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Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 11/26/2020

If youíre a first-time homebuyer you might be worried or anxious about the process of making an offer on a home. After all, negotiating isnít something most of us look forward to on a day to day basis and we try to avoid it when possible. When it comes to buying a home, however, negotiating is usually part of the process.

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they have the knowledge and expertise to help you out through the negotiation process. Not only will they help you formulate your offer, but theyíll also present the offer for you and handle the in-person negotiations.

Buyerís vs sellerís market

Whether or not the odds are in your favor depends on many things. One important factor is the state of the real estate marketing. In a sellerís market, which is what weíre in right now, there are more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers trying to sell them.

However, you can still edge past the competition in a sellerís market if you plan accordingly. This is when negotiation comes into play, and when effective negotiation can get your offer accepted where others are declined.

Time is of the essence

When youíre shopping for a home in a sellerís market, youíll need to be swift with your offer and counteroffers to stay ahead of other prospective buyers. However, being too hasty with your offers can seem imposing or reckless. Itís better to take a day longer to come up with a more effective offer than it is to make an offer that looks bad to the seller.

Be clear and concise

Just as youíre nervous making offers on a home, sellers are usually nervous fielding them. So, if you want to make things easier for you and your seller, make sure your offer is simple and straightforward.

This involves removing unnecessary contingencies and sticking to the contract basics--inspection, appraisal, and financing. If the seller receives another offer that is riddled with contingencies, they might prefer to work with you since you presented them with a simple contract.

Be prepared

Having your paperwork in order, getting preapproved, and making yourself available as much as possible will go a long way in the negotiation process. Now more than ever itís important to be well-organized.

Do your homework on the house and neighborhood youíre interested in. Make sure you know if there is a lot of interest in the area and the house in particular. This will let you know how much breathing room you have.

Getting preapproved will not only help you know the limits you can offer but it will also signal to the seller that youíre a serious buyer.





Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 11/19/2020

You don't need to be a real estate market expert to find and acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, if you use common sense during your home search, you should have no trouble achieving your desired homebuying results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you discover your dream home.

1. Consider Your Home Must-Haves

You know you want to purchase a house, but you still have no idea what defines your ideal residence. However, if you devote time and resources to establish home must-haves, you could speed up your house search.

Think about what will make you happy and what you need from a house. For example, if you want to own a home that is close to your office in the city, you can narrow your home search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you require a home that offers multiple bedrooms, you can explore residences that match your needs.

2. Create a Budget

A budget often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. And if you fail to create a budget before you start a house search, you risk checking out residences that fall outside your price range.

To establish a homebuying budget, you should consider your current and future expenses. It may be helpful to make a list of your expenses and compare them against your income. Then, you can determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a home.

You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage, too. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can search exclusively for houses that you can afford.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to search for your dream home on your own. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you explore houses in your preferred cities and towns.

Typically, a real estate agent is willing to go the extra mile to help you achieve the best-possible results. If you want to purchase a home near a beach, for example, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Conversely, if you want to acquire a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide as you weigh the pros and cons of submitting an offer to purchase a home, either. If you find a home you may want to buy, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action. And if you decide to submit a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase.

Want to acquire your dream home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can use common sense throughout the homebuying journey and make your homeownership dream come true.





Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 11/12/2020

If you want to sell a house in a buyer's market, it pays to allocate the necessary time and resources to differentiate your home listing from others. Because if you create an informative and engaging home listing, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your residence, even in a buyer's market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you differentiate your home listing in a buyer's market.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

In a buyer's market, a homebuyer has no shortage of high-quality residences at his or her disposal. As such, you'll want to consider how a buyer may approach your residence and tailor your house listing accordingly.

Think about what led you to purchase your residence in the first place. Then, you can create a home listing that highlights your house's distinct features.

For example, if your home boasts a large, luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you may want to include details about it in your home listing. Or, if your house is located just minutes from many popular attractions, you may want to incorporate this information into your house listing.

2. Be Honest with Buyers

Your goal as a home seller is to craft a house listing that showcases your residence's features. At the same time, you'll want to be honest with buyers to help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your home.

A detailed home listing that includes accurate information about your house is paramount. Because if your listing is misleading or inaccurate, it may cause problems down the line.

Remember, any problems with a house likely will be identified during a home inspection, a key step in the homebuying process. And if you try to hide these issues, it may slow down or stop a home sale from happening. Conversely, if you are honest with buyers from the beginning, you can make it easy for them to determine whether your residence is the right choice.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A buyer's market can be tough to navigate, regardless of where you live. Luckily, real estate agents are available to assist sellers in any buyer's market, at any time.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can craft a home listing that hits the mark with the right groups of homebuyers. In fact, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling journey and help you identify and address any hurdles along the way.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals. This housing market professional then can help you put together an in-depth home listing that highlights the key features of your house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will share this home listing with dozens of buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Ready to list your house in a buyer's market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can create a top-notch home listing that helps your residence stand out from the competition.





Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 11/5/2020


A mortgage pre-approval can be a valuable tool for understanding how much you can afford to spend on purchasing a home. It can also make you seem much more attractive to sellers and help to identify any potential problems that may make it difficult to get a loan. In fact, many lenders claim that if a buyer isn’t pre-approved for a mortgage, they will have a difficult time navigating the real estate market. But what does pre-approval really mean?

What is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?

While it can sound like you’ve got a sure thing locked in when you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, being pre-approved doesn’t promise that you’ll be able to secure a loan for the home that you want to purchase. A mortgage pre-approval simply means that a loan officer has reviewed your finances and decided how much money you're allocated to borrow, what you should be able to pay each month towards your mortgage and what your interest rate will be.

Once, you’ve been pre-approved by a lender, you will get a letter that can be shown to sellers. This letter indicates that you’ve already established a working relationship with a lender. This helps to give sellers peace of mind in knowing that you’re serious about putting in an offer on their home, and they don’t have to risk wasting time with a buyer who isn’t serious.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Pre-Approval?

A pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a mortgage but it does offer a few key advantages during your search for the ideal home. It helps to give you confidence while looking at potential properties, as you look at homes that are within your budget. There’s no need to fall in love with a home that you can’t afford. Additionally, it establishes credibility as a buyer, showing that you have your finances under control and can help to put you on the fast-track to closing once you’ve found the perfect home.

Are Pre-Approval & Pre-Qualified the Same Thing?

Unfortunately, no. These two similar real estate terms are not interchangeable. When you are pre-qualified for a mortgage, this indicates that you have given your lender information regarding your income, debts and assets. Without doing further research, the lender then tells you that you should qualify for a certain mortgage. Pre-approval is a much more in-depth process, requiring your lender to verify the financial information provided by pulling your credit history, as well as verifying your income and assets.





Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 10/29/2020

Image by edar from Pixabay

There are many reasons people choose to rent. There are fewer responsibilities, it doesn't take saving up a large down payment, maintenance is likely taken care of and there are no real estate taxes and no homeowners' insurance to pay. That doesn't mean, however, you shouldn't carry insurance. If you rent a home, apartment or condo, there are five fundamental reasons you should carry renters' insurance.

You Are Not Covered By Your Landlord's Insurance

Some tenants make the mistake of thinking in case of a hurricane, flood, storm or even theft, they will be covered by their landlord's insurance. While it is true your landlord probably carries insurance, it likely only covers the structure and their property and losses, not yours.

It Protects Your Personal Property

Renters often feel like they have fewer personal possessions than homeowners. This may be true in that renters often don't need to buy major appliances, lawn care equipment, and other items. When tenants begin to take inventory, however, many are surprised at how expensive it would be to replace what they do own. Replacing furniture, beds and bedding, kitchenware, clothing, and electronics will likely run into the thousands of dollars or more. Renters insurance can help you get a fresh start following a covered calamity.

Renters Insurance Covers You Against Liability Claims

Renters may not be aware that they can be held liable should a friend, family member or even a delivery person should get injured while on or in their rented space. This can be financially devastating, especially when we are having more products delivered to our homes than ever, including food. Renters insurance can cover you against financial claims against you, including settlements and legal fees.

It May Cover Your Possessions When Traveling

An unexpected benefit of renters insurance is, depending on the specifics of the policy, your personal property can be covered while traveling. This may include in your car, while in your luggage or a hotel room. When one considers the expensive electronics many of us travel with these days, this can be an extremely valuable feature.

Renters Insurance is Generally Inexpensive

The cost of a renters' insurance policy may be as little as 10% of that of a traditional homeowners' insurance policy. Renters insurance can be so inexpensive and provide so much peace of mind it should absolutely be considered by those choosing to rent.

Renting instead of buying does not necessarily relieve you of all the responsibilities of homeownership. You are still responsible for your personal possessions and can be held liable in case of an on-site injury.




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