May 172016
 

Been looking for that perfect home but just cannot see it browsing the classifieds or on the Internet? Well we’ve stated the many reasons why you should use a REALTOR® when making an investment like a new home in another blog post. But did you realize that even if you decide to build, you’re better off working with your REALTOR® to guide you through the process? Years ago builders accepted the usefulness of paying REALTORS® a fee and it’s worked so well they now market directly to REALTORS® to move their inventory.Home Framing

But what’s important to you that as professional REALTORS® we will work with you to determine your needs and are familiar with the various builders working in the market. We can help you get the best deal in the area you most desire because of our working relationship with the builders. And best of all, it costs you nothing.

If you’ve signed the contract to build a home without the help of your REALTOR®, then one only knows what kind of deal you got.

So if even if you are only thinking of building a home, contact your REALTOR® first. They can make sure you get the best deal before you sign, and then help you work with the builder during construction. It’s the best money you never had to spend!

Questions? Feel free to text or call The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 or use our handy Contact Form.

Mar 052016
 

Open HouseEvery time you talk to a good real estate agent while at an open house you will eventually hear from them “Are you working with an agent?” Good agents will respect that you are the other agent’s client unless you tell us otherwise. What is usually surprising is when the person tells us that they don’t want help from an agent in their search for a new property. They might even be annoyed when we offer to represent them in any transaction even thought it costs them nothing because the seller typically pays all commission fees. It’s one of those puzzling items that we run across quite often.

If you are one of those buyers not ready to commit to an agent representing you here are something to consider: A good buyer agent will spend a great deal of time and effort to find the perfect home for a committed client. This will include all the proper preparation and education on the processes for the client, searching and showing potential homes to the client, and of course working with the client with an offer all the way to closing and beyond. So if you don’t commit with an agent you’ll find most agents will only offer information on their listings you contact them about but not much else.

Now for a couple of suggestions when looking for an agent to help you: Do some research on agents in your area. Ask family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors if they’ve worked with any agents recently or any recommendations they might have.  Visit open houses in the area you are looking in to find agents that work that area. Google them and find out about their Internet presence. You’ll see their knowledge of the area from all of this. Then to see if they are a good personality match meet with them at their office and discuss what you’re looking for. Even at this point you have nothing to lose, as you are committed to nothing until you start looking at properties with the agent.

Finally keep in mind any buyer agency documents you sign are typically only for the homes that agent has shown you. If you decide to move to another agent later on that new agent will represent you on any additional homes you look at and decide to purchase. So as we tell our clients you can fire us at any time without further commitment.

The Derrick Team loves working with buyers no matter what price range. From first time homebuyers to those looking for acreage in far out rural areas we are glad to help. Give us a call or text us anytime at 317-563-1110 and we’ll be glad to meet with you to discuss your plans and options for purchasing a new home! Or use our handy Contact Form here.

Jun 262015
 
Purchase Agreement

See link to sample purchase agreement below.

Every state has different rules in regards to real estate transactions so in this article I’m focusing on Indiana’s Residential Purchase Agreement and the contingencies that matter most to buyers (but really are important for sellers to be aware of as well).

Today’s purchase agreement is now more helpful to the buyers than in the past. Years ago purchasing real estate was more of a ‘buyers beware’ transaction as most of the contract favored the sellers. Any misstep by the buyers and they forfeited their earnest money to the seller or listing broker. Now there a few built-in contingencies that unless superseded by other documents help to protect the buyer. The 2 most important on a standard contract is the ‘Independent Inspection’ section and the ‘Financing’ section.

Any good real estate agent is going to instruct their buyer to plan on the inspection costs as that is one of the best protections a buyer has. The idea is that they don’t want to end up paying too much for a home that has hidden defects (or at least not obvious to the untrained eye). When purchasing a home, a buyer needs to understand that they are paying for an inspection because the inspector is working for you, not the seller. The inspection section in the Purchase Agreement gives the buyer a time period to have the home inspected for major defects and safety concerns and determine if they want them addressed by the seller. It’s what we refer to as another ‘buyer / seller negotiation’ process in the transaction. The buyer can ask that certain items be repaired or addressed and the seller can negotiate back. A good listing agent will have prepared the sellers for this part of the transaction so the seller should be prepared to address any major defects found by the inspection. In rare cases the buyer can determine the house is in such bad shape they can ask to cancel the Purchase Agreement with a mutual release and have their earnest money refunded. Our experience is if both sides are reasonable this can be worked out to both parties satisfaction. Keep in mind if a buyer waives the right to inspection, you’re back to ‘buyer beware’.

The other important section is the financing sections that outline the type of buyers financing and the timeline in which everything is completed up to the final ‘closing date’. For the most part this protects the buyer so that if for any reason the buyer cannot obtain financing to complete the transaction the buyer will get a full refund of the earnest money. For the buyers sake it’s always a good idea to have all your financing worked out before you start looking at homes. When we work with buyers we insist a buyer talk to a lender to confirm their financial status before we start showing homes. We don’t want to waste everyone’s time if there was never any chance the deal would close. But at the same time there can be other reasons for the buyer to not be able to get financing. In some cases it might be the home’s condition is so poor the lender denies the loan (usually FHA / VA loans). In other cases it can be the appraisal comes in too low and the seller is unwilling to lower the price so the buyer is unable to get the loan. And in some cases there are sudden financial hardships that come into play as the buyer loses their job. So in most of these cases the purchase agreement protects the buyer in that they at least should get their earnest money back. Keep in mind there are other factors that come in to play but this is mostly what we have seen in our past experiences.

There are a handful of other sections that give the buyer a chance to negotiate or back out such as if the transaction is dependent on the buyer closing on their current home (and that buyer fails to close) or the section that covers homeowner associations. But the inspection and financing are what we always see as the 2 most important when working from accepted offer to closing. So a buyer must pay attention to this and work closely with their agent and lender to make sure everything goes smoothly to get to the point of signing the closing documents and getting the keys to their new home.

Have questions on how the process all works? Check out this flow chart here. Or feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. Based out of Avon Indiana we serve Hendricks County and the surrounding Indianapolis Metropolitan area.

Sample 2015 Indiana Purchase Agreement: Purchase_Agreement_Improved_Property_-_2015_ts48492

Feb 232015
 

Sold Another Avon HomeYou often will hear about improvements to a home that help increase the value. But you really don’t know if the value was really improved until you go to sell your home. What you want to increase is the buyers’ perceptions which will in turn increase what they will offer. As long as it appraises you will have increased the value based on your improvements.

First and foremost, the most important improvement is to clean your home like it’s never been cleaned before. This will always be our number one recommendation to anyone who’s getting their home prepared to sell. We’ve heard all kinds of reasons why people want to skip this step but you’re hurting the home’s value because of the buyer’s perceptions. ‘If the owner does not clean the home they probably don’t take good care of the home in general.’ In other words they wonder what else has been ignored in the upkeep of the home in general.

The first part of this involves decluttering. Remember that you plan to move soon so purge first to save you a lot of trouble later on. Then store away as many personal, small items as you can to make the home look neat. You’ll be glad you did this first when you start to clean. While you can clean the home yourself and save money it might be worth having professionals come do a top to bottom cleaning once, then you can just do maintenance cleaning from that point on. Clean homes will always sell faster and for closer to original list price. So this is the biggest bang for the buck, even if you pay someone.

After the cleaning look over everything in the home such as kitchen / bath fixtures to see if there are any stains or damage that didn’t come clean. At that point consider replacing them and be sure and match or upgrade what you currently have. What you use as replacements depends on your home décor and price point. This is a good time to talk to a local REALTOR to see what would work best for your home. Now use this same thought process on everything else in the home. Scarred or damaged walls? Go ahead and repair / paint and be sure and use a neutral color. * Stains that won’t come out of the carpet? Consider replacing the carpet or at least getting a quote. You’ll want to talk to a REALTOR before you spend too much money on new flooring.

After cleaning and repairing things can get a bit trickier. This is where someone with local market knowledge can be the biggest help. While a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover will help you sell your home, you may spend a lot of money and only get a little increased value in return. What really drives major updates is the local market for your type of home. In markets in other parts of the country homes sell for much higher values (starting at $500K), so updated baths and kitchens are expected with a basic home. So in that market a $20K kitchen upgrade could pay off while here with an $85K starter home, not so much.

Better investments locally are to look at the condition of the mechanicals such as heating/air, water heater, sump pump, etc. For example have your furnace serviced before you put the home on the market and keep the paperwork on anything done, especially if there is a transferable warranty. These are the type of items that can come up in an inspection so you’ll probably have to do this anyway. But what you want is to show the buyer you take good care of your home. That is the basic perceived value you want to impress on buyers who tour your home. That in turn will increase their offer and what the real value of your home is to that buyer.

If you are looking to increase your home’s value feel free to call The Derrick Team to come take a look at your home. We’ll be happy to discuss what you need to do with no obligations. We love to help people sell their homes that much! Call or text 317-563-1110 or email us at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com. We work out of our Avon Indiana office to help buyers and sellers in the entire Indy Metro Area.

* If you plan to do the painting your self be sure and do a neat professional job. Sloppy paint jobs can be worse than walls that need painting so invest in some good paint tools and tape to do it right.

Jan 312015
 

RinehartSOLDSo you’ve been though the process of searching, touring, and determining the home you wish to purchase. You made an offer and your Realtor just called you and told you your offer has been excepted. Congratulations, you just made the first step in your home purchase process. But you’re not quite done yet. Now it’s time to get busy as you and your Realtor have some things to do.

First, your Realtor should let you know specifically what to do per what you put in the Purchase Agreement (PA). There are contingencies that must be met to complete the entire purchase.

Getting A Loan
Typically if you are getting a loan there is a contingency for you to be able to obtain acceptable financing and the property to appraise for the purchase price. Your Realtor will work closely with your lender to make sure all the information is exchanged on the property and purchase agreement with all needed parties. This includes the Ernest Money (EM) you put down on the property (which is deposited in escrow by the listing broker at this point, so make sure you have the funds to cover). It is YOUR responsibility to provide all your personal financial information to lender as quickly as possible when anything is requested. Failure to do so can lead to delays or even the default of the PA, which then can make you lose the property and possibly your EM. Time is of essence after the first few days so do everything you’re told as quickly as possible. What ever you do, DON’T go spend a lot of money. We’ve seen more deals fall apart because buyers ruin their credit rating just as they are about to purchase a home. If you need to buy something, talk to your lender first.

The Home Inspection
At this same time you’ll be told to hire an home inspector if it was in the PA. We always recommend one for every home purchased as you want to make sure there is no hidden major problems that end up costing you a lot of money in the future. Take the time to get this setup as quickly as possible, and make the time to be there during the inspection. A good inspector will show you things you need to know, like how to check the furnace or water heater. They will educate you a little about your new home. A good Realtor will be there with you for the inspection (I will always try my best to be there for the entire inspection.) After the inspection we will write the inspection response based on what is documented in the report. At that point we will negotiate with the sellers if there are issues that need to be resolved.

Homeowners Insurance
After those two items are addressed things will slow down a little bit while waiting for the lender to finish preliminary underwriting on your loan and the appraisal is ordered. You will need to call and get homeowners insurance as that will be a lender requirement. Check with your auto insurance company as discounts often apply to combined home and auto insurance.

Listen To Your Advisors
If there are other contingencies your Realtor should keep you advised on anything you need to get taken care of. Be a responsible buyer and follow the advice of your Realtor and lender to make sure the entire transaction proceeds smoothly. Buyers who do not complete contract items in time can find they lose the property and their EM. But stay in the required timeframes and everything will move more easily to you owning a new home.

Just starting to look? Give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110! We will assist you every step of the way to get you into you’re new home.

Feb 202014
 

Deciding to own a home is an important decision that people shouldn’t take lightly. It’s a large financial investment of both time and money. But it’s a good one for those who have settled down roots in a community they want to live in for the next few years at least. Or maybe you’ve outgrown your current home with an expanding family. Whatever the reason this chart outlines the typical processes involved with buying a home.

 HomeBuyerFlowchart

Talked To Lender?

This should really be a part of your decision process in the beginning for several reasons. Most importantly you need to know if and what you can qualify for. You may find some unknown issue with your credit that needs to be fixed first. Or you may find you can buy a more expensive home than you originally thought. But no matter if you are buying your first home or selling and buying another, you need to know your financial position first. If you don’t know of any lenders give The Derrick Team a call and we can recommend one.

Call The Derrick Team

Now you know your financial situation you’re ready to tour some possible homes. Don’t make the mistake of going it alone as you really can save a lot of time using a realtor to help you. And it comes as no cost to you as the seller pays the fees. Call The Derrick Team and we’ll sit down and go over the processes and determine how to start your search for your new home.

The Home Search

This can be a long process or can happen real quickly. It just depends on what you are looking for and what’s on the market at the moment. We can really help you narrow down the choices and point out the items to focus on with your particular needs. We will set up an automatic search that sends you properties as they come on the market so you can be the first to have a chance to make an offer on that perfect home. We also can quickly get you information on any home you happen to see on your own. There is no reason to not have a realtor help you with your search.

The Offer & Negotiations

Once we find the home you want we will go over your options working closely with your lender to put together an offer that tempts the seller to accept immediately. We pride ourselves in writing ‘clean offers’ that often result in our clients winning over other offers submitted at the same time. We work closely with you every step of the way in the negotiations during the offer process.

Hire A Home Inspector / Negotiations

Once you have an accepted offer the first step for you is to hire an inspector. While you don’t have to do this step we always recommend it based on our experiences in hidden problems with homes. We can recommend inspectors and Dennis will do everything possible to be with you during the entire inspection to answer any questions you have. We work with you every step of the inspection process and if needed, negotiated repairs. If for some reason seller is unwilling or unable to make repairs you then have the option to go back to searching for homes again.

Home Appraisal Process

The home appraisal is another point that can become an issue if the property does not appraise for the sale price. While this is usually the seller’s issue we will work with your lender and the seller to negotiate a new sales price if needed for you to get the loan. If for some reason seller is unwilling or unable to adjust the price you then have the option to pay the difference or go back to searching for homes again.

The Closing

After making it through all the contingencies in the steps to buy a home we now have the last step with the actual closing where you take ownership of the property. We will be there at the closing to assist you in this step as well. The only thing left after this for you to move in!

 

As you can see this process can be very complicated (and this is a very simplified description of the actual process). Having a realtor on your side each step of the process is something every buyer should have right from the beginning. With The Derrick Team you have 2 agents there to help every step of the way. Call or text us today at 317-563-1110, 7 days a week. Your realtors are here to help! Or use this handy Contact Form!

Download our Buying A Home book for free!

 

 

 

 

Mar 082013
 

I need a lot of money to buy a home.
Not really. Depending on your credit rating and financial income there are ways to purchase a home with practically no money down. There are programs that finance up to 4% of the required 3.5% down required for typical FHA loans, leaving you extra to be used for closing expenses. Combined with seller assistance you can really purchase a home with little or no money down. (more details here)

I have to pay a REALTOR to help me buy a home.
Not true! REALTOR services are 100% paid for by the seller so as a buyer we represent you for free. There is no advantage to not using a REALTOR to purchase any real estate property. But by law and our ethics we must represent you and your interests over the seller’s, as they are represented by their own agent. (more info here)

I don’t need to worry about financing until I find the home I want to buy.
Bad move. We always suggest the first step is to check with a lender to find out where you stand in getting a loan. Sometimes they say go for it. Other times they may find you need to take care of some things financially to put you in a better position to get a good loan. But the main reason is that you don’t want to spend time looking to find the perfect home and THEN discover you cannot get a loan to buy it. It also helps guide you to what kind of home you can afford and in some cases where you can look (like you can afford more home than you thought). (check this post for details)

The national news on real estate is all I need to pay attention to.
Big no-no. The cliché in real estate is location, location, location. And as far as the real estate market is concerned, city, area, neighborhood. Just 2 blocks away can be a different market, depending on the area. This is where using a REALTOR pays off as we know the market in our area. For ANY questions on real estate ask a local agent. (typical local report here)

REALTORS get paid by their brokers no matter if they sell homes or not.
Mostly false. Except in a few cases almost all REALTORS work as Independent Contractors. The Derrick Team works with Carpenter Realtors as contractors and we only get paid with successful transactions, of which a portion is shared with Carpenter for services provided. So if you spend time with one agent, then use another to write an offer, the first agent gets nothing for their work. Keep this in mind when working with an agent. If you like an agent, stick with them so they will get paid for their work for you. That will in turn make them work harder for you. (read this for more info)

Give The Derrick Team a call today at 317-563-1110 with more details on these or any other questions you have. Remember, our services are paid for buy the seller so it costs you nothing.

Mar 302011
 
What were they thinking?

What were they thinking?

While I am a fan of some shows on HGTV in real estate we often see houses with a condition I like to call ‘HGTV Syndrome’. Sometimes it is done in moderation and with good taste. But more often it is more of good intentions gone badly.

What is ‘It’ you ask? ‘It’ is the trendy ideas that come from some shows on HGTV (and other channels as well), that give the homeowner the idea that they know how to make their home look like the one on TV. It doesn’t help that we have stores full of stuff to sell homeowners to do these ‘ideas’ like Lowes, Home Depot, etc in every major metro area that of course also promote ‘It’, and the fact that anyone can do it.

In most cases the worst damage is in the form of wild paint jobs, which will just take someone, sometimes a professional, to undo. This would be a house with a mild case of HGTV Syndrome. In the worst cases, you’ll find the home will do very badly in the home inspection. Home Inspectors find things all the time that are obviously a DIY job and in some cases very dangerous such as bad electrical wiring work.

So when showing homes to our buyers, The Derrick Team will always point out when we see the home is suffering from HGTV Syndrome. The question at that point is how hard will it be to repair the damage.

We personally talked to a homeowner that purchased a home in Avon used in Trading Spaces. He said it took a lot of work to cure that home of its HGTV Syndrome. So beware if you get the urge to decorate after watching a TV show. You might end up making your home worth less or even too sick to sell!

If you are thinking of doing some updates, give us a call or text today at 317-563-1110. We’ll be glad to come take a look at your ideas and let you know how that might effect your homes value. It’s what we do for our clients, for free!

Mar 142010
 

SoldSignStep One: Find a REALTOR and stay with them. Loyalty is important to make sure you get the best service possible. Finding the right home is not an easy task. If you are a potential buyer, there are numerous hurdles to be jumped before you finally move into the home you really want. It’s in your best interest to be represented in one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make so finding a good REALTOR is an important first step. The Derrick Team would love to talk to you on how we can help you purchase your home.

Loyalty is important. Some buyers like to leave their name and needs with four or five sales people. Although this sounds like it is to the buyer’s advantage, it’s really not because when a buyer is not committed, none of those agents are going to be spending any extra effort on that buyer’s behalf. You must keep in mind a REALTOR does not get paid (by the seller) until you actually purchase a home using them to represent you in the transaction. So if you are committed to working with us, we will work closely with you to find that perfect dream home you’ve been looking for. With the Derrick Team you will have a dedicated team (Connie & Dennis Derrick), who will take on the personal responsibility of handling all the details of your upcoming home purchase needs.

Work with Professionals. As a members of Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS (MIBOR) and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), we subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics (not all brokers are REALTORS; look for the REALTOR emblem). We will adhere to the Code of Ethics in representing you, our client. In return, we only ask for your loyalty so we may stay committed to helping you in home purchase needs. And keep in mind, our services are paid for by the seller of the property you ultimately purchase, so it costs you nothing!

Call  or text The Derrick Team Today! 317.563.1110 or use our handy Contact Form

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