Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 1/21/2021

Photo by Brian A Jackson via Shutterstock

Identity theft is an issue that has become more common since the digital age has bristled and bloomed. Many people are victims of phishing scams – an online predator steals your identity by impersonating a respectable institution and takes your sensitive information, financial information being stolen from non-secured sites, hacking or good, old-fashioned credit card theft, to name a few. Every form of identity theft can lead to severely damaging credit reports and scores, and may affect whether or not you’re able to purchase your next home.

Are you a victim of identity theft?

Often, your financial institution will contact you if they suspect suspicious activity on your accounts. As an account holder, monitoring these accounts or setting up an extra layer of security notifications will also help you figure out when someone is trying to steal your identity. Some of the tell-tale signs of identity theft can include a rapidly plummeting credit score, random accounts appearing in your financial hub, notification of attempted loan applications via mail, etc.

What should you do if you think you’ve been targeted for identity theft?

Freeze Your Credit

You can put a freeze on your credit by contacting the three major credit bureaus. When doing so, feel free to report that you suspect you’ve been targeted for identity theft. Once you place the freeze on your account, creditors will have to verify that they have done their due diligence in confirming your identity should they wish to open a new account for you or check your credit report.

Send a Fraud Alert

You may also want to send a fraud alert out to the credit bureaus. Doing so informs them that there’s been a breach in your personal security, and you’re trying to amend the situation.

Check Your Credit Report

Monitor your credit report to see where things went awry. You are entitled to one free credit report per year, so make the most of it. Obtaining your credit report should allow you to pinpoint exactly when the fraudulent activity started and give you some insight into what was going on at the time.

Talk to the Debt Collectors

If someone has taken advantage of your credit and your identity, there’s a good chance you’ll be receiving some information from debt collectors; especially if you were unaware that the debt was being racked up in the first place. The best thing to do is give them a call and find out exactly which debt they’re collecting on, who they’re acting on behalf of and get any other information that may pertain to your identity being stolen.

File a Report

Identity theft is a heavy crime and should be reported to the police immediately. After reporting with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and getting your report, be sure to have an official government ID with photograph, all current mailing information and any other reports that you’ve collected stating that your identity has been stolen.
Many Americans are afflicted by identity theft every year. Once the issue has been halted and is monitored carefully, you may want to start rebuilding. Request a new card from your credit card company and bank. Keep an eye on those accounts, protect yourself by taking the extra security measures of shopping on secured sites, requesting verification from anyone asking you for sensitive information and checking your credit activity often. This will lower your chances of undergoing a second attack.





Tags: credit   fraud   Identity theft  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 1/14/2021

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

It sounds like it should make things easier -- selling your home to a friend or family member should be a breeze for both parties -- but in reality, a home sale can disrupt your relationship if you don't go about it the right way. With the exception of parent to child transfers (and even some of those have issues) real estate transactions with family can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent strife and ensure that both parties get what they need from the process and that the relationship stays intact or even improves. Here's what to know when you sell your home to a friend or family member. 

Don't Attempt to DIY your Home Sale

For Sale by Owner transactions are already tricky, but if you try to navigate not only the purchase price, conditions and transfer of ownership on your own, you could end up in a family feud that lasts long after the sale is done. Working with an agent ensures you have an objective third party and that everything runs as smoothly as possible. While they won't be your referee or babysitter, these skilled negotiators can make sure everyone walks away happy, with the relationship intact. 

Get Objective Opinions

Use fair market value to determine the houses selling price, and be willing to make concessions. When you have an objective agent help determine the right price, you can be sure it is fair to both parties and that everyone's needs are met. Simply trying to work it out on your own can result in  sale that leads to resentment and trouble later, if the home ends up being worth less (or more) than you expected. A professional appraisal done by someone who is a stranger to all involved can help set the right price. 

Hire an Inspector

With an eye for home conditions and the ability to detect even minor issues, this valuable team member is even more important during a friendly real estate transaction. You won't have to rely on your own knowledge or on your family member to let you know what needs work. Your inspection report will reveal everything you should know to strike the right bargain -- and let you know what you are getting into. Going into the transaction fully informed prevents unhappy, relationship-damaging discoveries later. 

Work with an Agent for a Trouble Free Sale

Of all the ideas above, insulating yourself by working with an agent will help you the most. This ensures that any conflict can be absorbed by a third party and that questions can be answered objectively. Whether you both use the same agent or you each have your own, that objectivity can go a long way towards ensuring a successful transaction that delights both sides of the table. Get in touch today to discover how easy selling your home to someone you already know can be and for help navigating this sometimes tricky process. 




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 1/7/2021

Photo by ProgrammingIBC via Pixabay

One of the most important things you can do before you list your home for sale is to stage it. Home staging refers to arranging the home’s furnishings and decor so it looks as good as possible. In other words, you use the decor and furnishings to make the home look like a showroom, so buyers walk in and feel instantly at home. This can help your house sell more quickly and for a better price. If you’re interested in starting the home staging process, here’s how to do it.

1. Tackle the Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of a fast home sale. It makes a home look crowded and unkempt. Purge and clean until your home looks as empty as possible. This may mean sending some items to storage while the home’s on the market, but the more you can get out of the house, the better.

2. Arrange the Furniture Well

Next, change the arrangement of your furniture. Often you will need to remove some pieces to make the home look larger.

In the living areas, pull couches, chairs and tables away from walls to allow them to float in the room. This actually makes the room look larger and inviting. Use an area rug to create a chatting area.

In bedrooms, make sure there is plenty of space on the floor showing. Get rid of a nightstand or dresser if you need to temporarily, so the home looks larger.

3. De-Personalize the Home

As you go through your home to stage it, look for things that are highly personal to your family. Family pictures, children’s artwork, or an heirloom item that has meaning to you, but does not add to the home’s look, can all be removed. You want the home to look and feel like a perfectly staged model home, not your personal, comfortable space.

4. Keep it Neutral

If you need to paint a room or add a piece of decor, make it as neutral as possible. Again, this will help buyers feel at home, no matter what their personal tastes may be. Bright colors are best avoided when staging a home.

5. Clean and Repair

Cleaning your home as you stage it is unlike any other cleaning you have done. You need to clean it as deeply as you can so that it shines from top to bottom. This shows that you take care of your home, and makes buyers feel more confident that they won’t be purchasing a lemon. In addition, patch and repair anything you find, including holes and scratches in the paint.

Staging a home is a bit time consuming, but the rewards are worth the effort. About half of all buyers’ agents report that home staging changes how a buyer views a home. You want the buyer to have a positive experience in your home, so stage it well!




Tags: Open House   Home staging   Basics  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 12/31/2020

Ready to start a successful home selling journey? To achieve your house selling goals, you'll want to prepare as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey so you can enjoy an unforgettable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you kick off a successful home selling journey.

1. Identify Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Your home has served you well for many years, but it may be far from perfect. Fortunately, you can allocate time and resources to analyze your house's weaknesses and transform them into strengths.

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you list a residence. A home inspection enables you to receive expert insights into your house's condition. Then, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize property upgrades.

You may want to conduct an appraisal prior to adding your house to the real estate market as well. By performing an appraisal, you can receive a property valuation that you can use to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.

2. Enhance Your Home's Appearance

Curb appeal is key, particularly for a house seller who wants to speed up the property selling journey. If you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other home exterior upgrades, you can improve your residence's curb appeal in no time at all.

Don't forget to remove clutter from inside your house too. Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your house. If your home is neat and tidy, it may be simple for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to price your home, how to promote your residence to buyers or how to complete myriad house selling tasks, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent who will do whatever it takes to help you succeed throughout the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any city or town, at any time. As such, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results.

For example, if you want to sell your home as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will craft a house selling strategy that allows you to do just that. On the other hand, if you want to optimize the earnings from your house sale, a real estate agent will handle negotiations with buyers so you can get the best price for your home.

Let's face it – selling a home can be challenging, especially for those who are unsure about how to navigate the real estate market. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can quickly and effortlessly begin the home selling journey. And as a result, you can move one step closer to enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 12/24/2020

Many sellers rely on agents to help them to deal with the task of selling their home. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, a real estate agent isn’t required. There are many advantages and disadvantages to selling your home as a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). Read on to discover the good and bad of selling your home on your own. 


The Pros


Avoid Paying Commission


Real estate commission is the main reason that many sellers choose to go it alone. You’ll pay about 6% commission on the sale of your home between buyers and sellers agents. When figuring out the asking price for your property, this number that you’ll pay for a commission is included. This sale price also should be enough to pay off the remaining balance on the property. If you don’t have a lot of equity in your home, an FSBO may be your only option if you can’t afford the commission. Another option is to wait to sell your home until you have built up enough equity for the transaction to make sense for you. 


You Can Find Other Resources To Help You Sell The Property


There are so many resources available to FSBOs in today’s market. Yards signs aren’t the only thing that sellers can use to get people interested in their property. Many websites and resources assist people taking the FSBO approach. You still may not be able to get your property listed everywhere if you’re not a real estate agent. 


Cons


You Won’t Be Able To List The Property Fully


Only licensed real estate agents have access to the MLS, where buyers' agents and other websites pull available properties.  Not having access to this can be a deterrent to the marketing of your home. You could miss out on getting many home showings that you otherwise would if your house was listed on the MLS. 


There’s No One To Help You With Paperwork And Negotiations


Real estate agents certainly earn their commission. There is a lot of work in both selling and buying a home. If you hire an agent, he’ll be taking phone calls, sending off forms, and dealing with the negotiations on the property. An agent will also coordinate home showings and have the ability to show your property when you’re unavailable. If you go it alone, you won’t have that assistance and may be a bit overwhelmed during the selling process.


A real estate agent also understands the lingo better than someone who has been outside of the business. There are many advantages to paying his fee if you decide to hire him for the sale of your home.