Escalation Clause With Competing Offers


It’s a hot real estate market! The brokers at the office are dealing with competing offers and some buyer’s are willing to pay more that what the seller is asking. With multiple-offer situations, we see escalator clauses being more widely used. Adding an escalation clause to your offer is strategy you can use when competing with another bidder. It is designed to keep your offer competitive and there is no guarantee that the seller will accept your offer, even if it is the highest bid. A seller is free to accept the offer they choose to work with. In some instances, a seller sees a lower cash offer being better than a higher financed offer. Buyers should write an escalation that retains an appraisal contingency, so that the actual price will conform to the lender’s appraisal.
Check out the graph depicted showing the median amount of days that homes are on the Market – Whatcom County being the green line and the red line being homes in Lynden. What a difference from 2015 to 2017!
Call our office 360.354.4242 and we will set you up with a licensed Realtor that knows the Whatcom County real estate market. It’s a seller’s market out there – don’t hesitate!

10 Tips To Increase Your Home’s Value!

home value

#1. Fix All Repairs! Remember that not all improvements are cosmetic. Fixing roofs, inspecting for termites and hidden water leaks are just some of the things to keep an eye out for. Consider hiring an inspector to help.
#2. Add Fresh Paint. Simply purchasing a $25 gallon of neutral paint (to appeal to a broader audience) you’re enhancing the value of your home by making it look clean and updated!
#3. Replace Carpet. Replacing old, dusty carpets with new ones or wood floors improves air quality & creates a modern look!
#4. Low-Maintenance Landscaping. Planting trees and shrubs adds valuable curb appeal & is great for the environment!
#5. Enhance the bathroom. If you don’t have the money to make large bathroom upgrades like replacing old toilets and showers, try simply replacing outdated wallpaper or upgrading the rest of the décor.
#6. Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade! Don’t stop at upgrading the bathroom! An upgraded kitchen adds a TREMENDOUS value to your home! Again if you can’t afford big upgrades simply replace a countertop or paint over your cabinets with a new paint finish. Consider upgrading other rooms in your house as well!
#7. Consider a Ceiling Spruce. 1/6 of your room’s total area is the ceiling. Again, even if you don’t have a lot of money, consider adding a molding or box beams to increase the value of the room by improving the look of the ceiling.
#8. Create a Welcoming Entrance. Consider going to a home improvement store to give your old, outdated front door an attractive replacement. Front doors should compliment your home’s overall design.
#9. See the Light! Consider hiring an electrician to add lights to rooms that are dim or smaller than others. Adding lights make the rooms look larger and shows you have nothing to hide.
information by HGTV

Caliber Home Loans

We have a new on-site Loan Consultant. It’s been a welcome addition to have Casey at the office! Casey will provide you with superior and personal expert guidance throughout the home financing process.

Casey Porter, Caliber Home Loans
Tel: 360.398.5834
Mobile: 360.510.2840
Email: casey.porter@caliberhomeloans.com
Office location: 505 Front Street, downtown, Lynden
Website: Casey Porter Caliber Home Loans
cporter

Your Home’s Fall Checklist

Today’s the first day of Fall! We hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather. Fall is the perfect time to spruce up your home. Try tackling this Checklist before the weather changes!
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Get your mind in the gutters. Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
Button up your overcoat. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.
Get on top of roof problems. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
Walk the walks (and drive). Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps.
Chill out. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.
Freshen your filter. Clean or replace dirty furnace filters.
Give your furnace a physical. Have a professional inspect your heating system.
Gather round the hearth. Check fireplaces for soot or creosote build-up. Better yet, schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep.

5 Reasons Why You Still Need A Real Estate Agent

house
1. Better Access/More Convenience
A real estate agent’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. Both the buyer’s and seller’s agent work full time as a real estate agents and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together. For example if you are looking to buy a home; a real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers’ agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.

Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to move on if you tend to be busy or don’t respond quickly enough. Alternatively, you may find yourself making an appointment and rushing home, only to find that no one shows up.

2. Negotiating Is Tricky Business
Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true – assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship.

What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner’s late mother may have lovingly chosen the décor. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers.

A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason – including just because they hate his or her guts. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price. (In order to benefit from hiring an agent, you need to choose a good one.

3. Contracts Can Be Hard To Handle
If you decide to buy or sell a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale – and you aren’t approved for the mortgage – you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract. (Keep in mind that the details of any contract may vary based on state law.)
An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you’re buying or selling your home.

4. Real Estate Agents Can’t Lie
Well, OK, actually they can. But because they are licensed professionals there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller. If you are working with a licensed real estate agent under an agency agreement, (ie. a conventional, full-service commission agreement in which the agent agrees to represent you), your agent will be bound by common law (in most states) to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the agent is bound by license law to act in their clients’ best interest (not his or her own).

In addition, most realtors rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientèle base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.

Finally, if you do find that your agent has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your agent’s broker, professional association (such as the National Association Of Realtors) or possibly even in court if you can prove that your agent has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.

When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can (and should) seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest, there isn’t much you can do if you find out later that you’ve been duped about multiple offers or the home’s condition. And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than an agent’s commissions by the time the transaction is complete.

5. Not Everyone Can Save Money
Many people eschew using a real estate agent to save money, but keep in mind that it is unlikely that both the buyer and seller will reap the benefits of not having to pay commissions. For example, if you are selling your home on your own, you will price it based on the sale prices of other comparable properties in your area. Many of these properties will be sold with the help of an agent. This means that the seller gets the keep the percentage of the home’s sale price that might otherwise be paid to the real estate agent.

However, buyers who are looking to purchase a home sold by owners may also believe they can save some money on the home by not having an agent involved. They might even expect it and make an offer accordingly. However, unless buyer and seller agree to split the savings, they can’t both save the commission.

The Bottom Line
While there are certainly people who are qualified to sell their own homes, taking a quick look at the long list of frequently asked questions on most “for sale by owner” websites suggests the process isn’t as simple as many people assume. And when you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.
Call The Muljat Group North Real Estate office in downtown, Lynden to assist you whether it be buying or selling real estate
Article by Tara Struyk | investopedia | 5/18/10

Painting to Sell: What Color Homes Sell Best?


Call it exterior painting to sell. One underscored rule of what’s selling, is to go mainstream. Try to appeal to the widest possible swath of buyers.
Some tips on exterior painting to sell:
– Drive around your neighborhood and get inspiration that way.
-Think about your part of the country. There’s definitely regional color. Spicy tones might work in the Southwest; tropical areas might be more used to a little blue.
Earth tones abound. A great color to start with is definitely earth tones, nothing too bold and nothing too taste-specific. No lime greens. No oranges. No pink unless you have an old Victorian and you are fixing it up.
– Take a look at new construction, and copy what builders of new construction are doing.
– Make sure that your front door is beautifully painted. Front doors matter!
Think about painting the exterior to please. When selling homes: “It’s a business, not an emotion.”
Read complete article Painting to Sell by Christopher Moore

8 HOME SELLING TIPS FOR FALL


When listing your home during the fall, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep your home looking fresh regardless of the weather outside.

1. As fall weather descends, leaves fall and plants turn in for the winter. We recommend a weekly landscaping tidy-up of the yard and plant beds, removing any dead foliage and raking the ground. In the event of a windstorm, additional yard tidying may be necessary.

2. A clean roof is imperative for making the buyer feel comfortable in the stability of the home. Therefore, it is also recommended that leaves and other debris are regularly cleared off.

3. Since it is getting darker earlier, lighting is even more important. Outdoor lighting can be a great way to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Home improvement stores usually have outdoor lighting on sale or clearance this time of year and a small investment in a hard-wired system can provide quite an impact.

4. Unless you will be setting the stage for each showing, we recommend keeping the lights on throughout the day. Although this may add a few dollars to your electric bill, in our experience this pays off in a quicker sale.

5. Although you may keep more heat in your house by closing blinds, and curtains, resist the urge to do so during the day. Buyers need to feel that a home is open and bright.

6. In order to keep your house smelling fresh and clean, opening the windows once a week on a sunny day can circulate the air. Changing the filters in the furnace or using a carpet freshener may also help although avoid strong-smelling air fresheners as many buyers are sensitive to these strong smells.

7. Resist the urge to turn the thermostat during the day. Adjusting to below 68 degrees can make the home viewing experience uncomfortable which is not conductive to a home sale.

8. If bringing out your winter clothes has your closet looking packed, consider removing some of the bulkier items to provide some breathing room. An overstuffed closet sends the message that it is not big enough to hold a household’s belongings, so you are better to store lesser-used items offsite while the home is listed.

There are many advantages to selling during the fall and winter months – with less inventory buyers are more serious about finding the right home and homes that stand out and look fresh will get attention. If you are considering selling your home, please give the Muljat Group Realtors® a call: 360.354.4242