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Baldwin County Median Sales Price Up 6.4%

The number of homes sold in June was 11.1% above the five-year June average of 605 sales. (iStock)

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County residential sales totaled 672 units during June, down 8.7% from 736 sales in the same month a year earlier. June sales were also down 8.2% compared to 732 sales in May. Results were 11.1% above the five-year June average of 605 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County’s housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Baldwin County area during June were 2,899 units, an increase of 1.2% from June 2018’s 2,865 units but a decrease of 2.5% from May 2019’s 2,974 units. June’s months of supply totaled 4.3 months, up 10.8% from June 2018’s 3.9 months of supply. June’s months of supply increased 6.2% when compared to May 2019’s 4.1 months of supply. June’s months of supply was 14.9% lower than the five-year average of 5.1 months of supply.

Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in June was $259,200, an increase of 6.4% from one year ago and an increase of 1.8% from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the June median sales price on average increases from May by 0.6%. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during June was 83 days, unchanged from one year ago, and an increase of 6.4% from 78 days in May 2019.

Forecast: June sales were 51 units, or 5.8%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 713 sales for the month, while actual sales were 672 units. ACRE forecast 3,577 residential sales in the Baldwin County area year-to-date, while there were 3,521 actual sales through June.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales increased slightly in May, extending the streak to 5 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. Statewide residential sales increased 1.4% from 6,306 closed transactions in May 2018 to 6,392 in May 2019. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.2% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in May increased 4.3% year-over-year from $165,688 to $172,864. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.4% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 11.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during May spent an average of 88 days on the market, an improvement of 12 days from May 2018.

NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales rebounded in May, posting their first year-over-year gain since August 2018. Nationwide sales increased 0.9% from approximately 535,000 closed transactions one year ago to 540,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.8% in May, marking 87 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

Alabama Homes Sell at Record Speed in June

The statewide median home sales price in June was $177,018, an increase of 7.3% from one year ago. (iStock)

Sales: Alabama statewide home sales totaled 6,063 units during June, down 3.4% from 6,277 sales in the same month a year earlier. June sales were down 5.1% compared to 6,293 sales in May. Results were 11.4% above the five-year June average of 5,422 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all statewide housing data, click here.

Inventory: Homes listed for sale statewide during June totaled 21,804 units, a decrease of 9.7% from June 2018’s 24,159 units and a decrease of 0.2% from May 2019’s 21,851 units. June’s months of supply totaled 3.6 months, a decrease of 6.6% from June 2018’s 3.8 months of supply. June’s months of supply, however, increased from May’s 3.4 months of supply.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price in June was $177,018, an increase of 7.3% from one year ago and an increase of 2.4% from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the June median sales price on average increases from May by 5.5%. The homes selling in June spent an average of 86 days on the market (DOM), a record low according to ACRE’s database. Homes sold 14 days faster than one year ago and two days faster than the previous month. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month because of the sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns.

Forecast: June sales were 44 units or 0.7% below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 6,104 sales for the month, while actual sales were 6,063 units. ACRE forecast a total of 30,081 residential sales year-to-date in 2019, while there were 31,182 actual sales through June, a difference of 3.7%.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales decreased slightly in June, ending a five-month streak of year-over-year sales gains. This was the first such decline since December 2018 and only the fourth in the last two years. Statewide residential sales decreased 3.4% from 6,277 closed transactions in June 2018 to 6,063 in June 2019. Year-to-date, however, sales are up 1.8% from 2018, a record year for residential sales. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in June increased 7.3% year-over-year from $164,987 to $177,018. The statewide median sales price is up 4.1% year-to-date. While nationwide inventory levels (active listings) are stabilizing (equal to June 2018), Alabama’s residential listings decreased 9.7% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the summer buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during June spent an average of 86 days on the market, an improvement of 14 days from June 2018.

NAR’s national perspective: After a small gain in May, existing home sales weakened in June. Nationwide residential sales decreased 7.5% from approximately 570,000 closed transactions one year ago to 527,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.4% in June, marking 88 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, said, “Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels – even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country.” Yun said there is a housing shortage across the country and more inventory is needed, especially in the entry-level price range. “Imbalance persists for mid- to lower-priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices,” he said.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is developed in connection with the Alabama Association of Realtors and its local associations.

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

Summer Home Maintenance Guide

The following is a guest post by William Dukes

Homeowner beware: Summer does not mean vacation when it comes to your house. It’s easy to put off regular home maintenance during these long, lazy days of summer. But a little bit of effort now can save you a lot of time — and money — down the road. Here are five must-dos for summer home maintenance.

LAWN CARE

Summer lawn care basics are the same, no matter where you live. Mow regularly, Water deeply and keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Those tasks and a little weeding should keep your lawn green and lush. Different kinds of grasses, whether warm-season or cool-season, need different amounts of water and mowing heights. Lawns in warmer, humid areas are more prone to fungal diseases. A good rule of thumb to ward off fungal diseases such as brown patch is to water early in the morning. It allows the water to seep into the roots and the soil, but the remaining water droplets will evaporate during the daytime heat.

This is also the time to trim your bushes and shrubs. Before you start removing all the dead and damaged branches, make sure you have the right tools, and you know how to cut at the right angle. Improper pruning can stress the shrubs.

HVAC

Most people sleep better when the room is cool. Science shows adults sleep best when the room is between 60 and 67 degrees at night. Keeping your bedroom cool is just one reason why you need to keep your HVAC in tiptop shape. Don’t wait until something malfunctions. Have an HVAC technician make regular maintenance visits. The technician will not only keep things running smoothly but can often tell you if you have a major repair or even a replacement on the horizon. Regular HVAC visits save you money and often give you time to budget for a replacement. It also prevents you from tossing and turning through a sweaty summer night.

INSPECT/REPAIR HOME EXTERIOR

Take a slow walk around your house and pay special attention to the exterior. Is the siding cracked? What condition is the paint in? Is there any apparent damage? Now’s the time to get things fixed. A little bit of damage to your siding can be a DIY project that’s easy to do. Summer is the time to touch up paint, or power wash your home’s exterior and driveway and take care of any projects before the winter weather gets in the way.

SEAL WINDOWS

A significant amount of your home’s energy loss happens around your windows and doors, making your home more expensive to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Summer is a great time to seal and caulk your windows, and any other small holes that you might find. Take a close look near your kitchen exhaust fan or fireplace flues. Summer is also a great time to replace your windows with more energy-efficient models. Window replacement is pricey, but it will save your home a lot of energy loss and make it easier to keep the temperature comfortable.

OUTDOOR COOKERS

A summertime backyard cookout is peak American. Whether you have a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a smoker, or any other outdoor cooker, you can increase their efficiency and lower your risk of food poisoning by cleaning them. For gas grills, turn on the grill and let it heat up for about 20 minutes, then turn off the gas and scrub the grill with a barbecue brush. For a charcoal grill, remove the grill and scour it with a metal brush, or even a ball of aluminum foil and get the ash, rust, and gunk off of it. Remove and empty the ash can and wipe out any debris on the bottom of the grill. But you don’t want to aggressively scrub a smoker. The oily, smoky coating is important in the low and slow cooking process.

You’ll want to remove the ash and grease regularly and be sure not to disturb the smoker’s seasoning.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your home running smoothly during the summer months, and repair any damage that may have happened over the cold months. Remember, maintenance and minor repairs are always less of a headache than major repairs and replacement!

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

3 Considerations When Buying a Summer Escape Home

 

In this dedicated episode of NBC Open House, learn about what you should look for when it comes to buying the perfect summer escape, whether in the countryside, mountains, desert, or the beach. Summer escapes are great investments and more attainable than people might think.

Joseph Piccininni with Coldwell Banker Beau Hulse Realty Group focuses on three main things: proximity, environment, and finding an agent that you can trust. Watch the clip below for how these 3 aspects impact buying a summer escape home.

To find the right home for you, visit coldwellbanker.com.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Moved In and Cash Strapped? 6 Tips to Cut Expenses

The following is a guest post by Christy Matte

Moving into a new home brings with it the promise of a fresh start and new experiences, but it can also bring some financial challenges. Rental or mortgage costs, paying for movers, and new furniture can quickly add up. If you find yourself needing to cut back on spending, it doesn’t have to be painful. These ideas will help you shift from scrimping to saving in no time at all.

Bundle your mobile, Internet, and cable

With a new environment, it might also be time for a new phone carrier. Shop around for a mobile plan that meets your needs without paying for extras you don’t want. You may also be able to find savings by bundling with your Internet and cable service.

• Consider a by-the-gig mobile plan if you use varying amounts of data each month.

• See if you can take your current phone to your new carrier instead of buying a new phone when making the switch.

• Pair up for a family plan with a family member, so you both save.

Spread out decorating expenses

As you’re settling into your new home, you’re probably imagining the perfect living room rug, bedroom paint job, and dining room table. However, if money is tight, it’s time to be practical.

Feel free to dream and pin your perfect décor choices onto your Pinterest boards, but you’ll also want to draw up a budget. Leave plenty of room for the inevitable challenges that will arise, and figure out what you can put toward redecorating each month.

• Make a list of desired updates and prioritize them. Consider which items will have the greatest impact in terms of efficiency, comfort, and mood.

• If your budget allows, set aside money each month for your redecorating plans.

• Purchase and update according to your priorities. Be flexible if something you’re waiting for goes on sale.

Cut back on the pampering

You may have gotten used to having plenty of “fun money” in your previous home. Maybe you got in the habit of sending out for dinner multiple times a week, sipping on fancy lattes, or hitting the spa whenever the mood hit. Take stock of those splurge purchases and taper back — or cut them out entirely. Instead, try some budget-friendly ways to have fun.

• Search out fun new recipes and enjoy cooking in your new kitchen. Engage your partner or a friend and cook together.

• Use candles and music to create a spa-like area in your home where you can relax. Enjoy a bubble bath, a face mask, or a cozy spot for reading.

• Invite friends over for movie night rather than hitting the theater.

Conserve energy

Household utilities eat away a large portion of a monthly budget and small changes can add up over time.

• Turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use.

• Use programmable thermostats to adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day.

• Be conscious of your household water usage.

• Look into a free energy audit. It will identify areas of your home you can update or change to save energy and money.

Shop smart

When our budgets aren’t quite as tight, frugal shopping can go out the window. Take the time to focus more on finding ways to save at the cash register.

• Use coupons. This takes some planning but can result in huge savings.

• Stock up during sales. If you have the storage space, grab extra non-perishable items when the costs are low. If you have enough freezer space, you can also stock up on meat and other freezer-friendly items.

• Shop around and seek out good deals. Big-ticket items may be available for less at smaller or online retailers, and your local retailer may be willing to price match to keep your business.

• If you can’t tell the difference, go generic. Generic food items are typically processed in the same plants as name brands. Buying off-label clothing and furniture can also help cut back on costs.

Borrow items you don’t use all the time

While it may seem easier to buy what you need or want, consider borrowing or renting things you will only use once or won’t use often. Not only will you save money, but it will free up your storage space, too.

• Get a library card. Many libraries offer digital content like movies, audiobooks, free music downloads, magazines, and streaming video that can all be accessed online. Check your local library’s calendar for free activities, like book readings, movie nights, craft gatherings, and workshops.

• Your new home may come with new needs, like a carpet steamer, pressure washer, extra-tall ladder, or specific lawn equipment. If you only need these items sporadically, consider borrowing from a friend or renting from your local home improvement store.

There are plenty of ways to save money in your new home without having to sacrifice all your favorite indulgences. Small adjustments to your budget can add up quickly and help you adjust to your new household expenses.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Baldwin County Median Condo Sales Price Up 21%

The number of condos sold in Baldwin County during May represented a 12.4% increase from the number sold in the same month last year. (iStock)

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County condo sales, which include condos along the Gulf Coast, totaled 172 units during May, up 12.4% from 153 sales in the same month a year earlier. May sales were up 4.9% compared to 164 sales in April. Results were 6.2% above the five-year average of 162 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County condo sales data, click here.

Inventory: Baldwin County condo inventory totaled 751 units in May, a decrease of 0.5% from May 2018’s 755 units and a decrease of 0.7% from April 2019’s 755 units. May months of supply totaled 4.4 months, down 11.5% compared to May 2018’s months of supply. May months of supply decreased 5.3% from April’s 4.6 months of supply.

Pricing: The Baldwin County condo median sales price in May was $347,500, an increase of 20.8% from one year ago and an increase of 7.8% from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the May median sales price on average decreases from April by 27.9%. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for condos sold during May was 77 days, a decrease of 27.4% from 106 days in May 2018 and a decrease of 16.3% from April 2019.

Forecast: May sales were 11 units, or 6.8%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 161 sales for the month, and actual sales were 172 units. ACRE forecast a total of 647 residential sales for Baldwin County condos year-to-date, while there were 681 actual sales through May.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide residential sales dropped 1% in April, demand for housing in Alabama remained strong. Statewide residential sales increased 4.4% from 5,574 closed transactions in April 2018 to 5,820 in April 2019. Year-to-date, sales increased 3.8% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in April increased 3.2% year-over-year from $155,250 to $160,283. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.2% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 10.7% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during April spent an average of 93 days on the market, an improvement of three days from April 2018.

NAR’s national perspective: During April, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 1.1% from approximately 460,000 closed transactions one year ago to 455,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 3.6% in April, marking 86 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions. Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

Baldwin County May home sales up 10%

The Baldwin County median home sales price in May was $254,500, an increase of 6.3% from one year ago. (iStock)

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County residential sales totaled 732 units during May, up 10.4% from 664 sales in the same month a year earlier. May sales were up 11.4% compared to 657 sales in April. Results were 30.3% above the five-year May average of 562 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County’s housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Baldwin County area during May were 2,974 units, an increase of 1.2% from May 2018’s 2,940 units and an increase of 0.9 % from April 2019’s 2,948 units. May’s months of supply totaled 4.1 months, down 8.2% from May 2018’s 4.4 months of supply. May’s months of supply decreased 9.5% when compared to April 2019’s 4.5 months of supply. May’s months of supply was 26.1% lower than the five-year average of 6 months of supply.

Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in May was $254,500, an increase of 6.3% from one year ago and an increase of 5.2% from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the May median sales price on average decreases from April by 1.5%. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during May was 78 days, a decrease of 14.3% from 91 days in May 2019 and a decrease of 13.3% from 90 days in April 2019.

Forecast: May sales were 25 units, or 3.5 %, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 707 sales for the month, while actual sales were 732 units. ACRE forecast 2,864 residential sales in the Baldwin County area year-to-date, while there were 2,849 actual sales through May.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide residential sales dropped 1% in April, demand for housing in Alabama remained strong. Statewide residential sales increased 4.4% from 5,574 closed transactions in April 2018 to 5,820 in April 2019. Year-to-date, sales increased 3.8% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in April increased 3.2% year-over-year from $155,250 to $160,283. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.2% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 10.7% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during April spent an average of 93 days on the market, an improvement of three days from April 2018.

NAR’s national perspective: During April, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 1.1% from approximately 460,000 closed transactions one year ago to 455,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 3.6% in April, marking 86 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions. Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

Alabama statewide median home sales price up 4.3%

May home sales in Alabama increased 1.4% from last year and were were 20.9 % above the five-year May sales average. (Getty Images)

Sales: Alabama statewide home sales totaled 6,392 units during May, up 1.4% from 6,306 sales in the same month a year earlier. May sales were up 9.8% compared to 5,820 sales in April. Results were 20.9 % above the five-year May average of 5,286 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all statewide housing data, click here.

Inventory: Homes listed for sale statewide during May totaled 21,851 units, a decrease of 11.6% from May 2018’s 24,720 units, but an increase of 1.7% from April 2019’s 21,481 units. May’s months of supply totaled 3.4 months, a decrease of 12.8% from May 2018’s 3.9 months of supply. May’s months of supply also decreased from April’s 3.7 months of supply.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price in May was $172,864, an increase of 4.3% from one year ago and an increase of 7.8% from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the May median sales price on average increases from April by 3.3%. The homes selling in May spent an average of 88 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 11.8% from 100 days in May 2018. The statewide DOM average in May was five days fewer than April. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month because of the sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns.

Forecast: May sales were 476 units or 8.1% above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 5,916 sales for the month, while actual sales were 6,392 units. ACRE forecast a total of 23,977 residential sales year-to-date in 2019, while there were 25,119 actual sales through May, a difference of 4.8%.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales increased slightly in May, extending the streak to five consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. Statewide residential sales increased 1.4% from 6,306 closed transactions in May 2018 to 6,392 in May 2019. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.2% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in May increased 4.3% year-over-year from $165,688 to $172,864. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.4% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 11.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during May spent an average of 88 days on the market, an improvement of 12 days from May 2018.

NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales rebounded in May, posting their first year-over-year gain since August 2018. Nationwide sales increased 0.9% from approximately 535,000 closed transactions one year ago to 540,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.8% in May, marking 87 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Alabama Association of Realtors and

its local associations.

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

Mortgage Fraud and You – How To Tell You’re Probably Being Taken For A Ride As A Buyer

The following is a guest post from Ryan B. Bormaster

A mortgage is the biggest, most important contract most of us will ever sign – and one with a certain sense of finality to it. We’re telling ourselves that this is it. This is where we’ve decided to put down roots, where we’re going to live for at least the next decade.

Particularly given the current economic climate, being able to afford a mortgage is also something of a point of pride. An achievement to outshine all achievements. It’s easy to get caught up on that; to get lost in the moment and forget to practice your due diligence.

And that’s what criminals are counting on.

It should come as no surprise that mortgage fraud is unfortunately common, and instances of fraud growing more frequent. Real estate is, after all, an extremely lucrative field. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars – more than most people make in a year.

The issue here is that this particular breed of fraud doesn’t always take the form some people might expect. Very rarely will you encounter a shyster who tries to talk you into a poorly-disguised, thinly-veiled scam. The men and women who commit mortgage fraud tend to be a bit more creative about it.

That isn’t to say there aren’t red flags that you can teach yourself to recognize. Although there are many different types of mortgage fraud that you may encounter, they all tend to share a few traits in common. Picking up on those traits can make all the difference in the world.

Promises and Guarantees

Did someone claim they could get you a huge reduction on what you owe on your mortgage? Did they tell you upfront that they could prevent foreclosure? Generally speaking, if a realtor foreclosure specialist or seller promises you anything, proceed with caution – they might be trying to fleece you.

The buying and selling of homes is not a business that deals in absolutes, save for whether or not your credit score is good enough and whether you can afford the down-payment. Always keep that in mind.

Everything Seems Too Good To Be True

Amazing deals do exist, but if an offer strains the limits of your common-sense, it’s probably best to get a second opinion. Are you really being offered a property at way below market price, or is there something more going on beneath the surface? Is your mortgage broker really giving you a 1% interest rate, or are they planning on skipping town with your money?

As a general rule, when in doubt, bring in a third party. A fresh set of eyes, ideally one with a solid understanding of real estate law. Someone who can pick up on what you may have missed.

They’re Making Unreasonable Demands

Is your mortgage broker or realtor pushing you to move forward with a deal without first consulting with a legal expert?

Are you being pressured to put someone else’s name on the deed to your home? Does the seller of a property get offended if you request to bring in an appraiser or have an inspection done? Do they want things kept entirely confidential?

Run away. A reasonable seller will never balk at an appraisal, nor will they be offended if you wish to speak to a legal expert at any point.

Something Just Doesn’t Smell Right

Take a close and careful look at all the documents you’ve been provided in connection with your pending mortgage, and speak to the seller. Someone who’s above-board will have no trouble providing you with complete information on their property and its occupants. Someone who’s trying to defraud you will get flighty.

They might request that you keep the deal confidential, or promise you the relevant information ‘later.’ Say no, and consider purchasing a different property – no matter how much you might want this one.

Don’t Let Yourself Be Taken For A Ride

Your mortgage is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. You need to ensure you’re taking the utmost care when you commit to it – that you know how to recognize the warning signs that someone’s trying to defraud you, and understand when it’s time to back out of a deal.

As a general rule, you should always have a legal expert on-hand whenever you’re going through a deal like this. Someone you know you can trust, and who’s going in without any ulterior motives. Run everything by them, and you’ll be able to find a mortgage that’s totally above-board, and ultimately enjoy your new home.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Coldwell Banker on NBC Open House

Technology has dramatically changed the way people buy and sell homes, so how do you pick the right agent? We take a look at why Coldwell Banker affiliated agents are at an advantage in the market today.

In this dedicated episode of NBC Open House, find out what sets Coldwell Banker affiliated agents apart from the rest. Learn about how to choose a reliable agent and how you can have a global reach beyond your neighborhood to market your home.

Liz Gehringer, Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker, highlights the importance of having a professional on your side to guide you through one of the biggest transactions of your life. We focus on ethical conduct, the newest technology, and strong relationships with our customers.

Watch the clip below.

To find the right home for you, visit coldwellbanker.com.