Category Archives: Buying a Home

Tips on Buying a Home

Over 55 Condos: What’s right for you. Open House This Fri. 9/3 & Sat 9/4 – 1-3 PM

You’re retired or planning to in the next few years. You have a nest egg tied up in the house you’ve built your life and family in, possibly more in various savings/investment vehicles. With the leash of an office either removed or soon to be, you’re free to move to consider a new lifestyle in a new environment, anything within your budget.

Frequently, as a recently retired person, living in the same home, in the same environment that you enjoyed when you were working, can be depressing when retired. Suddenly, the rush from the job you’ve always done well is gone. The needs of friendly co-workers or the business isn’t there. Eight or more hours of your typical day are suddenly gone. You live the same life you’ve always successfully lived, with a giant, unexpected hole in your schedule, potentially building into your self image too. Retirement is a wonderful liberating event, but it’s big scary change too. It’s said that starting fresh is a great way to begin the new and exciting living ahead. Fill the time with something challenging, fun and dynamic. Preferably something that places you in a community of people similar to ones you enjoyed while navigating the daily grind, doing an activity that requires you to use your life experiences. For instance, a skilled tradesman might volunteer at the local trade school as a mentor. An extroverted person might join an active philanthropic group like the Knights of Columbus. You get the idea.

Another consideration is your living environment. For some, the home you’ve owned most of your life is the one you plan to die in. End of Story. I’d be lying if I said I don’t have similar feelings. However, I’m still a little jealous of someone enjoying the fruits of a local over 55 community. These people have looked forward to a new adventure, finding a neighborhood where they’ll have more (or less) interaction with neighbors. One that has the conveniences they like and their needs more accessible. Living in Massachusetts, Having someone else shovel your driveway and walkway’s snow in the bitter, windy cold and mow lawns in stifling heat or climb the ladder to clean your gutters is a powerful motivator.

Still making the move is a big step. As such, you want to make sure that the place you move to will be the ideal location for your retirement. In order to accomplish this, there are several questions you need to ask yourself, such as:

What town seems best?
Ask yourself questions like:
a. Are there any children, grandchildren or friends I’d like or need to be close too?
b. Do I have any medical needs that can’t be met locally?
c Are there activities I like nearby(ie. fishing, hunting Cribbage clubs, bowling, college/university, etc.)?
d. Would you prefer wooded areas or a more urban setting?

Is an active retirement community right for me?
a. An active retirement community attempts to provide its resident’s with opportunities to interact with other adults and to participate in recreational activities.

Local services are offered? Are they included in the condo fees?
a. If you are interested an active lifestyle, you should watch for services such as community centers, putting greens, billiard halls, and walking trails.
b. If you have difficulty moving around, on the other hand, wheelchair accessibility, wide hallways, and doors may be of particular concern to you. One level living(Bedroom, Kitchen, Bath, Laundry, Living Room, etc on one level) might be a nice option too.

How safe will it be?
a. Research the safety of the actual community and of the city in which it is located. Before even considering moving into the location, look into the crime rates for the area.
b. Also, check on the proximity of hospitals and medical centers.
c. Ask around. Visit the area at different times of the day and talk to people. Police, local store clerks, perhaps people in the community your considering.

How friendly and involved is the neighborhood? The larger community?
a. Talk to association and community members in order to get an idea of how welcome you feel. Also, pay attention to how the people appear to interact with one another when you visit the community. That way, you can be certain this is the perfect place for you.

Remember, the last time your purchased property. What did you like about your past neighborhood(s)? What do you remember about indicators you liked for those aspects? Did the neighbors seem friendly when you came to showings?
Did people seem to be out socializing or was the scene very quiet, private, with most people indoors. Are you close to shopping, medical, recreation of choice? There’s a lot to consider. Make sure you’ll enjoy waking up and looking out your window every day.

Small towns are no longer lacking in stimulating activities, shopping, communication and entertainment. Expansion of the Internet, email, UPS, fax, cellphones, and more every day, have allowed sub-urbs and rural areas to successfully advertise the variety of options available. Small towns have less traffic, better shopping, nice restaurants and a variety of cultural activities. Plus quite a number of Active Adult Communities are following an exodus from city living to smaller towns in Massachusetts.

Small Towns excel at:
– reducing living costs
– Closer knit communities
– Less frantic qualify of life
– less traffic
– More opportunity to enjoy nature
– where every thing’s right in the neighborhood

Less smog, less congestion, fewer crimes, and the benefits go on and on.

The Village at Auburnville is a 55 or over community. All of these homes offer one level living on the first floor, featuring a master bedroom, 1 or 2 car attached garage, Kitchen, Laundry, Bath and entertainment sized dining and livingroom area. Upstairs offers a lofted family room and a guest bedroom and bath. All units have a full basement, central air and sliders to a deck. The community is designed to offer maintenance free living. The Village is located on a 45+ acre parcel that offers a clubhouse, with billiards and a putting green, and vast areas of open space with a walking trail. The 5000 sq ft clubhouse has opened and offers a state of the art fitness room, a billiard room with stone fireplace, a large Great room/TV room, a full kitchen, stamped concrete patio overlooking a putting green a condo association office and conference room.

Open Houses are held weekly, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 -3 PM. The Village at Auburnville is located in the beautiful town of Whitman. Whitman still maintains its character as small New England town with a quaint center of town and a beautiful 11 acre park in the nearby heart of town. Also nearby are golf courses, shopping and medical facilities.

Lew McConkey | Rosen Realty | (781) 252-9789
Route 14, Whitman, MA
The Village at Auburnville is a 55+ yrs community.
Stats reflect end unit. Open
House Fri. 09/03 & Sat 09/04 1-3PM
2BR/2+1BA Condo
offered at $369,900
Year Built Unspecified
Sq Footage 2,273
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 2 full, 1 partial
Floors 2
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size Unspecified
HOA/Maint $299 per month

DESCRIPTION

The Village at Auburnville is a community designed for adults who are 55 years of age or older. All of our homes offer convenient single floor living, with a first floor masterbedroom, 1 or 2 car attached garage, and entertainment sized dining and livingroom area. Upstairs offers a lofted family room and a guest bedroom and bath. All units have a full basement, central air and sliders to a deck. The community is designed to offer maintenance free living. Come see our furnished Model, clubhouse, putting green and walking trail at the Open House! This Fri. 09/03 & Sat 09/04 1-3PM. Call Lew at (781)252-9789 with questions. Take Rt 18 to Rt 14 East. The Village at Auburnville is about 1 ½ miles on your right. Alternate route is Rt 27 to Rt 14 West and the Village will be about 1 ½ miles on left. See you there.
see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – High/Vaulted ceiling
– Walk-in closet – Hardwood floor – Family room
– Bonus/Rec room – Office/Den – Dining room
– Dishwasher – Stove/Oven – Microwave
– Basement – Laundry area – inside – Balcony, Deck, or Patio

COMMUNITY FEATURES

– Garage parking – Clubhouse – Fitness center


ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


End Unit 1

Club House

Kitchen

Office

Loft

Master Bedroom
Contact info:
Lew McConkey
Rosen Realty
(781) 252-9789
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing

Posted: Sep 2, 2010, 8:24am PDT

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

Now, I know Ma. Real Estate Agency, so what now?

Basically, as a potential real estate client, you need to know who you’re real estate agent is, what duties they owe you and what duties they don’t owe you. An experienced real estate agent can fill a variety of roles: Buyer’s Agent, Seller’s Agent, Dual Agent and Facilitator/Transaction Broker. The duties of each are diverse and complex. Those duties detail the actions and activities of the agents. Essentially, what do you want or expect the agent representing you to do?

Because of the variety of roles we agents can play, the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespeople mandates that at the first face to face meeting between client and agent(Open Houses, Comparative Market Analysis(CMA) and Opinion of Value delivery have partial exemptions), the agent must fill out and explain a document to you, the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure.

This cool form basically tells you what the prospective agent in front of you sees his role in representing and advocating(or not) for you while you embark on one of the largest transactions of your life, buying or selling a home. Since the agent can fill so many possible roles, The various roles are explained on the back of the document.

This is a no pressure document. It’s not a contract. It’s just confirming who you’re talking to. You have the option of signing it or checking the “refused to sign” line. See No pressure.

Still you should read it and understand what it’s telling you. The various roles are described in past posts and they are critical as a basis of understanding what you want and need out of an agent. Most importantly, the document is the basis of a potentially blooming partnership.

The factors you need to consider in picking the right agent for you and your transaction are the proposed value of your home in the Comparative Market Analysis(CMA) he or she offers you. Beyond that you need to compare and contrast their commission percentage, their marketing plan, their understanding of the current market conditions and their personality. Lastly, How well did they prepare you for the next step? All these factors work into an informed decision.

Choose wisely. This person will be your partner in, what could be, the largest transaction of your life.

Have Fun!

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

The Facilitator/Transaction Broker

According to Massachusetts Real Estate Rules, an agent can also be a facilitator. Basically, This is a real estate agent’s playground. Many of the duties and the restrictions place on the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent and especially the dual agent don’t apply to the Facilitator, otherwise known as a transaction broker. They are essentially a fair and balanced free agent in the transaction, just helping everybody get along and move along.

The facilitator has to represent the property honestly by disclosing known material defects and they must account for funds exchanged in the transaction. BOOM! That’s it. A smart facilitator will assist in keeping the transaction progressing smoothly too.

An agent acting as a facilitator owes accurate accounting of funds and honest presentation of the property. Advocacy for client…Nope. Client confidentiality…Nope. Following lawful instructions…Nope. Undivided loyalty…Nope. Those qualities/obligations are so ingrained in a good real estate agent that it’s a struggle not to get involved.

Those clients with fear of commitment or contracts, might see this type of agent. A facilitator, the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent and the dual agent are all roles an active licensed real estate agent can fill, usually with a contract, detailing the commission, duration of the agreement, etc. It becomes a partnership for the stated duration of the contract, a solemn commitment. That commitment must go both ways between the client and the agent and between the agent and the client. If it doesn’t, facilitator is the perfect role for the agent to fill.

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

The Dual Agent

Acting as a dual agent, representing the buyer and the seller within the same transaction, is a tough one and requires a lot of thought and dialog, from both the agent and both the clients, before firing up this agreement.

The oracle of all things real estate: the Massachusetts Academy of Real Estate describes it this way: “A real estate agent may act as a dual agent representing both the buyer and the seller in a transaction but only with the express and informed consent(paperwork) of both the seller and buyer. Written consent to to dual agency must be obtained by a real estate agent prior to the execution of an offer to purchase a specific property. A dual agent shall be neutral with regard to any conflicting interest of the seller and/or the buyer. Consequently, a dual agent can not satisfy the duties of loyalty, full disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction which are required of an exclusive buyer or seller agent. The dual agent does, however, still owe the duty of confidentiality of material information and accountability of funds. The written consent for dual agency must contain the information provided for in the regulations of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespeople Board.” Whew!!!

Basically, a dual agent stays neutral to both clients. They’re still required to disclose known material defects in the property, still required to keep both side’s legally permissible secrets and manage the accounting of exchanged funds, just like a seller’s or a buyer’s agent. That’s it though. As a neutral party, they can’t gather and use information to affect the price or better the terms for either the buyer or the seller.

This is serious stuff. Notice the written consent mentions above? If the agent doesn’t have prior written consent from both the buyer and seller, they can be in oodles of trouble with the Real Estate Board or worse. It actually illegal to be an undisclosed dual agent in Massachusetts. This is a very delicate line to walk for a motivated, thoughtful agent, because our natural inclination is to assist fully, to get elbows deep in the transaction and make things happen. Now, the dual agent is elbows deep with all the usual activity swirling around and he’s essentially just helping the procedure move along.

The bottom line is it can be done, done well(to the satisfaction of both clients) and it provides some nice benefits to the property transaction. The agent can focus on the overall process, which can make things run more smoothly, having one point of contact for both clients. The cost of that smoothness is in representation and energetic, dedicated advocacy. Both client parties and the agent need to understand and abide by that. In certain circumstances, the cost is more than acceptable to the clients. In fact, it’s preferable in situations where the transaction is very straight forward or there’s a time crunch, like the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit deadline a few months ago.

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

The Buyer’s Agent

“A buyer can engage the services of a real estate agent to purchase property and the real estate agent is then the agent for the buyer, who becomes the agent’s client. This means that the real estate agent represents the buyer. The agent owes the buyer undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, Confidentiality, and accountability, provided however that the agent must disclose known material defects in the real estate. The agent must put the buyer’s interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client the buyer.” This is buyer’s agency according to the Massachusetts Academy of Real Estate.

Just like the seller’s agent, the buyer’s agent owes the buyer, their client, fiduciary responsibilities. That means the agent’s responsibilities are legally binding. When buying or selling homes in anywhere in Massachusetts, South Shore real estate agents owe their contracted clients the duty of undivided loyalty, reasonable care(I still won’t paint your house. , disclosure, obedience to lawful orders, confidentiality and accountability of funds are the standard.

Just the same as the seller’s agent, right? Not quite. Here’s the weird part. The buyer’s agent job is to decrease his own commission. Seriously, get the best deal…at the best value…for the client. The overriding concern of the agent must be the best interests of his client. No compromise, no retreat, no surrender. Since we’re all paid on commission, lower sales mean lower commission. Kinda weird, huh? Not so much as you think. More than most businesses, succesful real estate business rely on referrals. People always talk. If you do you’re job right, a successful house hunt can lead to a couple of active referrals, so you’re business feeds itself. People who buy talk more than people who sell, so personal monies lost by doing a specific job right can be recouped by volume of transactions.

A good buyer’s agent works like a detective. He thoroughly interviews his client to find out their hopes, dreams and expectations in a property. Then after a careful market research, compiles and maintains a list of properties for the client to view on a drive-by. Once the client, narrows the list a wee bit, The agent and client set up viewings. This is the fun part. Before viewing the house, the agent reviews public records, previous sales and gathers as much information as possible to prep questions for the sellers or their agent at the viewing. These questions all revolve around the properties suitability for the client and garnering better terms,conditions and/or price. I prefer accompanied viewings just for the purpose of airing some of these ideas and gathering more info. As the client views the house, the agent examines the house with a careful eye, gathering more info to build a better bargaining position.

OK, just to make this easier, we’ll skip the tennis match-like back and forth exchanges as the client reviews all the information gathered by the agent and decides which one of the properties fit them the best. The agent then explains offer strategy and if the client approves, writes up an offer. This is where the bargaining for the price, terms and conditions largely takes place. After this, it’s mostly paperwork and process.

Again, to save time, we’ll say the offer is accepted with minimal back and forth wrangling from both parties. Yeah! Now it’s time for the buyer to select a Home inspection team(Buyer’s Agent can’t help here. Conflict of interest. We can give you a list containing nearly every home inspector in Massachusetts, but that’s it.)and get them in the house within ten days. For that ten days, the buyer can cancel for any reason. The agent is back in the loop again if the inspection is OK or if it uncovers a deal-killing problem.

Ok, the inspection is golden and we’re moving forward. Now the agent will help the buyer prep for the closing, by making sure they hire a lawyer to represent their interests(THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THE BUYER DOES, except hire me.), and make some recommendations, like get the property surveyed and a plot plan made or get a title search done to intentify any possible problems with the property or claims against it or make sure the new mortgage is squared away. The buyer’s agent is also frequently on the phone with the seller’s agent to make sure they’re ready to go too.

So everything’s prepped, everything’s ready, the process is in the capable hands of the lawyers. Now the agent sits back and contemplates just where, when and how bad Mr. Murphy’s(of Murphy’s Law Fame) visit is going to be and just how to fix whatever he does. Mr. Murphy can poke his head in right up until the closing is completed, so the old saying, “You can never be surprised by something you’re waiting for.” is always the rule of the day. For the successful agent, that rule is immediately followed by an old Marine Corps adage: Improvise, Adapt & Overcome.

Have Fun!

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

The Home Seller’s Agent

Someone planning on selling a home has a couple of options.

The can hire a real estate agent to be their point man(or listing agent) in the process. Normally the agent is called by the seller to come to their home to do a comparative market analysis(CMA) of the home. This details the real estate agents opinion of the home’s value, compared with others in the market of similar value. It also explains the reasons the agent feels the value is right by comparing the other properties used to make the baseline. Lastly, it gives a rough projection of the proceeds for the home itself. Here’s where to be careful. It just includes the home sale itself, not any outstanding debt. This where people who are upside down(owe more than the home is worth) on their mortgages can get caught up. There are options available, like a short sale or adding improvements to increase the value. Talk to your prospective agents about the risks, as well as the benefits, of a particular approach. That’s a great way to get a feel for the agent and if he cares about you and your particular situation or does he just want the listing. When the CMA is delivered, this is the time the agent makes his pitch to become the seller’s agent, so be ready for the shmooz,(Hey, I do it too.) but ask questions too. This could be your partner in one of the biggest transactions of your life.

Normally, the seller interviews a few agents just like this. They compare the CMA’s(Which one values my home highest?). They compare the agency(Does it have a good record? Been around awhile? Any complaints? What’s the commission? Remember the strength of the agent’s affiliates comes with him into the agreement.) and lastly they compare the agents. (Do I like him? What’s he going to do to market my house? Does he have a plan?) Part of my CMA delivery is my marketing plan for the home in question. You, the seller, are shopping. If you don’t like the agent, don’t like the plan, disagree on the value…You have a lot to think about.

“The agent represents the seller and his property and owes the seller undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality, and accountability, provided that the agent must disclose known material defects in the real estate. The agent must put the seller’s interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for the client, the seller.” Straight from the Massachusetts Academy of Real Estate and quite a mouthful.

Aside from the legal and moral requirement to disclose all known material defects in a property, The agent you choose will OWE you his undivided loyalty and reasonable care. As your agent, he’s got to put his interest aside and focus on your situation and desires, within reasonable expectations. He’s not going to shingle your roof, but he’ll put some evenings aside to show the house, some weekend open houses etc. He’ll be a source of advice on how to stage your home for showing(That’s a lot of work; see past posting: Hardest Part of Staging a House 04/10/10) He’ll set up with you your requirements for showing the home. (Pre-qualified Buyer’s only, Specific Showing Times, etc). He’ll also guide you in what you can do and what you can’t, legally, in selling and advertising your home. There are tons and tons of laws regarding how you advertise, how you handle hazardous waste issues like lead paint, radon and asbestos, the condition of septic systems and so on. The penalties for violating any of the various Federal…State…County…and City/Town laws are pretty severe. His job is to guide you through those minefields. Did you know that through vicarious liability, You, the seller, can be held responsible for the actions of the agent. That’s enough to scare anybody, so pick carefully.

Also, he’s your screener and your “Special Agent”. I know what you’re thinking…Guys in black suits, sunglasses, driving Crown Vic’s, applying the third degree to innocent passerby on your behalf. Actually, That’s not far from the truth. Their your point person in finding the right buyer for you. You want him to screen out the tire-kicker’s that just want to see what the inside of your home looks like? Nobody gets in unless they have a pre-approval letter, unless they come to an open house. Done! All viewing’s require 24 hour notice! He’s your gatekeeper. You’re pet bear roams basement during the day. He’ll guide the buyers around. He’ll also be handling the earnest money a prospective buyer or his agent will have to fork over. That’s a headache and a half.

That brings up another good point. The buyer’s have agents too you know. Your agent will help prepare you for the questions they’ll be asking for their clients…and they’ll be asking plenty. They might try to browbeat you on the condition of the house, ask questions about why you’re selling and more. All in a softening up attempt to get you to eventually lower your price. Your agent can prepare you to defend yourself and can run interference during showings, if he’s there. You see, Your agent has to keep your secrets too, like How low will you really go(on your home price)? What will the seller kick in as an incentive to buy? You’re agent should know that and keep it just you’re little secret. There’s quite a few opportunities for a seller’s agent to get in a few pointed question of YOUR own.

Once the buyer is found, the offer accepted, the initial paperwork handled, he’ll help prepare you for closing with the advice and guidance of your closing attorney. Title V, Lead Paint, etc.

…Or you have the option of doing all that yourself. Good Luck if you take that road. You know how long I studied to get my license, how much I have to study to keep it year after year? (Well, I’m not telling you, so nyeh!)

Ok, hopefully, you like the idea of hiring an agent to sell your home. If not, I guess I could flip burgers at McDonalds or something. Anyway, once you pick an agent, you’re facing a small pile of paperwork that looks a whole lot scarier than it is.

First is a Agency Disclosure. It’s the law, we have to tell you who we are to you, since real estate agents can represent buyer’s, seller’s and sometimes both(That’s a later post.) and sometimes neither(That’s another later post.) The disclosure just says how the agent represents you. You can either sign it or check the box for refused to sign. See? No big deal. The next one is some type of Right to Sell Contract. This one binds you together in a partnership for a specified period of time. This can be a little complicated, so ask what the terms are, what the commission structure is(Yep, That’s in there too.) and the expiration date. Another might be a seller’s disclosure statement. You really want an agent’s help with that one. It’s a disclosure of known material defects, encumbrances on the deed, past damages, etc. Basically, It’s items you might know…that the buyer has a right to know… even if you really don’t want to tell him.

You’re seller’s agent is a resource, a tool(I mean that in a good way) and your partner. Use him. Ask questions, talk frequently. This is a scary time, but it’s also full of promise. Enjoy yourself and let the agent carry some of the burdens.

Have fun!

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

Massachusetts Real Estate Agents: Who represents who?

While perusing the internet blogs last weekend, I came across a few questions that surprised me. “Why are there two agents at my closing, one for me (Buyer) and one for the seller?” Another lady, selling a house, wondered why a buyers’s agent continues to tour her house repeatedly, but only when her agent wasn’t available. It got me thinking that the various roles of a real estate agent can be complex and confusing. Common perception seems to be that any real estate agency represents me, whoever that agent might be. All agents are required to be fair and equitable to all people, client or not, but the agents representing your interests has to protect you as well. See what I mean? For instance, If an seller’s agent knows that the roof leaks every rainstorm, they’re required to disclose that information to prospective buyers, even though it hurts the seller’s(and the agent’s) position. A buyer’s agent’s job description is a selfless act alone. The buyer’s agent is tasked with getting the best(lowest) price and terms possible for their client. Lowest price means lowest commission. Basically, their job is to make sure they don’t make the most commission they can in a transaction. How’s that for fair and equitable?

That complexity could leave a client wide open to problems within their real estate transaction. With so much going on, I can see where a client’s eyes might glaze over a little when their agent explains their roles and responsibilities at the first face to face meeting.

I help people buy or sell homes in the South Shore of Massachusetts, particularly properties in Whitman, Hanson, Abington, Rockland and East Bridgewater. The rules set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts settle on all Real Estate agents, active or inactive, in the State. At the first face to face meeting with a client, all agents in Massachusetts are required to explain who they represent, what their responsibilities are, and most importantly, where their loyalties lie. Then the client is asked to sign a form stating that the agent disclosed that info. The client can either sign and date it or check off the “Refused” box. This is important, because a real estate agent has a fiduciary (legal) responsibility to his client and the client needs to know where their agent stands and what their duties are. The loophole here is open houses. An open house agent doesn’t need to do that. They just need a sign stating their relationship posted someplace conspicuous at the open house.

Basically, There’s a host of people your real estate agent could be. Each one has a set of duties and responsibilities that may or may not represent your best interests. I try very hard to look at things from the clients perspective. It helps me represent them more effectively. If I can envision their particular situation and goals, I can figure out a realistic and effective path to advise them towards getting there. Massachusetts has evolved a set of roles with specific responsibilities for each of the roles. A real estate agent might change roles as a relationship with a particular client evolves or needs change. Basically, they break down to:

1. Buyer’s Agent(simple – represent the buyer’s interests)
2. Seller’s Agent(simple – represent the seller’s interests)
3. Dual Agent(Scary complex – Remain Neutral to both parties of a transaction)
4. Facilitator(Slightly less complex weave of neutrality and responsibility to assist and advise a single client with the transaction)

In classes and refreshers, we always talk at least a little about how an agent’s role can start off in one place and evolve into something else. My preferred teacher likes to keep things interesting and assigns us the task of making the most convoluted agency relationship timelines, then asks us to sort them out. Some of these are as intriguing as a Rubik’s cube, and just as convoluted. I won’t go that far, but over the next few posts, we’ll discuss, the various roles and what each owes it’s client.

Admit it….your eyes are already glazing over, aren’t they?

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

Knowledge is power to a buyer! Know your Real Estate Market

The web is one of the best sources of learning and research today. There are websites out there that can send you daily emails with new and updated listings from the towns and price range of your choice. Some will even allow you to pick the features of your perfect home. Not just homes either. You can search for condos, land, multi family, commercial properties, and past solds at your convenience.
View full listing sheets showing amenities, taxes, lot sizes, beds, baths, rooms, siding, fireplaces, garages, room sizes and much more?
Get property address and see where the properties are located on MapQuest?
Check schools and community profiles of your preferred towns?
Save preferred listings in your own file to view anytime?
Calculate approximate mortgage payments for specific properties?
All of these are good ideas when beginning your search.

If you’re a buyer, Get a pre-approval letter for a mortgage. This lets you know exactly what you can afford. It’s also a very powerful statement to the seller of a property you’re interested in. Not only does it show you have the financial means to come to an agreement, It says your offer is solid, bank-backed and ready to take action. That’s a powerful position to be in. Why not give yourself every advantage?

Definitely do the research, yourself first, then call an agent. Interview a few. Find someone you like and trust. You’re going to be partners in a process that typically ranges from 1 – 6 months, regarding your most prized possession, so you need to be comfortable with you’re new partner. Ask for a free Comparative Market Analysis of the home you’re in. Find out where you really stand.

That said. Go for it! You’re ready to find the perfect property. Good Hunting and Have fun!

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

Preparing an Offer to Purchase

There’s a few points that every offer needs to have:

1. The Basics – legal name of the buyer, legal name of the seller, and the address of the property.

2. The accounting details, regarding the deposit, interest accrued and it’s disposition and details of mortgage financing. This is where a pre-approval letter reay boosts your bargaining power and your stature in these negotiations. It says: “Listen to what I’m saying. I’m a serious player.” You’d be surprised how much weight it carries in a seller’s mind. It carries tons of weight in the agent’s perception of a client.

3. The purchase price. Both sides should remember this is the first step in the negotiation process. You’re not necessarily going to knock it out of the park on your first try and get your offer accepted. Unless you’re anticipating strong competition, take your time, think it through and make the most appropriate offer. Listen to your agent, they’ve been in the market and know how it all works.

4. The chattel, non-real estate items, that might be included, dish, refrigerator, blinds, etc. If you want them, you have to include them in the offer.

5. The closing date.

6. Expiration date and time indicates when the offer becomes null and void. A day or two is really all it should take. This makes time is of the essence pressure for the seller to quickly make a decision, instead of holding out for a better offer.

You might also want to have a land survey included. I highly recommend doing it anyway just to ease your piece of mind regarding the title. Also might help with title insurance to offer some piece of mind.

Also, any contingencies that would affect the deal need to be included. For instance, I’ll buy your house when mine sells. Or I’ll buy your house when I obtain financing(How weak is that? Get a pre-approval!).

Many buyers, in their minds, have already moved into the home, as their writing out the offer. Be prepared. This is really the first step of the negotiation process. There could, very easily, be a counter offer from the seller or even a competing offer. The seller can, but doesn’t have to, give you the opportunity to better a winning offer. In short, the house can’t be yours until the closing(really when the deed is filed). Don’t get your hopes up too soon. Stay Strong and focussed.

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com