Linda O'Connor

Thank a Veteran

Each and every day we need to take a moment to thank a Veteran for the freedoms we hold so precious. My Dad was a WWII Army Veteran whose nightmares still reverberate in my mind after 60 years. We will never know the horrors, the pain, the anguish, and the sacrifice those who serve endure.

Among the important opportunities to thank a Veteran is to encourage them to take advantage of one of the most valuable mortgage products today, a VA loan.

A Veterans’ Administration Loan (VA Loan)  is one of the best loans available and only available to Veterans, spouses, or surviving spouse of Veteran who died while actively serving in the military.

A Veteran’s loan requires NO downpayment. That’s right, “0” down! In addition, the Veteran Buyer is also allowed to finance closing costs through Seller contributions up to twelve percent (12%) of the purchase price as of the writing of this blog. Current limits for sales in Essex County, Massachusetts for 2016 are $523,250 with nothing down. Higher purchase amounts are available with small down payments.

For more information and details contact a local lender to ensure they offer this valuable product, and, as always, thank a Veteran today! Linda O'Connor

How to Get a Copy of your Deed

Getting a copy of your recorded deed is easier than you might think! And it’s FREE!  Unfortunately, too few people know that and, as a result, several scams have recently been reported in which consumers have received a mailing offering them a copy of their deed for $50, or some such ridiculous cost!

Getting a copy of your deed is as easy as going to your Registry of Deeds’ website, locating your deed after a few simple clicks, and printing it at home. All you need is a computer, internet access, and a printer, and if you don’t have those, the public library is a great resource!

If you live in one of the thirty (30) cities and towns on the North Shore of Massachusetts, simply go to www.salemdeeds.com. Select the box outlined in blue – Homeowners Find Your Deed. This will bring you to a dialogue box where you select search for my deed, enter the year property purchased (the year you bought your home, or last refinanced), enter your first and last name, town, and click Search. Choose the type of document as DEED, click on the view image at the left, and voila! There’s your deed!

For those properties that have been through land court, deeds will be found under Registered Land. You can find this under the box outlined in red – Search Our Records on the home page. The search defaults to the tab Recorded Land. This is most likely where you’ll find your deed!

Send us an email at info@luxrns.com if you need any assistance. We’re here to help!

 

In, On, or Out!

In, On, or Out!

You’ve heard me talk about placing your home in the market, while other agents you meet may talk about getting your home on the market. To me, there’s a vast difference.

I like to use sports analogies a lot. This time, it’s football. The New England Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, is a genius. He prepares his players for all contingencies and ensures they have the skills and tools for success in every possible situation. Every player understands the fundamental key to success is execution.

The Patriots aren’t just on the field. They own the field. Their plan is to be in the red zone as often as possible, and, more importantly, IN the end zone. That’s where success lives.

Placing your home on the market means it’s one a many homes being currently marketed. I want to know how many of those homes may actually sell during the next thirty (30) days. That means, as a Realtor®, I need to know how to calculate and interpret current market absorption rates specific to community, style, and at certain price points. And I need to be able to translate that data into relevant information to you, the client. Ask your Realtor® about what’s going on in the market, about average days on the market, and about absorption rates (how long it will take to absorb all those homes currently on the market based on the past 12, 6, and 3 months activity). If they can’t answer you, your home may end up off the market, or out of it.

It may sound complicated. It’s not. It’s nice to see your home ON the market. It’s much better for you to place your home IN the market, poised for success. Otherwise, your home is out of the market, and that’s not the place where success lives.

 

"Loyalty Built on Trust"

Know, like, and trust. Three foundational necessities of any successful relationship! You may know a lot of people, and you may even like many of them. The big question is "Would you trust them to advise you about when it comes to one of your biggest financial assets?"

Trust has never been more important than it is in today's business environment, and especially in the real estate industry. According to the National Association of Realtors Profile of Sellers and Buyers, consumers rely on Realtors® for pricing and marketing more than any other services offered. That presents a measure of trust that we have the skillset and confidence to price, and the savvy to market effectively and efficiently. And yet, according to that same profile, 36% of homes listed experience price adjustments in the first 4 weeks of marketing. And that fact alone fractures trust.

You can't afford to squander the first thirty days of your home's market exposure, and we can't afford to take a chance with the public trust. Buyers know if your home isn't properly positioned in the market because, more than at any time in history, consumers who are writing the checks are more knowledgeable, and they're driving the market.

Sellers, don't be afraid to ask how we, as Realtors®, arrived at the price and market position we suggest, and don't be blinded by unsubstantiated promises, or unsupported numbers. Trust your Realtor®, and, more importantly, trust your instincts. Trust is more important than ever. We want to earn yours by telling you what you need to know rather than telling you what you want to hear. That's just good business!

Linda O'Connor, Broker, LUX Realty North Shore

The Price is Right!

Can we try it for awhile? The simple answer to starting at a price higher than what your Realtor® recommends is simple... NO and yet it happens all the time. Realtors® inherently have two fears: 1) Not "getting the listing"; and 2) "Alienating the Seller".

According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Sellers and Buyers, consumers rely on Realtors® for pricing and marketing more than any other services offered. And yet, according to that same profile, 36% of homes listed experience price adjustments in the first 4 weeks of marketing.

As Realtors®, you, the Seller invite us into your home to interview for the privilege of representing your interests in the Sale. You have come to us for our expertise in marketing and selling Real Estate. In doing so, you have asked that we demonstrate our knowledge of the market and thus provide you with a suggested listing price.

The final decision on pricing is always yours, the client. You have placed your trust and confidence in your Realtor® when you have selected them to represent you in the sale of your home. Since Sellers rely on Realtors® for pricing and marketing you are doing yourself and your home a disservice by not listening to your Realtor's® suggested listing price. You are potentially putting your home OUT of the market and losing valuable time that potential Buyers would look at your home. Do you want to be part of the 36% of homes that lose 4 weeks of marketing because of a too high of a beginning list price?

In conclusion, yes, we can "try it for awhile". But the real question is - how long can you carry your home if your price doesn't work? How much will you have lost in the process? And, will that really be in your best interest?"

Remember, price is only a strategy to achieve the real goal of selling your home. A SOLD sign is the key to success and the basis of confidence, and loyalty, built on trust.  http://www.realtor.com/advice/homes-first-price-best-price/

Linda O'Connor, Broker, LUX Realty North Shore

 

When does the Spring market start? The answer is....

"So, when does the Spring market start? When should I put my house on the market?"

The answer is NOW if your homes value is at or under $400,000 in Beverly! http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/01915-Beverly/

Every market is specific. Every town, and every type of house, including every price point is a "pocket market" within a larger market. It takes a Realtor® with the tools, data, and knowledge to interpret the market and counsel you in both pricing and timing of introducing your home to the market.

Higher priced homes may be moving at a different pace than mid-priced homes. Capes may be in demand where split levels may be lagging. One neighborhood, or community, may be experiencing a burst of sales with sufficient inventory, while another may experience a shortage of inventory and slow sales.

Politics and zoning may have an effect on timing, too.

If you're looking for a simple answer, the time to sell is when you're ready to sell! Only you know when that is, and it's only after talking with your Realtor® that you can make a decision based on the pulse of the market. Remember, the Realtor® shouldn't be there to "get your listing!" Our responsibility as Realtors® is to counsel you using state-of-the-art tools and timely information so that you can make the informed decision to place your home "in" the market in order to affect a sale. Putting your home "on" the market isn't nearly as effective or efficient as placing your home "in" the market. We'd much rather have you in the market rather than off, or out!

When you're ready, the only good sign on a house is a SOLD sign!

Linda O'Connor, Broker, Lux Realty North Shore

Good Lux! Starting a business isn't hard at all!

So many people have been so kind in wishing us luck in our new venture, LUX Realty North Shore, and many of those have commented on how difficult it must be to start a new business. Whenever I've smiled at their question, they've looked at me with a puzzled expression, and I've answered simply...

Starting a business isn't hard at all! You start at the end. You start with what people will say about you when all is said and done. You start with a clear and concise vision of what the product or service will look like and how it will make people's lives better, or easier, and you pre-read their "future testimonials".

"LUX provided us with the information we needed to make an informed decision about (buying/selling) our (home, multi-unit/investment property/condominium). They prepared us to respond objectively rather than react emotionally to the (purchase/sale). They were an invaluable resource, and we can't wait to recommend their services to our friends, neighbors, and family."

And then you build it. There are four key tenets to starting a company: a clear, concise, shared vision; a sincere commitment to never compromise, or stray from, that vision; an intense curiosity and willingness to listen and learn, and most importantly, passion.

Yes, we're another real estate company in the midst of a sea of others, most of whom are larger and can make a lot more noise than we intend to. Our choice is to focus on being quiet so we can listen more closely, enter into Seller and Buyer Service Agreements rather than just "get listings", and commit to providing you, our Clients, with honest and timely leverage information. We would rather share with you what you need to know rather than tell you what you want to hear.

No, starting a business isn't so difficult if you believe, commit, and promise. What we believe in is Good LUX!

Linda O'Connor, Broker, LUX Realty North Shore