I miss the rain… I miss being able to take a deep breath of fresh air…. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I enjoy the rain. I love spring & fall when the air is crisp, and invigorating. This year and last have been so smoky that it hurts to breathe, and is awful for people who suffer from migraines. The only upside to this awful weather is that if you are thinking about buying then NOW is a great time to be out there. As I talked about in my last email (you can find that at wwww.learningtobuyahome.com, or at Facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate), when the weather is awful … be it super hot, or smoky, or stormy, or snowy, etc… that is the best time to be out buying a home. Spring and fall are the best times to be a seller because that is when people are out looking for homes. Isn’t it interesting how weather around here plays such a huge part of our lives??
So, talking about timing… yesterday we had the shop concrete floor sealed. Obviously having this done on a super smoky day where the air isn’t moving at all was a brilliant plan as the fumes from that were sucked into our garage and then transferred into our home with the forced air furnace. Since we all wanted to wake up in the morning we turned off the AC (the horror!!!), and opened up all the windows and turned on the fans. It was a choice between cool home with harmful fumes, or warmer home with smoky air…but I could be certain we would all wake up in the morning… Well, we woke up all right.. at 6:30am to the sound of our fire alarms & carbon monoxide alarms going off like crazy because of the very air in the home. Talk about being startled awake! The very air that we had in the home was setting off the alarms and we could NOT get them to stay shut off either because well, that’s just the air we have right now. Bright side (because there is always one, right?)… we all woke up (ok, my husband and son in law were already up, but my daughters and I were still sleeping)… so there is that. Neither my husband nor my son in law spilled or broke anything as they got the scare of their lives while they were getting ready for work. Two of the dogs were freaking out about the noise, and Scooby (the shaggy black mongrel) kept trying to drag us out of the home. The other 2 dogs didn’t seem to care much. Three of the cats were also freaking out and kept meowing at me because well, obviously this is my fault and it is my job to fix it, right? The other cat was hiding in parts unknown. So yay for the fire drill I hadn’t been planning?
For those with forced air furnaces, this smoky air is doing a doozy on them too. After the air cleans out, be sure to change out your air filter, and it might be a good idea to do that on your car too. Wall heaters? Vacuum those out. Now might also be a good time to switch out the batteries on your smoke detectors because I don’t want to be the only one waking up at 6:30am….no… really because in case of a real fire, we do want you to wake up too. You should have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Make sure you have one on every floor, and that your carbon monoxide detector is no higher than your kneecap….only again because we want you to wake up in the morning too. Even if your home doesn’t have gas to it (mine doesn’t), still make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors (it’s mandatory). Safety first….
Now, let’s talk about classes. At the fair I was asked by many folks why they should take a home buyer (or home seller) class. The classes are there to get you started. Many folks who take a class don’t necessarily buy (or sell) right away, but it is good place to get started, and to get your questions answered. Remember that HGTV doesn’t always accurately portray the real estate cycle, and every state has different laws and paperwork. The home buyers and home seller classes are kind of like a starting point . The point of the classes & this email/blog is to answer home buyers (& home owners) questions, and make sure that you understand the steps to buying (or selling) a home, everyone involved, and to de-mystify the process. Knowing what everyone in the process that you are going to come in contact with is supposed to do, and what each step entails can only help you make a better home decision. When you are informed, and educated, you make better decisions, and when you make better decisions, you are happier with everything.
I couldn’t even begin to count all the folks who have come to classes AFTER having gone out and looked at homes, AFTER having signed a form that they later wished that they hadn’t because it wasn’t what they thought it was, and AFTER having writing up an offer on a home, and not getting the paperwork they needed to protect themselves. Many of these people have been in tears after the class, or come up to us and asked, “why didn’t we know that? How come no one told us this?” ummmm….that’s what the classes are for. The classes are about 3 – 3 1/2 hours long, and while that sounds like a long time, keep in mind that in that time frame we still can’t cover everything, but we do our darndest to make sure that all your questions are answered!
In our current economic climate many people come to the class mainly for the lending information…and really it is good information! Loans that help the first time home buyer like, downpayment assistance? And 100% loans? You bet! They also come to the class for the information on what to expect from a lender, information on good faith estimates, and credit scores…which is also good! If there is anything many of us have learned the past couple of years is to know the loan you are going to be using…..but many people forget about the real estate agent. I mean, it can’t be that hard, right? We watch HGTV…and all agents are the same, right??? Well….I have to say WRONG! Not all agents are the same, as we all operate our businesses differently. It’s like saying that all doctors are the same…I mean, you go to a doctor, and they all pretty much do the same thing, right? Well…yes and no. Technically all doctors do have the same profession, but each doctor is absolutely different in our they run their practice, and what they specialize in. In many ways, real estate is the same way. We all go to the same website to look for homes (www.rmls.com) as it is the only legal website where agents all participate and are held to rules and regulations that protect the public from incorrect information….none of those other websites can say that. We can all show homes….but what does the buyers agent really do? What about the sellers agent? What forms does your agent use to protect you, the buyer? What is the sellers agent doing to protect the sellers? What policies does your agent hold to?
Please remember that your buyer’s agents is the one writing up your offer, and that this is a legal contract. What is your agent doing to protect you, the buyer? …or are they protecting themselves? Is your buyers agent explaining everything? Buying a home is your single largest investment, and there is only one other thing that is going to cost you as much in your life, and that is having a child. Make sure that you know the right questions to ask, and if you (and your buyers agent) is doing all they can to protect you…their employer. Another thing to remember is that, at no time, is the buyer responsible for the buyers agent payment. Sellers pay their agent (again, the one with the sign in the yard) to sell their home. The sellers agent then offers a portion of that (at their discretion) to the buyers agent, so the buyers agent is paid for by the sellers agent. And no…you do not get a better deal when not having your own buyers agent because that sellers agent is getting paid the same amount no matter what from the seller….if you go to the sellers agent, you are just, in essence, representing yourself since that agent is hired by the seller to represent them, and not you.
In real estate, it is all about verbiage….we can make something sound very good, when it isn’t. An agent can take a form that is there to protect them, and turn it around so it sounds like it is something you want. When it all comes down to it, a buyers agent works FOR the buyers, and the sellers agent (the one whose name is on the sign in the front yard of the home you like) works FOR the seller! Each agent works for their employer to the best of their abilities…but we all have different abilities. You don’t like every doctor or dentist you meet….what makes you think you are going to like every real estate agent you meet? And No…real estate in the state of Washington is not like what you see on HGTV. Each state has different rules, and laws pertaining to real estate…and Washington actually has some fairly strict ones. Your buyers agent is writing up your contract on the most expensive purchase you will ever make….does it make sense to also learn about that process? To learn about forms you need, and forms you don’t want? To know what you should expect from your agent? To know when earnest money is due? Who should be at the home inspection? What pays for what? What types of homes mean what, and why? These are all things we cover in the real estate portion of the home buyers & sellers classes.
I hope that explains this a bit, but if you have any questions, or comments please call or email me anytime! I am here to help…
Your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one. Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships. Your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. 🙂 We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…
Upcoming Topics: Contingencies, Rentback, and Pre-Possession (oh my!),
Buyers Due Diligence, &….
What happens after an offer is made?
Last Week: Why do deals fall through?
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,