June 18, 2016

Public Service Announcement About Craigslist Rental Scams In Omaha Nebraska Metro Area


Welcome to Heeran’s Home Team Video blog!  We are here to keep you informed with tips, education, and information about pertinent real estate matters.

During my years of working in the Omaha Metro real estate market, I’ve had many calls from unsuspecting people to verify that the rental ad that I put in Craigslist is legitimate.  My answer has always been “no.”  These are the folks who actually took the time to research the home and realized from my website that I was the listing agent.  But what about the countless others who didn’t do their research.  They are sending private confidential information about themselves including date of birth, social security numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses to these crooks.  People are also sending them application fees, security deposits, etc via cashier’s checks and wire transfers of which they will never see one penny back.  For some reason, this year the calls have multiplied.  It takes just as much effort to do good in this world as it does for bad.  Are there no other ways to earn a clean living versus scamming people out of their hard earned money? 

I’m writing this blog as a public service announcement.  Please share with everyone you know.  It’s unbelievable how legitimate these scammed ads sound.  There is no reason why these scammers would continue to put out these fake ads week after week if they didn’t work.  There are people all over the country including our friends and family here in Nebraska who are wiring and mailing cashier’s checks to these low lifes.  Below are some tips on how to avoid these phony “House For Rent” or “Apartment For Rent” ads.
  1. Deals sound too good to be true-If you know that a certain type of house or neighborhood should go for $1,295 per month and there’s an ad for a home that will rent for $895 per month, it may be a scam.  This is how the scammers lure prospective renters to open up their wallet and provide private/confidential information. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
  2. Too many upfront requests-The necessity to wire  money upfront is a red flag.  In addition, if they ask you for too much of your personal information upfront especially if it’s required before you even get to see the property, that is also a red flag.
  3. Do an onsite tour of the property-Never send money to anyone for a property you haven’t seen in person.  If you can’t be there, ask a trusted friend or family member who can.  You’ll want to verify that what was advertised is truly what is being offered.  Deal with local people that you can meet in person and ask to see their identification. 
  4. Look for suspicious looking ads-Are there many misspellings in the ad?  Do you see references to other countries?  Do you see words like “Sir” “Madam”?  These are all red flags.
  5. Do your research on the owner-Go to the register of deeds website for the county where the property is located at and type in the address.  You can quickly find the name of the actual owner and then look for their phone numbers in the public records.  http://www.Zabasearch.com or http://dexknows.whitepages.comare a couple sites you can go to.  Then call the owner to see if they are truly renting their homes.
  6. Weird Story-You may read a long winded story about why the property is for rent.  Maybe it states that the owner has some emergency and needs to rent the property asap.  Maybe it states that it’s owned by someone out of state and the home is “bleeding” them and they really need to rent it for whatever they can get.  Weird Story=Red Flag.
  7. Pay it forward-If you do see an ad and you determine it is a scam, help the other prospective renters by marking it as prohibited on Craigslist.  You’ll see the “prohibited” checkbox next to the reply button.  Protect yourself-protect your family and friends.  
There are many legitimate house and apartment for rent ads in Craigslist.  Unfortunately, there are many scams out there as well so please be careful.  If you are interested in renting a home, please call (402) 318-SOLD (7653) and I will get you in touch with reputable property management companies as well as real estate landlords who have homes for rent or rent to own.  To prevent at least one person in your network who may become a victim, share this post. 

If you or someone you know are thinking about buying, selling, or building a home in the Omaha Metro area, call (402) 318-SOLD for a free consultation. Take care and have a great week.

Thinking of Selling Your Home?  Click Here To Find Out What Your Home Is Worth

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August 28, 2015

RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty's Grand Opening In Omaha, NE Show Support For Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha During August’s Month of Miracles - Heeran Workman Broker/Owner


Omaha Real Estate Brokerage and its Realtors® Show Support for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha During August’s Month of Miracles
RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty Agents Help Fund Local Pediatric Treatment, Equipment, Programs


Omaha, NE Aug. 12, 2015 – As the fourth annual RE/MAX Month of Miracles kicks off this month, newly opened RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty will take part in the national celebration by having a fundraising event for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals during their grand opening open house on Saturday, August 29, from noon to 2 p.m. in the south parking lot of the US Bank Building at 138th and Q Streets. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 for a chance to win a ride on the RE/MAX hot air balloon. RE/MAX Affiliates across the U.S. and Canada have raised over $138 million for 170 member hospitals, and RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty is excited to increase awareness for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® (CMN Hospitals®).

“It’s a priority for our agents to give back to the community in which we live and work,” said Heeran Workman, designated broker and owner of RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty. “As the newest RE/MAX office in the Omaha Metro area, the ‘Miracle Agents’ at RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty pledge to make a donation after each property sale. In addition, 100 percent of the raffle ticket money raised now through our grand opening on Aug. 29 will go toward life-saving treatments, medical equipment and valuable research. It will directly impact the lives of our friends and neighbors.”

RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty will offer children’s activities and snacks, in addition to the raffle, at its grand opening open house.  Goody bags filled with promotional items, a children’s t-shirt, list of “Miracle Sponsors,” and more will be handed out at the event. The winner of the raffle will be announced Aug. 30.  

Homebuyers and sellers also are able to participate in the celebration. A RE/MAX Miracle Home is identifiable by a rider on the RE/MAX yard sign. For more information about the Miracle Home program,  call (402) 292-HOME ext. 2 to speak with a Miracle Agent today or visit www.RemaxPlatinumNE.com. For business owners interested in sponsoring the grand opening event with either $100 cash sponsorships or by providing children’s activities (bouncy house, balloon artist, face painting, etc.), call Heeran Workman at (402) 707-7878.  Miracle Sponsors will be listed on the RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty website, on the back of the children’s t-shirts, and printed on flyers distributed at the event.

  
About RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty:
RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty is a locally owned and operated full-service real estate brokerage located in Omaha, and specializes in residential real estate. RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty is a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other charities, and is located at (5332 S 138th Street Ste. 210, Omaha, NE 68137). To learn more, please visit www.RemaxPlatinumNE.com.

Contact: Heeran Workman, MBA
Designated Broker/Owner
RE/MAX PLATINUM Realty
(402) 707-7878, Heeran@RemaxPlatinumNE.com  

February 28, 2015

What's My Home Worth? Real-Time Data More Accurate Than Zillow's Zestimate or Trulia

Home Values in Omaha, NE Metro Area

Thinking of selling your home?  If you're wondering, "How much is my house worth?" then you will want the most accurate data - not outdated home sales data.  If you want the most accurate recently sold home prices in Omaha, NE Click Here and we will give it to you directly from the Omaha Area Board of Realtor's MLS data  This will help you with determining the value of your home.
1.  Not every real estate website gets direct feeds from the Multiple Listing Service.  Many of these websites also rely on Realtors to manually update the pending and sold status - but guess what?  Realtors are busy.  They are out selling houses and too busy to fill these out.
2. Zillow Zestimates does not give you accurate home sales values.  There are many consumer complaints regarding Zillow's Zestimates.
Heeran's Home Team sells over 150 houses each year.  Whether you are looking to sell your house or just want to stay up to date on neighborhood values, Click Here and we will give you the most accurate comparable home sales for your neighborhood and also set you up to receive instant email notifications when a home in your neighborhood is listed for sale or the price changes on an active listing.



February 9, 2015

Why Homebuyers Need To Act Now - National Association Of Realtors

Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

Home buyers need to move fast if they want to spend less, notes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com® in commentary at the site.
“Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly mortgage payments as prices and rates rise,” Smoke writes. Realtor.com® is forecasting that affordability may decline as much as 10 percent over the year.
The Federal Reserve continues to remind the financial markets that it plans to raise its target federal funds rate this year, which will cause mortgage rates to rise. Many economists are predicting 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to average near 5 percent by the end of the year.  
For now, mortgage rates are near historical lows for homebuyers and home owners who can take advantage. Freddie Mac reported last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent (last year at this time it averaged 4.32 percent), and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.98 percent (a year ago, it averaged 3.40 percent). 
“Right now, the Fed is using the word ‘patient’ to describe its approach to picking the time to raise the target rate,” Smoke notes. “However, when the Fed ‘loses patience,’ rates will go up at least 20 to 40 basis points in anticipation of the target rate officially going up. … So, buyers beware: The clock on these low mortgage rates may be ticking.”
Source: “2015: Buy Now, Before the Fed’s Patience Ends,” realtor.com® (Jan. 30, 2015)

January 23, 2015

Pocket Listings - Homes That Are For Sale But Not Available On The Market

What is a Pocket Listing?
Pocket listings exist when:
1.  A Realtor has signed up the listing paperwork to sell a home but the home is not on the market yet. For example, a seller may decide to hire Heeran's Home Team to sell their home and sign all of the listing paperwork, but the home is not on the market yet.  Those homes are in "Pre-Marketing" status and when we come across buyers who would be a right fit for those pocket listings, we let them know about it now but it's not available to the public yet.
2.  Sometimes a homeowner may hire an agent to sell their home privately.  They may not want their neighbors to know that their home is for sale or they may have other personal reasons.  They will ask their agent to refrain from listing the home on the Omaha MLS.
3.  A homeowner may be interested in selling their home in the upcoming months but not quite ready to pull the trigger to hire an agent.  They will ask Realtors that in the meantime if they come across a buyer who would be a great fit to sell their home to, to let them know.
How Do I Find Pocket Listings For Sale?
1.  Call every Omaha Metro Area Realtor and ask if they have Pocket Listings that fit your needs.
2.  Call Heeran's Home Team at (402) 707-7878 and let us know the type of home you are looking for and we will send out an email blast to the entire agent community looking for your perfect home!  This is by far the EASIEST option.  This is a FREE service to you!

June 11, 2014

Video-5 Most Common Home Sales Contingencies Omaha Metro Area



5 Most Common Home Purchase Contract Contingencies

When a buyer writes up a contract on a home to purchase, there will be certain criteria in the contract that have to be met to both the satisfaction of the purchaser as well as the bank or lender who is giving that buyer the money to purchase the home.  These criteria, or contingencies, are considered to be standard home buying contingencies.  There’s many different contingencies and clauses that a buyer could put in the contract, but what we will be covering today are the 5 most common home purchase contract contingencies that we are seeing in our office for the homes that are going under contract in the Omaha Metro Area.  The 

5 most common home purchase contract contingencies are:
1.  Contingent upon purchaser’s satisfaction with the home inspection
2.  Contingent upon passing the radon inspection
3.  Contingent upon the home passing the appraisal process
4.  Contingent up passing termite/pest inspection
5.  Contingent up getting final mortgage loan approval


A fully executed contract means an offer on a home has been made and the seller has accepted it, but the finalized sale is contingent upon passing the above contingencies.  If any of these contingencies do not pass or get resolved so that the buyer and seller can move forward, the contract will terminate and the earnest deposit will be returned to the buyer in most cases.  It’s very common for the buyer to pay for all of the upfront inspections and appraisals and then the seller paying for the repairs to release the above contingencies.
    
1.  Home Inspection Contingency

Immediately upon contract acceptance, the purchaser will hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home.  The inspector will be at the house for about 3hrs on their own and then towards the end, the buyer’s agent and the buyer will meet the inspector at the home to go over the findings.  At this point, the buyer will have 3 choices.  Terminate the contract if they are not satisfied with what the inspector found, release this contingency and move forward with the next step of the closing process, or most likely, put together a list of items they are asking the sellers to repair prior to the closing date.  After the list of items are sent over to the seller, the seller can accept the list of repairs or counter back.  If the seller and the buyer agree on the final list, the home inspection contingency will be released and the contract will move forward with the next step.  If the seller and buyer do not agree, the contract will terminate.


2.      Radon Inspection Contingency

The purchaser can hire a separate radon inspector, but what will happen most likely is that the home inspector will also be the radon inspector.  A radon test kit will be dropped off and placed in the seller’s basement and then the test kit will be picked up about 3 days later.  Most all of the Omaha real estate brokerages will have addendums pre-drafted stating that if the test comes in at an unacceptable level determined by the EPA of 4.0 or above, that seller will install a radon mitigation system prior to closing.  As long as the seller as a regular basement and not just crawl space, we’re seeing these radon mitigation systems being installed for between $900-$1000.


3.      Appraisal Contingency

With this contingency, a third party hired by the lender evaluates the fair-market value of the home. In the event the appraised value is less than the sale price, this contingency lets the buyer back out of the deal.  The 3 most common types of appraisals are for conventional loans, FHA, and VA loans.  For a conventional loan appraisal, the appraiser will come in and provide a dollar amount value on the home.  The FHA and VA appraisers will do that as well, but they also have another duty to check the home so that it meets FHA and VA insurable standards.  They types of things they are looking for to be repaired prior to loan approval are (bad roofs, chipping paint, wood rot, loose handrails, bad flooring, and other items)  If any of these items get tagged, the seller will not be able to sell the home to a VA or FHA buyer unless these items are fixed and the appraiser comes back to approve the repairs.


4.      Termite Inspection Contingency

The title company will order a termite inspection prior to closing.  The termite inspector will look for current termite and carpenter ant damage.  If none is found, the termite inspector will provide a confirmation report stating that the home passed and this contingency is automatically released.  If pests are found, the termite inspector will provide an estimate of repair costs.  The purchase contract that was initially accepted will typically state that if repairs are required, as long as the repair estimate is less than 2% of the sales price, the seller agrees to pay for the treatment and the seller and buyer move forward with the transaction.  If the repair estimate is 2% or more of the sales price, then either party can terminate the contract.


5.      Mortgage Contingency

Last but not least, most purchase agreements with the seller is conditional on the buyer being able to obtain a mortgage on the property.  If the prospective buyer cannot get a mortgage within a fixed period of time, the buyer can terminate the contract.  At Heeran’s Home Team at REMAX Platinum Realty, we require mortgage pre-approval letters to be submitted with the initial purchase contract.  This means that the prospective buyer has already provided preliminary information to the mortgage lender or broker to see if they can qualify for a mortgage loan.  The buyer’s will then provide proof such as (bank statements, paycheck stubs, tax returns, and other information) requested by that mortgage broker or lender.  As long as everything checks out and the home passes all of the other contingencies, the final underwriting of that mortgage will be approved and the buyer will have the money from that mortgage broker or lender to close on the home. 


If any of the above contingencies fail and the contract terminates, the title company that has been holding the earnest deposit will return the earnest deposit back to the buyer.  These are the 5 most common purchase contract contingencies to pass when buying or selling a home in the Omaha Nebraska Metro Area.


If you have friends or family who are looking to buy or sell real estate in the next 3-6 months, we would certainly appreciate your referrals. Please call Heeran's Home Team at REMAX Platinum Realty at (402) 707-7878 for a complimentary home selling or buying consultation.  

May 14, 2014

Video-Service One Home Warranty-Take The Stress Out of Buying!


Home Warranties – Do you want to take the stress out of home buying and selling?

Welcome to Heeran’s Home Team Video blog!  We are here today to keep you informed with tips, education, and information about pertinent real estate matters.  Today we are going to discuss home warranties.

We are pleased to welcome Brenda Stuart who is a Home Warranty Manager for ServiceOne, serving the Omaha Metro area and home buyers.  She has been with ServiceOne for over 20 years.  Brenda is married and has two daughters, a son in law, two grandsons and a grandbaby on the way.

Her hobbies include gardening, crafts, cooking once in a while, spending time with her grandsons at their schools and sporting events.

Brenda first explained that home warranties are a service agreement to maintain the major appliances and systems in your home.  When there is a mechanical failure, customers call ServiceOne and they provide the parts and labor to fix the appliance or possible replacement.  A new Omaha Metro homeowner sees real value in knowing who to call when there is a problem.  Home Warranties can be purchased as part of your home purchase and can be a negotiated item in the purchase contract.

If you are a Metro Omaha home seller and offering a warranty, you can use the warranty yourself if a problem arises.  In a lot of real estate transactions, the buyer will ask the seller to provide a home warranty, so with this in place, its one time on the checklist which is finished.  A home warranty can provide a lot of “peace of mind” for seller to keep their homes in great shape while it is being sold.

Buyers will also have “peace of mind” knowing who to call and how much it will be to have a ServiceOne technician provide service.  The trip charge is $75 plus tax.  Also, the possibility of a replacement is an added benefit to the new homebuyer since they have already invested so much to purchase their home.  Some homeowners do not have the time, tools, or talent to make the fixes and repairs in the homes.  A home warranty can take care of their mechanical failures by providing timely repairs and quality workmanship.

ServiceOne is a locally owned company in operations since 1989.  The telephone number is
402-339-4357. 
The technicians are licensed, bonded, and trained.  They are uniformed with name badges and arrive in marked vehicles.  Also, there is a Solution Center staffed in Omaha, so they understand the Omaha Metro weather and live right here in the community.

We want to again thank Brenda for joining us today.  You can view or share today’s video blog from our website, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  Future topics include Great Photos---Professional photography makes your home shine when you are selling your home and Radon—How does the Omaha Metro Area measure up to the rest of the country.

If you have friends or family who are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Omaha Metro area in the next 3 to 6 months, we would certainly appreciate your referrals. Take care and have a great week.