Realty Vision


Posted by Realty Vision on 11/14/2013

If you are a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction and represented by an agent, that agent owes you fiduciary duties or loyalty. Often times agency is contracted (also known as express agency) but other times it can be implied. In any case, there is an acronym to remember those duties: OLD CAR. They are: Obedience: The agent must obey their client's instructions. As long as their instructions are not illegal and are in accordance with the contract. Loyalty: The agent must be loyal to their client and keep their best interests ahead of those of any other party. Commission, how it is disbursed, competing offer situations, and anything having to do with the sale must be disclosed. Disclosure: Disclosure laws in many states require a real estate agent, whether in an "agency" capacity or not, to disclose material facts to their client. Material facts are those that, if known by the buyer or seller, might cause them to change their purchase or sale actions. Confidentiality: Confidentiality means that the agent does not disclose anything about you as the client (your business, financial or personal affairs or motivations) unless expressly directed by the client. This duty survives closing and lasts forever. Only a court instruction to disclose can relieve the agent of this duty. Accounting: The agent is to promptly report to the principal all money and property received and paid out. Accounting for all documents and funds in the transaction is a fiduciary duty. Reasonable Care: The agent is required to have a certain level of knowledge and protect the principal from foreseeable risks of harm. If it's not something the agent is expected to know, they should recommend that the principal obtain expert advice or assistance when the principal's needs are outside the scope of the agent's expertise.




Categories: Real estate  


Posted by Realty Vision on 11/7/2013

When you are buying a home the costs really add up and you may start thinking about where you can save money. One question that many buyers ask is do I need a home inspection? Most often the answer to the question is yes! A home inspection is an objective examination of the home and its systems. The inspection covers the entire house from the roof to the foundation. A home inspection will cover the home's foundation, basement, structural components, roof, attic, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors windows and doors. It will also examine the heating system, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. Because a home is often the largest single investment you will ever make it is important to know as much as you can about the home before you buy it. A home inspection will help you identify any needed repairs as well as what is needed to regularly maintain the home. The home inspection will help you proceed with the purchase with confidence. When choosing a home inspector cost shouldn't be your first consideration. Look for the inspector's qualifications, experience, training and compliance with state regulations. Remember, that no house is perfect. There are bound to be issues with almost any home use the information to decide if the house is right for you.

 
 
   





Posted by Realty Vision on 9/5/2013

The recent drop in homes prices, affordable mortgage rates and the popularity of television shows showing investors turning over homes has many people wondering if they can make money flipping homes. Flipping a house simply means buying and then selling a home quickly for profit. There are different ways to do this, but if you are interested in buying and selling houses, or just want to find a good deal to invest your money in. You will want to follow some tips on how to make sure you make money and not end up busting the budget. 1. KNOW THE AREA It is not just about the house you want to buy but also the area. Focus on buying homes in an area that holds value and where homes sell quickly. The golden rule of a home, location, location, location, applies here as you will want the home to be able to be sold quickly. Get to know the average costs and days on market for homes in that area. The more information you have about the market you have chosen, the better decisions you can usually make when it comes time to buy. 2. DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL This is a business venture; your goal is to make money. Emotions and money rarely mix well. Do not get emotional about house flipping. When choosing colors, fixtures and carpets go neutral, you will not be living in the home. Be careful of becoming too attached to the flip. Choose a price to sell the home, do not overprice the home. Overpricing typically leads to you holding the flip longer thus reducing your profit. 3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS If you are new to flipping homes, it is important to know your financial and work limits. The budget will always be more than you anticipate, plan for unexpected problems. Start with homes that mainly have cosmetic problems. Look for houses that need new, modern paint or updated fixtures. Homes where the outside yard and landscaping are unappealing are usually a great buy and can yield more profit. Curb appeal is usually a problem that can be fixed very easily and relatively inexpensively while greatly increasing the value of the home. 4. HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY The point of flipping is to get in and out as quick as possible. Every day that you own the homes costs you money. Have a plan and know exactly what you're going to do with the home before you buy. Make a schedule of when work will get done and drop dead date of the house going back on the market. If you don't know if you can sell it quickly, don't buy it.





Posted by Realty Vision on 7/25/2013

Many homes in our area have stories to tell. If you live in an older home, you may want to know its hidden secrets. You may have wondered who slept in your bedroom or when the home was actually built. Your home holds many clues to its history and its prior owners. With some detective work you will be well on your way to uncovering your home's hidden past. Here are some hints to get you started. Gather Information In order to get started you will need to uncover all of the information you have, you will want to gather your deed and title paperwork. Make note of the first owner, year built, and the year the original owner sold it. You will also want to know the names of all the owners, as well as the years they bought and sold the property. All of this information may not be available on your deed but you will be able to find it at town hall or the registry of deeds. You may find clues in the names of owners and years owned. Pay attention to details and look for clues. Some clues to the history of the home may be: a family that owned the home for a long time, multiple property turnovers and inconsistencies in property or land descriptions. Tackling the Records Wading through the mountains of information may be difficult but don't get discouraged. Information about your home’s owners will most likely be contradictory. Census records dating back to the year your house was built are likely available at your public library, a nearby university or your local historical society or museum. Review census rosters from the year closest to the one your house was built. Census records from the 1800s and early 1900s have lots of fun and interesting information and often include the names of all those living in a household at the time, their ages, occupations, places of birth, and sometimes more. You may also want to search for census data on the U.S. Census website. Getting Help Some of the language on deeds and title paperwork can be hard to understand put older language in the mix and it can be even more confusing. Ask friends who are lawyers, title-company employees or experts in historical documents for help. You can also turn to the internet for help. Use the internet to dig up any information you can find about the families who lived in your home, as well as the surrounding streets, neighborhoods, and landmarks. If prior owners of your home are relatives you can use genealogy web sites for research. Getting a Feel for the Times Read through newspapers from the year your house was built. You will start to get a sense of the historical times. Keep notes on everything you find that mentions your house and its occupants. In those times local papers covered social news of all kinds—dinner parties, haying trips, visits from out-of-town relatives—in addition to chronicling everything from world events to weather. They often covered construction of new homes, and may offer you information on where the builders got the materials used to build your house, why they made certain design decisions, and more. More Information For more information regarding researching homes you may want to try some of the books listed. American Shelter: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Home, by Lester Walker, Overlook Press, 1981 How Old is This House? by Hugh Howard, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989 House Styles in America, by James C. Massey and Shirley Maxwell, Penguin Studio, 1996 Old American House, by Henry Lionel Williams and Ottalie K. Williams, Bonanza Books, 1957 A Field Guide to American Houses, by Virginia and Lee McAlester, Random House, 1984





Posted by Realty Vision on 4/18/2013

If you are planning a home renovation you may be considering going green. By planning your design you can add sustainability features to your home, many at no extra cost. There are many benefits to a green renovation. A green renovation will make your home better for the environment, save on energy costs and boost the resale value. When planning a green renovation you will want to find a contractor experienced in green projects. To find a green contractor choose someone who has been designated a Master Builder by the Energy and Environmental Building Association, or has been certified by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry as a Certified Remodeler. Look for reclaimed materials like pine timbers and salvaged doors and cabinets. Reclaimed pieces are usually more affordable and they save on energy, materials, and resources. Make sure to avoid products that contain hazardous materials, such as formaldehyde or creosote from railroad ties and other wood-based goods. It is almost impossible to avoid using new materials in your renovation. When selecting new materials look for products that are durable, easy to maintain, and if possible contain a high percentage of recycled content. Try to avoid disposable products and products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds).  VOCs are commonly found in paints and finishes. Look for products that are green friendly. Watch for Grean Seal products on for paints coatings and doors. Check for Energy Star, for appliances, windows and heating and cooling products; Forest Stewardship Council, for wood-based products; and Cradle to Cradle, for carpet, sheet goods and other products. For more information read Green Building: A Primer for Builders, Consumers, and Realtors, and the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Green Home Guide.







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