Deb Tebbs Group

Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

Cascade Sotheby’s Int. Realty Mobile App

Looking back on 2011, it may be remembered as The Year Of Mobile. Sure, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and all the other platforms existed in previous years but historians will look back at 2011 and say that it was the year that the way an entire populace interacts with information fundamentally changed. Mobile is not just for the early adopters anymore. Smartphones are everywhere.

Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Bend, Oregon announced the launch of a free Sotheby’s International Realty® mobile application and mobile web search, SIR Mobile, that works on standard cell phones and smartphones across all mobile carriers, allowing consumers to view all homes for sale in Central Oregon.

The Sotheby’s International Realty mobile app uses GPS, when available, to locate the user and display listings in the immediate area.  Users also can search by a U.S. address, city or zip code to see property details for all homes for sale in a specified area including price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, maps and pictures.  

A Refine Search feature allows users to narrow their search by selecting a price range, property type and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.  If a user has questions or wants a tour of the property, the Call feature connects them to a Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty representative.

To download the app, consumers can text SIR to 87778 or visit m.sir.com/sir to send a text message to their phone with a link to download the app.  The app was created by Smarter Agent, the leading mobile real estate provider in the United States, to create innovative ways for buyers to search for homes and interact with their agents.

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5 Helpful Hints for Buying your Dream Home

Purchasing real estate is an unforgettable experience. You are potentially buying the Home of your Dreams which can be both exhilarating and nerve racking. No one purchasing a home wants to make a wrong decision. Below we have provided some tips to help alleviate the risk involved with purchasing a home.

1. Recruit a Buyer’s Agent to facilitate the process.
As a homebuyer you should be represented by your own agent. Your Buyer’s Agent is contracted to do everything possible to protect your best interests. Working with a Buyer’s Agent will assure you that you’re always receiving the best service possible as well as being counseled throughout the entire buying process. This doesn’t mean that you sit on the sidelines. Get involved with your home purchase by knowing the process and asking questions about anything that you don’t understand along the way.

2. Research the Area.
Before buying into a specific area research important key factors such as schools, distance from work and accessibility to health care, shopping and other important places in your life. You may also want to consider each neighborhood in terms of appearance, demographics and affordability. Ask yourself, what factors make up these home prices? Is the neighborhood new, family orientated, generally first time home buyers? You may want to converse with someone in the neighborhood for their positive and negative input. Nothing is better than getting a review first hand.

3. Have a Home Inspection Done
A professional will be able to see things of concern that you may otherwise overlook. Some of these items may include; construction issues, safety issues, or building codes. This doesn’t mean that if the inspector should find items of concern the current home owner will be at liberty to automatically fix or repair them. Each situation and home is different and this is yet another reason to have a Buyer’s Agents for advice regarding the situation.

4. Obtain Pre-Approval for Financing
When the Seller receives an offer on their property two principal factors are immediately considered
•How much is being offered?
•Does the buyer have the financial capability?
A seller won’t know that you are dependable and will be more likely to negotiate money and terms when the funds and finance is not in question.

5. Pledge to the Process
Buying a home is often a prevalent and significant purchase in your life. As a committed homebuyer, you should make a conscious decision to purchase, allow for time off from work and school to search, keep your emotions at bay and consider the advice of the Agent that you have chosen to represent your needs.

We encourage you to review these five tips as well as talk to an expert. Find an Agent who has what you want. Contact Deb Tebbs (541) 419-4553 for any questions regarding Central Oregon real estate. Deb will happily assist you with your luxury home purchase.

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How to Avoid the Real Estate Deal Killers

Once upon a time, homebuying was a much less dramatic affair then it is today. The house hunt was fun, if suspenseful, and then there was another exciting whirlwind of inspections, closing and moving in. Today, though, as soon as buyers get the gumption to jump off the rent vs. buy fence, they find themselves on another edge – the edge of their seats, through the entire escrow process waiting to see what obstacle will emerge next, and whether their transaction will survive it.

Deals get killed all the time, and buyers can’t relax until they have keys actually in hand. Here are three of the most common real estate deal-killers, and some steps buyers can take to deactivate them.

1. Appraisal too low. Some buyers incorrectly believe that the best thing that could happen to them is for the property to appraise below the agreed-upon purchase price, expecting that a low appraisal forces the seller to bring the price down. In fact, so many of today’s sellers are barely breaking even, that a low appraisal is probably the most common deal-killer around. If an appraisal comes in just a tad bit lower than the contract price, usually the seller will come down if they can, or the buyer will kick in a few extra bucks.

But when it comes in 5, 10 or even 20 percent low, most sellers can’t – and most buyers won’t. Low appraisals also seem like the most difficult deal-killer to avoid, as this process is entirely out of both buyer’s and seller’s control. But there are two things buyers can do to minimize the risk. First, check the comps – i.e., recent comparable homes that have sold in the area – before making an offer; your agent will help you do this. Then, don’t make an offer bizarrely above the average range of the comparables, even if the property has multiple offers, unless you’re prepared to deal with a low appraisal a couple of weeks out.

Also, consider working with a local mortgage broker who also originates loans through its own bank (vs. walking into a large bank’s branch off the street); these lenders have the ability to choose from a smaller pool of appraisers that they know are qualified and knowledgeable about your area.

2. Property condition dramas. When the market melted down, lenders found themselves with a lot of decrepit homes on their hands.

This explains two things:
(1) why lenders are more concerned about property condition now than ever, and (2) the raggedy condition of so many of the “distressed’ homes on the market. Homes that have extensive wood rot, dangerous decks or electrical systems, or peeling paint and missing systems (sinks, stoves and the like) are highly unlikely to pass muster when the appraiser walks through, even if they do qualify as being worth the purchase price. And while an individual seller might be willing to do some work, many just can’t afford to; short sale and REO sellers simply refuse to make fixes, 9 times out of 10.

Prevention is the best medicine for curing this transaction ailment. If you are buying a short sale or REO property, be aware that when the selling bank says as-is, it really means as-is. Ask your mortgage broker and agent to brief you on what sort of shape your lender will require your home to be in, at minimum, and keep that standard in mind during your house hunt. Your agent can help manage your expectations about which properties will and won’t likely pass muster.

3. Loan approval takes too long. Every buyer knows they must get preapproved for a mortgage before they start house hunting, but many don’t know that preapproval is just the first in a long list of steps that have to happen before the loan becomes a sure thing. In fact, it’s common now for buyers to get their loan preapproval many months before they end up in contract, and lots can change in the interim – further extending the time it may take for their loan approval to come in.

It’s common for contracts to include a standard loan contingency period of 17 days, give or take a few. But the appraisal might take longer than that to come in, or the underwriter might have lots of questions and seemingly random nitpicks about the appraisal, or about you: they want to see your driver’s license, then your marriage license, then your divorce decree, and after that, a letter from your employer agreeing that you’ll be keeping your job even though you’re moving an hour away. It never seems like they ask for everything at once, thus it can take longer than 17 days to obtain all the requested items, turn them in and get the underwriter to sign off on them.

Until you get that green light, it’s foolhardy to remove your loan contingency, as that step renders your earnest money deposit nonrefundable, under most contracts. Many a buyer is forced to either secure an extension from the seller or to let the transaction die, rather than forfeiting their deposit funds. And again, some sellers understand and will play ball, but bank sellers can be particularly resistant to loan contingency extensions, especially if there are backup offers on the table.

Best practice for buyers to minimize the chances of an overtime loan approval process killing the deal? Be ready: be ready for lots of bizarre documentation requests, be ready to provide things you’ve already been asked for, and be ready to do so quick-like – without pushing back. The faster you can turn around the things the underwriter wants, the better.

Also, it can be very helpful to work with a mortgage broker and agent that have worked together before and have close communications, so that your agent can stay abreast of any and all loan process glitches and keep the listing agent apprised of the legitimate reasons you may need an extension throughout the contingency period, rather than assuring them everything’s speeding along then having to ask for a last-minute extension.

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