About Mike Hunter

http://HhunterTheHouseHunter.com

friendly, approachable, and an expert on the Metrowest real estate market

Posts by Mike Hunter:

Vegetable Fun

Vegetable Fun

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A Wicked Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an Offer …

A Wicked Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an Offer …

I once followed a buyer to a Dunkin Donuts as he had decided to make an offer on some land we had just visited. Of course the ever-prepared realtor  has a pile of offer packets in their trunk, which I did, but they were in my other car. So I just smiled and took out my pen and wrote the offer on a Dunkin’s napkin. The listing agent was horrified when I presented the offer and said she wouldn’t bring it to her seller. I immediately got her broker on the phone and guess what? She was instructed to present the offer to the seller and the seller accepted, he signed the napkin. I still have that napkin somewhere.

The moral of the story is … In real estate if it’s in writing and contains at least the following five things it’s real.

Offers can be on pre-printed forms or on a napkin or the back of an envelope … the medium really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they include at least the following content and that they are presented to you in writing.

  1. Date: the offer is written and time frame within which it is valid
  2. Property description
  3.  Identification of the Buyer
  4. Identification of the Seller
  5. Price & Terms of paying the price – deposits, consideration, mortgage contingency etc.

The offer must also be accompanied by “consideration”.

This is also called Earnest Money Deposit. This is typically a check for $1000 but can be as little as a dollar if both parties agree. Who holds the deposit, where is it held, for how long, and its disposition at closing should be specified in the offer.

What important dates should be specified?

There are three key dates that should be included in the offer. The first is the date of execution of final purchase and sale contract (also called the P&S). The second is the closing date on which the buyer will take possession of the property. The third is the date on which the buyer will get their mortgage commitment from the bank.

What is a mortgage contingency clause?

The contract is conditional while the buyer uses good faith efforts to secure financing. The buyer is released from this agreement if turned down by lenders but they must notify you in writing prior to the expiration of their commitment period. There are specific dates for application and commitments that should be included in the offer.

What is a property inspection clause?

The contract is conditional while the buyer engages experts to assess the condition of the property, inspect for pests & insects, test for radon & mold and/or test for lead paint. They buyer is released from this agreement if any inspection turns up conditions they deem unsatisfactory. The buyer can also renegotiate the terms of the contract based on the findings if they still want the house. There are specific dates setting the time frame within which the inspections and release/renegotiation must occur.

Is a verbal acceptance by the sellers valid?

No.  The contract is not valid without signatures of both the buyers and the sellers and the conveyance of the consideration to the sellers (a copy of a check is not conveyance).

Sellers & Buyers Negotiate … Agents Advise

Sellers & Buyers Negotiate … Agents Advise

The ability to negotiate successfully is crucial not only for successful real estate transactions, but also for daily life events in general. As your agent my job is to advise and counsel you and present your offer/counter offer in the absolute best way possible, but you are the only one who can negotiate in a real estate transaction … it’s your money and your choice what to do with it.

Here are some general guidelines:

Challenge the ideas that are presented to you

Negotiating requires you to be assertive and question what you are being told. If you disagree with someone regarding the price, value or condition, speak your mind. Of course, be sure to do so diplomatically.

Become a good listener

Listening carefully and critically thinking about what you are being told can prevent a considerable amount of confusion and ensure that the negotiations run smoothly.

Be prepared

If you’re buying, what exactly does the property have that could take away from its value? What is community like? What is the average selling price in the neighborhood? If you’re selling, know your property extremely well; you cannot allow yourself to be taken aback by what a prospective buyer might say.

Aim high

If you’re selling, try marking the price of your home about 5% above what you would actually want. This will leave you some negotiating space to come down. If you’re a buyer, offer a price that is lower than what you normally would; enter negotiations with the optimistic attitude that the seller will come down.

Just a little patience

Relax. This could take a while.

Be diplomatic

Because negotiations may be a long and tedious process, it can be very easy to get irritated. Getting frustrated with negotiations that seem to be going nowhere will only perpetuate any difficulties you may be having, and may even result in an end to all talks. Keep your cool.

Be aggressive

While you don’t want to be hostile, you do want to be assertive and dominate negotiations. When negotiating with the prospective buyer or seller’s agent, be sure to try to take control of the negotiations. Talk with a strong and confident voice, and be sure to have responses for any potential arguments that may be thrown your way.

Don’t get nothing for something.

Whenever you agree to give something, be sure to get something in exchange. For example, if you are the seller and you agree to lower the price, you may want to hold back on any additional goods that you may have initially been willing to give away (like furniture).

Always give the appearance of being willing to walk away

Even if you are in love with the property as a buyer or are dying to sell as the owner, never reveal your desperation. Always give the impression that you will be willing to walk away.

Time is on your side

It’s most likely that you and the other party are eager and pressured to resolve the transaction. Acting calm and under control, in addition to taking time to think rationally, will help you in the long run. In short, just think before you speak.

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