Monthly Archives: January 2014

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.

Okay, So What’s a Condo?

Okay, So What’s a Condo?

Often mistakenly referred to as a type of construction or development, it actually refers to the type of ownership.

A condo (condominium) is a type of ownership in real property where all of the owners own the property, common areas and buildings together, with the exception of the interior of the unit to which they have title.  Said another way, when you buy a condo you have exclusive ownership rights to the interior space of your particular dwelling unit but you share the ownership of the common areas (walls, grounds, fences, facilities) with the other owners in the complex. 

What is the appeal of a condo?

Condos offer you an alternative lifestyle for many individuals especially those who prefer to be independent and have their own place to call home that is affordable and at the same time more convenient that buying a conventional home.

What kind of condos are there?

There are many types of condominiums available out there. Each type can satisfy the different needs of different individuals. The building shape could be a high-rise, a mid-rise, a townhouse, a garden up or down, or a villa, either attached or detached from other units. There is what is known as a condominium apartment and there are those also known as condominium townhouses which might have slight differences with each other save for their structure type and ownership regulations.

What’s the main difference between a condo and a single family home?

Condo living is much different from owning or renting a single dwelling home or apartment. This is because of the dual nature that comes with every condo unit ownership. Condominium owners hold ownership over their respective units but each one sharing responsibility over the operating costs and maintenance of the shared elements in the property such as lobbies, passageways, elevators etc. that are essential parts of a condominium complex. By choosing to live in a condominium, you are choosing to live within a community of other condo unit owners who become your instant neighbors. Each condominium complex is a community in itself and each owner accepts and follows the standard rules and regulations unique to condo living.

What are the typical benefits of owning a condo?

1. A condo unit is less expensive than owning a single detached dwelling which may take you years to save for before owning it.

2. Amenities and shared facilities like the pool, clubhouse, and weight room are usually part of most condominium complexes.

3. You become part of a unique community where you are an integral part in the whole decision making process.

What are the typical drawbacks of owning a condo?

1. Depending on the condo complex, there might be some restrictions such as on owning pets, or having outdoor barbecues.

2. Owners are also required to follow some rules of conduct on common areas such as passageways and lobbies.

3. Owners might not be as “free” in their home because they also have to respect the rights of their neighbors living just on the other side of their walls.

What is the condo fee for?

Maintenance of the condo complex is shared by all the owners. When you buy into a condo or townhouse complex, you become a member of the homeowner’s association. As a member, you pay monthly dues to the association. Your dues will normally cover the management of the homeowner’s association, hazard insurance for the complex and a certain amount of routine maintenance. Precisely what is covered by the homeowner’s dues will vary from one complex to the next.

Is a co-op the same as a condo?

Co-ops are very common in New York city, not so much in the Boston area.  A Co-op is a actually a different type of ownership than a condo. When you buy a Co-op what you actually buy is a proportionate number of shares in the corporation that owns the building. The corporation in which you are a shareholder then issues you a proprietary lease entitling you to live in the unit you have purchased. Financing, the manner in which sales are recorded, rules and other details are also often different for  Co-ops than for condos.  The corporation also has the right to refuse to sell you shares based on any number of subjective criteria by the board of directors … that does not occur in condos.

 

How much is it worth?

How much is it worth?

In the real estate industry, the concept of value is vague.

The value of a house (or condo, or co-op, or townhouse) fluctuates often, based on many situations, such as an ever-changing market conditions, the condition of the home, and the costs associated with owning it.

For that reason, it’s difficult to answer the question, “How much is it worth?”

There is one certainty, however.

The answer to true value does not lie in how much the seller wants for his or her home (though that is what the seller and the listing broker want you to believe).

In fact, the listing price of a home sometimes has nothing to do with its market value.

Figuring out how much a home is actually worth is a tricky process. You’ll have to do your homework, pull out your calculator, and spend some time learning to recognize certain “value markers.” Once you’ve figured out what a property is worth relative to others that are similar in the area, you can begin to compare various homes.

Where a home is located (within a city, within a neighborhood, on a particular street, within a single building) is crucial to determining its value. When you begin to compare homes, it’s important to factor location into your house valuation formula.

First, think about where the house is located in relation to the entire neighborhood. Are shops and various services within walking distance? Is the house close to major forms of transportation and to the schools your children will be attending? Is it too close to any of these amenities? Many families want to be within a few blocks of the local public school, but they prefer not to have their backyards adjacent to the school playground.

Next, think about where the house is located on its block. Is it on a corner, or on the interior row? Is it next to a high-rise building or a three- or six-flat building? Are there many homes just like it on the block? Does the block have a nice residential feel or is it mixed residential/commercial?

With Townhouses, Condominiums or co-ops the location is critical

If you’re considering a townhouse, start by asking yourself about the townhouse’s location in relation to shopping and service retailers, such as a dry cleaner.

If the townhouse is located within a subdivision, compare its location with the premium location within that subdivision. For example, is it better to be located on the perimeter, or is an interior location better? Are end units more prized, or are middle units preferred? Are you close to the entrance of the subdivision, or do you have to drive several blocks to get there? Do you have to walk far to the garbage drop-off or mail pick-up spot?

The location questions for a townhouse apply for condominiums and coops as well. If your condo or co-op is located in a high-rise building you also need to consider where the unit is located in the building. If one side of the building has a fabulous view and another faces a windowless brick wall, you can bet that units with the full view will be more prized than units with a peek-around or no view.

Which is more important to you, the lower cost or the better view? If there are two views — say, a water view vs. an urban view, an east view (sunrise) vs. a west view (sunset), or a high-floor vs. a low-floor perspective –remember that a unit with the best view in a building will generally appreciate faster than a unit with only a so-so view, even if the so-so has more amenities.

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