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Working with Affiliated Realty

Affiliated Realty SignAffiliated Realty will develop a strategic-marketing plan to maximize your home's exposure. Utilizing our vast experience, Affiliated Realty will make sure your home is exposed in all the appropriate media. Remember, one of the greatest advantages to utilizing the services of a Realtor like Affiliated Realty, is the benefit of our company's collective real estate activity. Buyers will be drawn from the hundreds of other ads, referrals, networking, and Multiple Listing leads that are generated by these efforts.

Negotiating the Deal


One of the first things you might want to consider doing as you begin searching for a new home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approved buyer is one who has completed the mortgage process and has actually been approved for a mortgage up to a specified amount.

A pre-qualified buyer is one that has submitted certain income information that a lender uses to say they are qualified to borrow up to a specified amount. However, the lender has not verified any of the information that has been submitted and may also require additional information before final approval is granted.

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Home Improvements - What are They Worth?

Are you wondering just which home improvements you should make to help your home sell? Many home sellers never realize before embarking on their new home improvements just what they can expect as a return on their dollar. Most home improvements don't return 100% of their value.The following is a list of the top home improvements based on the percentage of return on investment (compiled by realtor.com 2001).

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Why pay a commission. From A to Z

Homeowners attempting to sell their home without the assistance of a real estate professional generally do so for one and one reason only: to avoid paying a commission fee. Is it worth it? Well, only the homeowner can answer that, but experience has shown that many For Sale By Owners find that it is not! Before making a costly mistake, consider the benefits, from A to Z, you will receive from working with a Affiliated Realty real estate professional:

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Should you appraise your home before putting it on the market?

It isn't necessary, because rarely does an appraisal have anything to do with the price the seller will actually get for his or her property. Here's why:

First, to determine the asking price, a seller's agent will look at the "comps," - the price for which "comparable" homes in the area have recently been sold. Based upon these prices, the seller should adjust what they are asking. For example, if similar properties in the area are selling for $210,000, then trying to get $250,000 usually does not make sense. Thus, before putting the house on the market, a seller should review the "comps," which can be obtained from a local real estate agent.

The appraisal process used by a licensed appraiser is more theoretical than a "comp," and does not predict what a buyer will be willing to pay. Why would anyone ever get an appraisal then? Although rarely needed by buyers or sellers, appraisals are normally required by lenders who are considering making a loan.

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How to make your home look "bigger and better" without spending a cent?

One sure way for your house to appear larger - and more appealing - is to eliminate clutter, and furniture and household goods are reorganized.

In fact, the time to have a garage sale is before you put your house on the market, not after it is sold! When you decide to sell, start going through your closets and cupboards, eliminating items you don't want to keep. Do the same in the garage and in your side or backyard. Get rid of or store the odds and ends. It's interesting to note that the longer someone lives in a home, the more used to the clutter they become. Unfortunately, closets, cupboards and garages brimming with "old treasures" make a home look smaller and cramped to a prospective buyer. Sellers should also carefully examine their furniture, and consign items that are not needed to the storage or the garage sale. Most homes occupied by the same owner for several years tend to be somewhat over furnished. Erring on the side of space, not clutter, makes for a more marketable home.

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What should you renovate to increase the value of your property?

Assuming the house has no major weaknesses, remodeling the kitchen or bathroom is usually a good bet.

Making improvements in a home can boost the selling price of the property substantially beyond the cost of the renovation, and even mean the difference in whether or not the house sells at all. When contemplating an upgrade, a homeowner is wise to consider renovations which are not only needed, but will enhance the value - and selling appearance - of the home the most.

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Tips for a quick home sale.

Making your home inviting to Buyers...

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions. The front door greets the prospect. Make sure it is fresh, clean and scrubbed looking. Keep lawn trimmed and edged and the yard free of refuse.

Decorate for a quick sale. Invest in new paint, clean carpets, green plants and flowers for a fresh look and added color.

Let the Sun shine in. Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how bright your home can be.

Fix any leaking faucets. Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.

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Prepare your home for showing.


Be sure the entrance to your home is clean and inviting.

Keep the lawn mowed and steps swept.

Store hoses neatly and be sure sprinklers do not water the walkways.

Remove exterior vehicles from curb view.


Keep the floors clean and swept.

Put away all clothes if laundry is done in the garage.


Polish the floor, mirrors and fixtures.

Replace shower curtain if necessary.

Hang your best towels and open a fresh bar of soap.

Freshen up with plants and flowers.

Put away personal items.

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Is there any harm in a seller overpricing their property, and then dropping the price if it does not sell?

The answer is usually "yes." A high price conveys the message that the seller may not really be interested in selling. And, when a home is priced too high, agents and buyers usually just cross it off their list and move on. After all, there are plenty of other listings.

Of course, deciding the value of a home isn't an exact science, so it is understandable that a seller might put their home on the market with an asking price that is on the high side. Additionally, most of us believe that our homes are really "worth more" than the one down the block, around the corner or next door that was just sold. And, if we are wrong, we can always drop it later, can't we? Yes, but by then, the seller may have not only lost potential buyers, but also they may have driven away interested Realtors; and Realtors are the prime source of buyers. They bring the buyers by to your home.

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What should you do if your home won't sell?

Unless market conditions are very poor, the failure of the home to sell within about six months usually indicates a problem - usually with the price and sometimes with the condition - or both.

The most common reason for a property not selling is price. A house priced correctly from the start captures the interest of Realtors and buyers, while overpricing a home chases them away. Even if the seller drops the price later, once buyers and Realtors have lost interest, it is tough getting them back.

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What makes one offer more attractive to sellers than others?

Obviously, the price is usually the most important element, but there are other factors that make an offer more - or less - attractive. For instance, one obstacle is a "contingency," a clause that allows a buyer to back out if certain conditions are not met. Of course, offers with the fewest contingencies are most attractive to sellers.

When it comes to contingencies, first-time buyers are often better prospects for a seller's home than move-up buyers. Why?
Because offers from homeowners usually are contingent upon the sale of their present home. Even if a move-up buyer has an offer for their home in hand, their buyer's offer may be contingent on another contingency (or sale) - and so on down the line. If one transaction in the chain falls through, they all might.

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Should a smart buyer get professional inspections for the home s/he is buying?

Definitely! Hiring a professional home inspector can save a great deal of grief for buyers. The one exception would be when the home is new and carries a written warranty by the builder.

Many buyers mistakenly believe that the only reason to have a home inspection is to make sure that the house they are buying does not have defects serious enough to warrant backing out of the transaction. But there is more to it than that.

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What do rising interest rates mean to home buyers?

Rising rates do mean higher monthly payments. But, how much higher? Often the increase isn't as significant as buyers fear. A quick calculation will give you an idea of the impact.

For instance, with a fixed loan of, say, $100,000, a quarter percent means roughly an additional $18 per month; half a percent is twice that amount, or about $36.

Gauging the impact of rising interest rates for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) is not quite as straightforward because the rate a borrower pays will fluctuate as interest rates go up and down over the life of the loan. For this reason, a buyer comparing ARMs with different lenders should look at the initial rate (often guaranteed for a year) as well as the cap, or maximum rate, that the loan could go to.

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What is Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI?

Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is insurance that protects the lender in case a buyer defaults on a loan. Most lenders require PMI whenever a buyer is putting down less than 20% of the purchase price of a home and then pass the cost on to the borrower.

PMI does not, as some people believe, provide protection for a buyer, such as paying off the mortgage balance in the case of death, disability or unemployment. PMI is required by lenders in most cases where the buyer's equity position is less than 20% of the home's value, because the less equity a buyer has in a home, the more risk there is that s/he may default on the mortgage.

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What are the PROS and CONS in choosing a Loan Type?

The fixed rate mortgage offers stability, but a higher payment. The adjustable has a lower initial payment and enables you to get a larger loan, but it's more risky because you cannot predict how interest rates will fluctuate. If you are considering an ARM, ask the following:

Will my income cover higher mortgage payments if interest rates go up?

On what market variable is the loan rate dependent? How volatile is the variable?

How long do I plan to own this home? If you intend to keep it only a few years, the ARM is a good bet because the interest rate cannot increase much in a short period. If you plan to stay 10 to 20 years, the fixed rate may be the better option.

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What are the different Types of Loans?

Fixed Rate Mortgages:

With a fixed rate mortgage the interest rate and payments remain the same throughout the term of the loan. This offers you the advantage of knowing that the amount you owe each month will never change. However, the lender sets the interest rate on a fixed higher than that on an adjustable rate mortgage as protection against losing money. This increases monthly payments and may make it harder for you to qualify for a mortgage.

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Real Estate Tax Information

Buying a home offers considerable tax advantages. This is a major factor in the decision to purchase.


As a homeowner, you can deduct the following items from your taxable income:

Mortgage Interest: Since most of your mortgage payments during the first few years goes toward interest, this is usually a substantial deduction.

Points: The amount paid to the lender in percentage points in the year of purchase can be deducted as long as the amount is normal for the area and the loan is to purchase rather than re-finance.

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Do you have enough homeowner's insurance?

Unfortunately most homeowners are inadequately insured. In fact, many not only lack financial protection for the equity in their home, but for their personal property as well. Why?

It usually happens because the lenders only require home buyers to carry enough insurance to cover the value of the mortgage. Then, in the event of damage or destruction to the property such as fire, flood or earthquake - only the lender's investment is covered. Unfortunately, this required insurance is only for the lender's money. It does not cover the homeowner's personal property or their equity.

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What is a deed restriction?

Most consumers may have heard the term, "deed restriction," but few realize the impact it can have on a property's use.

Almost all properties have restrictions, and although most are minor, it is wise for a prospective buyer to find out what limitations have been put in place before they purchase a home.

For instance, some not only impact how an owner may use their property - by limiting the kinds of exterior structures that can be built onto it - but they can even dictate acceptable colors that a house can be painted!

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Contact Us

Affiliated Realty
63 Silver Street
Waterville, ME 04901

(207) 873-0751
(207) 8730799 Fax