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Build Relationships, Not Assets

 

 It was a pleasure to be a guest on the NetworkWise Podcast, Conversations with Connors

Adam and I have been friends for over twenty years and I truly enjoyed sharing my business, networking and philanthropic endeavors with him on the show. 

I hope that this gives people a better sense of what I do and why.

NetworkWise Podcast Lawrence Sprung Topics Covered

You can also listen via Apple Podcast, for free, by clicking here: 

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This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

Making an Offer on a House? 11 Strategies to Win

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So you’ve found your dream house and you’re ready to make an offer, but how do you make sure your offer stands out among all the others? How do you make your offer more appealing? Whether you’re dealing with a competitive housing market or a cautious seller, getting your offer accepted requires creativity, compromise, and a strong strategy. 

So how can you convince a seller to side in your favor? Check out these 11 strategies to help you seal the deal and make “home sweet home” a reality. 

  1. Get pre-approved for a home loan

Getting pre-approved will show the home seller you can actually afford to buy the home. This is an important step for a buyer in any situation, but it’s even more critical if you want to make the strongest case that your offer is solid.  

  1. Offer more than the list price

Whether you’re making an offer on a house in Atlanta, GA, or are looking to buy a condo in Dallas, TX, offering more money than anyone else usually wins the deal. So if you can afford it, offer more than the list price.  

  1. Add an escalation addendum 

When making an offer on a house, you can stipulate that if anyone beats your offer you’ll raise your offer by a certain amount, with a cap as high as you’re willing to go. This also helps you avoid overpaying, but still keeps you in the game in case there are other offers coming in. 

  1. Waive contingencies 

Contingencies are certain things that must be met in order to close a deal on a property – such as a home inspection. In multiple offer situations, buyers can waive some or all contingencies to reduce the seller’s risk and speed up the home selling process. Generally, the fewer contingencies you have, the stronger, but riskier, your offer. 

  1. Increase earnest money

Earnest money, also referred to as the good faith deposit, is typically 1%–3% of the sale price of the home and is applied toward the buyer’s closing costs. It also shows that a homebuyer is serious about the purchase of a home, because if they walk away from a deal after it’s been accepted, such as a change of heart, the home seller usually gets to keep the earnest money. By increasing the amount of earnest money you put down, you can show how serious you are about buying any home. 

6 . Increase the amount you’re willing to put down

A higher down payment typically means less financing issues with a mortgage lender and also less risk for a seller. So when you are wondering how to make an offer on a home and win, a higher down payment can make the difference. Presenting documents such as pay stubs, tax forms, and your 401(k) balance can also show that not only are you prepared to put more down, but you also have the funds to do it. 

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  1. Write a personal letter to the seller 

Sometimes a personal offer letter can win a seller over when making an offer on a house. Tell them what you love about the home and try to make a personal connection. Compliment them on a recent renovation, a color palette choice, or the landscaping. It won’t always matter, but sometimes a personal touch such as a letter can mean more than having the highest bid. 

  1. Release earnest money early 

This means the seller gets your earnest money, in cash, prior to closing. The strongest offers release all of it immediately upon going under contract. Note: This option only makes sense if you waive all contingencies when making an offer on a house.  

  1. Be flexible with the closing date

If your lender allows and you’ve been through underwriting, you can promise to close quicker (15–21 days). Generally, the faster the closing process, the stronger your offer. However, the seller may be looking for a longer closing process. In that case, letting the home seller know that you’re flexible with the closing date could allow them the much needed time to move their belongings into their next house. 

  1. Arrange a rent-back agreement 

If the seller is nervous about selling their home before they can buy a new one, you can offer to be flexible with the closing date or arrange a rent-back agreement. This gives the sellers extra time to live in the home after closing. Essentially the buyer takes on the role of the landlord, and the seller becomes the tenant for a short period of time. 

  1. Pay in cash

This isn’t going to apply to everyone, but if you have the cash to cover the purchase price, offer to pay it all up front instead of getting financing. Not only are you eliminating the need for a third party to get involved in the deal, but you’re also showing the seller that you mean business. 

Emily is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate trends and home improvement. Her dream home would be a charming Tudor-style house with large windows to let in lots of natural light.

Originally published byRedfin

 

Mitlin Minute: International Edition from South Africa

This Mitlin Minute was filmed while our founder, Lawrence Sprung, was traveling in South Africa.

This will be the first in a series of videos filmed on this adventure to allow you to experience some of the sights, encounters and sheer beauty of South Africa.  This was filmed outside of the Table Bay Resort in Cape Town next to Oscar, the protector of the waterfront.

 

 

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.  

Stay the Course, What Does That Mean?

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Volatility has been consistent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. One other constant I have heard is, stay the course. Staying the course during an event like this may very well be the right advice, but I think there is another variable that needs to be looked at to help confirm that this is the right choice. Reviewing how the volatility has affected your plan is an additional component that needs to be reviewed. The plan is paramount in deciding to stay or abandon the course.

Investors mistake making buy/sell decisions for their investments with having a plan for their financial future that will dictate how the investments should be handled. This may seem like semantics, but it is not and there are definitive differences in the way you look at your portfolio and judge when to stay or change your course.

This reminds me of a quote by John F. Kennedy, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”. This rings true with your investments and too. Typically, volatile times do not present an ideal time to change or amend your investment strategy or financial plan, you want to address these items when the sun is shining.

You should have a plan in place for your financial future. This plan will act as a roadmap, a guiding light to help you make decisions about your financial life including your investments. Investments are simply one component of your financial plan. The plan will help you make the decisions you need to reach the goals you are aiming towards. Whether you have a plan in place or not, now is the time to look at it or get one in place. This will ultimately provide you with the assurance of staying the course or the suggestion that you should consider adjusting your overall plan

Staying the course, without knowing what the course is, is simply looking at your investments and making an educated guess on where you believe asset prices will be soon. Making decisions based simply on market prices, and not your plan, can cause you to make a bad or wrong short-term decision that can harm you in the long-term.

To effectively determine if and adjustment needs to be made to your portfolio, you want to evaluate market fluctuations in terms of your financial plan and whether your plan is on or off track. This is what will indicate if the fluctuations have caused your plan to veer off course. Making decisions simply about your investments is like driving to a far destination, getting off the highway, and taking local roads the rest of the way because there was a small traffic jam. This may help you avoid five minutes of traffic but will add hours to your trip.

In my work with clients over the last 20 plus years, I have come to realize that most people are not concerned about the change in the value of their portfolios when markets fluctuate, and they see market declines. They are nervous about what it may mean to their overall financial plan and their ability to reach their goals and dreams. Essentially it is not the loss of the money, but what the money will ultimately be able to “buy” them. To be able to evaluate the impact the market fluctuation has on their ability to reach their goals, clients would need to have a financial plan. This would provide them with a clear view of how they will be impacted in both the short and long term.

We would be happy to discuss the recent volatility and how it may be having an impact on your plan. We can also help you get a plan in place so the next time volatility arises you will be prepared. Just contact us, Mitlin Financial, at (844) 4-MITLIN x12 to schedule a time for this review. Be sure to share this article with friends, family, and business acquaintances who might be interested too. We look forward to helping you, and them, get on the right path and stay there.

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

When Volatility Strikes, Whats Your Plan?

Planning Photo

Investing is not something you can simply do in a vacuum and the goals of your portfolio should be tied to an overall financial plan. Overall, markets have been on the rise for the last ten years plus, but there certainly have been some hiccups along the way including the most recent effects of the pandemic.

Looking back in history, there are always events, incidents, political unrest, and other things that would make a good case for not investing. In many cases, these events tend to cause short term fluctuations and do not last forever. Depending on where you stand in terms of time horizon, these fluctuations could present an opportunity that may not be seen again or could be a tremendous stress.

Ideally you want to begin your investment process with an overall financial plan. This will provide you with the guidance needed to see if you are on or off track when markets take a change for the worse. Realistically we do not believe our investments will always go up, but at the same time there is a level of concern when they do not. Much of the anxiety we feel when our investments decline is not the loss of the money itself, but the fact of what those funds will buy us. Meaning, will our future goals be impacted by this decline in assets? Will we need to delay or adjust our retirement? This is where the plan comes in handy to provide you with a gauge to see if the market fluctuations could impede our goals.

Making adjustments is something that needs to be addressed with your portfolio on an ongoing basis, as we are all in a constant state of change. Events that take place may require you to make a change to your investments and others may allow you to keep things the same. Evaluating the changes to the markets and their impact on your overall plan is paramount and may be the driver to making adjustments that could lead to your success or failure in reaching your goals.

You must have an open line of communication with your wealth advisor as these events take place. As we have seen over the past ten plus years, many events that have taken place have not had a major impact on the overall success of the market. There have been significant short-term fluctuations at times, for example, the last quarter of 2018, but nothing that has lasted all that long or caused too much concern until the recent pandemic. The economic event we have been currently living through is unique in the fact that it is a health event causing an economic one. Anxiety is at an unusually high level because people are not only concerned about reaching their financial goals, but maintaining their health too.

Hindsight is always 2020, no pun intended. I look back over the years that I have been an advisor and recall several instances where clients were so concerned with short term events that they made rash and costly decisions. It is always wise to heed caution during a volatile incident, but you also want to make sure that it does not force you to do something that will sacrifice your long-term performance.

Flexibility and making adjustments over time are extremely important. You should make sure that your portfolio is an accurate representation of your time horizon, risk tolerance, and financial plan. When you know that this is true, this should help you feel more comfortable when markets adjust. It is those people that have not aligned their portfolio with these factors that may be in for a surprise. In cases like this, it may make sense to make some adjustments more quickly if your comfort level has gone out of range.

Many investors in recent years have made adjustments to the amount of equities they have versus bonds, simply because they have not been able to get the yield they need or expect from the bond market. This is a prime example of making an adjustment based upon market conditions and/or events. Many of these same people will most likely return a greater percentage of their investment assets to bonds when we see interest rates on bonds return to levels we saw in years past.

Developing and maintaining a financial plan and having your investments represent these goals will dictate if and when adjustments should be made to your portfolio. It all starts with having the proper risk, asset allocation in your portfolio, and plan for your future. I would be happy to discuss your situation regarding the asset allocation, risk profile of your portfolio, and overall plan.

Just contact us, Mitlin Financial, at (844) 4-MITLIN x12 to schedule a time for this review. Be sure to share this article with friends, family, and business acquaintances who might be interested too. We look forward to helping you, and them, get on the right path and stay there.

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.