The Long Neck, DE homeowners and prospective buyers who frequent this space regularly know that the topic of selling your Long Neck, DE home yourself doesn’t appear here often. For one reason, do-it-yourselfers are generally too busy to spend time reading their local Realtor’s® latest commentary—they’re fully occupied with trying to duplicate everything professional offices are organized to do.

The other reason is that the arguments for not selling your home yourself are so often reiterated in other places. They point to “peoples’ choice” statistics like the 92% of homes that sell aren’t FSBOs (For Sale by Owner), or to the 24% higher average selling price typically achieved when a Realtor is on the job. Since the U.S. average real estate commission is 6%, that one is usually decisive.

But there is a third possibility that’s doesn’t get much attention. It falls outside of the selling your home yourself route or the Realtor-assisted one: it’s called “Direct Sale.” When you see ads with promises like We buy your house for cash or We’ll Buy Your Property Fast, they probably lead to one of the direct sales operators. These can be legitimate (although it’s certainly a good idea to make certain that’s the case). When successful, these help owners escape the too-common FSBO result of a home that fails to sell at all.

But in direct sales, the inevitable compensating factor is where you’d expect: at the bottom line. As Bankrate.com politely puts it, “No offense to the owners of such businesses, but they are the lowest of lowball buyers…” Bankrate estimates that they can be expected to offer an average of about 65 cents on the dollar—if an offer is forthcoming. Since most concentrate on markets with the fastest resale potential, homes that may be in disrepair or are otherwise unlikely to sell easily in the traditional open market frequently get their attention.

Given the alternatives, it’s no wonder why teaming with a licensed real estate professional offering the full range of Realtor services usually gets the nod. Since it’s the speed of sale that is the key attraction for Direct Sales outfits, the surest way to escape a painful bottom line is clear: get going early! Call me to discuss! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Once we have marketed your Delaware home successfully, there follows the delightful interlude during which the eager buyer awaits your response to his or her offer. It will be 100% delightful if, in evaluating the offer, all details are as you hoped and expected. But many times, evaluating an offer results in more than a simple “Yea” or “Nay”—the details can be crucial:

Offer Price. Suppose the top line number is close enough to your asking price to bring a smile to your face. Your Delaware property’s value has been acknowledged by the buyer—it’s in line (or better) with neighborhood comparables, and your net after expenses will enable you to move on to your next residence without financial strain. Evaluating an offer only begins with that eye-catching number, but it doesn’t end there. There are all the other elements, many of which boil down to the level of risk going forward.

Deposit. High on the list is the pledged amount that accompanies the offer. Whether it’s called a deposit, earnest money, or pledge, this serves to instill confidence that when you are evaluating the offer you know that it’s backed up with more than wishful thinking. If the amount is greater than the customary minimum, it’s a signal that the would-be buyer is more than minimally serious about completing the transaction, that their financial ability to execute is demonstrable—or both. Evaluating this detail of an offer does, however, involve factoring in whether it would be unduly easy to “de-commit” the committed amount, as well as the true liquidity of the pledge (overseas bank deposits, for instance, raise eyebrows).

Inspection provision. Almost every serious offer will be contingent on the property’s condition passing inspection—but this is a risk element that’s largely controllable by the seller. It’s the reason some Delaware sellers get ahead of the game by investing in their own inspection before listing. Twelfth-hour discoveries of maintenance issues that could have been fixed beforehand are apt to throw a disproportionate amount of cold water on a transaction that had been proceeding smoothly. If a condition has been properly disclosed in advance, evaluating an offer will include verifying acknowledgment of disclosures.

All the rest. An offer may have any number of other provisions, so properly evaluating an offer means carefully weighing the practical impact each may have. The timing elements can be  crucial. Too lengthy a closing can be inconvenient and add a degree of uncertainty. Too swift a closing may create an interim “no-place-to-live” situation—and wow—can that be awkward and expensive! An offer that is contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home adds a degree of uncertainty that needs to be evaluated with knowledge of that area’s specifics. Any detail that introduces uncertainty adds to the ultimate risk.

Success in evaluating an offer for your Delaware home—or comparing multiple offers when that auspicious situation occurs—often means a lot more than a simple yes or no decision. Coming up with a strategic counter-offer is often called for—and that’s when there’s no substitute for having an experienced agent by your side to help fashion a strategic win-win counter offer.

To discuss these and all the other steps that will result in the successful sale of your property, give me a call to arrange a no-obligation consultation. Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Whenever the words “reverse mortgage” are uttered, any Long Neck TV viewer immediately makes the connection with one of several celebrity spokesmen who blanket the airwaves with commercials touting the concept. If you listen carefully, those reverse mortgage ads do actually describe the product with legal accuracy. If you have the standard degree of sales resistence most of us have developed after years of exposure to Madison Avenue pitches, you probably guess that instead of relying solely upon the celebrity spokesman’s trustworthiness, you’d better investigate further before running out and applying. Most people do.

So it was surprising when the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found it necessary to issue a special advisory on the subject. Potential Long Neck reverse mortgage applicants—that is, Long Neck homeowners who meet the minimum age requirement of 62 ½—were warned “not to be deceived” by the “late night TV ads that seem too good to be true.” Without quibbling with the CFPB about when those commercials appear (you can see them almost any time after about 3 p.m.), it is easy to see how they might create broadly mistaken impressions on at least two counts. And it’s too bad, because although a reverse mortgage can be a useful instrument, it really can have nightmarish consequences for someone who doesn’t fully understand the concept and its ramifications.

The warnings were the result of the consumer watchdog organization’s focus group study that showed many viewers coming away with misimpressions following screenings of the ads. Many did not understand that a reverse mortgage is a loan. Others got the impression that a reverse mortgage is a government benefit—and worse, some thought it guaranteed that consumers could stay in their homes for the rest of their lives.

The fact is, these loans are simply a specialized way seniors can tap into their home’s equity: the value that has built up over the years. It’s true that they are designed so that the homeowners do not have to repay the loan until he or she passes away, sells or moves out—but it’s no guarantee that other factors (like taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance expenses) might not still cause a default should the borrower run out of money.

There are other fine print details that are not mentioned in most of the ads…and they’re every bit as important as the terms of any loan. Among those that are barely touched upon are the fact that there are costs and interest provisions attached to reverse mortgages—and the CFPB finds them to be relatively expensive.

Most Long Neck homeowners are probably skeptical enough of any “too good to be true” pitch to automatically take a harder look—especially when it involves their Long Neck home’s equity. If you have questions about financial matters having to do with that equity, your best bet is to discuss the details with a trusted financial advisor or a federally-approved housing counselor. And for any other questions about Long Neck real estate, you needn’t hesitate to give me a call!  Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

The way the media treated last week’s federal funds rate announcement by the Federal Reserve Board was a convincing demonstration of how much importance is placed on that singular piece of the financial puzzle. That rate may not be directly tied to Long Neck mortgage interest rates, but since it determines lenders’ borrowing costs, its effect is considerable.

For many years now, Long Neck mortgage interest rates have been comfortably nestled near the bottom of their historical range. Many Long Neck homeowners have enjoyed the resulting low monthly payments on their mortgages. Long Neck home sellers have likewise benefitted from home loan interest rates that make their properties more affordable than would otherwise be the case.

 Real estate repercussions are a major part of the reason that the Fed’s announcement, which came midday last Thursday, had the national media holding its collective electronic breath. With ten minutes to go, one cable network talking head could add little illumination. “Wall Street will be watching the announcement very closely,” was her understatement. Channel flipping with five minutes to go, viewers found the streaming banner at the bottom of one network trumpeting BREAKING NEWS…BREAKING NEWS… before the fact. On CNBC, “the most highly anticipated announcement in years” was awaited by four commentators who had the unhappy challenge of predicting the decision mere seconds before the fact. Above the ever-moving streams of real-time data (oil was down, the stock markets up) panelists chattered about China (“it’s big and mysterious”), inflation targets (“missed again”), and optimism (“a rate hike won’t hurt the economy, it will help”). Only if the Fed “saw something down the road,” it was agreed, would they not raise rates. Then, just 5 seconds to go…then-

The Fed left rates unchanged.

Citing concerns over global this and financial that, the Fed said they were going to be monitoring them. The economy expanded at a moderate pace, and housing improved moderately, they said. But since global conditions might cause trouble...  

The media’s excitement level flat-lined within minutes. “The markets are not panicking,” said a gentleman in a snappy suit. He looked irritated. “I blew it,” said another, who moments before had thrown in with the majority predicting a rate rise. “They cited uncertainty,” he frowned; then blurted, “The Fed is the biggest source of uncertainty!”

The stock markets didn’t react at all at first. Later, they closed mixed.

The next day, mortgage interest rates crept downward.

 What seemed to be an excitement bust for the media was good news for many of the viewers. When the Fed funds rate continually hovers close to zero, there’s ample reason to suspect that Long Neck mortgage interest rates might stay put for a while. TheStreet website later reported that they expected rates to rise a bit before year’s end. Given the recent record of expert predictions, it might be safer to stand behind one with a better chance of success: the next Fed announcement, I predict, will be the most anticipated announcement in years.

Meantime, if you have been mulling over whether to take advantage of the current balmy mortgage interest environment, I hope you’ll give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.