Saline, MI Real Estate News

By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
When you drive down the road these days, here's what you'll see the most:Two out of three drivers are talking on a cell phone!Who are we all talking to? Is it my neighbors in Saline, Michigan all talking about the Real Estate market in their neighborhood?  Is it an excited buyer talking about the sweetheart deal they just got on their new home?  Are they calling a friend to join them for dinner at a local watering hole?  Are they calling all their friends to b**ch about their property taxes?Nearly every day, I watch my across-the-street neighbor back out of his driveway.  As soon as he has his truck out on the street, he's dialing his cell phone.  By the time he gets to the stop sign at the end of the street, he's happily gabbing away.  What?  He couldn't talk on a land-line phone befor...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Every once in a while, I like to veer off the course of all Real Estate, all the time. Today's topic is just such a diversion for me.It's always been my impression that those who write well - and those who write for a living - are also likely to be those who read widely and extensively. There are some who are so gifted with the ability to write well that they may never read more than they write themselves, but those folks are likely to be few and far between.While I've always enjoyed reading, it never was a priority for me. Other than the local newspaper (mostly my favorite writer in the Sports section), several Real Estate periodicals, and an occasional book (maybe 5 books each year), reading tended to end up in my "C" priority list.So, in order to improve my ability to write, I set an...
Comments 6
By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
As many of you know, I review our market statistics around the middle of each month.What I'd like to focus on this month is the overall strength of the market in, and around, Saline. The first chart I'd like to review is shown above.  I've tracked real estate activity for the Saline market since 1996.  There is a definite seasonality to the market - strength in the summer, weakness in the winter.  A reading above 25% is a "seller's" market, while a reading below 20% is a "buyer's" market.It's no surprise to learn that we have been in a "buyer's" market in Saline since the end of 2004 - more than three years, now.What's intriguing about this first chart is the strengthening of the Saline market since October.  What could be the cause of this? This second chart (above) shows 2 lines. The ...
Comments 5
By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Sure Signs of Springtime in Southeast Michigan!    The first hint of green grass through the snow and ice!       Flooded farm fields.       A half-moon through budding trees!       A snowy, flooded firepit, just aching for some roasting marshmallows!       Blue skies behind the switchgrass.     After the winter we've had, today was a  GLORIOUS day!  The first time we've hit 50 degrees since last fall.The robins, red-winged blackbirds, and killdeer have all returned - albeit with some consternation about the snowy, frozen ground.  Good thing we have plenty of neighbors who keep their bird feeders filled.One more good thing about today?  All of the melt-off is flowing into our ponds, streams, rivers, and eventually into the Great Lakes, which were in sore need of re-filling.   
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
For the past two days, I've been serving as a member of the Board of Review (BOR) for Lodi Township.  For each of the past ten years, I've served the Township on the BOR on the second Monday and Tuesday of March.The Lodi BOR consists of three members - all residents of Lodi township - myself, and two others.  Until this year, one of our Board members was a long-time farmer in the township.  Sadly, he passed away last year, and we missed him greatly at the BOR meetings this year.  He was replaced this year by a real estate appraiser who lives in the township.  Our third member is an attorney who specializes in commercial real estate.  I bring "market knowledge" to the BOR.  Working with these other BOR members has been a pleasure.The function of the BOR is to hear resident's appeals of t...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
First Month Missed Payment:  The first month that your payment is missed, your mortgage company is likely to contact you by mail and/or telephone to inform you of your delinquent status.  A late charge is assessed on your missed payment.Second Month Missed Payment: The second month that your payment is missed, your mortgage company is likely to begin calling the contact numbers that they have for you, in order to discuss why you have not made a payment.  It is important that you not avoid their telephone calls.  Try to stay calm on the phone, explain to them your situation, and what you are doing to resolve it.  You still may be able to make one payment at this time to prevent yourself from falling three months delinquent.Third Month Missed Payment:  At this point, you are likely to rec...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
In the Saline and Ann Arbor area, there are many different sizes and types of rental housing available to you.  All you have to do is decide which kind you prefer.  There are many positive and negative aspects associated with each and the type that is right for you depends on your preferences and desires.  To make this process of figuring out what type of building you want to rent, here are some of the benefits and downsides associated with the various rental properties:Single-Family HousesSingle-family houses are free-standing rental properties that are habited by one person, family,  or group of renters. Single-family rental units are very much like owning your own house.     Positive Aspects: As you do not share this rental space with any other tenants, single-family homes offer the ...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
It's snowing again.  And so continues our long winter of discontent here in Michigan.So far this winter in Saline and Ann Arbor, we've had a lot of snow.  But by the end of February, most of us are thinking about Spring.   Our typical winter gives us about 42" of snow.  Global warming, anyone?  While the snow is beautiful, it tends to make driving more difficult - especially when buyers want to get out to see homes.  So what happens?  We run low on salt available for our roads.  Meanwhile, Detroit sits on top of huge salt mines.  Go figure.The largest city in Michigan has become a national joke due to a mayor with complete disregard for the station of his office.  The will of the voters?  The mayor claims to "be about the work of the people."  Maybe the judiciary will have something to ...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
When your home is listed for sale with a Realtor®, other Realtors® will be interested in showing your home to their prospective buyers.  It is best that you are not at home during any showing.  If you're in your home during a showing, the prospective buyer will feel uncomfortable about the intrusion into your home, even if it was cleared by their Realtor®.  The best way for a showing to occur is for you to allow the placement of a secure lockbox on your home.  In the Saline and Ann Arbor area, there are a couple of lockbox options which most Realtors® use on a regular basis.  The first option is an electronic lockbox (which most Realtors® refer to as an "iBox").The iBox works as follows:It usually hangs on your front door knob, or a secure home feature near the front door (perhaps a wat...
Comments 4
By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Once you have an accepted offer on your home, there are a few things that you should know.  For the most part, these are general ideas, applicable to most forms of real estate.  Check with your Realtor® to be sure.•1.      The Earnest Money DepositWhen the prospective buyer writes an offer to purchase your home, they are requested to provide to their representative agent an earnest money deposit (EMD).  The amount of the EMD can give you, the seller, an idea how serious the buyer takes the offer.  The more the EMD, the more serious the offer.  In general, and EMD of less than $1000 is considered to be not a serious offer, but your Realtor® can advise you how to proceed with the offer.•2.       Clouds on the TitleThe title to your property is recorded in the public records.  A "cloud" on...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
While your your home is up for sale, there are a few things that you should know.  For the most part, these are general ideas, applicable to most forms of real estate.  Check with your Realtor® to be sure.•1.      Curb AppealCurb appeal is the term used for the first impression a prospective buyer has of your home.  Approach your home from both directions on the street and the sidewalk.  What do you see?  Is it what the modern home buyer wants to see?  Is the lawn mowed, and are the trees and hedges trimmed?  Are your outside windows clean and shiny?•2.       Inclusions / ExclusionsWhen you list your property for sale, you must determine what you want to include and exclude from the sale.  If the removal of an item will damage the property, it is considered a fixture, and would otherwis...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Before you think about putting your home up for sale, there are a few things that you should know.  For the most part, these are general ideas, applicable to most forms of real estate.  Check with your Realtor® to be sure.•1.      Selling is a 4-step process    A            B                  C                             DSale <-> Offer <-> Showings <-> Competitive PriceA:  In order to get a sale "A", you must:B:  Get an offer.  In order to get an offer "B", you must:C:  Get showings.  People do not buy a home without seeing it,            at least once (usually twice).  In order to get showings "C", you must:D:  Have a competitive price.  Your Realtor® can help you price your homecompetitively, while earning the top dollar for you.  If your price is not competitive, prospective buyers...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
When you see the term "Associate Broker" after my signature, what does that mean?In each Real Estate sales company, there can be one, and only one, Broker.  In my case, the Broker is "Real Estate One", a Michigan corporation.  Yes, an inanimate corporation can be a Broker - Michigan allows such a designation.  For anyone else at Real Estate One who wishes to earn their Broker's license, they must submit to being an "Associate Broker" of the primary Broker.An Associate Broker is the term for the type of real estate license which I hold in Michigan.  A real estate license, of some type, is required in the State of Michigan if you are to be involved in the business of real estate sales.  Anyone can sell their own house without a real estate license, but to be involved as an agent of others...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Oooh, that smell!  Can you smell that smell?Other than being a great song from Lynrd Skynrd, it's not something we, in the Real Estate business, ever like to hear.One of the things my parents taught me, from an early age, is that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  That said, can you imagine a worse first impression of any house than a bad smell when entering?  Yuck!The possible sources of bad odors in a house is endless - far more than I could ever list in this article.  I'm reminded of the gist of a definition from the Supreme Court - You can't really define it, but you know it when you see (smell) it!  Here's a "short list" of possible bad odors you can leave in your home, which will turn off most buyers:•1.       Cooking odors - especially regional spice...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
When it comes time to sell your home, one of your options is to sell your home yourself.  Since it's always a good idea to consider the "flip side" of your decision, let's look at your "for sale by owner" (FSBO) from the perspective of a buyer.Buying FSBO real estate has its own particular problems and opportunities. Dealing with an uninformed seller who thought he knew enough to handle everything by himself can be frustrating, but it can also be very profitable if you are prepared. First you need to understand the FSBO seller.People try to sell a house on their own for one primary reason: To save the sales commission. Unfortunately for them, they usually underestimate the cost and complexity of going it alone. They'll often get frustrated and tired of the process, and be ready to drop ...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
When you see the letters GRI as one of my professional designations, what does that mean?Developed for members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and offered through State REALTOR® Associations,  the GRI designation is obtained by attending a specific, intensive series of a minimum of 90 hours of classroom instruction, covering subjects in contract law, professional standards, sales and marketing, finance and risk reduction. The subject matter has been chosen to educate Realtors® about local, state and national real estate practices that affect them and their clients. GRI courses are taught by leading real estate professionals from around the country.In today's competitive business environment, Realtors® (and their clients) need more than just motivation and initiative to succeed,...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Don't Buy a Home.What?  Are you kidding?As a Realtor®, my job is to help people to buy or sell their real estate.  When someone wants to hire me to solve their real estate needs, I am very gratified.But sometimes, it's better for my client to NOT buy (or sell) a home.  How so?You've probably heard all the perks about buying a house and how it's the centerpiece of the American Dream.  But the American Dream is less about owning a house than the change it brings about in your lifestyle.As a Realtor®, I want you to be ecstatic when buying a home.  With an approach like that, it means that there are times when I recommend to clients that buying a house isn't the right way to go yet, particularly when the financial risk of keeping your home takes away from the enjoyment of it.  Here are five...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
When you see "e-Pro" as one of my professional designations, what does that mean?e-PRO Certification is an online training program offered by the National Association of Realtors®  to certify real estate professionals as Internet Professionals. Now, as an "internet professional", having the e-Pro designation does not mean that I spend all of my time working on the internet.  The internet is a tool which the e-Pro uses in their business to serve their customer's needs.  You can do many things to buy or sell a home using the internet, but nothing can replace the ability to actually visit the home you want to buy or sell.The Connected Consumer has very different expectations than offline consumers and dealing with them effectively requires a different approach. The e-PRO Certification cour...
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By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Back in November, a blog auther (Doug Quance) whom I follow posted a fascinating piece about a car wash.  So how does this relate to selling a home in today's market?  Read it here to find out:There's a lesson in all this, I promise youIn a transitional part of Atlanta, there now stands a brand spankin' new car wash. It used to be a Burger King, but that closed years ago... and after demolition, this lot sat vacant for several years.Fast forward a few years, and a sign went up announcing the construction of the car wash. That sign was up for at least a year in advance of the car wash actually being built... so on this busy street - there was NO question that EVERYONE in the area knew a car wash was coming.So a few weeks ago, they opened for business - all bright and shiny - and offered ...
Comments 2
By Vance Shutes, Your Saline, MI Real Estate Connection
(Real Estate One)
Now that the Holidays are past, retailers everywhere are fretting about how to get customers into their stores.  In every newspaper around the country, there are full-color advertisements from retailers of every sort, exhorting us to visit their "Big Sale".A review of our market conditions here in January, 2008, reveals that the same thing is occurring in the Real Estate market, as well.  Only, you're just not seeing the big headlines.So, let me be among the first in this area to trumpet the following headline:It's The Big Sale!Seriously, never before in our history has there been such a big sale in the Real Estate market.  When has there ever been this many homes available for sale?  Never!Just like in the retail business (when a retailer orders too many of a particular item, they have...
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