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Friday, January 22, 2016

Home Buying: The Benefits of Buyer Agency Agreements



Written Agreements Benefit Buyers
 

Most consumers know that if they want to “hire” a real estate broker/agent to sell their home and represent their interests, they must sign a contract. Realtors® are not allowed to list a property without one. The contract clearly spells out the terms of the agreement including length of time, compensation and each party’s responsibility.
While buyer agency is not a new concept – it has been legal in MA for 15+ years and a few years ago the law that governs agency relationships was updated to further ensure consumer protection, many buyers and some agents still don’t understand the benefits of a written Buyer Agency Agreement/contract.

Buyers often call me to ask for help finding a home and many tell me they have had disappointing experiences with "their buyer agent." When I ask if they had a contract with the agent, they answer is almost always “no”.  Well, of course they are disappointed! How did the agent know what the buyer expected? And were the buyer's expectations realistic?

The benefit of a contract is that both the buyer and the agent know what to expect and that each is accountable. The buyer knows which geographic areas the agent covers, they know how the agent is going to be compensated, and that the agent is legally obligated to act in the buyer’s best interest.

Buying a home is a process not an event - there is a lot more involved than finding a picture on the internet or going to open houses to "look." Successful negotiations are based on trust, confidentiality, and mutual respect. Buyers, you are entitled to have a qualified broker/agent on your side to ensure you get the representation you deserve and a written agreement is the first step.

While any agent can call themselves a buyer's agent, an ABR, Accredited Buyer's Representative has additional training and is part of a network that continues to provide education and new tools for representing buyers.
Before you start looking for a house find a qualified buyer agent/broker who will listen to you and respect your needs; one who knows the market in the area, knows how to negotiate, has a network of resources - lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, movers, etc.; and who will educate you so you can make the best decisions about your new home. Real estate is about relationships so make sure you have an agent who knows and cares about your well-being.
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Marilyn Messenger is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) licensed real estate broker associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord MA. She has been representing home buyers in Sudbury, Maynard, Wayland, Stow, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. If you are thinking about buying a home, contact Marilyn at 508-596-3501.
Search for homes
Connect with Marilyn's real estate profile on Google+
- See more at: http://www.marilynmessenger.com/Web/AR438531/CustomContent/index/5492216#sthash.rRphUgHr.dpuf

Written Agreements Benefit Buyers
 

Most consumers know that if they want to “hire” a real estate broker/agent to sell their home and represent their interests, they must sign a contract. Realtors® are not allowed to list a property without one. The contract clearly spells out the terms of the agreement including length of time, compensation and each party’s responsibility.
While buyer agency is not a new concept – it has been legal in MA for 15+ years and a few years ago the law that governs agency relationships was updated to further ensure consumer protection, many buyers and some agents still don’t understand the benefits of a written Buyer Agency Agreement/contract.

Buyers often call me to ask for help finding a home and many tell me they have had disappointing experiences with "their buyer agent." When I ask if they had a contract with the agent, they answer is almost always “no”.  Well, of course they are disappointed! How did the agent know what the buyer expected? And were the buyer's expectations realistic?

The benefit of a contract is that both the buyer and the agent know what to expect and that each is accountable. The buyer knows which geographic areas the agent covers, they know how the agent is going to be compensated, and that the agent is legally obligated to act in the buyer’s best interest.

Buying a home is a process not an event - there is a lot more involved than finding a picture on the internet or going to open houses to "look." Successful negotiations are based on trust, confidentiality, and mutual respect. Buyers, you are entitled to have a qualified broker/agent on your side to ensure you get the representation you deserve and a written agreement is the first step.

While any agent can call themselves a buyer's agent, an ABR, Accredited Buyer's Representative has additional training and is part of a network that continues to provide education and new tools for representing buyers.
Before you start looking for a house find a qualified buyer agent/broker who will listen to you and respect your needs; one who knows the market in the area, knows how to negotiate, has a network of resources - lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, movers, etc.; and who will educate you so you can make the best decisions about your new home. Real estate is about relationships so make sure you have an agent who knows and cares about your well-being.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marilyn Messenger is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) licensed real estate broker associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord MA. She has been representing home buyers in Sudbury, Maynard, Wayland, Stow, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. If you are thinking about buying a home, contact Marilyn at 508-596-3501.
Search for homes
Connect with Marilyn's real estate profile on Google+
- See more at: http://www.marilynmessenger.com/Web/AR438531/CustomContent/index/5492216#sthash.rRphUgHr.dpuf
Most consumers know that if they want to “hire” a real estate broker/agent to sell their home and represent their interests, they must sign a contract. Realtors® are not allowed to list a property without one. The contract clearly spells out the terms of the agreement including length of time, compensation and each party’s responsibility.
While buyer agency is not a new concept – it has been legal in MA for 15+ years and a few years ago the law that governs agency relationships was updated to further ensure consumer protection, many buyers and some agents still don’t understand the benefits of a written Buyer Agency Agreement/contract.

Buyers often call me to ask for help finding a home and many tell me they have had disappointing experiences with "their buyer agent." When I ask if they had a contract with the agent, they answer is almost always “no”.  Well, of course they are disappointed! How did the agent know what the buyer expected? And were the buyer's expectations realistic?
The benefit of a contract is that both the buyer and the agent know what to expect and that each is accountable. The buyer knows which geographic areas the agent covers, they know how the agent is going to be compensated, and that the agent is legally obligated to act in the buyer’s best interest.

Buying a home is a process not an event - there is a lot more involved than finding a picture on the internet or going to open houses to "look." Successful negotiations are based on trust, confidentiality, and mutual respect. Buyers, you are entitled to have a qualified broker/agent on your side to ensure you get the representation you deserve and a written agreement is the first step.
While any agent can call themselves a buyer's agent, an ABR, Accredited Buyer's Representative has additional training and is part of a network that continues to provide education and new tools for representing buyers.
Before you start looking for a house find a qualified buyer agent/broker who will listen to you and respect your needs; one who knows the market in the area, knows how to negotiate, has a network of resources - lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, movers, etc.; and who will educate you so you can make the best decisions about your new home. Real estate is about relationships so make sure you have an agent who knows and cares about your well-being.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marilyn Messenger is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) licensed real estate broker associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord MA. She has been representing home buyers in Sudbury, Maynard, Wayland, Stow, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. If you are thinking about buying a home, contact Marilyn at 508-596-3501.
- See more at: http://www.marilynmessenger.com/Web/AR438531/CustomContent/index/5492216#sthash.WTOHYzgD.dpuf



Most consumers know that if they want to “hire” a real estate broker/agent to sell their home and represent their interests, they must sign a contract. Realtors® are not allowed to list a property without one. The contract clearly spells out the terms of the agreement including length of time, compensation and each party’s responsibility. 

While buyer agency is not a new concept – it has been legal in MA for 15+ years and a few years ago the law that governs agency relationships was updated to further ensure consumer protection, many buyers and some agents still don’t understand the benefits of a written Buyer Agency Agreement/contract.

Buyers often call me to ask for help finding a home and many tell me they have had disappointing experiences with "their buyer agent." When I ask if they had a contract with the agent, they answer is almost always “no”.  Well, of course they are disappointed! How did the agent know what the buyer expected? And were the buyer's expectations realistic?

The benefit of a written contract is that both the buyer and the agent know what to expect and that each is accountable. The buyer knows which geographic areas the agent covers, they know how the agent is going to be compensated, and that the agent is legally obligated to act in the buyer’s best interest.

Buying a home is a process not an event - there is a lot more involved than finding a picture on the internet or going to open houses to "look." Successful negotiations are based on trust, confidentiality, and mutual respect. Buyers, you are entitled to have a qualified broker/agent on your side to ensure you get the representation you deserve and a written agreement is the first step.
While any agent can call themselves a buyer's agent, an ABR, Accredited Buyer's Representative has additional training and is part of a network that continues to provide education and new tools for representing buyers.

Before you start looking for a house find a qualified buyer agent/broker who will listen to you and respect your needs; one who knows the market in the area, knows how to negotiate, has a network of resources - lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, movers, etc.; and who will educate you so you can make the best decisions about your new home. Real estate is about relationships so make sure you have an agent who knows and cares about your well-being.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marilyn Messenger is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) licensed real estate broker associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord MA. She has been representing home buyers in Sudbury, Maynard, Wayland, Stow, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. If you are thinking about buying a home, contact Marilyn at 508-596-3501.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Maynard( MA) Housing Market Making a Comeback!

Home sales and prices rose in November 2015 over the previous year; good news for homeowners and sellers. Also, good news for home-buyers who would enjoy all that Maynard has to offer, the number of single-family houses for sale has also increased over last year at this time.

For Sale in Maynard - 46 Crane Ave. - click for details
Currently, there are 21 single family houses for sale in Maynard compared with 14 last year at this time. List prices range from $142,000 to $579,000. The median list price is $349,500 up from 294,000 last year and the current average list price of $355,976 is also higher than one year ago. See homes for sale in Maynard.

Both pending and closed sales were up in November from November 2014. Eleven single-family homes went pending compared with just four in November 2014; and there were ten closed sales; up from 6 the previous November.

The median sale price of $344,950 in Maynard during November was up 23.2%; and year-to-date through November 30, the median sale price of $336,500 was up 3.5%.


The condominium market, including townhouses, garden apartment, and half-duplex styles is also improving. The median sale price in November 2015 was up 2.8% over November 2014. The median price Y-T-D through 11/30 was 2.4% higher. As the number of condominium units for sale remains low, prices will most likely continue to go up as the Spring market progresses. 

Click here to see the latest report for Maynard, including data for single-family and condominiums from the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS. 

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About the author: Marilyn Messenger, a Certified Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, and a licensed broker associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord has been representing buyers and sellers in Maynard and the nearby towns west of Boston since 1993. She is a Maynard resident and has been an active participant in town government as a member of the Planning Board for 15 years and as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the past five years. She also served on the Board of Trustees at the Deer Hedge Run townhouse condominiums. Contact Marilyn if you are thinking about buying or selling a home in Maynard, Sudbury, Wayland, or the towns west of Boston.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Gift of Home Saves Taxes!

 
The Gift of Home

Holiday time is when people get together with family and friends, to exchange gifts and talk about plans which often include buying or selling a house. It’s also year-end and a good time to think about estate planning and taxes. Did you know that parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles can start to pass along/gifting their estates while reducing inheritance taxes and getting to see their family enjoy the benefits of their gifts? What could be a better gift than tax-free help with a down-payment on a home?

NOTE: The following information was provided by loan officer, however you should always talk

with a tax expert and financial adviser about your specific goals and financial situation.

Gifts are involved in approximately 25% of all of the mortgage loans that are transacted. Gifts from family members and relatives are allowed under IRS and lending guidelines but lenders do not report the parties involved to the IRS.

Under current IRS guidelines (please consult your accountant for tax advice and ramifications) each parent or relative can give up to $14,000 to each child or relative every year. That would mean that a mother and father can each give $14,000 a year to each son, daughter, and/or grandchild that would amount to $28,000 a year in total. If both sets of parents want to help with the down-payment on a house; each of the parents can give each borrower a gift of $14,000 per year. That would add up to $56,000 for both of you! That is a significant amount of tax-free money to help you buy a home for your family! Of course, a gift can also be less than $14,000, so give what you can.

That amount is per calendar year and not based on every twelve months. That would mean that they could give $56,000 (or more) in December 2015 and an additional $56,000 (or more) in January 2016. There are only a few weeks left in 2015, so don’t wait! If you haven’t had the discussion yet, Thanksgiving could be a good time to bring up the subject.

For most types of mortgage loans, you will need to have 5% of the amount of the down-payment on your own, however, there are exceptions. To find out the exceptions and details about how gift money can be applied to your down-payment contact a reputable mortgage broker.

Visit www.marilynmessenger.com to see homes for sale, get the latest real estate market reports, and learn about having your own buyer agent on your side. 

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About the author: Marilyn Messenger, a licensed real estate broker, Certified Residential Specialist, and Accredited Buyer Representative associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord has been representing home buyers and sellers in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, and Concord MA since 1993. www.MarilynMessenger.com for more. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sudbury Home Sales and Prices Continiue to Rise


                      
Sales and prices of single-family homes in Sudbury (MA) continue to rise over this time last year while the number of homes for sale remains about the same. Condominium inventory is less than last year due to the new townhouses that went on the market last year have sold quickly and there are only a few remaining for sale.  Luxury home-buyers continue to have the most choices. Click here for the the latest market market report for Sudbury.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Millennials Becoming Homeowners!

First-Time homeowners at their townhouse in Maynard
Housing wire magazine recently published and article entitled Realtor survey: Millennials are no longer a renter generation. Well, I guess it's a catchy headline but really what's the surprise? Millennials are smart, hard-working people and they want the same things every other generation wanted when they were establishing themselves as self-sufficient adults - financial security and a comfortable place to live where they can have a great quality of life that to enjoy now and in the future.

These happy home-owners (pictured above) closed in September on their first home, a townhouse at Oak Ridge in Maynard and they are so excited about their move. After renting a similar townhouse for a couple of years at Deer Hedge Run in Maynard, like a lot of smart Millennials, they decided it was time to pay their own mortgage instead of their landlord's. With rents going through the roof, and interest rates as low as they are going to be for a long time (the Fed has said they will start going up again by year-end) a lot of younger buyers are coming into the market and Maynard has some great opportunities for townhouses and single-family homes. See homes for sale at www.marilynmessenger.com.

While headlines are focusing on Millennials becoming home-owners, baby-boomers are a large segment of the housing market and they are moving to down-size/simplify, relocate, or change their lifestyles. I recently worked with a couple who owned a two-family house in the city. Tired of the congestion and of being a landlord, they wanted a smaller, more manageable single-family house and decided Maynard would be the place to move. They had friends in Maynard, love the open space and the thriving arts community; she is an artist. And like many boomers who may be eligible for retirement, he is still works in Cambridge and is finding the commuter rail service from west Concord an easy commute. They closed on a single-family in Maynard this past month and are happy with their choice.

Home-ownership is not about age. It is about making smart financial decisions and being comfortable in a place where you can do the things that are important to you. It's never too soon or too late to make that move!
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About the author: Marilyn Messenger is a licensed real estate broker, a Certified Residential Specialist and Accredited Buyer Representative associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord MA. She has been representing buyers and sellers in Maynard, Sudbury, Wayland, Concord, Stow, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. Click here to read what her clients say.


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