Leading Edge Real Estate

Jay Bradley, REALTOR

Leading Edge Real Estate, 319 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474

617.799.6142 jayfbradley@gmail.com

Have the banks tapped out their new mortgage prospects?


Student Loans Killing Home Sales

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 3, 2014 08:59 AM

OK, it doesn't take an Einstein to put these two trends together.

Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies just came out with its annual tome on the housing market.

Among the many scintillating stats packed into the 44-page report is this rather revealing number: The homeownership rate for those in their 20s and early 30s plunged 8 percent over the past decade.

Meanwhile, in a separate section, the Harvard report notes that student debt levels have gone through the roof.

In fact, number of young adults stuck paying off $50,000 or more in student loans has tripled over the past decade, the Harvard study finds.

Here's more from the Harvard report:

Between 2001 and 2010, the share of households aged 25-34 with student loan debt soared from 26 percent to 39 percent, with the median amount rising from $10,000 to 
$15,000 in real terms. Within this group, the share with at least $50,000 in student debt more than tripled from 5 percent to 16 percent. For these borrowers, the need to pay off these outsized loans will likely delay any move to homeownership.

Of course, the reason student debt is going up isn't so hard to figure up, though I couldn't find the word "tuition" in the Harvard report.

In fact, college tuition is the only thing going up as fast as housing prices.

The net cost of college jumped 10.5 percent to nearly $30,000 a year since the Great Recession, the Globe reports. That's the amount most families pay after aid and grants are factored in.

And of course, home prices and college tuition are soaring even as wages stumble along in neutral.

Completely unsustainable, yet the costs keep piling up.

Is there a bubble forming? Here is an interesting blog post...


Bubble Fears Escalate

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 10, 2014 10:50 AM

Bankers aren't exactly known for their bold predictions. Simply put, they are more likely to be behind the curve in their predictions, not ahead of it.

So when a bunch of bankers say they are worried about a real estate bubble forming, well then it could be a sign that we are already in some deep doo-doo.

A majority of mortgage executives surveyed by FICO - 56 percent - are convinced the real estate recovery has gone off the rails as home and condo prices soar.

In particular, the lenders expressed concern that "an unsustainable real estate bubble is forming," according to a press release by the Professional Risk Managers' Association, which conducted the survey for the credit score agency.

Meanwhile, the effects of the last bubble are still with us. As many as six million homeowners across the country are still underwater on their mortgages, with average negative equity of 33 percent, the risk managers note.

Yet for many other homeowners, it's a different story, with their real estate values soaring back to levels not seen since the Great Recession changed everything, or at least seemed to at the time.

"With home prices soaring in many cities, total homeowner equity in the U.S. is at its highest level since late 2007," said Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO, in a press statement.

"That doesn't feel like a healthy, sustainable growth situation. No wonder many lenders in both Canada and the U.S. are concerned about the risk in residential mortgages," he stated.

Of course, it's not just home prices that are seeing a huge run-up. Land, office towers, shares of U.S. companies, you name it, are seeing their prices soar into bubble territory, the Times notes in this piece on the "everything bubble."

Bubble reality or bubble baloney? What's your take?

Regional news

Around the Region: July 1, 2014

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Real Estate Alert reports the parent of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is in negotiations to buy Apartment Realty Advisors, a move that could unite two Portland offices.

StaffBoston Business Journal

A summary of recent transactions and personnel news within Greater Boston’s real estate community.

  • Foreclosure activity in Massachusetts increased in May, according to a new analysis by The Warren Group. The local research firm said foreclosure petitions increased by 131 percent to 573 total filings for the month, versus 248 petitions in May 2013. Through May 31, year-to-date filings were up 4.8 percent. Foreclosure petitions are the first step in the formal foreclosure process.
  • Millennium Partners announced Monday that the Wellesley-based Roche Brothers grocery chain has started construction on a 25,000-square-foot market at the Millennium Tower/Burnham Building in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. The new store is scheduled to open in early 2015.
  • Six employees of Peabody Properties Inc., a Braintree-based real estate firm, recently received Accredited Residential Manager certifications from the Institute of Real Estate Management. The group was organized to advocate practices that encourage ethical business practices and the promotion of superior management through education and information sharing. The certificates were awarded to Jessenia Castro, a senior property manager, as well as property managers Renee Hibbard,Karen MarenoChristine Murphy andDebra Ann Thompson. The sixth recipient, Phil Verzani, is a multisite property manager.
  • Senate Construction Corp., a Shirley-based commercial construction company, has won a National AGC Safety Award provided by the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts. The award was announced June 19 during an AGC breakfast event at the Boston College Club.
  • Brian Clark was recently appointed general manager of Boston’s Millennium Place, a 15-story luxury residential building developed by Millennium Partners. Clark was previously the director of residences at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Towers, Boston Common, which was Millennium Partners’ first Boston project. He brings nearly two decades of hospitality experience to his new role.

20 things real estate has taught me

20 things real estate has taught me — and some of it you ain’t gonna believe

I'm really looking forward to my next showing -- honest!

This post by Jeanne Gregory 
was originally published on ActiveRain. Jeanne is a Realtor with Re/Max Southwest in Sugar Land, Texas.

So, in working on a presentation that I have to give next week, I wondered if a little humor might keep the audience’s attention, especially since said presentation takes place at 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning. So, digging into my bag of “you ain’t gonna believe this one” stories, I found that real estate has been a very, very educational profession. I’ve learned a LOT. So, I thought I would share 20 of the best here.

1. I learned that it is possible for a man to cancel his sale the day before closing, citing the reason for the cancellation is that he is leaving his 8 1/2-month-pregnant wife to go live with his girlfriend. And could he get his earnest money back.

Duct tape

Duct tape image via Shutterstock


3. If a house is empty, except for one Oriental rug, you can bet that rug hides an ugly stain.

4. Some people drink to excess at 10 a.m. and sit naked in their living room while you show their house.

5. The sink will spring a leak one hour before closing.

6. The painter will flush the toilet as he leaves the vacant house on Friday afternoon. The neighbor will see water rushing from the house Sunday after church.

Bad Credit

Broken heart image via Shutterstock


8. Not everyone should buy a house.

9. If people say they will “get back to you,” you will never see them again.

10. Some people cannot make a decision.

11. Some people have no problem telling you way more about themselves, even if you don’t ask.

12. Handcuffs on the bedpost are not a selling point. Neither are blow-up dolls in the closet or sex toys on the dresser. File this under too much information.

13. Alligators sunning themselves in the backyard are not appealing to the couple carrying two small children. Don’t try to talk it up, Mrs. Seller.

Sprinkler systems

Sprinkler image via Shutterstock


15. HGTV is fantasy. No one just looks at three houses.

16. There are real hoarders. It’s not just a show.


Chihuahua image via Shutterstock


18. A lot of people in this business don’t know what they are doing and don’t care that they don’t know.

19. Real estate is easy to get in to, but being successful at it takes a LOT of work.

20. This wonderful business will get in your blood. It’s difficult. It’s challenging. It’s maddening. But it’s a heck of a good way to make a living.

Harvard study says Millennials key to stronger housing recovery

Harvard study says Millennials key to stronger housing recovery


A new Harvard survey says tight credit, high unemployment, and mounting student loan debt among young Americans are moderating growth and keeping Millennials and other first-time homebuyers out of the market.

The nation's housing recovery should regain its footing, but also faces a number of challenges, according to a new survey by the Joint Center for Housing Studies atHarvard University.

The State of the Nation’s Housing report released today says tight credit, high unemployment and mounting student loan debt among young Americans are moderating growth and keeping Millennials and other first-time homebuyers out of the market.

Chris Herbert, research director at the Joint Center, said the housing recovery is following the path of the broader economy and as long as the economy remains on the path of slow, but steady improvement, housing should follow suit.

While the housing industry saw notable increases in construction, home prices, and sales last year, household growth has yet to fully recover from the effects of the recession, the report said. Young Americans, saddled with student loan debt and falling incomes, continue to live with their parents, researchers found. About 2.1 million more adult children in their 20s lived with their parents last year, and student loan balances increased by $114 billion, the survey said.

Still, given the sheer volume of young adults coming of age, the number of households in their 30s should increase by 2.7 million over the next decade, which should boost demand for new housing, according to the report.

Daniel McCue, research manager of the Joint Center, said the large Millennial generation will make their presence felt in the owner-occupied market just as they already have in the apartment market, where demand is strong, rents are rising, construction is robust, and property values increased by double digits for the fourth consecutive year in 2013.

One key to realizing the Millennials’ potential in the housing market, the survey said, is for the economy to grow to the point where their incomes start to rise. Also, the report noted that by 2025, minorities will comprise 36 percent of all U.S. households and 46 percent of those aged 25–34, accounting for nearly half of the typical first-time homebuyer market. The report also highlights the ongoing affordability challenge facing the country, as cost burdens remain near record levels and over 35 percent of Americans spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

The situation is particularly grim for renters, where 50 percent are cost-burdened and 28 percent are severely cost-burdened — meaning they spend more than half of their income for housing, researchers found.

Triple Decker in South Boston expected all time high price...

Bid for South Boston triple decker expected to set new pricing record0617 27 O Street


This three-family at 27 O St. is expected to break the record for the highest price ever paid for a triple decker in South Boston.


South Boston’s white-hot residential real estate market is about to get hotter.

A multifamily property a few blocks from the beach is on track to set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a South Boston triple decker.

The three-family home at 27 O St. in the City Point neighborhood was listed for $1.5 million on Thursday, June 12, and went under agreement the next day.

Ryan Foley, the listing broker at Greater Metropolitan Real Estate in the North End, won’t say how much the buyer has offered, but insists it will be higher than the $1.2 million that set the last record-high price for a three-family in Southie. That property, located at 557 East Fourth St., sold in October 2005, according to the MLS Property Information Network.

“This will be the new base line of what South Boston’s three families are worth,” Foley said. “Younger professional are flocking to the area making multis more valuable. This is certainly what a renovated three-family on the east side of Southie is worth today.”

One reason why multifamily prices are rising is that rents are up in South Boston. The average cost of an apartment in South Boston in the first quarter was $3,064, according to the CoStar Group. That's up from $2,841 for the same period in 2012, a nearly 8 percent increase.

The buyer is an investor who Foley declined to name. The property, which is assessed at $551,800, was last sold in 2013 for $900,000 to Torrington One LLC, an affiliate of Torrington Properties Inc., a Boston firm managed by Joseph Bisognano, according to public records. The 3,052-square-foot dwelling offers two bedrooms on the first floor and three bedroom units on the second and third floors. The house generates a total of $9,200 in monthly rent, according to Foley.

Prices of multifamily homes in South Boston also are on the rise. From January through May, the median price of a mutlifamily dwelling in Southie soared to $925,000, up from $625,000 for the same period a year ago ­ — a 48 percent increase, according to the MLS. The number of multifamily homes sold through the first five months of this year was 11 compared to 15 that were sold during the same period in 2013.

While prices are rising, the average number of days on market is shrinking. For the first five months of this year, it took an average of 30 days to sell a multifamily home in South Boston. A year ago, it took an average of 69 days to close the deal.

Keep your cool...

Don’t Get Too Emotional When Buying a Home



Keep Emotions in Check Purchasing Real Estate

Don't Get Emotional When Buying a HomeGetting too emotional when buying a home can cost you big time! The last thing you want to do is create a lot of extra stress for yourself when buying in home. In order to make your purchase go smoothly we have consulted with Lolly Spindler of HouseHunt Inc who has come by to offer some excellent first time home buying tips. It is easy to make home buying mistakes especially when you have never done it before!

Whether buying or selling a home, emotions are always involved in the real estate process. So how do you keep your emotions from hindering your judgment when buying a home? It can be tricky, as optimism and excitement are prone to be high. However, it’s important to keep a clear and level head when it comes to making one of the biggest purchases of your life.

Tip #1: Don’t Pick a Realtor Because She/He is “Nice”

Picking a Realtor is an incredibly important part of the home buying process, so make sure you choose wisely. Don’t base your decision solely on the fact that you get along with the agent. Make sure you interview at least three agents, ensuring they have a plan in place and enough time to take you on as a client.

Tip #2: Focus on Your Bottom Line

At times there’s nothing that can keep us more grounded and realistic than the number on our bank statements. Money comes most into play during two parts of the buying process: looking at homes and writing an offer on a home, which leads us to tips three and four.

Tip #3: Don’t Look at Homes Outside of Your Price Range

Stick to the amount of money you’ve been pre-approved for, and don’t look at homes that are priced higher than what you can afford to pay. The worst thing you can do is fall in love with a home that’s too expensive just to have your heart broken once reality sets in.

Tip #4: Remember the Seller is Emotional Too

When writing an offer on a home, consider what you can afford and the fair market value of the house. Understand that the seller may have priced the home high emotionally, so if your offer is below asking price, be prepared to justify it so as not to offend him/her.

Tip #5: Prioritize What You Need, Not What You Want

Many people fantasize about their dream homes, but when it comes down to it, it’s much more important to have what you need than what you want. Once you’ve decided on a few neighborhoods and the time has come to zone in on a house, it’s important to land on a specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a minimum amount of square feet. Use this checklist to prioritize what you need, would like to have, and don’t need.

Tip #6: Don’t Get Attached

Buying a home can be stressful, and you may feel all of that stress wash away once you find a home that fits your needs. However, don’t get attached. This is one of the worst things you can do during the home buying process, as many things can happen and come between you and the house you have your heart set on. Only let yourself get your hopes up once you’re closer to closing.

Tip #7: Remember You Can Always Make Changes

This may sound funny, but you may be better off deciding on a home that you aren’t 100% happy with. This is because, as most buyers tend to forget during the house hunting process, you can always make changes to the house. By looking at homes that cost less than what you’ve been approved for, you may be able to find a home that fits your needs, invest a little money into remodeling, and transform it into your dream home.

Tip #8: Keep a Cool Head When Bidding

Bidding situations can be incredibly stressful and make it hard not to get emotional. In order to help avoid them, ask your Realtor to include an escalation clause in the purchase contract. This will allow for incremental increases in the offer price based on competing offers up to a certain price point you determine. If a bidding war does come to pass, maintain your calm by being prepared: have all of your financing and documents in order and make an earnest money deposit.

Tip #9: Trust Your Realtor

Your real estate agent is there to help you remain level-headed and not overly emotional during this process. Trust them to guide you, as they have a lot of real estate experience; after all, they do this for a living. Listen to the advice they give and try to put their knowledge of the process before your emotional reactions to it.

Be prepared to experience a lot of emotional ups and downs during the buying process, but don’t let these emotions cloud your judgment. The worst thing you can do is make a rash decision that ends up costing you the home of your dreams.

By following these tips you’ll be better equipped to approach the home buying process in a rational, calculated manner. Remember, this will most likely be the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime. Do you really want it to be hindered by a few fleeting emotions? Use this advice and you will more than likely be smiling in your new home without all the emotional heartache of being involved in a real estate transaction!


- See more at: http://massrealestatenews.com/dont-get-too-emotional-when-buying-a-home/#sthash.p3nH6tbE.dpuf

Regional update

Around the Region: June 9, 2014



A summary of recent transactions and personnel news within Greater Boston’s real estate community.

  • A joint venture of Leggat McCall Properties and Dead River Propertieshave sold the Ames Pond Corporate Center in Tewksbury to Boston-based investor Tritower Financial Group for $15 million. The Class A office park contains two fully leased buildings totaling 154,000 square feet of space. Cassidy Turley represented the sellers in the transaction.
  • Jeffrey Nicholas has joined Tocci Building Cos. as director of health care. In this position, Nicholas will focus on growing the company's health care practice. His initial work will be to direct the program management efforts atBoston Medical Center, a $270 million construction and renovation project that will consolidate the hospital’s two South End campuses. Nicholas’ experience spans over 30 years at companies including Heery International, Broaddus & Associates, Cogdell Spencer Erdman, and Skanska USA Building.
  • Northtimber Cabinetry has leased 32,000 square feet of warehouse space 10 Panas Road in Foxborough. Godino & Co. represented the tenant while the landlord, Hercules Realty Trust, was represented by NAI Hunneman. The 70,000 square-foot warehouse building is now 100 percent leased.
  • Steve Wendel has joined CBRE Capital Markets’ Multifamily division as FHA Lending Head of Production. Wendel will assist in expanding the company’s FHA lending portfolio for multifamily and seniors housing loans. Wendel joins CBRE Capital Markets from Berkeley Point Capital, where he was executive managing director. He previously served as managing director at Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage.
  • Gov. Deval Patrick has broken ground on the $4.4 million reconstruction of Tyringham Road in Lee. The project will rebuild two miles of Tyringham Road from the town line to Route 102 and could unleash economic opportunities for the region. The work includes widening the road and adding new retaining walls, guardrails and traffic controls along with drainage improvements. Work is expected to be completed in 2016.

Be pro-active

Your Home Is an Investment – So Treat It Like One

by BILL GASSETT on MAY 28, 2014 


 This article comes all the way from Vegas. Debbie Drummond has been a full time Realtor in Las Vegas since 2003.  She specializes in the luxury home and high rise market.  Debbie’s website is The Las Vegas Luxury Home Pro where she shares all her top real estate tips! Debbie is here to explain why your home is an investment and you should treat it like one!

For most families, their single largest investment is the home they live in.  While many of us take this investment seriously when making our buying decision, it’s easy to take it for granted once we have moved in.

If you have a family member or spouse who is putting on a bit of weight, you may not notice when you see them every day.  The same is true of your home.  You may not notice the paint is getting a little dull or chipped.  It’s easy to overlook the exterior of our homes if we pull into our garage and don’t spend a lot of time outside.

Routine Maintenance Will Save Money in the Long Run

Years of neglecting home maintenance can be costly.  It will damage the resale value and can lead to expensive repairs later.  In “Smart maintenance Tips for Homeowners”, the article provides an essential checklist that works well for all climates.  In our Las Vegas climate, having your HVAC serviced before the Summer heat and again before the Winter is a good idea.

In “Home Maintenance 101”  Admiral Cove Homes also suggests having the roof inspected and refinishing the patio and decks.   This will extend the life of your decks. One of the most common issues we find during a home inspection are filters needing to be changed.  Deteriorating caulk around plumbing fixtures is another common issue.  Changing the filters will save money on your energy bills.  Having the caulk repaired will help prevent mold. Visible items like caulk that is crumbling will make potential buyers wonder what else has been neglected.

Making sure you take care of the little things before selling your home can go a long way in keeping the buyer from trying to negotiate the offer on your home downward. Buyer’s today like turn-key properties.

Has Your Home Kept Up With The Times?

On top of routine maintenance tasks, we need to invest in keeping our home updated.  One of the biggest turn offs buyers have is going into a home and seeing out-dated kitchens and bathrooms.

Buyers see shiny gold faucets and trim in the bathroom and comment “that’s so eighties”.  Then they calculate how much it will cost to switch them to chrome or brushed nickel.  Recent trends have brass making a comeback.  However, it’s “brushed” brass rather than the shiny gold throwback of the disco age.

Light fixtures are another item that is easy to update and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  It’s OK to have an occasional light fixture that was handed down from Grandma (that you’ll be taking with you when you move).  You don’t want outdated fixtures and sconces in every room of the house.

Replace items like Corian or white tile kitchen counter tops with granite or Caesar stone.  It may seem extravagant but it can help your home sell.  We recently worked with sellers who had updated their kitchen counter tops.  They knew the kitchen was dated and wanted to prepare it to sell.   They were surprised that it didn’t actually cost that much.  She wondered why they hadn’t updated it earlier so they could enjoy it.   Instead, they put them in for the new owners to enjoy.

Bathroom fixtures are another turn off.  If you have one of the old fashioned bath tubs from the eighties (think pinkish/mauve color), you might want to change it.  Aside from being dated, potential buyers will know it’s old and wonder about how clean it can be.

As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to budget for a home improvement project each year.  On a newer home you won’t have to do this.  On an older home you should be prepared.  One year, it may be replacing the HVAC system.  The next, maybe it’s time to re-do the kitchen or the bathrooms.

Flooring is another worthwhile home improvement project.  Today’s carpets come with warranties of 5, 7 or 10 years.  If you have an active family or pets, the life of the carpet may be shortened.  We are seeing a trend towards hard surface floors.  Ceramic or Travertine tile, wood or engineered wood with carpet saved for the bedrooms if used at all.  You can improve your home’s resale value while “Making Your Home Look Larger” as Debbie Gartner explains.

What’s your home’s value?

Anyone who invests in stocks keeps an eye on the market.  Why should your home’s value be any different?  There are websites that will give you a “estimate” of your home’s value.  Most of these online tools have not proven to be accurate. Stay in contact with your Realtor who should know the accurate value with just a little bit of homework.

Most of us do a monthly newsletter that reports market trends.  Let your agent know that you would like to receive updates for your specific subdivision or neighborhood. Maybe they can send you a report every six months or year about recent sales of homes comparable to yours.
This will be valuable information to share with your insurance agent.

Your home is an investment that should be protected.  If home values have gone up, you might need to increase your coverage.  If values have gone down, you might save money on your insurance premiums.

Be Pro-Active

You should become involved in your community.  Is there a graffiti hotline to call when you see a property that’s been tagged?  Is there a proposed zoning change that might affect your home’s value?  The more you stay informed the better you can make decisions about when you should sell your home and when you should hold onto it. Keep in mind your neighborhood will play a large role in the overall value of your home.

The tender loving care you give your home is likely to make a difference when you do cash in on it.  With so much of your net worth tied up in your home, it only makes sense to protect and maintain your investment

- See more at: http://massrealestatenews.com/your-home-is-an-investment-so-treat-it-like-one/#sthash.LM9uQB8V.dpuf

Why Have a Buyers Agent in Real Estate?

Why Have a Buyers Agent in Real Estate

by BILL GASSETT on JUNE 13, 2014 


Having a Buyers Agent

Why have a buyers agentFirst things first. My name is Mark Brian and I am a REALTOR in Anderson South Carolina. Bill invited me to write a post that buyers would find informative or helpful. I was surprised that one of the most influential Realtors on the web would reach out to me.

So a BIG thank you goes to Bill!

I decided to write about why you need a buyers agent when buying a home.

Before you start thinking I am saying this for my benefit, I must tell you that I ONLY work as a listing agent. I have buyers agents in my office that work with buyers and I refer all buyers to them. The buyers agents in my office are REALLY good at what they do, so it just makes more sense for me to concentrate on what I do best.

Which is represent sellers and work to get them the best possible price and terms in the shortest amount of time. So how and why do you go about choosing a buyers agent?

The First Rumor to Dispel

There is a nasty rumor that buyers should go to the listing agent if they want to get a better deal. This is NOT true!
I don’t know why this myth still exists or how it got started.

Just hear me out on WHY it is NOT a good idea for Buyers to go to the listing agent thinking they will get a better deal:

  • The listing agent works for the seller to get the seller the best price and terms.
  • The buyers agent works for the buyer to get the buyer the best price and terms.

Do you see the difference?

If you are buying a home, you need a Buyers Agent to represent you!

Sure, the listing agent may be friendly, helpful, etc etc…

But make no mistake.

The listing agent is working for the seller.

I STRONGLY recommend ALL home buyers work with an experienced buyers agent.

Remember, I said I do NOT normally represent or work with buyers.

I only represent sellers as a listing agent and I am telling you:

Buyers always NEED a Buyers Agent!

Many buyers agents close more real estate transactions in one year than most people will in a life time. There is something to be said for the experience and knowledge that a buyers agent brings to the table.

My suggestion is to ask friends, family and coworkers for their suggestions. Interview several buyers agents and do not go with the first one. Do NOT select a buyers agent because they are your friend, family member or you went to school with them.

Find a buyers agent that you feel comfortable with and has the experience and knowledge you need.

A good buyers agent does much more than open doors or find you homes to look at. It is the stuff that comes AFTER you find the home of your dreams that makes the REAL value of a buyers agent crystal clear.

For example…

Making an Offer to Buy a Home

If you have found a home that fits your budget, in the right location and has what you need, then do not hesitate to make an offer. Because if you like this home, odds are there is another buyer right now looking for the same thing.

When you are working with a buyers agent, you can feel confident in making an offer. Remember the buyers agent is representing you and working to get you the best home at the best price and terms for you! But how much should you offer?

A Buyers Agent Will Help You Understand:

  • How long has the home been on the market
  • What’s the current market like?
  • Are home prices going up or down?
  • Are there any other offers on the property?
  • If there are other offers, how can you make your offer more attractive?
  • What does the comparable market analysis say?

Comps is short for comparable sales. Comparable sales are recently sold homes that are very similar to the home you are considering. You may also want to look again at the active listings to compare their prices to the home you are considering.

Too Little

If you make an offer that is too low, you run the risk of making the seller mad. This will only make negotiating much harder. Some sellers will not even counter an offer if it is too low.

With this in mind, your buyers agent will help you decide on a price that is realistic. Your offer should be based on what recently sold comparable homes have sold for.

Too Much

Without a buyers agent, it is also possible that you will offer too much for a property. An experienced buyers agent will know the local real estate market like the back of their hand. They can prevent you from paying too much!

Almost Right

Maybe your initial offer is close but not exactly what the seller was wanting. If the seller counters your offer, you and your buyers agent will need to negotiate the counter offer. Once again, the value of a buyers agent will become crystal clear.

But Wait There Is More…

Price is only part of your offer. You cannot forget the terms of the offer. You cannot overlook the contingencies. Exactly how this works varies from state to state and from one transaction to the next. Again, an experienced buyers agent is worth their weight in gold when it comes time to make an offer.

Your buyers agent will know how to write up the offer to include contingencies for inspections, the appraisal and financing and anything else that will protect you and help to ensure you are getting a good price and a fair deal.

In fact one of the biggest hurdles in a real estate transaction is the home home inspection. An outstanding buyer’ agent will help you negotiate any problems discovered at the inspection. Sometimes home inspection discussions can become contentious especially when the buyer and seller don’t see eye to eye on what should be fixed and what is a petty request. A good Realtor in your corner will help you sift through what requests are reasonable or not.

The Commission Is Not Reduced

No Commission SavingsSome buyers think that if they give up their right to have an experienced and knowledgeable REALTOR in their corner, that the commission will be reduced.

Actually, this is NOT true in most cases. I do not know where or why this idea came about.

The commission is set when the seller signs the listing contract. The listing company then agrees to split that commission with another broker if they bring the buyer.

Normally there is no mention of the commission being reduced if a Buyer wants to buy a home without professional representation.

Information Versus Knowledge and Experience

The changes that technology and the internet have brought to real estate have been substantial. Many thought that the same thing that happened to travel agents would happen to real estate agents. There have been many attempts to accomplish this but technology cannot match the consumer’s need for the knowledge and experience of REALTORS.

Many buyers think that since they can find listings online without an agent, they do not need a buyers agent. Adding to this problem are the websites that produce home values which cause buyers to believe they do not need a buyers agent.

Some real estate websites have another problem with accuracy:

Listings That Are NOT For Sale


Home Values That are WRONG

These websites are NOT licensed real estate professionals. This means they are not accountable and can pretty much do whatever they want. Which means buyers find homes on these websites that are NOT for sale or sold many months ago.

There is no doubt that buyers can find a plethora of real estate information online. And buyers can browse thousands of listings from the comfort of their couch.

The problem is some of the information you find online is not true. Especially home values. If a website has home values that are off by 5%, that doesn’t sound too bad until you do the math.

A 5% error on the price of a $300,000 home is a $15,000 difference.

Not sure about you, but I wouldn’t mind an extra $15,000 in my pocket…

A BIGGER problem for buyers is all the information in the world means nothing if you do not have the knowledge and experience to use this information correctly. You have to know what information is true, what is helpful or accurate and what to toss out.

An experienced buyers agent will know the local real estate market like the back of their hands. One of a top agents greatest assets is being able to determine the market value of a home for you. An experienced buyers agent will have seen almost every situation imaginable. A Buyers Agent knows how to write contracts to protect the buyer. A buyers agent is an expert in negotiations.

Can you honestly say this about yourself?

So while buyers can find plenty of information online, it is NOT a substitute for the knowledge and experience of what a great agent can do for you!

The Buyer’s Agent Summary:

When you are buying a home, you are dealing with what is probably the largest financial decision of your life.

  • You need someone on your side that knows what they are doing.
  • That person is called a buyers agent.
  • Not having a buyers agent does not get a home buyer a better deal.
  • Not having a buyers agent does not mean the commission is reduced.
  • Do not select a buyers agent because they are your friend, family member or someone you went to school with.

Interview several real estate agents and find someone you are comfortable with and has in depth knowledge in the area you are interested in buying a home. They should have experience dealing with the type of home you are interested in buying also. A good real estate agent will point out mistakes you could be making and not bat an eyelash in doing so. After all the best buyer’s agents are thinking about their fiduciary responsibility to you and not when they will be cashing their commission check!

There is a difference between information and having knowledge and experience when it comes to real estate. If a listing agent is telling you to get a buyers agent to help you to buy a home, isn’t this something you should consider?

Hopefully you have figured out that it really makes sense to have a buyers agent when purchasing real estate!

- See more at: http://massrealestatenews.com/why-have-a-buyers-agent-in-real-estate/#sthash.KsYUrPtr.dpuf