It’s July and the summer has started. As things heat up and buyers rush into the market, they are faced with new challenges and require proper representation. Virginia Association of REALTOR® (VAR) has developed and passed legislation that will enhance the agency relationship and disclosure requirements. These new laws go into effect on July 1, 2012 and as with any legislation, the actual language can be boring and dull so I’ve tried my best to briefly explain everything. If for some reason my explanation isn’t enough or you’d like to learn more, please visit VAR’s site at www.varealtor.com/agency.
What has changed?
Inform the consumer: The law is to make sure consumers are fully informed about the real estate services they’ll receive and the nature of the relationship with the licensee.
Mitigate REALTOR® liability: The law is designed to protect licensees by making sure full disclosure is provided and the nature of brokerage relationship is reduced to writing. It’s to eliminate much of the consumer confusion that can come back and bite the licensee.
Discourage opportunisitic dual agency: The law is intended to make sure that licensees who practice dual agency are fully informing consumers about the risky nature of that relationship.
So, what does this mean for you?
Once you’ve found a REALTOR® you want to represent you, you need to enter into a written brokerage relationship that will outline a minimum of the following:
what services the REALTOR® will provide;
how long the REALTOR® will provide those services for; and
what fees will be charged and how they will be paid.
VAR has created a very informative flyer that will help you understand the changes of this law and better answer any questions. You can view the PDF document by going to the following link: Your Realtors Role – Understanding Your Options.
Now if you’re ready to start looking for homes or are interested in selling your home, please contact me at 703-577-4320 and I’ll be happy to further explain the agency relationship and help in “Giving Your Dreams An Address!”
Whenever you decide you want to move into a bigger home, you have to decide what to do with your current home. For most people, selling is the only option in order to qualify to get a loan on a new home. But for a small percentage, the option to rent is always available. There are many reasons you may choose to rent, it could be because the market isn’t there to get the sales prices you want or you have a temporary job assignment for a few years. Whatever you reasons may be, here the pros and cons of renting your house: Continue reading →
It’s only a matter of time before your dishwasher starts to leak, the dryer overheats or a pipe breaks and floods the basement. With the current economy, most of us don’t have money laying around to be able to pay for a new dishwasher, dryer or fix the basement pipes and replace the carpet! In times like these it’s important to have home warranty! A home warranty is a type of insurance that covers different types of household items, major appliances and pay for the repair of the covered items in case they break down. Some types of home warranties may even pay for replacing the damaged appliances with new ones.
A home warranty can be beneficial for both buyers and sellers. Before I start discussing the benefits for each, here are some of the appliances that are routinely covered by most home warranties: Continue reading →
Finding a great tenant can be crucial to the value of your rental property when it’s time to re-rent or sell. A dream tenant is the one that pays rent on time and maintains the property in great shape during their occupancy. In order to find such a tenant you need to have a plan or a professional property manager. Here are some key things you should consider when looking for the “perfect” tenant:
LOCATION: You can’t change the location of your property (unless it’s a mobile home). A good neighborhood will attract good tenants so take this into consideration as you buy your next rental home.
PRICE: Make sure you price your home slightly below market value. This will give you an edge over your competition by attracting more tenants to your home and giving you the option to choose the best one. Just remember, you lose 5% of your annual rent for every 2.5 weeks the property sits vacant.
MAINTENANCE: Make sure that your house is in great shape. Do preventative and cosmetic maintenance as required. Nothing scares tenants more than houses that have old worn out carpet, leaky faucets and run down appliances.
TENANT SCREENING: There is more to tenant screening than just a credit check. With the current rise in foreclosures and short sales, more people have bad credit but make great tenants. When screening tenants make sure to not only check their credit but also their employment history and past rental or mortgage history. Early problem signs include short term jobs and repeated late payments on credit cards, car payment or rent/mortgage without an excruciating circumstance. Make sure to scrutinize past problems carefully and interview each tenant.
LEASE: Make sure to follow local laws and prepare a lease accordingly. Important stuff like rent due date, lease termination, security deposit and late fees are clearly written and understood by the tenants. You should also have clear guidelines for who is responsible for repairs and maintenance. I also require that my tenants provide me with cashier checks or certified funds rent, security deposit and application fees so I never have to worry about a bad check.
After you’ve found your tenants, how do you keep them? Make sure to establish a friendly, pleasant, business-like relationship with your tenants, so they’ll want to renew again each year. By using the methods, you will learn how to find and keep good tenants but if you’re unable to do so, hire me as your property manager!