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01852 : Real Estate Advice

  • All14
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying4
  • Home Selling4
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 64
Fri Aug 21, 2009
Voices Member answered:
Maybe you'd like to check these out..

Table 1: U.S. Annual Figures of Commissions Paid to Real Estate Agents & Brokers

Homes Sold By Sales Commission Commission Total
Year Sold(+) Brokers(*) Price(+) Rate Per Home Commissions
2000 5,174,000 3,880,500 $178,500 5.42% $9,675 $37.5 Billion
2001 5,336,000 4,002,000 $188,300 5.12% $9,640 $38.6 Billion
2002 5,631,000 4,223,250 $206,100 5.14% $10,600 $44.8 Billion
2003 6,178,000 4,633,500 $222,200 5.12% $11,370 $52.7 Billion
2004 6,778,000 5,083,500 $244,400 5.08% $12,400 $63.0 Billion
2005 7,076,000 5,307,000 $266,600 5.02% $13,380 $71.0 Billion
2006 6,478,000 4,858,500 $268,200 5.18% $13,890 $67.5 Billion
2007 5,652,000 4,239,000 $266,000 5.18% $13,780 $58.4 Billion
2008 4,912,000 3,684,000 $243,100 5.20% $12,600 $46.4 Billion

(+) Source is the National Association of Realtors
(*) Figures calculated on a 75% market share for non-discounted real estate agents & brokers.

Table 2: 2008 Average Sales Price & Commission Paid by Region

Average Sales Commission
Region Price(+) Per Home
Northeast $297,900 $15,500
Midwest $183,400 $9,540
South $212,400 $11,050
West $312,100 $16,230

(+) Source is the National Association of Realtors
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Tue Dec 6, 2011
Kristen Blanchet Keegan answered:
Hi Ted,

I can definitely help! I do a lot with REO's and short sales in the area and know Lowell very well. If you would like to send me your email address I can start sending you potential properties. ... more
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Fri Aug 7, 2009
Vibha Mehra answered:
All your Realtor is trying to do is to make your offer solid and acceptable offer. Nothing wrong with that at all. Seller feels secure in taking his house off the market in this slow time and you get a house at a great price. Perfect. Everybody is happy. ... more
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Thu Aug 6, 2009
Massachusetts Real Estate answered:
I would highly recommend Attorney Frank DiMaria. He will review your P&S for free if you request him as closing attorney also. He is a fantastic lawyer, attentive, responsive and a great guy on top of it. Check him out at Tell him Jake at sent you! ... more
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Wed Sep 16, 2009
Ken Lambert answered:
Hi Nina- Good point and thought. I would recommend you call Suzeanne Smith- 781-775-6327. If you use her services for the closing and the needed title insurance policy, I believe she would be happy to help you review the P&S and all that from your end to make sure everything is done correctly and in your interest- at no additional fees.

Other than that, a typical flat rate to have an attorney review and alter a P&S is between $400- $500 normally. I would just work with a RE attorney that will also do the closing and title though- it saves you money and makes sense.
If I can be of any other help, please let me know. Thanks,
Ken L
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Fri Jul 24, 2009
Bob McClure answered:
good morning long as you are in a similar line of work as your college major, you can actually use the years of college as work experience...fha is 3.5% down, and the seller can pay up to 6% of the price of the home towards your closing costs and is an excellent program for your situation......if your student loans are in derferrement for a year, the payments won't be used against your debt ratio.if they are now.they will be can also have a non-occupant co-borrower on the deal with you to boost the income used to qualify you.usually a parent(s)...i would leave fiance off the deal now, as he probably has student loans too, with no income to offset his can always deed him on with you after closing..don't forget- the federal tax credit is available to you as well if you are a first time is up to $8,000 or 10% of the home price.whichever is regards.bob mcclure- success mortgage partners- plymouth, michigan.... ... more
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Mon Jun 8, 2009
Deb McCourt answered:
Hey Deb

Has the offer been accepted yet? If so, then no cancellation. If not, then go for it.

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Thu Jun 4, 2009
Scott A. Nelson answered:
Alot would depend on the contract language. You'll really need to have a qualified real estate attorney review your documents and give you their their legal advice & possible options.

There may be contingencies, or circumstances that may give you an out, you need to proceed very carefully, there can be severe consequences otherwise, this is why you'll need an attorney's review & assistance.
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Thu May 28, 2009
Nikki Devaux answered:
I would suggest talking with a good mortgage broker. If you'd like to email me and I can give you a list of some great mortgage brokers that are very knowledgeable about the condo lending restrictions. My email is

It's true that obtaining a condo mortgage is more complicated than it was in the past, but it doesn't mean it's impossible in every situation. I'm currently working with a buyer who's going through MassHousing to purchase his condo. You just need to make sure that you're working with a good Buyer's Agent and also a good mortgage broker who can advise you on the best route to home ownership!

Best of luck!

Nikki Devaux
Realtor, ABR
Hallmark Sotheby's International Realty
P: 617-276-5247
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Sun Dec 25, 2011 answered:
we need more details of the townhouse including town you are selling in to give you a better answer on whether now is the right time to sell.
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Tue Nov 18, 2008
Maria Morton answered:
This appraiser has to do with the buyer's mortgage loan. If he doesn't appraise it at the agreed upon price, the mortgage may not go through.
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Sun Mar 22, 2009
Danielle Sharp answered:
I'm so sorry to hear that!! Condos are a tricky area right now, particularly with FHA loans. FHA is not known as being condo friendly for the most part. In a declining market, a good rule of thumb is to price your home 5% below what currently listed comps are, not the solds. If you have solds that are strong and back up your purchase price, you may want to contact the appraiser and talk to them about it. The underwriter has more say about whether the loan goes through or not though. Unfortunately, your tax appraisal means absolutely nothing for market value. The city/county assessor doesn't impact what someone is willing to pay, only what your taxes will be.

I'd love to be able to help you out, even if only to answer your questions and offer some advice. Feel free to email or call me.

Best wishes,
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Fri Oct 22, 2010
Christopher Lawton answered:
Wed Sep 24, 2008
Scott Godzyk answered:
You can pay a realtor or an attorney, why not use a realtor who will help you sell it and get you a higher price for your property in a quicker amount of time. the extra they get for your home will outweigh the cost of paying a commission. if you go it alone make sure you know what state and federal disclosures you need to give a buyer, how to negotiate, assist with inspections, assist with finding the buyer a mortgage and assist with closing. you really need someoen to look out for your interest. commissions are negotiable, so find a broker willing to work with you on your terms. good luck with your sale ... more
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Thu Jul 31, 2008
Jeff and Ginny Mitchell answered:
Your mortgage broker correct. The lender has at minimum received a BPO - Broker Price Opinion or hired an Appraiser to set a current market value price. It has also been our experience that most of the short sale and REO sales we know about have been close to or even slightly over the listing price. Remember that you may or may not hear back quickly about an REO listing, so there are possibly going to be several offers on the table.

Your Realtor should also offer expert advice about the value of the home. If it has been listed for a while, the value may have dropped. However, the mortgage lenders sometimes drop the price to attract bids and then they actually become competitive. The lender is looking for the best offer possible to diminish losses. Knowing what to offer is not an exact science, though, because there are so many variables and people involved, not just cold hard facts. Proceed carefully because there could be liens on the property. The title company should them all but still be sure to buy title insurance! Good luck to you.
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Tue Jul 8, 2008
Val Cloutier answered:
What kind of information are you seeking Jerry? What I'm able to see is that this home, built in 1900, has 4 BR's, 2 full baths with 2804 square feet. The pictures show a beautiful old mantle & fireplace, and also what may be a stained glass window. Hardwood floors except for attic (typical for a house of that era) It's a foreclosure, and is listed for $189,900. If I can help you with gathering more information on this property, please let me know, I'm happy to help. Email is best: ... more
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Sat Jul 21, 2012
John Savignano answered:
You should check with the local building inspector. I believe its not the closet that determines a bedroom, but it has to have a means of egress, in case of fire and if you are on a septic system, you would need a septic system that is rated for the number of bedrooms. certainly people will expect a closet. ... more
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Wed Jun 18, 2008
Brecht Palombo answered:
FHA loans are where you want to be. I'm no mortgage broker but if I'm not mistaken those loans are not "risk based" meaning your credit is inconsequential down into the high 500s. You will need SOME money. If you don't have a few thousand dollars at LEAST then you should not be looking to buy at all as you are not currently equipped. Properties need maintenance and improvements especially in the range you're talkin' and you HAVE to have some money or you'll be a statistic and I'll end up selling your place at a foreclosure auction. Sound good? ... more
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Mon May 11, 2009
Rob Rey answered:
The neighborhood is excellent, I would live there without hesitation.
This area is a hidden treasure.
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Fri Mar 14, 2008
Michael Lefebvre answered:
I am also a certified residential real estate appraiser. What I would do as an appraiser is to find the three most comparable (as far as square footage, # of bedrooms, # of baths, condition, etc...) condo sales in as close proximity as possible to yours. Ideally, lenders are looking for comps within a 3-month time frame and 1-mile radius. That's not always possible. Especially these days! For condos, we always want to find a comp within the complex. Yours only has 3 units, so I would be inclined to use that sale from back in September as well. I believe Trulia offers fairly reliable recent sales information you can comb through or head down to the Lowell Assessor's office to research all recent sales.

Your best bet is to find three recent sales of "similar" units in your neighborhood (either through Trulia, Zillow or the Lowell Assessor) and then factor in the recent sale in your building. Was his sale a true, arm's length market sale or was it influenced by other forces (foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, sold to a family member, etc....)?

A little research on MLS shows just one condo in Lowell selling for $239,500 in 2006. I think this might be yours (?) and I'm happy to discuss it further with you if you'd like (617-828-4127).

Good luck with everything and I hope this helps!

Mike Lefebvre
The Appraiser-Realtor
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