Date Archives: April 2014

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April
28

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reports that April is seeing the market come to life.  "While the market still needs more homes for sale – including both existing homes and new construction- the increase in new listings in March is a good sign," said 2014 MAR President Peter Ruffini. "With home values on an upward trend, it gives homeowners the opportunity and incentive to take advantage of the current buyer demand and list their homes for sale."  Read more from MAR.

The buyers are here and ready to buy!  We have seen several properties go under a multiple bid process, especially in the towns of Northampton, Amherst and Hadley. The buyers are waiting for that special home in the perfect location and price point.

  9 Tips on How to Win a Bidding War

  • Know your area. Learn the values and the recent sales in the area in which you want to live. Connect early in the process with your Jones agent so that you will have all of the current market information. Then you will know what is  an appropriate offer.
  • When it comes to price, be realistic. Low offers in this market will not be productive and may waste valuable time.
  • Pick your "walk away" number, and stick with it. It may be best to offer your top price first in a hot market.
  • Be flexible on offer terms. Have your agent learn what the sellers are looking for in terms of closing date, and other considerations. If you are able, accomodate them.
  • Don't dawdle-if you love the house, act fast. Chances are someone else loves it too.
  • Get preapproved by a bank, otherwise your offer will not be seriously considered (this should be your 1st step.)
  • Decide what you want to do if the appraisal is below asking price. Some buyers are willing to pay the difference in cash to get the house of their dreams.
  • Position yourself as a backup in case another buyer pulls out.
  • Connect with sellers. Write a personal letter to the sellers telling them why you would like to buy their house. Your agent can present it with the offer.
  • While going through a multiple bidding process can be challenging, our Jones Team in Amherst, Belchertown and Northampton has the experience to help you through this process. Contact a Jones agent/advisor today to put the leading real estate company to work for you!

April
15

We once lived in a world where if a buyer could fog up a mirror strategically placed under his or her nose, the buyer got a mortgage.  Why this happened is another whole conversation, but I mention this because it's a whole new world.  The financial collapse of many banks and the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resulted in the Dodd Frank Act.  While the mirror test was the result of the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, the Dodd Frank Act swings it completely in the other.  Banks now have to scrutinize every aspect of the buyer's financial situation to the extent that buyers have said they feel violated.  Why?  One reason is The Dodd Frank Act requires banks to buy back mortgages they sell if the loan goes bad in the first seven years of its life.  They don't have a crystal ball to tell them who is going to get divorced, lose their job or have some other disaster befall them rendering them unable to pay, so they use the tools they have.  To add insult to injury the banks are fined for the casualty.  The Act also dictated that in order to be sold to Fannie or Freddie, the Mortgage must be a "Qualified Mortgage," meeting strict ratio guidelines; and that every rock must be overturned to determine the buyer's income and assets, employment, credit history and any debt obligations, all of which affects the rate you will ultimately pay.  To add insult to injury, they must re-check three days before the closing to see if anything has changed.  Some banks may just check employment; some may run through the whole checklist. 

But there is life after Dodd Frank and it's a good one.  Houses are still being sold and people are happily transitioning.  Bankers should not be seen as an enemy, but a guide to help you through the process.  They have a lot invested in your success, too.  More than ever, it is collaboration between you, your banker and your REALTOR® to be sure that the information about you and the property all adds up.  

April
8

Jones Group REALTORS® is pleased to welcome Daniel Emery to their Northampton office at 5 Franklin Street.  Emery is originally from Western New York and has been an established resident of both Franklin and Hampshire Counties since 1997.  Emery holds a degree from Drew University, has lived in Southern California and more recently owned and operated both Clarks Sport Shop and Trails Outdoors in Franklin County.  He is excited to bring his knowledge from purchasing, selling, building and renovating real estate over the last 20 years to the real estate industry.  Emery will earn his GREEN designation from the National Association of REALTORS® which provides advanced training in green building and sustainable business practices.