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Should you ask a Realtor to reduce their commission?

I posted this a while back and thought it was worth a re-post :). One thing to add though is…if an agent can so easily be persuaded by you to reduce their commission (which by the way is their own livelihood because realtors aren’t paid a salary), how much negotiating do you think they will do on your behalf when selling your home for the best price and terms. Something to consider. Happy selling!

Kfoley Homes by Kristen Foley, REALTOR®

Well, I think you know what I am going to say…NO!  What else were you expecting from a Realtor? 🙂

Here is the reason for my emphatic “no” though and why you should think twice before asking for a reduced commission.

1) If the agent is worth their “salt”, they will prove to you why they deserve their full brokerage fee (which by the way is decided by each broker).  If they don’t prove it to you, interview someone else.  Don’t ask the person who didn’t wow you if they will take 5% instead of 6% if they are asking for 6%…if they don’t make you believe they can do it, you probably aren’t going to be happy with them after they have had your house on the market for 100 days regardless of the fact that you are paying a reduced rate.

2) If the agent shows…

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Financing-home loans, Real Estate

2014 VA loan limits for the DC Metro area

Anyone who knows mehome ownership for vets, they know I love a VA Loan.  VA loans are truly the best deal on the market (in my humble opinion)…and they do not have all of the problems that some agents and veterans think they do.  The appraisal process can be a little more difficult, but only in the fact that they MAY require some repairs (such as fixing peeling lead-based paint…not such a bad thing to require)  and a re-inspect if repairs were required, but more often than not, they do not require anything.  They value the home just the same as a conventional appraiser and I have never seen a VA appraiser come in low on a property that was priced right.  I digress…

Just to update you folks, the VA loan limits for a 0% down loan (yes…ZERO down) have changed in many higher cost areas.  For most areas, it is still a max of loan limit of $417,000.  In Northern Virginia and DC, the loan limit has always been higher and is now $692,500…NOT BAD!  And if you are willing to put money down, they will lend up to (I am told) @ $1.5 million (depending on the down payment of course).

VA loans have low rates and if you are disabled in ANY way, they will waive the funding fee (this fee is 9 times out of 10 financed into the loan amount anyway).  They will also allow up to 6% of the purchase price towards closing costs in subsidies from the seller…if you are in an area where subsidies “fly”…more on that another time (*there are a few caveats to this, so be sure you have a good lender who will find a way to get the most out of any seller subsidies you have negotiated…such as the seller buying down your rate, etc*)

Lastly, the VA will allow you to do what is called a streamline refinance.  If a lower rate is available, you can get it and there is no appraisal required.  Additionally, most lenders will pay the refi costs, so you can pretty much to the refi for free or for VERY little out of pocket.  If it benefits the veteran, it is allowed.

This is an amazing way to realize the dream of home-ownership…and a rightful benefit for our nation’s heroes who have risked their lives for our freedom and liberties!

In summery, if you are eligible to get a VA loan, consider it!

 

Financing-home loans, Real Estate, The Market

Lock Your Mortgage Rate: New Loan Fees Expected Within Days

Article sent from a lender partner: Will and Nancy Jacobs with First Heritage Mortgage in Virginia

Starting soon, nearly all home buyers and refinancing households nationwide will pay higher mortgage loan fees. Congress has made it law.

13 months ago, as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Congress enacted a one-year cut to FICA payroll taxes.

FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Taxes collected under FICA fund such programs as Social Security and Medicare.

The stimulus plan temporarily lowered tax rates for salaried workers from 6.2% to 4.2%; and for self-employed persons from 12.4% to 10.4%. Effective January 1, 2012, “regular” tax rates were to return.

That is, until late-December 2011. In one of its last moves of the year, Congress passed a temporary, two-month extension to the payroll tax cut, extending it through February 29, 2012. The expected cost to the U.S. Treasury is $33 billion.

To recoup those costs, Congress has turned to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA.

Each entity has been ordered to collect news fees on each new mortgage is backs, and has been told to forward said fees to U.S. Treasury directly. There’s no “workaround” allowed or forgiveness applied — each new loan is subject to the payment.

The rules are listed on page 17 of the law’s final draft, in a section unambiguously titled “Title IV — Mortgage Fees and Premiums”.

According to the law :

*  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must collect an average fee of no less than 10 basis points (0.1%) per new loan

The FHA must raise its monthly mortgage insurance premiums 10 basis points for all new loans

The expected cost to consumers is no less than $10 monthly per $100,000 borrowed. Some analysts, however, expect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collect more than is minimally required. This could add an additional $30-50 to your monthly mortgage payment per $100,000 borrowed.

Therefore, if you’ve been shopping for a home or for mortgage rates , take advantage. Within days, lenders are expected to start collecting Payroll Tax Extension fees from mortgage applicants — a move that will cost you money.

Lock today to avoid the big fees. Save yourself money.