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Why are homebuyers more optimistic than they have been in the past few years? Here’s what we found.

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Here’s a paradox for you: Right now, homebuyer confidence is at an all-time high, according to a survey performed by Fannie Mae. Furthermore, an increasing number of people, particularly renters, think now is a good time to buy a home. Yet at the same time, housing inventory remains very tight. It’s down 6.5% nationally from last year. Home prices are also up 6.9% nationally over last year.

In other words, homebuyers are optimistic at a time that the market seems to be favoring sellers. So, what's going on? Why are homebuyers so

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When purchasing a home, it’s important to consider how you appear to the seller. Today, I’ve got six things that can scare off sellers during the transaction.

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As a buyer, there are a number of things you can do that will scare sellers.

1. Not providing a pre-approval. This will definitely create a sense of unease when you present your offer. Having a pre-approval ready shows that you are a serious, qualified buyer. If the seller is looking at multiple offers, yours will have a hard time competing if it comes without a pre-approval.

2. Having too many contingencies. The sale of a home is already contingent upon a number of items,

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Refinancing your mortgage is a great idea, but it could affect your credit score. Here’s how.

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Mortgage rates are still at historic lows. For many homeowners, it's a great time to refinance. Refinancing allows you to pay off your current mortgage with a new mortgage at a lower rate. Refinancing means lower monthly payments and more money left in your pocket.

But here's something important that many people don't know: Refinancing can affect your credit score negatively. You see, when you refinance, the new creditor will do a "hard inquiry" about your credit history. This inquiry can actually lower your credit score. Looking for new

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The holiday season is nearly here! Today, my sidekick Aubrey Kay Wallner and I will discuss some of our favorite holiday events here in St. Louis.

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Today I’m joined by my sidekick, Aubrey Kay Wallner, to talk about some of the great things you can do during the holiday season, even when it starts to get cold out here in St. Louis.

First of all, there’s Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park. This event starts on November 22 and runs to January 1. There are some amazing holiday lights in the park. You can drive through in your car or ride through in a horse-drawn carriage.

If you are interested in more holiday lights, don’t miss Garden

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The fall is actually a great time to sell your home. Here are a few seasonal tips to help it stand out.

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Temperatures are dropping, leaves are changing color, and there’s an abundance of cute decorations out there for your home. If you’re a home seller, however, you may want to keep the decorating to a minimum.

That’s just one tip I’ve got for you if you’re thinking of selling your home this fall or winter. Here are some more:

1. Curb appeal is important. When decorating your porch for Halloween, think about what you’re trying to enhance. That’s the key here. You don’t want to mask anything or distract from the home itself.

2.

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Today I wanted to give you part two of what to look for in a seller’s agent.

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Last time, we talked about the first mistake that sellers make when choosing a listing agent, and today I wanted to give you part two, where we’re going to talk about why you shouldn’t always go with the agent who is offering discounted commission and what to look for instead.

Real estate agents are not equal. We’re all human, and please remember that 10% of us are doing 90% of the work. Each of us has our own marketing techniques and advertising budget. You want to choose an agent that has a high advertising budget and a well-known company that can back

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Any agent can tell you that your home will sell for any price. The good agents are the ones who can back up their suggestions with data.

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Choosing an agent to help sell your home is a big step. It’s not one that you should take lightly because you only really get one good crack at the market.

Most buyers make the mistake of either choosing the agent who says they are going to list their home for the highest price or the agent who offers them the lowest rate. We’re going to be focusing on the former this time.

Agents aren’t psychic, so there is no way they can tell you exactly what your home will sell for. They simply don’t know.

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Fannie Mae has recently made some changes that could benefit prospective homebuyers and current homeowners alike.

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If you have a student loan or you are a cosigner on one, I have some good new for you.

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest underwriter of mortgages, recently introduced three new rules that will affect those with student debt.

These new rules can make it easier to get a mortgage, and they can make it easier to pay off your (or your kids’) student loans.

The first change is for those on income-based repayment plans, where having a high debt-to-income ratio is the No. 1 reason for not being approved for a mortgage.

Fannie Mae

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Today I have even more reasons you should always hire an agent when listing your home.

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Welcome to the second part of my two-part series counting down the top 10 reasons you should always hire an agent when listing your home. For a refresher, you can click here to view part one. Today I’m picking up where we left off, starting with No. 5:

5. An agent can provide you with referrals to many highly qualified professionals like home inspectors, contractors, and lenders. We’re always networking, so if you need to repair something on your home before it gets to the market, we have the contacts to help you get it done.

4. Agents are

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When the time comes to sell your house, you always want to hire an experienced real estate agent to help you.

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When you sell your home, there are 10 main reasons why you should hire a real estate. Starting today, we're counting down the first half of these 10 reasons, starting with No 10:

10. A real estate agent knows your market. They have access to recent sales data in the area, so they can help you price your home correctly.

9. Agents have access to the multiple listing service (MLS). This is a database of current homes for sale. When you hire an agent, your listing instantly becomes available to other agents searching for

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