Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Home Buying Process: Step 5


This is the fifth post of ten in a series about the home buying process.  The purpose of this series is to educate the reader on different steps in the process to ease any anxiety of the unknown.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased in the past, it is always advantageous to be up-to-date with the latest news and information to make your path to home ownership as smooth as possible.
Step #4:  Making an Offer

Step #5:  Negotiations

You've now entered what could be the most nerve-wracking part of the process for buyers.  It isn't so much the actual negotiations that keep you on edge, but it is the time in between the bits and pieces of news as you wait to hear what the other side thought of your offer or counter-offer.

When your agent submits an offer on your behalf, the listing agent will then present it to the sellers.  This is a time-sensitive offer, so the sellers will review your offer with their agent, and get back to you within the stated period of time (typically about 24 hours).  More often than not, you will receive a counter-offer.

The counter-offer may contain financial concerns, and/ or an adjustment to some of the terms and conditions.  Some common counters include adjustments to closing cost contributions, earnest money, inspection and remedy periods, and final closing dates.  Once a counter-offer comes back to the buyer, the buyer will only receive the items that the seller wishes to adjust.  It is stated in the counter that "all other terms and conditions to remain the same."

The contract is now back in the hands of the buyer.  The buyer can choose to accept, or the buying side can counter again.  This back and forth can go on and on, and this is the period in which your agent becomes valuable in helping you determine which items are worth countering or accepting.  An agent's job is to advise you during this period.  It is important, as a buyer, to remember that anytime you counter, the other side can reject the offer and kill the deal.  So, there comes a time when you need to decide which items are deal breakers, because if you don't, the other side will choose to move on.

Negotiations do not end with the purchase offer.  Following the home inspection the buyer has a chance to request that anything identified in the home inspection be fixed prior to the contract moving forward.  The buyer must work with their agent to consider which items (if any) they want addressed prior to closing.  The seller has the option to deny all or part of the request, and these negotiations are handled in the same way that the counter-offer process with the purchase contract is handled.  My rule with the requests is that you should only request items to be fixed that are dangerous to the health or safety of the buyer.  Little things like malfunctioning doorknobs are the types of things that come with home ownership, and in my opinion, shouldn't be a part of the potential holding up of a real estate deal.  (Are there certain circumstances for such requests?  Yes, but in general, consider health & safety).

After everything is agreed upon, the buyer and seller have a valid purchase contract, and the buyer moves on to securing financing for the deal (Step #6).

There are many more fine details in this negotiations stage.  I hope that my overview gives you a good idea of what is to come, but like I have made clear before, every deal is different.  I would be happy to discuss this in further detail with you, just contact me with any questions that you may have.

Take care,
Scott
click here to find a home for sale in Gahanna Ohio

Monday, August 27, 2012

Central Ohio Housing News

For those that do not subscribe to The Dispatch, you may have missed this great news!  The Columbus Board recently released July 2012 housing statistics that show home prices hitting their highest point in five years.  (Click here to see the article)

As school starts, real estate typically slows for a week or two.  But, as people settle back into their routines, I expect to see this momentum carry on into the fall.  Now is the time to begin to get that house ready to sell.  Clean up inside and out, de-clutter rooms and closets, and neutralize the home by taking down all personal touches, then let me know when you are ready to get your home listed in this improving market!  

Visit my website and submit your information so that I can provide you with a free market analysis on your home. 

Have a fabulous week!

Take care, 
Scott 

Click here to search for a home in Gahanna Ohio

Friday, August 24, 2012

Open Houses in Gahanna 8/25 & 8/26


Each week I try to provide a list of homes that are being held open during the upcoming weekend. This will give you the opportunity to do a bit of research beforehand to eliminate homes that are less desirable.  I will send out a weekly email to the other KW agents in my office and will report on any open house that I am notified of in the replies.  If a home is listed with another company that you'd like to see, contact me to set up a date and time in which I can schedule a private showing.

199 Ainsworth Ct  This home is being held open by the owner on Sunday from 1-4 PM.  


Beautiful, like-new home on a quiet cul-de-sac with easy access to Easton shopping, Gahanna schools, 270 and 670.  4 BR, 2.5 BA, 1,894 sq ft. home built in 1990.  Updated kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, & hardwood floors.  New carpet.  Also includes updated master bath with granite countertops, large deck overlooking private park-like 1/2 acre lot that backs up to Big Walnut Creek, 6-panel doors, crown molding, newer roof, a/c, and water heater, and wood-burning fireplace. (Home is FSBO)


Asherton Grove Condos:  Agent Ken Snyder had this to say about the complex... 

 "We have the standard attached type condos including a basement walk out unit as well as the free standing detached condos.  Price range on the attached is $159,900 to $212,900 and the detached start at $194,900, $219,900, and $224,900 and are able to be  customized to your needs. The project presently has a community center with exercise room and will have an outdoor swimming pool."

Click on the link above to access more information.  The condos are located at the corner of Ulry Rd and Central College Rd in Westerville/ New Albany/ Gahanna area.  They will be open saturday 10-3 and sunday 12-5. 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Click here to search for a house for sale in Gahanna Ohio

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Home Buying Process: Step 4


This is the fourth post of ten in a series about the home buying process.  The purpose of this series is to educate the reader on different steps in the process to ease any anxiety of the unknown.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased in the past, it is always advantageous to be up-to-date with the latest news and information to make your path to home ownership as smooth as possible.
Step #3:  The Home Search  

Step #4:  Making an offer
Each component of a purchase contract could really be broken down into separate blog posts.  So, to keep this short enough to not lose readers, I'll point out a few of the parts of the offer that are popular items for buyers to ask about and will encourage you to email me if you have further questions.

     -  Purchase Price:  Of course, right?  Something to keep in mind here- I hear a lot of "I don't believe in offering full price for real estate" or "low ball 'em."  The price a buyer puts on the purchase offer shouldn't be just any number pulled out of space.  Your agent should help you determine a price range that is appropriate using an analysis of the market.  Ultimately it is the choice of the buyer, but writing a fair offer is the goal, and if you just believe in the "low ball 'em" strategy, you could be losing out on an opportunity.
     -  Terms:  Additional terms and conditions are written into the contract.  The most common terms I am seeing right now are buyers that are asking for the seller to pay for applicable costs at closing.  Buyers will often see that the seller pays up to 2-3% of the purchase price towards buyer fees.
     -  Time limits:  Once an offer is accepted, the clock starts.  The offer must be accepted within a set time limit (normally 24-48 hrs) and then the first two weeks are action packed.  Among other things, buyers will need to get a loan application started, home inspections complete (7-10 days), and if the home inspection returns anything that needs attention, requests to remedy must meet agreed upon deadlines (10-15 days).
     -  Contingencies:  Certain components of the contract are contingent upon additional action.  For example, the contract is contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing.  If the buyer is unable to obtain financing, the contract is terminated.  There is also a contingency on the home inspection.  If the buyer is unhappy with the inspection details, they can request for remedy or get out of the deal.
     -  Earnest Money:  Earnest money is money that accompanies the contract to show "good faith."  What it shows the seller is that you are serious about buying their home, and if you were to pull out of the contract for a certain reason that isn't stated in the contract as a contingency, then the seller would receive the earnest money for their time spent with the house off of the market.  If the contract gets to closing, the buyer gets the money back, and often uses it as part of the down payment.  If the contract doesn't close for a reason such as the buyer cannot get financing, the earnest money is returned to the buyer.  In short, the only way that the buyer does not get the money back is if they walk away from the deal for inexplicable reasons.

Again, there are many parts to an offer and every deal looks different.  These were just a few of the major topics that I have experienced.  For more resources on buying a home visit my website www.scottmorrisonrealestate.com.

Take care,
Scott Morrison

Click here to browse for a house for sale in Gahanna Ohio

Friday, August 17, 2012

Open Houses in Gahanna Area

Each week I try to provide a list of homes that are being held open during the upcoming weekend. This will give you the opportunity to do a bit of research beforehand to eliminate homes that are less desirable.  I will send out a weekly email to the other KW agents in my office and will report on any open house that I am notified of in the replies.  If a home is listed with another company that you'd like to see, contact me to set up a date and time in which I can schedule a private showing.

199 Ainsworth Ct  This home is being held open by the owner on Sunday from 1-4 PM.  



Beautiful, like-new home on a quiet cul-de-sac with easy access to Easton shopping, Gahanna schools, 270 and 670.  4 BR, 2.5 BA, 1,894 sq ft. home built in 1990.  Updated kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, & hardwood floors.  New carpet.  Also includes updated master bath with granite countertops, large deck overlooking private park-like 1/2 acre lot that backs up to Big Walnut Creek, 6-panel doors, crown molding, newer roof, a/c, and water heater, and wood-burning fireplace. (Home is FSBO)


Asherton Grove Condos:  Agent Ken Snyder had this to say about the complex... 

 "We have the standard attached type condos including a basement walk out unit as well as the free standing detached condos.  Price range on the attached is $159,900 to $212,900 and the detached start at $194,900, $219,900, and $224,900 and are able to be  customized to your needs. The project presently has a community center with exercise room and will have an outdoor swimming pool."

Click on the link above to access more information.  The condos are located at the corner of Ulry Rd and Central College Rd in Westerville/ New Albany/ Gahanna area.  They will be open saturday 10-3 and sunday 12-5. 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Home Buying Process: Step 3

This is the third post of ten in a series about the home buying process.  The purpose of this series is to educate the reader on different steps in the process to ease any anxiety of the unknown.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased in the past, it is always advantageous to be up-to-date with the latest news and information to make your path to home ownership as smooth as possible.
Step #1:  Initial Consultation
Step #2:  Get Pre-Approved

Step #3:  The Home Search
This is where the fun begins!  Statistics show that the typical home buyer has already begun their home search on a website such as this- (homes for sale gahanna ohio).  In fact, it is likely that a buyer at this stage has been looking at homes on the internet for nearly six months.  While the internet is a great place to start on your own, it is often flooded with out-of-date listings and misleading information.  Your agent will help you narrow your focus, and will help you to view homes that are the right fit for you.  Some things to expect in step three...
       
          1.  Personalized search to access:  I set my clients up with a personalized website through the MLS that they can access at any time.  When we meet to discuss their search criteria, I use the characteristics we discuss to set them up automatic notifications of homes that meet their desires.  This allows them to be notified instantly whenever a new home hits the market.  They then can eliminate homes they don't love, revisit the ones that they are iffy about, or can tag them as a favorite to let me know they wish to see this home in person.  This saves a lot of time for both my clients.

          2.  Showings:  Pictures and video tours are nice, but nothing is the same as touring a home in person.  Whenever a property catches the eye of a buyer, an agent can set up a showing.  It is common courtesy to give 24 hours or so for the seller to clean up the home, so be sure to communicate your free time to your agent so that adequate notice can be given.  Typically your agent will ask you to block off about two hours and will set up a series of showings so that you can be more efficient with your time.

          3.  Rethinking your criteria:  Whether you need to expand your thinking or to narrow it down, as time goes on you should always evaluate your criteria.  It is important to be communicating with your agent as you see homes and letting them know what you like and dislike.  I know it sounds funny, but don't be afraid of hurting the agent's feelings (you won't).  Tell your agent what you dislike if there is something that comes up... if they don't know what you don't like, they'll continue to show you homes with those characteristics.

I encourage you to be picky during this time.  Buying a home is a decision that should not be taken lightly.  The process should be fun, not stressful.  Part of the reason I am writing about the buying process is that often times it is the lack of knowledge of certain events that stresses people out.  Hopefully these posts educate you so that you can enjoy the process of finding your home.

If you have any further questions about buying a home or would like to get set up with a personalized site to view homes, do not hesitate to contact me or to create your own search with the tabs at the top of the page.

Take care,
Scott Morrison

Monday, August 13, 2012

This Week in Gahanna

Good morning everyone!  Each week I post a list of events happening in and around the community.  As always, if you see that I've missed something or want an event featured free of charge, shoot me an email at scottmorrison@kw.com

Gahanna Schools: 
          High School Schedule Pick-up 8:30- 3:30 PM.  Check the website for details
                    Monday:  Seniors
                    Tuesday:  Juniors
                    Wednesday:  Sophomores
                    Thursday:  Freshman

          Gahanna Middle School East Schedule Pick-up
                    Tuesday & Wednesday

          Check the District Website for specifics if your school is not listed.

Community Events:
Party in your Park:  Wednesday 7:00 - 9:00 PM @ Trapp Park
          Free food and free activities such as face painting and crafts for the family to enjoy!

Business Networking Event:  Thursday 5:00 - 6:30 PM @ 799 Science blvd
          Perfect for entrepreneurs looking to build relationships with local institutions or business owners looking to learn about available resources in our community.  Stop by and enjoy complimentary food and drinks while learning about relationship building and business development.

Music in the Park:  Friday 7:00 - 9:00 PM @ Friendship Park
         This week the featured band is Lone Raven.  They feature a unique sound and have over 20 different instruments on stage.  This is a perfect place to bring the whole family as the children can play on the playground adjacent to the stage.

Take care,
Scott Morrison


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Home Buying Process: Step 2


This is the second post of ten in a series about the home buying process.  The purpose of this series is to educate the reader on different steps in the process to ease any anxiety of the unknown.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased in the past, it is always advantageous to be up-to-date with the latest news and information to make your path to home ownership as smooth as possible.
Click here for Step #1

STEP #2:  Mortgage Pre-Approval

Not to devalue any other step in the process, but this step may be the most important.  You may have even initiated this step prior to your initial consultation with a Realtor because of the importance it has to your home search.  Which step you do first is a matter of personal preference.  

In this step you are going to visit with a lender to look at the landscape of your financials and determine how much you can afford when it comes to buying a house.  There are four things you should expect during this time... 

          1.  Credit report-  The lender will pull your credit report and review it for obvious reasons.  Be sure that you go over the report with them to ensure accuracy of the report.
          2.  Financial overview-  You will be asked to present evidence of employment, income, assets, and debt to determine what you can afford. 
          3.  Lender discussion-  Expect to spend 45 minutes or so with the lending professional.  This is the time for your lender to ask the questions he or she needs to get your approval through, but also it is a time for you to ask any questions of your lender.  Do not leave the meeting without getting your questions answered.  This is no time to feel uncomfortable or uninformed.  Discuss things such as monthly payments with the lender so that you are comfortable in the price range that you determine.  Remember that just because you qualify for a $200,000 home, doesn't always mean you want to spend that much.
          4.  A pre-approval letter-  You will receive a letter that details the value of the loan you are pre-approved for.  This does NOT mean that you will for sure receive a loan for that amount, but this is a commitment from the bank that basically states that they believe they would be able to get you a loan for that amount.  You'll still need to go through the application process once you find the home you intend to purchase.  

Once you receive the letter, present it to your Realtor.  This gives the Realtor the confidence that he or she is showing you homes in the price range that is appropriate for you.  Now you are ready to move on to step 3 where you'll begin your home search.  

Don't forget to read a my post about what not to do during the mortgage process.  Follow these tips once you have been pre-approved all the way through closing.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Monday, August 6, 2012

This Week in Gahanna

Good morning everyone!  Each week I post a list of events happening in and around the community.  As always, if you see that I've missed something or want an event featured free of charge, shoot me an email at scottmorrison@kw.com

Gahanna Lincoln Athletics:  The fall athletes are all hard at work preparing for their seasons.  Best of luck to all teams and programs!  You can find a schedule for each program by clicking the link above or visiting my website.

Mosquito Spraying:  Yes I know this really isn't an event, but it is certainly news that affects residents of Gahanna.  Spraying will begin on Tuesday the 7th at 8:45 PM to combat recent traces of mosquitos that tested positive for the West Nile Virus.  For details log on to: http://gahanna.gov/newsdetails.aspx?article=70254592

Friday
Music in the Park:  7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Friendship Park
This week's featured bank is Phillip Fox Band that boasts "country-fried rock" as their unique style.  Friendship park provides a perfect family friendly environment to have a great time and enjoy a free concert.


Saturday
Second Saturdays presented by the Gahanna Rotary  10:00 AM - 9:00 PM @ Creekside
From the City of Gahanna website:
   Tentative Schedule of activities 
10am-2pm - Creekside Park (by the waterfall) - outdoor adventures, fishing (10a-12p), family bicycle rides, canoeing (12p-2p)
2pm-3:30pm - Rotary Stage Disney theatre by Shots In the Dark
3pm-6pm - Creekside Lower Plaza  - games, crafts and activities by Gahanna Parks & Recreation
3pm-6pm - Creekside Upper Plaza - ArtSpeak - showcase featuring a variety of local vendors
4pm-6pm - Rotary Stage - Music Performance by the Marvelous Toy
7pm-9pm - Rotary Stage - Concerts on the Creek - The Floorwalkers



Take care,
Scott Morrison


Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekend Open House Guide

Each week I'd like to provide a list of homes that are being held open during the upcoming weekend. This will give you the opportunity to do a bit of research beforehand to eliminate homes that are less desirable.  I will send out a weekly email to the other KW agents in my office and will report on any open house that I am notified of in the replies.  If a home is listed with another company that you'd like to see, contact me to set up a date and time in which I can schedule a private showing.

3093 Splitrock Rd:  Will be open sunday from 2-4


Highly desirable "Quarry Pointe" subdivision home with Columbus Taxes and Hilliard Schools.  Spacious MI "Elmore" layout with1st floor master, loft, and 21x20 den/bonus room which could be 4th bedroom.  Roomy kitchen with bay window and extensive cabinet space.  Kitchen flows into the great room which has vaulted ceilings and gas fireplace.  Pristine and spacious 2nd and 3rd bedrooms.  Full basement which can be finished to create even more square footage.



Asherton Grove Condos:  Agent Ken Snyder had this to say about the complex... 

 "We have the standard attached type condos including a basement walk out unit as well as the free standing detached condos.  Price range on the attached is $159,900 to $212,900 and the detached start at $194,900, $219,900, and $224,900 and are able to be  customized to your needs. The project presently has a community center with exercise room and will have an outdoor swimming pool."

Click on the link above to access more information.  The condos are located at the corner of Ulry Rd and Central College Rd in Westerville/ New Albany/ Gahanna area.  They will be open saturday 10-3 and sunday 12-5. 

Have a great weekend!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Thursday, August 2, 2012

This Month in Real Estate

Keller Williams does a fantastic job of releasing new and updated material via print and video.  I think it is important that they keep their information short and provide real estate tips in small doses so as not to overload the consumer.

A series of video I keep up with is the "This Month in Real Estate" produced at the beginning of each month.  I post this video to my website as another piece of education because it is relevant to anyone that visits.

Happy August!



Take care,
Scott Morrison

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Home Buying Process: Step 1

This is the first post of ten in a series about the home buying process.  The purpose of this series is to educate the reader on different steps in the process to ease any anxiety of the unknown.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased in the past, it is always advantageous to be up-to-date with the latest news and information to make your path to home ownership as smooth as possible.

STEP #1:  Initial Consultation

Many would say that the first step ought to be getting pre-approved for a loan.  That certainly isn't wrong, but an initial consultation with a real estate professional helps to get you on the right path and see that you are meeting with the right people.  Buyers always want to jump right into the home search (many have already been searching on their own on internet searches) but jumping right in can lead to major disappointment down the road when you see homes outside of your price range or without proper preparation.  In the initial consultation, you should expect the following...

          -  Get to know your agent:  You should feel comfortable with the agent that advises you.  A great topic to discuss initially is the type of communication you prefer.  Whether it is texting, emailing, calls, or social media, it is going to be crucial that you and your agent can be in constant communication throughout.
          -  Agent recommendations:  Agents aren't going to recommend lenders, title companies, home inspectors, or any other crucial vendor that they have experienced trouble with in the past.  These folks are crucial to the transaction and going with vendors that have shown the ability to perform gives you a better chance of getting to closing with the least amount of resistance.
          -  Discuss goals:  Communicate with your agent as to what you may be looking for in a home.  Without getting too specific, communicate the area, neighborhood, or type of home you are looking for.    Your agent will want to wait for a pre-approval for specifics (step #2) to confirm that they do not show you homes out of your price range, but giving them a general idea of what you might be looking for allows your agent to be prepared once you get pre-approved and are ready to search for homes.
          -  Overview of the process:  Ask your agent to walk you through the process of buying a home.  A brief tour of the process will help you be certain that the timing is right and buying a home is indeed what you want.  This should help you feel more comfortable as you progress through the steps and get closer to closing.

Again, it is human nature to want to jump right in and begin viewing homes.  But, finding the right agent and laying the proper foundation for your buying process will make the home viewing much more enjoyable in the long run.

Coming soon- Step 2:  Mortgage Pre-approval

Take care,
Scott Morrison