My cat, Felix, loves to sit by our pool, but he is afraid to jump into the water. If you are Felix right now, sitting on the edge, wondering if you should jump into the real estate market – let me tell you, it might be time! Especially if you are a seller. It is YOUR market.
Houses are selling fast. In fact, I’ve had a few recent clients sell their homes in under a week. With social distancing rules, only a few people are allowed to be in open houses at a time and I am hearing about lines of people waiting to get a look at new listings. Bidding wars are happening.
I have written before on the importance of having your real estate team in place before you start showing the house (or looking for a house), so when you get that accepted offer, we can get you into contract quickly.
Sellers – Listen to your team. It might be exciting when a potential buyer offers you more than your asking price, but beware. Your house still has to appraise for that value. This is why it is vital to have your real estate agent and attorney in place as you start the process, to support you. Make sure we have your deed, certificate of occupancy, survey, etc., so we can prepare that contract. When you do this, home inspections can happen quickly and contracts can be sent within a day.
Buyers – Don’t wait too long once you do get an accepted offer. Have your attorney and home inspector on stand-by so we can get that contract started right away. It’s easy to lose a house if you hesitate. You benefit from having an attorney on your team, as well, so you can go into your purchase with confidence.
On the fence about selling? As always, do your research and do what works best for you. You might be able to sell your house for a higher value right now, but that doesn’t mean the new house you buy is going to hold its value as the market changes.
Are you interested in refinancing? The rule of thumb used to be if you save 2 or more interest points, it was time to refinance. But with the rates as low as they are now (crazy low – I just saw a 2.75% 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at the time of this newsletter), it really might be in your best interest financially to refinance. Look at where you are in your mortgage. Are you two years in, ten years in, or more? Are you paying more interest or more principal? Are you considering selling in the next couple of years? These are some of the questions you have to ask when you are considering a refinance.
Many people don’t realize that they should use an attorney to assist with the refinance. Why do you need us? We will look at the closing cost fees and ensure they are reasonable and customary. Banks and title companies can accidentally overcharge and by us reviewing the paperwork, we can catch those mistakes. And, we make sure to explain everything to you in detail and keep you protected. We can assist with any title issues (like mortgages that were paid off years ago but the satisfaction was not properly recorded with the county clerk). The bank has an attorney and you need one, too.
We just celebrated Debbie’s one-year anniversary this month. It seems like she’s been here forever. And our intern, Jon Malekan, is headed to law school in the Fall. We wish him well. We also recently received a grant to update our lighting in the office to LED.
Estate planning is big right now. We are working with many clients with their wills and advanced directives. We do ask that, if you need to come into the office, please make an appointment by giving us a call.
We are scheduling our clients with respect to social distancing and you will have a specific time and day to come in, and if you want to schedule a telephone call or a Zoom video conference, just let me know. We continue to be here for you.