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Q & A with Dottie Herman

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Dottie Herman

Q1 - Someone told me a great strategy is to overprice your listing, and then someone will make you a low offer, and they will feel that they are getting a great deal, and you end up with the price you desire. Is this a good strategy? Seems a little silly to me.

A - In today's marketplace, properties that are priced correctly, sell.  Buyers have total access to comparable listings and know when a property is over-priced. If you are a serious seller, you should probably price your home appropriately. You may wish to enlist a real estate professional to assist you in pricing your property.

Q2 - There are currently 5 houses for sale on my block. It is a very long block but there is not much difference from one house to the other. How can I make mine stand out from the rest as I am eager to sell?

A - If in fact your home does not have features that distinguish it from the others (renovated baths and kitchen, pool, finished basement, extensive landscaping, etc.), pricing will be a distinguishing factor. If you want to attract attention to your property, you may want to underprice it. By so doing, you may receive multiple offers often higher than the original asking price.

Q3 - I just lost my job which will hurt my husband and I being able to pay our mortgage. Is there something we can do to be proactive? Should we contact our lender?

A - Yes, it is a great, proactive move on your part to contact your lender and explain your situation. Ask them if you would qualify for a "Loan Modification".  In many cases, if you can prove a financial hardship, such as a loss of income, the lender will sometimes be willing to work with you. They will outline the criteria needed to qualify and can guide you through the process once your application is accepted. It tends to be a long process, but can be well worth the effort and persistence needed to get it done.

Q4 - Why are the rates so different from one bank to another? We are looking to purchase a home and are trying to get pre-qualified.We have been given a variety of different rates from 3 different lenders.

A - Rates do vary from bank to bank, as each bank has different criteria for how they price their loans.  Savings banks usually have lower adjustable rates, especially on larger loan sizes, while large commercial banks tend to have lower fixed rates, as they sell their loans to Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC), the two financial entities that purchase loans from banks.  Also, your credit score has something to do with the rate a lender is able to give you.  The lower your score, the higher the rate offered (and vice versa). You also want to be sure that you are comparing apples to apples.  There are many different kinds of mortgages and different terms (15 year, 20 year, and 30 year) available. Make sure that, whatever you decide, the mortgage that you choose fits your particular circumstances. If you are not sure who to work with, ask friends and family or your real estate agent for a recommendation. Then speak with your loan expert to get the details and options available to determine which loan type would suit your needs.

If you have a real estate question for Dottie, please send it to; Reporters@WorldPropertyChannel.com

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