The unique concept of “1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home” by Mark Nash offers the potential to highlight essential information home buyers and sellers need. But the author, a Chicago-area real estate broker, obviously knows much more than he shares in the often-incomplete explanations of the 1,025 tips.

Nash clearly has several favorite topics where he shines with detailed explanations. One of those outstanding sections is about home mortgages and what home buyers need to know about home loans. His tips are often blunt and to the point, such as, “If you have any doubts or reservations about the loan officer at your first meeting, get up and leave! There are plenty of others in town.” The book’s mortgage section is its best.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Another outstanding section, aimed primarily at home sellers, explains how to sell your home with a real estate agent. The author explains what sellers should expect from agents interviewed for a potential listing contract.

He also shares valuable information, such as true sales commission rates (not what the listing agent hopes to get). I especially liked his truthful tip, “Strike documentation fees in addition to the commission charged by the brokerage. These fees are in the $100 to $400 range. Have the listing agent pay this fee.”

Although Nash’s more than 1,000 tips are excellent, they are often superficial and incomplete. For example, after his tip, “Learn the difference between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market,” he adds, “A buyer’s market means many properties for sale and few buyers,” plus, “A seller’s market means many buyers and few properties for sale.” The author concludes that tip by saying, “Prices will increase in a seller’s market, decrease in a buyer’s market.” That’s not always true; more details would have been valuable.

The book’s promise of offering home buyer and seller tips is excellent. But the details are often lacking with just a tip and no explanation.

To illustrate, Nash’s tips often aren’t very helpful, such as, “Learn that the British thermal unit (BTU) is a measure of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.” That’s it. So what? Why should a home buyer or seller need to know that?

Unfortunately, many of the tips are just one sentence with no explanation. Some of them are obvious or unimportant to home buyers and sellers, such as, “Look for roofs that are properly ventilated with ridge and soffit vents,” and, “Learn that flashing is a metallic material that is used in certain areas of the roof and walls to prevent water from seeping into the structure.”

That sounds like the professional home inspector’s job, rather than something the buyer or seller need learn about.

At times, I wondered if I should keep reading. But I’m glad I did. Nash’s explanations of many topics, such as home relocation companies, are superb. He obviously has considerable experience working with such firms that help relocating employees to sell and buy homes.

The concept and format of this book are excellent, but the implementation is uneven. Some of the tips are downright silly or obvious. However, other tips are valuable because they bring up topics that home buyers and sellers might not consider. Hopefully, the second edition will fill in the details that are lacking in the weak areas to make the book more consistent in its quality.

Chapter topics include: “The Home Purchase Process”; “Your Search for a New Home”; “Working with a Real Estate Agent as a Buyer”; “Mortgages: What You Need to Know”; “Getting Your Home Ready to Sell”; “For Sale by Owner”; “Selling Your Home with a Real ‘Estate Agent'”; “Corporate Relocation: Understanding the Process”; and “Moving On: How to Make the Best of Your Move.” The Appendix forms and checklists, especially the list of Internet Web sites, are especially valuable.

This uneven quality book is worthwhile reading for home buyers and sellers, as well as real estate agents. Some sections are excellent, while others are dismal. Keep reading because some of the best material is toward the end. On my scale of one to 10, this disappointing book rates an eight.

“1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home,” by Mark Nash (Thomson-South-Western Publishing Co., Mason, Ohio), 2005, $16.95, 211 pages; available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries, and www.amazon.com.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

***

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