John Colby
Colby Realty | 978-249-5871 | [email protected]


Posted by John Colby on 8/22/2021

If you intend to buy a house in the foreseeable future, it pays to prepare. That way, you can enter the real estate market as an "extraordinary" homebuyer, i.e. someone who knows exactly what it takes to find a great house at an outstanding price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help any homebuyer go from ordinary to extraordinary.

1. Learn the Ins and Outs of the Housing Sector

The real estate market is complex, particularly for someone who is pursuing a house for the first time. Fortunately, plenty of housing market data is available that can help you gain the insights that you need to make an informed home purchase.

Take a look at homes that are currently available in your city or town. By doing so, you can better understand the prices of houses that match your expectations. Then, you can tailor your home search accordingly.

Furthermore, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This housing market data will help you determine whether you're about to enter a real estate market that favors buyers or sellers.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about your mortgage options – you'll be glad you did. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can begin your home search with a budget in hand, thereby reducing the temptation to spend too much on a house.

Lenders are happy to provide you with information about a broad range of mortgage options. Also, if you ever have mortgage questions, lenders employ friendly, professionally trained mortgage specialists who are ready to respond to your queries.

In addition, it usually is a good idea to evaluate your credit score prior to applying for a mortgage.

You can obtain a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you review your credit report closely, you can identify and resolve any potential credit problems and increase the likelihood that you can obtain a favorable mortgage.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to becoming an extraordinary homebuyer, it is important to note that it can be difficult for even the most diligent homebuyer to succeed on his or her own. However, if you employ an expert real estate agent, you can streamline the process of acquiring your dream residence.

A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success, and as such, will do everything possible to help you find the perfect residence.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. This housing market professional will even help you alleviate homebuying stress and ensure that you can quickly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ready to embark on the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can become an extraordinary homebuyer in no time at all.




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Posted by John Colby on 8/8/2021


Real estate transactions have so many steps and moving parts they can feel unending. Your hard work and patience will pay off when you reach your closing day—as long as there are no unforeseen issues. Unfortunately, there are some common reasons that a closing can be delayed. While you cannot predict everything, you can familiarize yourself with some of the typical problems that can occur in order to prepare for them. Here are some of the most common reasons closing can be delayed:

The Buyer’s Mortgage Is Not Approved

Mortgage approval issues are the most common cause of home transactions being delayed or even terminated. During the approval process, a lender will observe your financial situation to monitor for any risky credit behavior. If they find something, it could either cause them to change the mortgage terms or deny the request outright. To avoid this, buyers should get full preapproval from their lender well before making an offer on a home but they should also avoid borrowing more money or opening new credit accounts until closing.

The Appraisal Is Too Low

Your mortgage lender requires an appraisal on the home to figure out its value. They then compare this appraisal with the listing price. If the appraisal comes back lower than the price of the home, you might have to negotiate with the seller to make up the difference. This can cause delays even if the buyer or seller can come to a quick agreement. The lender might require certain repairs to the property or a second appraisal done.

The Inspection Found Something Serious

Even if you take care of home inspections well in advance, there’s always the chance something will come up in a final walkthrough. You may also face a situation where the initial inspection found something serious, but the repairs are causing the delay. There are also some specific types of inspection (termite, mold or radon, to name a few) that lenders might require before granting final approval for the mortgage. Any delays in checking these boxes will push back your closing date.

There’s a Claim on the Title

You must acquire a title report as part of the escrow process. If the report shows anything negative on the title — either true or in error—the issues must be resolved before the sale can move forward. It’s common for homeowners to be completely unaware of title issues until they sell, which can cause delays and frustration. Getting a title insurance policy will help you in case there are any liens or claims to the property, but correcting the issue can still take time.

The Buyer Backs Out

Sometimes people simply change their minds. Unfortunately, this can mean a sudden cancellation of the entire transaction in the event a buyer walks away. A common part of real estate contracts is to have the buyer put down a deposit known as earnest money that shows their intent to follow through with the purchase. This gives the seller some extra monetary protection if the buyer leaves. However, it won’t make up for any lost time or effort.

Not every problem can be prevented but the more you know about potential issues before they arise, the better. Always go over contracts carefully and do things like appraisals and inspections as early as possible to prevent the more common.





Posted by John Colby on 6/27/2021

As a homebuyer, you likely will want to do everything possible to secure your dream house at a budget-friendly price. Yet for those who are dealing with an aggressive property seller, achieving the optimal results may prove to be challenging.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the homebuying process so you can acquire your ideal residence at an affordable price – even if you're forced to deal with an aggressive home seller.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you deal with an aggressive property seller and accomplish your desired homebuying results.

1. Remain Patient

It may be tough to deal with an aggressive home seller at times, but those who stay the course can buy a house that matches or exceeds their expectations.

Remember, a patient homebuyer generally is a happy homebuyer. If a buyer avoids rash decisions and remains calm, cool and collected when dealing with an aggressive seller, he or she can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible choices throughout the property buying journey.

2. Focused on Your Desired Results

The ultimate goal of the homebuying journey is to find and buy a house that you can enjoy for years to come. In some instances, an aggressive seller may make it difficult for you to accomplish your goal. But if you prioritize the end results of the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than others to secure a terrific residence.

If you focus on the big picture, you may be able to reduce the risk that minor issues with an aggressive home seller could slow down the property buying journey. And if you do whatever it takes to achieve your desired homebuying results, you may be able to find unique solutions to various problems.

Don't forget to maintain open communication with a seller. If you open the lines of communication with a seller, both you and a seller can work together to ensure all parties are satisfied with the results of a home sale.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to deal with an aggressive seller, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have an expert negotiator at your disposal.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller and his or her agent on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent will minimize the risk of potential property buying delays.

Let's not forget about the frequent updates that a real estate agent provides during a negotiation with a property seller, either. A real estate agent will keep you informed about seller negotiations and ensure you can move along the homebuying cycle. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at your convenience.

Manage the homebuying journey like never before – use the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid the headaches commonly associated with dealing with an aggressive property seller.




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Posted by John Colby on 5/2/2021

Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers aren’t aren’t sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lender’s decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, we’re going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how they’re used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit. However, if you’ve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.


This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom you’ve applied for credit.

In short, checking your credit score online won’t affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.

Can I get a loan with low credit?

Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if you’re young and don’t have a diverse history of credit payments, you’ll be starting from scratch to build your score.

If you’re hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesn’t mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you don’t have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which you’ll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.

Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?

Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and won’t leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.




Tags: Buying a home   FAQ   homebuyers  
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Posted by John Colby on 4/18/2021

As a homebuyer, it is important to set high expectations. At the same time, a homebuyer must act reasonably, or he or she risks missing out on a golden opportunity to acquire the perfect residence.

Ultimately, becoming a reasonable homebuyer can be quick and easy – here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Establish Realistic Expectations for the Homebuying Journey

The homebuying journey sometimes can take weeks or months to complete, and a homebuyer should plan accordingly. By doing so, a homebuyer can prepare for any potential homebuying pitfalls.

For example, a homebuyer may submit an offer on a home and receive a "Yes" from a home seller. But if a home inspector discovers myriad problems with a residence, a homebuyer may need to walk away from the house and restart the homebuying journey.

In the aforementioned scenario, a homebuyer may become frustrated and annoyed, and for good reason. Conversely, if a homebuyer understands the challenges associated with buying a house, he or she can plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios.

2. Search for Homes That Fall Within Your Price Range

Have you established a budget for your home search? If not, you may wind up focusing on houses that you won't be able to afford.

Get pre-approved for a home loan – you'll be glad you did. With a home loan in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a homebuying budget. Then, you'll be able to narrow your home search to houses that fall within your price range, thereby speeding up your search for the ideal residence.

It won't take long to get pre-approved for a home loan, either. In fact, if you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can instantly learn about a variety of home loan options.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Although you know that you want to buy a house, you have no idea what to expect during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can learn what it takes to stay calm, cool and collected as you search for a house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who takes pride in his or her work. As such, a real estate agent will be available to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, ensuring that you can make an informed home purchase.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to eliminate homebuying hurdles.

For instance, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can avoid the stress of negotiating a home price. Or, if you need help finding a qualified home inspector, real estate attorney or other local professionals, your real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations.

Be reasonable as you kick off your search for your dream residence. That way, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and improve your chances of acquiring a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.




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