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Marina Solo's Blog

By Marina Solo | Agent in Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Smart Investor/First Time Home Buyer

    Posted Under: General Area in Green Bay, Home Buying in Green Bay, Investment Properties in Green Bay  |  January 30, 2013 7:09 PM  |  168 views  |  No comments
    Did you know that you can buy $200,000 duplex with as little as 3.5% down (approx $7,000), half of this downpayment, you will get from seller at closing (security deposits and rents of tenants, approx $3,500). So, you need only $3,500 to buy $200,000 duplex !!! Call me, I will give you more information 920.425.5555
  • 13 Things Your Real Estate Agent Won't Tell You

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Green Bay, Home Buying in Green Bay, Home Selling in Green Bay  |  March 13, 2012 7:55 AM  |  332 views  |  No comments
    I came across this article in the current issue of Reader's Digest - thought I'd share!

    13 Things Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Tell You

    From hosting an open house to getting an estimate of your property's value, these real estate tips from the experts ought to help in today's tough market.

    by Michelle Crouch from Reader's Digest Magazine April 2012 | April 2012

    1. Your open house helps me more than it helps you.

      The majority of visitors aren’t buyers—they’re nosy neighbors—and that gives me an opportunity to hand out my card and possibly gain new clients.

    2. Plug-in air fresheners are a turnoff to a lot of people.

      If you want your house to smell good, bake cookies right before a showing.

    3. If you get a call saying that some buyers want to see your house in 15 minutes, let them in even if it’s a bit messy.

      Those last-minute types typically make impulsive decisions, and they just might decide to buy a house that day.

    4. In this kind of market, don’t be offended by a low-ball offer.

      You have a better chance of getting that person to pay than finding someone new.

    5. If I’m hugely successful, you may not get the benefit of my experience.

      A well-known agent may pass you off to a junior agent after you sign the contract. Ask me exactly who will be handling your phone calls, marketing your house, and taking you to look at homes before you sign to ensure you get exactly what you’re paying for.

    6. Make sure you read my listing or buyer’s contract carefully before signing it.

      There may be an extra “administrative fee” ranging from $250 to $1,500 on top of my standard commission, intended to cover my brokerage’s administrative costs. Similar to my commission, this fee is negotiable.

    7. Don’t skip the final walk-through.

      It’s your last chance to make sure that repairs were done properly, that the owner’s personal items have been removed, and that the items you agreed should stay are still there. I’ve seen stoves, washers and dryers, and beautiful chandeliers walk right out the door.

    8. Beware of seller’s agents who overestimate your house’s selling price.

      They’re hoping you’ll choose them over other agents who will price it more realistically. We call that “buying your listing,” and it guarantees your house will sit on the market for a very long time.

    9. Houses without furniture don’t look larger.

      Empty rooms may actually appear smaller because the buyers can’t get a sense of how much furniture will fit.

    10. My No. 1 selling tip: Clear off counter tops in the bathrooms and kitchen.

      Americans love that wide-open counter space.

    11. For an estimate of property values in certain states, check zillow.com, but don’t lock on to that number.

      Desktop appraisal systems assess how nearby homes with similar square footage have sold; they don’t consider home interior.

    12. If I’m new in the business, my references are likely to be relatives or good friends.

      So when you call, always ask how they found me. 

    13. I can’t share the economic standing or predominant ethnic background of the people in the area or the local crime rate.

      If I did, I would violate Fair Housing laws. So look them up yourself!  

    14. The commission is always negotiable upfront, before you sign a contract.

      You can even make it part of the transaction. If you and your buyer are $4,000 apart, for example, ask the agents if they are willing to reduce their commissions by $2,000 each to bring the deal together. 

    15. Yes, staging your home by getting rid of clutter and bringing in furniture or accessories can help it sell.

      But music, champagne glasses next to the bed and fake pies on the countertop? That’s going overboard, and it will turn some buyers off.  

    16. That big commission check doesn’t go straight into my pocket.

      First I divide it with my brokerage, and then most of us have to pay our own expenses, including the sign we put outside your house, your lockbox, access to the MLS, association membership and more. At the end of the day, out of that $6,000, I may really just be getting $2,500. 

    17. Even if I’ve had my license a few years, I may be a soccer coach moonlighting as a real estate agent, and yours may be the first home I’ve tried to sell in years.

      Ask how many transactions I completed last year, and Google my name to see if it comes up on real estate forums and websites. 

    18. It might make more sense for you to rent.

      It often costs less, gives you the flexibility to move at a moment’s notice and you won’t have to shell out a lot of cash for unexpected repairs.

    19. If your house is for sale and the lawn next door is starting to look overgrown, cut the dang grass for your neighbors.

      It’s a small thing, but it can make a huge difference. 

    20. As a rule, we don’t like people who roll out of bed, do a two-week course and all of a sudden they’re an agent.

      If I have an agent I have to teach on the other end of the table and someone else brings me an offer at the same time, I will encourage my clients to take the other offer.

    21. I’ve walked in on homeless people squatting, on couples having sex and more.

      As a real estate agent, our safety is compromised every time we walk into an empty house.

    22. I know it’s heart-breaking, but the fact that your house was worth a lot more a few years ago is simply not relevant.

      You’ve got to be realistic about today’s market.

    Sources: Licensed real estate agents Nicole Tucker in Dallas and Eric Bramlett in Austin, Texas; broker Karyn Anjali Glubis in Tampa, Florida; Rob Foley, a former real estate lawyer who now owns Vermont’s Flat Fee Real Estate; and a Realtor in Los Angeles.


  • January Pending Home Sales Rise

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  March 1, 2012 6:42 PM  |  168 views  |  No comments

    January Pending Home Sales Rise, Market on Uptrend

    Washington, DC, February 27, 2012

    Pending home sales are on an upward trend, which has been uneven but meaningful since reaching a cyclical low last April, and are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

    The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December and is 8.0 percent higher than January 2011 when it was 89.8. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

    The January index is the highest since April 2010 when it reached 111.3 as buyers were rushing to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this is a hopeful indicator going into the spring home-buying season. “Given more favorable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year. With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilization or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations.”

    The PHSI in the Northeast rose 7.6 percent to 78.2 in January and is 9.8 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 3.8 percent to 88.1 but is 10.8 percent higher than January 2011. Pending home sales in the South increased 7.7 percent to an index of 109.1 in January and are 10.5 percent above a year ago. In the West the index fell 4.4 percent in January to 101.9 but is 0.7 percent above January 2011.

    “Movements in the index have been uneven, reflecting the headwinds of tight credit, but job gains, high affordability and rising rents are hopefully pushing the market into what appears to be a sustained housing recovery,” Yun said. “If and when credit availability conditions return to normal, home sales will likely get a 15 percent boost, speed up the home-price recovery, and thereby significantly reduce the number of homeowners who are underwater.”

    The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

  • Downpayment money available for first time home buyers!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Green Bay, Home Selling in Green Bay, Financing in Green Bay  |  February 26, 2012 6:21 AM  |  205 views  |  No comments

    Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers, receive home buyer counseling education, and have $1000 of their own funds into the purchase transaction.  They must also meet program income limits based on the county they will live in and family size to be eligible.  The grant is an $8,000 forgivable grant.  If the prospective buyer has an accepted offer, we can begin to reserve funds on March 12, 2012. 


    Please call one of our lenders if you or your clients have questions about this great program!

    Marina Solo - 920-425-5555

    Broker, Peak Performance Real Estate Services

    Green Bay, WI

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