- I know how much I can afford, should I still get pre-qualified?
Absolutely. Pre-qualification is the clout behind your offer. I will have much more power in negotiating for you when your contract is accompanied by proof of your capability to purchase.
- As a buyer, why would I need representation?
When you call on a For Sale sign, cold-call an office, or contact a listing agent, you have already deprived yourself of some rights as a buyer. The agent representing a listing is bound by fiduciary duty to the seller. Your best interest is served by choosing an agent in advance to represent you. As a buyer’s agent, I have saved my clients thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. And FYI… there is no additional cost to you.
- What can you tell me about the lakes, what each one offers, and what is allowed?
I am able to approach this question from both a personal perspective and a professional one. My knowledge of the lakes IS my resume. I’ve sold over $300,000,000 in real estate since 1998, the majority of which involved lake-related properties.
- What repairs should I do?
You need to look at your home with the critical eye of a buyer. Start where you park and do a complete walk-through with a notebook in hand. Notice EVERYTHING; landscaping, scuffed walls, dripping faucets, soiled carpeting. If you see it, they’ll see it. You want potential buyers making only positive notes.
- Location, Location, Location... is it really that important?
You can change practically anything about a home, from little things like paint and carpeting, to a complete remodel or even rebuilding from the ground up. I’m a big believer in buying for location. It’s the one thing you can not change.
- There seems to be so much to choose from right now, it’s hard to know where to start.
Often we have only vague, preconceived notions of what we want in a home, with the result of never finding exactly what we’ve pictured. I would strongly suggest that you compose a list with several categories; 1.) features that would be nice to have, 2.) things you’re accustomed to and would be uncomfortable without, and 3.) absolute must-haves. That way we can eliminate many properties right up front, then prioritize the rest, shaving a lot of wasted time off of your house hunting.
- What can you tell me about the neighbors in this community?
My expertise is real estate and I’m pleased to say that I know the Lakes Region market perhaps better than anyone. I’d be happy to point out builders that I am familiar with, which communities are convenient, where you’re likely to find the best views or the most amenities, current price ranges, comparables. If you’d like to know more about the residents, in addition to recommending that you take a stroll around the neighborhood, I’m always happy to provide you with several reliable sources of information.
- How do I know what is the right amount to offer?
I begin by providing you with sold comparables, the most recent carrying the most weight, then I’ll assist you in adjusting for upgrades, condition, and unique attributes. The number of days on market is also a sizable factor. Among other things, these are the elements that an appraiser will use in determining value.
- What happens if the appraisal does not support the purchase price?
Surprisingly you have more options then you might think. This is not necessarily a deal-breaker. You will have the choice of walking away, as a satisfactory appraisal is a condition of your contract. Renegotiating the price is often a viable alternative. You may even have the discretion to continue with the agreement “as is” depending on what percentage of the purchase price is covered by your down payment.
- I understand that this might be a great time to invest. What’s different about buying an investment property?
Buying real estate for investment not only involves different advantages and considerations than other investments but different advantages and considerations than other real estate purchases. The short answer is that real estate as an investment is complicated by specific concerns in the areas of financing, location, management, and taxes.
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