Home Inspection Tip – Plan For Radon Testing

Because radon gas seeping from the ground into a home is a health hazard, you should have the home tested for radon levels. This is true whether you’re buying, selling or building a home. Your home inspector can do the test or help you find a professional who is qualified to do it.

Radon testing is something that must be planned for. It’s necessary to decide where in the home the testing should be done and how long the test will take. No reputable tester can come into a home and test in 30 seconds or even 5-10 minutes. It takes a minimum of 48 hours to test accurately for radon. Some devices require a longer period of time.

Your home inspector or other qualified radon testing professional should know the best place to put radon test equipment. It should go into the lowest level of the home that’s occupied regularly, such as any place used as a bedroom, play or exercise area, den or workshop. The EPA says testing should not be done in a closet, stairway, hallway, crawl space or in an enclosed area where there’s either high humidity or breezy air circulation. Avoid places like the kitchen, laundry room,bathroom or furnace room.

How long should a radon test take? Here are some considerations. Radon levels vary from day to day and season to season. That means a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you your year-round average radon level. However, if you need results quickly, a short-term test can be used to decide whether to repair the home.

Short term testing is the fastest, but the test equipment must remain in place for two to ninety days, depending on the device used. Two groups of devices are most commonly used for short-term testing-passive or active. The passive device group includes alpha track detectors, charcoal canisters, charcoal liquid scintillation detectors, and electret ion chambers. The active device group consists of different kinds of continuous monitors.

There are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when short term testing is used. Test accuracy is improved if two tests are taken at the same time. If you have two short term tests done, one right after the other, you’ll get a better idea of the seasonal average for radon level readings. Both active and passive devices may have features to help to prevent test interference.

For long-term tests, the test equipment remains in the home for more than 90 days. Alpha track, and electret ion chamber detectors are most commonly used for long term testing. The advantage of a long-term test is that it will give you a reading that is more likely to tell you your home’s year-round average radon level than a short-term test. If you’re able to allow for 90 days or more to test, long-term tests can be used to confirm initial short-term results. According to the EPA, when long-term test results are 4 pCi/L or higher,the appropriate steps should be taken to repair the home to reduce radon levels.

The office in your state that deals with radon issues can help you and your qualified radon tester to decide on the best testing options.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Wisconsin Limited REALTOR Services

Since the advent of real estate as we know it today, home owners have essentially had 2 options available to them when trying to sell their home. You could list with a real estate agent and pay the resulting commissions or you could brave the FSBO market and take a chance on selling the home yourself without the benefit of the MLS service and the advertising and connections that a realtor could provide. Finally there are more than simply 2 options.

The advent of the limited service realty company has brought a wealth of choice to home owners. A limited service company provides many of the services that a normal realtor or agent provides combined with the highly desirable savings that have made FSBO so attractive to sellers who want a bit more profit from their sales. One of the main advantages of utilizing a limited service realty company is the simple fact that your home will get far more exposure by being listed on the area’s MLS service. The Multiple Listings Service is a service that previously had only been available to homes listed with an agent or realtor and as the majority of home are sold via listings on the MLS, FSBO sellers were missing out on a lot of potential customers. Blending these two concepts together seemed like a natural move as sellers had the need for access to the MLS while saving the money that is associated with FSBO selling.

Using a flat-fee listing you remain as the contact/agent for your home. You still handle all of the traditional trappings of an FSBO sale while gaining access to the most important real estate sales tool there is, the MLS. With your home listed on the MLS, other agents and realtors will be able to include your home in their searches for their clients who are looking to buy in your area. The bonus here is that you are still saving money on commissions. Also, you have the ability to show and showcase your home and after all who knows more about your home than you do?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How Can You Find a Reliable Real Estate Agent?

There are a lot of real estate agents that can be found everywhere, and they can be categorized as a professional and a salesperson. A professional is someone who can provide you with advices regarding real estate properties; something that will be beneficial for you or your business. A salesperson is someone who will do anything just to convince you to purchase the property, and this is the person whom you don’t want to deal with.

Here is the step by step guide that you can follow whenever you are looking for a reliable real estate agent:

Search the Internet and create a list of all the agents that you found.

Look for their website or contact details to learn more about them.

Contact them and try to start a conversation with them.

Try to categorize the way they talk to you, and this will show you who the professional really is.

A professional agent can provide you with advices based on facts! Fact is the keyword. If he can provide you with information that will be useful for you, then he is a reliable real estate agent. For example, you ask them;

„There is someone who told me that the prices of properties will go down this year, is that true?“

A professional real estate agent will tell you;

„I cannot answer that because no one can pinpoint whether the prices of properties will go up or down, but based on my records for the past few years, the prices of real estate properties had an average increase of 3.5%. Using this information, I can tell that you that a 30% decrease in value is farfetched.“

A salesperson will tell you;

„A downfall in the market is farfetched and is very impossible. I have here a list of all the properties that are downfall-proof, and you can be sure that they will remain stable regardless of the condition of the market.“

From here, we can already tell which of these agents is more professional. Both believe that the price of properties will remain the same, but the base of their answers are different. A salesperson is someone will tell that you everything just to get you to purchase a property. He’ll even tell you that a property is a prime commercial space even though it is located in the middle of the forest.

This is one of the best methods that you can use in order to find a reliable real estate agent. It is true that agents are eager to sell a property for you, but a professional is not „that“ eager that he’ll do sales talk just to get you to buy a property and spend your money on something that is not worth your money.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

FSBO Tips & Advice For Selling Your Own Home By Owner

If over 30% of all homes sold are by owner, then why is it your „friendly real estate agent“ says he is the only way to get the job done? I really don’t believe real estate agents anyways as I have witnessed many retired brokers with for sale by owner signs on their lawns. The main thing a FSBO needs is time on their side. If you do NOT need to sell your home in a month and can afford a 4-6 month time frame, this would be an ideal situation. Here are the other factors you will need to consider if you are going to sell your own home.

Price is king. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot, make sure you price your home realistically. Nobody really cares if you have a new fence and it cost you $10,000. What matters most is what your home is worth in today’s market based on comparable sales. As a for sale by owner you want to price your home slightly less than what a comparable home is listed for with XYZ realty. It is a mistake to try and earn the commission rather than save it. The best way to set the price is to get an independent

appraisal. An appraisal is based on comparable sales and is usually a more reliable source without all the fanfare of a real estate firm. You can show this to buyers and deal from a strong position.

Get a home inspection done by a licensed independent professional. Not from your brother in law who has a pickup truck and a hammer. Take care of any repairs that turn up from the inspection. This way a buyer can’t nickel and dime you from your asking price. Same goes for a survey. If you can get your hands on one this will take away any of the guess work as to your properties dimensions.

You would be shocked at how people present their homes when selling privately. Take care of the obvious things like, cut the grass, new coat of paint, clean the carpets, wash the stinky dog and remove all clutter from your closets and the garage. People like bright and open living areas. So if you need to move out some of your extra furniture to storage or a friends house this will pay dividends. Also open all the drapes and window coverings.

If your home is priced right then a moderate marketing campaign is all you need, your buyers will find you, especially if a real estate agent has a comparable home listed in your neighborhood. An ad in the newspaper, some brochures, a for sale by owner sign are the basics. If you have the ability you could make a small web site about your home. Also, each city has a FSBO related company which will give you a paper listing, web site exposure and some of the forms. Of course you can hold open houses but be a little careful. Always have at least 2 adults available, do not let too many people in at once and hide your valuables.

Real estate agents will argue that private home sellers are at a disadvantage because of the complex nature of real estate transactions. They are right! Easiest way to solve this is when a buyer wants to make you an offer have a lawyer or notary look at it beforehand, to make sure you are on the right track. A LOT cheaper than a real estate broker! Agents will say you need to strike when the iron is hot but I think it’s not out of the question for a buyer to wait 24 hours so your lawyer can look at the deal.

Don’t take 72 hours clauses. This simply means that a buyer wants your house but must sell their home first. It is a waste of time, money and energy. Buyers will want to tie up your home and a 72 hour clause gives them the first right of refusal. I always say come to me when you have your money unemcumbered and lets make a deal at that time.

Qualify your buyers. This is not an easy task but many people are professional time wasters. If you get calls on your advertisement or at your open house, you need to ask questions like: Do you currently own or rent? Have you looked at many homes? What kind of work do you do? Do you need to sell a home before you can purchase? You can ask these tactfully and judge the responses. Really, if they do not want to answer them likely they were just out to waste your time.

These are the most important things you can do when selling your own home. Everything listed above is geared to give you an advantage and deal with your buyers from a position of strength, hopefully you can save a few dollars. After all you own the home, you pay the taxes, you pay the mortgage, why should you not get the highest net dollars in your pocket!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Homeowners Facing Foreclosure – What Are Their Options?

Many times, homeowners in foreclosure will come to me and ask, „What are my options at this point?“ Right now they are facing foreclosure with the auction a month or two out. Here is my reply.

1. You can call your lender and ask them to reinstate the loan. You may be allowed to reinstate or make the loan current by paying a lump sum or making scheduled payments to your lender over a given amount of time. Explain to them you had a few bad months but now you are back on your feet and most lenders will try to work something out with you. This option typically works when the homeowners are not too far behind on payments and can prove that they are in a better financial situation.

When they reinstate the loan, the Notice of Default (NOD) is canceled, the home is brought out of foreclosure, and everyone is happy. However, the homeowner’s credit was still hit with the NOD which will hurt a little.

Something similar to reinstating the loan is called a Forbearance Agreement. This is when you actually negotiate a „deal“ with the bank. You can ask the lender if they will add on the amount owed in back payments onto the back of the loan, or if they would take a smaller portion upfront and add the rest onto the back of the loan or pay some upfront and forgive the rest or you could even ask them to forgive the whole thing.

2. You can refinance your home. If there is lots of equity in your home and you’re not too far behind on payments, this is a great option. Usually the lender would refinance the existing loan and include as part of the new loan any late payments, and fees that you would need to regain control. The challenge that most homeowners have is they have leveraged their home to the max. Therefore, very little equity exists in the home especially when you add on back payments and fees so it becomes very difficult to refinance. This is one of the reasons why California has one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the nation, because home values go up so quickly homeowners can refinance fairly easily if they ever get into trouble.

3. You can list your home with a realtor. If you have equity in the property this can also be a great option. However, if you have little to no equity, which is usually the case, it can be hard to sell a home in a short amount of time with a real estate agent. It’s practically impossible when the home is over leveraged. The reason why is because you have to pay a realtor fee or commission when they list your house. Typically it’s 3-6% of the purchase price. Real estate agents have to increase the purchase price of the home to compensate for their commission and pay off the loan balance. If the foreclosure auction is approaching, they’ve got to find a qualified buyer quickly and usually this takes time.

4. You can sell the house yourself. All you need to do is put a FOR SALE sign in your front yard. You should tell everyone you are selling your home, maybe they know a friend or relative who is looking to buy in the neighborhood. If you live in a high traffic neighborhood with listings, you have a very good chance people will call you. Again, if your home is over-leveraged, you will have a very difficult time selling your home quickly.

5. You can give the property back to the lender. This process of transferring ownership from you to the lender under these circumstances is called a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, and is sometimes referred to as a „friendly foreclosure“ because in essence that what it is. You just walk away. A deed in lieu of foreclosure does not protect your credit, nor will it cut off the rights of junior lien holders. In other words, the lender would take the property back subject to the junior lien holders. This will avoid the possibility of a deficiency judgment in the event the property fails to produce enough to cover the outstanding debts after it goes to auction. So if you have equity in the property this is not a good option. You will give up all rights to receive any surplus from the auction. Using this option is like giving up. Don’t give up when you still have better options.

6. You can sell your home to an investor. Most investors will negotiate with your lender to accept a discount on your loan. This is called a short sale. What this does is allow the investor to buy your home under market value so you can avoid the foreclosure auction and then he can turn around and sell it for a profit.

7. You can file bankruptcy. There are several different „chapters“ of bankruptcy. Some are work-out others are wipe-out, but here is the general idea. When someone files bankruptcy it’s almost like someone builds a „bullet-proof“ barrier around the house. No one can touch you! However, you are not free of all responsibility and most people do not understand that.

[Note: Bankruptcy should be the last alternative or option and should not be used to stop foreclosure unless you have no other option or else you need the protection of a bankruptcy due to other circumstances or situations you are currently up against. If you feel this may be your best option, please seek legal advice from a competent professional in this field.]

8. And finally, you can just let it go to foreclosure. Basically you don’t do anything. Typically you will get evicted after about 2-3 weeks. You leave with nothing in hand and a foreclosure on your credit report. This is without question the worst option of all. Don’t let anyone convince you to just give up and do nothing. At least try something. You have nothing to lose. At this point there is nothing worse that can happen to you.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Selling Your Own House – What Are the Pros and Cons of Not Using an Agent to Sell Your Home?

Have you thought about selling your own house? The reason many people seem to go through the home selling process on their own is mainly to save money! If you consider that the average agent’s fee is somewhere between 5%-7% of your total sale price, perhaps you can understand why many others have decided to sell their properties themselves.

If you wish to sell your own house, you first need to be fully aware of the disadvantages. An agent is obviously a professional and knows the industry inside out. There are many legal issues that can cause you problems, but an agent will know exactly how to handle these. Also being a professional, they will know how to negotiate with other agents, brokers and potential buyers. Additionally, if your home does prove popular, your agent can deal with the constant calls and enquiries from buyers.

The advantages of selling your own house include – well you save yourself the massive fee for a start. You are the one in charge, so you decide when to hold house showings. You decide where you are going to advertise. Another important consideration when selling your home is that you should realise an agent is not solely looking to sell your property. They will no doubt have a large portfolio of clients to deal with. This can often mean that an agent may have more important cases to deal with.

However, when selling your own house, you will be 100% committed to getting your home on the market and getting the best price you can. This doesn’t have to be a difficult task either. There are numerous websites and research materials dedicated to help you get that sale!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

FSBO Tip – Hold Back Information

Have you ever placed forty fliers in your „take one“ box only to have all the fliers disappear within a few days? Yes, nosey neighbors took some, but they could not possibly have taken them all. Forty fliers gone and no phone calls — it’s frustrating. Probably every real estate agent in the business has lamented the disappearing fliers phenomenon. This happens for one reason and one reason only. You broke a cardinal rule of marketing: never give away all of your information. Never play all of your cards, particularly without the ability to follow up.

If you give it all away, there is no reason for the house hunter to pick up the phone and call. One small adjustment can fix this problem with the potential to convert a looker into a buyer. What you need to do is withhold important information. That will spur the potential buyer to pick up the phone and call. Withholding square footage is savvy because that is something everyone needs to know. Price is irrelevant without square footage. Leaving off school district is another astute tactic. Almost everyone needs to know school district, particularly out of town buyers.

Savvy real estate agents have been holding back information for years. If you can get a potential buyer to call, you can get the conversation ball rolling and have a chance to talk up your home. A telephone conversation also gives you a chance to invite the potential buyer over for a tour. Car salesmen know that you cannot buy a car if you aren’t on the lot. Only someone who walks through your home is a true potential buyer, so hold back information to increase that foot traffic.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips For a Quick Home Sale – Proven Effective Methods in a Vast Real Estate Market

Investing in real estate is indeed a very tedious and challenging venture especially in the midst of an ailing economy and struggling financial sector. Home selling is one of the most challenging dimension in this industry however most home sellers and investors who made it big in the business of home selling discover the countless rewards and opportunities it bring. Hence, to make sure that you successfully venture into this exciting realm, it is best to know some tips in quickly selling your home.

All houses that are priced just right will definitely sell and this is one thing you need to seriously consider. You need to carefully study and analyze the trends and patterns in the real estate market, particularly in terms of home selling and home buying. If you see that there are so many competitions in the market, then you need to assess what are the prominent price rates on properties that are similar with yours in your immediate locale. Compare your prices and set your house price rate in a competitive manner. Never insist on an asking price that you wanted to have if it is not realistically affordable and competitive with other properties. You can make mutual agreements and negotiate with your prospective home buyers to ensure that they do not cross out your property in their list.

Another most important step in a quick home sale is through managing the effectiveness of your marketing tools. For instance, you need to assess if you are maximizing your resources in promoting and advertising your property. This crucial task is done in cooperation with your real estate agent. Make sure you have sufficient advertisements disseminated all over the area and through the internet. Provide pictures of your house that you deem are the strong points of your property and that could draw many potential buyers and investors.

It is a basic rule of thumb that you first set and prepare your house ready for the real estate market. Bear in mind that it is a highly competitive and vast industry that you are dealing with, hence, make sure that you maximize everything to ensure that the property is in good shape and condition. It pays to set a winning edge among the other competitors that proliferate in this industry. Address whatever issues on repair the house may have incurred, either major or cosmetic and minor fixes. Utilize your creativity and resourcefulness or you may also seek professional assistance from home staging experts to boost your chances of home sale.

Finally, find a reputable and licensed real estate agent to help you with all the important processes and mechanics to effectively sell your house in no time. You may actually search for a prospective agent through recommendations and referral from trusted friends, colleagues and family members. There are also online sources which give comprehensive information on their backgrounds and experience in the field of home selling.

Home selling is indeed a great opportunity in a challenging and vast real estate industry. Doing the right method and maximizing the appropriate resources will definitely help you materialize and fulfill your ultimate goals in this rewarding milieu.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Selling a House – An Owner’s Guide

In order for an owner to sell his or her house, it is necessary to do the requisite homework if they want to save on the money that otherwise has to be paid to their real estate broker and also if they want to sell the property soon. While traveling by road, people come across boards saying ‚For Sale by Owner (FSBO)‘ before many houses. These boards mean the concerned house has been put up for sale by its owner without the engagement of any broker in the middle. The two prime advantages of deciding to sell a house without the help of any real agent is money that otherwise had to be paid as commission is saved and the house can also be quickly sold with the owner’s efforts. However, there are several reasons behind owners being unable to sell homes at proper prices and in less time. The article deals with how to effectively do the job.

Preparing the House

Before selling a house, the first thing the owner needs to do is ensure that the house is ready for the market. It is wise to take professional help in accurately assessing the condition of the house and deciding on steps for adjustments, renovations or repairs to remedy the situation. The essential home improvements and adjustments must also be carried out. To increase the home’s worth; it should be made to look beautiful.

Determining the Accurate Market Value

The asking price for the house on sale is to be decided upon. In order to get a house sold at the highest possible price, the current value of the house and real estate trends in the neighborhood need to be determined. The price should be kept within reasonable limits in order to appeal to customers.


After fixing the selling price of the house, the real task of marketing has to be undertaken. An FSBO (For Sale By Owner) must immediately put up before the property concerned for this is the ultimate marketing strategy which will get the house to be noticed by passers by. essential information like the owner’s phone number, area inside the house, number of bed rooms, etc must be mentioned on the board. Advertising in newspapers and on the internet is also effective in generating results.

Inspection of the House by Potential Buyers

Potential buyers must make an appointment with the owner before coming to see the house. A pre-scheduled appointment gives the seller substantial time to make preparations.

Formalities and Paperwork

For an owner, selling the house by himself or herself also means getting all the paper work done. Once a deal has been made with the customer regarding the price, the paperwork and legal formalities roll in. to get them all done properly an experienced lawyer’s help must be enlisted.

These were some information for owner’s about how to sell their property by themselves. Following these advices will certainly increase their chances of selling their house at a good price and also save a lot on the fees for the agents.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Northville Michigan FSBO: Whether You Need to Sell or Want to Buy

With prices on Northville Michigan FSBO condos starting around $170K and Novi, Michigan FSBO single family homes closing at a half million, first time buyers, with not so perfect credit or little money to put down, may think that home ownership is out of their reach.

Likewise, investors looking at properties listed as „For Sale by Owner“ in Northville, Michigan might think there is no money to be made here. But, with a little help, buyers, sellers and investors alike can find the right opportunities for their specific situation to create win/win/wins for all parties concerned.

Novi has grown fairly constantly since the 1950s and is currently considered one of the fastest growing cities in Michigan. Home of the recently renovated multi-million dollar Twelve Oaks Mall and less than thirty miles from Detroit, property values are good. Some of the Novi Michigan FSBO properties are waterfront, which is highly desirable for many people.

Northville is right next door. The people who live in these suburbs, according to the most recent census, are mostly married couples with children and the median family income is between $90 and $100K per year. With nice neighborhoods and good schools, it is not unusual to see a newer Northville Michigan FSBO home in good condition priced in the upper $400s.

On the other hand, it is not unusual to see ads like this, „For sale by owner in Northville, Michigan, price recently reduced, owner must sell quickly.“ In January 2007 alone, more than 20 homes in the area came up for auction and even more are in pre-foreclosure status. What’s the problem? For the most part, auto industry layoffs. According to Governor Granholm whether you like her or not, the state has 635% more automotive jobs than any other state in the country.

Experienced investors like us here help facilitate transactions because for every „motivated“ seller, there is an equally motivated buyer. Currently state and local governments are working to attract more „economic diversity“ to the state, in other words, jobs that do not rely on the automobile industry. The people who get those jobs will be looking for a place to live.

The trick for us as investors is to use our knowledge and experience and bring the buyers and sellers together…helping them „find each other“, so to speak, without a real estate agent. Cutting out the real estate agent means more money in everyone’s pocket, although we can even work with Realtors as well if one happens to be representing you.

Homeowners in trouble should know that there are ways to avoid foreclosures. Buyers, even those with problem credit, should know that they can own their own home, usually on a rent to own basis, thereby creating equity for themselves rather than throwing away money to a landlord.

And sellers should know that if they are having problems selling their homes, and are motivated to work on terms, investors like us can employ various strategies in helping them achieve their goals, such as land contracts, finding a buyer for a lease option, and helping get that buyer financed.

The real tragedy in reading the Northville Michigan FSBO ads as they linger for months on end, is that there are creative yet simple solutions.

Buy-Sell-Michigan-Real-Estate.com can help by bringing buyers, sellers and other investors together.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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