About Mike Hunter

http://HhunterTheHouseHunter.com

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

Posts by Mike Hunter:

Closing Checklist … Items You’ll Need at Your Closing

Closing Checklist … Items You’ll Need at Your Closing

Okay, so now you’ve bought/sold a house and the closing is happening soon.

If it’s your first time or your first time in a long while here’s a quick primer.

If you bring the following, you should have everything you need.

  • New Deed drawn up by your attorney. (sellers)
  • Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide certificate of compliance (sellers)
  • Title V certificate of compliance (if serviced by private sewer) (sellers)
  • Final water/sewer bill, stamped paid in full (if municipal service not serviced by well) (sellers)
  • Keys and garage door openers ( leave duplicates in a drawer in the house) (sellers)
  • Copies of any paid bills or affidavits required for work done after home inspection issues were negotiated. (sellers)
  • Instruction booklets, receipts, builder drawings and anything else you have that the buyer could find very useful after moving in to your home (leave them in a drawer in the house). (sellers)
  • Copy of receipt or statement for fuel oil in the oil tank and/or propane in the propane tank (if applicable) (sellers)
  • Driver’s license or another form of personal identification. (sellers & buyers)
  • Your personal checkbook for miscellaneous items and/or adjustments. (sellers & buyers)
  • Certified check or cashier’s check drawn in Buyer’s name or whatever the conveying attorney specifies for the difference between the sale price of the property and the amount of the mortgage less any deposit already made. The final amount will be spelled-out in detail on the form known as the HUD1. (buyers)
  • At the closing, the bank may require 2-3 months tax payment (to be held in Escrow by the Bank); PMI when applicable will be collected for the first year. The exact amount can be obtained from the mortgaging bank prior to the closing; it will be spelled-out in detail on the  HUD1. (buyers)
  • Additional fees can be paid with cash or personal checks. The exact amount can be obtained from the bank’s attorney prior to or at the closing. (buyers)
  • Personal property of the sellers can be paid with cash or personal checks. (buyers)
  • Remaining fuel oil in the oil tank (if applicable) can be paid with cash or personal checks. (buyers)
  • Paid insurance policy or binder for the new property (whichever the conveying attorney specifies) in an amount equal to the amount of the mortgage. Ask your insurance agent for advice on this matter. (buyers)
Ramp Up Your Curb Appeal and Sell, Sell, Sell

Ramp Up Your Curb Appeal and Sell, Sell, Sell

When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. There’s an old saw in any business that says “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”, and in real estate it’s an absolute given.  Buyers can be turned-on and turned-off by the strangest things … more than half the houses I’ve sold are sold when the buyers get out of their cars. So stand across the street from your house and imagine yourself pulling-up and seeing the house for the very first time. What do you see?

Here are some easy things you can do to ramp-up your curb appeal.

Outside

* Sweep front walkway

* Remove newspapers, bikes and toys

* Park extra cars away from the property

* Trim back the shrubs

* Apply fresh, clean paint throughout

* Clean windows and window coverings throughout

* Keep pet areas clean

* Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order

* Maintain all sealant (window, tub, shower, sink, etc.) in good condition

* Make sure roof and gutters are in good condition

* Mow the lawn more frequently and plant flowers

Inside

* Clean until the Kitchen and bathrooms shine

* GIve a quick once-over with the vacuum, carpets look cleaner

* Place fresh flowers in the main room

* Put everyday dishes away and set a formal dining room display for decoration

* Make beds and put all clothes away

* Enhance the spaciousness of each room

* Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel

* Straighten closets

* Minimize live house plants … keep only the most beautiful/favorites

* Put away all silk flowers and fake plants

 * Put toys away

* Turn off television

* Play soft music on the radio/stereo

* Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free – place cat litter boxes in out-of-the-way places and refresh the litter often

* Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables

Important Reminders:

1. Potential buyers always feel more comfortable if the owners are not present.

2. If people knock on your door to see your property, refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment. Never let them in.

3. Leave a number where you can be reached with your agent if you are leaving town, even for a weekend. Keep your cell phone on and forward your house phone to it.

In closing, The Appearance of Overall Excellent Condition = Buyer Offers

Days on Market … Why do I Care?

Days on Market … Why do I Care?

Properties with great locations, perfect condition and priced at market value do not last on the market and thus their days on market are very short. You can use days on market (DOM)  statistics as a way of determining what the market (read that – buyers) think of any one of these three variables.  Typically, properties with a large DOM will command lower prices than a property with small DOM’s because buyers perceive the property as over priced or less desirable. DOM is often used when developing a pricing strategy. DOM can also be used as a “thermometer” to gauge the temperature of a housing market.That’s why you care about DOM.

Okay, so how is DOM figured?  In simple terms, DOM  is the number of days on the market that a property is “active” from the list date of the current listing. A home can be withdrawn from the market, a listing may expire or it may be taken “temporarily” off the market for completely valid reasons. The MLS stops counting days for any of the these reasons in addition to a property changing status to “under-agreement.” If a property then comes back on the market – BOM in MLS terms (a contract is voided for home inspection, financing, or some other reason) counting days resumes.

If a listing is taken off the market then comes back on the market more than 90 days later with a new MLS number  the DOM is reset to zero but the MLS continues counting days from the first (original) list date – called Property History. Agents used to cancel stale listings and put them on the next day with a different MLS number and buyers would think it was a “new” listing. But those days are over with the transparency of the internet … you can find out the true DOM easily.

In a buyer’s market, the DOM are generally higher because inventory takes longer to sell. In a seller’s market, the DOM are fewer.  In the current market conditions terrific homes in active price points are getting offers within 15 days.  Mediocre homes in those same price points are taking 30-180 days. And fixer-uppers/as-is/dated/bad location/overpriced homes in those same price points are taking much longer. There are currently 20 homes on the market in Metrowest that have DOM over a year, and one even has 1696 DOM (I hope that agent doesn’t need a paycheck).

Bottom line if you’re a seller, bringing a house to market it is vital that you bring it to market in the best condition possible, with good marketing and priced right. Anything less than that may put less money in your pocket.

Bottom line if you’re a buyer, pay attention to DOM and use it as a negotiating tool. Knowing it may put money in your pocket.

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