the seemingly very same breeze sweeping leaves off the trees across much of the country. But now may be a better time than ever for your to house hunt.

According to RealtyTrac and®, October is the best time to snag a deal on a house. RealtyTrac analyzed more than 32 million sales of single-family homes and condos between 2000 and 2015, finding that those who purchased in October paid 2.6 percent below the average estimated full market value for their property. Oct. 8, specifically, seems to offer the best deals for buyers with an average 10.8 percent discount.

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