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  2. Right?! Know what you don't know. If I can be of further help, feel free to reach out.
  3. Hey DWFKaty- You are on the right track! The most difficult part of selling and moving is definitely sorting the entirety of household goods. It pays to do this well ahead of the sale as for many it's an emotional process and the decision making process is not an easy one. It helps to stay organized and keep to a schedule you can actually honor. You will be thrilled to know that this is actually the hard part-the rest of the transition process is much easier. Good Luck!
  4. Thanks Lindy Chapman! I had no idea about all that stuff!
  5. Going through something similar now with relocating in the Fall. The biggest thing that has helped me so far is decluttering and getting rid of stuff (donating and throwing stuff away).
  6. Hello! We plan on selling our home in the Spring. What do you suggest we should be doing now in order to make the process easier? Thanks so much for your help!
  7. Hi! KMDT9, Great question and here are my tips for you: The key thing to remember is to keep your financial circumstances steady during the loan process! If you’re not sure, ask your loan officer to find out how something specific may affect your loan. Do not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job. Do not acquire more debt like cars, boats, furniture, etc. Do not use your credit cards excessively or let accounts fall behind. Do not spend money you have set aside for closing. Keep your credit history steady by not applying for loans. When you apply for a loan the lender initiates an “inquiry” that can affect your ability to get your mortgage loan approved. Do not change bank accounts or make large or unusual deposits into your account. If you’re not sure, ask me! Do not agree to co-sign or co-borrow with anyone during the process of your loan. Thank you and please reach out if you have any other questions. Best to you, Teo
  8. Looking for a home in the North Hills (McCandless or Allison Park) Budget: around 200,000 2 bedrooms and 1.5 or 2 bathrooms preferred I am flexible of when I can buy, would prefer sooner than later though.
  9. Thanks for the tips! Going to post on Buyers Seeking now.
  10. We've been really happy there and it's ranked as one of the best in the area. Not sure if this matters to you, but it is a BIG district. However, most elementary schools are a smaller size. Once you move into 9th grade is when all the schools come together. I believe this year's graduating class size was around 600. When it comes to academics, they rank really well compared to the state averages. They also do well in athletics, but it can be very competitive. Pine Richland is very similar, but a smaller size. However, that area is growing and they expect class sizes to increase continually with all the growth.
  11. Hi! We are considering moving to either the North Allegheny or Pine Richland school district, leaning more towards North Allegheny. Does anyone have kids in the district??
  12. I know I shouldn't get a new car or anything, but what else should I not be doing?
  13. Hi! I saw your question and wanted to respond. Most mortgage loan originators are paid on commission, where the loan originator receives compensation which is some form of a percentage of the loan amount. The LO Compensation rule by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau does not permit loan originators to be paid for the fees they make on a loan. Previously before the 2008 mortgage crash, originators may have made more compensation for selling different loan types that made more revenue for their company. Now the government has stepped in to eliminate that, which helps consumers. Hope this info is helpful.
  14. I was looking at an online lender and noticed their claims of no fees or commissions? What do they mean by commissions and Is there a catch to that?
  15. Katy, I've relocated 8 times as a Relocation client and we were often able to pick our own agent, however sometimes we were limited to a certain brokerage unless we knew to ask. There is SO much I wish I had known when a client that I know now as a Realtor -- would be happy to tell you what I've learned! A few points: The agent will pay +-50% of the commission to the RMC and brokerage--which sadly often leaves the client needing the highest degree of care the lowest level of service. Decide where you want to live BEFORE you commit to a Realtor. The Dallas metroplex is the size of Connecticut. And the best agent when new to a city is a LOCAL agent. Exclusive listings--if you work with an agent at Broker A, you will only have access to their 'off-market' properties but not to Broker B, C or D's --which means there may be dozens of homes that fit your criteria that you will never know about. There is a way to navigate this--but you have to know what you don't know-.- Will you rent or buy? If renting, you want an agent who specializes in the rental market. What kind of lifestyle are you seeking--Condo, Single family home, Farm & Ranch? You need an agent who specializes in the property type you are seeking. TIME--make sure the agent you choose has the TIME you need. Are they available the weekends that you are in town--or will they be working with other clients or juggling little league games as well? Pivtapp.com, a relocation app that helps mobile employees connect to the resources and information they need when moving to a new city, just launched in Dallas and is offering employers 3 free months to help their employees ease the challenges of relocation I would be happy to speak with someone at your company to see if we could add them to the platform (currently it's a B2B platform). Hope this helps. I am a Realtor in Dallas, but I work first as a consultant because many of our agents should have told us when they didn't have the time, property expertise or local knowledge that we needed. The right agent can make all the difference in finding a house, or finding "HOME," in a new city. Happy to be 'trusted advisor' and help you navigate the process! Lindy
  16. There is a forum called "buyers seeking" where you can post what you are looking for. It will be publically viewable so that everyone can see it. What area are of Pittsburgh are you looking within? I know of three in Franklin Park that are selling (one in August, October, and December). They haven't posted publicly on the platform yet, but am happy to pass your info along to the sellers. You can also try Craigslist, post on Nextdoor or on other social sites. Just be prepared for agents to spam you when doing so. If you mention in your post that you already have an agent, that should help lower the spam total. Good luck!
  17. This market is brutal. I looked on Selling Later but don't see any current posts for Pittsburgh. Anyone have tips on how to find a home other than MLS?
  18. Moving to Dallas this Fall for work. How exactly does this all work when I have to use a relo company? Do I have to use a specific agent or pick my own?
  19. I am not selling (just buying) but really like that I can talk with others without be pressured by agents. The last time I asked something on Facebook about real estate, most responses were just agents pushing themselves (or someone pushing their friend/family that is an agent).
  20. Currently looking to purchase a home this Fall Area: Franklin Park, Wexford, McCandless, Hampton Budget: around 400,000 Bed/Bath: 3/2
  21. First of all, thank you Wendy, a Selling Later founder, for this new tool available to consumers. I must say, Wendy is relentless when it comes to new ideas about consumer-focused content. How many of you have been to the forums where real estate information is misguided, misused, and your information is sold? Well, pretty much anywhere but here. This forum is different, and it will keep getting better because here consumers are free to ask anything. Consumers are always right because we have no ulterior motives in our search for information, specifically, our homes. I'd like to start the conversation with a seemingly simple question: Why List Your Home on Selling Later? I myself was able to come up with five really good reasons https://homeopenly.com/guide/Why-List-Your-Home-on-Selling-Later 1. Transparency 2. More time to sell 3. Privacy-driven FSBO 4. Consensus with competitive agents 5. Female-led technology service Consumers, what are your reasons? This service is built for you, and your feedback remains an essential element on how it is developed and maintained. What makes Selling Later a compelling product? What features you like? What is the one most important feature that resonates with you? As an industry advocate, I see Selling Later for what it is - a resource for you. As consumers, there are services out there looking to blindfold you into things you really don't want to walk into. Selling Later is one of the few and rare elements that removes this blindfold. Lets try to give some of that transparency back to them with your feedback!
  22. In a seller's market, some homebuyers are attempting to get a leg above the competition by including a “buyer love letter” with their offer. While some agents refuse to accept or submit these, there are plenty that still allows them. Here are three reasons, in our opinion, as to why these letters should go straight to the trash. 1. They are essentially a fabricated sales pitches and, at times, can be entirely made up These letters are created to tug at your heartstrings. They are usually a fluffed up story about the buyer’s life and future plans for the home. If your listing agent gave any indication of your hopes for the new sellers, there is a good chance that commentary will get passed along to the buyer agents and incorporated in the letters. Even simple information like the fact that you, the seller, have a dog. A buyer could then write about their dog and include a picture of their dog (or someone else’s if they do not have one). Here is a prime example that we read a few months ago on a real estate forum The buyer caught wind that the home seller was very sad to leave their family home and how they were hoping to a new growing family would create new memories in it. This buyer had zero intention of having kids (which is totally fine). Yet, in their letter, they wrote about how they would love to start a family in this home and can’t wait to have kids. The seller has no idea that they lied and ended picking their offer. We are not saying that all letters are made up, as some people do have fascinating stories. The problem is that you have no idea who is telling the truth, who is exaggerating, and who is flat out lying. 2. They are unfair and can lead to bias In a perfect world, everyone would be accepted for who they are regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or religion. Unfortunately, we as a country have yet to obtain that perfect world. To put it bluntly, these letters are a disadvantage to minorities or those who do not fit someone else idea of the perfect homebuyer. Even when some sellers think they aren't being bias, they might end up gravitating towards a buyer that looks and acts like them. Here are two great examples of why these leave others at a disadvantage A homebuyer was worried about their name being listed on the offer because it didn’t sound “American” enough. This person was born and raised here (not that it should matter) but has experienced enough in his life to know that some people might disregard his offer simply because of his name. We have also read stories of gay couples and biracial couples who were afraid to submit a picture of their adorable family because it might hurt them more than help, depending on who is reviewing the offers. But if that is not a strong enough reason why we have one more for you. 3. The Fair Housing Act The Fair Housing Act was written to protect against bias for the things listed above. Accepting and reading buyer love letters could leave you and your agent open to potential liability due. To sum it up, make it clear that you will not accept letters from the beginning. You should select an offer based on what works best for you, not by what the buyer looks like, who they love, or where they live.
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  24. Making a move to the Dallas area? Here are the top 10 school districts in that area. 1. Carroll Independent School District 2. Highland Park Independent School District 3. Lovejoy Independent School District 4. Coppell Independent School District 5. Frisco Independent School District 6. Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District 7. Allen Independent School District 8. Plano Independent School District 9. Argyle Independent School District 10. Prosper Independent School District https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-school-districts/m/dallas-fort-worth-metro-area/
  25. For those looking to move to Pittsburgh, here are the top 10 school districts in Pittsburgh according to NICHE.com 1. Fox Chapel School District 2. Mt Lebanon School District 3. North Allegheny School District 4. Upper St. Clair School District 5. Hampton School District 6. South Fayette School District 7. Quaker Valley School District 8. Peters School District 9. Montour School District 10. Moon School District https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-school-districts/m/pittsburgh-metro-area/
  26. Curious on how inventory looks. Picking up, slowing down, staying the same?
  27. You’ve heard the saying “there is no free lunch.” However, if you have been searching for homes online, then you have probably seen a few of these eye-catching titles: “We will find you the best agent…for FREE!” “Get matched with agents for FREE“ “Get free recommendations for top real estate agents in your neighborhood.” Like most consumers, we initially looked at these platforms and thought they looked like useful resources. But, as we started to research how they work, we learned that a lot of these platforms are taking a cut of the standard commission that sellers are paying, without most even knowing it’s happening. In fact, these types of platforms are so popular, that last year, they made billions of dollars from traditional real estate commissions just by selling your information. It makes you wonder if consumers would be able to negotiate better traditional commission rates with agents if these referral platforms were not a part of the system? We reached out to our friends at HomeOpenly, who have spent years advocating for an open market place where consumers can compare commission rates, not based on pay to play or referral systems. Their years of research uncovered what goes on behind the scenes in many of these referral systems. To help give you a better understanding of how they work, they are sharing some key points with us on how these programs work, and also a detailed directory of different companies within real estate and if they participate in these referral practices. What consumers need to know about referral platforms. It's an agreement to pay a referral fee is a form of pay-to-play A Referral Fee Agreement is signed between Referring Broker and Referred Broker. Your Referred Broker is the broker you will be working with to close the real estate transaction, either buying a selling a home. But who is the Referring Broker? The Referring Broker is an online Referral Fee Network that will often advertise itself as “unbiased, 100% free, top real estate agent” platform. You may see a lot of ads from such networks on Google and Bing. In order to participate in this scheme, your Referred Broker agrees to pay 25%-40% of the total commission to be received at the close of escrow. This process is highly profitable to Referral Network and Referred Broker because the entire referral fee is easily incorporated into your Representation Agreement with excessive commissions. Referral fees are hidden in your representation agreement Referral fees are agreed without you and prior to you entering into a Representation Agreement with your real estate broker. When a broker receives your information from Referral Fee Network, the Referred Broker knows that a hefty referral fee must be paid once the transaction closes. After the signing of a contract for a transaction resulting from a referral, the Referred Broker must notify the Referral Network and inform it of the expected closing date, how much the transaction generated and how much Referred Broker received in compensation. These fees are hidden in the form of an excessive commission. Referral fees prevent real estate brokers from competing for you When a Referral Fee Network is paid from the agent’s final commission in the form of a referral fee, this act removes any incentive for the Referred Broker to give you their best rates. The reason for this is that most real estate brokers do not advertise their rates; you have to ask them what they charge. This means that the Referred Broker will quote you a very different price knowing that they have to part with 25%-40% of their commission. Moreover, it doesn’t cost anything for the Referred Broker if they miss your business – there are no upfront costs to join or use a Referral Fee Network. The Referred Broker has an incentive to quote you his worst rates because it yields the highest revenue without a downside. Economists refer to this process as reverse completion. Reverse competition is competition not for the consumer, but for the middle-man who steers consumers toward its network of brokers (and away from competitors). According to economists, reverse competition results in low quality of service and higher commissions. All matched results provided by any Referral Fee Network are biased Matched results provided by any Referral Fee Network only include real estate agents who have agreed to pay the referral fee after the transaction is complete. Referral Fee Networks often claim to find and rank real estate agents independently, but they will never match real estate consumers with agents who have not signed their Referral Fee Agreement. A typical Referral Fee Network will only have a very small fraction of brokers who have a signed a Referral Fee Agreement with it. This is the core of the pay-to-play methodology that requires the Referral Fee Network to hide their status as a broker. How to avoid paying referral fees As a consumer, you have a choice to find your real estate agent any way you like, but if you want to avoid paying hidden referral fees, kickbacks, and unearned fees, the only way to do so is to avoid using any online Referral Fee Network. There are many Referral Fee Networks out there, and many specifically hide their brokerage status, claiming to be impartial matching platforms.
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