‘Pre-qualified’ has become an empty phrase

Pre-approval of a borrower seeking a mortgage is much different from pre-qualification.

You can thank the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act for depriving the term “pre-qualified” of relevance to borrowers in search of financing their home purchase.

That’s not really a bad thing, but it does place a greater burden on borrowers to prove themselves worthy of a mortgage before they present an offer to sellers.

All pre-qualification means is Continue reading

What buyers don’t understand can hurt them

There are buyers who know what they are doing and those who only think they know how to proceed as they search for a new home.

I happen to favor those who get what works best.

You won’t be surprised to learn that their key understanding is their appreciation for the help a real estate broker can provide.

Even though buyers these days are about as good as any agent or broker in finding online properties that have been put on the market, those buyers Continue reading

Many things should never be left unsaid. Ever.

Drapes

“Oh, you say you’re taking the drapes? I don’t think so.”

When it comes to the purchase of residential real estate worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions, some matters can stall the signing of a contract or even reduce a settlement to hours of prolonged battle.

Those matters frequently turn on the cost of items the value of which often can be calculated in the hundreds of dollars.

Disputes commonly rest on Continue reading

With real estate offers, who says that life is fair?

(flickr photo by maorix)

Sadly, homebuyers are finding that sellers are in the driver’s seat once again.

And they don’t always play fair.

As lawyer Adam Stone points out in a BrickUnderground.com column, not only do many sellers entertain multiple offers.  They also may work with multiple contracts.  Stone asks a pertinent question: Continue reading

Liking paperwork, you’ll love co-op renovations

(Flickr photo by luxomedia)

Anyone planning to undertake major renovations in a co-op apartment faces a forbidding task.  Without the building’s prior written consent to undergo structural alterations of an apartment, count on trouble ahead.

If you are a brave soul with plans to expand the kitchen you soon will acquire, add a bathroom or take down a wall, there is no guarantee that the co-operative will approve the alteration request.

Many boards won’t even consider Continue reading

Dirk Zeller: All buyers have their misconceptions

Dirk Zeller

Author, speaker and all-around expert on  real estate, Dirk Zeller maintains that buyers invariably hold misconceptions about agents and the benefits of working them.

In the first of his two blog posts on the RealtyTimes site, he says that some buyers don’t think they need an agent.  Although lots of information is now available on the Internet, says Zeller, that’s not the same as receiving interpretation, analysis, counsel and protection.

Second, the writer argues against the belief in the minds of some buyers that they don’t need Continue reading

Few phrases more chilling than ‘back on market’

Who is the seller and who, the buyer? (Flickr photo by Mr. van Meelen)

Few more words sound more ominous than “back on the market.”

They could mean that broker after broker couldn’t sell the property.

Or that a buyer withdrew after learning about nerve-wracking defects.

Or that the seller couldn’t stand the many months that the home was on the market with no taker and so elected to pause its marketing.

More charitable explanations also are possible.

Perhaps Continue reading