Tag Archives: The Dinsmore Team

Difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor

iStock_000000849291_Large1If you’re looking to buy your first home, chances are good that you may not have had a lot of prior experience in the real estate market.  Aside from the fact that the entire prospect of purchasing a home is daunting to most people, it can be even more confusing if you are not sure of the differences between a standard real estate agent and a REALTOR.  While it’s common to use both terms somewhat interchangeably, there are actually variances between the two titles that separate them from each other.

Yes, both are licensed to sell real estate; however, one is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means they are bound by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.  As a consumer, it’s not surprising that you may be wondering what this means since the idea of a code of ethics is somewhat arbitrary, but it’s important to note that the code which bounds each member of the National Association of REALTORS® is strictly enforced.

In short, The Code contains 17 articles, as well as certain Standards of Practice that bind REALTORS in a way that does not impact individuals who simply hold a real estate license.  While it’s impossible to guarantee that all REALTORS will adhere to the standards at all times, The Code exists as a way to regulate and require ethical behavior.

While it should be noted that this in no way means that non-member real estate agents fail to be ethically-minded, it’s important to realize that most REALTORS take their promises very seriously.

To help aid in your understanding, the 17 REALTOR promises are as follows:

  1. Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly.
  2. Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
  3. Shall cooperate with other brokers / agents when it is in the best interests of the client to do so.
  4. Have a duty to disclose if they represent family members who own or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction, that they are licensed to sell real estate.
  5. Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
  6. Shall not collect any commissions without the seller’s knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller’s express consent.
  7. Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties’ informed consent.
  8. Shall not co-mingle client funds with their own.
  9. Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
  10. Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
  11. Expects agents to be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
  12. Must engage in truth in advertising.
  13. Shall not practice law unless they are a lawyer.
  14. Shall cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested.
  15. Agree not to bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
  16. Shall not solicit another REALTOR’S client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
  17. Shall submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system.

If you’d like to learn more or are interested in buying or selling a home, I’d love to show you what makes REALTORS so great.  Please feel free to contact me at my direct number below.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.MarieDinsmore.com | 770-712-7789

Are You Prepared to Deal with New Changes in the Mortgage Process?

iStock_000014023045LargeWhen the housing market collapsed in 2007, it was understandably necessary for the federal government to react by making a point to keep a tighter leash upon the financial industry.  Therefore, in response to the mortgage crisis, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in 2011, which created a new government agency—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

TRID

In an effort to avoid another housing disaster, the CFPB settled upon a set of stricter mortgage rules and regulations that recently went into effect on the 3rd of October.  Known as “TRID,” (which stands for: Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) + Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) + Integrated + Disclosure) the goal was to:

  1. Overhaul and improve the abundance of archaic industry forms, which date back to the late sixties and mid-seventies, and
  2. To slow down the mortgage process in an effort to give the borrower more time to review their forms.

In short, these new rules are expressly geared towards improving the home-buying experience for consumers; however, it’s important to note that the overall mortgage process is going to be a lot longer and more challenging than it was in the past.

THE PROCESS

For starters, once the borrower completes the loan application and gives the sales contract to their lender, the lender must then return a loan estimate to the borrower within three business days; however, before the lender can take any steps to either require loan documentation, order a title search, or mandate an appraisal, the borrower must respond to the lender with “their intent to proceed.”  In other words, to keep things moving in a forward direction, it is imperative that the borrower respond to the lender as quickly as possible after receiving a loan estimate.

With that being said, once the seller has accepted the buyer’s offer and the closing process begins, it’s important to realize that the new regulations also slow down the end of the mortgage proceedings as well.  Basically, the loan cannot close until the lender has:

  1. Sent the borrower the final Closing Disclosure (CD)
  2. Confirmed that the borrower has received the CD
  3. Waited for the three-day waiting period to pass

STEPS FOR BUYERS

Therefore, if you’re a buyer, you may want to consider the following steps, which will help you complete the entire process with as little fuss as possible.

  1. Submit a pre-approval application before making an offer in order to minimize the processing delays that will occur if you don’t already have a loan lined up
  2. Don’t drag your feet. Make a point to give the sales contract to the lender as soon as it’s available
  3. Consider doing things electronically, such as signing the loan disclosures
  4. Provide the lender with your “Intent to Proceed” as soon as your able
  5. Make sure you have all of your loan docs ready for delivery to the lender within the first week of the process
  6. Confirm receipt of the CD immediately after receiving it so you can get the ball rolling on the three-day waiting period

CONCLUSION

In the end, while these new laws make things a bit more complicated—especially if you’re operating under a time crunch—their purpose is to give buyers the necessary time to make sure they’re closing on a deal that truly fits into their life.  No one wants to see another foreclosure crisis, so these types of laws will hopefully go a long way towards making sure buyers are absolutely sure before they sign on the final dotted line.

If you have any questions or you’re a seller and would like to know more about how these new regulations will impact your sale, please feel free to contact me.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

The Future: Selling Your Home Online?

the-edrms-new-computer-assisted-review-reference-model-explainedYears ago, before the dot-com era really took off, I remember laughing as companies started listing their web addresses at the end of each commercial.  I simply couldn’t believe that all of these businesses were getting online and when it came to being able to actually make purchases with the click of a button, I was amazed.

In the 15-20 years since then, we’ve watched as the world has changed into a connected web of physical storefronts and virtual corporations.  As we’ve gained the ability to be online at any time, we’ve found ourselves trying to balance the good with the bad.

In regards to the real estate industry, the internet has made it easier for consumers to not only look for homes, but to engage with agents and other professionals without leaving the house; however, a line has always been drawn between finding a home online and actually purchasing a home online.  Generally speaking, the brick and mortar business of real estate—with real estate agents at the helm—continues to be the norm.

Still, according to a recent CNBC article, the U.S. market may be primed for a new wave of online-only real estate agents who have found success in the U.K.  Companies like eMoov and HouseSimple have gained a footing through streamlined systems which allow them to charge lower fees for selling a home.

However, after speaking with the National Association of Realtors, the article’s author was told that Americans should be leery of making the transition into a purely digital real estate market, especially since purchasing a home is a lot more complex than “clicking ‘buy’ on a website, like you’d do when purchasing an airline ticket.”

They also make a point to stress the fact that while online companies may save sellers money, they are lacking in their ability to fully understand local markets and will have a hard time helping consumers navigate each step of the transaction process.

At the end of the day, the U.S. real estate industry is all about forging personal connections and providing personal attention.  Utilizing the services of an agent who not only has knowledge about the buying and selling process, but the local area is important if you’re hoping to get the best deal possible.

Yes, the internet has a unique affinity for making things simple when it comes to purchasing a product from anywhere in the world; however, how easy is it to make contact if you have an issue with that product once you’ve purchased it?  The problem with the impersonal nature of dealing with online corporations is that you’re doing business with people who have no real ties to you, your life, or your community.

The vitality of a local real estate agent is often based upon personal referrals, which means your best interests remain the primary concern.  This will not be the case with an online-only agent or company, so it’s worth questioning whether you want to place $200,000+ to someone who has no real ties to your life.

At this point in time, the U.S. market has yet to see a rise in these types of companies, but the wave is coming and homeowners need to be prepared for what types of changes they can expect to see within the industry.

If you’re looking to sell your current property or are on the hunt for something new, I would love give you the personal attention you deserve.  Please contact me for more information.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Strategies for Tackling Buyer’s Remorse

CLbqPpjXAAASWnqFor some, any major—or even small—purchase will elicit feelings of anxiety, regret, and even doom; however, even though you may be someone who is generally inclined to a bit of hand-wringing, when purchasing a home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

YOU CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING

For starters, let’s just address the obvious.  Yes, purchasing a home is a huge commitment, both in terms of finances and time.  Still, while a large part of that process may feel overwhelming and beyond your control, remember try to remember that it is often our need to feel like we must control everything that gets us into trouble.

Instead of fixating on everything that frightens you about owning your new home—or a home in general—remind yourself of all the reasons you made the decision to purchase in the first place.  Whether you were tired of landlords or simply loved the possibility of having a big backyard, chances are good that you put in a lot of time, effort, and money to get to where you are.

As with most things in life, if you spend more time focusing on the good instead of ruminating over the bad, you’re likely to be a much happier person.  Overcoming buyer’s remorse is no different.  Fixate on the possibilities, the potential, and the parts that simply feel like home.

STOP AND THINK

All-too-often, we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed without taking the time to assess what we’re truly feeling.  Where are those thoughts of buyer’s remorse coming from?  Are you afraid that you won’t be able to afford the mortgage?  Is there a lot of work that still needs to be done?  Do you feel like it may be smaller than you expected?

Instead of standing still and continuing to stress, make a list of your worries and start by addressing what you can, one thing at a time.  Take a Saturday to paint the guest room.  Replace the lighting in the kitchen.  By slowly crossing items off your list, you’re likely to feel that sense of dread lift, ever so slightly.

SHOW IT OFF

Hey!  You just bought a home!  That’s great!  …and let’s be honest, it really is great!  Not everyone is in a position to do that—no matter how much they’d like to be—so why not celebrate?

Throw a housewarming party, barbeque, or dinner and gather your loved ones for a celebration.  Chances are better than good that everyone will be more than excited for you, so let a little bit of those good vibes remind you of how fantastic your new place is.

TAKE SOME TIME TO CREATE YOUR SPOT

Part of learning to love something requires finding a bright spot in what may otherwise be somewhat dim.  When you take the time to appreciate one area of your home, chances are good that those warm feelings will spread.

Set aside a few spare moments to just sit in your new space—every day—and appreciate the things you love about your little corner of comfort.  Whether it’s soft light at sunrise or open French doors, let this part of your house feel like home and hopefully, the rest will follow.

If you’d like to find your dream home and want some assistance with the buying process, I’d love to offer my services.  Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: Danbury Farms in Cumming, GA

LA-Danbury-FarmsFraser-WB142-small-1200x560Just last month, Lennar Atlanta began selling homes in the lovely Danbury Farms neighborhood in Cumming, GA.  These new, single-family homes, which are located in beautiful Forsyth County are located within a swim/tennis community that boasts close proximity to great schools, exciting outdoor/recreational activities, and a fantastic array of dining and shopping options.

Perfect for growing families, Danbury Farms includes 113 homesites that offer everything from first floor guest bedrooms and granite countertops to stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring.  With the option of homes sized to 3,100 square feet, prices start in the mid-$300s and include the Lennar Homes Everything’s Included® plan, which lets them provide buyers with the most desirable, detail oriented home appointments based upon extensive research into what features homeowners want to see.

Some of the elements include: brick-front exteriors, professionally landscaped yards, grand entryways, cultured marble vanities in baths, brushed nickel features, crown molding, and gourmet kitchens.

SCHOOLS:

Kelly Mill Elementary – 1180 Chamblee Gap Road, (678) 965-4953

Vickery Middle School – 6240 Post Road, (770) 677-2580

West Forsyth High School – 4155 Drew Road, (770) 888-3470

SHOPPING:

North Georgia Premium Outlets – Dawsonville, GA

The Avalon – Alpharetta, GA

The Collection at Forsyth – Cumming, GA

Northpoint Mall – Alpharetta, GA

The Mall of Georgia – Buford, GA

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES:

Sawnee Mountain Preserve – Cumming, GA

Lake Lanier Parks – Cumming, GA

Fowler Park – Cumming, GA

The Big Creek Greenway – Cumming, GA

Haw Creek Park – Cumming, GA

To learn more about this beautiful, family-oriented neighborhood or to schedule a showing, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.  These homes will go fast, so don’t wait!

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


utilities

Looking for a fast way to connect all of your utility services online? Try Connect Utilities.

Please let us know if there are other resources you'd like to see.

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789