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April 2020

Whether you own a home or are looking to buy or sell one, here are some useful tips, ideas and advice. When you’re ready to make your move, give me a call and let's talk about it!.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate
Stephanie Sherriff
Luxury Collection Specialist


Phone calls that could save you money

Every little bit helps!

Staying home and staying safe?

Take a few minutes to find out if these ideas could benefit you!

Are today's all time low mortgage rates an attractive alternative to your present rate?   Lake Michigan Credt Union, the number one mortgage lender in the state, offers loans in Michigan and all the contiguous states (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin) AND Florida, so you may find this an advantage for both your primary and second home.  Contact Audrey Andrews, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, at (269)-978-6120.

This is an excellent time to compare costs on your home and auto insurance.  Call Jessica Wood, Account Executive, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Resource at (616)826-6761 to determine the best policies for you.  My clients and I have found her service exceptional.

Cord-cutting may not be for  you, but internet providers want to keep your business!  Call your current vendor to see if they can improve on the cost of the services you really need, and if not, shop around!


A Winning Real Estate Strategy

Sometimes, buyers and sellers can behave like adversaries. Both sides want to “win,” often sabotaging the transaction irreparably. No one wins if the home doesn’t sell.  

So how can you win and keep things civil?

Sellers: Be thoughtful and reasonable. Price your home to appeal to buyers and get stronger offers. Make your home easy to show to working buyers. Be flexible about showing times, especially on short notice. Put your pets in the kennel. Keep your home showing ready (clean and neat) so buyers can really see what they’re buying.

Respond quickly to requests for repairs and get the work done as soon as possible. Return calls or texts from your real estate professional quickly.

Don’t take offense at low offers. Simply counter the offer with your reasons why you feel the home is priced correctly through your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agent.

Buyers: Be on time and respect sellers’ property for showings. Leave small children with a sitter for showings to minimize distractions. Schedule appraisals and inspections as soon as the contract is signed.

Apply for your mortgage loan pre-approval when you start shopping.  If you do this in advance of making an offer on a home, you have the advantage over other buyers that you’re vetted by a lender.

The key is courteous communication with everyone. 


Fair Market and Other Values

Home buyers and home sellers want to know one thing – how much a home is worth.  Fair market comparable data, assessments and appraisals are all relevant ways to determine value, but all values are not the same. So what are the differences?

Fair market value. This metric is used to help determine asking and offer prices for a given home for sale. Market conditions and the economy can cause home prices to fluctuate, so get an competitve market analysis (CMA) from your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional. The CMA will include at least three recently sold homes (within three to six months) that are as similar as possible to the home you want to buy or sell, including the dates of sale, time on the market, addresses, age when built, square footage, condition, features and improvements.

Assessed value. Tax roll authorities use assessments to determine annual property taxes. They use market data such as CMAs from multiple listing services but also include non-market data such as type of ownership (homestead VS investment property) and age of the homeowner (taxes are often frozen for seniors).

Appraised value. Mortgage bankers hire licensed appraisers to ascertain whether or not a home is valued correctly to protect homebuyers and limit their own risk. They use sales and rental data, plus other formulas. If the appraised amount is lower than the sales contract amount, the buyer can either come up with more cash or back away, or the seller can lower the price.If you are uncertain about pricing, have a professional appraisal before listing your home.   

MI Lic #: 6501149935
5839 Oakland Dr. Portage, MI 49024

©2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.