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What’s Up With Housing?

Merry Christmas

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Spanning the color spectrum from cool grays to warm terra-cottas, to blush oranges, these five color trends are expected to dominate the design and manufacturing industries in the coming year.
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First-time homebuyers made up the largest share of the U.S. home purchase market since 2005. Florida in particular has seen its first-time buyer market grow substantially faster than average lately.
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Less is best. Grass, that is. Do your shrubs need constant pruning? Then you don’t have the right shrubs in the right place, according to UF’s Extension Office.
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Many homeowners find themselves asking the question, “If we’re currently in a strong real estate market, why won’t my house sell?” 
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In most Tampa Bay areas, the supply of available houses increased dramatically in November compared to a year earlier. That could lead to lower prices. 


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8 Signs a Home Buyer Isn’t Serious

Pseudo Homebuyers

If all those excited home buyer declarations like “This place is just perfect for us” and “I have to have it!” were binding, selling houses would be a breeze. But, as with everything in life, it’s not what people say, it’s what they do that really matters.

Still, it’s hard for home sellers to not get their hopes up when a buyer’s gushing over their home—only to be disappointed when the buyer disappears without a peep.

So what are some signs a buyer isn’t serious about your home?

It’s a good thing experienced Realtors® can tell the difference between the buyer who means business and the one who has no intention of actually sealing the deal—and that these pros graciously agreed to clue us in.

Do any of the following red flags sound familiar? Keep each in mind, and you can save yourself the drama of dashed hopes.

Sign No. 1: The buyer is flying solo

If a buyer doesn’t have a real estate agent yet, he probably isn’t serious about shopping for a home.

“Buyer’s agents come at no cost to the buyer, since the seller pays the buyer’s agent’s commission,” explains Daniel Bortz, a Realtor in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Do you think a shopper who can’t be bothered to enlist free expert help is motivated enough to start putting papers in motion? We don’t think so either.

To put things in perspective, consider this: 87% of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, according to a survey conducted last year by the National Association of Realtors® of recent home buyers and sellers. You do the math!

Sign No. 2: The buyer just began shopping

The old adage that timing is everything applies to selling homes as well. Typical home buyers take three months to buy, so if a seller is entertaining interest from someone on Day 1 or Week 1 of her house hunt, chances aren’t good that she’s the one.

“Many buyers look at a number of houses before they decide what they want,” says Bortz. “And if they’re at the early stages in their search, you’re less likely to receive an offer.”

Sign No. 3: You meet the buyer at an open house

It’s also less likely that a seller will score an offer from a buyer at an open house. According to a report from the NAR, only half of home buyers visit open houses—and those who do may be trying to avoid too much attention by hiding in the herd.

Serious buyers, on the other hand, will conduct their home search online, then once they spot a home they like, request a private showing.

It’s like dating: Asking to see a home one on one carries more weight than asking someone, “Hey, wanna hang out in a group?”

Sign No. 4: No pre-approval from a lender

There’s no need to read between the lines of this sign.

“You need to include a pre-approval letter from your lender when you submit an offer on a property,” says Bortz. “Without one, there’s no indication to the seller that you can actually afford to purchase the home.”

Sign No. 5: A speedy visit

Buyers who zip along while they’re checking out the property aren’t likely to cross the finish line with you.

“Rushing through an open house is a definite sign of lack of interest,” says Abigail Harris, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker residential brokerage in the Boston area. Breezing through without asking questions, however, isn’t necessarily a bad sign, she adds. “Many buyers feel that they have all the answers and don’t need to ask questions.”

Sign No. 6: All promises, no action

Call it a bait and … stall.

“You can tell that a buyer is dragging her feet if she says she’s very interested in making an offer but it is taking days for her to actually submit one,” says Bortz, who has encountered this phenomenon a number of times. “Typically such buyers are seriously interested, but they’re also strongly considering making an offer on another property, so they might be weighing their options before they make an offer on one of them.”

Sign No. 7: A (really) lowball offer

Everyone wants to score a deal, but if a buyer offers an “unreasonably low” sum, says Harris, that’s a “sure sign that they don’t really want the property.”

“Serious buyers in today’s market make their best offer right out of the gate,” explains Bortz. “So I’m honestly not sure why someone would throw out a ridiculously lowball offer. Maybe [it’s] just to test the waters?”

Sign No. 8: Lots of nitpicking

Even after the buyer has made an offer and you have accepted it, she still might not be 100% onboard with buying the property. Is she obsessed with finding faults and problems in the home?

“That’s a definite showing of disinterest,” says Harris. Bortz agrees, adding, “If she has a home inspection contingency and wants you to fix every single little thing that the inspector spots, such as a loose door knob, she might be looking for you to just give in and say, ‘No, I’m not fixing anything,’ so that she can back out of the deal.”

Thanks to Jennifer O’Neill, a Boston-area writer who just recently bought her first house. A former staffer at Allure, SELF, Us Weekly, and Yahoo Parenting, she admits that this new homeowner gig may be her most challenging pursuit yet. Realtor.com 


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Housing News: A Week In Review

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American DreamThere are many reasons that owning a home makes sense. The financial reasons are powerful.

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Student Housing 2015This year looks even better for the Student Housing‬ business.

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Getting The Right MortgageGetting the Right Mortgage: Jumbo Trends
The best deal for a borrower trading up to a bigger house may differ from the one for a first-home buyer.

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Young BuyersRealtors need to serve younger clients differently… 
Older clients tend to rely on an agent’s real estate advice, but younger buyers prefer to get the info directly from a data source such as websites.

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Renters Buying Homes5.2 Million Renters Plan to Buy in the Next Year — A 25% Increase Over Last Year

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Housing News: A Week In Review

Happy Easter gingerbread-house1

 

International HomebuyersThe 10 countries where the interest in buying American homes is on the rise

http://bit.ly/1m2kBy8

 

New York CondoThe Right Words Can Make a Sale…
It’s not what real-estate agents say, it’s the way they say it.

http://on.wsj.com/1hTM70B

 

Foreclosed HomesNearly 2 Million Homeowners No Longer ‘Seriously’ Underwater

http://cnnmon.ie/1j6WbQ1

 

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Confessions of a Title Processor: Office Optimism

Office Morale

Over the past few weeks, I’ve run into quite a few people who are down in the dumps about real estate, especially in Pinellas County. With flood insurance premiums increasing and the government shutdown, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the health of the real estate market at this point.

Keeping your team positive during this time is the key to pushing through the rough waters ahead. Here are a few fun ideas to help boost the morale in your office and continue business as usual (or make it even better!).

1.   Post a fun office contest

Office MoraleA little friendly competition can really get your team members in the mood to increase business and work more diligently. Even a small first place prize is enough to bring out the worker bee in most people.

2.   Organize a canned food-drive

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and although our industry is seeing tough times, putting things into perspective by promoting an office wide canned food-drive can help bring your team closer together and give back to the community.

3.   Have a girls/guys night out

All work and no play makes your office dull! Loosen up and take your team out for dinner and drinks. There are even a few new tap houses and breweries in Downtown St. Petersburg. Why not orchestrate an office pub crawl?

4.   Yoga in the office

Yoga and pilates have become two of the most common exercise and fitness classes that professionals attend. It’s a great way to expel the toxins in your body and reflect on your personal goals. Many of the local yoga and pilate instructors can come into your office for a private class. It might even become a weekly tradition!

5.   Attend a local function as an office

Downtown St. Petersburg offers so many different activities, especially in the fall. Take advantage of the free (and super fun) events that are put on weekly.

6.   Participate in a charitable event

Canned food-drive not enough for your generous office team? Sign up to participate in a charitable walk. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month among other programs. Check the Tampa Bay Times and your neighborhood publications for upcoming events that your office can be a part of.

While this list has just a few suggestions, the possibilities are endless when it comes to team building exercises. Let us know what you plan to do to keep your office motivated!  Please post your office’s fun events and share them with us on our Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/pages/Title-Security or Tweet us on our Twitter page @TitleSecurity.

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Housing News: A Week In Review

Importance of CommunityHow and why community becomes a critical factor in considering where to retire. http://bit.ly/12YHavx

 

Homeownership is an important component of household wealth accumulationResearch by NAHB that reaffirms that homeownership is an important component of household wealth accumulation. http://bit.ly/178I5ui

 

American Dream of HomeownershipHarvard Study: Homeownership Still the American Dream… 
Reexamining the Social Benefits of Homeownership after the Housing Crisis, revealed some interesting findings:    http://bit.ly/18rT8xM

 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” — Mother Teresa

http://www.TitleSecurity.com


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Confessions of a Title Processor: Strangers In My Home

The Importance of HomeWe’ve all heard at least one person say that buying or selling a home is one of the most stressful times in someone’s life. It’s right up there with a death in the family, divorce, and having a child. All of these life events seem so personal and important. In the past year, however, I’ve seen the act of buying and selling houses as very impersonal. What was once a group effort of both buyers and sellers forming an important relationship has become a simple, “Out with the old, in with the new.”

The memories I have as a child at my grandmother’s home in Brooklyn, New York are so vivid. I never saw the old Brownstone building as a structure. It lived and breathed like the family that occupied it. When my grandmother was ill, my mother, along with my aunts and uncles, decided to sell it and move her closer to the family in Staten Island. The transaction was strictly business. My family didn’t know the buyers and the buyers didn’t bother to get to know us. The only thing that popped into my head when I got the 411 on the closing was Why?

My office manager, Barbi Bozich, recalled her family selling her childhood home with a different experience. Both families understood how important what they were about to share really was and how preserving the memories made there would only be justified by keeping ties with one another. A backyard barbeque was the perfect setting for both families to mingle. I thought of how great it would have been to share a meal with the new owners of my grandmother’s home and take turns telling our favorite memories that the old Brownstone held and listening to the ones the new family had developed.

Those instances seem far and few between now. While I’m hard pressed to say that people just aren’t as nice anymore, there may other elements at play that may distract buyers and sellers from that special bond of mutual homeownership. The biggest one I can think of is the increased use of technology. In an industry where people were practically forced to meet at a table to sign documents, loan packages, warranty deeds, and title commitment (among everything else) can now all be scanned and send across the world to buyers and sellers in mere seconds. Why stick around when you can take your vacation and sell your home all at the same time?

John Saladino, a world renowned architect and designer said, “A house is much more than a shelter. It should lift us spiritually and emotionally.” With such a powerful impact on your family’s life, you owe it to your home to get to know who’s buying it. Likewise, buyers should do their best to form a relationship with the sellers. This gives previous owners peace of mind and confidence that their home will be in good hands. No one likes strangers in their home and no one likes being a stranger. Take the time to shake hands and exchange some friendly words. You’ll be glad you did!

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