Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ProperBostonian. Show ProperBostonian's posts

    Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

     

    My wife and I are first time home buyers, we recently got pre-approved for a mortgage, and we just started looking for our first home.  So far, it has been an exhilarating but daunting experience.  Despite the availability of the various tools and resources we are a little overwhelmed and that is one reason why I came to this forum for some insight.

    After reading most of the posts on this real estate forum, I haven’t decided if I should thrilled or depressed about the information posted here!  I am leaning towards being depressed.

    This is (I hope) and accurate summary of what I have read…

    In MA, assessed rates for 2011 are based on 2009 values.  Meaning, the assessed value we see on websites are from 2009 and do not accurately reflect the current assessed value of the home.

    The above assumes no improvements have been made on the home during the past few years.  Improvements will (hopefully) add to the value of the home and should be factored into your asking price.  Assuming, of course, they are, in fact, improvements and you can verify the construction occurred during the past two years.

    Why would anyone look at or even buy a home today that is above the assessed value knowing that the assessed values will decrease next year and they will decrease even further when 2011 is published in two years?  This means as soon as you buy the home you will, minus the down payment, owe more then your home is worth.  In addition, unlike the 90’s and early 00’s, home values might continue to fall.

    Why would anyone list their home in this market unless they had to? 

    Someone posted that you should not use the assessed value, Zillow, or similar tools when determining the value of a home (perhaps a seller or an agent posted that).  You should rely solely on similar homes in the area that recently sold and only then can you evaluate if the list price is reasonable.  Well, you can’t really rely on that either because you have no way of knowing if the buyers were diligent during the purchasing process.

    It is a myth that sellers pay the agent fee.  The seller inflates the price of the home to cover the cost of commission.  Therefore, the buyer really pays the fee.

    The appreciation of home values we witnessed during in the past decade or so will probably never happen again.

    Not happy to hear real estate agents being compared to used car salesman.  I thought RE agents were the “good guys.”

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from conneide. Show conneide's posts

    Re: Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

    Zillow's estimates  (and the house information, too) are very faulty. You cannot
    compare houses accurately without knowing the neighborhood. For example,
    a big New England Greek Revival could be two houses away from a very modest
    Cape but Zillow will use one for a comparable to the other. You have to drive and walk the neighborhood. Then, write down the addresses of the houses near the
    one you're interested in and give them ratings. All over Massachusetts, great houses are near not so great houses. It's the nature of New England.
    The house information on Zillow is often dead wrong. My old house was listed on
    Zillow as being built in 1880. it was built in 1834, a huge difference. And the
    other information was wrong, too. 4 bathrooms instead of the real 5, fireplace,
    instead of 9 fireplaces. And the comparables were on the same street which
    included a 2 BR, a 6 BR, a cottage, a rambling added on former boarding house
    with 9 BRs. All the houses were built prior to 1850 on that street so the mix was
    typical for an old town.
    Just use Zillow for ball park figures. Or you will be misled.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

    "It is a myth that sellers pay the agent fee.   The seller inflates the price of the home to cover the cost of commission.   Therefore, the buyer really pays the fee."
     
    This isn't any different than buying anything else.  When you go to the store to buy a gallon of milk you don't pay a shipping fee for how that milk got to the store but you can bet that the cost is buried in what you are paying at the register.

    So of course the buyer is paying the agent's fee in the end - that shouldn't suprise anyone.  The significance here is that you don't have to come up with the agent's fee seperately at closing time.  It's (usually) already included in your mortgage.

    "The appreciation of home values we witnessed during in the past decade or so will probably never happen again."
     
    Possibly true.  The housing boom was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It might happen again here for 50 or 60 years.  The question is "Will you be around to see it?"

    "Not happy to hear real estate agents being compared to used car salesman.   I thought RE agents were the “good guys.”"

    Agents are neither the "good guys" nor the "bad guys". They're simply agents and their job is to get the best deal they can for the person they are working for. 

    For many people there are two problems here. The first is that the agents they encounter are working for the seller, not the buyer.  The best deal for the seller doesn't mean it is the best deal for the buyer... The first rule of selling anything is to push the positive and down-play the negatives. That applies to used cars, houses, garbage cans and everything else. 

    The second is one of superior knowledge. Most people only buy one or two homes in their entire life.  They don't know all the laws involved and the "ins and outs" of real estate.  The (good) RE agents do.  The buyer is at a huge disadvantage here and has to quickly become an "informed" buyer.

    Both situations are very similar to buying a car (used or new) so the comparison comes up...
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from hazel1222. Show hazel1222's posts

    Re: Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

    You are confusing assessed value and market value. They are two different things. Market value is what a ready, willing and financially able buyer will pay for a property. So if your assessed value falls right after you buy a house, it does not immediately mean your market value has fallen. The assessments lag two years behind the current market value.To find out what your property is worth on the open market you need recent sales comparables of similar homes

    You are buying in a down market. There will always be a risk the prices will continue to fall. But then again, there is always the chance you have caught the bottom of the market and got a great deal. 

    Any seller who is adding the amount of the commission to the sales price of his or her home is overpricing the property and it likely won't sell at that price, because, again, the market determines the value of a home, not the seller's financial needs.

    If you are worried about overpaying for a property, get a buyer agent whose job it will be to represent your best interests. I heard a statistic recently in a class I was taking. Buyers who worked without a buyer agent paid about 5% lower on a home's asking price. Buyers who used a buyer agent paid 10-15% lower. Can't remember where the instructor got that information, but I can find out for you if you want.

    Sorry to hear the discouragement in your post. A lot of bloggers like to post doom and gloom but it's hard to know how relevant they are to the situation. I suggest you get some expert advice from a good agent in your market.

    Sandy Balzer Tobin
    Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    Needham
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from BrokerMike. Show BrokerMike's posts

    Re: Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

    Sandy Balzer Tobin wrote: “If you are worried about overpaying for a property, get a buyer agent whose job it will be to represent your best interests. I heard a statistic recently in a class I was taking. Buyers who worked without a buyer agent paid about 5% lower on a home's asking price. Buyers who used a buyer agent paid 10-15% lower. Can't remember where the instructor got that information, but I can find out for you if you want”.

    Answer: If you follow all my posts, it is quite apparent that I do not swallow the NAR Kool Aide, which is where "statistics" like these are thrown around and many agents bite, hook, line and sinker. Numbers like these are no more than manipulated talking points that are given to agents so that they can throw them out to buyers and sellers as if the came from Mt. Olympus. These numbers come from the NAR and it is in their interest to spin them so they work to our – the agents and the brokers - favor.

    The NAR has been accused of manipulating the actual number of homes sold for the past several years if you read the recent Corelogic report. The past NAR Chief Economist, David Lereah, has gone on record that he was forced to "work the numbers" and not provide accurate numbers when he worked for them. See for yourself: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123152099299568447.html

    So, the question is: Who do and can you trust?

    A buyer's agent can and should represent your best interests as a buyer, but that in itself does not mean that they all have the skill set to do so. In addition, we agents - and I manage agents as a Broker, as agents have to work for a broker - are on straight commission w/o and salary, benefits of any kind, no company retirement plan, etc.

    At the end of the day, since agents "work for free until they sell something", the pressure on them to get the sale and not worry about saving you $10K or $20K of your money is not of paramount importance to us.

    Our commission splits between the agents and the brokers on both sides of the sale, all our expenses, etc make it so that it is not in our best interest to save you that kind of money, as a delayed sale is often a lost sale and then all we wound up doing is we "worked for free and sold nothing".

    Real estate is not a transparent business and we have way too many - by many hundreds of thousands of agents - chasing too few buyers and sellers.
     If I were you I’d interview, interview and interview about 6 agents and then decide. One thing you’ll see right away is that every sales pitch by one agent is more or less interchangeable with all the rest.
     
    Any agent focusing only on themselves with the standard “I’m number 1” or “My office is number 1”, I would tell you to hit “next” and move onto another agent who might not be so focused on themselves and rather find an agent who makes it their job to focus on you and your needs.
     


    Find an agent who is willing to personally invest in the relationship with you (time and money) and puts your needs FIRST!

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from cedrikduncan011. Show cedrikduncan011's posts

    Re: Came Here Looking for Advice...Wow!

    My advice on selling a home is to look for the expensive one cause all of the expensive home is equivalent to quality and good interior design of an home,choosing a cheap my lead you to regret and disappointment just like me where when i use to bought a home at http://www.asunnon-myynti.fi/ it give me a lot of disappointment which lead me to an early renovation to make the house look more good and strong.

     

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