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Multiple Offers: How Can You Compete? In a hot market, there are more buyers than homes for sale. Prices may rise, and the days a home is on the market may shorten to a week or even less than a day. Some homes will sell before they are even registered in the local MLS. That means that sellers are often presented with multiple offers. How can you position your offer to be the one the seller accepts? The best way is to gain an understanding of how multiple offers work and how they benefit the seller. Multiple offers mean that the seller has his/her pick of offers, but that doesn't necessarily mean a disadvantage for you as a buyer. You just have to determine how badly do you want this particular home. If you want to compete in a multiple offer situation here is what you will need to know:
Mortgage RatesNational averages as of April 30, 1999:
30 yr. fixed: 6.81%15 yr. fixed: 6.42%1 yr. adj: 5.65%
Get today's rates
Price and Terms. There are two things that matter to the seller - price and terms. They want the highest price possible, and the best terms available. Both of these areas leave room for negotiation. Just because a seller is entertaining multiple offers doesn't mean you don't have a chance.
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Crumbling Walls Creating A Stir If you were among the thousands who watched a recent Sunday night episode of "Dateline NBC", you may have caught an eye-opening report called "Is your home crumbling around you?" I can see how this report can create quite a stir in both new home buyers as well as new home builder's minds. It will, no doubt, prompt buyers to ask questions about the type of stucco being used on homes they may be interested in, and builders to re- examine some of their building products' representations from the manufacturer. The stucco referred to in this program is a synthetic type with the trade name of "EIFS", or Exterior Insulating and Finish Systems. Although EIFS costs about the same as brick or wood sidings (no reference was made to its price comparison with real, or cement stucco), the manufacturer touts it as a 'lightweight, low maintenance exterior that provides an easy insulation system for a home." It is this easy insulation system, however, that seems to be at the root of this investigation. Brought to the attention
Timeshare Properties Provide Flexibility, Affordability Millions of people make investments in timeshare properties every year. For those of us who dream of owning vacation property but can't afford such a luxury, timeshare is the next best thing. In fact, in some cases, it's even better because timeshare owners often enjoy the flexibility of "banking" time in properties throughout the world rather than just one property. The theory of timeshare is relatively simple; owners share a single condominium unit with other owners. The average timeshare condominium has about 50 owners during the course of one year -- that translates into about one owner per week each year. Any remaining weeks either are consumed by owners who have banked more than one week; or by maintenance crews who thoroughly clean the units after each owner departs. The property in which an owner makes his first investment is referred to as his "home" property. The real advantage of owning timeshare, however, is in your ability to trade your usual week in exchange for a stay at more than 4,000 timeshare properties throughout the world. While many smaller timeshare companies exist, among the largest are Resort Condominiums International (RCI)
Be Wary of"Tricks Of The Trade" Mortgage brokers offer some of the best deals in the mortgage store, but they also offer some of the worst -- and it's up to consumers to determine which is which. The "Mortgage Professor," Jack Guttentag (www.mtgprofessor.com), professor of finance emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton school, says he knows the tricks of the trade and techniques to help consumers keep from getting lost in the mortgage maze. Low-balling. Some brokers advertise their lowest prices as "bait" to lure customers. Once you are in the door, the broker pushes you to another, more expensive product. Be wary of any rate that appears to be the lowest price offered by anyone. Use independent mortgage rate watchers such as HSH Associates (www.hsh.com) to know what the going rates are. You can't get a bargain unless you know the going price. Memory lapses. Sometimes a broker appears to forget certain fees until you are in to the mortgage too deep to bail. Require that the broker provide a written list of all fees to be paid, including items such as credit reports and appraisal fees. As the loan progresses, ask for a receipt for each fee.
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