Newbie Agents, Veteran Agents & Loose Doorknobs, or, “So THAT’S Why There’s an ‘As Is’ Addendum”

“It’s Not My Problem (Really)” — Realtor Edition What’s the difference between a “newbie” Buyer’s agent and a veteran? It’s a long list, but here’s one example: Newbie agent:  When the front door knob comes off in their hands during a showing, the newbie agent is convinced that they broke it, and feels terrible.  After...
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Year-End Tax Savings For Homeowners (Who Have a Mortgage & Itemize Deductions)

A $1 Tax Saved is $1 Earned (x $375?) [Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  Please consult your CPA if you need tax advice.] With that disclaimer out of the way . . . let me...
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Why Listing Contracts Don’t Need a “List By” Deadline

“Withheld From MLS” — But For How Long? It’s customary — at least for every listing I’ve ever taken — for the Seller to sign a “Withhold From MLS” form allowing me more than the otherwise maximum three days to have the home officially on the market. Wouldn’t it be smart, therefore, for the Seller...
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The “What-Will-the-Neighbors-Tell-The New-Owner?” Disclosure Test

Hearing it From Seller > Hearing it From Neighbors As advice to home Sellers regarding disclosure goes, it’s hard to beat, “tell what you know.” The other standard caution to Sellers is, “it’s not what you think is relevant, it’s what Buyers think [is relevant].” But, there’s an even more practical test. “Meet the Neighbors”...
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Stocks Dive, U.S. 10-Year Bond at 1.7%. Coming Soon: 30-year Mortgages @ 3%?

Refinance Redux Scarcely six weeks ago, I noted that stock market turmoil was prompting a flight to safety, which in turn was driving down interest rates and serving up a golden refinancing opportunity. Guess what? After a year-end rally, global stocks are once again swooning — along with interest rates. Bottom line:  if you’re sitting...
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Rational Homeowners’ Response to Global Financial Turmoil? “Time to Refinance”

“A [Financial] Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste” Thanks(?) to global financial turmoil in the wake of diving energy prices (how’s that for a “pinch me” moment??), investors are running to the perceived safety of bonds. Result:  mortgage interest rates are plummeting as well. The ten-year U.S. bond is now just above 2%. Meanwhile,...
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