Mitten Realty Group

Scott Fader & Gary Brincat — Top Producers — Oakland 
(this was an article in the Real Producers of Oakland County, Michigan magazine)                                       

 

Committed to Clients, Agents and the Community

 

By Jane K. Asher, Ph.D.

 

For Scott Fader and Gary Brincat, real estate is more than a business opportunity that feeds their families: It’s a venture of love fueled by their passion for the industry and commitment to their clients, agents and the community. Through Mitten Realty Group, LLC, Co-Owners Scott and Gary have leveraged their combined 40 years of real estate experience in buying, renting, flipping and selling homes —  as well as their extensive training in contract negotiations — to build a thriving veteran-owned business and one of Michigan’s 2019 top-25 firms founded on the simple principle that there is always time to help someone else succeed.

 

“We don’t keep score, and we help each other whenever possible,” Gary said. “We answer our agents’ calls 24/7 and make sure that our agents have access to us, no matter what day or time — this allows them to have success with their buyers or sellers”

 

“We don’t just claim to provide training; we actually provide great individual and group training,” Scott said. “We also minimize monthly fees and costs.”

 

Another way that Scott and Gary distinguish their business and actualize their commitment to others is through their ongoing efforts to help veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders. As honorary members of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association (DPLSA), Scott and Gary have sponsored the DPLSA Honors Ball — an event that recognizes fallen officers —  as well as golf outings to fundraise for Detroit police. Mitten Realty Group also partners with a local non-profit that fundraises for local and national charities through real estate, in addition to reducing commissions or returning 33% of their commissions back to first responders and military members following the purchase or sale of a home.

 

“Beyond being a veteran-owned business, what motivates us is that so many people put their lives on the line, sacrificing time, family and themselves for others. We like to make sure these people know they are appreciated,” said Scott.

 

Before becoming a REALTOR®, Scott worked with his father’s CPA firm, which handled accounting for investors and real estate agents. He then was presented with an investment opportunity and earned his real estate license in 2003. In 2008, when Scott was 35 years old, he took a hiatus from real estate to join the army where he was deployed to Afghanistan. He then went on to earn his broker’s license in 2018. 

 

Gary has spent 20 years buying, flipping and investing in real estate, and he also served as vice president of sales for a multinational marketing company and a multinational software company. Then about three years ago, Gary decided to leave the corporate world and become a REALTOR®, and that’s when he teamed up with Scott to build Mitten Realty Group.

 

Scott and Gary, both of whom were multi-million dollar producers in 2019 and are on track to increase production in 2020, are well versed in all aspects of the business, but Scott gravitates toward marketing and working with buyers while Gary enjoys working with sellers. Right now, they are focused on growing their team with individuals who share their passion for real estate and dedication to helping others, which they say can be challenging at times because they are looking to work with people who look beyond the profit. They shared that one of their goals is to create a “long-term culture and environment where people look forward to coming to work each day.” They are also grateful for all of their agents. “We are like a family,” Scott said. “Without our agents, we would not be growing as we are.”

 

When Scott isn’t with his work family, he enjoys spending time with Sara — his wife of 20 years — and their son Diego who they adopted from Guatemala in 2006. The Faders travel to Disney World several times a year, and Scott says they are “Disney addicts.” Scott, who regularly takes online classes for both business and personal growth, also says that he is “addicted to education” and loves reading and watching biographies.

 

Gary and his wife Romiana — who was born in Bulgaria — met in France and like to travel. They have two children and four grandchildren. Their daughter Nelly is a commercial property manager, and their son William, who is FAA licensed to fly drones,  is an agent and photographer at Mitten Realty Group. Gary is a 7th degree black belt and owns two martial arts schools. He also developed a two-credit hour continuing education real estate safety class, trains police in self-defense, and enjoys business, mystery and puzzle-solving books.

 

Scott and Gary agree that success is measured on an individual, team and company basis, and they both strive to succeed in all three areas. They also believe that success will come to those who work at it. “Putting in the time, working through the ups and the downs and being able to see mistakes as opportunities will lead you to the paths you want and the goals you seek,” Gary said. “We all run into issues with deals, clients, mortgage companies and title companies —there are a lot of moving parts — but we know each time we encounter an issue, we learn from it and are more likely to be prepared for the next transaction.”

 

For Gary, the most rewarding aspect of his business is helping someone achieve something they didn’t think was possible; for Scott, it’s helping veterans and first responders. Collectively, they care a great deal about their clients, agents and community. “Without our clients, agents and community, Mitten Realty Group would not be here,” they said. 

Contact Mitten Realty Group at 248-294-7850 or info@mittenrealtygroup.com

Real Estate Listing Myths 

 

Large Agencies Sell Homes Faster – False

There is no Data that shows that Large agencies sell homes any faster than smaller agencies, both provide the same information to Agents representing qualified buyers.

 

Large Agencies have more buyers – False

Less than 5% of all homes sales were purchased through the company which listed the home.  This is a misconception held over from before Real Estate hit the Internet.

 

Real Estate Teams are more productive sellers – False

Real Estate teams are very common today.  Fact most do not work as a team, they are simply groups of realtors who work under a common “Associate” Broker within an office, they do not work in the traditional definition of a “TEAM” to buy or sell homes.

 

Real Estate agencies will not show discounted/flat fee listings – False

Buyer Agents don’t know if the listing side is discounted, the only commission information which is displayed in the listing, is for the buyer agent.  If the seller is offering a commission to the buy side to sell their home, realtors will gladly bring qualified buyers to see the home, because they know they will be paid. 

 

Discounted Commission listings receive inferior service – False

A full-service listing requires the discount listing agent to provide the same full service that any other Full Fee (6%) realtor provides, such as: Arrange Appointments, Accept/Present Offers, Advise on Offers, Assist with counter offers, Negotiate for seller.

 

Discounted Commission Real Estate Offices cannot survive – False

Companies that manage expenses and keep overhead low, can significantly reduce commissions and still be profitable.  Large Real Estate companies are burdened with high overhead, such as Expensive Rent, office staff, and utilities, and therefore must charge higher commissions to pay the bills and keep the doors open, they rely on you to pay their expenses and bills.

 

Zillow is a Home Buying Site – False

Zillow is a marketing site, less than 5% of the viewers of homes on Zillow are qualified buyers, approximately 80% of the homes you see listed on Zillow were initiated by an MLS listing and were automatically pushed out to Zillow.

 

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

When Deals Fall Apart – Seller Focused.

 

Real estate has many moving pieces. You have the sellers, the buyers, the mortgage company, the title company, the appraiser, the inspector, the listing agent, the buyer’s agent, the insurance company and the friends and family of the buyers and the sellers. There are a lot of hands in the process of getting to the closing table. Sometimes, one of these hands creates a problem for the deal and it unravels and falls apart.

What happens when a deal falls apart? This depends on many factors and what side of the transaction you are on. This blog will focus on the sellers’ side. We will try to do it in order of the stages of the process to give an idea where you may see some of these issues.

Inspection: Most buyers will request time to get a professional inspector (or they should, and their agent should advise this). The inspector’s job is to look at the entire piece of real estate and find out what condition each part is in – from the walls to the floors to the electrical and plumbing, to the roof and the nooks and crannies top to bottom.

Unless it is a newly constructed home, the home is used, and the inspector will find things that are used and low on life. Do not be offended by this, it is their opinion on the home, and they work for the buyer to find things. Even newly constructed homes will have things found by inspectors.

After the inspection, the report goes to the buyer and the buyer’s agent for review. Depending on what they find, there may be a new round of negotiation about price, credits, or a withdrawal of the deal. This is one of the first places a deal may fall apart if all parties cannot agree or the buyer wanted to walk away since there are too many variables in the inspection they want to contend with.

If the deal falls apart the EMD is returned to the buyer (as long as it is within the negotiated inspection time frame asked for in the PA).

As a note, if the property has a well or septic, there many be additional inspections that will be needed, and again negotiations may happen, or the buyer walks away.

Appraisal: The value of the home is important to the buyer and the bank if they are getting a loan. The buyer and the bank will want to make sure the value of the offer is supported by an appraisal from a professional independent source.

If the appraisal comes in with a solid value at or above the offer price, the deal is good. If it comes in lower than the offer price, negotiations will happen, or the client will choose to walk away. You can agree to lower the price to keep the deal going if all parties agree.

If the deal falls apart here, the EMD is returned to the buyer (as long as it is within the contract terms).

If you are working with a listing agent, they can typically put together the comps they used to list the home and dispute the appraisal.

Loan/Mortgage: The loan starts with the pre-approval or pre-qualification stage and continues all the way to the close. One of the contingencies is the mortgage section of the purchase agreement. While a mortgage/loan is in process there are many document requests, verifications, along with review of the appraisal. There are times in this process where the loan becomes denied – this could be that something changed with the borrower or something that was missed in original application makes the loan unable to close.

There are situations that borrowers do not provide the lender with all the required items, or take their time, or go out and buy something before close that kills the loan. The borrower can be the fault the loan cannot close.

The EMD and who it goes to will be based on so many factors and will be negotiated when the financing can no longer go forward. The EMD can go to the seller or back to the buyer. This is where you make sure you keep all the information in writing and make sure you can fight for the EMD if needed.

No Reason/Buyer Walks Away: Sometimes a buyer just walks away. There are times when for reasons no one understands, after the expenses of inspection, appraisal and other costs are spent, the buyer just decides they no longer want the house or to close.

This is when the EMD is usually given to the seller. When the mutual release or whatever form your state or board use, the seller should be the one to receive the EMD. Again, this can be a fight to get at times. All parties must agree as to where the EMD is going.

 

These are just a few examples of where and how deals fall apart. These examples are the ones most often dealt with in a real estate transaction. Real estate is a process, with legal documents and many parties. Navigating it is never the same.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at  info@josephwalterrealty.com 

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval

When you are selling your home For Sale by Owner or even with an agent, you need to understand what kind of approval or well, not approval is provided with the offer. Many people get pre-qualified and pre-approval mixed up and they are entirely different as to how secure they are with their financing. The mortgage industry continues to provide relaxed letters of qualification or approval for clients who may or may not be able to close on the house they choose.

We will look at qualifications and approvals a bit deeper.

Pre-Qualified

Getting pre-qualified involves supplying a bank or lender with their overall financial picture, including debt, income, and assets. The lender reviews everything and gives an estimate of how much the borrower can expect to receive. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or online, and there is usually no cost involved.

Pre-qualification is quick, usually taking just one to three days to get a pre-qualification letter. Keep in mind that loan pre-qualification does not include an analysis of credit reports or an in-depth look at the borrower’s ability to purchase a home.

The pre-qualification has NOTHING reviewed in terms of documents – bank statements, W-2, 1099, tax returns, investment accounts or the credit. The potential borrower is verbally providing an idea of who they are credit wise and financially.

A pre-qualified buyer does not carry the same weight as a pre-approved buyer, who has been more thoroughly investigated. As a Realtor, I tend to stay away from pre-qualified letters for offers and request that the borrower go back and get pre-approved.

Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved may take a few extra steps, but it is a better way to go to ensure a borrower can close a deal (or at least fairly good chance to close).

The borrower must complete an official mortgage application to get pre-approved, as well as supply the lender with all the necessary documentation to perform an extensive credit and financial background check. The lender will then offer pre-approval up to a specified amount.

Lenders will provide a conditional commitment in writing for an exact loan amount, allowing borrowers to look for homes at or below that price level.

This puts borrowers at an advantage when dealing with a seller because they are one step closer to getting an actual mortgage.

 

When a borrower provides the PRE-APPROVED letter from the lender, it gives the seller a warmer feeling that the deal will happen. As a Realtor I prefer a pre-approval with an offer over the pre-qualified letter.

 

Remember there are still conditions to be met on the mortgage side, even with a pre-approved letter. You should always call the lender and have a brief and to the point discussion about the pre-approval letter. Find out if there is anything major lacking from the file that could cause the loan to pause or be denied at later date – make sure they have reviewed credit, all documents and ask if they owe the lender anything.

 

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS TO THE LENDER OR BUYERS AGENT. IT IS YOUR HOUSE THAT IS BEING SOLD.

 

This information comes from a Realtor and not a lender. This is just for informational purposes giving you a better understanding. We are not lenders or a mortgage company.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at  info@josephwalterrealty.com 

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

 

Real Estate Calculations for Investors

There is more to understanding investment real estate than the home itself. There are decisions that will need to be made before you purchase the property. You will need to know certain calculations so that you can make the right decision. One decision you will need to make is, are you holding the property to be rented out or are you going to rehab it and flip the property.

Remember, your profit is usually determined when you buy the home, not when it sells. This means if you buy the property for the right price, you will have the profit margins you are wanting.

Using a Realtor, you can get help with some of the information you will need to complete the formulas or double check the numbers. Websites like Zillow and other public sites that offer FREE VALUATION can provide inaccurate information.

Gross Scheduled Income

This real estate formula lets you know how much income your property will generate if all units within it are rented and if there are no defaults in rent payments. This can be a useful measure to compare with your actual income.

Talk with your Realtor and get some rent comps for the area. Many investors guess the rents or place what they think they will be asking. Rental comps are as important as sales comps. You want to be realistic in your calculations. If you get more than what you expected…GREAT!

Gross Scheduled Income = Rental Income + Lost Rental Income from Vacant Units

Gross Operating Income

This figure reflects the gross operating income in addition to all other sources of income from your rental property. This can include revenue from parking spaces, laundry, public vending machines, or others.

Gross Operating Income = (GSI – Lost Rental Income from Vacant Units) + Other Income

Net Operating Income

To use the net operating income formula, you first need to figure out your gross operating income. Once you have that figure, you subtract your operating expenses- things like insurance and maintenance costs. You should note, however, that things like investment property depreciation and interest payments do not factor into operating costs. 

Net Operating Income = Gross Operating Income – Total Operating Expenses

Capitalization Rate

The cap rate is one of the most important real estate formulas. The cap rate formula compares an investment property’s net operating income with its market value, allowing investors to quickly compare properties to see which one is most worth it.

Cap Rate = Net Operating Income / Market Value of Property

Cash on Cash Return

Figuring out your cash on cash return is crucial in real estate investing. It is a widely popular real estate formula since it allows investors to compare investments and evaluate the most profitable one based on the terms of financing. A spreadsheet is a good way to see the side by side comparison between properties that are similar. By setting up the spreadsheet with formulas, you can quick input the basic numbers and see which one is the best property for your investment.

To use the cash on cash return formula, you simply divide your net operating income by your total cash investment. Typically, your total cash investment will include the down payment, closing costs, renovation costs, and any other upfront fees you paid to acquire the investment property.

Cash on Cash Return = Net Operating Income / Total Cash Investment

Equity Build-Up Rate

Smart real estate investments do not always come in the form of immediate income. Some properties are great investments due to their potential to build equity, therefore becoming more valuable assets in the future. This simple real estate formula can help in measuring these gains.

Consulting with your Realtor is also a good way to see how quickly an area is growing in value.

Equity Build-Up Rate = Mortgage Principal Paid (Year 1) / Initial Cash Invested (Year 1)

Price to Rent Ratio 

This figure shows you how much rent you will be receiving, versus the price at which your property was purchased. This can be useful when comparing residential real estate investments. Like other calculations, a spreadsheet with formulas can help make quicker decisions.

Price to Rent Ratio = Purchase Price of Property / Annual Rental Revenue

Price Per Square Foot

Along the same lines, the price per square foot real estate formula can be useful when comparing investments. Savvy investors can use this calculation to evaluate if a rental property is overpriced before it is purchased. Your Realtor can help you evaluate this more in depth by pulling both rental and sales comps, which list out the price per square foot (as-is, not post-rehab).

Price Per Square Foot = Market Value of Property / Property Square Footage

Return on Investment

The return on investment formula allows you to see how much of your initial investment you can recoup annually.

Return on Investment = Annual Returns / Cost of Investment

Cash Flow From Operations

Successful real estate investments will involve more money coming in than going out. You need to subtract your capital expenditures (roughly defined as large expenses that do not reoccur) from your net operating income to figure out your cash flow from operations.

Cash Flow From Operations = Net Operating Income – Capital Expenditures

Cash Flow After Financing

Considering that most real estate investors have borrowed money in order to make their investment, this cash flow formula can provide a better idea of what your cash flow is like.

Cash Flow After Financing = Cash Flow From Operations – Financing Costs

Occupancy Rate

This figure reflects the time that an investment property is rented out over a period. Your occupancy rate is one of the most important indicators of your success, and a low occupancy rate can let you know that action is needed from your end.

Low occupancy can occur when properties are in need of repair. People tend to look for a replacement place to live if a landlord is not keeping the place livable or did not complete some repairs required previously. Landlords can “promise” to fix things to get people to move it, in turn causing them to move out as fast.

Occupancy Rate = Number of Days Occupied / Total Number of Days in One Year

Break Even Ratio

This figure is often used to evaluate risk when making a real estate investment. Too high of a figure when using this real estate formula can indicate that it will be an uphill battle to break even with an investment property and recoup debts.

Break Even Ratio = (Debt Servicing Costs + Operating Expenses) / Gross Operating Income

Gross Rent Multiplier

The gross rent multiplier real estate formula allows investors to figure out the market value of a rental property. This is especially useful when selling a rental property, as it allows you to set the right price the first time.

You will want to compare notes with a Realtor. This calculation can help set the value based on the numbers, but it is always good to have a second pair of eyes.

Gross Rent Multiplier = Market Value / Gross Scheduled Income

Debt Service Coverage Ratio

This real estate formula can be used to figure out the current cash flow you have available to recoup the debt which financed your investment.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio = Net Operating Income – Annual Debt Service

 

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at  info@josephwalterrealty.com 

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

What is a Real Estate Appraisal? And more….

 

Real estate appraisal, property valuation or land valuation is the process of developing an opinion of value, for real property (usually market value). Real estate transactions often require appraisals because they occur infrequently and every property is unique (especially their condition, a key factor in valuation), unlike corporate stocks, which are traded daily and are identical. The location also plays a key role in valuation. However, since property cannot change location, it is often the upgrades or improvements to the home that can change its value. Appraisal reports form the basis for mortgage loans, settling estates and divorces, taxation, and so on. Sometimes an appraisal report is used to establish a sale price for a property.

If you have bought or sold real estate – your own personal residence, investment, or commercial property, you have probably dealt with the appraisal process. Besides the inspection, it is the part of the transaction that keeps you biting your nails. As the seller or selling agent, even with the most up to date information, appraisals can come in with unexpected values.

Sellers and listing agents should do their homework and have comps ready in case the appraisal comes back with a number that is lower than the list or sales price. You can submit these comps to the appraisal company to fight the appraisal. The more homework you must share, the better the chances you have to get them to adjust price. Although in the years I have been doing real estate, I have a better chance at winning the lottery, than getting them to adjust their report.

Buyers cannot chose the appraisal company or the appraiser they use (I will not say that this is 100% of the time, but in most cases where a loan is involved, the buyer will be hands off and should remain hands off). Buyers and their agents should also do their homework to make sure the offer they are submitting matches the value of homes in the area. Renegotiating the deal after the appraisal can be a struggle once the seller has a value from the offer in their head. Even through it was offered, the bank will not accept something lower and most of the time the buyer is not willing to come to the table with more money than the home is currently worth.

An appraisal is a safety net for the bank and the buyer. The bank needs to protect its loan with a piece of real estate at a specific loan to value.

 

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at  info@josephwalterrealty.com 

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

Establishing your Home’s Value

As a For Sale by Owner, how are you establishing the sale price of your home? Are you using Zillow? Listening to Uncle Joe? What process are you using to determine the value your home?

Establishing the sales price of your home is especially important to getting your home sold. There are many FREE online tools and websites that offer “guestimates” on value, but many times they are not correct for “your” specific market. Your home cannot be randomly compared to other homes sold within a certain area. There are many factors that play into establishing home values that cannot be grouped together and averaged.

Realtors and appraisers use methodical processes and neighborhood specific data to come to a listing price valuation (real estate professional) or lending/Mortgage value (appraiser). Both Realtors and appraisers have access to up to date, active, pending, and closed data that can help them select  comparable homes in the area and analyze the differences between them to come up with an accurate listing price.

In today’s market, buyers have full access to the homes for sale, and over pricing your home could lead to no or low number of showings, extended days on market, and continued holding costs.  High Days on market can then produce offers that are “low-balled” since they see that you have been on the market for a while. Yes, days on market can negatively affect the value of the offers, Realtors know high days on market is an indication to come in low.

So how do you get a good listing price for your home as a For Sale by Owner? I would suggest you call a Realtor or Broker. Pay them to run a report for you or do a full Comparative Market Analysis or Broker Price Opinion (Realtors do not do “Appraisals”). This could run you as little as $100 to as much as $300, but it is worth it. You are saving about 3% by not having a listing agent, so pay a little to help make sure you have the right price point for your home in the market you are in.

Also, just because you recently updated your home, does not mean the full value of the improvements  will be returned in actual home value, many upgrades you perform on a home increase the desirability, but not the value. Desirability is not a bad thing, it may differentiate you from the home down the street, which is also for sale.  This will become very apparent if you sell to a buyer who is getting a mortgage, the mortgage companies’ appraiser (paid for by the buyer) is representing the bank, not you or even the buyer.  Appraisals are sometimes waived if the buyer is a strong buyer (20% or more down) or the if the buyer is a cash buyer, there is no appraisal at all.

For Sale by Owner can be a formidable task and there are many more moving pieces than expected. It can be frustrating and exciting at the same time. You are trying to save YOUR hard-earned Homes Equity and that is GREAT, but do not hesitate to use a Proven Professional when needed to help or to take over the sale.

Be especially careful about hiring Family members or friends to sell your home, your home is one of your largest assets, go with a proven professional not a part time agent.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

What is a Quitclaim Deed?

A quitclaim deed is a legal instrument that is used to transfer interest in real property. The entity transferring its interest is called the grantor, and when the quitclaim deed is properly completed and executed, it transfers any interest the grantor has in the property to a recipient, called the grantee.

  • Typically used in a NON-traditional sale
    • Between family
    • Divorce
    • Into a trust

Simple way to transfer deed – no title search is done. Since there is no title search done, liens, taxes, open mortgages, and loans are not checked for. The verification of the grantor also is not checked to make sure they can convey the property.

Quitclaim deeds are also used to clear up matters when there may be an ownership issue or claim. The person with claim can sign a quitclaim deed over removing themselves.

Quitclaim deeds are not used for traditional real estate sales (especially with a lender involved), because the new owner receives no guarantees about the title and how valid it is.

Although we are not lawyers and would advise anyone using a quitclaim to seek advice, we do want to put a word of warning out there. Quitclaim deeds are used often in investment property sales and scams both. People use them to transfer property they do not own, or they know has other encumbrances. Therefore, working with a proper title company or lawyer when involving real estate is a good idea. Not transferring property correctly or verifying ownership and other information can be a costly mistake. More than what it would have costed to have a title search done and having insurance you are getting a solid transfer.

To transfer title by quitclaim, a quitclaim deed form must be in writing to be valid. This legal document includes a legal description of the property that is being deeded, the county it is located in, date of transfer, and the names of the grantor (person transferring the property) and grantee (person receiving the property). If a price has been paid for the transfer, that amount is included.

The grantor signs the document, and this signature is generally notarized. Witnesses may be required depending on the state. In some states the grantee also signs the deed. It is common to file the deed with the county clerk in the county where the property is located, but in some states, this is not required.

Quitclaim deeds are a part of the real estate world. Although they are not as secure as Warranty Deeds, they are used. If you need help preparing a Quitclaim deed or have questions about them, you can contact your local title company or real estate lawyer.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate and would like to talk further about title company needs (Nationwide), please call Gary Brincat or Scott Fader at 248-617-0004 or email them at info@inkedtitle.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Inked Title, LLC

Inked Title is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers of real estate with Mitten Realty Group (www.MittenRealtyGroup.com or 248-294-7850) and owners of Inked Title. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate and title company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

Why Do I Need a Title Company?

A title company is more than just a place to close your property. They are the research company for the buyers, sellers or both in a transaction. We will talk about title companies in the general aspect, as each state can be a little different when it comes to how your property is closed and who is part of the process. You will want to call a local title company or real estate lawyer to find out how your state works. You can also call Inked Title, LLC at 248-617-0004 or e-mail them at info@inkedtitle.com and their staff can find out what the process for your state on real estate closings and title.

WHAT IS TITLE?

In property law, a title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document, such as a deed, that serves as evidence of ownership.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THE OWNER IS THE OWNER?

To find out who owns the bundle of rights and ownership the title company will do a title search. A title search is an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership and find out what claims or liens are on the property. A clean title is required for any real estate transaction to go through properly.

The way to look at title is like a credit report. The cleaner the better. If the credit report is bad or has bad information it can cause issues, just like clouded title. It is always a good idea to make sure when you sell or when you buy, the title to the property is ready to be conveyed.

As the title company is reviewing who owns the property, they will also be checking on the status of the property taxes, any special assessments attached to the property, any liens someone has placed on the property, outstanding mortgages, HOA liens or if there is an HOA, so that they can get a full idea of what will be required to be paid off in the closing and what information they may need to collect from the parties involved.

When research is complete, the title company provides a report called a “title abstract.” You should get a copy of this before you close on the home to review. This document is not your title insurance policy. That is a separate document you’ll get from your agent.

WHAT IS A TITLE INSURANCE POLICY?

Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance that protects lenders and homebuyers from financial loss sustained from defects in a title to a property. The most common type of title insurance is lender’s title insurance, which the borrower purchases to protect the lender. The other type is owner’s title insurance, which is often paid for by the seller to protect the buyer’s equity in the property (Again, this differs state by state).

CLOSING:

Once all the title documents are set and the lender and title company have compared and approved all the numbers, the title company will help in the process of closing the home (once again, who closes and who is involved will vary from state to state). The closing will also vary on if the home is a cash deal or one with a lender involved. The closer will go through all the docs that they have prepared, and the lender has provided to give you a full understanding of what you are signing and why. They will also go back over the numbers within the documents to make sure they are the same as you have reviewed and approved with your lender.

The closing table is fun and stressful. You will want to review as much of the information before closing. Most title companies will provide a digital link to all the documents for review well enough in advance to review. ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU WANT AT THE CLOSING!!!! Many people SIGN SIGN SIGN and then have questions after closing when it is too late. Take your time at the closing, get all your questions answered and leave excited, not worried.

FUNDING:

The title company also assists in the funding of the transaction. Money from the lender and the buyer are provided to the title company who verifies all the money and then disperses to all the parties who are due money – and there are many in a real estate deal.

 

A title company is a valuable resource. They are more than the people who sign documents. They are the companies that ensure your property is free to transfer and both the buyer and seller are secure of any issues with title through the insurance. 

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate and would like to talk further about title company needs, please call Gary Brincat or Scott Fader at 248-617-0004 or email them at info@inkedtitle.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Inked Title, LLC

Inked Title is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers of real estate with Mitten Realty Group (www.MittenRealtyGroup.com or 248-294-7850) and owners of Inked Title. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate and title company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

What is Quiet Title?

An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over property disputes, in order to establish a party’s title to real property, or personal property having a title, of against anyone and everyone, and thus “quiet” any challenges or claims to the title.

The process of quiet title is not an overnight process or pay a lawyer or title company to handle it and it is done. The process can take 8 to 12 weeks (we have heard of some taking as long as 6 months). In 2020, we are looking at this process taking longer with many of the people working on quiet title working at home or the staff is laid off. It is a process of patience no matter when it is started. The sooner the better.

Steps in the quiet title process:

  1. Complaint
    1. Done in county where property is located
    2. Anyone with claim will be notified
  2. Service
    1. Notice to defendants
    2. Can take time to locate heirs and prolonged if someone is deceased with claim
    3. There will be a time frame to respond
  3. Negotiation
    1. If someone responds – you can negotiate how to get them to sign off
  4. Judgement
    1. Judge signs off and notifies plaintiff how the case was decided
  5. Recording
    1. Once you receive the judgement you record it in the county where the property is located
  6. Delivery of the Order
    1. Provide all the documents to the title company so they can continue with your file

The cost of the whole process will vary on the area you are in. We have seen them range from $650 (which is rare) to as much as $4500.

A quiet title action does not give the new owner the same level of protection against the previous owner in most cases; if there are problems with the property, the new owner can’t sue the previous owner, unless he or she acquired the property via warranty deed and sued for defects when the warranty deed was delivered.

Additionally, quiet title actions do not always clear up all issues with a title. In some jurisdictions, they can only be used to clear up specific claims or title defects (you will want to clarify this with the title company or attorney you are using).

Following the quiet title action, the plaintiff will be in full possession of the property in perpetuity, as will be his or her heirs, and they will also be protected from any further claims of ownership made against the property by other outside entities.

A good title company will try to clear up what they can on the title before you jump into the process of quiet title. The title company will be the ones who will eventually tell you what steps you will need to have the ownership rights you seek. If it is out of their control, the next step is that of the quiet title process. They also usually know good real estate lawyers to go to when quiet title is needed.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate and would like to talk further about title company needs, please call Gary Brincat or Scott Fader at 248-617-0004 or email them at info@inkedtitle.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Inked Title, LLC

Inked Title is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers of real estate with Mitten Realty Group (www.MittenRealtyGroup.com or 248-294-7850) and owners of Inked Title. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate and title company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

For Sale by Owner or Using a Realtor

When you decide to sell your home, you have 2 options. You can sell it on your own as a For Sale By Owner, and the other is to use a professional Realtor. Each one has the main goal to get it sold to the closing table, but each are quite different. How you approach the sale of your home is a choice that can make the process easy or difficult.

Pricing:

  • FSBO: When selling on your own, you will decide on the price you want to sell your property. FSBO usually will do this by looking on FREE public websites like Zillow to determine value. These sites have information, but how relevant and accurate is unknown. FSBOs also use what their neighbors have sold for or what the neighbor’s current home is being sold for. Each home will have different square feet, updates, and condition of the property itself, which will affect value. Emotional value can lead to pricing the home wrong.
  • Realtor: Realtors have tools that can help define a value. They have access to all the relevant comps that have sold in the area. They know which can and cannot be used for your specific home. Realtors will also walk the property to review it and then compare back to the comps. Adjustments will be made for updates, condition, square feet, appliances and more. A Realtor does not have emotion when it comes to pricing. It is based on data and the home itself.

Forms:

  • FSBO: All forms must be purchased. A Seller must provide certain documents to potential buyers to keep in compliance. Sometimes the sellers cannot get access to the documents needed. If a buyer without an agent wants to make an offer, one of the parties must seek out a purchase agreement that both sides agree on using. You should not use a FREE or general agreement.
  • Realtor: A Realtor has access to all documents needed to put a home up for sale. From listing agreements to required documents that must be accessible by other Realtors. A Realtor also has a good purchase agreement that has been used many times.

Marketing:

  • FSBO: When you are selling the property on your own, you must find the best ways to get it in front of potential buyers. There are several websites out there and social media that can be used. Some of these websites connect with others, but you will be doing the marketing one by one, setting up new profiles, logins, and listings. When you make changes, you will need to login to each one and update the information and/or photos. Social media is good, but like real estate websites, you will have to post to each individually.
  • Realtor: When a Realtor does the marketing, they use the MLS. The MLS is a portal for thousands of Realtors and real estate professionals to search and find homes for their clients. The MLS also connects to thousands of other websites automatically sending out information on listed homes to be seen by potential buyers. When changes are made on the MLS, they are updated on the 3rd party websites in seconds. Realtors also use social media to connect with potential buyers and other Realtors. There are many platforms and sub-groups within these platforms that Realtors use. One of the biggest tools Realtors use, is email (CRM) to get the listing in front of Realtors and clients. Realtors keep solid databases of contacts to be able to market to them in a click of a button.

Showing Houses:

  • FSBO: Someone selling the home on their own will be taking all the calls on their own, setting up appointments, tracking the appointments, and then following up on the appointments. The FSBO must find ways to verify who is coming to see the home. How does a FSBO ensure that the people coming to their home, to go into their personal space, are Realtors with potential buyers and not just people wanting to wander through the home. FSBO also must provide access information to those who request to see the home. They provide lock boxes, leave the door open or stay to let the requested viewer in.
  • Realtors: A Realtor working to sell your home will monitor all showing requests. Realtors use technology and tools like ShowingTime to approve or reject showings based on the needs of their clients. Those who have access to request showings through this tool are licensed Realtors, allowing the Realtor and their client the safety of knowing that the person showing the home is legit. The tool also only allows lockbox codes once the showing is approved. Another tool Realtors use is electronic lockboxes. This adds another level of security, with being able to track access when it starts and ends. It also does not have the same code being used over and over. It uses the Realtors phone to connect with the box to get to the key. Realtors also get showing feedback from the showings that allow them to analyze the thoughts of the other Realtors and clients who have seen the property.

Offers:

  • FSBO: When an offer comes in to a FSBO, the home seller must review the doc and understand it in its entirety. Many purchase agreements have legal terms and deadlines that can affect the outcome of the sale. FSBO must negotiate with a professional Realtor. Another part of the offer is the review of the buyer’s mortgage approval. If there is a cash offer, this can be another challenge when requesting the docs to show the buyer can close cash.
  • Realtor: A Realtor handles offers of real estate for a living. They have seen the various wording and versions of local real estate companies and knows what to look for regarding price, deadlines, and concessions. Purchase agreements seem like boiler plates, but they can come with some legal issues if one side fails to perform. If there are issues found after the bottom line, it can be difficult, if impossible to correct. A Realtor knows what to review to not have issues. Realtors are also professionals when it comes to reviewing approvals from mortgage companies. They know the right questions to ask the mortgage companies. If a cash offer comes in, the Realtor knows how to request and review the right documents to make sure the cash is available to close.

Post Offer:

  • FSBO: After the bottom line of an offer the seller must make their home available and handle the inspection and appraisal, along with requested walk-throughs. Depending on the outcome of the inspection and appraisal more negotiations may happen to request a reduction of price or change to the terms of the purchase agreement. This can be difficult for a FSBO since they do not have access to comps and other current information or understand the write up of the inspection. It is much harder for a FSBO to argue appraisal valuation and the buyer’s agent will not help since they want the best pricing for the buyer. They do not work for seller.
  • Realtor: A Realtor will handle the inspection and appraisal. Your Realtor will review both the inspection and appraisal as it comes in. If there are additional negotiations, they will review the requests and make their opinions. Some buyer’s agents look to offer one price, knowing they will ask for a reduction after an inspection. Realtors also can review inspections to see if the requests are correct or just a way of getting a price reduction. A Realtor can help argue valuation if the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price by proving comps that are recent and that match the subject property. A Realtor who prices the house right will have the information to back up value when an appraisal comes in lower than expected.

Closing:

  • FSBO: When documents come in for the closing. A FSBO will need to look at all the costs and understand what is being charged to them and to the buyers. A closing statement has a lot of fees, commissions, payoffs, and taxes. If there are errors in items like commission, you will need to negotiate and work that out with the buyers Realtor. Doing this can delay or cause the closing to not happen.
  • Realtor: A Realtor knows how to review all closing documents from the closing statement, the title work, and all docs required to sign. A Realtor will make sure that all charges are to the right party in order to have a smooth closing. Any discrepancies the Realtor should have documentation to back it up, especially commission, which is part of the listing.

 

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

For Sale by Owner and the Buyers Agent

Being a For Sale by Owner or FSBO, you will most likely still be dealing with a buyer’s agent. Many times, these buyer’s agent will seem as though they are there to help you, but THEY DO NOT REPRESENT YOU – THEY REPRESENT THE BUYER.

When you are selling a property or business on your own, be aware of the overly helpful buyer’s agent who has NO AGENCY AGREEMENT with you. They will present the offers on their forms and make all sorts of suggestions which will “HELP THE PROCESS ALONG” – most likely in their clients’ favor.

Read the purchase agreements all the way through and look for some of the following items:

  • OTHER ITEMS SECTION:
    • This is a section in almost all purchase agreements where custom requests are done, such as:
      • Seller to Pay XXX in Concessions
      • Seller to make all repairs from inspection
      • No EMD
      • EMD to be returned to buyer under all circumstances
    • Property Description Section:
      • Lists Appliances
      • Does it list other items you did not want to include
    • Taxes – make sure you are only paying for taxes on the days you are responsible.
    • Repairs – some purchase agreements have a section for inspection and municipal repairs and who pays them.

 

The buyer’s agent may also want to suggest you work with their title company. If your state allows, choose to do a split closing where you have a title company separate from theirs. Some states the seller picks the title company and other states the buyer does. There are also some states where an attorney is involved in all closings. You may want to reach out to a title company in your area to find out how your state does closings – you can call Inked Title who works nationally and someone can help provide information at 248-617-0004 or email info@inkedtitle.com

Do not feel pressured to use any services offered by the buyer’s agent.

(title company, home warranty, repair company, etc.)

 

Selling your home on your own has many moving pieces. Stay in control of your deal and stay in contact with the people you choose to provide services. A lawyer is always a good idea or a transaction coordinator to help review documents and get you to the closing with the greatest of ease.

A transaction coordinator is a licensed real estate professional who will charge a small fee or percentage of the sales price (much lower than the full service Realtor) to review docs, may help negotiate, and handle the process from offer to close to you getting paid.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Close Beyond the Paperwork

When you are getting ready to close on your home, there is more than just the paperwork and the signing. Selling your home has many moving pieces and many people focus on the end, which is normal, but WAIT…THERE IS MORE.

As you are getting closer to closing, there are several things you may want to get together for the new buyer.

  • Garage door remotes
  • Garage door keypad codes
    • If you have the instructions on how to change the code, this will save the buyer from going on YouTube and trying to figure it out
  • Front door or other door keypad codes
    • Homes are evolving into more technologically advanced places to live
  • Keys
    • You would think this would be normal, but many sellers leave the general front door keys, but have many other doors in the house that have key access.
      • Garage
      • Backdoor
      • Shed
      • Other outside building or second garage
      • Interior doors
    • Instruction manuals and warranties
      • If you have the booklets that came with the appliances, furnace, hot water tank, water softener, fireplace, pool, well, septic or other feature, place them in a drawer that would be easy to find – this helps a new buyer ease into the home faster
      • What is also helpful is if you have local repair people or maintenance people you used on these items, provide their names and numbers
    • Alexa, Google Home, or other internet home voice activated devices
      • Replace the light bulbs or provide the new buyer with the NAME of the device they will need to control the lights and other functions of the house
      • Voice activated devices have passwords and set up processes the new buyer may not be able to do until their internet or devices arrive – DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN THE DARK
    • Utility providers
      • Leave names and numbers of your utility providers
        • Gas
        • Electric
        • Cable
        • Internet
        • Garbage
      • Clean the home
        • Seems straight forward, but with moving and people coming in and out of the house, many people forget to leave the home clean for the buyers.
        • There are cleaning companies that you can hire that can come into an empty house and get it done quickly or within reasonable time to let your buyer come into a clean home
      • Maintain your yard
        • Much like the inside of the house, a maintained yard can also add to the welcome feel
        • If you have dogs, PICK UP THE POOP!!!!! Do not leave your dogs poop to be picked up by someone else

There are so many moving pieces when it comes to moving from your home. We hope it can be as enjoyable to you as it is to the new buyers. It can be a stressful time, but with the right organization and enough time (time can be the issue), your move out and the new buyers move it can be a memorable day.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

Reasons Homes Do Not Sell

Real estate has changed in just the last few months across the United States (worldwide as well). Professionals in the real estate business have gone from working with buyers and sellers in person to using technology like Zoom, Skype, Facetime and other video software to meet with clients and show homes. This non-personal way of business has now become the normal way of keeping business alive.

Realtors have found ways to survive and keep things moving forward in a time where the economy seems to be coming to a halt as people have been told to not work and stay at home if they are part of the “NON-ESSENTIAL” workforce. The stay-at-home orders have been both good and bad for Realtors and brokers. The good is, many people have been cleaning their homes and working outside to improve them (and to keep busy and sane). For sellers this is a good move, but is it what it will take to sell a home in the current environment we are in.

Below we will discuss 5 of the reasons why a typical home does not sell during normal times.

Pricing: This is the #1 sale killer for a home. When the pricing on your home does not fit the market, the neighborhood or the home itself, it WILL NOT SELL. Many owners think their homes have a value much higher than what the market can bare, mostly due to emotional connection. Owners also believe that all the money they put into the home makes it valued above market pricing. Putting money into the home can increase the value, but just because you did $150,000 in upgrades, does not mean your home is valued that much higher.

Pricing can also lead to extended days on market. Although days on market typically does not affect the value of the home, it will affect the value of the offer the home gets. Realtors will offer below ask when they see extended days on market. The assumption from the buyer’s agent is the sellers are or will become desperate, so lower offers seem reasonable from the buyer and their agent. This can cause prolonged back and forth with offers, and many offers to not be bottom lined.

A good way to avoid extended days on market and lower than desired offers, is to make sure your Realtor prices it correctly. Realtors have access to all the comparable sales and can adjust for some differences in houses for the market. Never hesitate to ask to see the way in which the Realtor came up with the pricing for your home. They should easily be able to show the comps and the calculations of value. Remember they work for you and are getting paid well to provide professional services.

A last note about pricing, ZILLOW values are rarely correct. Many sellers get hung up on the valuation they find on ZILLOW and it can harm the sale of their home. Local Realtor professionals have accurate, real time data that allows them to value your property better than websites like ZILLOW.

Curb Appeal: This one is especially important in today’s market (April 2020) due to people not being able to physically enter homes, but driving by homes for sale, while looking at the online pictures and videos. The outside of your home is the first thing they see. Its like the old saying “You can’t make a second first impression”

When your home goes up for sale, walk around your yard and see what can be done to improve it. Look at the exterior of the home as well. Does the outside need to be power washed, do the windows need to be cleaned, are the gutters empty, is there any rotting wood or siding coming off, is paint chipping or faded, or how does the roof look? Stand on the street as if you were a buyer and see what they will notice when they drive by. Another thing many sellers forget to do…PUT AWAY GARBAGE CANS, or at least hide them on the side of house or in the garage.

You do not need to put a ton of money into the home to have good curb appeal (unless there are serious issues that would affect the sale of the home). Maintaining the lawn and doing minor exterior maintenance is all it takes. Maybe even add some colorful flowers.

The thought behind the curb appeal is if the outside looks bad or needs work, what does the inside look like. You want them to want more. If you excite them about the outside, they will ask their Realtor to set up a tour (virtually as required at the time of this writing).

Photos and Video: Much like curb appeal, photos and video of the property are typically the first thing they see online of both the inside and outside. You will want to make sure the photos and video look professional and represent the house. Bad photos and video make the best home look terrible. Technology has come a long way. Many cell phones can capture professional quality pictures and video, but at times, they will not be enough to show the true vision of the home. Hiring or requesting your Realtor use a professional photographer is helpful to ensure that when the photos are posted on the MLS and it feeds to thousands of other websites, your home sticks out and captures the attention of buyers who will request more information and showings. Many Realtors will pay for these photos and videos to be taken, but if they pay, they own the photos and they cannot be used in the future without their permission.

No matter the size of your home, do not overwhelm the potential buyers with an abundance of photos. 25 – 40 photos can represent your home, along with 1 or 2 videos. Buyers can get bored and lose interest in the home when clicking through the photos. Use the best photos that show the best features of the home. The videos should not be movies. They should be short walk throughs of the home focusing on top selling features.

Do not let bad photos be used even on a temporary basis. Some Realtors use their cell phone for the initial listing photos to get it live and on the MLS. Buyers and agent typically will not back track to see a listing twice. They do not get notified new photos or videos are uploaded. Do it right from the start and you will have a better selling experience.

Specific Problems: Every home is unique and have unique problems that may need to be addressed. When we say problems, it is from the view of a Realtor on both the selling and listing side.

One problem Realtors often see is the home is TOO specific to the current owner’s taste. For example, paint colors. As homeowners we have our own wants in the home we live in, every rooms painted in crazy colors like purple, orange, pink princess rooms, or Star Wars themed room. It is fun and exciting as we want our homes to represent ourselves, our kids or other just to be different. The problem comes in when you want to sell the home.

Potential buyers coming into the home have their own visions of what they will want. Non-traditional paint can mentally make it seem like there is more work to be done than they desire to do. You want the potential buyers to come in and see a blank canvas where they can feel it is ready for what they do want to do to the home. Paint the rooms with traditional colors before you put the home for sale and before the home has photos and video taken. By putting the money into the home before, it will help make the home more appealing to buyers and many times allow for a quicker sale. Money in before saves on holding costs of a home sitting on the market.

Other items that can fall under specific problems are required repairs and appliances. Not all home sellers can afford to replace appliances or upgrade the home to make all required repairs a buyer would want. Prioritize what you can and cannot do. The more you do, the better the pricing will be on the home. When items seem like problems to buyers, they tend to either walk away from the home or they make lower offers, neither of which is beneficial to the home seller.

Bad Advice: We are not sure if this should be #1 or the closer to be fresh on the mind. Selling your home is stressful enough. People will be coming into your personal space. You must up and leave to allow for showings. You feel like you are always cleaning and maintaining the home. It is a like an extra job, even when you have a Realtor involved.

Bad advice can add to the stress. One of the pieces of bad advice that is known to add to the stress of sellers, includes pricing. Realtors sometimes will do anything to get the listing and will go with the sellers
“WANT” when it comes to pricing. This is bad on so many levels. This leads to extended days on market as discussed above. This also leads to the Realtor coming back and wanting to reduce the price anyway to where it should be to fit the local market where the pricing should be. The Realtor already knew the pricing was off and he was already planning to request a price reduction. This is BAD BAD business for the seller who was not told what the “TRUE” price should be. If you are professional and have the facts to support the pricing you suggest, discuss it with the seller. Education is such a powerful tool. Clients appreciate facts, and in the end the Realtor can still walk away with the listing at an appropriate price.

Another piece of bad advice, or more like forgotten advice, if preparing the home for sale. Realtors want to quickly get the home to market, but do not guide the seller on items that could aid in the sale of the home – like many of the items above – curb appeal, repairs, updates and so on. They also do not discuss how to make the home more appealing by removing clutter, making sure the closets reflect the size by removing items or straightening them out, do not have dirty dishes in sink, make beds each day, and keep the house smelling fresh. These are simple things, but many Realtors do not guide the sellers on home preparation. Exterior and interior appeal are just as important as pricing.

 

Conclusion: In the end the main goal is to sell your home. This is a multi-step process that involves more people than just a seller and a buyer. It takes a team of professionals, from Realtors to photographers to title companies to inspectors, to appraisers and administration people (and probably more that we do not see) to take a home and get it closed. If just one thing above helps guide you to this amazing place we all love called the closing table, then we did something right today.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

 

 

 

Marketing your For Sale by Owner

As a For Sale by Owner you will need to take on the role of the marketing department. Many for Sale by Owners rely on placing the home on FREE websites or the MLS and wait for the calls. Depending on the market we are in, this can work in your favor, but remember your home is now amongst hundreds if not thousands in your market, all trying to do the same thing – GET IT SOLD.

As a Realtor myself, one of the main things we do is market the property. This is where a majority of our time and expenses come in – from neighborhood mailers (yes they are still a thing in the time of all digital – all the time) to online advertising to email blasts to digital marketing on all the social media platforms. I will throw in Open Houses as part of the marketing as well.

So, the question about marketing is where to start. You should start by deciding what budget you have and would like to use toward selling your home. There is no magic number when it comes to budgeting and selling your home. Lets start simple and work our way through some marketing options and you can start to decide in your head what you feel is appropriate to spend on the sale of your For Sale by Owner home.

MLS Only Listing – this gets your home on the MLS of your local area through a Broker but sell it For Sale by Owner. MLS Only listings are a common and inexpensive way in which to get seen by the Realtors in your area, yet not pay a listing fee. You generally pay a small fee or flat fee, and the Broker will list your home on the MLS. There are many companies that offer this service which ranges between $149 and $199 for the basic service. Check out www.FSBOMadeEasy.com and click on the services by state to help locate an MLS Only Listing service in your area.

MLS Only listings should have your name, number, and e-mail as the contact information (some MLS systems have different rules, but you should have at least your number). You should also be set up with a showing application that will help you receive and reject REALTORS who have clients to see your home. These showing applications are used only with licensed Realtor/agents.

Social Media – You just post it on your Facebook and its sold….well not really, unless you are very lucky or have many real estate professionals as friends who have buyers waiting. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many others draw people to them every day for personal and professional reasons. They are a good platform to be seen by people you know and people you do not know. Posting on your personal feed will get people to know you are selling, but it will take expanding your network to get your For Sale by Owner home noticed. To do this, you can boost an ad or create an ad. When you boost or create an ad, it will ask you where you want it seen. It will have you choose a city and how far out. Choose your city and PLUS 25 miles. Your ads will show up on the social media you are using for people who are registered within that 25 miles. You can narrow down some demographics more, but usually a general radius is best.

Social media allows you to set a daily or total budget for the ad. As you move up and down it will show you an estimated number of daily and total people you could reach.

Open Houses – As a Realtor myself I am torn as to whether an open house is worth the time and effort. Many real estate professionals use open houses to collect names, numbers and email of people who are buyers looking, but may not be interested in that specific home they are doing an open house for. Open Houses bring more curiosity from neighbors and window shoppers than actual buyers.

When your house first hits the market, it is not a bad idea to try an open house. If anything, you can ask for feedback from those who come on price and the home itself. Feedback itself can be valuable.

Mailers and Flyers – This can be old school in the world of digital marketing, but it can get the word out. By letting your neighbors know your home is for sale, you could run into someone who loves the neighborhood so much they would pass along the information to friends and family.

Flyers are also good to put up around town at places people gather. Please ask for permission before placing on bulletin boards and other public spaces. You do not want to spend money printing to have it thrown out.

Website – making a website specific for the home is useful when it comes to showing people more than what they can find on the MLS, social media, and flyers. With a For Sale by Owner website, you can add as many pictures as you would like, videos, more descriptions, and it does not fall within the rules of the MLS.

You can get a domain from Godaddy or another web domain seller. These companies usually have easy to build website templates. Basically, they are drag and drop websites and very inexpensive. You can also get help building one by contacting myself at scott@mittenrealtygroup.com – we can make a website for you and you just provide the photos, video links and text for $199.

E-mail Blasts – For Sale by Owners typically do not have the database that is dedicated to real estate professionals and others who may be in the market for a home (if you do, then you are way ahead of the game). You should still email your flyers out to family, friends and business associates and encourage them to pass it along. You never know.

For real estate professionals, e-mail blasts can sometimes be the biggest part of the budget.

Word of Mouth – tell everyone you are selling. Word of mouth self-marketing is a tool that will always be useful. You never know who is looking to buy. From your dentist to your dog groomer to your hair stylist. They speak to people all day and are a wealth of information and connected to a whole different network of people. They can be your boots on the ground marketing team.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.