Today we are hitting several important topics. Dave, Michelle and Thom are explaining VA lending as well as the title process and what Title companies do for you. Dave and Thom are discussing what a listing agent does, what goes into the listing process and why now is the time to buy and sell in Boise!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, the designated broker at Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com. That's the website. The phone number to call anytime is 208-933-7777. So just start dialing 7s and keep going until it rings.
Thom Dallman: Just dial those 7s. Give us a call.
Dave Burnett: Lucky 7 at Core Group Realty.
Thom Dallman: Right?
Dave Burnett: Thom another week is on us as we are in the middle of the slippery slope to the Super Bowl as we pass Halloween.
Thom Dallman: Getting into our winter mojo, I guess you could say, as we saw our first little bit of snow flurries this week. Can you believe it?
Dave Burnett: I guess winter kind of arrived.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: It was an Indian summer, very nice, and then BAM. It suddenly was cold.
Thom Dallman: It was just kind of a big old turn around really quickly.
Dave Burnett: But before we get into talking a little bit about that cause I do want to talk about the holidays here in this segment.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, sure.
Dave Burnett: So if you know somebody thinking about buying or selling during the holidays call them right now and tell them to turn on the show because we're going to talk about is it time to batten down the hatches and hide? Or is it time to get out there and buy? We'll talk about that. But first, you have a new listing you want to talk about?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, let's talk about our new listing real quick. This is a great property out at 320 East Walcott Lake Court in Middleton. Five bedroom, three bath, 3,606 square feet ... It's a nice big property for everybody to kind of find their own corner when the family is fighting, if you will.
Dave Burnett: Happy holidays.
Thom Dallman: Or just to have space to entertain. Yeah, exactly. It is the holidays, so you just never know what's going to happen when the family comes over. It has lots of cabinets, counter space, huge pantry, an island in the kitchen. So once again, great for entertaining, great for those family holiday dinners. It is on .23 of an acre so almost a quarter acre so there's plenty of room outside as well ... Nicely landscaped, private backyard, huge master with an oversized walk-in closet, RV parking, which is really super important to some people. All of this for only $255,000. So really good price point there in Middleton, ID for a lot of space.
Dave Burnett: Let me talk about Middleton for a second.
Thom Dallman: Sure.
Dave Burnett: When I first moved here in 1986 we had an agent show us this house. It was way out ... I mean it's way out in the country of Middleton. I don't know if you'd want to buy this because it's way out there in the country in Middleton. It seemed like we drove forever to get there and this isn't going to work. But the truth is, and I don't know if it's just because of the sprawl of Boise that's gotten in there, while Middleton still has that country town feel it is close to access to Canyon County, to Nampa, to Caldwell.
Thom Dallman: Well yeah. Especially with those ... Karcher Boulevard and all the shopping and stuff that's gone in there. It's super convenient to pop up there from Middleton and have access to all your shopping needs and stuff like that. And Middleton itself has grown quite a bit and has its own conveniences and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Great schools.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, great schools.
Dave Burnett: If you're new to the area you may want to take the drive out. Look at Middleton. Take a look at this home because what once was way out in the country is now that country feel.
Thom Dallman: Yes, it's now on the edge of town.
Dave Burnett: It is. It's that country feel. Then come back to Core Group Realty in about 10 years when it's in the middle of the country.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It is just funny how things have changed so much since I moved here in '86. I mean at one time Middleton was like ... You may as well be asking to drive to the Oregon border.
Thom Dallman: I know. Tell me about it. There used to be such a big space between Star and Middleton but now so many homes have gone in and so much has happened in there that it's almost like ...
Dave Burnett: And as you mentioned that shopping there on Middleton Boulevard and on Karcher, that shopping there in the Nampa area has made it so convenient. You don't have to drive down to Costco down on South Cole Road. You don't have to drive into Boise to shop. Everything you need is right there nearby.
Thom Dallman: Very convenient. For sure. Definitely check out 320 East Walcott Lake Court. Once again you go to CoreGroupRealty.com and go to the featured listings page.
Dave Burnett: And find that.
Thom Dallman: And find it.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. And you have another home that's being worked on ...
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Heather [inaudible 00:04:31] over there at Innovative Custom Homes has been working on this house for a couple months now. Total, I guess you could say remodel, cause he took it down actually to the foundation on this one ... It's pretty much a brand new listing, or new construction, in the middle of the North End at 3572 West Hanson Avenue. Right there on the corner of 36 and Hanson. Great property. She's got a four bedroom, three bath, house. Two thousand eight hundred and twelve square feet.
Dave Burnett: That's big.
Thom Dallman: It's huge. It's big for the North End. It is on a quarter acre. So once again, for being considered the North End and everything that's unusual to have those bigger lots to have in the space.
Dave Burnett: It's not unusual. It's almost never.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, right? That's true.
Dave Burnett: I mean it's almost a never ...
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. It's 2,800 square feet. She's putting in an RV side garage so that you can park your RV in there. She's done an immaculate job on it so it's a definite must-see. They just finished construction this week so it will be pretty much ready to go and move in for anybody that's looking for it. It's listed at $549,000 in the North End. Once again, attached garage with RV parking, four beds, and three baths. How can you go wrong? It does actually have a huge bonus room as well above the garage with a wet bar in it, too. So as we near the holidays and we talk about entertaining ... Great spot to entertain. And talk about convenient to downtown.
Dave Burnett: You mentioned the holidays. Before we go there these homes, and more, available for you at CoreGroupRealty.com. You can take a look at them. Take a look at the pictures. You can call 208-933-7777 and set up an appointment to work with an agent to go take a look at these.
Thom Dallman: For sure.
Dave Burnett: If you're in the market place ... Don't mind the dog barking ... If you're in the market place really it is a great time to buy. We've talked about the fact that we're on that slippery slope to the Super bowl, on the way to Thanksgiving, and Christmas is right around the corner and the Super bowl ... I think the dog is trying to get your attention there Thom.
Thom Dallman: Sorry about that folks. We are a dog-friendly office here so our little mascot is protecting me.
Dave Burnett: Is that Scruffy protecting you?
Thom Dallman: That was Sadie actually.
Dave Burnett: Okay, there you go. As we get towards the holidays, it's always a question, is it the right time to buy or sell? First of all, is it the right time to buy? Let's start with that.
Thom Dallman: Yes, I think so. As we talk about the holidays demand does dwindle a little bit. Everybody has this misconception that, "Oh, nobody really wants to buy or sell their homes in the holiday season so we're just going to back off and wait until after the new year." But with everybody doing that and sellers still needing to sell, that leads to not having the competition. You don't have as many people competing for you like we did in the summer when we had multiple offers on a lot of properties so you're offer is apt to be more accepted with only one going in. It's definitely a great time to buy as well as sell because of that lack of other competition. Once again, other people are not listing their homes because they want to hunker down for the holidays so you don't have as many homes out there to compete with in the winter time.
Dave Burnett: And the whole process speeds up doesn't it? Everything from loans to whatever because the demand is off.
Thom Dallman: The demand is a little off so the lenders have a little bit more time, I guess you could say. Not that we're not busy all the time.
Dave Burnett: The stack of papers is not quite as tall.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Some of our best sales have been in the winter time during the holidays because we still have an influx of people coming into town. Especially foreigners. Foreigners don't necessarily follow the same holiday traditions that we do so they just want to buy a house and stuff like that. So they don't worry about the schedule. It's funny because I've written probably two or three over my years ... Two or three contracts on Christmas Day. Maybe a couple more on Thanksgiving Day. It's not ever been a hindrance in my viewpoint for getting contracts written. I was actually chatting with an agent earlier this week who sent a reminder to her clients from last year. They had sat down on Thanksgiving Day and written a contract and got that house and moved in and so she was sending a notice saying, "Hey, remember a year ago when we were writing a contract for your house? Hope things are going well." And stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: To be honest, if you're selling a house I can't think of a better gift than getting a sold for Christmas. But if you're buying a house, what better gift than that home at Christmas? Whether you're in by Christmas or whether it's after Christmas it's just the whole fact that the excitement of a new a home. Here we are halfway through November. If it takes a month, you're almost at Christmas already anyway. So in order to get the wheels rolling ...
Thom Dallman: If you want to be in by Christmas now is the time to move and act and we can get you in there for sure. One of my fondest memories actually was a client that he was moving his family here from The Twin Falls area and literally on Christmas Eve we're moving into their house. Basically coming from Twin Falls and I think they were planning on getting here at 10 or 11 o'clock at night. I had gone over and done a little bit of decorating for him and for the holidays so that they weren't moving into this cold house on Christmas Eve with nothing in there. It happens and it was kind of a cool and one of the best experiences and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: And hopefully Santa got the right address so they got ...
Thom Dallman: Yes, I believe so.
Dave Burnett: That's a great thing. Let me as you this question Thom, if you are selling your house do you go ahead and decorate it for Christmas or do you not?
Thom Dallman: I would.
Dave Burnett: Would you?
Thom Dallman: I look at it pretty much like paint colors. A lot of people are like, "Oh, should I paint my house neutral?" You can. Most buyers will be able to look past that stuff so just decorations and Christmas decorations and stuff like that, I think that most buyers can look past that. They're looking at the skeleton of the house or the bones of the house and actually really wanting to picture themselves in it so I would probably caution on the side of light decorations and not ...
Dave Burnett: Don't go crazy.
Thom Dallman: Don't go crazy and decorate every single corner because that might be a little bit too much. A little decorating never hurts. It just shows that you're in the spirit. Buyers will understand that it's the holidays and you're still living there and you still have family there. I don't think it's ever a hindrance.
Dave Burnett: I started thinking about that. I don't think I've ever sold or looked for a home during the holidays so I've never known. Do you do that or do you not? It's something you can talk to your real estate agent about. You can find out what's going on there. The holidays are fast upon us.
Thom Dallman: Fast upon us. One other thing that comes up too is people are like, "Well I don't want to displace my relatives that are coming to visit." And stuff like that. I like to just remind people that with the MLS and the way that we can communicate with other agents, we can set showing times, specific times during the day, that you can show the property. If you're out holiday shopping or what not, we just need to communicate that and if you're planning family dinners we can say no showings during this timeframe. It's all something that can be worked around on a listing if that's a concern for people.
Dave Burnett: So whether it's for Thanksgiving or upcoming Christmas holidays that can all be tailor made to work for you and your family. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, by the way, if you want to get ahold of Thom and his agents you can always call 208-933-7777. The Idaho Real Estate Buzz brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and the folks at Core Group Realty. Go to the website CoreGroupRealty.com and find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. She is Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage, equal opportunity lender. First off let me say, "Happy Veteran's Day." And I know they're diversified. Veterans really have a special place in your heart.
Michelle Guth: Oh, absolutely, we love our veterans and we can't thank them enough for their service to our country.
Dave Burnett: I know Diversified Mortgage there, Michelle, you really, really go out of your way to take care of the veterans in special ways as well.
Michelle Guth: We do. We have a group of loan officers within our organization that have years of experience doing VA lending, and we have a special place in our heart for them, obviously, for their service, but besides that our specialized loan officers have family members that are all veterans, so they've spent a lot of time and energy really honing their craft to make sure that they know the ins and outs of that program so we can try to make sure we maximize that for our veterans.
Dave Burnett: I guess it would be remiss to say everybody understands veterans loans, because everybody doesn't, but it is something our government has set aside to help veterans.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely. In my opinion, it is probably the best program available on the market, so if you do have VA eligibility, boy it is an amazing program.
Thom Dallman: It really is.
Michelle Guth: Wait a minute, wait a minute. So we're saying the government actually did something right here?
Michelle Guth: I think they did.
Dave Burnett: [crosstalk 00:01:19] Oftentimes, when the government's there to help it makes a mess, but this is an area they really can help in.
Michelle Guth: It is. The VA program offers 100% financing, so no down payment requirements, and then the mortgage insurance that normally would be required on any other mortgage is waived for a veteran. That normal requirement of 20% down in order to avoid having to pay mortgage insurance is not applicable on the VA program. There is no monthly mortgage insurance premium.
Dave Burnett: That really could add up to quite a bit of money.
Michelle Guth: It does. It allows you to buy a lot more house for the money when you don't have to factor that into the payments, so it does make a big difference. The VA does, however, charge what's called a guarantee fee, an upfront funding fee. That's based off of different variables. For example, if you were a reservist versus full-time military. Are you a disabled veteran receiving at least 10% in VA disability? In that scenario, they'll waive the funding fee, so there's different fees they're gonna charge associated with that, but it is financed back into the loan so it's not a fee the veteran has to come up with, out of pocket, up front.
Dave Burnett: I would assume, Thom, you run into veterans quite a bit with Gowen Field, with Mountain Home Air Force Base, with the reserve-
Thom Dallman: Yeah. We do occasionally. We do occasionally have the military that are coming through town. That's why it's really super important to me to make sure that the agents are well-versed in the VA program, and the fact that, I think Michelle can support this a little bit, that they're a little bit more apt on the appraisal to be picky about the homes. They want the homes to be in good shape for their veterans, so my agents are trained to identify the issues that might pop up during the appraisal process.
Dave Burnett: Well Michelle, let me ask you this. If I'm a veteran and I'm looking to get, and once again we won't talk pre-approved, pre-approved, pre-approved, just to save time and a lot of heartache. What is the process and steps I go through, if I'm a veteran, I found a home, what's the steps we go through?
Michelle Guth: Really not any different than we would with any other client for a different program, but we're gonna take the added step where we're going to request a certificate of eligibility from the VA to confirm that you have enough entitlement to get the VA loan. In most cases, they will. Where it can be a little bit tricky is if you were reservist, you have to have enough points. That's based off your time as a reservist, so we'd want to make sure that we do all our up-front due diligence to ensure that you have the sufficient entitlement to get a VA loan.
Dave Burnett: Are veterans loans, is it a one and done deal? Or if I've had a loan through the VA, I have sold my home, I find a new home, can I get another veteran's loan?
Michelle Guth: That's a great question, and you actually can. You have so much entitlement, and in some cases you can even have two VA loans at any given time, dependent upon your level of entitlement. If you had a past foreclosure, for example, through the VA, they will have taken away some of your entitlement, but you may still have the option of utilizing a mortgage. If you've relocated, and you have a VA loan on the East coast, again, you may be able to use your VA eligibility to buy a house in Idaho. Typically, if you do have a home and you sell it, it just reinstates your full entitlement for the next property. So, yes. Again, one of the reasons we want to do our due diligence to check that figure.
Dave Burnett: Are there time restrictions? Does that make an active military duty person eligible for a veteran's loan, or somebody who's a World War, well there's not too many World War II veterans out there, but if somebody's a Vietnam War veteran, or Korean, are they eligible?
Michelle Guth: Most likely they are. Again, it depends on their years of service. In some cases, also, if they were deployed to a war zone, even if they haven't been in for the typical, normal amount of required time, you may still have your eligibility, so that's why we need to get that certificate of eligibility. We can help facilitate that. We'll send that in direct to the VA, have them sign a document, and get that confirmation in place.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Very good. So a VA loan is something that anyone who has served in the military, not all are eligible, but you can get that sorted out. How long does it take? Is it the same process that, time wise, to get approved for a VA loan, or since you're going through the government, does it take longer?
Michelle Guth: No. It really doesn't take a lot longer. They only variable is a VA appraisal goes through a different process than any of the other programs, where we have to go through a, basically, we order it through what's called a VA portal. Then they, the VA administration, directs it to the appraiser. That process can take a little bit longer, but we haven't really experienced many delays in our current market. It's been going very smoothly.
Dave Burnett: Thom mentioned that they're maybe a little more stringent on the condition of the house? What are they looking for there?
Michelle Guth: In that regard, it's gonna be similar to all of our government programs. We would hope that a seller would not exclude the VA offer, thinking it's gonna be too much more difficult, because it's gonna follow the same as VA NRD. They don't want to see exterior chip peeling paint, tripping hazards, health and safety issues, roof issues, that type of thing. Which is, again, gonna follow suit with most programs. Where they get a little more particular with the offers with VA, is there are certain fees that the veteran cannot pay. They're called VA non-allowable expenses. With working with a seasoned real estate agent, like those at Core Group Realty, they understand how to write that contract so that the listing agent on the other side can figure out what the net is to their seller. Because there is a way you can structure that contract to make it easy for them to determine that, really, it still is equally as strong, if not a stronger, offer than maybe some others on the table.
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: Is there that misnomer out there in the industry that VA loans are tough, so maybe not accept that offer?
Thom Dallman: I think there are some listing agents that have this mental thought process on that. That, yes, they have that thought, so it is a matter of teaching them and saying, "No, it's not that way."
Michelle Guth: I agree. I think it comes down to they have this assumption that it's gonna cost their seller so much more money, because of the non-allowables, but in many cases, because our market is so aggressive right now, most of my offers that I'm seeing go out by my real estate partners are showing just a lump sum request for closing cost assistance. For example, they may say, "Can you please contribute $2000 towards non-allowable expenses?" And in many cases they're going over list price to get that, so it's really the same net to the seller, anyway, but it's getting that requirement for the veteran taken care of.
Dave Burnett: So, attention sellers, don't be frightened if they come up with a VA loan, you're gonna be okay.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely. Definitely we want to support our veterans and help them get into homes, so don't dismiss that offer. They're a great program.
Dave Burnett: In general, not just veteran's loans, but in general loan rates are staying put? Or are they moving up or down?
Michelle Guth: They've been holding steady. So, yes, they're still incredibly low and it's a great time to buy. I would encourage people to get out there now, versus maybe the spring where people really start to get excited when the sun starts coming back out and everything's in bloom. I'm seeing that home prices are starting to level out a little bit. We're even seeing a few reductions. Depends on the price point of course, but they're not typically selling on day one like they had been over the summer. They're staying on-market a little bit longer. With low rates and a little less activity, I'd say now is the time to do it.
Dave Burnett: Alright. Very good, because a lot of times people think ah, springtime, that's the time to buy a home, but-
Thom Dallman: No, it's a great time. There's less competition right now. For those people who spent the summer competing and getting out-bid and stuff like that, now's a great time to get in there and get your home, because there's less competition.
Dave Burnett: If you backed off in the summer, now may be the time to get back into the game.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Michelle, if somebody wants to get a hold of you there at Diversified Mortgage, how do they do that?
Michelle Guth: Give us a call at 853-7878, or visit our website: dmgloans.com.
Dave Burnett: As we have talked about in the past, and will continue to talk about, getting a pre-approved can save a lot of headache and heartache.
Michelle Guth: And it's gonna make your offer that much stronger when you go out to start shopping and show that you've gone through all that up-front process.
Dave Burnett: And you know what you can afford that way, too.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely. We want to send you out with all the tools so you know exactly what you're looking for.
Dave Burnett: Again, I'd like to stress, a realistic goal or realistic opportunity, not pie in the sky, "Oh, yeah, you qualify for this," but something realistic.
Michelle Guth: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Michelle Guth with diversified Mortgage, equal opportunity lender. Again, we want to say thank you to the veterans, and a Happy Veteran's Day. We will continue on the other side, this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by the folks at Diversified Mortgage, and at Core Group Realty. Give them a call today, (208) 933-7777. Find out why you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker of Core Group Realty, Coregrouprealty.com. The number to call, 208-933-7777 on this Saturday afternoon, somebody standing by can answer that phone, answer the questions you have and get you directed to the people you need to talk to at Core Group Realty. Thom, we're going to go into a segment of truth or lie and debunking some myths.
Thom Dallman: I love debunking myths.
Dave Burnett: Alright.
Thom Dallman: And telling the truth.
Dave Burnett: A couple of things I'd like before we start into this to give me the definition of.
Thom Dallman: Okay.
Dave Burnett: Listing agent.
Thom Dallman: Sure.
Dave Burnett: What is the definition of a listing agent?
Thom Dallman: A listing agent is usually someone who specializes in selling homes, listing for sellers and getting those on. The listing agent represents the sellers on a transaction and is the one that went out there and signed the contracts and got representation signed by the sellers to represent them in the sale of their home, did the market analysis, did the consultation, walk through, told them how to stage it, you know, make it ready for getting it on the market and listed.
Dave Burnett: The other person in that realm would be a buyer's agent? Are they a buyer or a seller?
Thom Dallman: Yup. Commonly referred to as the selling agent. Or the buyer's agent is the one who's representing the buyers typically. They are the ones that are out there searching the MLS, looking for properties for their clients, previewing them, taking their clients into homes and actually showing them and then helping for them to negotiate for their best interest when it comes to writing contracts.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask the big question then.
Thom Dallman: Alright.
Dave Burnett: I call Core Group Realty, 208-933-7777, I get someone on the phone, I say, "Hello, I really want to buy a home but I don't want to deal with anyone but the listing agent."
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah. We get those every once in a while.
Dave Burnett: Because you can get a better deal, can't you?
Thom Dallman: That seems to be one of those myths that I'd like to debunk a little bit.
Dave Burnett: Let's talk about that. Do you or can you get a better deal working with a listing agent because after all, they worked at getting the deal put together at the price [crosstalk 00:02:15].
Thom Dallman: The thing to keep in mind is that typically a listing agent has already negotiated commissions with the sellers. It's already written into a contract what the seller is going to pay for commissions for basically both sides. Typically, the buyer does not have negotiating skills or negotiating ability in that commission because it's already been determined and stuff. Typically, no, the listing agents will not typically give any kind of deals or any reductions.
Dave Burnett: Because there's some hard costs involved.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Not necessarily a great choice in the fact that you've got to remember too that the listing agent has signed an agency representation for the sellers and so are negotiating on behalf of the sellers. Their sole purpose is to get the best price for that seller. Regardless of working with a listing agent or buyer's agent, that listing agent is always going to try to push for their seller's best interest. They have to. They have a contract written to that effect.
Dave Burnett: Is this something, let me quiz you a little bit here. Is this something that people are calling Core Group or is it that there's people just out there and they see a house for sale by XYZ real estate company so forget my Core Group guy, I'm just going to call XYZ and ask for the listing agent. Is that the way it's kind of working or are people calling here wanting the listing agent, not the seller's? How's that working?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I think we're getting a fair amount of calls, especially for those people who are on Zillow, I guess you could say, because Zillow has been kind of an advocate for pushing people to talk to listing agents and trying to encourage them to do that. Yeah, a fair share of calls coming in and saying hey, are you the listing agent because Zillow is very unclear sometimes on the way that they function on who the listing agent is and what agent you're contacting. Yeah, there's that, we're getting those kind of calls every once in a while.
Dave Burnett: But there is again, there are hard costs involved with selling a home.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Paying for advertising, paying for commissions for people to list their things that for you as a broker is hard costs.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, and the time and effort into doing a market analysis and all the hours put in for kind of consulting that. The hours you put in calling agents that have shown the property, getting feedback and stuff like that. It's a time commitment for listing agents as well as the hard costs of the marketing, the professional photos, and stuff like that as well.
Dave Burnett: I guess I come back to this. I don't know if it's a legality or not. The contract's already been signed. They're not going to cut you an under the table deal.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It's against our code of ethics to do anything like that. Even if they were to do any kind of contribution or something to closing costs, they have to any listing agent that does a deal like that has to disclose that.
Dave Burnett: It's got to be all above board and written down.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. It has to be disclosed to the sellers, it has to be disclosed to the marketplace because that becomes an unfair advantage then for the listing agent because they're typically then at that point double ending it even if it's a reduced commission of some sort, it's still better than what they would have sold if they did it with another buyer's agent. Yeah. That has to be disclosed and that can run into some issues, legality issues as well for the listing agent that does that.
Dave Burnett: Again, if I'm buying a home and I'm working with my agent, if there's something special I want, it's not wrong for me to ask, hey, could the seller then wind up doing this or doing this and it's all above board the offers are made and everything's all above board. The problem is trying to cut a deal.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly. The cutting the deal part is, well the problem is not only the cutting the deal part but also the representation. I go back to remember the listing agent is representing the seller negotiating the highest price and the best money for the sellers and then that for the sellers. They already have representation with those sellers, they have to negotiate for those sellers, they're not going to push the buyer's best interest necessarily.
Dave Burnett: Right. Because they're representing the person selling the home.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. You've got to be a little bit weary of it and I always encourage my agents that if they get a buyer on their listings to go ahead and refer it to one of the other buyer's agents in the company just to make sure you save yourself the-
Dave Burnett: The conflict.
Thom Dallman: The conflict, there.
Dave Burnett: I've often wondered that in the past that if you had somebody who's listing a home, and they're also selling the home, who are they representing here? The guy they're selling or me?
Thom Dallman: It's an inherent conflict of interest there.
Dave Burnett: To keep it separated.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly.
Dave Burnett: That is something, if somebody, you want to call Core Group Realty to sit and discuss how does this work, whether you're selling or whether you're buying how it works. It is something to be aware of. Again, interviewing your agency, interviewing a Core Group Realty and you are not afraid or you're not afraid to say yeah, go interview another companies.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, I tell people all the time.
Dave Burnett: Especially a reputable company.
Thom Dallman: We were actually talking about this a little bit on break on who makes a better agent and this and that. It really comes down to drive, personality, determination, dedication to the industry, and all agents come in all shapes, sizes and what not.
Dave Burnett: I'll ask you the question, I'll go ahead and ask you real quick, we've got a couple of minutes here, I asked you is a better to have a male agent or a female agent? Does gender really matter?
Thom Dallman: Gender does not matter in my books. I have had great male agents, I've had horrible male agents. I've had great female agents, I've had horrible female agents throughout the years. The gender doesn't matter. Age doesn't matter. I've had seasoned agents that have been in the industry for 20 years who have been really bad about their contracts, haven't negotiated in the best interest for their clients, I've had other agents that have been great.
Dave Burnett: But as you have interviewed people to work at Core Group, do you sometimes go, oh no. You are a listing agent, I can tell you right now.
Thom Dallman: Yes. Specific personalities fit it.
Dave Burnett: You break it down and know which they are.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly. Certain personalities do fit well with the listing side of things. Those people who are a little bit more into the numbers and not as emotionally attached I guess you can say. The more deep personalities would be the ones that are great at listing agents. They're really good at being clinical with their clients,
Dave Burnett: Really button down.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly. And just telling it like it is and getting the listings on at the right price, keeping the emotions out of it.
Dave Burnett: The sellers are sometimes a little more passionate.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Sellers are a little bit more passionate because they're looking for their dream home, they're passionate about what they want to buy, they're investing a lot of money in it and typically the buyers are a little more on the emotional side. Those social interactors are make for better selling agents.
Dave Burnett: Interestingly enough I saw an article in Money magazine, it was an older issue but it listed buying a home as one of the top five difficult decisions you'll make in your life.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It is. It's a tough decision. I remember my very first home it took me 25 properties before I found that right one because I was just so adamant that I needed that just right property.
Dave Burnett: Getting that agent that's passionate to work for you is so important.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: You can do it. You can call Core Group Realty and their number is 208-933-7777. Or check out their website coregrouprealty.com. If you want to email Thom, his email address is available right there.
Thom Dallman: Yup. It's on there.
Dave Burnett: And you can email him and he'll get back to you as quickly as he can, very busy man but he'll get back to you as quickly as he can.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Do yourself a favor, if you're thinking about buying or selling a home, take the time, talk to the folks at Core and see if they're the right fit for you. We'll continue, this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. Call today. 208-933-777. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker of Core Group Reality. Coregroupreality.com, that is the website for you to call to find out, all things real estate. Whether you're buying, whether you're selling, whether you're just kind of kicking the tires and thinking about it, give Core Group a call today. It's a great time to buy a house, anytime of the year. Whether it's winter, summer, spring, fall, it's always a good time to buy a home. Interest rates have been holding steady and still almost at record lows.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. It's a ... I can't say anything else besides that. It's just a great time to buy.
Dave Burnett: They talked about the fact that interest rates were going to go crazy. They were going to go up, and they didn't.
Thom Dallman: They keep anticipating every month that it's going to go up, but it continues to hold steady. I'm curious about if it does actually goes up, how that's going to affect [crosstalk 00:00:55]
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this. When you're going through the buying and selling of a home, there's a process, and I'm curious on a couple of things.
Thom Dallman: Sure.
Dave Burnett: When you talk about the title company, I understand that that has to do with the title of the home. First of all, I do know this, and having paid off a home before, you don't get a piece of paper. It's not like your car. Nobody mails you a title note to your house, but it's still called the title process. Let's walk through that a little bit and maybe find out more about what is it? Title companies, what do they do?
Thom Dallman: We always talk about the fact that lending is so important in the process as well as having the right agent, finding the right process, but, we never really talk about title companies. They're the third portion of the industry that is super important because they're the ones that are verifying that you can purchase the house, that the house that you're purchasing is the actual property that you're buying, and so forth. It's a very important, integral part of the process to go through a title company, and get all those reports, review all those reports.
Dave Burnett: They're one of the gears in the mechanism that makes it go.
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: We've talked to Michelle and about financing, the importance of finance. We've talked about the real estate agents, but title is that other gear that's in there, that makes it all happen.
Thom Dallman: Title usually gets involved as soon as we have an accepting contract. Once we've sent off, countered back and forth with sellers and buyers, we then get all that contract stuff over to title, so they can start doing their process.
Dave Burnett: What is that process?
Thom Dallman: They're going to open up title, and they're going to start searching. They're going to go back in time and double check the property to make sure that the people who own it currently, own it. That there wasn't any mistakes when they purchased the property, or if they inherited it, whatever the situation was, that all the paperwork was filed correctly. That they are true owners of the property and have the right to transfer title over to you. Not only that but, they're going to go back and look at any liens against the property, mechanical liens, child support liens, anything like that, that's been put upon the property.
Dave Burnett: That could be anything from tax liens, child support-
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. Most common are tax liens.
Dave Burnett: In this area, irrigation companies sometimes could put a lien on you.
Thom Dallman: Sure.
Dave Burnett: I've seen situations or read about, or saw them on TV, where an irrigation company, basically is foreclosing on the house.
Thom Dallman: Basically, yeah.
Dave Burnett: For a small amount of money.
Thom Dallman: For a very small amount, yeah. Those bills all have to be paid. A lot of times sellers don't even know that a lien has been put on the property for quite some time. There's some verification process that goes through that. I've had the title reports show up that show liens on it, and they've going back to the sellers to find out what's going on with this lien, just to find out that it wasn't their lien. It was actually someone else's and so once they verified social security numbers, and then they find out that they can remove that from the property, and stuff.
Dave Burnett: I can give a personal case in point. We sold a house once, and when the title company did their thing, they went, you still owe a mortgage company for your home. It was one of those situations that, we had a mortgage company that sold the loan to another company, but they never signed off on it. They still had right on it, even though they weren't asking for money. They'd had filed credit, but it was still on the credit that they were the title holders.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, interesting.
Dave Burnett: They had to get that all straightened out.
Thom Dallman: When you were talking about paying off your loans on a house, it's always a good idea to reach out to a title company after you've paid off the loan, and have them walk through the process just to make sure that the lien has been removed from the property.
Dave Burnett: They had, and there was an old company called, Goldome. Some people may remember. They've disappeared since then. That was the other problem. They had disappeared since then. We had to find whoever it was that represented them, to sign off on it.
Thom Dallman: Interesting. Yeah, that would have been a tough process. But, that's what the title company does.
Dave Burnett: They discovered that and let us know about that.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, yeah. Just going back in history. They're checking out for liens. They're checking out to make sure the owners have the right to sell it. That paperwork was processed correctly. They're also looking at easements. They're going to send you a title report that will tell you if there's any easements on the property.
Dave Burnett: Like electrical companies?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. A lot of properties, especially in the city limits have electrical wires that run underground. You need to know where those are, and so forth, and who has those easement rights, water rights, things like that on the property. That's what they verify and show you, and stuff. They show you the property lines. They'll usually have a little map and show you the property lines, so you can double check to make sure that you don't have any encroachments from your neighbors, and stuff like that, on the property.
Dave Burnett: Which is a good point, if you're buying a property, and suddenly your neighbor's in a dispute saying no, that's mine. That's what the title company's there, to sort out.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Heather Echevarria, from Innovative Custom Homes can testify to the importance of this. Her newest listing on Hanson and 36, there was a little bit of a dispute because the original fence that was put in, had been built one foot over onto her property. The neighbor had been using that one foot of land, all the way down the side. They had to come to an agreement, because she was putting in a new fence and she wanted it to her property line.
Dave Burnett: You're either buying that foot-
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly.
Dave Burnett: ... or removing the fence.
Thom Dallman: So, she did have to do a little bit of negotiating with that neighbor. Perfect example of that's true. The platting and stuff like that, that you get through your title report that you can-
Dave Burnett: And that all has to do with the fact that someone built a fence sometime. They put up the fence, didn't really check the property lines and it was innocently done, but it's an encroachment on what you're buying.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So, great for that. Also, included usually in title reports is a copy of CC&R's. The covenant restrictions, conditions and stuff for the neighborhood. Very important to read through those, because those are your rules and regulations on the property. On everything from whether you can have chickens in the yard, to what color you can paint your house.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. What light post or shingle colors. It's amazing all the stuff in some of the CC&R's.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. That's the title company's responsibility to pull those up and send them to us so we can get them to the buyers, so they can see through all that stuff, and see if there's anything that would hinder them. I actually interestingly enough, I have some buyers that I'm working with this week, we got some CC&R's for a property they're purchasing. In there, it specifically states that any street view windows have to have only neutral, off-white window coverings.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: That's how specific it is. This is a new construction. They have put in there-
Dave Burnett: So if you want dark window coverings, forget it.
Thom Dallman: You can't do it. You can't do it. You have to get the HOA's approval on it.
Dave Burnett: That's amazing.
Thom Dallman: There's some interesting stuff that I've run in to over the years. One of them I have stories about the importance of getting extended coverage, or an Eagle policy for a title, which protects buyers after the fact. I had some investors that were buying rental properties. We got into a house just to find out, day after they put up a for rent sign, that the HOA came knocking on their door saying, it was an owner occupied only community.
Dave Burnett: Couldn't have renters.
Thom Dallman: You couldn't have rentals.
Dave Burnett: Oops.
Thom Dallman: Went back to the title company and as they researched it, they did find that there was an amendment to the title, that they had missed. They ended up ... Luckily we had the extended title insurance. I always encourage my clients to buy those, which then put off any kind of dispute from the title company, because normally the title company would might fight that and say, no. We're not going to pay for that, and so forth. They just basically even went to the ... went to my clients and said, hey. Tell us how much in lost revenue, how much it's going to cost to sell it, and buy a new one and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Is a title company like where escrow monies go to?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. That's another part of what title does. They can, like for us, they hold earnest monies in a trust account, through the process, and apply it. They're the ones that are going to go out and prorate, and check with taxes. They're going to check with utilities. They're going to make sure all the utilities are paid. They're going to actually prorate those and put them into a report at closing, so that everybody's paying the appropriate things, and stuff like that. If there is some long-term escrow, like if you're going to be doing some money hold-backs for a period, they'll hold them there, at the title company, and then pay it out as the bills are being paid, or coming in.
Dave Burnett: So, the title company really is ... they're the ones that cross the T's and dot the I's.
Thom Dallman: They really are.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: They're the ones that make sure that everybody's paying the right portions. Everyone's valid in the transaction, verifying both parties are able to sell and are able to buy, and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: And, they're the ones that when you get right down to it, that's where you go to sign the papers?
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: You get a stack of papers in front of you. For you, and if you're married, you and your spouse to go through and sign [crosstalk 00:10:35]
Thom Dallman: You usually need about a one hour process for a buyer to go through that. It's usually about 30 or 40 minutes for sellers. It's a big stack of paperwork to go through and sign everything from lender's documents all the way up to just the requirements for getting the deed transferred.
Dave Burnett: To be honest with you, to me, that's the most nerve-racking part. Going to title, it's just nerve wracking.
Thom Dallman: That's why I encourage, here at Core Group, we actually usually encourage the buyers to come into the office. Let's setup closing here at the office. It's a more neutral environment for everybody. Our office space is really super inviting, very relaxing. It just kind of puts everybody on a neutral ground. Buyers are a little bit more at ease.
Dave Burnett: And, you're more comfortable. You've been here already.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. That is, unfortunately a little bit up to the title officer as well, that's on the contract. On their availability, if they can make it over here, and what not.
Dave Burnett: Now, let me as you this in closing. Core Group, you have a title company you generally use?
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: As a buyer, I can request anyone?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. It's really up to the buyers. It's the buyer's right to pick a title company. Majority of buyers really don't know title companies-
Dave Burnett: [crosstalk 00:11:54] No, they don't. They've seen them around the building.
Thom Dallman: So, they usually fall back to our recommendations. Yeah, exactly. But we do have an occasional person that will pop up and say, hey. My brother works over at XYZ title company. I'd love to use them, and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: But, you need to let your agent know early on in the process.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Let us know, so that we can make sure to put it into the contract. We do occasionally run into sellers and listings that already have a title open. Maybe they had some issues. Maybe they're doing title checks themselves. A lot of time you'll see that in new construction. Builders will already open up title as they're going through the process of building and stuff like that. They'll request specific title companies. So, keep that in mind too, that sometimes the sellers do have their title company picked already.
Dave Burnett: If you have any questions about title companies, how that all works in the process, you can always give Core Group a call at, 208-933-7777. And, if you ask nicely at the end, they'll give you a pen.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Real nice Core Group. [crosstalk 00:12:54]
Dave Burnett: Of course, it's half nice because it's used up.
Thom Dallman: What?
Dave Burnett: Half the issue is because you've been signing papers for the last hour. It's always kind of, to me, it's that final part of it. I guess that's why it's so nerve-racking.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Burnett: Final commitment.
Thom Dallman: It's the final commitment, and you're signing ... Make sure your hand is ready for all the signing.
Dave Burnett: If you have any questions, give Core Group a call. We get together each and every week to do this. We appreciate you stopping by, and let your friends know about it. If they're thinking about buying or selling, or maybe they have kids who are buying or selling, let them know about the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Each and every Saturday we do this, and we'll be back again next Saturday. Being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage, equal opportunity lenders, and Core Group Reality. Call them today, 208-933-7777. Find out why you get more with Core.
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