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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  |  134 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  |  217 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

  • Things to consider when choosing a Fort Wayne, Indiana REALTOR.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Fort Wayne, Home Selling in Fort Wayne, How To... in Fort Wayne  |  January 27, 2011 8:19 AM  |  189 views  |  No comments

    I have compiled a list of 5 things to take into consideration when choosing a REALTOR.  I hope that you find it helpful.

    1. Don’t assume that the older REALTOR is the more experienced one.  Many people enter real estate as a 2nd career, after having worked 30 or 40 years in another field.  A 70 year old agent may be twice as old as I am, but there is a good chance that they don’t have the years of experience in the business that I do (11 years).

    2. Don’t assume the success of a REALTOR by the car they drive. The REALTOR who pulls up in his $70k car might be living in it.

    3. If a REALTOR agrees with everything you say, that’s a bad sign. You don’t want a “yes man”! You want a REALTOR who will be upfront and honest with you, and will tell you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear.

    4. Don’t pick the REALTOR who has to “have their name in lights”. Billboards are for impressing themselves and other REALTORS, but that’s not the type of advertising that sells your house.  Also take into account that someone(potentially you) has to foot the bill for all of that personal advertising.

    5. Find the REALTOR who is accessible to you. Choose someone who will take your calls, or return the ones they can’t take in a timely fashion. Also take into consideration that someone who is accessible to you will also be accessible to potential buyers and potential buyer’s agents.

    I hope you found this list helpful.  As always, drop me a line if you have any questions, or could use some help 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  |  201 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  |  220 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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