was buying a house. The closing date was a few weeks away. His parents were visiting
from out of state, and he wanted them to see the inside of the house. His real
estate agent called the seller on Thanksgiving morning to ask permission. The
seller was so annoyed to be called on a holiday that she threatened to cancel
the sale. |
My buddy wanted to placate the seller. "I'm
a personable guy," he told his agent. "I can clear this up." He
asked for the seller's unlisted phone number.
The agent convinced
him (correctly) that this was a bad idea. The seller calmed down and the mini-crisis
The moral of this story is that you should
trust the judgment of a competent real-estate agent. My friend's agent goofed
by calling on Thanksgiving, but otherwise she was capable. She displayed good
judgment when she refused to give out the seller's phone number, averting a possible
personality clash that could have scuttled the sale.
are other do's and don'ts for getting a mortgage and for buying and selling a
house. Here are a few of them, expressed as New Year's resolutions for 2003:
buying a house, I will watch what I say to "my" real estate agent.
Know who your agent works for. The agent works for the seller, unless your agent
has signed a contract (called a buyer agency agreement) that specifies that he
or she works exclusively for the buyer. These contracts are popular, and you can
confide in a buyer's agent who has signed such an agreement.
a buyer agency agreement, the agent you deal with ultimately works on the seller's
behalf. If you say something like, "We would be willing to pay $260,000,
but we'll offer $240,000," a seller's agent is obligated to pass along that
I will check my credit report before getting
When you plan to buy a house or refinance, the first thing to
do is check your credit report for errors, so you'll have plenty of time to fix
Credit reporting errors take many forms: Your
report might say that you have declared bankruptcy, when in fact someone else
with the same name filed for bankruptcy. It might list closed accounts as open.
It might omit a credit card account that you have been paying on time. It might
say falsely you're late in your payments.
wrong, information on your credit report can cost time and money when you're getting
a mortgage. If you find out about it too late, you might have to delay the closing
while the errors are fixed. Or you might end up paying a higher interest rate
than you deserve.
I will count the cost of taxes, insurance,
repairs and maintenance into the home-buying equation.
A rough rule of thumb
goes like this: Figure out how much the mortgage's principal and interest will
cost each month, and assume that taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance will
cost about the same. Keep this in mind and you're less likely to buy more house
than you can afford.
I will save for repairs and maintenance.
Let's say you will need to re-do your kitchen in five years, at a cost of $5,000.
If you set aside $80.50 a month in a money market account paying 1.4 percent interest
compounded daily, you will have $5,000 in five years.
continued at http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mortgages/20021226a.asp?page=default
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