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Tips for working with a long-distance real estate agent

Posted on July 23, 2021 at 3:45 PM Comments comments ()

Once you understand how difficult it is to deal with real estate, you might think that working with a long-distance real estate agent is a lost cause. But, in actuality, a long-distance real estate agent can do you a world of good. What is paramount here is to do your research and find the right one. After all, the most challenging aspect of them being far away from you is tracking their performance. With this in mind, we will give you a couple of tips that should help you find and work with a good long-distance realtor.





Prepare for working with a long-distance real estate agent


It is better to have a good long-distance real estate agent than a poor local one. While this may seem obvious, it is still worth emphasizing, especially if you are unsure where to start looking for one. Numerous companies out there can help you connect to Realtors and ensure that you have one in your market. But, it is the quality of the agent, not their location, that you should keep as a top priority. The only way to make this possible is with careful preparation and diligent research.



Figure out what do you want out of your realtor


We would first advise you to get a clear idea of what you want out of your realtor. Do you want them to help you sell your home, or should they also clue you in about renovations? Are you trying to find a home and need someone with in-depth knowledge of the local market? Or are you considering renting in a different state and need someone to find you an apartment while you prepare for the move with a company such as State to State Move? The more clearly you can outline what you need, the easier it will be to find a realtor to help you.


What is essential to understand here is that every real estate agent has an area where they are experts. Some are experts in selling homes and altering them for maximum profit. Others know how to find suitable apartments for rent and ensure that you don't have to deal with bad landlords. So, it is always a good idea to know what you need. That way, you can find a realtor with the most experience.



Do online research


The next step is to go online and see what kind of realtors are available. Depending on where you look, you may find dozens of different realtors at your disposal. What you need to do is sort them. First, make sure that they have the necessary licenses (these can differ between states). Ideally, you will find their ratings and reviews from previous clients and see how dependable they are. Once you find the top three that you like, you can proceed to the next step.



Conduct an interview


The interview is arguably the most important step in finding a good realtor. Someone can have terrific online reviews and recommendations from previous clients. But, if their personality is not compatible with yours, you shouldn't work with them. Even though this is a professional project where capabilities should come first and foremost, the temperament of your relator can play a significant role. If you two can't see eye to eye, you will soon clash and likely separate. So, conduct an interview and see what they are like.



 

Good questions to ask are:


 

• How do you envision our collaboration?


• Can you tell me about your past experiences?


• Who was your most challenging client?


• How did you handle them?


• What should I expect from you?


 

While there are further questions you can ask when buying real estate, these should give you an idea of what the realtor is like and how they behave in a professional setting. The more you talk to them, the more you will see whether you can communicate easily and whether they understand your needs. Finally, you should always trust your gut and avoid realtors that give you a bad feeling, even if they have excellent ratings.



Ensure proper cooperation


As we said, having a good realtor by your side is half the battle. Even if they are not physically by your side, they will make dealing with real estate a whole lot easier. But, while finding them is vital, you need to take a couple of more steps to ensure that your cooperation goes smoothly.



Regular communication


Firstly, you want to communicate with your realtor regularly. Even if there are no updates, you still want to check up on them at least once per week. That way, they will keep you and your needs in mind. You should inquire about any changes in the current market and see what their predictions are.


 

Furthermore, if you are also dealing with cross-country relocation besides tackling real estate, it is paramount that you can clearly and easily communicate with your agent. More often than not, they can give you valuable insight on when to move and how to prepare. Combine that with the advice you get from your movers, and you can easily get everything you need ready for the move ahead.



Precise milestones


Relying on your intuition can only take you so far. To avoid being led on by dishonest realtors, you should have clear milestones. Just like moving companies give you clear timelines to follow, so should your realtor explain what's to come.



When to break off


Working with a long-distance real estate agent isn't always fun and pleasant. You might run into issues and struggles that you'll need to find a way out of. A good realtor will give you a clear explanation of what is going on and a comprehensive solution to your problems. If they don't, and they only give you excuses, you should consider letting them go. Remember, every minute you spend working with a bad realtor is a minute you could've spent working with a good one. And companies like Top Agent Rebate are always happy to connect you with one.



 

Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts

 

Up and coming NJ neighborhoods you should consider if you are looking to invest

Posted on June 16, 2021 at 3:20 PM Comments comments ()

Real estate is never a bad investment. People will always need homes to live in, and although the market can sometimes be volatile, it always bounces back. However, choosing the right property to invest in can be difficult. You’ll want something that isn’t likely to drop in value. Additionally, it needs to be easy to sell or rent the property out. Otherwise, it will be hard for you to get a return on your investment. In this article, we will look at some up and coming NJ neighborhoods you should consider if you are looking to invest.





What to look for in an investment property


There are two types of investment properties:


• You could research what’s trending and get a house or condo that fits that description. It will be easy to rent out this type of home since it has all the currently in-demand features.


• Find something that is cheap and do a fix and flip. It’s okay if your chosen property doesn’t initially have all of the features buyers and renters are looking for. You can adapt it so that it has all of the amenities that are trending.


 

Hire an experienced realtor and talk to them about your needs. When you end up talking to the owner, it’s essential to ask the right questions. Find out if pets are allowed on the property and what parking is like in the area. These are features that future renters will be interested in, so it’s good to know in advance.



How to get the most out of your investment


Since you are in the market for an investment property and not the house of your dreams, it’s imperative to consider the bottom line. You should be doing everything you can to get a better return on your investment. An excellent way to save some extra money is to hire a real estate agent through topagentrebate.com since they will rebate you back 15% of their commission. Depending on the property’s value, that rebate could be quite a lot of money that gets put back into your pocket.


Another great way to save money is to have a home inspection. It will undoubtedly uncover some issues with the property. You can then use that information in negotiations with the owners to lower the asking price. A home inspection can also inform you of what needs fixing and what additional costs you can expect.



Moving to New Jersey


Perhaps you are researching New Jersey because you are thinking of relocating there. There are many up and coming NJ neighborhoods you should consider if you are looking to invest. Buying a home in an area that will rise in value over time can be a wise long-term investment. You don’t have to flip the property straight away. You can hold on to your investment for a few years and enjoy it.


Owning property in NJ can also be an excellent incentive to move there. You will probably need to hire New Jersey movers that can handle any type of relocation with ease. Owning a second home and moving back and forth has also become a popular life choice. You can spend several months a year in your NJ home and then sell it when the market is right.



Best New Jersey areas to invest in


You pretty much can’t go wrong if you choose to invest in New Jersey. NJ has many neighborhoods close to New York, with significantly lower prices than their counterparts in the Big Apple. Here are some of the best up and coming NJ neighborhoods you should consider if you are looking to invest:


1. Newark has moderately listed home prices and has been on the rise for the last several years. It might be a good time to consider jumping on board. Located just across Manhattan, Newark has several schools, a nearby airport, and numerous entertainment options. A thriving tech hub has also recently emerged, making Newark an exciting choice for young people seeking job opportunities and accessible housing. Developers are eyeing the area, and gentrification is taking place, so you better hurry if you want to invest in Newark.


2. Cherry Hill, located within Camden County, one of the most prominent Philadelphia metro areas, has become a bargain for investors and developers. Cherry Hill is also popular with renters, so you will have an easy time finding tenants since the prices are a lot higher in Center City. Home prices have been stable, but many have realized the allure of cheaper housing located just a 20-minute car drive from the center of Philadelphia.


3. Weehawken is another neighborhood just next to Manhattan, so it’s easy to see why its popularity has been on the rise. Increased demand has seen property prices rise in the last couple of years, but prices are still below some neighboring areas. Tax reevaluations have caused some homeowners to get rid of their properties, so the market has multiple options for those looking to buy.


4. Hoboken has constantly been performing well in the real estate market. Although home prices are high in Hoboken, the local market is strong and has shown no signs of stopping. You might want to consider snagging property this close to New York while the costs are still somewhat reasonable. Properties in the western part of Hoboken are a bit cheaper and consist of many family homes. This makes Hoboken an interesting place to invest in, but also a place you might want to consider calling home.


 

Regardless if you are just considering investing in New Jersey or plan to move there, you will probably need some help with logistics. You can contact Superior Moving & Storage for moving, packing and storage services. Getting those handled by professionals will definitely take a huge load off your shoulders. You are then free to focus on taking care of the other, more important details.


As you have seen, there are many up and coming NJ neighborhoods you should consider if you are looking to invest. The close proximity of New Jersey to New York makes it a popular choice for permanent living and investment properties. Hire an experienced agent that will help you find the best property for your needs and give you a rebate as well and start house hunting today!



 

Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts

 

The importance of home inspection before buying

Posted on March 3, 2021 at 6:05 PM Comments comments ()

When you are in the market for a new home, there are so many things to consider that it will be easy to lose track of everything involved in buying a house. We can't stress enough the importance of a home inspection before buying. Once you have finally found your dream home, it's perfectly fine to get excited, but it's not time to let your guard down yet. Knowing what to expect when going into a new home can save you a lot of stress. You will be able to plan for future expenses for repairs and hopefully save money when purchasing the property by lowering the price.





We will outline the importance of a home inspection before buying a house in this article, but if you feel that you are at a loss what to do, contact us at topagentrebate.com, and we will connect you to a top real estate agent who will not only guide you through the process but also rebate you back 15% of their commission.



Make a checklist


Like with any big project, the key to success is proper planning. Most home inspections will reveal certain weak points in the property that you will need to address. Start planning ahead of time, and you will be able to map out a timeline for the home inspection and, more importantly, any additional repairs that might follow it. Our advice would be to hire a professional and to avoid doing the inspection yourself. You are bound to miss certain things that wouldn't slip by a professional, making it a worthwhile investment. Prices for home inspections can vary based on the property's location and size, but they usually go for several hundred dollars, and they will most often save you much more than that.


You can always ask one of our top agents for a recommendation since they have many contacts in all the relevant fields and will probably be able to secure you a good deal too. If you have planned correctly, all of the work will be done on time, and you will avoid any nasty surprises after you have already moved in. However, if you find that something is wrong after the relocation, you can always reach out to hnmovers.com again to move out your possessions and allow for repairs.



Save money


Know what your ultimate goal is. It may seem obvious, but the idea is not just to find out what's wrong with a certain property because even newly built homes will have something lacking that can be exposed by a thorough inspection. Your goal at this point is to save money. You can use some of the issues brought up by the inspection as a good negotiating position to lower the purchasing price or get the seller to do some of the repairs. The negotiation process can be long, as both parties will try to get a good deal.


Repairs to the home are up to the seller, but instead of insisting that they handle everything, you might want to lower the purchasing price and tackle some of the issues yourself. By doing so, you will know that everything is done correctly, and you can also renovate to your liking. Another way to save money is to get a real estate commission discount, and you can use the money you save for work on the house after the purchase.



What is covered by an inspection?


An experienced inspector can perform his examination of the property within 3 hours. Although you will later get a detailed report, it is highly recommended that you are present during the survey. You will quickly realize the importance of a home inspection before buying since a professional can let you know of any problems they encounter as they go. By being there during the inspection, you can get a firsthand explanation and ask any questions.


Precisely what an inspector will check can vary by state, but there are detailed standards of practice that outline the required minimum. The most important things a home inspector will review are:


● Roof – damage to the roof or poor installation could lead to water damage to the house.


● Foundation – in most cases, the foundation is not visible, so inspectors will check for signs of settling like cracks in walls or floors.


● Exterior walls – cracks on the exterior walls could possibly be minor cosmetic issues, but a good inspector will point out the most severe problems.


● Plumbing – inspectors will check the overall water pressure and inspect faucets for leaks. In cases of old plumbing, a secondary inspection might be needed to check out the pipes.


● Electrical – all of the power outlets and the electrical panel need to be tested for safety issues.


● Fire safety – smoke detectors need to be functioning.


● Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) – insulation and ducting need to be efficient, asbestos insulation should be removed, and ovens, as well as AC units, need to be functioning properly.



What is not covered by a home inspection?


You need to be realistic that a home inspection can't reveal everything and that the inspectors conduct an examination based on visual cues. Most inspectors are not specialized for every single issue a home might have, but they could probably refer you to other specialists if you want to investigate any potential problem further. Additional or more thorough inspections will cost more, and if you are interested, you can ask your initial inspector for an estimate of what it would cost. Home inspectors do not check the following issues, although signs of some problems can be found while inspecting:


● Termites and other pests


● Inside of walls


● Inside of pipes and water lines


● Toxic mold


● Behind electrical panels


● Inside chimneys



When purchasing real estate, the importance of a home inspection before buying cannot be understated. An inspection could reveal significant issues on the property and let you opt-out of the purchase, thus avoiding a huge money sink. You can also save money by getting the seller to lower the price or having them do some of the repairs before you buy. If you work with the best Realtor, you can also look forward to additional savings from a real estate rebate, giving you more spending power for your dollar.



 

Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts

 

How to evaluate an apartment before you buy in NYC

Posted on October 19, 2020 at 2:10 PM Comments comments ()

When buying an apartment, you might think you know all there is to know about the apartment you desire. It's within your price range, maybe even cheaper than you've expected it to be. Having in mind the average size of an NYC unit, this one has enough space. You have a good feeling about it, and you're almost ready to sign the contract. However, it's essential to evaluate an apartment before you buy it in NYC. And there are factors you need to take into consideration.





Evaluate an apartment before buying in NYC


Before you sign the contract, you need to know what you're buying. First of all, comparative market analyses will let you know whether the unit was priced correctly. Then, you need to know if the apartment hides any flaws. Also, you should keep in mind that the apartment is a part of the community. From the building's physical condition to its finances, it can all affect your unit, whether you want it or not. In case you aren't able to notice these flaws yourself, you can hire the professionals.



Your apartment within the building


Keep in mind that there's a good chance you'll experience the advantages and disadvantages of your apartment's location within the building. For example, the ground floor usually means less privacy, not enough light, but also lower prices in elevator buildings and lower maintenance costs. Alternately, living directly below the roof might mean less space but no loud neighbors above you.


In order to solve the lack of space in your apartment below the roof, you may need to find smart ways to place everything. Since NYC apartments are notoriously expensive yet small, self-storage can be a solution to this problem. Additionally, such a location of an apartment comes with a potential leak hazard. Luckily, you can prevent them by checking the whole building and with the home inspection.



Check the whole building


A good way to start your research on the building is by asking to see the prospectus. These documents will show you the engineer's report which can help determine the state of the whole building. Also, you can ask for minutes from board meetings. Here you can find more about the potential renovations, or problems in the building. Are the issues being solved, or do they keep piling up? Important points will usually be covered in these minutes and can reveal useful information.



Ask around the building


Go around the building and talk to the neighbors, the super, and the doorman. Polite or rude neighbors can make all the difference when living in tight quarters in NYC. You can also ask them about the maintenance, problems, and what they love about living there. If your neighbors are friendly and welcoming and are mostly satisfied with the building, it can help you make sure that you're making the right choice.



The reasons to use a real estate agent


It's quite hard to find a suitable apartment in NYC without a real estate agent. Trying to understand a large and complex market such as this one is truly challenging. This is one of the reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent to help you.


• These are professionals who buy and sell apartments every day.


• Their knowledge of the market is of invaluable help.


• They are familiar with flaws some buildings and apartments have in different areas of NYC.



With a great number of apartments and many real estate agents, finding the perfect one is definitely not a piece of cake. Nonetheless, it's vital that you work with an agent you can trust and who you're comfortable with. The other options include not using an agent or using several agents, none of which is a good decision. Having a good relationship with a reliable agent is often a precondition to finding the perfect apartment in NYC. This is why it's a Park Place Realty Network's job to connect you with a top real estate agent in NYC. In their database of 1 million+ real estate agents, there must be the one that suits your needs the best.



How it works


Real estate agents and brokers play important roles in the market. They represent buyers and sellers with their best interests in mind. It's easy to notice the importance of having a reliable and experienced real estate agent by your side.


You need to approach a real estate referral company, and the company will connect you with a top real estate agent in the NYC market. After the agent helps you buy the desired property, the agent will rebate you 15% of the commission.


The commission portion you get back you can then use to cover moving expenses and provide yourself with quality moving supplies at Capital City Bins. By adding this amount to your moving budget, you'll be able to ensure the maximum protection for your belongings and valuables.



Home inspection


It's not a good idea to skimp on inspection. A good inspection might save you from losing a considerable amount of money for repairs. Nonetheless, if you're not buying a townhouse in NYC, there's generally no inspection. A home inspection checklist covers the key points. Keep in mind that, while you might notice some flaws, you might easily miss the other ones that could become a much bigger problem later on and cause huge expenses. On the other side, a home inspector with experience would have noticed these flaws immediately.



Conclusion


Don't rush it when buying an NYC unit. Take your time to evaluate an apartment before you buy it, and try to get as much information as possible on the building and the unit. And even though it might not seem like it, don't worry, your dream home will eventually come.



 

Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts

 

Comparative market analysis explained

Posted on September 23, 2020 at 4:00 PM Comments comments ()

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, and whether you plan on hiring a Realtor or doing everything by yourself, you probably know that home prices vary a lot. So, what is that variation based on? Usually, it is based on the home's location, when it was listed, how long has it been on the market, how many rooms and bathrooms it has, what is the condition of the interior and exterior, etc. So, as a seller, how are you supposed to price your home? And, as a buyer, how do you know whether a home you are interested in buying is priced correctly? By understanding the comparative market analysis, or the CMA, as real estate agents like to call it.





Simply put, a comparative market analysis is there to help you estimate a home's value in the best possible way. Thus, if you are interested in finding out more about what comparative market analysis is and how it is used, keep reading.



What is Comparative Market Analysis?


To best understand what comparative market analysis is, let us first mention the COMPS or the comparables. If you are a seller and you want to price your home, you would start with the comparables. These are recently sold properties that are located in your neighborhood (or close to your home), and that have similar features to yours.


For example, let us imagine that your home has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage and a yard, and it is around 1,500 square feet. Now, let us imagine that your neighbor down the street also has a home with similar features, and it was sold for $ 300,000 a couple of days ago. Guess what - your homes are comparables, and they are worth the same amount of money.


CMA examines and compares the COMPS, which should ideally have the same features as your own home. Things like location, square footage, number of rooms, and bathrooms should be relatively the same for CMA to yield positive results.



How to Run a Comparative Market Analysis?


If you need to sell or buy a home quickly and get ready for the move in no time, it would be best to hire a real estate agent. He or she, being a professional in their field, will be able to gather all the necessary information and run your CMA while you are packing up your boxes. But, if you want to do a real estate CMA by yourself, here is a simplified DIY:


● Step 1. Gather all the necessary property data: First, try to learn as much as possible about the property you are planning to buy or sell. For example, make sure you know all about its location, acreage, square footage, year of build, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, recent remodeling jobs and valuable home improvements, interior and exterior finishes of note, special features (swimming pools, barns, garages), tax information, etc.


● Step 2. Check the quality of the neighborhood: The location of the neighborhood is a factor that will determine the price of homes in that particular area. That is why homes in Manhattan are more expensive than those in Brooklyn, for instance. But, besides the actual location of the property, your CMA should also include things like proximity to all the necessary amenities like schools, banks, office spaces, city centers, beaches, parks, etc. And it should also include proximity to unpleasant features like factories, highways, and garbage dumps.


● Step 3. Search and find real estate comparables: Now that you have all the necessary data, you must find homes with similar features to yours or others sold at the moment. Let us mention once again - you must compare apples to apples, not apples to pears if you want to sell/buy quickly and successfully, and call homegrownmoving.com to relocate you.


● Step 4. Calculate the price per square foot: This is the easy part! All you have to do is get the average price per square foot of the comparables you found and divide its selling price by its square footage. This is how you get a reasonably accurate price for the home you either plan to buy or sell.


● Step 5. Adjust the home's value based on the property differences: No two properties are entirely the same, no matter how similar they appear. For instance, even if all the rooms in two different houses are the same, those that have been recently renovated or have some newer features will change the CMA, thus the home's final value. It is all about adding or subtracting value for structural differences.



Why Should You Ask Your Real Estate Agent for a CMA?


There are many reasons why you should hire a real estate agent and get a comparative market analysis from them. Firstly, you will not waste your time and energy researching the market. Secondly, you will not waste any money, as all real estate agents offer CMAs for free. Thirdly, you will not have to reevaluate your price many times because you are not sure whether you have done everything right. And finally, there is a way for you to get as much as a 15% rebate of your agent's commission after the transaction is complete.


Future buyers and sellers are advised to ask for CMAs when meeting with potential real estate agents. This is the best way to see which agent did its homework and knows the market well. This will ensure that you get the best possible price for the property you want to buy or sell and get a good deal from your real estate agent. Do not hesitate to conduct interviews with several agents until you find one you want to work with.



 

Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts

 

Real estate escrow in different states explained

Posted on August 28, 2020 at 4:35 PM Comments comments ()

The world of real estate can be exciting but also complex. If you’re not a professional real estate agent, your first encounter with this realm can be truly overwhelming; regardless of whether you’re a seller or a buyer. Terms like equity returns or amortization aren’t something you’re intuitively familiar with. And escrow definitely finds itself on that list for most people, which is why we’ll explain the concept of real estate escrow in different states right here!





Escrow 101


As we’ve mentioned already, you probably don’t have an intricate knowledge of the real estate escrow process if you don’t work in real estate. That’s one of the main reasons why you want to be connected with the top agents in the industry; you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Plus, Park Place will not only find you a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent, but we’ll also help you find someone who will rebate you a whopping 15% of their commission! Real estate transactions are costly, and every bit of returned value helps.


Speaking of the transaction itself — where does escrow fit into all of this? Namely, this process is a part of real estate transactions that plays a vital role in their successful completion, but even people that go through them don’t always understand how it works.



Closing States


Once all of the prerequisite conditions have been fulfilled for the completion of a real estate transaction, each one of the parties involved has to go through the legal finalization of the agreement. How this is done in practice differs from state to state.


For example, let’s say that you decided to move to Maryland. Before calling the crew from Excalibur Moving and Storage to perform the relocation, you have to find and purchase a home. This is a “traditional” state, that uses the so-called closing process to legally finalize this type of transaction.


In non-escrow states akin to Maryland or Georgia, the process of closing is performed face-to-face. All of the involved parties, including the sellers and buyers, have to meet physically in order to finalize a real estate purchase. They appoint a specific time and sign each of the required legal documents. Once the money and the property title have been exchanged, the process is considered legally complete.



Escrow States


On the other hand, there are the eponymous escrow states. For instance, if you're moving to your first property that you’ve bought in California or a similar escrow state, you will have to go through the escrow-led purchase agreement before the transaction is done.


This agreement is something the involved parties reach as they prepare for the transaction. Namely, it contains the escrow instructions, citing any specific stipulations pertaining to the disbursement of all funds and the subsequent property title transfer. Unlike the closing process where all parties eventually meet and manage their documents, the escrow process requires the assignment of an escrow agent that will hold all of the funds and documents “in escrow” before the closing is complete.


This includes any money involved in the process, such as the purchase price or the closing costs. If the buyer uses a mortgage loan to purchase the home, the same goes for any funds that are needed for the transaction of the loan.


Once all of the stipulations found in the predetermined purchase agreement have been fulfilled in accordance with the instructions, the funds are divided accordingly, all of the documents are signed, and the transaction is considered final from a legal standpoint. Unlike in traditional closing states, an escrow finalization does not necessarily include a physical meeting of all the involved parties.



What Is Escrow?


As you may have gathered already, escrow is a process that entails a neutral third entity that’s there to safeguard funds involved in a transaction while it is completed. It’s used in a variety of transactions, but with a similar purpose. When it comes to real estate escrow, it’s designed to protect all parties — both the seller and the buyer.


On the one hand, the existence of escrow is a guarantee to the real estate seller that the prospective buyer actually does have all of the money required for the purchase. It’s also a guarantee that the funds will definitely be transferred when they exchange the property title.


On the other hand, it protects the buyer as well. A buyer in an escrow state is less wary of fraudulent sellers that don’t really have a legal claim to the property title. This sort of thing would be discovered in the real estate escrow phase of the transaction, as the title has to go into escrow as well. After all, real estate purchases are a high-value transaction — and one where the two parties are almost never actually familiar with each other. In that situation, escrow maintains the bona fide status of the transaction.



Escrow Agents


The entire escrow process is managed by an escrow agent. This is a neutral entity or individual that will hold the titles and payments as the two parties meet all of the predetermined conditions. These people are also called “title agents”, because the title exchange is the most crucial part of a real estate transaction. Usually, the involved parties don’t have to find an escrow agent; they’re provided by a lender or broker, and you simply need to pay them.


If you have heard about a particularly experienced title agent that you want to work with, there’s always the option of selecting a specific escrow agent. This is a matter of agreement between the two parties; though, if there are disagreements on the issue, sellers usually have the deciding power here.



 

Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts

 

Tips to sell your NYC apartment in today's market

Posted on August 7, 2020 at 1:20 PM Comments comments ()

Buying or selling a property has always been one of the biggest decisions people make in their lives. This process, being something new for most people, requires a lot of research and some help in order to be accomplished successfully. You need to acquire knowledge on the process, the participants involved, real estate agents, and how they're compensated. But there are a lot of places where you can find this information, so the process shouldn't be too hard.





However, with the coronavirus pandemic, the market has changed and new rules apply. Read on and find out how to sell your NYC apartment in today's market.



What stayed the same?


Just some time ago, the process of selling an NYC apartment was very familiar to us. Pricing your property and holding an open house was something we all knew. However, this didn't mean help was not needed, and the same is true now. Hiring Movers 101 to help you with your move was just what you needed to make your move easier and smoother.



You still need a top real estate agent


Even now, you still need a good real estate agent to help you throughout the process. But how do you find one, and will any real estate agent do? There's Park Place Realty Network, a real estate referral company that can connect you to a top agent who will provide you with a 15% rebate of your commission. And with the market today, this amount can be quite useful.


After all, with 15% of the commission back in your pocket, you might be able to hire local movers that are affordable yet reputable. Just because the market has changed, it doesn't mean you need to be affected by it.



How to sell your NYC apartment and adapt to new changes


Certain things have definitely changed in the NYC sales market. The pandemic is stalling deals, and sellers are discouraged by a drop in prices.


These changes basically gave sellers two possible strategies:


• to wait for now


• to adapt to the changes and sell your NYC apartment


The drop in inventory


Many sellers basically decided to hold back and skip the traditional spring selling season, which resulted in inventory dropping and Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens listings falling. However, after the city was reopened, new listings started to emerge. But the question of how it's all going to turn out is partly the matter of buyers' preferences.



The matter of pricing


The number of contracts for apartments fell, along with the median sales price. Despite that, a few indicators show that there are still sellers who are sticking with the pre-pandemic prices. In the market today, it doesn't help sellers to lower the prices of their apartments. But is there anything they can do to improve the chances of selling their NYC apartment?



Buyers' preferences


A great way to increase the price of your apartment is to consider some of the valuable home improvements you can do. But, now more than ever, you might want to check the buyers' preferences before you start improving your apartment.


The last couple of months have clearly shown what the buyers were interested in. They didn't love the idea of elevators. Also, outdoor space was very popular – think backyards and balconies. Most importantly, space for a home office was also very popular, and that's something to consider when renovating your home.



 

Stale listings


Sellers don't like stale listings. If the property has been on the market for too long, the buyers might get the impression that there's something wrong with it. For this reason, some listings sites decided to basically freeze the days of properties on the market, which helped the sellers and basically removed their fear of stale listings.



Video tours became popular


With houses, there were certain open house precautions to take during the outbreak. However, with apartments, the situation was a lot trickier. From March, until almost the end of June, brokers were unable to show the apartments, and we could witness one of the biggest plunges in Manhattan apartment sales in the last 30 years.


During this time, video tours become the only way to tour an apartment. This indicated what was really important for buyers during live tours, and it's the ability to see the details. However, some of these videos did not allow that. If you opt for a video tour when selling your apartment, make sure that every single corner and detail is covered.



 

Virtual closings


NYC's real estate market relies on face-to-face meetings. However, to survive in the new times, the market had to evolve, and a few virtual closings proved that. While this is still not widespread, it showed tenacity and perseverance, the qualities needed in today's market. We were able to see that in order to sell your NYC apartment and get the most out of it, you'll need to adapt to new circumstances.



Choosing the right offer


Due to circumstances, now more than ever, sellers are choosing the buyers who offer cash over the buyers who require financing. This is absolutely understandable, as lenders and mortgage industry are also experiencing tough times. Sellers don't want to find out at the last moment that the buyers are not getting the financing they need. But, what if you get an offer that requires financing, but it's better than a cash offer? In the end, this is your choice to make, so do it wisely.



 

The tone of your listing


You should consider reviewing your listings and checking if it sounds tone-deaf. You might want to change the tone of your listing and make it sound more compassionate, indicating that you're to a certain extent acknowledging the new situation.



Should you sell your NYC apartment when the market returns to normal?


So, should you sell your NYC apartment now, or wait until the market returns to normal? There's no easy answer on when the market will return to normal. While we could see significant signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2021, no one can know for sure.



Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts

 

How to get a real estate commission rebate in NYC

Posted on July 18, 2020 at 12:25 AM Comments comments ()

Imagine this situation - you worked very hard and you have finally saved up enough money to buy your perfect home in New York City. You have done your research and hired an expert real estate agent to find you a perfect place and assist the purchase. And then, all of a sudden, when you complete the purchase, you get a commission rebate check from your real estate agent. It may sound impossible to you, but when you decide to buy a property in NYC, you can get cash returned. Real estate commission rebate in NYC is an important topic and we are going to help you find out what it is and how to get it.





What is a real estate commission rebate in NYC?


A real estate commission rebate is simply a part of the commission that the buyer's agent gives to the buyer when the purchase is closed. Let's explain this a little better. When negotiating real estate commissions in New York City, the seller usually pays 6% of the sale price. If the buyer has an agent as well, part of that commission goes to the seller's agent and the other part goes to the buyer's agent. The commission rebate means that the buyer's agent gives back a portion of his commission to the homebuyer as a refund. However, this new concept of giving a rebate to the homebuyer is not widely adopted yet. The traditional real estate agents are still holding on to the old way of doing business and they do not want to give a refund to the buyers.



 

 

How can a homebuyer get a real estate commission rebate in NYC?


If you want to get a deal from a real estate agent, you will have to do research and some work by yourself. First, you need to do some research and make a list of the properties you are interested in buying. Then, when you have the list of properties, you must send it to your agent offering the NYC real estate commission rebate. This is extremely important because the selling agents will want to know how contact with the potential buyer is made. If you approach the seller directly, then the selling agent may not allow the buyers' agent to get involved later in the process. Thus, it is crucial that you send a list of properties you are interested in buying to your buyers' agent who will then sign you up for the open houses.


In a nutshell, before you submit any offer and get accepted, it is very important that you include your buyer's agent in the process. In case you have already accepted an offer, and now you want to include your buyer's agent, the selling agent can reject to share the commission and declare your buyer's agent ineligible for any part of it.



How to negotiate a commission rebate in NYC?


Understanding how real estate agents are compensated is important if you want to negotiate a commission rebate. In New York City, any real estate agent can give you a commission rebate, but not all of them are willing to. Some of them can even find it insulting if you suggest sharing their commission. The easiest way to get a commission rebate is to find a real estate agent that offers a rebate for all its buyers. This way, you will get a rebate without having to negotiate and you will know exactly how much you will get back. Also, it is important that you get the rebate in writing, just to make sure that you are protected and that everyone is on the same page. Also, note that the total commission that your buyer's agent will get is not negotiable.



 

Why the commission rebates are not more common in NYC?


Nowadays, more and more buyers are learning about the commission rebate. Unfortunately, some still have no idea that they can get a refund. There are three reasons for that:


● Traditional, "old-fashion" agents do not offer a rebate because they are used to high commissions.


● Most buyers are not the experts, and they wouldn't know that for example, if investing in rentals the location is crucial, so they are not aware that they can 3% of this commission back.


● Finally, greed is an important factor. Some real estate agents in NYC wouldn't be comfortable giving this money back and convinced that they deserve more, even though the transaction will still be profitable for them.



 

There are still homebuyers that may choose the traditional buyers' agent. Nevertheless, it is important that buyers are aware that they can get a real estate commission rebate in NYC and that they can save money during the homebuying process. Hopefully, we have given you enough information so that you can choose the buyers' agent smartly, start your home buying process, and finally call professional movers such as Tik Tok Moving and Storage to move you to your new home. It's up to you do conduct research and find an agent that you are comfortable working with. Good luck!



 

Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts

 

Basic questions to ask when buying a loft or a condo

Posted on July 3, 2020 at 5:25 PM Comments comments ()

Whether you are buying a condo or a loft, you are looking at a sizable investment. To make this venture worth your while, you need to be savvy and ask the right questions at the right time. To help you out, we are going to take a closer look at some of the most important questions to ask when buying a loft or a condo and a couple of important aspects to keep in mind after your purchase.





What you need to ask when buying a loft or a condo


While there are certainly some questions that you should ask your realtor, for this article, we are going to focus on the questions you need to ask the current owner/manager of the property you wish to purchase. Keep in mind that you will probably have only one chance to ask them, so make sure to note them down.



Who was the previous owner?


When buying a loft or a condo, your first goal should be to deduce its state. If it is in proper condition, you need not spend a lot of money renovating and remodeling it. But, if it was poorly maintained, you can be looking at a substantial amount of money necessary to bring your newly purchased piece of real estate to a decent state. And the key factor in whether or not your loft/condo was maintained properly is its previous owner.


A conscientious owner will ensure that their home is in proper condition and that any issues are dealt with in a timely manner. On the other hand, careless owners will let issues sit and fester, especially if they don't cause them much trouble. Most of these issues will become worse and worse as the years go by, which makes stingy owners reluctant to fix them. Even during a thorough home inspection, you can miss these issues. Especially if the owner does their best to hide them. So if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road, ask questions about the previous owner.



How is the loft/condo deeded?


Condos and lofts can be deeded in different ways than regular houses. The main thing to remember is that when buying a condo, you will usually only own the interior walls and the space within them. Meanwhile, when singing a deed for a loft, you will be responsible for the whole structure. So, make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into before you sign.



Have pets lived in it before?


Whether or not you own a pet, you should know if one has previously lived in the condo/loft. Pets can cause damage, especially to smaller homes, and those with allergies should definitely be on the lookout. If you have a pet of your own, you should look for a building that is pet-friendly. You will have a much easier time introducing your pet to your new home as there are probably pet owners in your building that can give you helpful tips.



Who is the building manager?


Larger buildings usually have a property management company handling them. So, before buying a loft or a condo, try to figure out what kind of a company they are. Notable red flags to keep in mind are:


● A large turnover in management companies.


● Ongoing lawsuits.


● Unfavorable reviews.


Smaller buildings can have an owner managing them, in which case you should try to meet them before moving in. All in all, the more you can find out about the current owners and managers of the building, the better.



What is the best way to deal with parking?


Most lofts and condos are situated in large cities. Therefore, if you plan on living in one, you will have to deal with parking. Some buildings offer private parking to all units, while others only offer to some. The problem is that both of them will state that they offer parking, which can be misleading in the second case. Having a parking space will not only make owning a car easier but will also make your relocation much more manageable, especially with the help of an experienced company like Movage Moving NYC. So, try to figure out what the parking situation is like before deciding on a purchase.



On which side does the sun rise and set?


Once you visit your condo/loft, you will be able to see where your windows face and what the noise is like. But, the one thing you won't be able to see is where the sun rises and sets in regards to your apartment. Little details can have a huge impact on how you organize your new home and how you function within it. If the light bothers you, you can always get blinds. But, if you find yourself needing more light in your new home, you will have a hard time bringing it in.



What to keep in mind when looking for a loft/condo


The questions to ask before buying a loft or a condo are potentially endless. Depending on your financial situation and where you plan on buying, there are a ton of different pieces of information that you need to obtain in order to make a smart real estate investment. So, our best advice is to find and work with a good real estate agent in order to get the right answers in a timely manner.


Also, you want to start preparing for your relocation as soon as possible. The moment you decide that you are going to purchase a condo or loft, start organizing. If your new space is smaller than your previous home, you might need to do some decluttering before moving, or find some smart storage solutions. If you need to move from a different state, you will have to take into consideration the timing of your move in order to make it as cost-effective as possible. All in all, there is a lot to consider and plan, so the sooner you start tackling your relocation, the better.



 

Written By: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts

 

Things to ask your Realtor when buying a house

Posted on June 21, 2020 at 2:00 PM Comments comments ()

Going through endless conundrums when buying a home is a process hard to avoid. I speak from my own experience since I am currently trying to find an apartment. Since this is my first time buying real estate, I had a lot of difficulties at the beginning. Not knowing what to look for is frightening because it is so easy to make a mistake when investing your money in a property. One of the approaches you can take to avoid making mistakes includes researching things to ask your realtor when buying a house.





Do not be afraid to ask anything you can think of!


Asking questions when buying a home is a crucial step. However, it is also important to know what questions to ask. In return, you will not waste time and quickly realize whether the place is for you or not.


What's even more important is that, before asking the questions, you make sure you are asking the right people. Finding a good real estate agent is not always easy. One of the most efficient ways to reach out to a good realtor is to work with a real estate referral company.


They take out the tedious part of looking for a good real estate agent and connect you with the best ones in the market.



Check your agent's background


Before you start working with an agent, try to find out how good he or she really is. Here is a list of questions to ask in order to understand what kind of agent you have in front of you:


• ask for how long have they been working as a realtor


• check if they work full time or part-time


• ask how many homes they sell on a monthly basis


• ask for the number of current buyers and sellers they work with


• always ask to see their real estate license and references


• check if they work alone, or if there's a team of other people helping them out


• ask how their commission works. Have in mind that you might get a 15% commission back if you connect with the right people.


All of these questions should help you learn more about your real estate agent. This is imperative since you are planning to put your trust in their hands.



Ask the agent to explain the entire process from start to finish


Once you learn about your real estate agent, you may start making inquiries about the property you wish to buy, and even talk about various options to make your relocation easier.


However, one of the by far most important things to ask a realtor when buying a house is to explain all the steps from start to finish. I had headaches trying to understand how the entire process functions. In this case, it is better to ask and get a clear explanation than to try and figure it out on your own.



Find out the true value of the property


One of the first things to ask your realtor when buying a house is what is the true value of the property. Sellers can sometimes ask for more money hoping that someone will pay the higher price. With that in mind, do your research before you agree on the price. A follow-up question may be about the price of other properties in the neighborhood.



How long has the property been on the market?


If you stumble upon a nice house at an affordable price, try to find out how long the property has been on the market. Houses that are staying on the market for a long period of time usually have an issue or two. This is the first step towards discovering potential problems. A follow-up question should be to ask how many times has the property been sold so far.



Ask for the seller's disclosure


A seller's disclosure is one of the essential pieces of researching a property you want to purchase. This is one of the best ways to discover the true condition of the property. Have in mind that, if a seller refuses to provide a disclosure, they may be fined. However, some states have low fees for this, so they would rather pay the fine than provide a disclosure. My personal advice is to avoid those sellers since they probably have something to hide.



Calculate all closing expenses


Closing a deal on a house is accompanied by many different processes. A home inspection, legal matters, realtor's commission, and closing costs are just a few examples of what expenses to expect. Do not let this turn into an unpleasant surprise.



Ask about monthly utility bills


Buying a property for a reasonable price is great, but you also must think about the utility bills. Some homes are more expensive when it comes to monthly costs. Before you make a purchase, make sure your salary can cover all of your bills for the entire month.



Your agent can recommend a good moving company


Your wallet may be going dry due to all the expenses regarding closing the deal on a property. However, once you buy a home, you will need to relocate. At this point, you want an affordable company that can provide quality and speed. Ask your agent if he can recommend a moving company that will suit your needs. My personal recommendation is Miami Movers for Less.



Things to ask your realtor when buying a house - delivered!


Thinking about what things to ask your realtor when buying a house will prevent you from making the wrong investment. With so many properties on the market, it is impossible to know which ones are good without asking a bunch of questions first. Hopefully, this short but information-packed guide will help you to make an informed decision. Good luck!



 

Written by: Lisa Robert with US Moving Experts

 


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