Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/9/2015

When you walk into an open house and see the home you want to buy, before you start working with the seller's agent, you need to understand who that agent is working for. Many buyers do not understand that the seller's agent has a fiduciary duty or a duty of loyalty to the homeowner. While agency laws differ from state to state they have the same general principles: Typically an agent represents either the buyer or the seller. However, in some cases an agent will assume the role of a dual agent (representing both the seller and the buyer). Make sure to check the agency laws specific to your state, but in general agents fall into these categories: Seller's Agent: A seller's agent works for the real estate company that lists and markets the property for the seller, exclusively representing the interest of the seller. Buyer's Agent: Some states may have written agreements regarding buyer agency. A buyer agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties, preparing offers, and negotiating in the best interest of the buyer. Dual Agency: Dual agency occurs when the buyer's agent and the seller's agent are the same person or company (depending on state law). Dual agents do not act exclusively in the interests of either the seller or buyer. Dual agents cannot offer undivided loyalty to either party. A conflict of interest can arise because the interests of the seller and buyer may be different or adverse. A buyer and seller must agree to dual agency. Always ask your real estate agent about the agency laws in your state. Many states require buyers and sellers to sign a disclosure form at the first meeting between the agent and potential client.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/28/2015

There is nothing worse in a home than a wet basement. Not only can it deter potential home buyers it can also present health problems, and permanent damage to your home. Tackling the problem of a damp or wet basement is no easy task. Here are some ideas to getting and keeping your basement dry. Find the source The source of the problem could be a water leak or high humidity. Both can lead to mold, mildew, or other biological growth. They can even lead to rot, structural damage, premature paint failure, and a variety of health problems. Check for water seepage. Look for leaks in the foundation, or small gaps around windows or doors. Water can also come from inside your house from a leaking water pipe, toilet, shower or bathtub. Indoor humidity is often caused by normal activities of everyday living, such as showering, cooking, and drying clothes. Damp basements are usually caused by moisture migrating through a concrete foundation. Other common causes are condensation on cold concrete walls and floors during humid months. Stop water leaks Standing water on the floor after a heavy rain is usually the result of a leaky foundation. Make sure all rain gutters are cleared and downspout runoff away from the foundation. The ground around the house should slope down and away from the foundation. If necessary, re-grade around the house. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly. Water stains on the ceiling or wall under or near a bathroom could be a leak from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower. This will require a plumber to repair the leak. Water damage or mold should be handled by a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. Reducing indoor humidity Dirt floors in the basement should be covered completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil. Install ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Make sure they are venting directly outside. Clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Consult the Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents . Check the heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. Have all duct air leaks sealed. Use a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation. A dry basement will not only lead to a healthier home it will lead to a more profitable sale when the time comes.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/5/2015

Why isn't your house selling? It may not be the market, instead it could be what you are or are not doing. Believe it or not you can ruin your chances of selling your home. So, how can you capture the attention of potential buyers? Read on to find out if you are making any of these mistakes. Missing or Bad Photos Buyers love to look at photos. They love to look at lots of photos so include lots of photos in your online listings. There is such a thing as a bad photo though. Pictures of unattractive rooms, toilets and messy areas can also turn a buyer off. Make sure every photo has great light, shows off your home and shows a neat and clean home. Place the best shots at the beginning so it is the first thing the buyer sees on the listing site. Lack of Curb Appeal Most buyers will search for homes online and then jump in the car and drive by. If your home has bad curb appeal they may eliminate it before they even walk through the front door. Be sure to create curb appeal by trimming the trees, fertilizing the lawn, and sprucing up the landscaping. Remember first impressions mean a lot. Bad Advertising The words that advertise your home are vitally important. Avoid clichés and instead use your creativity and talk about the best features of your home. You only have so much space for text so make it count! Price Too Low/High Pricing a home too high won't produce an offer, but sometimes pricing it too low leaves buyers wondering what is wrong. Use a real estate professional to help you strategically price your home to sell in the current market. You're Hovering When potential buyers are looking at your home there is nothing more awkward than finding the homeowner is still there. Buyers can't picture the home as their own if you are there. When the house is being shown make sure you are not home. There are things in your control in the selling process of your home. Take the time to make sure your home is staged and looks ready to sell and avoid the above mistakes and you should have a sold sign in no time.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/15/2015

Buying property can definitely be a very lucrative investment. However, before you decide on buying and selling real estate, you have to have a good understanding of the markets. In other words, if you are looking to buy so that you can sell down the road to make a profit on your real estate, then you are better off achieving this when the housing market is slow, as there is less demand for buying houses, thus forcing sellers to lower their prices. This in turn will allow you to get a home at the lowest price possible, and then being able to sell it at a higher price once the markets begin to move again. Of course, investing in real estate is not only about the current conditions of the housing market. In addition, you also have to look at other factors such as the location the real estate will be in, the condition of the real estate, and the reason why the owner is looking to sell. In the end, buying and selling real estate carries the same risks as any other type of investment, and the only way to avoid these risks is through proper research. More importantly, you will be spending a good amount of money on real estate compared to other types of investments, and so you want to make sure that your money is well spent. By keeping these valuable points in mind, you will be able to find the right property to invest in.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/22/2015

If you listen to the media you will never know which way is up when it comes to the state of the real estate market. It's not just the market that determines how a house will sell but also location, price, and condition of the home. Like they say real estate is local. Just like you wouldn't expect the weather to be the same in one place vs. another - the same is true about the real estate market. There are a few things you can look at to determine the type of market in your area. 1. Contact a real estate professional. 2. If you are a seller ask for a comparable market analysis on your home. 3. If you are a buyer determine the average number of days on the market in your desired area and price range. 4. Ask your agent what the absorption rate is the market your are looking to buy or sell. Absorption rate is the rate at which homes are selling. Whether you are buying a home or selling it's important to understand the market conditions.