Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/17/2017

A low appraisal is a possibility when youíre buying a home. This can happen for a variety of reasons. If it happens to you, donít panic! 


Once you get an offer accepted on a house you love, it may feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. As any seasoned homebuyer will tell you, this is only the beginning! 


It can be tough for both the buyer and the seller when a deal seemingly falls apart due to an appraisal that comes in too low. This is a common occurrence and there are ways to work around it. 


Reasons For A Low Appraisal


There are a few reasons for a low appraisal including:


Insufficient sales data for the area can often skew appraisal numbers

Lenders may only lend up to a certain percentage of the appraised value


If the appraisal comes in lower than what you offered for the purchase price of the home, youíll need to come up with the rest of the cash upfront in order to purchase the property. There are other options for you if you do come into this situation.


The Appraisal Contingency


The appraisal contingency is built into your sales contract and is a protection for the buyer, allowing them to walk away without financial burden if the appraisal comes in too low. This allows you room for negotiation on the sellerís part if they really are motivated. The contingency clause isnít a one-size-fits-all protection. Even with this clause, you could end up spending more out of pocket cash or walking away from the deal completely. Itís simply a protection.  


What If The Appraisal Is Wrong?


The appraisal can be submitted for review. The appraiser would need to explain why they didnít use comparable sales provided by the lender. The property can also be completely reevaluated. In addition, you can request a separate appraisal from your lender. The seller may even pay for the second appraisal in order to keep the deal from falling through. 


Donít Offer More Than You Think The Property Is Worth


When you base huge financial decisions on emotions, you could end up in a bad situation. Your offer that wins the house can quickly become a case of regret as a buyer. Many times in a tight real estate market, youíll need to make decisions fast. If you have a general idea of property values and work with a realtor to make an informed offer, youíll be in better shape to avoid a big headache. While you may be able to afford paying more than a house is worth, itís not a smart financial decision.       



Low Appraisals Are An Opportunity


A low appraisal should be thought of by the buyer as an opportunity to renegotiate the sale price of the home. This step in the home buying process is a protection for you as a buyer for one of the biggest purchases that youíll ever make.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/10/2017

A home showing can make or break your chances of selling your house. Therefore, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that each home showing is a success.

Ultimately, there are several best practices for home showings that every home seller needs to know, and these practices include:

1. Clean and Declutter Your House

A tidy home is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Comparatively, a messy house is unlikely to do you any favors in a competitive real estate market.

Allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your house. Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and ensure your house's exterior looks great.

In addition, eliminate clutter from your home as soon as possible. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to potential buyers.

2. Remove Personal Belongings from Your Home

Although you may have many personal photographs and other treasured mementos scattered throughout your house, you should put these items away before a home showing. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your house.

When it comes to personal belongings, it sometimes can be tough to hide these items. However, if you store your personal belongings properly, you can guarantee these items will maintain their quality and appearance until you sell your house.

Pack up any treasured belongings carefully. Then, you can put these items in a storage unit for safe keeping. Or, if a family member or friend has storage space to spare, you can always ask a loved one to store your personal belongings temporarily.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to host a successful home showing, you're not alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals know what it takes to transform an ordinary home showing into an unforgettable experience.

A real estate agent can offer expert recommendations to help you get your house show-ready. In fact, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home cleaning companies in your area. He or she also is unafraid to be honest and will share any home interior or exterior concerns with you.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will teach you about the real estate market. He or she can educate you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble making informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.

Take the guesswork out of prepping your house for a showing Ė use the aforementioned best practices, and you can improve the look and feel of your house in no time at all.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/3/2017

To live in a beautiful house that's the right size for your family is just one benefit open to you when you relocate. Other relocation benefits could save you money, improve your social life and put you in position for a new career. Let's start with the financial relocation benefits. Relocating to a new home may be less expensive than you think Move to a house with a smaller mortgage and you'll save money month to month. Shave enough money off your current mortgage when you relocate and you could afford to make one to two extra mortgage payments a year, reducing the principal that you owe on the new house. If you're employer asked you to relocate to fill a job need, contact your employer's human resources representative to find out if you're eligible to receive relocation benefits packages. Eligibility may depend on factors like the number of miles that your new home is from your current residence and if your employer is increasing your pay because of the move. Closing costs and expenses related to shipping your furniture and other home goods are types of financial support your employer may give you. Keep track of moving receipts. You could deduct some of the moving expenses when you file federal and state taxes. Relocation benefits don't stop at the bank Financial savings aren't the only relocation benefits to consider. Moving to another town could peak your curiosity, persuading you to get out and explore the area. As much as you may not want to admit it, there may not be many places that you haven't already visited where you currently live which could tempt you to stay indoors and limit your entertainment to watching television. Exploring new areas leads to continual learning. It's also a good way to meet new friends. A few weeks after you move, you may start to feel excited again. Depending on where you relocate, you could discover festivals, arts events and training opportunities that put you in touch with passions that you hadn't engaged in since you were a child. Pursue these ignited passions and you could gain the skills to work new jobs, stepping into careers you'd previously only dreamed about entering. Get the most out of relocation benefits. Don't just move into a new house. Take advantage of financial employer support, tax deductions and get out and explore your new neighborhood and city. Get involved in social and community activities, enriching† your social life.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/28/2017

Historic Tyler Park District Neighborhood rebirths a completely renovated old style colonial from top to bottom & inside to out. This is the home where you can sip hot cider on the back porch that overlooks a landscaped and fenced backyard, bake an apple pie from scratch in the custom kitchen and have plenty of space to surround yourself with everyone you love. The rooms are generous in size with well appointed features like crown molding throughout, polished hardwood floors, convenient laundry room/half bath on the first floor, stainless steel appliances. In addition to having three bedrooms and full bath on the second floor there is still plenty of living area with a full finished attic to use as a large home office. Don't miss the basement that's finished enough with a bath that can work as an in law apartment allowing for plenty of extra storage space or to entertain. Bring parents, relatives, or friends to live with you on this one, or spread out on your own.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/27/2017

Planning to sell your house in the next few weeks or months? If so, you likely will want to declutter to improve your house's appearance and make it easy for potential homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your residence.

Ultimately, donating items may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for those who want to declutter and move in the near future.

By donating items that you no longer need, you can quickly and easily remove clutter from your residence. Plus, you may be able to secure a tax credit for your charitable contributions.

Before you donate your items, however, you should take a close look at your personal belongings and decide which things to keep and which to give to charity.

Now, let's take a look at three items that you can donate to charity:

1. Clothing

If you intend to move from Florida to Alaska Ė or vice-versa Ė there may be a wide range of clothing that you can donate before you move.

Ensure that any clothing that you plan to donate is clean. If necessary, wash any dresses, t-shirts and other apparel that you intend to donate.

Also, it is always better to err on the side of caution when you donate clothing. And if you have clothes that are faded or torn, you should dispose of these items.

2. Electronics

For those who plan to downsize, donating electronics is ideal. That way, you can get rid of electronics that won't fit into your new home and do a good deed at the same time.

Evaluate your electronics and make sure they work correctly before you donate them. In addition, it often pays to tape any electronics cords, wires and accessories to the items themselves.

Check out a charity's electronics donations policies prior to scheduling a donation pick-up too. By doing so, you can guarantee that a charity can pick up and use your excess electronics.

3. Appliances

In many instances, an individual may move into a new address that comes equipped with a new refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances. If this happens, you may want to contact local charities to see if they can pick up your current appliances.

Reach out to a local charity to find out whether it can pick up your current appliances Ė you'll be glad you did. If the answer is "Yes," you may be able to avoid having to move big, heavy appliances on your own.

As the aforementioned list shows, there are lots of great items that you can donate to charity. Conduct an in-depth search of charities in your city or town, and you can work with a local charity that can use your excess items.

Lastly, if you ever have questions about which charities in your area will accept donations, don't hesitate to reach out to these organizations directly. And if you're looking for extra assistance as you declutter your residence and prepare to list your home, it certainly helps to contact an expert real estate agent as well.




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