Archive for the 'For Buyers' Category
Midtown Estates, Palmer Alaska October 6th, 2007
Just off mile 4 of the Palmer-Wasilla Highway is one of my favorite valley neighborhoods. This is Midtown Estates. The paved roads wind around and over birch covered ridges and with houses nestled back behind their well tended yards.
People tend to live in this area for extended periods. It seems that this location is ideal for families with children in the schools and also for workers in Palmer, Wasilla, or Anchorage. It is a quiet neighborhood with easy access to the highways.
Also, you can walk through a gate in the back of the subdivision right onto the track behind Colony High school and Colony Middle School. It’s only a mile or so to Pioneer Peak Elementary.
Click here for a google map to the subdivision
Click here for a borough tax map showing the lots. The highlighted lots are the homes for sale.
Right now, there are five homes for sale in Midtown Estates.
- 8910 E Lexington, 1,833 square feet for $237,500, $129 per sq ft.
- Listed with Sally Carman, Century 21 North Homes Real Estate
- 2190 Broadway, 2,728 square feet for $259,900, $95 per sq ft
- Listed with Marty Van Diest, RE/MAX of Wasilla
- 8860 Kiva Way, 2,187 square feet for $260,000, $118 per sq ft
- Listed with Paddy Coan, Prudential Jack White Vista Real Estate
- 9031 Westside, 1,920 square feet for $245,000, $127 per sq ft.
- Listed with Naomi Hodgson, Coldwell Banker Best Properties
- 9081 Brooklyn , 3,409 square feet for $434,000, $127 per sq ft
- Listed with Mike McLane, Prudential Jack White Vista Real Estate
If you would like to view any of these homes. Or any other home for sale in the Palmer and Wasilla areas…give me a call 907 232–7900 or email me by clicking on “contact” to the right.
Make sure to subscribe to my blog if you would like to see the news as soon as it appears.
Get Yourself A Representative May 16th, 2007
In a previous article in the Wasilla Real Estate News I discussed the fact that Alaska has no real estate agents. I talked about the fact that we are now Real Estate “Licensees” who have specific relationships with our clients that are spelled out in writing.
The most important relationship a buyer can have is a licensee who REPRESENTS them. There seem to be quite a few buyers floating around the valley right now who want to set up their own showings and only represent themselves. They make a point to say that they do not have anyone representing them and want to work with the listing licensee themselves.
That is kind of like representing yourself in court. I think I heard a judge remark that anyone who chooses to represent himself in court deserves the level of representation he is getting. A licensed Realtor often has been involved in thousands of transactions. If he is only representing the seller he has no obligation to help you out in any way. In fact, if something comes up that might easily go your way and against the seller, he is legally obligated to represent the sellers interests, not yours.
A buyer should find a Realtor to represent them because:
- It doesn’t cost you anything. Almost always the commission is a contractual agreement between the listing licensee and the seller. It is already built in and the lister is under no obligation to change it. Often the reason a buyer says they want to represent themselves is because they are planning to ask the listing licensee to lower his commission for their benefit. If the listing licensee does this, it in no way changes his relationship with the seller and buyer. In fact, it cements his loyalty to the seller even more.
- It will make your transaction smoother. If you are using an experienced licensee who has a lot of transactions under his belt you are gaining the benefit of all that experience. Most of what an experienced Realtor has learned cannot be learned in books or on a website. If you volunteer to represent yourself you are saying that you know more than someone who works through up to 100 transactions a year.
- It will likely save you money. An experienced realtor can see problems before they arrive and protect you from them. It is often expensive to buy your way out of a big problem after closing. For example, just because a septic passes an engineer’s inspection is not necessarily a reason it should pass your inspection…call me if you want an explanation of that statement.
- You will have developed an important long term relationship with a local professional. I have people call me all the time for recommendations for handymen, landscapers, painters, appraisers, lenders, schools, churches, and lots of other amazing things. If have even had people call me to ask who I think they should vote for in the school board election. Bottom line, a local realtor who has been in the business for years has connections that they are happy to share with you.
On the other hand, maybe you are just a “do-it-yourselfer” in other parts of your life as well. I have learned that there are better ways to accomplish certain things. I don’t work on my own cars anymore.
Although I know the basics about internal combustion engines, I take all my car problems to Ernie at Lazy Mountain Enterprises. I don’t have the time or expertise to fix the car even if I can figure out what is wrong with it. Ernie fixes my car in a timely manner and charges me a fair price. But if you are the kind who wants to buy a Chiltons manual and dig into that automatic transmission on your own, more power to you. You also have the right to represent yourself in a real estate transaction or in court.
But I don’t advise it. !
Alaska Has No Real Estate Agents May 3rd, 2007
Since 2006 there have been no real estate agents in Alaska. The Alaska State Legislature passed statutes that the Alaska Real Estate Commission put into regulation that effectively eliminates real estate agents.
That doesn’t mean we can’t earn a living, we still represent buyers and sellers and we are still paid for our services. But we are no longer agents. The term agent carries legal baggage that was often unintended in relationships between buyers, sellers, and real estate agents.
We are now only real estate licensees that have specific duties in our relationships with buyers and sellers. As the real estate commission’s consumer pamphlet spells out, there are four possible relationships a licensee can have with a consumer.
- 1. We can provide specific assistance. We would not be representing the party, just assisting them in their real estate transaction.
- 2. We can provide representation. This entails a higher level of duty on the part of the licensee toward the consumer.
- 3. We can be a designated representative. This is when one licensee may represent the seller in a transaction and another licensee represents the buyer, but both are part of the same office.
- 4. We can be a neutral licensee. We can help both a buyer and a seller in a transaction without representing either one.
All four of these situations require different duties on the part of the real estate licensee but all of them require at least the minimum of duties. This minimum is the same as that owed under specific assistance. These duties are:
- 1. Exercise reasonable skill and care.
- 2. Deal honestly and fairly
- 3. Present all written communications in a timely manner
- 4. Disclose all material information regarding the physical condition of a property
- 5. Account for all money and property received.
The other duties are outlined in the consumer pamphlet which all consumers should read.
I will deal with the other three levels of representation in future articles.
Feel free to comment with questions or clarifications.
Mediation…The Best Way To Settle Disputes. April 18th, 2007
I am currently in Chicago at the National Association Of Realtors headquarters taking mediation training. It has been an eye opening experience.
Mediation in a real estate setting is a way to settle disputes outside of the court room and outside of arbitration. A successful mediation allows all parties to the dispute to put forth their issues and then the mediator helps guide them to a conclusion that is satisfactory to all.
It’s not like a trial where someone has to prove the facts or defend your innocence. It is just a guided conversation to help each side understand the other to see if there is any common ground upon which they can agree. Usually, after seeing the issue from the opposite perspective the parties can agree to satisfactory settlement.
It is much faster, and much less expensive than solving disputes through the legal system. All parties can get on with their lives without spending huge amounts of money for legal fees and waiting for the uncertainty of a trial.
The parties do not give up any rights to try mediation. If the mediation is not successful they can go on to the court system. But 90% of mediations are successful.
The Valley Board of Realtors provides this service to our members and to the public to help settle any issues that arise as a result of a real estate transaction. No transaction that I have been involved with has gone to mediation, but I certainly would not hesitate to recommend mediation over the more confrontational means of solving disputes.
Buyers Can Cancel Their Contract April 7th, 2007
Ever since I started in real estate in Wasilla and Palmer, it has been my belief that a good transaction means that all parties are happy right up to the closing table. If something comes up between the initial offer and the closing table it is important to communicate the issue to all parties. Usually, good communication can ease the problem and help all to see a way to continue the transaction.
But,if things start to unravel it is usually the buyer who initiates the recission. In Alaska, the buyer has quite a few opportunities to walk away from a deal. Here are a few of them.
- 1. At the beginning of a transaction the buyer should have an inspection done. If issues come up during the inspection, most purchase agreements allow the buyer to cancel.
- 2. The buyer should receive a copy of the seller’s property disclosure before writing an offer but that is sometimes not the case. If the buyer receives the disclosure later, he/she has three days to rescind the contract.
Marty Van Diest, Tele 907.232.7900 / marty[at]valleymarket[dot]com
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