Conventional wisdom dictates that home sellers prefer cash offers. So what is a typical would-be buyer in Lincoln to do when the competition comes forward with an all-cash offer? Cash offers may come from any of a variety of deep-pocketed parties: institutional investors, foreign investors, wealthy families or individual investors.

Beyond doing basic due diligence — gathering as much intel as you can about the property and the seller’s needs — if you’ve found the perfect home and are convinced it is the best property for your family, consider one or more of these tactics:

Bidding

over asking — even by as little as 2% or 3% — can sometimes win the day, according to Noah Rosenblatt, founder of Urban Digs, a real estate analytics company. Cash buyers typically factor in opportunity costs, making it less likely that they will go beyond a certain price threshold. No one wants to pay more for a property than necessary, but going "over asking" may be the only way to secure an ideal property when cash offers are competing.

Removing

any contingencies from your offer will help strengthen your position and may well convince a Lincoln seller that you are the party most likely to close successfully. The downside is that you will be assuming whatever risk had been the subject of the contingency in the first place. For example, if you were to submit an offer less any inspection contingencies, you might have to pay more than budgeted down the road if undiscovered repairs crop up.

The seller’s goal is maximize net return, so any term you add that puts more money in the seller’s pocket can sway the decision in your favor. Creative thinking pays. You might offer to pay the seller’s closing costs, cover your own Home Warranty policy, or any other add-on that has the desired effect.

While cash may be king in most cases, there are ways to compete with cash offers in Lincoln. If you are looking for an agent with constructive solutions to help you find and secure the right property, why not call me today to take advantage of this spring’s inventory?

You may have seen the reports — and they are correct — that the number of new foreclosures has dropped almost everywhere throughout the country. Although the Mortgage Bankers Association’s report about the drop in non-seasonally adjusted foreclosure starts might indicate otherwise, this spring, sharp-eyed buyers can still find any number of foreclosed homes in Lincoln. For those whose goal is to find an appreciably nicer home at a lower-than-average price, a few basics shed light on the process.

Short sales differ from foreclosures. Although the sale price may be a good deal less than what is still owed on a loan, it may be more or less than the actual value of the home. A foreclosed home in Lincoln is one that is actually owned by the bank holding the underlying loan — with the previous homeowners already having moved on.

Success in the foreclosure realm means saving money by buying Lincoln foreclosed homes — and it means being aware of the motives of the lender. First, any bank will typically offer foreclosed homes on an as-is basis. To keep losses in check, no repairs will have been made on the property. Some homes may be in fine condition, but others will not. That’s why it’s so essential to be willing to pay for an inspection on the property: it’s the only way to know exactly what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

Unless you have prior success in buying Lincoln foreclosed homes, it is universally recommended that you enlist a buyers agent to help throughout this process. An agent can advise you whether or not the property value is in line with the market for comparable properties in comparable condition. While you can work with the bank on your own, it is advantageous to have an experience professional to assist at the bargaining table.

If you are interested in buying foreclosed homes in Lincoln this spring, why not contact me today to discuss your search parameters? The values really are out there to reward the patient — and anyone willing to put in a dollop of elbow grease!

The sunny attitude that encourages entrepreneurs to look at a box of lemons and think ‘lemonade!’ is widely admired, and it does seem to be a viewpoint that successful people cultivate. For anyone who is determined to sell their Lincoln property—but only at a price the market is not yet willing to pay—well, the turn-lemons-into-lemonade situation is entirely apt. After all, smart investors are buying up and renting properties like yours quite deliberately because they realize that a Lincoln rental home is not just an asset that can appreciate over time, but one that can also produce income at the same time. 

Whatever your own reason for renting, when you put a rental home in Lincoln on the market, experienced landlords tend to prepare in the same general areas:

1. Repairs and Safety

Often using a rental safety checklist, a good first focus is on heating, plumbing, and other safety issues. Especially if you have been a longtime resident of the property, remember that some operational issues that you may have grown accustomed to ignoring need to be brought up to snuff. Repairs made now will save you time and money in the long run, and will safeguard against increased damage (and worse issues down the line). Be sure fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in place, and double-check that all windows, doors, and locks are in good working order.

2. Make it Pretty!

Of course, clean the house thoroughly, including closets, fixtures, and appliances. Replace dirty carpets, polish wood floors, and remove debris and trash from the entire property (if a one-time rubbish bin rental is called for, bite the bullet!). Where needed, give each room a fresh coat of paint in neutral colors; and outside, tidy up the grass and landscaping.

3. Documentation

Plan to inspect and document your Lincoln rental home before tenants move in; then once again immediately after they move out. It’s imperative; will serve as documentation of damage caused by the tenant if that warrants withholding the security deposit for repairs. Photos, a checklist—even a quick iPhone video—can do the job.

4. Landlord Insurance

AKA rental property insurance, landlord insurance is not the same as renters insurance, which covers the tenant’s property. A good landlord insurance policy protects you; it should cover everything from major damage inflicted by tenants to legal action they might bring.

5. Know Your Leasing Criteria

Before you prepare a rental application, it’s a good idea to pin down the leasing criteria to help determine who will be qualified to become your tenant. Some common ones:

No prior evictions…Good credit…No foreclosures or bankruptcies…

No criminal convictions…No pets…No smoking…References…

But whatever your choices, do remember to follow the Fair Housing Act guidelines.

 

6. Assemble the Docs

There are basic lease agreements and other documents available online, or you can have an experienced lawyer prepare (or just review) them. Other rental home forms you might need include credit check authorization forms, move-in checklists, and any other notices you wish to post to tenants. They’re all available online.

Sound like too much work? If so, a property management company can handle some or all of it for you—I’ll be happy to provide you with good references. And if you’ve set your sights on purchasing a Lincoln rental home as an investment, now is a great time to start! 

When it comes to making the most of Lincoln real estate, knowledge is power. The schools didn’t teach us anything about selling a home or how to decide which home to buy, yet those are subjects that have lasting impacts on our lives. When such key decisions are in our immediate future, we come face-to-face with the importance of making the right choices, asking the right questions—and engineering the best deal.  

Whether or not you’re about to head a foray into Lincoln real estate, here are a number of excellent recent books that will help arm you with actionable knowledge:

100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask

This book is a general go-to reference for buyers (and I think for sellers as well: being able to put yourself in the shoes of potential buyers is essential for intelligent marketing). Answers to the “100 Questions” are provided by top brokers from around the country, so every detail won’t necessarily answer our Lincoln real estate specifics; but on the whole, this book is concise and informative. The questions are arranged in an easy-to-read format, separated into chapters like “Putting Together the Deal” and “How Do I Know What I Can Afford to Spend.” Readers rate it very highly.

Smart Essentials for Selling Your Home

Solid, practical information that can be invaluable for homeowners about to enter the Lincoln real estate market. In the same way that 100 Questions book is also useful to sellers, this one would make excellent reading for itinerant home buyers who’d like to know what’s important to sellers…thus being one step ahead when it comes to striking a win/win deal. Smart Essentials is mercifully short: just under 100 pages.

Buying a Home: Don’t Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You

Newly updated and with the highest reader reviews, this one is most appropriate for potential buyers with little or no previous real estate experience. As author Musgrave puts it, the object here is “to convey to the reader only the necessary information—and not one word more.” The extremely easy-to-read, informal approach is a welcome departure for first-timers: no wonder readers are almost unanimous in agreeing that if first-time home buyers read just one book, this is a worthy choice.

Investing in Real Estate

A newly written follow-up to the 2008 best seller, this is an accessible starter book that addresses most of the key issues that successful real estate investors learn to evaluate. The index is especially useful for locating individual topics quickly (something eBook readers don’t need to worry about: they just highlight a search term).

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in Lincoln?  Knowledge truly is power—and I’m here to share what I know and to bring it all to bear on your behalf!

Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.