FAQs2021-05-03T13:39:05-04:00
How can I check my credit rating before I apply for a mortgage?2020-09-09T12:45:52-04:00

Your credit rating is based on a combined score generated from three credit bureaus that look at your credit history, amount of credit available, and recent inquiries to determine what’s called your FICO score. A smart way to go is to have your Coldwell Banker Associate (or other mortgage professional) check your rating for you and, if appropriate, suggest ways for you to improve your credit.

How many homes should I plan to view and how should I make the final decision?2020-09-09T12:45:38-04:00

Generally you should view a number of homes so you can become familiar with what you can expect to get for your money. When you find a home you really like, it’s a good idea to go back and look at it at a different time of day. This will give you greater insight into what it will be like living in the home full time.

Legal considerations with senior homes2021-03-15T13:10:17-04:00

Because the laws surrounding senior issues are so complicated, actions like selling senior homes can affect areas that seem unrelated but are critical to a senior’s well-being, such as qualification for senior benefits. It is important to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in senior homes and elder law, who can structure legal documents and transactions in a way that protects the assets, benefits and rights of an aging parent.

An attorney could be beneficial in many parts of the sale of a senior home and the moving process. Elder law attorneys understand issues specific to seniors and have extensive knowledge across a number of senior-related areas.

Elder law attorneys understand issues specific to seniors and have extensive knowledge across a number of senior-related areas.

Should I Buy First Or Sell First?2020-10-14T10:56:27-04:00

While The Answer To This Basic Question Is As Individual As You Are, Here Are Some Things To Consider.

Generally speaking, under most market conditions, real estate professionals advise listing your present home and shopping for your new home simultaneously. Nonetheless, you should talk to me about your personal situation, so you can consider how fast you need to sell and how long you should expect it to take in current market conditions.

If you have very specific criteria – like location, size, views, age, etc. which could lead to a time-consuming home search – you should consider finding and buying a home first before you sell your existing home. If necessary, your offer to buy a home can be contingent on selling yours. On the other hand, if you sell first, you can make your sale dependent on finding a home to buy.

Seasonality can play a role in deciding when to sell – with spring and fall the most popular seasons to put a home on the market.

I can help you consider the effect of other factors like interest rates, consumer confidence, month’s supply and typical times to sell at your specific price range in the local economy.

What about aging in place?2021-03-15T13:10:39-04:00

Most seniors would prefer to age in place, but health and aging issues can prevent full access to the house. Raised thresholds and bathrooms represent fall risks, doorknobs become difficult to turn, and stairs are hard to climb. Seniors may feel trapped in certain are of their homes, forcing them to consider moving when they don’t want to do so.

Accessibility and safety can also become issues when an aging parent moves in with an adult child, prompting a need for home renovations. It can be difficult for a homeowner to determine what changes are needed and how they should be made.

In these situations, your SRES® may be able to refer you to an aging-in-place specialist who can evaluate your home, find problem areas, and suggest home modifications.

What are the financial considerations?2021-03-15T13:11:00-04:00

You may need assistance with sorting out the complex decisions and figuring out what role your real estate investment plays in your overall financial picture? Those considerations include taxes, retirement savings withdrawal schedules, long-term care needs, inheritance issues and others.

As a SRES® designee, I understand managing capital gains and the tax implications of owning real estate. I can provide information that addresses a host of issues, such as the uses of pensions, 401K accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions, and how Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security affect real estate decisions for senior citizens. And, I can introduce you to an attorney or tax advisor that specializes in those areas.

What are the healthcare and assisted living considerations?2021-03-15T13:09:47-04:00

As years pass, even the most independent individuals may need help with basic daily needs. For seniors who are moving into a residence that provides assisted living care, this may not be an issue. However, if a senior decides to remain in their home, or is moving in with a son or daughter, daily caregiving needs can become a major concern.

An adult child living nearby is usually the first among siblings to become aware of an elderly parent’s need for assisted living. There may be more parental requests for help around the house, or a noticeable decline in home maintenance. Perhaps there is a health crisis. Whatever the cause, it may be a good time for the parent and all relevant family members to discuss developing a plan for meeting the senior’s medical and other needs.

What are typical buying issues for a 55+ client?2021-03-15T13:08:25-04:00

Having mixed emotions. Buying a residence as a senior can be both exciting and daunting. The excitement stems from anticipating new beginnings in a fresh environment. It’s daunting because there are so many types of 50+ residences, finite resources and sometimes emotional hurdles to overcome.

As a SRES® designee, I can sit down with you and your loved ones to discuss needs, outline options and help you determine the very best 55+ residence option for you. Then, working within the parameters you provide, we can locate a property that fits your needs.

As a SRES® designee, I can leverage my senior education, experience and network to find properties, determine appropriate offers, and negotiate purchases on your behalf.
When necessary, I can also tap into a network of experts, such as home inspectors, movers, attorneys, and CPAs, to ensure that the purchase of your new residence, and the move, proceed smoothly.

What are typical selling issues for a 55+ client?2021-03-15T13:17:05-04:00

Selling a home is rarely simple–and selling a senior’s home can add additional considerations and complexity. As a SRES®,, I can modify some aspects of their marketing efforts to meet the individual needs of senior homeowners. Here are the essential steps you can expect during the process:

  • Pricing considerations
  • Staging your home
  • Showing your home
  • Negotiating the sale and closing
  • Packing and moving

For families facing the task of packing and moving on their own, think about starting the process well in advance. Set small, achievable daily goals. Establish plans for tackling different rooms. Remember that packing can be emotionally taxing on everyone, so consider ways to break up the work and make it more enjoyable.

What happens if the house I want to purchase does not appraise at the amount expected?2020-09-09T12:46:09-04:00

If the house doesn’t appraise at the amount expected, other alternatives are typically found. In some situations, a second appraisal may be sought, the buyer may be willing to put more money down, the seller may adjust the price or offer other concessions, or the two sides may negotiate to split the difference between them.

What is a SRES designee?2021-03-15T13:08:01-04:00

Your golden years bring lots of changes. When it’s time to make a change to your home, you’ll want a REALTOR® with the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation by your side. From market trends to economic issues, your SRES® is specially qualified to address the real estate needs of adults ages 55+ and can empower you to make the best decisions for your future. As a certified SRES agent, I can help you in these needs.

What is an escape clause?2020-09-24T11:20:23-04:00

An escape clause, also known as a kickout or knockout clause, is a provision that allows the party to void the contract. For example, the seller may retain the right to look for a more favorable offer, with the original purchaser retaining the right, if challenged, either to firm up the first sales contract (such as by waiving a contingency) or to void the contract. As another example, sellers might insist upon an escape clause in a contract that hinges on the buyers’ selling their home.

You will want to be sure that your agent is familiar with these options and works in you general best interests.

What is meant by the term “contingency” in a sales contract?2020-09-24T11:21:48-04:00

Sales contracts typically contain several “contingency” clauses, or stipulations that the sale is subject to. For example, with a mortgage contingency, if the buyer is unable to obtain financing within the specified timeframe, neither the buyer nor the seller is required to complete the purchase. Among other common provisions in the “subject to” section are termite and other inspection issues and the purchaser’s need to sell a current home first.

This is where my experience and negotiating skills are important.

What is the purpose of an attorney review?2020-09-09T12:46:23-04:00

In our area of New Jersey, the real estate agent writes the contract and there is  an attorney review period. This specified period allows the attorney to cancel the contract or request it be altered. Both buyer and seller would then have to agree to the revised contract in writing. In the initial days of the attorney review cycle, either party may void the contract without penalty.

What is title insurance and why do I need it?2020-09-09T12:46:40-04:00

Basically, title insurance assures that you have clear title to the home you’re purchasing. A title search is the primary component of “due diligence,” a process that will be started either by your attorney or by the title company you choose. The title search determines whether the seller actually owns the property and if there are any claims against it.

Why should I consider paying points?2020-09-09T12:46:55-04:00

Buyers often choose to pay a one-time charge called mortgage “points” in exchange for a lower interest rate. Usually paid at closing, each “point” costs 1% of the mortgage amount, or $2,000 on a $200,000 loan. The lower rate reduces the monthly mortgage payment, and points paid in conjunction with the purchase of a home are generally tax-deductible in the year they’re paid (see tax advisor). Monthly savings will often exceed what was paid in points in just a few years’ time.

Why shouldn’t I price my house a little high, since I can always drop the price later?2020-09-24T11:19:27-04:00

That’s a strategy that sounds good – but, in fact, is more likely to result in a lower price. Here’s why: The first few weeks a house is on the market is when it will have the most activity. If a house is overpriced, it has to compete with houses at that higher price level, which are almost certainly larger or have newer/more luxurious features. So the overpriced home is unlikely to attract an offer. Worse yet, those first weeks are when real estate agents preview the house. If it’s overpriced, they may not even bother to show it to their buyers. Eventually, the seller will have to drop the price – and may end up with an even lower price because buyers will wonder why the house has been on the market so long and may factor that into their offer.

Setting the proper  initial price is critical to your success.  That is where my Right Pricing Strategy combined with years of local market experience becomes key.

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