Tony Nakhle
RE/MAX Landmark, Realtors | 781-589-5622 | tnakhle@landmarkweb.com


Posted by Tony Nakhle on 6/28/2020

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

When you view a home for the first time and speak to the agent hosting an open house or showing the home, you're talking to someone working for  the seller -- not for you. Anything you share could be passed on to the seller -- and used to leverage a better offer from you if you do end up wanting the home. The best way to avoid this scenario is to work with a buyer's agent. This is a real estate agent that works for you and helps you get the best possible deal on a home. 

A buyer’s agent represents you, the prospective buyer; this ensures that the agent you work with has your best interests in mind and that they do not have a stake in showing you one particular property over another. Just calling the name on a “for sale” sign isn’t enough if you want someone who can truly represent you and your needs – and successfully negotiate on your behalf. Agents who are working for a seller need to sell the home, and are not out to get you the best possible deal.

A buyers agent will show you a variety of properties and help you determine which one meets your needs best. Once you find a property that you love, your agent will help you get the best possible deal. You’ll sign a contract with this agent and they will receive a commission from the seller when you do buy a home. You should make sure that any contract you sign is a buyer’s agent agreement – and that the agent does not also represent the seller of a home. Any real estate agent you are considering working should reveal any conflict of interest before you sign a contract.

Benefits of Working with a Buyer’s Agent

When you work with a buyer’s agent you have someone on your side who can help you through the negotiation process. They will also be aware of market conditions, of terms that would be favorable to you and when you’re ready, help you make an offer. The agent you choose will have a big impact on your success and how much you enjoy the process.

Finding the Right Buyer’s Agent for your Home Search

Any agent you are considering should be a dedicated buyer’s agent. An Accredited Buyer Representative is someone who has been certified in this role. You should ask any agent who you are considering if they also list homes – and determine if there is a conflict of interest.

Choosing an agent who understands your needs and works with buyers like you can also help you have a successful experience. Some agents work mostly with luxury homes and well-established buyers, while others are dedicated to helping first-time buyers find a home.

Your buyer’s agent should be familiar with the areas you are most interested in. If they are not in the immediate area, they may not be able to provide you with the assistance you need to make a great deal

Choose the Right Agent from the Start

Since a buyer’s agent has such an impact on your success and the process, it is important to choose the right person from the start. Interview a few agents to see who you feel comfortable with and who meets your needs best. This is the person that will help you find your next home, so you should be confident in their abilities and able to work with them for a prolonged period of time.




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Posted by Tony Nakhle on 6/21/2020

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

As a responsible homeowner, home maintenance should be at the top of your list of important things to do. However, with a busy life and a lot to manage, certain home-maintenance tasks can be easily disregarded. While there are some things you may be able to get away with for a while, there are certain neglectful actions that can really hurt when you decide to sell your home.

Neglecting HVAC System Tune-Ups & Upkeep 

There's a massive difference between what maintenance costs for an HVAC system and the cost of replacement. Since the HVAC system is one of the main operating units in the home, it is often one of the first things a buyer will want to know about. General maintenance checks by a professional technician will only cost you between $80 and $150; full-on replacement can be as much as $5,900 or more depending on the model. Buyers tend to shy away from homes that need major investments right after purchase, so do your part to properly maintain the unit.  

Neglecting Adequate Window Maintenance 

The windows bear a lot of responsibility in a home. They are openings for natural light, they (should) keep the cold and heat out and give dwellers a good view of the outside world. Windows should open and close freely, be efficient and be an attractive part of the house. Even something as simple as dirty windows can cause problems when a prospect visits the home for the first time. If the house gets inspected professionally by a prospect, they will check for: 

  • Signs of rot or deterioration
  • Missing or broken seals 
  • Glass pane soundness 
  • Proper insulation around the windows 
  • Proper drip cap installation
  • If you've neglected your windows for a while, it is best to pick a day and whip them into shape—right down to cleaning the glass until its crystal clear. 

    Neglecting Small Gutter Issues 

    The gutters of a home are such a small, easy-to-neglect thing, but their purpose is oh-so-important. If one of your gutters is not draining, for example, it can allow water to slip down into the spaces between the exterior cladding and the interior walls. Issues with rot are common due to this simple act of neglect, and it is definitely an issue a home inspector will notice. 

    Work with a Real Estate Agent to Prepare Your Home for Sale 

    The more well-prepared your home is for the market, and the better it is maintained, the higher your asking price can be and look logical to prospects. Working with an experienced real estate agent right from the beginning will help you get your home prepared properly. Reach out to an agent to get industry insight into what helps and hurts a home for sale. 





    Posted by Tony Nakhle on 6/14/2020

    Photo by Paul Brennan via Pixabay

    If you’ve been renting and preparing to buy a new home, you’ve probably saved up your down payment and are in the process of getting pre-approved for your mortgage loan. If, on the other hand, you’ve been living in a home you own and paying on your mortgage, you may be ready to buy, but only if you can use the equity in your existing property. Logically, that would mean you have to sell your home first, which pays off your existing mortgage, then live somewhere temporarily while you shop for your new home. However, you have more options, and none of them require you to live in a third location.

    Option 1: Contingent Purchase

    Ask your real estate agent for in-depth information on contingent purchases in your area, since different cities and states can have conflicting rules. This means making an offer on a new home that is “contingent” on your accepting an offer on your current home. Basically, you will do the buying and selling parts of your real estate plan at the same time. While your agent is looking for new homes, they are also showing your home to buyers. You can use the same agent for both parts of the process, which is often cheaper, or you can use a buyers’ agent for the purchase and a sellers’ agent for the sale, which may help you get better deals. Not all sellers are willing to entertain contingent offers since that can put a crimp in their own moving plans, so make sure your agent is aware of your circumstances from the beginning.

    Option 2: HELOC Loan

    Home equity line of credit or HELOC is a particular type of home loan. These loans are usually second mortgages of some sort but allow you to withdraw the entire amount within a given time period. This means you can keep your current home, and use the HELOC loan to buy your new home. Then, when your current home sells, pay off the mortgage on that home, and get a new mortgage on your new home to pay of the HELOC loan as well. This can be risky, however, since HELOC loans are based on the equity value of your current home, which may not be as high as the market value. In addition, they can have variable interest rates, which, if your old home ends up not selling for an extended period of time, can really start to drain your savings. If you plan to go with this option, make sure your real estate agent knows the timelines you’re working with, and try to find an agent with a “sellers’ guarantee.”

    Option 3: Contingent or Rent-Back Sale

    A contingent sale is similar to a contingent purchase, but instead of closing relying on you finding a buyer, it relies on you finding a new home and that offer being accepted. These tend to be shorter-term agreements, such as 1 to 2 weeks, but can be longer, even up to several months, depending on your buyer. Be careful and try to have contingencies on only one side of your purchase, since if you end up with too many chained together (you are on contingency, as are your buyers, and their buyers and so on) if one person’s plan doesn’t work, the whole chain could fall through. Alternatively, if your buyer has a longer moving timeline, they might be interested in setting up a “rent-back” agreement. This allows you to sell your home and then rent it back from the new buyers for either a specific time period or for as long as it takes for you to find a new home. This is especially a good idea if your buyers are currently renters on a month-to-month agreement since both of you can move whenever is needed.

    If you’re ready to buy a new home, but are worried about selling your current one first in order to afford it, you are not alone. Make sure you explain your situation to your real estate agent during your very first meeting. Once they know what kind of agreements will work for you, they can do a much better job of finding your dream home and helping you complete the purchase.




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    Posted by Tony Nakhle on 6/7/2020

    You've sold your home, and moving day is almost here. As such, now may be the perfect time to pack an overnight bag; that way, you're ready to survive with only limited supplies until you get settled into your new house.

    Ultimately, there are several essential items to include in an overnight bag, such as:

    1. Clothing

    It is important to pack enough clothing to ensure that you can dress comfortably until you get unpacked. Thus, you'll want to consider how long that it will take you to get settled into a new house as you prep your overnight bag.

    For example, if you plan to take several days to unpack, you'll want to pack your overnight bag clothing accordingly. In this scenario, you'll likely need work clothes for the days that you're in the office, along with pajamas and other comfortable clothing that you can wear around the house.

    2. Cash

    If you know that you're going to be living outside a traditional home environment for a few days, it never hurts to pack cash in your overnight bag. By doing so, you'll have money available to buy food, beverages and other items as needed.

    Consider how much money that you'll need to survive even a few days outside of a traditional home setting. Also, be sure to keep extra cash close to reduce the risk of losing this money while you relocate to a new address.

    3. Toiletries

    Shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries should be included in your overnight bag. These items ensure that you can maintain a clean, neat appearance, regardless of where you're staying.

    Many convenience stores and supermarkets sell travel-size versions of popular toiletries. Therefore, you may want to purchase travel-size toiletries to limit the chance that assorted toiletries will take up too much space in your overnight bag.

    Furthermore, you can pack only the toiletries that you know you'll need for a set period of time to conserve additional space in your overnight bag.

    4. Smartphone Charger

    Let's face it – no one want to lose access to his or her smartphone for any length of time. Fortunately, if you pack a smartphone charger in your overnight bag, you can recharge your smartphone at any time.

    Include a smartphone charger and any smartphone cords or wires in your overnight bag. In addition, don't forget to test your smartphone charger and accessories to ensure they work properly.

    Packing an overnight bag can be quick and simple, particularly for those who plan ahead. And if you include the aforementioned items in your overnight bag, you should have no trouble surviving outside a traditional home setting.

    Lastly, if you need help as you get ready to vacate your house, a real estate agent may be able to provide assistance. A real estate agent serves as an expert guide along the home selling journey and will do everything possible to guarantee that you are fully prepared for an upcoming move.




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    Posted by Tony Nakhle on 5/31/2020

    There is no right or wrong time to sell a home. However, it is important to remember that selling a home is a life-changing decision. And as such, the decision to sell a home should not be taken lightly.

    If you are unsure about whether now is the right time to add your house to the real estate market, there is no need to stress. For those who understand all of their options, they can make an informed decision about selling a residence.

    Meanwhile, if you ultimately decide to list your residence, there are several things you can do to boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful home selling experience. These include:

    1. Analyze Your Home's Condition

    The condition of your home can have far-flung effects on your home selling experience. If you allocate time and resources to analyze your house's condition, you may be able to identify problems that otherwise could slow down the home selling journey. Then, you can address these issues before they escalate.

    Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. This inspection will enable you to quickly identify any underlying problems with your residence and determine the best ways to correct these issues.

    2. Learn About the Local Housing Market

    The local housing market may impact how much a buyer is willing to pay for your residence. For example, if an abundance of high-quality residences is available, a buyer has no shortage of options at his or her disposal. In this instance, home sellers likely will need to do everything possible to stir up interest in their houses due to the sheer volume of properties available to buyers.

    If you learn about the local housing market, you can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place. For instance, if the number of homes exceeds the number of property buyers, the real estate market likely favors buyers. Or, if the number of homebuyers exceeds the number of top-notch homes available, the real estate market likely favors sellers.

    Don't forget to review the prices of homes in your city or town that are comparable to your own, either. That way, you can use this housing market data to establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

    3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

    A real estate agent is a home selling expert who can guide you along each stage of the property selling journey. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to sell your home and maximize your house sale earnings.

    In addition, a real estate agent can provide helpful resources as you navigate the home selling journey. And if you ever have home selling concerns or queries, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.

    Ready to list your residence? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you could reap the benefits of a successful home selling experience.




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