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New laws will affect home sales

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If your home has been listed for sale through the summer without procuring a buyer, don’t be surprised about the two new laws that will most likely affect your sale. Homeowners, who will be listing their home for sale in the fall, will most likely be advised by their real estate agents. Of course, I am talking about the increased county recordation tax and the new radon-testing requirement. 

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Knowing the future of home sales

 

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Everyone wants to know the future. Home sellers and buyers want to predict home prices. Home sellers want to know the best time to sell. Home buyers want to know if they’re getting a good price. And apparently there may be a fairly reliable predictor to home prices, however it’s not what you think it is.

Several empirical studies have attempted to provide a methodology for predicting the housing market. Of course, there is the familiar forecasting of real estate through divorce and premarital agreements. Back in 2013, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML.org) issued a press release citing the increase of prenuptial agreements as sign of the improving economy. The increase in prenuptial agreements meant that people felt there was value in their assets. And this was meant to be a good sign for the housing market.

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Signs beneficial to the community

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A special thanks to the Montgomery County Council whose proposed ordinance amendment will undoubtedly help local real estate agents.  Last week’s testimony about a zoning text amendment relating to signs and their location illuminated their place in the community as well as reminded us they are a form of free speech.

Of course the unintended consequences of a blanket ban of signs in the right of way is yet to be determined.  However, it would certainly make it more difficult for county residents to sell their home by owner (without an agent), as well as home buyers wanting to go it alone without an agent.  The resulting lack of information that is currently provided by these signs would certainly compel consumers to hire a local Realtor®. Thank you.

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Money laundering and real estate

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In the post financial crisis era, when anti-fraud units from various law enforcement agencies stepped up activity to prosecute real estate related crimes; real estate continues to be a vehicle for scammers and fraudsters. Although mortgage fraud and identity theft have been the mainstay, money laundering through real estate has not received the same attention. That is until this year, when a pilot program was initiated to identify money laundering in residential real estate. The program was ordered through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Department of the Treasury (FinCEN), which is tasked with the protection of our financial system by primarily combating money laundering (fincen.gov).

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How not to prepare for your home sale

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When preparing for a home sale, the devil is in the details. You probably already know about the “do’s,” de-cluttering, curb-appeal, staging, and making necessary repairs. But here are a few “don’ts” that often trap home sellers into making mistakes:

Don’t make a statement. Now is not the time to be bold with renovations and staging; but rather stay focused on getting your home sold. Stay away from trendy features, and bold designs. Although bright and dramatic colors seem tempting, stick with neutral color schemes. Besides making rooms feel awkward, making a statement with trendy fixtures and bold colors may turn off homebuyers. Your statement will have homebuyers fixated on the style, rather the space and potential of each room. 

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More property information to ponder

 

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Homebuyers should be happy to know there is a new resource that provides information about houses. In one report, buyers will be able to access information that is not always readily available or hard to find. A July 19 RealtyTrac (realtytrac.com) press release introduced Attom Data Solutions, their new parent company, and what it offers to the real estate industry and consumers. Attom Data Solutions’ (attomdata.com) self-stated mission is “to increase real estate transparency by arming businesses and consumers with the property and neighborhood data needed to make wise decisions.”

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When 'friendly advice' turns real bad

 

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Home buyers and sellers often seek advice from others. Even when they’re working with a professional who provides expert guidance. You might think it good to get validation or direction from others on your real estate decisions. However, a Vancouver consumer study suggests that following a friend’s advice may be a bad idea (Friends give bad advice; The Sun, 4/14/2011, p29).

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Essential life hacks for the home buyer

“Life hacks” have been trending everywhere the last few years, from the internet to social media. Life hacks are typically actions or wisdoms to make life easier.  However, home buyer life hacks are not easy to find.

The home buying experience can be time consuming and stressful.  Over time, the home buyer’s responsibilities change.  In fact, the home buying experience has drastically changed in the last decade.  Consider that mortgage programs and Realtor® contracts changed and continue to evolve.  Which includes the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule that went into effect last fall, which changed how a transaction settles.  Here are a five home buyer life hacks to make the experience straightforward and more enjoyable.

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Brexit might assist in some home sales

The immediate response of Great Britain’s referendum to exit from the European Union was one of anxiety and fear. Some thought the separation would set off a global recession, matching the financial crisis of 2008. While others believed it would be a blip on the financial radar. Of course, the housing industry is watching to see how the aftermath of the Brexit will affect homebuyers and sellers.

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Buying a second home for vacations

A trip to the beach or mountains may have you wondering about owning your own vacation home. And as it happened you’re not alone! An April 1st 2015 National Association of Realtors® press release estimated that vacation home sales bounced back to peak levels in 2014 with a massive 57.4 percent increase over 2013 sales! In contrast, during the same period there was an estimated 7.4 percent decrease in investment home sales, and an estimated 12.8 percent decrease in owner occupied home sales (realtor.org).

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