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Darren P. Schortgen's Blog

By Darren P. Schortgen | Broker in Fort Wayne, IN
  • What First Time Home Buyers Need to Know!

    Posted Under: General Area in Fort Wayne, Home Buying in Fort Wayne, In My Neighborhood in Fort Wayne  |  April 1, 2011 12:39 PM  |  203 views  |  2 comments
    As with most things in life, education is the key to being a first time home buyer.  Arming yourself with knowledge, or knowing where to find it, makes all of the difference in the world when it comes to buying your first home. 

    Where do you, as someone interested in becoming a home owner, for the first time, begin?  For starters, unless you have the ability to pay cash for your first home, and based on my experience, that is extremely rare, you will need to be pre-approved for a loan.  Now you are probably wondering what the best method is for choosing a lender.  You could look into it at your local bank or credit union.  Some people ask a friend who has been through the home buying process to refer them to the lender that they used for their home purchase.  Both methods can work, but I have an even better way for you.  Choose your Fort Wayne Realtor, first, and get a recommendation from them.  Why do I recommend taking this route?  Consider something:  The friend that would recommend a lender, likely, has gone through one transaction with that lender.  If I, as your Fort Wayne Realtor, recommend someone, it is based on my experience with many closed transactions that were handled by this lender. 

    Choosing the Fort Wayne Realtor to work with can be a tough decision.  You want to find someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, available to you, as well as quick to respond to you when they can't take your call at the moment.  You also want someone you can trust, as well as someone whose personality meshes well with yours.  This is because buying a home can be a long process, and there is a degree of stress to it, in most cases.  It is best to have a Realtor who doesn't add to your stress level.

    If you are interested in beginning the home buying process, or just thinking about it, give me a call.  I love to talk real estate, and to help make peoples dreams of home ownership a reality. 



         
  • Why is this house still on the market?

    Posted Under: General Area in Fort Wayne, Home Buying in Fort Wayne, In My Neighborhood in Fort Wayne  |  February 9, 2011 12:27 PM  |  283 views  |  3 comments

    As a Realtor, there are many times that I have shown buyers a home that matches their ideal criteria, and at a price better than they would expect to pay.  When I show such a home, my first inclination is:  “Yes!  We just found these buyers’ perfect home!”.  I always expect to hear something along those lines from my buyers.  Amazingly, more often than not, I here something along the lines of: “why is this house still for sale?”  “What’s wrong with it?”  It often leads to buyers over-thinking things.  Which puts off making an offer on the home.  Even though this is usually a temporary thing, it often has negative side effects.  Often, someone who is more optimistic in nature sees the same house.  They equally love the house.  Rather than question why the house is still available, they thank their luck stars that it is, and they buy it!

    Always keep one other thing in mind.  The perfect house for you won’t necessarily be the perfect house for everyone else, but it will likely be the perfect house for someone else in the market at the same time you are.  I often use a saying, and it’s very applicable here: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!”.

    Darren Schortgen, Broker-Owner/REALTOR
    Advanced Realty of Fort Wayne
    (260)385-7603
    Darren@DarrenSchortgen.com
    www.DarrenSchortgen.com

  • Fort Wayne Real Estate Market Report for the month of December 2010

    Posted Under: General Area in Fort Wayne, Market Conditions in Fort Wayne, In My Neighborhood in Fort Wayne  |  February 2, 2011 1:35 PM  |  244 views  |  No comments

    As we head into the second month of the year, it is a good time to look at the market trends that we saw in the last month of 2010 in the Fort Wayne real estate market.  The total number of homes for sale on the market was 13% lower than in December of the previous year.  A large factor in this was the lack of new construction.  New construction was down 22% when compared to the same time period of the previous year.

    An interesting, and positive aspect to an otherwise dismal report, was the trend in home prices.  The overall price per square foot average had increased by 3.7%.  We also saw the median sales price increase from $93,900 to $97,500, which represented a positive change of 3.8%.

    For more information on the recent trends in the Fort Wayne housing market, click on the link below.

    http://ims.fwaar.com/publish/MLS/stats/MostRecent/UPSTAR_HSO_2010-12.pdf

    Darren Schortgen, Broker-Owner/REALTOR
    Advanced Realty of Fort Wayne
    (260)385-7603
    Darren@DarrenSchortgen.com
    www.DarrenSchortgen.com

  • Why FSBO(For Sale By Owner) does not necessarily mean saving money as a seller.

    Posted Under: General Area in Fort Wayne, Home Selling in Fort Wayne, In My Neighborhood in Fort Wayne  |  January 31, 2011 9:15 AM  |  251 views  |  No comments

    I haven’t written a post on this subject in a while, but it is something that is very important to think about.  Every so often I hear someone say that “REALTORs are too expensive” or “I can do what they do and save so much money”.  The reality of it is that there are numbers to shows that these are, in most cases, myths.

    For starters, over 80% of the homes that start out as FSBOs end up listing with a REALTOR.  That means that any costs that the owner had during the attempted FSBO sale becomes an additional cost to the seller in the eventual sale of their home.  These costs include advertising, signs, flyers, etc., among other costs.  This could easily be hundreds of dollars.  On the rare chance that a home does sell FSBO, it is very likely that the buyer will come represented by a REALTOR who will need to be compensated, either directly or indirectly, by the seller.  In most cases, this will be at a cost of at least half of what the owner would have been charged by a listing agent.  Keep in mind that this is a cost in addition to the advertising, signs, fylers, etc., costs that the seller is already paying.  Since this REALTOR won’t be representing the owner, the only will also have attorney costs associated with the sale.  Seeing that savings shrink?  Consider something else.  Buyers of FSBO properties will expect to know off an additional percentage based on the fact that they look at it as FSBO sellers should accept less because they aren’t paying for a REALTOR.  How about we throw in an even bigger factor here?  FSBO properties, the vast majority of the time, sell for less than REALTOR listed properties.  Most studies show between 10 and 20% less.  That difference alone eliminates any so called “savings”.

    There is also another thing that I want to point out to you.  As a REALTOR, we see FSBO listings as “seller beware”.  We sell homes all of the time and have lots of experience in the process, from start to finish. Our clients will be well taken care of throughout the entire transaction.  While we will be honest with you, we will be sure to see that the purchase of your home ends in our client’s advantage.

    One final thing to consider:  Is your time worth anything?  There is a lot of time that goes in to getting a property sold.  It takes a lot of work to find a buyer.  It takes just as much work, often, to get that deal to the closing table.

    The biggest thing to think about when selling your house is: Who will work the hardest for me, and get the job done?  The answer, when talking about Fort Wayne Real Estate is Darren Schortgen.  Call or email me with any real estate needs or questions, and I will show you the Advanced Realty advantage.  I look forward to talking with you, and helping you with your real estate needs!

    Darren Schortgen, Broker-Owner/REALTOR
    Advanced Realty of Fort Wayne
    (260)385-7603
    Darren@DarrenSchortgen.com
    www.DarrenSchortgen.com

  • Why I use buyer broker agreements, and why they are in your best interest to sign one.

    Posted Under: General Area in Fort Wayne, Home Buying in Fort Wayne, In My Neighborhood in Fort Wayne  |  January 25, 2011 12:52 PM  |  266 views  |  No comments

    I should start off by explaining what a buyer broker agreement is.  It is an agreement between a real estate broker and a home buyer that explains the broker/client relationship and fiduciary duties that the broker owes to the client.  With out one, in Indiana, the buyer is unrepresented in a real estate transaction, and they are merely a customer of the broker that they buy a home through.

    This agreement, when properly executed, establishes that the buyer’s agent that you are working with is your fiduciary.  This means that I owe you accounting, confidentiality, disclosure, loyalty, obedience, and reasonable care and diligence.  Let’s take a look at each of those items.

    Accounting - To account for all funds and property entrusted to me on the clients behalf.

    Confidentiality - To safeguard your secrets.  This protects you by keeping what you tell me in confidence from being used by a party to a transaction from using it against you.

    Disclosure - To disclose all known relevant facts to you.

    Loyalty - To act at all time in your best interests.  This requires me to put your interests first, even above my own.

    Obedience - To follow all lawful instruction given by you.  This means that I am obligated to carry out your lawful requests on your behalf.

    Reasonable Care and Diligence - To use real estate skills and knowledge when pursuing your business affairs.  This means that I am bound to use my expertise to your advantage.

    As you can see, it is in your best interest to sign a buyer broker agreement when choosing to work with me as your buyer’s agent.  Being a client is always better than being a customer when it comes to being a real estate consumer.

    I hope you found this post to be helpful.  As always, drop me a line if you have any real estate questions or needs.  I love what I do, and I promise to always do the best job for you!

    Darren Schortgen, Broker-Owner/REALTOR
    Advanced Realty of Fort Wayne
    (260)385-7603
    Darren@DarrenSchortgen.com
    www.DarrenSchortgen.com

  • Who determines your price limit when buying a home?

    Posted Under: General Area in Fort Wayne, Home Buying in Fort Wayne, In My Neighborhood in Fort Wayne  |  January 24, 2011 4:58 PM  |  285 views  |  2 comments

    This is a topic that is often on my mind.  I hear people state that their lender determined their price limit.  I have even heard people say that their REALTOR determined their price limit.  Would it surprise you to know that I have never determined a client’s price limit for them?  Would it also surprise you to find out that the lender doesn’t determine your price limit?  The lender will qualify you up to a certain amount, but that isn’t your price limit.  Your price limit is a number up to what they qualify you for, but it is up to you determine your price limit on your own(as long as it is less than or equal to the number that the lender qualifies you at).

    There are a lot of factors that I recommend that clients take into consideration when choosing their price limit.  One big factor in our current state of the economy is job security.  If you are a two income family, but one of your incomes comes from a job with little stability, I would recommend buying a home based off of the income of the individual who has great job security, only.  Another factor to take into account is your current needs or expected needs in the near future.  If you are single with no plans to marry in the near future, the fact that you can afford a 4 or 5 bedroom house with 3 or 4 baths,  doesn’t mean that buying one is in your best interests at this time.  Another thing to take into account is the term of a loan.  While 30 year loans are the most popular, many people can improve their financial situation by buying the lower priced home that they can afford the payments on a 15 year loan, instead.

    As you can see, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when setting YOUR price limit.  If you’d like to discuss your options with a REALTOR who always puts his clients first, give me a call or send me an email.  I am always interested in helping you.

    Darren Schortgen, Broker-Owner/REALTOR
    Advanced Realty of Fort Wayne
    (260)385-7603
    Darren@DarrenSchortgen.com
    www.DarrenSchortgen.com

 
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