What You Should Know About Selling Your Home This Winter

winter, Wheaton real estate attorneysMost real estate agents and attorneys will tell you that that the spring and summer are the most popular seasons for buying a new home. As a result, they are also the seasons during which many people will sell their home, since, without a home that is for sale, the buyer cannot buy, obviously.

While it is true that spring and summer are traditionally the prime home-buying seasons, if you are ready to move now, there is no reason to wait until winter is over. With the right guidance, selling your home during the colder months could help you realize an excellent return on your investment.

A Smaller, More Competitive Market

Since springtime is allegedly the “best” time to sell a home, many owners throughout the region are likely to wait until the weather breaks before they list their homes. This means that if you decide to wait as well, your home will be on the market with dozens, if not hundreds, of homes, many of which will probably be in and around your neighborhood.

If you list your home now, there will be fewer homes available compared to a few months from now. As a result, your home will be able to stand out from the crowd. With fewer available options, potential buyers are more likely to end up looking in your direction.

Fewer Browsers and More Buyers

The “slower” home sales season also means that fewer buyers will be out and about looking for new homes. Those who are looking, however, are likely to be much more serious than those you might encounter during the warmer months. When the weather is nice, engaged couples and families often start browsing the real estate listings and attending open houses without any real intention to make an offer. During the colder months, you will have to spend less time and energy on “lookers” or “browsers,” allowing you to focus on well-intentioned buyers.

Highlighting the Features of Your Home

Meticulous landscaping and lush, green grass can certainly give your home curb appeal in the spring and summer, but the winter provides an opportunity to show would-be buyers that your home is equipped to handle the elements. If you have recently installed new windows or a high-efficiency furnace, for example, it is easier to show the benefits of such features during a cold-weather showing. Amenities such as hot tubs or fireplaces could also offer substantial appeal during the winter months.

Finally, nearly every home looks its best after it has been decorated for the winter holidays. Shimmering lights and colorful decorations create a welcoming atmosphere. When would-be buyers or open house guests feel at home, they are often more inclined to make a serious offer.

Call a Wheaton Real Estate Lawyer

While selling your home is possible during the winter, you will still have many legal issues to address before the new owner can move in. Contact a skilled and experienced DuPage County real estate attorney to get the help you need. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 for a personal consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/selling-house-during-winter-holidays/

https://www.fortunebuilders.com/winter-home-selling/

Five Important Duties of a Commercial Landlord

leasing, Wheaton commercial real estate attorneysWhen you own and lease out commercial property, such a venture could be extremely profitable. However, you could also face serious risks, especially if you are not properly prepared to handle the responsibilities associated with being a commercial landlord. Some of these risks include the possibility of financial loss or being sued for failing to meet your obligations as the property owner. It is important to understand what these responsibilities are and how to fulfill them. A qualified commercial leasing attorney can help.

Duty #1: Comply With All Applicable Laws

There many different federal, state, and local laws that apply to all property owners who rent out their properties, including commercial landlords. For example, as a commercial landlord, you are not permitted to discriminate against would-be tenants on the basis of certain criteria, including religion, race, and national origin. You must also follow all zoning laws and building codes. If you fail to comply with any applicable law, you could face serious consequences, including legal action.

Duty #2: Use Clear Language in Your Contracts

If your lease agreements are not clear and concise, your tenants might not understand what is expected of them. Your contracts could also be more difficult to enforce if there is confusion about what they contain. Commercial leasing contracts should clearly address all of the relevant concerns, including matters of rent, repairs, alterations to the property, and communication expectations.

Duty #3: Keep Your End of the Agreement

In addition to using clear language, your leasing contracts should only include provisions that you are willing and able to meet. You should also familiarize yourself with your responsibilities for making certain types of repairs, such as those involving heating and cooling systems, electrical work, and plumbing. This can help ensure that the property is maintained properly and in accordance with applicable laws.

Duty #4: Mitigate Risks and Limit Liability

Proper maintenance will go a long way toward protecting yourself and your property. However, limiting risk means more than fixing a broken water heater. You might also consider installing a security system, additional lighting, or doors and windows that can be locked securely. It is also a good idea to identify and address potential environmental hazards, such as uneven walkways where water could pool or roof overhangs from which snow or ice could fall.

Duty #5: Be Fully Insured

Despite taking all the precautions in the world, you could still suffer losses due to fires, floods, falling trees, or other “acts of God.” Comprehensive insurance coverage is a good way to protect yourself and your property. Similarly, you should also carry insurance policies on any vehicles or equipment that you may own and use in connection with leasing the property.

Call a DuPage County Commercial Real Estate Attorney

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, our team is dedicated to helping commercial landlords maximize the return on their real estate investments. Our experienced Wheaton commercial leasing lawyers can guide you through the entire leasing process and will assist you in managing any issues that may arise. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-tenants-rights-67257.html

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15101-commercial-lease-guide.html

Are You Considering an REO Property?

REO, Wheaton real estate attorneysIf you have shared with friends and family members that you are in the market for a new home, there is a good chance that someone has at least suggested that you look into buying a foreclosure property. In this context, a foreclosure property is a home that is being sold at auction by a bank because the owner of the property could not keep up with his or her mortgage payments. At a foreclosure auction, there is the possibility of getting a fantastic deal, but not all foreclosure auctions are successful. When foreclosure auction does not result in the sale of the foreclosure property, the property remains under the ownership of the lender and becomes a real-estate owned property or REO.

Understanding a Foreclosure Auction

When a home is seized by the lender during foreclosure, the home is typically put up for sale in public auction. As such, the property will be sold to the highest bidder. However, in many foreclosure auctions, the bidders are not given the chance to walk through or inspect the home before making their bids. In most cases, the highest bidder will also be expected to pay cash for the property immediately following the auction. The combination of these factors makes buying a foreclosure property at auction a rather risky proposition. It is also why some foreclosure auctions do not result in the sale of the property.

An unsuccessful foreclosure auction leaves the lender with a home that has already caused the lender to lose money due to the defaulted mortgage loan. Now that the property is considered REO, however, there may be benefits for you as the potential buyer.

REO Sale Basics

While a foreclosure sale is typically a singular event that takes the form of an auction, an REO sale is very much like any other residential real estate deal. The lender will usually list the property and get real estate brokers involved to facilitate the sale. Prospective buyers will also get the chance to inspect the home and arrange private financing without the pressure of bidding in an auction.

You should remember, however, that most REO properties will be sold “as-is.” This means that while inspections can and certainly should be done, the lender is not likely to cover the cost of any repairs. Your broker and your lawyer could try to negotiate with the lender regarding the price of the property if substantial repairs are required, but there is no guarantee that that lender will move on the listed price. With this in mind, you will almost certainly want to include a contingency provision in your offer that allows you to back out if the property needs more work or repairs that you are willing to pay for or do yourself.

It is also important to ensure that a title search is conducted on any REO property that you are considering buying. The home could have liens or other encumbrances on it that might become your problem once the transaction is finalized.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

If you are thinking about buying a real-estate owned property or a foreclosure property, you could get a good deal, but there are many potential pitfalls. Contact an experienced Wheaton residential real estate attorney to ensure that your best interests are protected at every stage of the home-buying process. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/buying-post-foreclosures-reos-1798183

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/guide-reo-properties/