F.A.Q.'s (& answers) for Buyers:
Q: What home can I afford?
- That depends...on your, income, your current financial obligations, your credit scores, the current mortgage rates & products available. To be a strong buyer in today's market it is best to get "Pre-Approved" by a lender so when you find that "Perfect" property you are prepared with a solid offer.
Q: Can I buy a home and sell my current one at the same time?
- Short answer, "Yes"...However, you will be competing with other buyers, & investors that can most likely purchase and close a deal much quicker as they will not have to "wait" to sell a property for the offer they are presenting to be solid.
Q: How many homes should I see before making an offer?
- Well that is up to you! Best advice we can offer is to, make a list of , "Must Haves", and "Not Evers" (or however you would like to label your future property purchase requirements). Once these are in place the search is more defined and specific for your needs & wants and will make this very exciting, emotional and sometimes frustrating experience a little easier.
Q: What do you think the seller will accept as a fair price?
- If we want to be "fair" we are going to look at the current comparable homes that have sold in the last 6 months as well as what is currently on the market. In a stable, consistent market a buyer can offer 5% off of the list price but that is a very general statement for very rare conditions. So, again, it depends on the variables of what is available, what you want, how much you are willing to pay to get what you want/need.
Q: How do I know if the property is a good deal?
- While we cannot tell the future, we will do our research as to what the market history in an area has been & determine the probability of how the properties may valuate.
Q: How quickly can I close?
- A "typical" escrow periods is 30 to 45 days. This gives you enough time to do the investigation on the property and get a loan completed. And yes, this due diligence counts. However, that being said, if a buyer can close earlier & the inspections have been done then an offer to close "quicker" than what is "typical" can benefit the buyer in a sellers, market.
Q: Should I get a home inspection?
- To this question we unequivocally say yes, yes, and yes. A home inspector takes a weight off of your shoulders by looking into the condition of the roof, electricity, heating and air, plumbing and if necessary an inspector for the foundation is encouraged prior to closing the deal. Ensuring these things work and the property is on solid ground prevents you from paying to fix them in the future. If some things are not up to par, you can negotiate with the seller to get those fixed before you sign the paperwork.
Q: When can I back out if I change my mind?
While buyers can always back out of a deal, doing so without good reason may forfeit their earnest money (the cash put down to secure the offer, typically around 1%-2% of the home's price). But there are some ways to walk with your earnest money in hand.
F.A.Q.'s (& answers) for Sellers:
Q: How much needs to be done to my house before putting it on the market?
Often sellers have extreme anxiety over the thought of having to clear out and fix up their home, so much so that it can prevent them from putting the property on the market in the first place. Quite often, there is far less to do than you think. The best you can do is to meet with a Realtor (preferably us) at the property where we can guide you through the process relieving you from the burden of figuring out the best leverage for your money and time spent. You might be pleasantly surprised by your current sales prospects. 😉
Q: How much is my house worth?
The exact price of your own home will depend on its size, neighborhood, and lots of other factors. Further complicating matters is your own skewed perspective: We tend to mentally inflate our home's positives and airbrush out the flaws that are all too apparent to the cold, calculating eyes of buyers. We look at the prices of similarly sized homes that have recently sold in your area or "comps." Then, price your place strategically. If the price is too high, the home is likely to linger on the market, where as pricing low can have major upsides, resulting in multiple bids that could ultimately jack up your price. So, do your homework. Then, discuss a number with us that feels right—and is realistic.
Q: How long will it take to sell my home?
- The time varies wildly based on area and price. So, price competitively and make sure that you are getting the place in front of as many eyeballs as possible. The higher the exposure, the faster the offers! Using, the internet, social networks, email marketing, local, national, international media——real ones and virtual ones.
Q: Is staging really important?
Yes, absolutely, The reason it works, of course, is it gives buyers a "stage" onto which they can play out their home-owning fantasies and envision themselves living in the home. Choosing neutral paint colors and removing family photos, so they can envision themselves in the home as their own. This gives would-be homeowners a blank canvass that they can mentally fill with their loved ones and themselves.
Q: Should I be present when buyers view my house?
"NO!" Did you hear that? There is not any situation in which this is appropriate. Having the owner in the house makes the buyers uncomfortable. They feel as though they can't make comments or ask questions that could be offensive. Since the owner, who has a history & attachment to the house sometimes has the tendency to defend the property if a potential buyer makes a comment that could be a little negative. This can turn off buyers and lose you offers. "Capece?"
Q: What is the agent's commission?
While the commission can vary, it is typically 6% & that's usually shared with the buyer's agent. But what's implied by this question is, "What are you going to do to earn this commission?" Here are some facts to keep in mind: Unlike lawyers who get paid by the hour, or doctors who are paid by the appointment, listing agents don't get paid unless they make a sale. For every hour an agent spends with a client, he or she will typically spend nine hours on average working on that client's behalf doing everything from networking to finding potential buyers to filling out paperwork. And no, not all agents are created equal. Since most contracts last for a year we recommend that sellers "interview at least 3 agents prior to selecting one to represent them (of course we want you to use us). It's no different from choosing an attorney, accountant, or the doctor who will deliver your baby. You want to be sure that you trust that person and are comfortable with them.