Thursday, May 15, 2014

Should I use the same agent to sell my home and be my buyer's agent for my new one?


We would like to put our home on the market and buy a new one. With only a certain amount of equity in our home I had considered trying to sell it myself to save on the commission so we will have enough for a down payment on our next home. Recently though, a Realtor told me that sometimes Realtors can list your home for a smaller commission (at 5% with 3% going to the Buyer's agent) and then act as your buyer's agent with a 1% rebate to you for closing costs (they then get 2% as the buyer's agent). This sounds like a good idea to me, but I was wondering if there is a drawback to using the same agent to sell your home as the one you use to buy your next home? Since we cannot buy our next home until we sell this one, it seems like a great motivating factor for the agent to get ours sold as quickly as possible. Any insight on this? And is this a common practice of discounting the service fees?

Thanks,
Amy,  Woodstock, GA

Dear Amy,

I would strongly recommend that you find an agent you like and trust to help you sell your current home and buy your next home, provided you are staying in the same area. If you are moving to a new area, I would ask your selling agent to recommend someone in the area you are relocating to.

As to the practice of discounting the commission if the same agent handles both transactions, I see nothing wrong with that. That is an individual choice each agent, along with their broker should make.

Some have said that because an agent will negotiate on their own commission, that they would not work as hard for their client as someone who would not. Speaking only for myself, I would respectfully disagree because my work ethic is not determined by my commission, it is determined by my character. If I agree to accept a lower commission because my client has agreed to work with me to buy and sell their next home, I will do my best to look out for my clients best interest regardless of that agreement. Accepting that agreement binds me to do the very best I can in all that I do! I know that if I serve my client well and they make a successful transition to their new home, I get the satisfaction of knowing I did a great job for them. I also hope they would be able to recommend me to their family, friends and neighbors as an agent who is committed to the highest quality work ethic and that I did my best for them every step of the way!
 
Michael Bradford

Friday, April 25, 2014

Interest rates are on the rise!


Interest rates are on the rise which could make your buying power go down. With every 1% rate increase, the typical borrower loses 10.75% purchasing power.* That means if you could afford a $100,000 home at 4%, you could potentially lose $10,750 of buying power and now only qualify for a $89,250 house at 5%.

That is not good news to buyers or sellers today. Sellers, who have been optimistic recently because of increased demand and some appreciation in home values, are affected by rising interest rates because it limits buyers choices in which homes they can afford. Buyers are affected the same but feel the pain for a much longer time, say 30 years or until they can refinance at some point in the future.

Depending on who you listen to, rates will go up a little or a lot! But most agree, upward is the trend for the spring, 2014 season.

If you need to buy or sell a home, the best window of opportunity may be right now. Rates are still low enough to make home ownership more attractive than renting and springtime is the most active season for buying and selling. 

Call me today and let's get started!

Michael Bradford

770-862-8002

* themortgagereport.com 6/23/2013    

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why sell your house to a licensed real estate broker?


First of all, I buy houses, any house, in any condition, quickly, without any real estate fees due from you. I am not looking to just "list" your house for sale but that may be the best solution for you. If not, I can buy it directly and can close in as little as 5 business days.

So why should you sell your house to me instead of an unlicensed investor? I am governed by the rules and regulations of the Georgia Secretary of State and there are specific rules that I must obey when buying or selling real estate in Georgia. I have been licensed since 1998, active and in good standing.   

I buy houses mostly in Cobb and Cherokee counties but will consider North Fulton, Bartow and Pickens counties.  I may be able to help you with your property even if you have negative or no equity.
So if you have a house that is keeping you from moving on with your life, call or email me today and I will try my best to solve your real estate problem fast!
Michael Bradford, Broker
Southern Prime Realty
770-573-2507, office
770-862-8002, cell

Upside down?


The real estate market has turned around. At least that is what the media keeps telling us. But we all know that real estate is about location, location, location...oh, and when we want to sell, it is also about how much we owe, condition of the home and what else is available in our market.
Yes, prices have gone up, but they have not recovered to the prices we saw just a few years ago. Just ask someone who bought at the peak of the market and has tried to sell since then.
I may have a solution for those who would like to sell their house and move on with their life but can't because they have negative or no equity. This program is not for everyone, but it may be perfect for you or someone you know who has tried to sell and found they couldn't even afford to pay the real estate commission. Give me a call and let's see if I can help you. I do not want to list your house or charge you a commission. I want to buy your house, today! Let's talk and see if we can get you right side up! 
Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Friday, October 3, 2008

New trend in living arrangements

According to this article on REALTOR.org, more and more people are sharing their house with family or friends. More and more, we find parents living with grown children and even grandparents living with their grandkids.

According to Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, "It is evolving in some ways back to how families used to live. That is, they're living in multi-generational households".

Add the economic benefit and it is no wonder it is becoming more popular than ever to share your home with someone. Remember the old adage "Two can live as cheap as one?"

As a homeschooling family, we have been very sensitive to multi-generational relationships and encourage our kids to be able to relate to people of all ages, not just kids their own age. We believe this is very valuable in teaching our kids the wisdom that comes from age and experience.

If the thought of living with extended family is not appealing to you, re-think that. With today's houses, you can have two separate living spaces and never even see one another unless planned. In fact, my firm has a great example of a home used to care for an elderly parent. This home has 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 full kitchens/family rooms and a handicap ramp all for $165K.

Click here to see it.

There are lots of options today. Please give me a call and let me find the right one for you!

Michael Bradford
Associate Broker
Southern Prime Realty
770-862-8002

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The end of DPA?

With all of the news surrounding the end of down payment assistance programs, there still is a way for someone who has good credit and income to get 100% financing. And isn't that really the key? We want people who can afford a home to get one. We should do all that we can to help those who have the means and the desire to purchase a home be able to do so. After all, home ownership reflects a long term commitment to a piece of land at a specific place. When we have people committed to maintaining and improving a piece of property, it is good for our communities.

If you have decent credit and good prospects for a stable income, then you can still buy a home with little cash up front. There are several programs available today that can help you realize your dream of home ownership. Call me today and let me show you what your options are. There are limits and requirements but anything worthwhile takes effort. Let's work together to fill empty homes with people who will take care of them and be an asset to our communities.

Michael Bradford
Associate Broker
Southern Prime Realty
770-862-8002

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Paws Left Behind

As a proud owner of a schnoodle (part poodle, part schnauzer) rescued from an illegal puppy mill, I was very happy when I read this article on REALTOR.org about No Paws Left Behind. According to their web site, No Paws Left Behind "is a focus driven not for profit organization, designed to bring awareness to all communities the silent victims of foreclosure who have no voice or rights to implement change."

With the rise in foreclosures across the country and here in Cherokee and Cobb county, it is good to see people thinking about the impact that this can have on our pets. If you know of any animals that have been displaced by a recent foreclosure, please give me a call or visit the No Paws Left Behind web site for more information about how you can help.

Michael Bradford
Southern Prime Realty
770-862-8002

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Existing homes sales up!

According to this article on REALTOR.org, pending home sales in April were higher than expected. This is good news you certainly won't hear on the nightly news and if you do, it will be qualified with the dreaded word "but...". Good news just doesn't sell these days so you have to look for it. Great homes are available at excellent prices. Mortgage rates are stable and inventories are leveling out.

If you are looking to buy a new home, now is the time. Call me today and let me help you find the home of your dreams.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Demand For Mortgages Rise.

According to REALTOR.org and this article, demand for mortgages rose even though rates have crept up slightly. The demand is primarily an increase in purchases and not refinancing activity.

This is good news. It seems like most of what we hear is mixed blessing. Rates are up but prices are down. All I know is that my phone has been ringing a lot more lately and several of my properties have gone under contract at very close to the listing price. Spring is here in Cherokee County and now is a great time to get your house ready to sell. If you have been waiting till spring to sell, now is the time to act.

Give me a call and I would consider it an honor to help you get your home sold.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Friday, March 28, 2008

Atlanta, #2

Last week I focused on Cherokee County's growth. The news today is about the Atlanta region. According to the US Census Bureau and this article from REALTOR.com, the Atlanta Metro Area grew by 151,063 people between July, 2006 and July, 2007. This make us the second fastest metro area behind the Dallas, Ft. Worth Texas area.

Not to take away from the folks in Texas, but I been to there and Georgia is a much better place to live. I know the people of Texas are great and friendly and all, but Atlanta is such a prettier place and the people are just as friendly and nice. I believe our economy is much more broad based which will fair better during any downturn and will recover faster than a market which is more narrow in focus.

As I wrote about last week, the current buyer's market will end sooner here than most areas and we are already seeing trends that point to a recovery. Don't let this market turn before you take advantage of it. Call me today and let's find the home of your dreams before we wake up and find it's a sellers market again.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here we grow again!

Georgia had 18 counties in the top 100 in population growth. According to U.S. Census Bureau reported by the AJC here, Forsyth County ranked No. 8 in the nation, increasing its population by 7.2%. It was the fastest-growing Georgia county. Cherokee County was ranked 6th in the state, 18th in the nation and grew by 5.3%.

It is easy to see why Georgia has the most counties in the top 100. While we have had problems keeping up with the growth, like water management, urban sprawl, and congested roads, for the most part Cherokee County has done an excellent job with the resources given to them. Our schools are doing great, unemployment has remained low and housing has remained affordable.

The current buyers market in Cherokee county will change sooner than other areas of the country. We need to keep in mind that we live in an area that is going to continue to grow and be prepared for the thousands of new comers looking for a better life.

If you are thinking about buying a house in Cherokee County anytime in the near future, I would recommend that you take advantage of the current market before it changes. I can help you find a great deal and would consider it a privilege to assist you.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Monday, March 17, 2008

Try Before You Buy.

Lease/purchase, rent ot own or lease option, whichever name you call it, has become more and more popular. Even investors who would prefer to rent their properties are offering them as a way of getting qualified people into their houses. REALTOR.org has an article here that explains much of the details.

This can be an excellent way for buyers to try the house and neighborhood on, so to speak, before they have to actually buy it. Owners get another tool they can use to get an empty property occupied or get the freedom to go ahead and move to their new house without fear of their present house sitting empty.

If you have thought about lease purchase as an option for you, please call me. They are not for everyone and I can share more details to help you decide if this is right for you.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The End Of The Buyers Market?

We all know that it has been a buyers market for a couple of years now. Human nature always wants to resit change and we are usually surprised when it happens. Are we going to be caught off guard when the market changes back to a buyers market? You and I both know it will eventually happen. Is there any way to predict when?

What we can see from current trends is that new housing starts are much lower than ever before and applications for new developments have almost stopped completely. It can take 2-5 years before a new project is proposed and when new homes are ready to be occupied. We live in an area that will continue to see economic growth. I believe we are going to be caught unprepared with not enough housing units in the pipeline or available for the demand that will continue to grow. It takes time to ramp up new construction and because not much is happening now, a lot of builders are closing up shop and moving into other lines of work.

After the current overstock of housing inventory is depleted, where will the new home buyers of tomorrow find a place to live? Wherever it will be, the prices will go up because as always demand sets price. Those who bought when supply was plentiful and demand low will be looking at a day when they can sell high. The problem will then be where are they going to go. They will have a hard time replacing the home they have with something comparable. What can you do to take advantage of the current buyers market?

The best thing would be to buy rental properties and hold on to them for a couple of years. Demand will continue to rise so prices will also rise. You are not trying to replace your primary residence but selling an investment, which as we all know you should do when prices are high. I know lots of people who bought low in 2001-2002 and sold high in 2005-2006. You can time this market but you won't do it by following the crowd. You have to buy when everyone else is selling and you have to sell when everyone else is buying. It is simple logic.

If you need help finding great investment properties, give me a call. I can help you meet your goals of buying low and selling high. Real estate is still one of the best and safest investments you can make if you do your homework. Start your education today.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Tax Man Cometh!

It's that time of year when accountants and CPA's get very busy. For those who do their own taxes, or for those of us who have a lot of preparation to do before the accountants even get the information, it can be a daunting task. I am all for the Fair Tax and wish it was a reality now. We have a lot of work ahead of us to change the current system, and until then we will have to work with what we have.

What we have is a system that rewards debt on most real estate. The tax code also rewards appreciation or capital gains on your primary residence, up to a limit, depending on your marital status, and if you have owned your home long enough. Here is a good article from REALTOR.com that gives great reasons for home ownership from a tax standpoint. With all of the negative reporting on what is happening in the real estate market, we must remember that owning your own home it is still one of the best ways to accumulate wealth and save on your taxes.

Most people think the day you sell your house is when you make money on it, but in reality it is when you buy your house that most of your profits are made. Sure, you can time the market somewhat when you sell to maximize your gains, but in the end if you paid too much in the first place, it will reduce your profits later when you sell. Time can dig you out of a bad purchase, but don't let that happen to you.

Everyone knows when investing you should buy low and sell high, right? Well, now is an excellent time to buy low! Don't miss the bottom of the market! On Thursday, I will talk about how the buyers market we are seeing in Atlanta will be back to a sellers market before the rest of the country, and that it will be here faster than you think. Interest rates are great, prices are low, and supply is plentiful. Now is the time to buy low, and start looking for the day you can sell high, and avoid the tax man all the way to the bank.

Michael Bradford
770-862-8002