How to Bargain for a Lender-Owned Property

There are bargains to be had in today’s depressed housing market. When buying a lender-owned property, though, you need to be especially savvy to come up with an offer that will satisfy the beneficiary bank or agency. First, be aware that lenders are anxious to sell what is now a nonperforming asset. They also don’t want to lose much on the deal. That means you’ll have to submit a particularly well-thought-out offer on a real-estate-owned home. Following are strategies to consider:

  • Ask your buyers’ agent to find out the bank’s purchase price for the property. Offer an amount that is between the balance owed on the mortgage and the sale price.
  • A little research goes a long way. Your agent can look at sales of similar properties in the neighborhood over the past few months as a way of assessing the value of the property.
  • Consider the competition. Other potential buyers of your property will likely base their offers on active listings. Stay current with prices of advertised homes in the same neighborhood, add a few extra dollars and beat out your competitors.
  • Get preapproved by your lender of choice, but also get a preapproval letter from the lender’s own company. This is a simple way to establish your credentials. A bank will be less inclined to trust a competitor’s approval than one from its own mortgage department.
  • Be prepared to do fix-ups yourself. Even if a real-estate-owned home is not sold “as is,” don’t ask the lender to make repairs in the initial offer. It likely will send your offer to the bottom of the pile.

Even if it is your dream home, don’t get emotional. View your offer on a “bargain” home as a transaction. Save the self-congratulations for closing.

Market Analysis: It’s More Than Picking a Price

So, you’re selling your home.

To decide on the right selling price, your real estate agent will have used information available through the Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system to compare your home to others that have sold recently in your area.

Together you’ve gone through the comparables and opted for a price you’re happy with.

You know that he or she will now start marketing your home through the MLS system and advertising it in newspapers and online.

Your real estate agent may also hold an open house and contact other agents to promote your home. But what you may not know is that throughout this process, your agent is continuing to analyze the market to ensure that your home is still well-priced and will recommend adjustments if the situation changes.

Take a couple named Ann and Christopher. Their detached, three-bedroom home was similar to others in their neighborhood, but Ann and Christopher had renovated the entire upstairs to create a new master suite and built a deck accessed from the kitchen. It had more to offer than did neighboring homes. So when their agent, Michael, saw that the home across the street was selling for $10,000 less than their home, he was quick to review details of that home, consult with Ann and Christopher, and change the market tactic to emphasize the special features of their property.

When Michael received negative feedback during Christopher and Ann’s open house, he told them and together they decided what to do about it. If there was a rumor of a new highway in the area or a new school to be built, Michael would know about it and could then consider the impact on his clients.

Michael’s job as a real estate agent involved constantly monitoring the market factors and responding accordingly. The result was a quick, successful sale of Ann and Christopher’s home.

How Your Bedroom Can Help Sell Your Home

A great master bedroom will help sell your home. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money, time and effort trying to impress buyers. Following are 11 easy ways to spruce up your master for little money:

  • De-clutter and de-personalize. Buyers want to see themselves in the master bedroom. Don’t surround them with the trappings of your life.
  • Clean, clean and clean some more.
  • Make necessary repairs.
  • Paint. You don’t have to go for beige (or gray, which is the new beige), but emphasize the room’s spaciousness with lighter colors. Don’t forget the ceiling.
  • Move some of the furniture out to add to an airy, uncluttered feel.
  • Heavy drapes might be nice at night, but during the day they can feel confining. Take them down and buy inexpensive sheers. Add blinds for light control.
  • Speaking of light, add more task and ambient lighting, and leave lights on to minimize shadows and illuminate dark corners.
  • Buy a new duvet cover.
  • Hang inexpensive artwork or a mirror and lose the family photos.
  • Don’t cover hardwood floors with carpeting or put furniture in front of a window with a view.
  • Clean out the closets so buyers can see the space and decide if their clothes will fit.

Selling Your Home? Avoid These Costly Mistakes

You often hear about naive buyers and the mistakes they’ve made, but what about the slipups by sellers?

Yes, believe it or not, sellers also make mistakes.

And sometimes those mistakes mean lost sales and longer days on the market.

The most prevalent mistake by sellers is insisting on too high a price. Sellers may want a big return on their investment because they’ve invested time, money and emotion in a home. However, sellers may have to lower their expectations, as things like upgrades or a home’s location on a busy street may not be to everyone’s taste.

Sellers should listen to their real estate agents. An agent has the comparables, understands the local market and knows what a home is really worth.

Sellers also can be inflexible about arranging appointments. By not showing in the evenings or on Sundays, sellers are reducing the pool of potential buyers. Many sellers also want to be there for showings or open houses, which is a big mistake. Potential buyers may feel uncomfortable and won’t be able to see themselves living there.

Fatigue is a problem among sellers. It may be difficult to keep a home in show condition, but it is necessary. Dirty dishes, unmade beds and dust bunnies will not get a seller the best price. Neither will toys and unpleasant reminders of Fluffy and Fido.

Pets, by the way, should also be out of the way during viewings.

Many sellers also find the process of negotiations difficult. Sellers shouldn’t take lowball offers personally. Low bids can be, and often are, increased. Sellers should respond quickly to every offer, and they should not stall while waiting for a better one to come in. Sellers who are in a hurry can offer incentives like paying closing costs.

Last, sellers should not wait for spring.

Sellers can attract serious buyers during the off-season by highlighting fall landscaping or promoting the property as a cozy winter retreat.

How to Give Your Home a Light and Airy Feel

The properties of natural light are well-known. It expands your space, brightens dark corners and gives your home an airy feel. If you’re selling your home – or even if you’re not – try adopting some designer tricks to increase your home’s natural wattage.

Paint is one of the least expensive and most effective ways of lightening up your home. Light colors reflect light and bounce it back, making a space look larger. And yes, painting your woodwork cream or white is allowed and does increase your light quotient.

Mirrors also bounce back natural light, but they should be used sparingly. Bring in the outdoors by hanging a mirror opposite a window.

Light-colored gauzy curtains or plantation shutters also contribute to that airy look. Louvered blinds can be tipped to take advantage of the sunlight as it makes its way around the room. And don’t forget that slipcovering your furniture in lighter-colored fabrics is another easy way to lighten up.

If you’re prepared to make structural changes, adding a skylight to a dark room is effective, but trimming back outdoor trees and shrubs that are filtering the light may do the trick for less money.

For open houses, turn on indoor and outdoor lights. Even during the day, inside lighting can make your dwelling feel homey, prevent harsh shadows from sunlight and brighten dark corners. Dust and vacuum well, as illuminated dust bunnies won’t do anything for the appeal of your home.

Thinking of Buying a Fixer-Upper? How to Do It Right

With proper due diligence and the right real estate agent, buying a fixer-upper can be a satisfying and lucrative experience. Buying a bad one, though, can lead to disaster.  Here are some tips to help you avoid problems:

Location: A bad house in a desirable neighborhood is almost guaranteed to pay big dividends for the savvy buyer. Here’s where a good real estate agent – as a specialist in local neighborhoods – can be worth his or her weight in gold.

Mass Appeal: You’ll want to look for a home that appeals to the largest number of buyers. That means three or more bedrooms and more than one bathroom.

Sensible Layout: Look past the current floor plan and figure out how the home will work. Today’s buyers look for openness and rooms that flow seamlessly.

Bang for Buck: Avoid costly makeovers like shoring up sagging foundations. Instead, think cosmetic fixes. Plaster and paint, new bathroom fixtures, and even a new roof and energy-saving windows are relatively inexpensive and can turn your ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.

Potential Problems: An investment in a good home inspector can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. You can try requesting a home inspection and a roof certification as part of the deal. Ask your real estate agent about any nearby landfills, reports of contamination and other conditions that could affect resale value. You may even want a structural engineer to examine the property as a condition of sale.

Five Solid Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

A sexy front yard can ramp up your home’s curb appeal without costing a fortune.

If you’re planning to sell – or even if you’re not – it’s a good idea to keep the outside of your home spruced up.

Following are five ways to up your yard’s sexiness quotient:

1. Think like a drive-by viewer. Your home may tell a very different story when seen from across the street. Is there an attractive transition from road to front porch? Does it feel welcoming?

2. You don’t have to splurge on a landscape designer to create a new look for your front yard. While you’re viewing your property from across the street, look at it as a whole. Consider the “hardscapes” like your porch, front door and walkway and the “softscapes” like plants, hedges and trees. Create a focus by painting your front door a different color, and keep the rest simple.

3. Peeling paint and cracked sidewalks say something about the way you maintain the house as a whole. Some elbow grease and a bit of paint can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. Keep hedges clipped, leaves raked, lawns mowed and the kids’ toys stored out of sight.

4. Curved flower beds are more welcoming than a straight display. Choose plants and foliage that complement your exterior paint scheme and support the mood you’re going for. Bright colors like yellow, orange and red are attention getters. White is vibrant at night, and pale colors convey a calm mood.

5. Don’t forget about lighting. Make it easy for visitors to navigate your walkway and find your front door at night.

Buying a Home? It Pays to Think Like a Detective

You may not need a magnifying glass or a deerstalker hat, but thinking like your favorite fictional detective can give you an edge when looking for your dream home.

Sherlock Holmes, for example, would likely advise you to draw conclusions based on what you see.

Cracks in the walls could point to foundation problems. Loose caulking around the windows might indicate rot. Squeaky, uneven floors may be harbingers of expensive repairs.

It’s elementary, as Holmes might say.

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, on the other hand, would recommend you put your brain cells to work. As a savvy homebuyer, you would quickly figure out the fact that outdated, poor-quality kitchen cabinets; old-style wiring; and plumbing problems will mean an expensive renovation, thanks to your own brain cells.

J.D. Robb’s mid-21st-century detective, Eve Dallas, might use high-tech gizmos to decide whether the house would fit your family’s lifestyle. But all you really need is a tape measure to check room sizes and storage.

And don’t forget the garage. Will the family cars, workshop and sports gear all fit?

In the guise of Ruth Rendell’s moody detective, Adam Dalgliesh, you could stroll around the outside of the house with an eye to water pooled around the foundation (implying poor drainage) or crumbling bricks that will soon need repointing.

And while you’re there, you might want to think like Christie’s Miss Marple and make inquiries about the neighbors and the neighborhood.

With her legendary understanding of the dark side of human nature, you may find that all is not as it seems.

Finally, if your inner detective decides the house is for you, well, it’s not over yet.

It’s now time to call in the expert. The home inspector is your final solution. Even Holmes and Poirot would understand that.

The Price Is Right: Secrets to Selling Your Home Quickly

So you’re moving on. Even though you’ve decided to sell, putting a price on years of happy times in your current home can be difficult.

However, your first job as a new seller will be to set a sales price that’s just right.

If you price your home too high, it may languish on the market for months.

If you price it too low, you won’t get a fair return on your investment.

Your real estate agent will do a comparative market analysis of houses that have sold recently in your neighborhood. This will establish your house’s true market value.

Statistics show that a home priced within 5% of its actual value is more likely to sell within 30 days than is the same home that is overpriced by 10%.

For you, timing may be important. Are you a motivated seller who has already purchased and can’t afford to carry two mortgages? Is it a buyer’s market, where homes sell quickly? Or is it a seller’s market with lots of neighborhood competition? All these affect pricing.

So do major renovations. Your real estate agent will know the value buyers will place on your renovations and be able to factor that into the price.

Is yours a class A house on a class C street? You may have to factor that into your price as well.

No matter how perfect the house, location is a priority for most buyers.

The bottom line, then, is to listen to the professionals and price the house to sell.

Offer Rejected? Here’s What You Should Do

The home buying process can be stressful, particularly for first-time buyers.

But even seasoned buyers can be disappointed when their first offer is rejected.

Luckily, in real estate, “no” doesn”t usually mean “no.” It simply means ‘let’s talk.”

And it’s here that you can be glad you have a qualified real estate agent in your corner, because at that point it’s all about negotiation.

A rejected offer is not uncommon.

As your real estate agent will explain, it sets the stage for what can be a long process.

Just as you and your agent worked hard on a first offer that was fair but less than your bottom line, you’ll both have to work hard now on a compromise.

In the case of multiple bids, your real estate agent might recommend you cut to the chase and submit your bottom-line offer.

Your real estate agent will likely point out to the seller’s agent that this is your best offer.

Take it or leave it.

You run the risk of losing, but if you’re a first-time buyer, you may not have the resources for a bidding war.

In most offers there are other items that can be the basis of trade-offs.

These include closing dates, closing costs, inclusions and needed repairs.

No matter how much you want the high-end stove and refrigerator, don’t tie your real estate agent’s hands by insisting that those appliances be included.

You may lose your dream home for a few thousand dollars.

And don’t let emotion get in the way. That’s why you have someone to negotiate for you. When you hire a licensed real estate agent, you can be sure that he or she is highly trained and has years of experience in negotiations.

You’re in good hands, so relax and let go.

Don’t Make This Mistake with Your Renovation

So, you’re planning a renovation. Congratulations. But while you’re checking the Yellow Pages for architects and thinking about digging out the basement, don’t forget about your neighbors.

After all, they’re the ones you’ll be competing with when it comes time to sell.

Look at it this way. If a major renovation will make yours the most expensive house on the block, you may never recoup your costs when you sell.

But if your house is the neighborhood embarrassment and you want to bring it in line with its fellows, then a major renovation is the way to go.

You might want to scope out the neighborhood before beginning the work.

You should also talk about the kinds of changes happening in the area and visit open houses.

Even better, take the dog for a long walk and check what other people are doing to their houses.

Have recently purchased properties been razed to make way for monster houses?

Are your neighbors making tasteful additions that expand their living space? Follow their lead.

That goes for fixtures as well.

Homeowners are often dismayed to learn that the fixtures, hardwood floors and soaring ceilings are just too rich for their neighborhood.

When it comes time to sell, you won’t recover the cost of granite countertops and maple floors, because the buyers who want this quality won’t be looking in your neighborhood.

A wise man once suggested that if you buy a poor house on a good street, you’re making a great investment. But if you buy a great house in a poor neighborhood, well, not so much.

Keep the neighbors in mind when you’re planning your renovation and you’ll make the right decision not only for now, but also for the future.

How Porcelain Tile Can Raise the Value of Your Home

Installing quality tile flooring can increase the potential resale value of your home.

Porcelain tile is a great way to add thousands of dollars in value.

Porcelain is a high-quality building material and one of the most versatile and durable tiles on the market.

It makes a terrific selling point, even more so than regular ceramic tile, wood flooring or marble tile.

For a number of years, porcelain tile was mainly available for commercial-type installation.

Today, though, it is fast becoming a popular residential flooring material.

New glazing technology has opened up porcelain to a wider range of applications, including mimicking and replacing costlier and less durable materials such as wood and marble.

With the recent developments in digital printing on porcelain as well, the faux wood and marble look like the real thing without the big price tag.

Porcelain is a highly dense, practically scratch-resistant material. It is even harder than granite tile. And because it outperforms many flooring materials, it will hold up to the test of time. Porcelain absorbs very little moisture, is easy to clean and isn’t prone to staining.

Easy installation and a less expensive price tag than the alternatives make it very appealing to homeowners or those who are looking to buy.

Tips for Selling Your Home When You Have a Dog

Dogs might be man’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to stage and show a home with a four-legged gatekeeper on the job. From an overly exuberant personality to downright gruff demeanor, dogs can make it tough to show a home. Following are some ways to minimize distress to Fido and ensure that visitors are safe and that the house remains as appealing as possible.

Clean It Up: Because we love our dogs, we don’t always see what is in front of our very eyes. Take a good look around. Pick up the dog toys, fill any holes in the backyard, and be sure to dust and vacuum any pet hair before allowing anyone in the home.

Notify: Make sure the listing agent includes a note that informs everyone about a dog on the premises and whether there are any special instructions for dealing with visitors. Not only will this prevent a sudden surprise visit that could startle the dog, but it also provides important information to buyers who may suffer from asthma or allergies.

Schedule: Whenever possible, ask agents to schedule visits around a time when you can take the dog out for a walk or drive. This allows prospective buyers and the agent to direct attention toward the home and amenities rather than deal with the pet.

Contingency Plans: Take special precautions to make sure pets have proper identification. Mistakes happen, and a beloved pet can escape or get loose without anyone realizing it. Leave special instructions on where the pet belongs at all times and what to do in the event of an emergency.

Buying a Short Sale? Why You Need an Agent

Most people realize the necessity of hiring a real estate agent to sell a home, but they take an entirely different approach and opt to go it alone when buying, especially when the property is a short sale.

Before buying a short-sale property, though, people should consider the benefits derived from working with a knowledgeable real estate agent.

Following are some things to think about:

Advanced Listings

The short-sales market has heated up.

So has the competition.

Get advanced listings sent to your attention as soon as possible by working with an agent who specializes in short sales.

Experience Is Key

Buying a short sale isn’t always simple, so finding an agent with a track record of success can go a long way toward making sure all the requirements are satisfied.

An agent with experience in short sales will help to expedite your transaction and protect your interests.

Seek Help

Buying a short sale takes a lot of time, but teaming up with an agent who knows and understands your individual situation dramatically reduces the effort required to find the perfect property.

Locating a property, researching it and dealing with the numerous requirements required to close is time consuming and frustrating.

Team up with someone who knows the ropes.

Lender Pays

Perhaps the best reason to consider using the services of a real estate agent when purchasing a short sale is the price tag.

After all, the services of an agent are free to the buyer.

The lender traditionally covers the commission in a short sale transaction, making it a win-win situation for all involved.

Thinking of Downsizing? What You Need to Consider

If you’re a senior, there could be many reasons to move from your family home.

The house might be too big or cost too much to maintain, or the neighborhood may be changing.

Following are some tips to help you make the decision:

Right-Size: Although you need less space, you want to maintain – or even enhance – your lifestyle. Do you want storage, room for guests, a workroom? Think about bungalows, bungalofts, condos and townhouses. Many offer those little extras you enjoy in your present home.

Consider All Options: According to statistics, three-quarters of seniors stay within 31 miles of their former home.

However, with the huge number of choices now available, you can comfortably look well beyond that.

Think About Retirement Communities: They aren’t for “old people” any more. Healthy seniors are flocking to newly developed retirement communities.

Moving in With the Children: Think long and hard before moving in with the children. Do you, or they, want the complex family dynamics that happen when three generations coexist in a small space?

Get Professional Help: A good real estate agent is vital. Consider one who specializes in helping older adults find the right housing fit. He or she may also be able to recommend other local professionals, mortgage specialists, stagers, antique experts and movers.

Spring-Cleaning Can Help Sell Your Home

Spring-cleaning takes on an entirely new level of importance for those who intend to put their homes on the market.
To attract buyers, it’s very important to make a great first impression. Whether you have already listed your home or you just want to keep your options open, it’s easy to make the most of your spring cleaning with these helpful hints:

Light and Bright: In many parts of the country spring can be a great time of year to take photographs of your home even if you don’t intend to put it on the market right away. Not only does the natural lighting and lush green grass remind everyone of warmer days, but it provides a better view of the condition of the property. Be sure to trim the hedges and touch up paint or other outdoor maintenance prior to taking the picture. Simply store the photos in a safe place until it’s time to list the property.

Maintenance Made Easy: Deferred maintenance is a major consideration for new buyers seeking to make the most of every dollar. Unfortunately, long winters can take a toll on even the most well-maintained property. Unsightly carpet stains, barren landscaping and crowded storage can give the impression of a property in need of attention. Make sure your property looks its best by doing routine maintenance, including carpet and tile/grout cleaning and lawn maintenance and completely clearing away all types of clutter.

Pay Attention to Details: Details make a difference when it comes to making your home look, feel and smell fresh and clean. One of the most often overlooked areas of concern for new home shoppers is smell. Research shows smell is a powerful tool that has a tendency to work for or against sellers. Avoid harsh chemical odors or perfume-type fragrances such as room deodorizers. Opt for new enzymatic cleaning products that neutralize odors throughout the house. Pay special attention to carpets, upholstery and air ducts. Not only will it help reduce common irritants, but you can breathe easy knowing prospective buyers won’t be confronted with unpleasant pet odors or musty storage smells.

Tips for Getting That Real Estate Deal Done Right

Obtaining the services of a professional real estate agent is the first step in selling your home. In today’s tough economic times, though, every little bit helps. Following are five ways to reduce the risk of last-minute mishaps:

1. Make It Easy to Move: Small things can add up, especially when making a major move. Differentiate your property by offering to pay for secure storage, rental trucks or even a hotel room. Nearly everyone dreads having to move, so making it as easy as possible is a sure way to please even the most difficult buyer.

2. Pay for a Mini-Makeover: If the property is in need of a few repairs or upgrades, seal the deal by including funds, labor or supplies for a mini-makeover. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. For example, include a few gift cards and a couple of days of labor, help paint a room or put in new landscaping.

3. Offer Monetary Motivation: Provide an additional incentive to both the buyer and agent by offering a cash bonus for closing by a given date. You might be surprised how well this works, especially when trying to sell a home during a difficult time.

4. Entice Them With Incentives: Help prospective buyers control costs by including innovative incentives like a home warranty package or energy-efficient upgrades. A home warranty is a great way to provide additional protection against unanticipated expenses, especially when working with first-time homebuyers or others on a limited budget. Other attractive options include energy-efficient upgrades like new LED lighting, on-demand water heaters or new appliances.

5. Rent or Lease Options: Sometimes the property is perfect, but the timing isn’t. Instead of letting the entire deal turn sour, sweeten things up with the use of a well-executed lease. Allow the buyers to move in early if they need the home sooner than anticipated, or lease the property back from them if they need to delay a few months after closing.

Buying Versus Renovating: What’s the Right Decision?

Deciding whether to buy a new home or renovate your existing one is no easy task. There are pros and cons to both options.

However, it boils down to one simple question: What do you want out of it?

If space is the problem and you love your neighborhood, an addition might well be the answer.. A floor plan that no longer works for your family, or outdated kitchens and bathrooms, may point to a renovation. On the other hand, if you are looking for a better neighborhood, want to be closer to family, and are looking for more amenities, then buying could fit the bill.

For the most part, empty-nesters looking to downsize to a senior-friendly home with like-minded neighbors are buyers, not renovators.

The issue of timing is of utmost importance in making your decision.

An addition, rebuild or major renovation will almost always take more time and be more disruptive than a move.

You can move from the nightmare on 42nd Street to your dream house in less than two months, while a major renovation could take up to a year.

Moving is also generally less costly.

The decision is a wrenching one. Don’t expect an easy answer.

Just make sure you’re getting what you want and your decision will have been the right one.

Tips for Conducting a Home Energy Audit

Today’s typical family living in a three-bedroom, two-story home spends about $2,500 in energy costs each year. To better manage those costs, consider conducting your own energy audit.

First, find out how much energy is being used, by keeping a log and reading your meter each week. At the end of four weeks, add up the kilowatts used and divide the total by the number of days to get your average daily usage. Once the audit is complete and changes are made, monitor usage again. The next step is to walk around the house and check for the following:

Inside

•    Any air leaks and gaps at baseboards and where the walls and ceilings end up joining

•    Air leaks around electrical outlets, switch plates, window frames and baseboards

•    Gaps and cracks in weather stripping around doors, fireplace dampers, attic hatches and air conditioners

•    Gaps around pipes and wires

•    Air leaks from mail slots

•    Rattling from windows and doors, and daylight leaking in around frames

Outside

•    Air leaks where two building materials meet

•    Improperly caulked doors, windows and outdoor outlets

•    Cracks in the mortar, foundation or siding

•    Missing insulation in the home’s structure

•    Improperly functioning heating/cooling equipment

•    Filters that need to be replaced on forced-air furnaces

Why Buying a House on Emotion Is a Losing Strategy

For years, economists have used the study of behavioral finance to explain the role emotions play in investment decisions. Their observations have turned up some interesting results.

First, they’ve found that while investors know very well that the stock market has its ups and downs, some will still base investment decisions on the assumption that what’s happening now will continue in the future. For example, the home buyer driven by a hot market will engage in bidding wars, assuming that the market will continue to heat up. The buyer believes he or she has to buy now or lose out.

Second, they’ve found that other investors follow the “anchoring” concept, in which they hold off selling an asset in hopes that it will increase in value despite evidence to the contrary. In this scenario, home buyers stubbornly anchor themselves to an offering price even though the seller and buyer are only a few hundred dollars apart.

Third, they’ve found that some investors buy too much house for their budget or they forget about the crumbling foundation, because they love the seller’s decor.

Fourth, they’ve found that other investors fail to see beyond the clutter as to possibilities of a home.

To prevent such problems, the emotional home buyer needs the perspective of a real estate agent. Such a professional can separate the emotion from the investment so your dream house won’t become a nightmare.