What is limited power of attorney in real estate?

You’ve likely heard the term “power of attorney” used before, but what does it mean in relationship to real estate? Basically, limited power of attorney in real estate gives the appointed individual the power to make decision for and act in the best interest of another individual.

As the name implies, giving someone power of attorney allows them to act as your agent, while limited power of attorney is indeed limited to specific transactions. For example, limited power of attorney may only allow someone to sell a single property on your behalf at a pre-determined price.

It’s important to note that power of attorney is a legal document that can differ from state to state, so it’s best to consult with a real estate attorney or experienced Realtor before entering into a power of attorney situation. Power of attorney can have a set expiration date, or it can stay with you until death. Again, it’s very important to know exactly what you’re getting into before granting — or accepting — power of attorney.

Limited power of attorney in real estate…

  • Allows an individual to conduct business — such as the sale of a piece of property — for another individual.
  • Permits the individual to handle all legal matters pertaining to the sale as they arise.
  • Allows the individual to enter into contracts.
  • Allows the individual to revise legal documents related to the transaction.

We can’t stress enough that you should focus on the word “power” in power of attorney, because you are handing over a lot of authority. That being the case, make sure you only grant power of attorney to someone you completely trust to act in your best interests!

For more information on power of attorney in real estate, please contact The Olear Team today.

How to get your house ready to sell

It’s a seller’s market here in Western New York, leading more people to consider adding their home to the red-hot real estate marketplace. With that in mind, we thought it was time once again to tackle the subject of how to get your house ready to sell.

Following are some tips for homeowners looking to sell:

  • Focus on price. Work with your Realtor to develop a strategy with a goal of obtaining multiple bids and getting the best possible price. Don’t overprice the property and scare away potential buyers.
  • Remove personal items such as family photos, awards and other such items. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves in the home.
  • Declutter the home by removing any items that may be sitting on the floor or a staircase, remove excessive furniture and hide any items that have no real purpose in the home selling process.
  • Check your closets and storage areas and make sure they look clean and spacious. You want to give the impressive that there’s lots of storage space. Consider temporarily renting a storage area to safely store excessive items.
  • Make minor repairs such as a fresh coat of neutral paint where needed, replace the shower curtain, make sure all the light bulbs are working, tighten loose hardware, etc.
  • Clean everything! The house should look and smell fresh. If a nicely scented candle won’t do the trick, consider hiring professional cleaners.
  • Improve curb appeal by cutting the grass and tending to overgrown plants and bushes. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and a messy yard can be an immediate turnoff.
If you want more tips on how to get your house ready to sell, please contact The Olear Team today!

Selling an inherited house: Are you ready to ride the emotional rollercoaster?

When a loved one passes away, it can be an extremely difficult time for those left to mourn his or her passing. If that person owned a house or property, you may find yourself on the receiving end of an inheritance. Selling an inherited house can certainly add to what is already an emotional rollercoaster, thanks to financial, legal and a host of other issues that will need to be considered and dealt with.

Is selling an inherited house in your best interest?

That’s a difficult question to answer right off the bat. Here’s why:

  • With any inheritance, there are going to be tax implications. The first thing you may want to do before making any decision is to have a discussion with your tax advisor to find out what the tax implications are to keep or sell the property.
  • If this is already sounding too overwhelming, you can always refuse the inheritance. Why would you do that? Taxes, liens or perhaps a large mortgage remaining on the property are among the common reasons for declining a property inheritance.
  • At some point during the overall process you’ll probably want to rid yourself of many of the personal belongings inside the house. Consider working with a professional company that specializes in estate sales to liquidate the contents, or hold an old-fashioned yard sale.
  • If you’re not too sentimentally attached to the home, a fix and sell might be the right move. Consult with a home inspector and Realtor and place the home on the market after any necessary repairs have been made.
  • If you want to sell but also want to lessen the work burden, you can just sell the property “as is,” including the contents.
  • Another option is to keep the property as a rental. While this choice will probably require the most work over the long term, the extra income it provides might come in very handy depending on your circumstances.

If you really love the property and the financial numbers work, you can keep the house and live in it, forever adding to what are very likely some amazing memories.

As you can see, there is no easy answer when it comes to selling an inherited house. Our best advice is to sit down with the professionals who deal with these situations every day. Please feel free to contact The Olear Team for more information.

Examining the credit score needed to buy a home

You’ve made the decision to buy a house, but will a mortgage lender make the decision to provide you with a loan? Many factors go into that equation, including the credit score needed to buy a home.

A mortgage lender will, of course, look at your overall income, debt and savings when making a decision whether or not to provide a loan for your home purchase. The biggest factor, however, is your credit score.

So what is the credit score needed to buy a home? That can depend on the type of mortgage you are applying for, such as a 15-year mortgage, 30-year mortgage, adjustable rate, fixed rate or FHA. On average, you’ll likely need a credit score of at least 600 to secure a mortgage loan.

Credit score breakdown

  • You are considered to have an excellent credit rating if your credit score is 750 or above. The maximum credit score is 850.
  • Good credit is in the 700 to 749 range.
  • Fair credit is in the 650 to 699 range.
  • Poor credit is in the 550 to 649 range.
  • Bad credit is 550 and below.

So what is your credit score? Do you have the credit score needed to buy a home? If you’re unsure, contact a mortgage lender or The Olear Team today. If your score is too low to obtain a mortgage, we’ll give you some tips to bring it up to an acceptable level.

Local lawmakers don’t chicken out

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get into Williamsville, where he can now live peacefully among the historic homes and tree-lined streets of this walkable village.

Last week, the Williamsville Village Board adopted an amendment to village code which will allow residents who apply for a special permit to raise up to six chickens in their backyards. Prior to the amendment, the only place you’d find chickens in Williamsville was on the menu of your favorite restaurant.

According to a newspaper report, the local law includes 16 guidelines residents will need to obey in order to keep chickens on their property. In other words, you can’t just wing it.

While the new law is good for chickens, it does discriminate against members of the rodent family. Included among the 16 chicken housing guidelines is a requirement that all chicken feed be kept in secure, rodent-proof containers.

Now before you go crying “fowl,” you can review the village code at walkablewilliamsville.com.