Home Selling

Mortgage Rates Retreat, Drop to 7.18%

After hitting a 20-year high last week of 7.23%, the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage moved lower again. A year ago, the FRM averaged 5.66%. LOS ANGELES – The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate slipped after climbing for five consecutive weeks to a more than 20-year high, a modest relief for would-be homebuyers … Read more

For Buyers It’s Not the Rate, It’s the Increases

Buyers get used to mortgage rates and incorporate them into decisions, but increases/decreases make them wonder if they should move quickly or hope they come back down. NEW YORK – Despite the highest mortgage rates in a generation, new houses continue to sell. The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday reported that a seasonally adjusted 714,000 … Read more

Mortgage Rates Top 7% – Highest Level in 2 Decades

A 30-year, fixed-rate loan averaged 7.09% this week, its highest level since it was 7.13% in April 2002. It also exceeds a high of 7.08% hit last fall. WASHINGTON – The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate jumped this week to its highest level in 20 years, grim news for would-be homebuyers already facing high home … Read more

RE Listing Strategies that Attract Top-Dollar Offers

Start with local research. What words to buyers use most often when searching for a home? What words are within listings that see the most clicks? NEW YORK – Both words and images make an impact when marketing homes for sale, says Colibri Real Estate’s Tina Lapp, who has almost 30 years of professional education … Read more

The 80/20 Rule – Intro to Mortgage Insurance

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Mortgages revolve around a 20% down payment, and buyers who put less down use mortgage insurance to do so – yet many don’t understand what that means. KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Mortgage Insurance is one of the most misunderstood topics in real estate. When buyers use financing and their down payment is less than 20% … Read more

FHA 203(k) Loans: What They Are, How They Work

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Most buyers want move-in ready, but they’ll have a wider selection with fixer-uppers, and an FHA 203(k) loan can roll upgrade/repair costs into their first mortgage. NEW YORK – When you buy a home, there are usually a few repairs to pay for. Buyers who want to take on a real fixer-upper might be facing … Read more

Do-It-Yourself Projects that Add Value

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A do-it-yourself home-improvement project reaps rewards at the time of sale, providing it’s done right. Many DIY projects require pros, but some can be handled in-house. NEW YORK – Improving the value of a residential property is an ongoing project, and for many homeowners, this means sharpening up their DIY (do it yourself) skills, especially … Read more

When Should I Disclose Contemplated Interest?

A Realtor completed a professional apartment-building property appraisal on behalf of the seller, and the valuation was used to negotiate a final price with the buyer. But the seller later filed an ethics complaint because the Realtor managed the buyer’s properties. Is it an ethics violation? ORLANDO, Fla. – Dear Shannon: I’m a long-time Realtor … Read more

Buy 2nd Home with Family, Friends? Get a Lawyer

“We all get along great” isn’t much help if there’s a disagreement about guests, repairs or maintenance. A lawyer can pre-solve problems before issues arise. NEW YORK – Homebuyers purchasing vacation homes with family or friends face unknown risks, such as disputes about guests, repairs and maintenance. It can unravel the arrangement and even lead … Read more

Why Don’t You Have a Listings-Based Business?

A very general rule of thumb: Half an agent’s income should come from representing sellers. If that’s not you, here are things to consider. NEW YORK – Real estate professionals should ensure that at least half  their business comes from listings. Obstacles they may face include: Insufficient market knowledge: When working with listings, agents need … Read more