Jan 152013
 

In an unusual twist the real estate market got really busy at the end of 2012. Most of the time the end of the year is considered the ‘quiet time’ for real estate as the normal sales cycle slows down, especially around the holidays between Thanksgiving & New Years Day.

During this ‘quiet time’ The Derrick Team was really busy with several offers and sold half our inventory. Buyers are out in force and investors are snapping up homes left and right. One of our listings had 4 different cash offers!

Take a look at the Hendricks County November report below and you’ll see the highlighted figure of Months Supply of Inventory at 5.8. It’s been a long time since this has dipped below 6 months, which is often when the market edges closer to a sellers market. We hear buyers already complaining they cannot find the type of home they want.

Hendricks-County-Inventory

We were wondering if this would carry over to 2013 and so far it does seem to be the current trend. The activity on our listings and what other agents are saying indicates that the local real estate market is still going strong.

So what’s that mean for you? If you’ve been holding off on selling, don’t wait much longer. Interest rates are still low and buyers are already looking. If you wait much longer, you’ll have more competition as many sellers wait until late March or April to list their home. If you list now you’ll be in a better position to take advantage of the inventory shortage and could possibly sell quickly!

Give The Derrick Team a call and we’ll be glad to do a free Comparative Market Analysis and work out a plan to get you on the market quickly. Call us at 317-563-1110 right now!

Oct 202012
 

AhoSoldWhen you are going to sell a home, you first need to determine how motivated you are. A motivated seller will listen to good advice and prepare the home to show well to encourage offers from buyers. The not-so-motivated will say, “They’ll just have to buy it and fix it up themselves”. What the not-so-motivated don’t get is they can expect a longer time to sell for lot less money.

Before you look at a marketing report from your REALTOR be sure and think carefully about your motivation as that does effect how you price the property. Once you’ve received your marketing report with a range of possible listing prices based on solds, pendings, and the active competition in your area, look carefully at what sold / pended, as that is your target on what buyers are looking for. The actives are really for information only and should not be factored into your list price.

Now consider your motivation for selling. Look at the following and see where you fall:

  • Very aggressive – Must sell. Examples: Job relocation, health or financial reasons, divorce, or estate settlement.
  • Aggressive – Would really like to sell but don’t have too.  Examples: Need a larger/smaller home, would like to live in a different school district, want to live closer to your work/family, or ready to move to your retirement destination.
  • Kicking the tires – Will sell under the right conditions. Examples: Interested in a different home on the market, tired of cleaning a large home, ready for a maintenance free condo.

No matter what your motivation level is, do yourself a favor and get your property show ready. The feedback you want to hear is “home shows nice”. Those are the homes that sell quicker and for higher prices which is what every seller wants, no matter your motivation.

No matter what your motivation is, give The Derrick Team a call for a FREE no-obligation home market evaluation at 317-563-1110.

May 142012
 
Contact the Derrick Team at 317.563.1110

Sweet Dreams of a New Home

Let’s start with why. Sometimes it’s obvious, such as you’ve been transferred to a new city. Or maybe family situations have changed such as a divorce, death, or recent medical conditions. Maybe you’ve found your house is too expensive or large and you have to downsize. If any of these are the case or you just know you have to move the next section won’t apply but read it anyway as it might open your eyes to a potential problem.

Now maybe you’re just considering a move, but don’t have a specific reason that you have to sell your home. There is a little more to consider. First, determine where you want to move to. Do a little research and look for an area that interests you. Check home prices (your Realtor can help, you do know one now), and visit Open Houses when you see them in the target area. Talk to friends that live in the area. Once you have an idea, now make sure you can afford to live there. This is a step sellers often forget to do, no matter what the reason to sell is, make sure you can buy another home! Check with your bank or lender and get prequalified. Just because you own one now doesn’t guarantee you can buy another. Job changes, credit problems, other debt load, can easily disqualify you from a new mortgage. They will prequalify you based on the sale of your current home. A CMA can help here so have your Realtor do one for you. None of this obligates you to sell your home, it’s just a good homework assignment before moving to the next step.

The next part is evaluating the readiness of your home for selling it for the best return on your investment. In other words it needs to look move-in-ready to help you get the best sales price possible in this highly competitive market. At a basic level you need to think of fresh paint, replacing worn flooring, installing new fixtures in kitchens & bathrooms if they are stained or extremely outdated. Again your Realtor (the one you now know) can assist you in what helps the best in your area and price range. You don’t want to spend too much and not get that much back, so don’t get too carried away. See more about preparations in the post.

Now you are ready to put it on the market, right? No not quite yet. Prepare yourself for your life being interrupted for showings and open houses. Start packing what you don’t need and make your home look inviting but not too personalized. Start making plans for your move. Don’t be caught off guard when an offer comes in. We’ve sold homes in days before (once a more common thing than today), and our seller had to scramble to find a place to live. So you don’t have to rush to buy a home if that happens, accept the fact you may have to move into temporary housing, nobody wants to rush a home buying decision.

If you are ready to sell, or will be soon, call that Realtor you know today. That would be The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We’re here to help for all your real estate needs!

Apr 052012
 

Derrick Red Ad signThe Derrick Team loves working with buyers. Whether you are first timers or looking for your retirement dream home, we can help you every step of the way. If you haven’t figured it yet, this is more than just looking at homes and picking one out. There are many steps in this purchase and we will help guild you all the way.

The seller of the property you’ll eventually buy will pay our commission fees so you don’t have to worry about that cost.

But we do expect something pretty simple in return for us helping you. That is: Let us help you!

In other words, Work with us. Now this may seem a little simple to you but you have to understand we will spend a lot of time working on your purchasing process; searching for homes, showing homes, checking home values, negotiating contracts, working with vendors, etc., and will not get paid until you have successfully purchased your new home.

So all we are really asking for is a little loyalty, that’s all!

Just starting your search? Thinking about it in 6 months to a year? Know someone who is looking to buy? Give us a call today for a non-binding ‘meet ‘n greet’ to see if we can be your Realtor. We love to help people buy homes!

Call 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email today!

Mar 152012
 

 

Virtual Tours Help Market Your Home

Virtual Tours Help Market Your Home

In one word: Marketing

Real estate agents don’t sell homes, the owners do. Property owners decide the price they are willing to take. We can guide you to set the best possible price but there is no guarantee a buyer will be willing to pay that much. In the end YOU decide to sell your property and for how much.

The reality is what real estate agents do is market your property. The idea is to market it well. The more buyers that are exposed to your home, the better chance you’ll get the price you want. It’s a numbers game that we do our best to put in your favor.

Carpenter provides all their agents with an extensive tool set to market each property beyond what most realtors can do. This is outlined in detail at Carpenter Home Marketing System .

Here’s the short list:

  • Distinctive signage
  • Information flyers
  • Targeted listing mailings
  • Newspaper advertisements (many options)
  • TV Show on Saturday mornings
  • Carpenter exclusive Homes magazine (over 50K+ distributed bi-monthly)
  • On the Internet there is:
  • CallCarpenter.com
  • Premium listing placement on Homefinder.com & Trulia.com
  • Distribution to all other home listing sites
  • Visual Tour videos on the MLS that are also uploaded to YouTube.com

What The Derrick Team adds:

All of this and more is in our toolbox to use to fine tune our marketing of your property to get maximum exposure to all buyers!

Give The Derrick Team a call or text today to setup a time we can come show you what we can do for you at 317-563-1110. We’ll talk to you with no high pressure sales and no obligation to use us when you list your property. We know you’ll like what you see! And we work 7 days a week, evenings too.

Feb 252012
 

Dennis At Work

As a Real Estate Broker Associate we’re covered by Indiana license laws in what we can and cannot do. So please throw out that image you’ve formed of realtors from HGTV and any movie or TV show that has a Realtor in it. That’s as about as close as CSI cop shows are to crime fighting.

We often joke that most people think all we do is show houses. Well that is a certain part of our job. Especially agents who specialize in buyers (The Derrick Team are both buyer and listing agents). But that actually is a small part of the larger picture. A better way of describing our main job is lots of marketing (our selves and our listings), research (the market and current trends) and contract negotiations, (or as I like to say, Haggling).

There are a lot of other little things we do spread around daily but these three main functions are what drive our business. Now let’s talk a little about our business model.

In general almost all real estate agents are independent contractors. Most people don’t realize that we work for ourselves and ONLY get paid when we sell houses. Because of Indiana license laws, we sales associates must work WITH a broker, but don’t work FOR them. In our case this is Carpenter Realtors and we love how they do the WITH part (that can be for a later post). So we are INDEPENDENT contractors, and ONLY GET PAID when we sell a home (or close the transaction to be specific). So when we are busy doing all the marketing, researching, and haggling, we are doing so in the hope that everything eventually results in a CLOSING! (Sometimes it doesn’t for items beyond our control). So whatever you thought we did before, now you know in summary, we work our butts off for ourselves and sometimes get paid for it…. And did I mention 7 days a week, 365 days a year? (yes we’ve been called on Xmas and New Years). So I’ll just say it this way,” I don’t want to make money, I just love to sell Real Estate!” (Sorry Don) OK I love to sell Real Estate, and a little money helps pay the bills.

RallyAward

It’s a lot of work to sell 5 million!

If you are in need of a professional Realtor, now you know what we do, day in and day out. Give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110. We love to sell real estate, buying or selling!

Dec 242011
 
Contact the Derrick Team at 317.563.1110

Merlin has Sweet Dreams of a New Home

Call or text us today at 317-563-1110, we work 7 days a week, evenings too.

Dec 162011
 

Getting ready to put your home on the market?  Better get started right now!

We often think of spring as starting in late March because of the actual calendar tells us that. So people think of the prime home selling season as starting around the same time. But the truth doesn’t pay attention to the calendar so you need to change your perception as well.

If you are not already getting your home ready to market, you’d better get busy. As the chart showing the seasonal pending home sales shows you, that early spring peak starts in January, in the middle of winter! So to get in the early spring sales peak, you should have your home listed by the middle of January by the latest.

Give us a call if you have any questions on what you should be doing. We’ll be happy to help with a free CMA and tips for getting your home ready. Call The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 today!

Dec 132011
 

SittingRoomArtworkFeedback from potential buyers, other agents, and open house visitors is an important part of figuring out what your home needs to help sell it as we’ve discussed in another blog post. But one thing we don’t always get is the emotional feelings people get when walking into your property. While many savvy buyers today are looking at a home purchase from a knowledgeable standpoint of location, construction, etc., the actual home that is chosen will often be because of an emotional reaction. Buyers surprise us all the time in their final selection due to some emotional trigger we failed to sense.

This reaction is often triggered by all of the 5 senses. And all 5 must be positive reactions! So while we often tend to look a physical aspects we see with our eyes, such as home condition, updates, etc., we should also pay attention to the feel, sound, taste, and especially the smell senses.

So while we all can do our best to address everything the best we can, we really think there is a point where a professional stager is the best tool we can use to perfect the best emotional reaction for buyers when they view your home. A good stager knows and works with preparing a home to satisfy a buyers senses and trigger a positive emotion, thus leading to quicker sale for often at a higher price.

The Derrick Team has just added another tool to our extensive marketing toolkit with the addition of a local home stager that’s been working in the area for several years that will work with us as needed to fine tune your home for today’s emotional buyers. This company has agreed to do the consulting with us on your home with their consulting fee not due till closing. And if your home doesn’t sell, you owe nothing. That’s how confident they are in what they’ll advise you to do to sell your home. You can do their recommendations yourself, hire it out to your preferred contractor, or turn it over to them and let them do everything for you (for additional fees).

Want to sell your home with the best marketing plan around? Then give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110 to talk to us about getting your home prepared to emotionally sell your home to a buyers 5 senses!

Nov 042011
 

Dennis Derrick

Many buyers are unaware of the processes involved with purchasing property, especially first time home buyers. Even if you have bought and sold property before, you may learn something from this information.

In the state of Indiana the laws were originally written that REALTORS solely represented the sellers and it was simply “Buyer Beware” for those wishing to purchase real estate. As this was obviously a one sided professional representation, many buyers were taken advantage of by sellers who had professional representation. Finally the Indiana lawmakers, following the lead of many other states created the “Buyers Agency” provision in the law so now buyers could choose to be represented by a their own agent in real estate transactions.

Now for the best part, it costs you nothing to be represented by a REALTOR as the buyer. The local REALTOR boards (in central Indiana its MIBOR) worked out a system so the seller pays a commission fee and then this is shared between both the seller and buyer’s agents. So the agent representing the buyer is paid a Brokers Agency Commission (BAC) percentage by the seller and both sides receive fair professional representation, each agent working for the best interests of their client.

Now you know it costs you nothing, what do you get for this great price?

First, you get a REALTOR who will be able to get you more information on property than you would otherwise. They have access to more information through their professional association with the local REALTOR board.

Second, you will have someone who will work with you to determine your needs and desires and be able to efficiently search for the available properties saving you valuable time. They will be able to weed out properties that don’t fit your requirements so you can focus your search on great potential matches.

And most importantly, they will be there to represent you during the negotiations for the property you chose to buy. Even after your offer is accepted there are many things your REALTOR will be helping you with, all the way up to the final closing and possession.

Of course a really great REALTOR will help you with even more, so if you are even thinking of purchasing a new home now or in the future, be sure and give The Derrick Team a call at 317.563.1110. And don’t forget, IT’S FREE!

Oct 122011
 

EntryDoorArtworkWe’re moving to the cooler months where spending time indoors is the norm in central Indiana. If you are thinking of selling your home next spring, now is the time to start getting ready. We are going to talk about looking at your home through a potential buyers eyes (and nose).

First, while it’s still nice out, take a walk around your neighborhood and get some fresh air. While doing that make note of the homes that seem attractive to you. Neat yard, nicely trimmed hedges, colorful flowers, no peeling paint, etc. Look at those compared to the homes with weeds, broken fences, missing gutter, etc and think which home would you think about buying? Now when you get back around to your home, stand out front and look over what you might want to address before next spring and make a list before you forget!

Now step inside and take a deep breath. Smell anything at all? This morning’s breakfast or something currently cooking aside, make note of the source and make sure that it is addressed before you market the home. Anytime friends are over ask them if they notice any smells. Sometimes you get used to a home smell and don’t even notice it.

Now to the interior of the home. Walk around with a clipboard or notepad and make note of ANY defect you notice. Dirty ceiling lights, broken outlet cover, broken trim board, etc. Don’t think about how you can hide it with furniture, it must be cleaned / fixed / replaced! No detail is too much. Buyers will pick apart the home and when a list gets too lengthy in their mind, they will walk out and move on to the next home. They want a “Move In Ready” home.

Start with the simple things, like cleaning dirty items. As a rule of thumb we say clean it to make it look like new. If it won’t come clean replace or paint it. Not sure on what to replace it with? Look at home centers for ideas, or go visit nearby new model homes in the price point you expect (or want) your home to sell in.

Next look at more major things such as painting a room or replacing carpet or flooring. Try to look for what fits with the room’s original use; like hardwood in a dining room you’re using as a playroom now. Again you can get ideas from model homes and improvement centers / magazines. But don’t go crazy with colors when painting. Neutral tones or single accent walls are a safer bet. Tone down any walls you have that are currently really loud if at all possible. For projects you cannot do yourself, get quotes and mark those costs on your list.

Then there are the major items that can be really pricey to replace so first consider the value they add to your home before a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover. Again get quotes on these items and mark those costs on your list.

This is the point where you want to talk to a REALTOR about local home values. This will help you determine improvement vs. home value to see if it’s worth the costs. The Derrick Team will be glad to come talk to you months before you are ready to sell. And you are under no obligation to use us at any time. We just love to help people sell their homes. Call or text The Derrick Team anytime at 317-563-1110, we work 7 days a week including evenings!

Sep 262011
 

Selling property takes teamwork from both the seller & family and the REALTOR® who is under contract. Most people will think the REALTOR® is solely responsible for selling the property but that in fact is only partially true.

The Derrick Team

Teamwork Sells Homes!

The REALTOR® under contract with a seller is responsible for marketing, talking with other REALTORS® with clients interested in the property, and making sure all offers have complete contracts before the actual sale is completed. A good REALTOR® will advise their clients on items that help the property show better along with possible sales prices based on a Comparative Market Analysis.

But the main thing that makes this a true teamwork situation that most people don’t realize is the seller sells the home, not the REALTOR®.

Seller Responsibilities
While the REALTOR® advises a client on possible sales prices, it is the seller who sets the price the property is to be listed at. We know that overpriced property can take a long time to sell, if it sells at all. Proper pricing is the responsibility of the seller. Add the fact that only the seller can determine the offer price which they are willing to accept and you see, the seller has complete control on selling the property, not the REALTOR®. And the final part the seller controls is the actual showing condition of the property. This can make a big difference on how buyers view the property and ultimately the price offered. All that makes the seller & family very important team members in getting the property sold at a good price.

REALTOR® Responsibilities
So what is important about the REALTOR® you hire? A good REALTOR® will make sure contracts are in order and list your property in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). A great REALTOR® makes sure you have a good photos and description in the MLS. The BEST REALTOR® will market you home to make sure the most buyers view your home in increase the odds of the right buyer finding your property and bringing a great offer. The Derrick Team with our Above & Beyond Marketing will do that for you.

With a dedicated web site and extensive Internet exposure you’ll find The Derrick Team a very valuable member of the team to sell your property! Especially since you get 2 agents for the price of one! Get more details at www.DerrickTeam.com then call us at 317-563-1110 or drop us a note at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com!

Sep 042011
 

One thing we find that people selling their home take seriously is the buyer feedback, (sometimes a little too seriously). I’m going to break it down how we use feedback, because it’s important to pay attention to it.

We push for feedback from the agents who show our listings. Some agents are better than others about getting us feedback in a timely fashion, or even at all. The agents can easily send feedback through our showing service CSS (Centralized Showing Service) via automated emails they receive. But if they choose to ignore those requests we will call them after a few days. It’s really that important as part of marketing the home.

There are two types of important feedback, then others that sometimes make no sense.

First (The Good) is the overall reaction from both the agent and their buyer, such as ‘home shows nice’, or ‘home smells like animals’, and the most common one, ‘home needs updates’. Things like this tell us if the seller needs to do more preparations or not. Basically this is the feedback we need because there are ways to overcome these buyer objections.

The second type (The Bad) is good to know but probably no way to overcome. This includes things like ‘the kitchen is too small’, or ‘didn’t like the floor plan’. Since the seller probably is not willing to knock down walls to enlarge the kitchen or change the floor plan, we just make note of these and work to market based on the positive feedback.

Then there is the feedback that usually upsets the seller (The Ugly). We try to coach our clients on what is important but some tend to take feedback personally. These can be along the lines of ‘need a home with a basement’ when the home was not marketed as having one. Or ‘need a 3 car garage’ when clearly the listing information says 2 car. You just have to expect these as misguided buyers change their minds all the time and we have seen these on practically all our listings at some point. As the seller you just have to ignore them and use the good feedback to continue to tweak how your home shows.

One final note on the ‘home needs updates’; unless you just replaced all your homes fixtures, remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, and put new flooring in the entire house, you will probably hear this comment, often from the agents themselves. We typically chalk this comment up to people who want a brand new home but cannot afford one. So we don’t recommend to our clients to replace anything, unless its worn or broken. Otherwise just expect to hear this anytime you sell a home.

So when selling your home, be prepared for feedback. It’s important for us to market your home and we will push to get it from buyers, agents, and open house visitors. Just don’t take it personally because people all have different opinions, and some just don’t matter. We just pay attention to the ones that do.

 

Aug 162011
 

As Realtors we often look at tax data, most importantly assessment value, in part of our Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). It’s not uncommon to find that the homeowner may not have a common deduction on their property taxes. The most important one, the Homestead Credit can mean a much higher tax bill if not applied to the property if it’s applicable. If you are the owner and you live in the home, you are eligible. Another common one is the mortgage deduction that is usually only $3000 or less but still, it’s a few more bucks in your pocket if it applies (you have a mortgage on the property).

There also is a new process in which you must re-apply for your Homestead Credit to keep it in effect. In your last property tax statement there was a pink sheet that told you that all information must be updated by 2013 or you can lose this credit. In most counties you can do this online. I just did ours for Hendricks County at this link: Hendricks County Parcel Search. Just type in your address and find your information. Then on your property information page click on the Homestead Deduction button and fill in the information. You will get an email later confirming your Homestead Deduction has been OK’d from the auditors office. Only takes a few minutes and can save you hundreds of dollars.

There are many others and I’ve borrowed a table from the Indiana Department of Revenue flyer and added it below. Look it over and if you have questions call your county tax assessors office to get more details. Many require a form to fill out and some documentation to prove your eligible. But in the long run it’s money in your pocket that is rightfully yours!

Indiana Property Tax Deductions

Here are some handy links from the Indiana GOV web site:

 

 

Jul 202011
 

Oak Bend Estates was developed in the late 1980’s in a nicely wooded hilly area with White Lick Creek (east fork) to the west, County Road 100 North to the south, and State Road 267 to the east. Oak Bend Estates is located in Avon, Hendricks County, Indiana. This area was commonly used in dairy farming until the 50’s and 60’s until dairy farming was not profitable on a small scale and most of the dairy farms sold their herd and went to straight agriculture. This hilly wooded area was thus mostly untouched as is was unsuitable for agriculture and contains many large mature trees so the homes are nestled in among a very beautiful natural setting.

The first homes were built in 1988 with most homes built around 1990 time frame and the last one was complete in 1998. Oak Bend Estates was developed in 5 sections starting from the west side of the development and finishing with section 5 on the east end. The two entrances are on County Road 100 North and State Road 267 with many of the homes on cul-de-sacs.

There are currently 180 homes with 2 home sites left to build on. Average assessed tax value for homes in Oak Bend Estates is $289,334 for the 2010 tax year. Over the past several years the average for homes sold was a little over $300,000 at $100 per square foot.

All the homes are custom built with no two homes being allowed to use the exact same floor plan. This gives Oak Bend Estates a wide variety of styles used from newer all brick styles to homes with classic Victorian, Queen Ann, & Colonial styles. Oak Bend Estates is considered one of the finest neighborhoods to reside in the town of Avon. Take a drive though and you’ll see why.

If you need to sell or buy a home in Oak Bend or anywhere in the Indianapolis Metro area be sure and text or call The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week including evenings.


Jul 092011
 
Connie Derrick

Connie Derrick

Connie Derrick – REALTOR:
With 30 years of customer service experience she connects well with all our clients, sellers and buyers alike. She’s held her RE license since 1997 and has been with Carpenter Realtors since 2001. She stays in touch and returns calls and emails promptly. As many of our clients can attest, she will become your friend during and after all transactions with The Derrick Team. She’s also out marketing face to face with potential and existing clients almost every day.


Dennis Derrick – REALTOR:

Dennis Derrick

Dennis Derrick

He has been working with remodeling homes, well since that first tree house as a teenager. He understands the common and even the unusual construction techniques used and can help clients make informed decisions on selecting the type of house that would be a good fit. He’s also been involved with Information Technology in some form or another for most of his life. Include that he’s been designing and building web sites for over 10 years and you have the perfect person for online marketing of your home. He’s actively marketing your property online in the 24/7 social media world to give you the best exposure to bring that buyer to you.


Vicky Peters – Managing Broker at Carpenter Realtors Avon West:
Vicky is our mentor, broker, and manager all at the same time. Having been in the business for many years he as seen it all and helps us with the more unusual issues. He is there to assist us at any time and is a very important member of the team.


Debbie – Avon West Office Coordinator:
Debbie is who keeps us all in line while supporting us with just about any request we have. She keeps our paperwork in order and makes sure our print ads are setup. She’s a woman with many hats and we would be lost without her support on our team.


Carpenter Realtors Corporate Offices:
A small army of dedicated real estate professionals who focus on the Carpenter Realtors marketing, training, Internet leads, and all types of support. All of which makes for an invaluable member of our team.


Financial Gurus – Many we work with:
Finances are always important in real estate transactions and we have many we work with. We will work with the finance people on any side of a transaction to make sure everything proceeds smoothly. These gurus are a very important member of our team.


Title Insurance companies – Many we work with:
Title insurance is an important part of finishing the process of any real estate transaction. We work very closely with all title companies to make sure all the paperwork is ready for a closing, the most important part of any real estate transaction, thus a key member of our team.


Home Inspection companies – Many we work with:
We really depend on the professional guidance with home inspectors on the condition of a home, even a brand new one. We always recommend a buyer gets an inspection and will assist in finding one available in the allotted time frame after an accepted purchase. They’re advice is a valuable service of our team.


 

HSA – providing home warranties for buyers and sellers:
HSA provides a great service for both our listings and buyers. We recommend home warranties for either side of a transaction. We have seen our clients save hundreds of dollars afterwards so we know the benefits for both buyers and sellers that makes them a great part of our team.


 

There are many others that are often brought into a transaction as needed for quotes, repairs, staging, etc. But as you see, when you use The Derrick Team to represent you in your real estate transaction, you have a large team ready to make sure everything goes smoothly, for you, our client. Give us a call or text today at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week, including evenings!

awards

 

 

Jun 272011
 

So you are in the preliminary stages of getting ready to shop for a home loan, either to purchase or refinance. A suggestion from a lender we talked to the other day was to create a “New Home” folder, or whatever you are securing the loan for.

The idea is to gather all the necessary paperwork needed by the lender and keep it updated all the time so when you are asked for something, you know exactly where it’s at. Based on the required items, you might have to consider a box as it may not all fit in one folder.

What lenders want are documents that prove your income and assets, and the sources of both. So the first and most important documents are as follows:

  • 2 months of bank statements from all banks & asset accounts (retirement and investments). Obviously this is something you’ll need to update each month.
  • 2 months of income statements. Paychecks & dividend income, (again updated as needed).
  • 2 years of filed & signed tax statements with all associated schedules. If you file electronically, print and sign copies for the bank. The signature is important as that certifies you saying it’s correct.
  • 2 years of employment history with employer contact information. They WILL call to verify.

Some additional items may apply and it helps to have this ready to go as well:

  • Documentation on the source of any extra money, especially if it’s part of your down payment. For example a gift from a relative; provide a copy of their canceled check and your deposit slip to show how and when it was put in your bank account. Same if it was an inheritance, a copy of the will showing the amount and when you deposited it, and a death certificate.
  • If you’ve been through a divorce you’ll need the divorce settlement and documentation on child support. This only applies in certain situations and can depend on the children’s ages but it’s better to be prepared in case it comes up.
  • Paperwork for any judgments or liens against you and explanations in writing on payment plans or history if paid off. These will show up in a credit report so it’s best to be prepared ahead of time.
  • If you’ve been renting, copies of the lease / rental agreement and 2 years of canceled checks.
  • If applying for a VA loan; Certificate of Eligibility, DD 214, and Disability paperwork if applicable.

Consider this a basic list; in each situation the type of loan and your credit rating can dictate the need for even greater documentation. Don’t’ forget you’ll also need to prove you are you. Typically that means having a VALID drivers license (pull yours out right now and make sure it’s not expired), a social security card, or a permanent resident alien card.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit reports now so there are no surprises. If you haven’t done so in the past year, you can request free credit reports from the 3 main credit companies. If you find mistakes you have time to work on getting them corrected before you start the actual loan process.

Finally don’t do anything that might hurt your credit while the loan processing is taking place. Check our post on Your Credit and Buying a Home for details.

Now look at this list and determine how big of a box do you need?

If you need any help with finding a lender, give us a call and we can give you names of some of our recommended lenders. And if you are preparing to purchase a home, we can help you with that too!

May 022011
 

We often are told by potential homebuyers, “We want to find a really great deal”. Well that makes sense, you’re shopping for the most expensive item you’ll buy during your lifetime, why not get a great deal too.

So in today’s market, that usually starts them looking at the homes everyone thinks are steals, foreclosed homes. Lets look a little deeper on what these deals are all about.

First, we break these into 2 categories, foreclosed homes and pre-foreclosed homes.

Pre-foreclosed homes are commonly referred to as short sales, possible short sales, or even pre-foreclosed homes. In general what this means is the owner is unable to pay the note holder of the mortgage (typically a bank) and the property is worth less than the amount owed. Various rules apply to what the homes status is depending on the note holders requirements are for short sale but often the owner must be behind on at least 3 payments and be able to document why they cannot pay the mortgage. This is known as a ‘hardship package’. If the requirements are met then the home is marketed as a short sale. For buyers these can be good deals, but the purchase process requires a lot of patience. There is a lot of back and forth negotiations with the purchase of a short sale and for a REALTOR it can be a challenge to get everything to work out, and each bank handles these completely differently. But it is doable and the federal government is working on ways to smooth this out. Short sales could be a long topic on their own so for now lets just say if you are not in a hurry, these can be a deal.

Foreclosed homes fall into a few different categories depending on who was the note holder of the home. The most common are listed as HUD’s, Homepath’s , & REO’s.

HUD homes were financed via a federal entity such as FHA, VA, USDA, etc. When the property is foreclosed the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development takes over the home and it is then listed for sale with a processing service that works with a set of rules on how to sell the home. But the basics are it’s sold with a bidding process, kind of like the Ebay of home sales. These properties can be really nice or a total mess. But once you find one the purchase process can be pretty straightforward.

Foreclosed homes that had mortgages with Fannie Mae are now usually marketed as Homepath homes. These can be similar to HUD homes (Fannie & Freddie are quasi federal entities). Lately the Homepath homes are often marketed towards first time homebuyers with deals such as $100 down and escrows allowed to do repairs to the home. These homes can be very affordable and easier to purchase than HUD properties.

Finally there are the Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. (Nothing to do with the great rock band REO Speedwagon). These are listed like normal homes except the owner you negotiate with is the bank that was the mortgage holder. These can range from really nice homes to those referred too as “distressed”. Because you are negotiating directly with the owner, the purchase process is similar to a normal home sale. The question of how good a deal this can be depends on the status of the banks inventory and how bad they need to unload the home. But generally these will be sold for less than the general area market value so these can be a good deal for a buyer to consider.

This is a general high level overview of what deals a buyer can find. Each of these are more complex subjects so you want to make sure and have a professional REALTOR help you with these purchases as the respective sellers will pay their fees. But to summarize each, short sales require patience, bidding on HUD’s can be like playing the lottery, Homepath homes can have great financing options, and REO’s are more like normal deals that often are discounted, depending on the banks situation.

Ready to get a deal? Give The Derrick Team a call today and we’ll help you find the best fit for you.

Apr 262011
 

When you are shopping for homes, you are looking at things such as the local area, number of bedrooms & baths, yard size, etc., things you deem important depending on your life style. You may even look at certain architectural styles, building levels, or if there is a basement. But beyond maybe the difference between a gas and electric stove, not many pay attention to the home’s mechanicals. We’re referring to heating / cooling systems, water heater, water source (well / municipal) waste systems (septic / municipal), etc. This is where the home inspection is important tool to utilize in the home buying process.

So you searched the internet and toured a dozen or so homes that fit your criteria, finalized your selection, and made an offer on the best one. Your REALTOR should have encouraged you to make your offer contingent on the home passing a Home Inspection by a certified Home Inspector. You will be paying this inspector to check the home for defects, including those mechanical systems you may have not paid much attention to during those many home tours. View this as a mechanic looking at a used car before you purchase it. Only this used car is very expensive so you really want everything looked at thoroughly.

The second thing to note with having your potential new home inspected is it’s also an education for you about the home. A good home inspector will show you the function of the homes mechanicals, such as how to change the furnace filter, shut off the water supply, check the electric panel, etc. So it’s best to view the inspection as good education on taking care of the home, while looking for major defects. A typical inspector will probably find something wrong (he’s trying to earn his money), but you really should only worry about addressing major defects (like a safety issue with electrical wiring or structural issue with the roof). Your REALTOR should be able to help you address any issues in the Inspection Response if a major defect is uncovered.

And in the case a really major defect is found (foundation is crumbling), you may find paying the Home Inspector and walking away from the deal will have saved you thousands of dollars in the future. That’s the best money you’ll have ever spent for something you didn’t buy. Any good REALTOR should recommend you do a home inspection on a home you are buying, and if they don’t, they’re not looking out for your best interest. The Derrick Team always recommends home inspections for our buyers, and I (Dennis) will usually be there with you to help you understand the process. Call or email us with any questions you have in the home buying process today!

Apr 112011
 

So you are starting to think about buying a home. Here are the basics to get you stated.

1. Organize your finances.
Look at your current income, bills, savings, etc, and organize this into something you can easily reference. If you are handy with a spreadsheet this is the best way to get everything in one place. What you want in the end is an accurate document of your current budget.

2. Contact a lender.
The best place to start may be where you bank. But be aware that not all lenders are the same. They all have different options for loans; some have more for first time homebuyers, others for low interest rates for people with outstanding credit ratings. So don’t get discouraged if a lender acts like they cannot help you. Another one may have the perfect plan for you. Your REALTOR can help you find one too which leads to the next step.

3. Hire a REALTOR.
Actually you find one to represent you. We are paid buy the seller with the home you ultimately purchase. But we still represent you and you only so you are really hiring us to help you. Most agents will ask you sign a Buyers Agency form that formalizes that we represent you in real estate transactions. Once you choose one, use them exclusively because if you jump around from one to another, none of them will be that interested in really helping you. So remember, loyalty is important!

4. Start looking for your new home.
Now you have your team assembled with your lender and REALTOR working together with you so now you can start looking for you new home! Your REALTOR will talk with you on your needs and desires and help you in your search. Then when you’ve got a list of possible homes, they will take you to see them, pointing out items of interest in each home based on previous discussions. When you find that perfect home, they’ll guide and represent you in negotiations with the seller. They’ll be there to work with you on the inspection, providing lender information on the home, all the way to the completed purchase (known as the closing).

For more information call The Derrick Team today at 317.563.1110, even if you are still at step 1!

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