Episode 198 AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show
By The Realtor.com Team Featured Expertise by Jason Gelios
If you’re a first-time homebuyer (or a longtime homeowner) out there searching for your new home, you may spend quite a lot of time touring houses with your real estate agent.
But what happens if after seeing what’s out there in this current hot, hot, hot housing market, you decide to not buy any of the many homes you’ve seen? Or if you make an offer on a property, but pull out due to a bad inspection or title search?
You and your agent may be quite close at this point after countless hours together. Your agent probably can guess what you and your partner will disagree on when it comes to kitchen islands. And you might know your agent’s middle name, what college she attended, and her dog’s name.
Your close relationship might even have you wondering, “Do I have to pay the real estate agent if I don’t buy anything?” After all, real estate professionals typically don’t get an hourly wage, and are paid only when a sale goes through.
Here’s everything homebuyers need to know about when and if you need to pay an agent a fee—even if you don’t close the deal.
Who pays the buyer’s agent if a sale goes through?
Buyer’s agents typically get paid via a commission amounting to a percentage of the home’s purchase price, says Jason Gelios, top producing real estate agent and author at Community Choice Realty. The good news for the buyer? The seller is the one who pays the buyer’s agent at closing. The homebuyer typically doesn’t pay the agent.
Does a buyer have to pay an agent if they don’t close?
“Under no circumstances is a homebuyer obligated to pay a real estate agent if they didn’t end up locating and purchasing a home,” says Gelios. Plus, agents typically can’t charge you for their time, gas, or other expenses they incurred helping you look for a property.
What if you have a buyer-broker agreement?
A buyer-broker agreement is when a homebuyer agrees to work with a buyer’s agent exclusively to find a home, explains Gelios. This is common practice when hiring an agent to aid in your home search. But this agreement doesn’t put you under any financial obligation if you don’t buy a house. It simply means the homebuyer can’t revisit homes the first agent showed with another real estate professional. That is, unless the buyer-broker contract is terminated and the homebuyer chooses to work with another agent.
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Article By Gabrielle Olya
Featured Expertise By Jason Gelios
Originally featured on GoBankingRates
If you’re applying for a mortgage loan, you no longer need to go to a physical bank and meet with a lender to get the loan you need — you can now go through the process entirely online. However, is the easier way always the better way? Not necessarily.
Find Out: 10 Common Mortgage Mistakes That Hurt Your Finances
Take a Look: Here’s How Much Mortgage Rates Have Fluctuated Over the Past Decade
Before using an online mortgage lender, be aware of the pros and cons.
Pros of Using an Online Mortgage LenderThere are several advantages to using an online mortgage lender.
It Can Be a Faster and More Streamlined Process“We’ve made it easy to do everything from your couch,” said Tabitha Mazzara, director of operations at MBANC, a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender. “Even though we don’t have walk-in branches like old-fashioned banks, that doesn’t mean we don’t have personalized service. What it means is that we offer a streamlined process that allows you to have shorter processing times and accurate approvals, because we connect directly to your bank to get the precise information about your finances. Your pre-approval is faster, which in turn makes it more likely you’ll get the home you want.”
“Digital signing also prevents delays, and that’s important in such a competitive market,” she continued. “Unsigned paperwork is one of the most common reasons transactions get delayed, but we avoid that altogether.”
Helpful: Tips To Get Your Mortgage Payments as Low as Possible
You May Get Lower Rates“As a direct-to-consumer lender, we also skip mortgage brokers altogether — the same way you probably skipped using an old-school travel agent and booked your last flight by yourself,” Mazzara said. “That saves costs.”
Those overhead cost savings are often passed down to the customers.
“Online lenders charge less and have fewer fees, making it a great deal for their clients,” said Dan Belcher, founder and CEO at Mortgage Relief. “They often offer rates with lower percentages, helping you save money.”
Helpful: How Interest Rates Affect Your Wallet and the Bigger Economic Picture
It Can Be Easier To Get Approved“FHA, VA, USDA and other loans require a minimum credit to get approved. However, individual online lenders can raise the bar at their own risks,” said Seth Williams, co-founder and real estate broker with Ledge & Young Real Estate. “Thus, it can be easier to get approved for a loan online.”
Cons of Using an Online Mortgage LenderIn some cases, it may be better to go the traditional route. Here’s a look at the possible downsides of using an online mortgage lender.
You May Not Qualify for the Advertised Low Rates“The vast majority of these online mortgage companies perpetuate business by advertising jaw-droppingly low rates,” said Samantha Kalla, a realtor with the Kalla Bay Homes Group. “This seems to be their go-to method for getting consumers hooked, and then much later, my clients have been hit with the ‘sinker.’ They often get them through the majority of the qualification process and underwriting, and then inform the client that they do not qualify for the advertised rate, and instead are stuck with a rate higher than if they would have gone the traditional banking route.”
Find Out: How Much Debt Americans Have at Every Age
You Lack the Convenience of Having a Human Contact If Something Goes Wrong
When you go the traditional route you will be working with a human loan officer, which has its advantages.
“The home buying process is already stressful enough — the last thing you want to be doing is tracking down where your loan file is,” Kalla said. “The implications of defaulting on a contract (i.e. a buyer not closing on time) are often more time-consuming and costly than choosing a traditional lender that you have a direct connection to, as well as someone that can be held responsible when underwriting is taking too long, or a back-end department screws up your name on the loan paperwork.”
Even if there are no issues, you may want to have a human contact that you can go to with any questions during the process.
“I have worked with home buyers who started off applying online, only to switch to a local and reputable lender who can provide them the guidance and answers they need with a more personal touch,” said Jason Gelios, a realtor with Community Choice Realty. “This is not to say that online lenders are not great for some people, but they tend to be better suited for those savvier with the mortgage process.”
Good To Know: Why It’s Still Worth Refinancing Your Mortgage Now — Except in This Situation
Online Lenders May Be Less Secure“There is an unfortunate possibility of working with scammers,” Belcher said. “Do your research beforehand and look for recommendations from people you trust. Read reviews before reaching out to work with an online lender. A disreputable online mortgage lender may have instances of fraud, so be careful when looking for one.”
You’re More Likely To Make an Error During the Application Process“While filling out a form from the comfort of your own home may seem easy, online loan applications can be difficult,” said Chris McGuire, realtor and founder of Real Estate Exam Ninja. “The chances of making a mistake are higher than if you were guided by an expert. Making a mistake because you misunderstood a question might cost you extra money or cause an issue down the road.”
Article by Guest Writer: Sally Norton
Are you of the opinion that you are too young to be a homeowner? Well, unless you are a teen still living with your parents, you definitely aren't! If you genuinely wish to buy a house in your 20s, the good news is that that's possible. Investing in a property will, most likely, be the most grown-up thing you've ever done. And let me tell you, it will be anything but easy. Still, if you feel confident about your decision and wish to proceed, then so be it! This article will attempt to familiarize you with the matter of acquiring housing young and why, in the end, doing so might even prove the best decision you've ever made!
Why it makes sense to buy a house in your 20s
Like there are differences between purchasing housing before and after getting married, there are those between purchasing housing in your 20s and later on in life. The younger you are when you buy, the more financially secure you will be in your future. While you work on paying off your mortgage, your equity will build, which, later on, can be used to your advantage. Then again, if you take out a mortgage young, the house should be paid off years before you hit retirement - provided you don't take out another loan down the line. By buying in your 20s, you also allow your property to appreciate. You could sell this property for a profit later on or use the money received to buy yourself a bigger home.
It makes sense to buy a house in your 20s for several reasons. One of them
is that there will be more time for your home to appreciate.
How to acquire housing while still in your 20s
Purchasing housing is doable even for the oldest members of Gen Z! Here is crucial information you must know should you decide to become a young homeowner yourself!
Gather money for a down payment
Before you purchase a house and resort to seeking moving assistance through verifiedmovers.com, you'll first have to save enough money for a down payment. In a nutshell, a down payment is an amount you pay upfront to secure the mortgage. Getting a loan without it is, sadly, not possible.
The majority of first-time homebuyers are required to put down 20% of the home's value as a down payment. If we talk about a house that costs about $200,000 to purchase, that accounts for $40,000 you must pay at once! You could put down less than that, though. But in that case, you would be required to pay private mortgage insurance every month for the entire duration of your mortgage.
Not having enough money saved for a down payment isn't a reason to give up on purchasing a property altogether. You could ask others for help, including your parents, or resort to applying for one of the down payment assistance programs. Either way, becoming a homeowner at a young age is possible, even if you aren't currently in the best financial situation.
To be approved for a mortgage, you'll first have to save enough money for a down payment.
Either that or apply for an assistance program.
Refinance your student loan
Are you still paying off your student loan? If so, you may be thinking it will be impossible to get a mortgage approval while in debt. But that's not true! Whether your mortgage request will be approved depends on your debt-to-loan ratio, which shouldn't exceed more than 36%. If it exceeds the set percentage, refinancing the student loan might prove the solution to the problem. By refinancing the loan, you prolong the period it takes you to pay it off, but as a result, you also get smaller monthly installments. These, in turn, allow you to make enough room for the mortgage.
Get someone with a good credit score to co-sign the mortgage
If you wish to buy a house in your 20s, then you'll have to find someone with a good credit score to co-sign it! Unfortunately, the younger the person, the shorter their credit history. And the shorter the credit history, the higher the chance it isn't ideal. Most lenders require the score to be at least 660. If it is lower, you may have to wait a few months or a few years for it to improve. By having the other person with great history co-sign your loan, though, you should be getting approved without having to wait.
If you have a poor credit score, you'll have to find someone with a good score to co-sign your mortgage.
You've gathered the courage to become a homeowner in your 20s. That's a giant leap in and of itself! This being your first home ever, it's recommended you don't rush into investing in something big - something that you aren't sure you'll be able to pay off in the future. You are young, and this probably won't be the last house that you buy. With that in mind, think about starting small. Most people refer to their first homes as ''starter homes.'' They grant you entry into homeowner waters and allow you to stay in them for longer. They are typically cheaper properties. Ones that come with shorter pay-off periods and lower interest rates.
Set aside enough money for unforeseen expenses
There is a range of expenses associated with buying and owning a home. These include everything from a down payment, closing costs, various fees, monthly mortgage, property tax, and others. And while you should be familiar with the ones just stated, there are the ''so-called'' unexpected costs to be wary of. For instance, you can never know when something might go wrong in the house. And the older the property, the higher the possibility of something malfunctioning. That's why it's essential to set up ''a rainy day fund'' which you'll, later on, use to finance the necessary repairs on time.
The sooner you set up the emergency fund, the better. Some recommend you do it before you've even bought the property! That way, you'll be 100% prepared for unpleasant surprises if they happen.
Although it's not precisely simple to buy a house in your 20s, it is something you should be able to do if you feel determined enough. However, before you go through with the purchase, make sure you talk to several professionals, including an experienced real estate agent and mortgage broker. They should provide answers to all the questions you may be having and guide the entire home buying process in the right direction.
5 Things You Can Do To Be More Resilient
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.
Jason Gelios is an Award Winning, Top Producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book Think Like a REALTOR®, Expert Media Contributor of real estate expertise to major media outlets, and the Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show educating home buyers and sellers the in’s and out’s of the process with real world expertise.
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Guest Writer: Sally Norton
When it comes to buying a new home, there are two main ways you can handle the financing. Today, we will take a deeper dive into the differences between buying with cash vs. getting a mortgage. Hopefully, this article will clear up any uncertainties you might have had and help you choose the option that is the best fit for your financial situation.
The basics of cash vs. getting a mortgage
If you ask people what they think is better, no one will tell you that having a massive debt is a good thing. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s an open and shut case. There are many nuances you need to consider before making the best financial decision.
Funding everything with cash may sound like an unattainable dream for some. Honestly, most people will never have enough money set aside to fully buy a house just from that. Consider yourself lucky if you have that as an option. Despite being able to afford it, purchasing a home for a large amount of cash might not represent the best option. Let’s say you can’t afford to buy the home outright, but you do have a substantial amount in cash. Even sinking as much money as you can into the down payment to lower the mortgage rates will have its downsides as well.
Putting all of your cash savings into a home is a huge commitment.
On the other hand, you need to consider how long it will take you to pay off your mortgage and what kind of a burden it will leave on your finances. Getting a mortgage isn’t the same in your 20s and your 50s. If you are buying your first home a little later in life, your savings will hopefully be better as well. To better understand your options, let's look at buying with cash vs. getting a mortgage and the pros and cons of each of these approaches.
Buying a home with cash
Pros of buying with cash:
Couples often decide to buy a home together if they are getting married.
Getting a mortgage
Pros of getting a mortgage:
If you get a mortgage, you will need to deal with monthly payments.
Drawing conclusions from buying with cash vs. getting a mortgage?
Paying with cash is obviously going to be more attractive to sellers. They won't need to worry about buyers being declined for a loan. Also, sellers usually expect the sale to wrap up faster if they are dealing with a cash buyer. On the other hand, buyers can use cash payment as a negotiation tool to lower the price.
Depending on your other finances, getting a mortgage can protect you from creditors. For example, in Florida, homes are exempt from certain creditors, making the mortgage a safety net. Of course, this can depend on homestead exemption laws and how much of the mortgage you have paid off.
Whichever route you choose, you will need to keep in mind that you'll be facing additional expenses. Besides the closing costs, which we already mentioned, most people forget about the costs of moving. Besides being costly, moving is also pretty stressful. And you can make it much less overwhelming if you use the most efficient way to pack and hire a moving company. In fact, getting professional services is highly recommended, as DIY relocations can end up costing more.
The bottom line
As you have seen, there are pros and cons to both sides, and it’s not easy to determine a clear winner in buying with cash vs. getting a mortgage. Carefully consider your needs, current situation, and your financing options to make the decision that’s best for you.
A preferred lender might be best – but not always
Erik J. Martin The Mortgage Reports Contributor | Featured Expertise By Jason Gelios-Realtor
September 15, 2021 - 6 min read
When you’re buying a newly constructed home or having one built from scratch, you have different financing options.
You can get a mortgage loan from a lender of your choice. Or, you can opt for the builder’s preferred lender if it has in-house financing or partners with a bank.
You’re never required to use your builder’s preferred lender. And, as always, you should shop around for the lowest interest rate on your home loan so you know you’re getting the best deal.
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By BRITTANY ANAS
Published SEP 26, 2021
Photo credit: Julia Steele
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, condos fell out of favor. Buyers wanted space — and lots of it. Privacy, too. Unsure of if and when they’d be returning to the office, they scoured the sizzling hot market looking for detached, single-family homes with enough square footage to accommodate their new hunkered-down-at-home lifestyles.
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Episode 195 | The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show
Article by Erik J. Martin Edited by Suzanne De Vita Reviewed By Robert R. Johnson
As you prepare to finalize a home purchase, there’s an important step to take before the closing: the final walkthrough. This personal inspection helps ensure that the home you committed to on paper is in relatively identical condition to when you first visited, and that the seller is compliant with the terms of your real estate contract.
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Article by Tara Mastroeni
Featured expertise: Jason Gelios
In real estate transactions, homebuyers rarely meet home sellers before reaching the closing table. So have you ever wondered why?
As a general rule, real estate agents frown on buyers having face time with sellers because things can go wrong. A whole lot of things, in fact. Even seemingly innocent comments could land buyers or sellers in hot water—and jeopardize the entire real estate deal.
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Guest Writer: Suzie Wilson
Image via Pexels
If you’re preparing for a move to Southeast Michigan, there are a number of tasks you’ll need to complete before relocating to cities such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, Warren, or Livonia. This guide from REALTOR® Jason Gelios will tell you everything you need to know to plan a stress-free move into your new Michigan home!
Choosing the Right City, Neighborhood, and Home
Making the decision to move to Southeast Michigan is just the start. You’ll also need to choose a city, neighborhood, and the right type of home for your household.
Planning a Move to Southeast Michigan
Complete the following tasks at least a few weeks before you’re scheduled to move to Southeast Michigan.
Settling Into Your New Home
After all that hard work and planning, it’s finally time to clean your new home, update your driver’s license, and enjoy all that Southeast Michigan has to offer!
Moving can be a pain, especially when you’re relocating to a new city or state. But thanks to these tips and resources, moving to Southeast Michigan doesn’t have to be such a hassle. Before you know it, you’ll be settled into your home and exploring your new city!
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter.
Are you buying or selling a home in Southeast Michigan? Contact REALTOR® Jason Gelios for
Episode 194 AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show
Writer: Terri Williams
Featured Expertise: Jason Gelios-Realtor
Writer: Terri Williams
Featured Expertise: Jason Gelios-Realtor
Guest Writer: Sally Norton
When people think of first-time homebuyers, they usually picture those in their 20s or 30s. However, when it comes to buying a home, there is no age limit. If you are sure that buying your first home in your 50s is the right choice for you, then go for it. However, if you don't know what signs to look for to be sure you're making the right decision, continue reading. We've prepared tips and advice that will hopefully steer your decision in the right direction.
When you're looking to buy a home in your 50s, you need to be sure you're making the right decision. Therefore, there are certain things to consider:
● Your financial situation and knowing if your house is worth the mortgage
● Your expectations when it comes to the property you're looking to purchase
● What type of property should you look for, will it be suitable for your needs, and does it fit into your lifestyle?
Further in this article, we'll explain each of these concerns in detail.
Can your budget handle the costs? Before you decide to take this huge step, make sure to analyze your finances and see if your budget can handle it. Although you are not exempt from getting a mortgage due to your age, you still need to be sure you'll be able to pay it when your income drops after you retire.
Before you decide to buy a home, make sure that your budget can handle it.
Even though mortgage costs will remain the same, you still need to pay for maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, and similar if you take out a conventional loan. Therefore, make sure to take these costs into consideration, too, as they have a tendency to climb, and you need to be sure you can afford them before deciding to buy a home.
Also, you need to think about your upcoming relocation costs and budget accordingly. Don't rush into making a decision but do your research in order to find a low-budget solution. Nowadays, there are plenty of reliable moving companies that will safely relocate your belongings without you having to spend too much.
What type of home should you look for? When you're in your 50s, your kids are most likely independent and potentially have their own families. Therefore, even if you are used to renting a single-family home when it comes to buying, you need to thoroughly think and decide whether you should go for a house or a condo.
Your choice of home will depend on your needs and preferences.
For example, a lot of people over 50 decide to downsize.
Many people decide to downsize after reaching a certain age. That makes a lot of sense as you probably don't need as much space as you did before. Also, with smaller places come fewer responsibilities and costs of maintenance and upkeep.
Another thing you should do is research the market and housing forecasts as that will also help you make your decision. By having information about market movements and the current situation with real estate, you can decide what type of property you can afford that, at the same time, suits your needs best.
Will this type of home be suitable for you once your health declines? One of the most important things you should have in mind when choosing your future home is the fact that you're getting older and your health might decline. Hopefully, you'll be able to stay fit and mobile, but there is no harm in taking preventive measures. Therefore, choose a home design and location suitable for your age.
For example, even though you might not have issues with climbing the stairs now, it could become a problem sometimes in the future for either you or your partner. Therefore, the best option is to choose a single-story house. If you decide to purchase a condo, make sure that the building has an elevator.
Also, at some point, you might not be able to drive. Therefore, the location of your home is a crucial factor to consider. Look into finding a place near public transportation and near shops and other amenities you'll frequently need.
Will your new home fit into your lifestyle? When choosing a home where you plan on spending the rest of your life, you need to consider what type of activities you want to enjoy and what kind of lifestyle you want to have. It's essential to think about the time after you retire as you don't want to be stuck in a place that doesn't fulfill your needs.
In order to make the right choice, you need to think about what you want from your new home
and how it fits into your lifestyle now and after your retirement.
Also, make sure to discuss this with your partner, as you might have completely different expectations regarding how you want to spend your retirement. For example, you might want to travel around the world while your partner wants to stay put and be close to your grandkids. These things can massively influence your decision when buying a home in your 50s.
How long do you plan on living there? Another thing to consider is the time you want to spend in your new home. Perhaps you don't want to live there for the rest of your life but make it a temporary solution before retirement.
If that is the case, our advice is not to buy a property if you don't plan on living there for at least 5 years. Why? Because home appreciation could be wiped by the transaction costs. In that case, you'd be left without the benefits of having invested in a property.
We hope that we were able to convince you that buying your first home in your 50s can be a good choice, depending on your needs and preferences. Of course, the final decision is on you, and we wish you the best of luck with it.
By Laura Woods
Featured expertise by Jason Gelios-Realtor
shironosov / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Your home is likely the largest purchase you’ve ever made. Owning a place of your very own is satisfying, but you’re not always sure your house is worth the mortgage.
Given the current white-hot housing market, you might've considered putting your home on the market. In some cases, this might be a good idea, as 51% of homes sold above list price in August 2021, according to Redfin.
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I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Billion Success on the topic of overcoming fear and what my definition of success is.
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the book Think like a REALTOR®, Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.