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  • Should I talk with a lender before looking at homes?
    The answer to the question is YES! There are tons of reasons why you should talk with a lender and get pre-approved before looking at homes. First and foremost, talking with a lender before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford. There is no reason to look at homes that are listed for $450,000 if you can only afford up to $400,000. If you’re a first time home buyer, talking with a lender before looking at homes is strongly suggested, as there are many first time home buyer programs available. These programs can vary from state to state and county to county, so knowing exactly what’s available to you, is critical. Another important reason to talk with a lender before looking at homes is so you understand exactly what costs are associated with buying a home. There are many home buyers who don’t understand the difference between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, which can be thoroughly explained by a mortgage professional. A mortgage professional can give you advice on the type of financing you should be looking to obtain and also whether or not you should request the seller to contribute towards your closing costs, also known as a seller’s concession.
  • Should I buy or continue to rent?
    Buying a home can be a very solid investment. This being said, renting can also be a better option for some, depending on the circumstances. The current interest rates are incredible. A 30-year FHA mortgage can be locked in at a rate of around 3.5%. Since the interest rates are so low, it actually can be cheaper to pay a mortgage right now than paying rent. There are questions that you should ask yourself before deciding to buy a home. One of the most important things to consider is the length you plan on staying in a home, if you were to purchase. If the answer is only a few years, it’s likely the better decision is to continue renting. Another question to ask yourself is whether you are ready to take on the additional “responsibilities” of owning a home. When owning a home there will be general home maintenance that should be done, are you ready for that? Buying a home is a great option in many cases, but not always.
  • I own a home, should I buy another before selling my current home?"
    There is truly no concrete “correct” answer to this question. There are pro’s and con’s to buying a home before selling your current home and the same can be said about selling your current home before buying another. Buying a home before selling your current home The biggest benefit to buying a home before selling your current home is the fact that you have a suitable property lined up. This can reduce the stress and pressure of having to find a home once your current home is sold. This however also can create disappointment and heartbreak. If you are unable to purchase a new home without having to sell your current home, you’re purchase offer is going to be contingent upon sale and transfer of title of your current home. If your current home does not sell in a timely manner, this can lead to you getting “bumped” by a non-contingent buyer and you losing out on the home you’re looking to purchase, which can be devastating. Selling your current home before buying a new home The time it takes to sell your current home is unpredictable. There is no crystal ball that exists that can tell you exactly how many days it will take. Selling your current home before buying a new home will put you in an ideal position to negotiate on the new home you’re purchasing due to the fact you are purchasing without the sale contingency of your current home. One risk of selling your current home without buying a new home first is the chance of not being able to have a place to live. There are options if your current home sellers before buying another though. A “rent-back” can sometimes be negotiated with the buyer of your current home. A “rent-back” would allow you to retain possession of your current home for a certain number of days after closing at the expense of paying the buyers mortgage. A “rent-back” allows for additional time to find a new home.
  • Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?
    When buying a home, it’s strongly recommended you have a Realtor. There are many reasons why you should have a Realtor represent your best interests when buying a home. Keep in mind, all Realtors are not the same! When choosing a buyers agent, make sure you know how to properly interview prospective Realtors when buying a home. Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more difficult. Having a Realtor is always recommended when buying a home. One thing not to do when buying a home is calling the listing agent because you don’t want to “bother” your Realtor. This is one thing that real estate agents hate. Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home? One reasons why buyers ask the question about the need of having a Realtor when buying a home is because they don’t understand who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home. There are no guarantees, however, in most cases the seller pays the Realtor fees.
  • How is the neighborhood/area?
    When buying a home, a common question home buyers have is regarding the neighborhood/area. As a real estate professional, there are rules against steering and providing personal insight into specific areas and neighborhoods. This doesn’t mean that your Realtor cannot provide you with tips to help you choose the right neighborhood when buying a home. Many buyers wonder about the growth of the local economy, crime statistics, taxes, and local amenities. If you have a top Realtor when buying a home, you should be able to receive all of the pertinent information to allow you to make an educated decision on areas and neighborhoods.
  • What is an earnest money deposit?
    An earnest money deposit is also frequently referred to as a good faith deposit. When a buyer purchases a home, they provide the seller’s real estate company a deposit to hold in their escrow account. The primary purpose of this deposit is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home. The amount that is deposited is subtracted from the final figure that a buyer pays at the closing table. In most cases, the larger the deposit, the stronger a purchase offer looks to a seller.
  • What if my offer is rejected?
    When a purchase offer is submitted to the seller there are generally four possible responses. The first is an accepted offer, the second is a counter offer, the third is a rejected offer, and the final is an offer that is not responded to. If your offer is rejected, meaning the seller says no and doesn’t counter, you have the right to place another offer. It’s not very common an offer is rejected or not responded to, unless a seller is offended by a low-ball offer.
  • Do I have the option to have any inspections?
    When buying a home, you have the option to perform several types of inspections. The purchase offer you write can be contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection, pest inspection, chimney inspection, radon test, and many other inspections. In most cases, it’s recommended that when buying a home, you at the bare minimum have a home inspection. There are home inspection findings that are more common than others, however, no two homes are the same so it’s a great idea to get the home inspected. What’s the next step? Congratulations! Your offer was accepted, now what? Between contract acceptance and the closing date, there are many things that need to be completed. In a nutshell, after an offer is accepted, generally any inspections will be completed. After the inspections, you complete a formal mortgage application and last but not least, the title, abstract, survey, and any miscellaneous paperwork is completed. When buying a home, finding the perfect home is only one part of actually becoming a homeowner. Throughout the mortgage process, you should expect the bank to require documentation, letters, and other items from you to satisfy the bank conditions, so don’t be upset or surprised when this happens.
  • Do I need to do a final walk-through?
    As a buyer, you have the option to perform a final walk-through. Is a final walk through a requirement? NO. Is a final walk through necessary? YES. Generally when buying a home several weeks go by between when you last walked through your home. Lots of things can change during that time. When doing a final walk through a few things you should check is that furnace is working, the toilets are flushing properly, and there is hot water.
  • When is the closing date?
    When buying a home, the excitement level is extremely high. It’s important to understand that the closing date in the purchase offer is a target and not a guarantee. Before you hire the movers and take time off from work, know that the closing date in the contract isn’t necessarily the date you will own your new home. Many buyers will ask their Realtor this question, however, it isn’t up to the Realtors when a closing will be. The attorney’s are the ones who have to set the closing date and time.
  • When is the best time to sell my home?
    This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer. Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community. In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home. The spring months will vary from community to community. For example, the spring market in the Webster, New York real estate community maybe April, May, and June while the spring market in Coral Springs, Florida maybe March & April. Since every home sellers situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor. In some cases, selling a home during the fall and winter months actually maybe better than waiting until the spring real estate market. This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that serious buyer’s are always looking for a home, just to mention a couple factors.
  • How is the real estate market right now?
    A frequently asked question from home sellers before listing their home for sale is related to the local real estate market. There are many market indicators that a top producing Realtor should be able to share with you to help explain the condition of the local real estate market. One of the most important indicators on market conditions is average days on the market. The average days on market can indicate to a seller how quickly homes are selling when listed for sale. Other examples of market condition indicators that a top producing Realtor will provide a home seller before listing their home include market absorption rates, number of closed transactions year-over-year for a given month, average sale prices, and average list price to sale price ratios. What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale? There are several things you need to know before listing your home for sale! A frequently asked question from home sellers before listing is what steps should be taken before listing their home. Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a home owner at a huge disadvantage. The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home. When selling a home you must be sure that your home presents itself in the best possible light. Making sure clutter is at a minimum, freshly painting rooms, installing new carpeting, or ensuring odors are non-existent are just a handful of things that should be done before listing your home for sale.
  • What should I disclose to potential buyers?
    When selling a home, it’s important you disclose to potential buyers anything you are aware of in your home. Nobody likes “getting the raw end of a deal” when it comes to buying a home, car, or anything for that matter. If you’re aware of defects with a roof, appliance, or home in general, you’re always going to be better off being honest and upfront. If you’re aware of defects, whenever possible, fixing them before going on the market is best. This can avoid potential issues and/or lawsuits once your home is under contract, after inspections, and even years after you have sold your home.
  • How much is my home worth?
    Most home owners want to know how much their home is worth. This frequently asked question is another one that cannot be answered with a generalized answer. One of the best perks to owning a home is the ability to make it your own and improve it how you’d like. Finding out how much your home is worth is not something that should be done without asking a top local Realtor.
  • Why is the assessed value different than what you say my home is worth?
    Assessed value is not the same as market value or appraised value. There are many homes that could be sold for significantly more than an assessed value and others that maybe sold for significantly less. The assessed value of a home is used for the purpose of taxes in your local municipality. The assessed value of a home is multiplied by the local tax rate to determine what your yearly taxes are. The assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth to a potential buyer in the marketplace. Unfortunately, there are many home buyer’s who believe that a home that is listed higher than the assessed value is overpriced. This is the furthest from the truth. Home buyer’s also question if something is wrong with a home if the list price is much less than the assessed value. The bottom line is the assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth. There are home owners who don’t pay attention to their assessed value, just to find out their municipality has been slowly raising it, year after year, even though the market value hasn’t been increasing.
  • What is the difference between a list price and sale price?
    This frequently asked question can be answered very easily. The list price is the price a home is currently listed for sale at. The sale price is the price a home is sold at. A top Realtor should be able to suggest a list price that ends up being very close to the final sale price.
  • How do you determine how much my home is worth?
    There are a handful of methods that Realtors use to determine the value of a home. The most common method to determining the value of a home is by completing a comparative market analysis. A comparative market analysis is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 3-6 months. A comparative market analysis, also known as a “CMA,” isn’t a crystal ball that determines what a home will sell for, however, if performed by a top Realtor, it should greatly narrow the sale price range. A professionally completed “CMA” will take into account many features of not only a home, but also the local area and neighborhood. Considerations that a professionally completed “CMA” include, but is not limited too: 1. Square footage 2. Number of bedrooms 3. Number of bathrooms 4. Upgrades to kitchen 5. Window quality 6. Roof age 7. Lot features 8. Location; primary or neighborhood street? 9. Style of residence 10. Flooring type
  • Can I determine how much my home is worth from an internet website?
    The answer to this frequently asked question is NO! Anyone who has bought a home, sold a home, or just looked at homes, has heard of websites such as Zillow and Trulia. These are also commonly referred to as third party real estate websites. Third party real estate websites are not local to every real estate market. These third party real estate websites provide estimates of home values for practically any home in the United States. How is it possible that a third party website that is headquartered in California or Florida can provide an accurate home value for a home located in Rochester, NY? It’s not! These third party websites, such as Zillow and Trulia, use computer generated home values based on calculations and formulas. These websites providing inaccurate estimates (or “Zestimates”) can create a false sense of hope and lead to frustration. A home seller who is told their home is worth $20,000 less than the online estimate is going to be understandably upset. It’s critical that when selling a home, the value is determined by a top Realtor in your local area, not an internet website!
  • Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?
    This frequently asked question often leads to a common pricing mistake that sellers make. Many sellers believe they should price their home $5,000 higher than what a top Realtor suggests to leave room for negotiations and low-ball offers. A well priced home will sell quickly and will sell for close to the listing price. There is no need to leave room for negotiations, as today’s home buyers are very well educated. A seller who prices their home high to leave room for negotiations can actually be costing themselves more money than if they price it to reflect the suggested market value.
  • How much commission do you charge?
    Commission is negotiable, period. Don’t let any Realtor tell you otherwise. This being said, the saying “you get what you pay for,” often is true when it comes to real estate. If a Realtor offers a lower commission, do you think they will negotiate aggressively on your behalf when it comes to the price? Also, if you were working for a reduced hourly wage from your “normal,” would you work as hard as you normally would? The answer is likely not. Choosing a Realtor based solely on the fact they offer the lowest commission amount is a top mistake made by home sellers when choosing a Realtor to sell their home.
  • What are seller concessions?
    Depending on what type of financing the potential purchaser is obtaining, the option to receive seller concessions may or may not exist. There are many home buyer’s in the marketplace with impeccable credit scores and solid jobs but are short on the money required to purchase a home. Seller concessions allow a home owner to contribute a percentage or dollar amount towards a buyer’s closing costs and/or pre-paid items. For example, a buyer who qualifies for an FHA mortgage can receive up to 6% of the purchase price towards their closing costs. This can be a significant amount of money and can be the difference of a buyer being able to afford a home or not or the seller being able to sell their home!
  • What are some common lender required repairs?
    If a home buyer is obtaining financing from lender, they will complete an appraisal. When performing an appraisal, the appraiser is looking for potential safety hazards or concerns. The buyer will determine in their purchase offer a dollar amount in which a seller is responsible to cover for bank required repairs. Some common lender required repairs include missing handrails, broken windows, peeling paint, missing electrical covers, and roofs that are in very poor condition.
  • What happens if the appraised value comes in too low?
    In addition to ensuring there are no safety hazards at a home, the bank appraiser is also making sure that the home value is at least what a buyer and seller agree too. This isn’t always possible though. If an appraiser determines the value of the subject property is lower than the agreed purchase amount, there are a couple different scenarios. Seller Makes Concession This is the most common result when an appraisal comes in too low. The seller must agree to sell the home for what the appraiser determines as the acceptable value. Buyer Comes Up With Difference The buyer must bridge the difference between the purchase price and the appraised value. This scenario is fairly uncommon as many buyer’s find it hard to pay more for a home than their bank appraisal indicates it’s worth. The Transaction is Cancelled Unfortunately for both the seller and buyer, this is a common result from a property under appraising. If the buyer does not want to bridge the difference and the seller does not want to make the concession and adjust the sale price, the transaction is cancelled. Challenge Appraisal Challenging an appraisal is not an easy task. It is something that must be done with much care and consideration, otherwise the chances of an appraised value being changed, is slim.
  • What is a sale contingency?
    Some buyer’s decide when buying a home they would like to find a suitable property before selling their existing home. A sale contingency is a common contingency that sellers see in purchase offers. A sale contingency means that the potential buyer of a home must sell their existing home, before being able to purchase the “new” home.
  • How does the inspection phase work?
    Inspections are another common contingency that buyer’s make their purchase offers subject to. There are many different types of inspections and tests that a buyer has the right to perform. In most cases, inspections are at the expense of the buyer. They have a specified number of days to complete the inspections and also a specified number of days to either remove the inspection contingencies or request the seller address findings from the inspections.
  • What are the common closing expenses for home sellers?
    Another popular frequently asked question from home sellers is how much it will cost to sell a home. There are expenses that the buyer will have that the seller will not and vice versa. Typical closing expenses for home sellers include the abstract and title search, instrument survey, real estate commissions, and transfer taxes which also are known as revenue stamps.
  • Should I include appliances or leave them as negotiable?
    In many cases, the appliances in one home will not fit or look right in another. The decision whether to include appliances or make them negotiable is ultimately up to the seller. One thing to remember when deciding whether to include your appliances, they do not add much value to a home since appliances are considered personal property.
  • How do you plan on marketing my home?
    A comprehensive marketing plan is something that you should expect from your Realtor when selling a home. The days of placing a sign in front of a property and waiting for someone to sell it are over. With the evolution and the impact the internet has had on the real estate industry, it’s critical that not only is your home marketed through “traditional” avenues, such as newspapers and mailings, but it must also get maximum exposure online. A top Realtor should have a quality website, quality real estate blog, and a strong social media presence. The importance of where a Realtors website ranks in search results is critical since over 90% of buyer’s are beginning their home search online!
  • Why isn’t anyone looking at my home?
    This frequently asked question can be a fairly complex answer. In most cases however, the reason your home is not being looked at by potential buyer’s is due to the price. Buyer’s who feel a home is priced to high will choose to look at other homes before yours, likely finding one before they reach yours. Other possible reasons your home is not being looked at could include a poor curb appeal, a poor location, or lackluster marketing efforts from your Realtor.
  • What should I do to prepare my home for showings?
    Preparing a home for showings can be a job in itself. A home that is well prepared for home showings will likely sell faster than it’s competition. Making sure a home is cleaned, de-cluttered, bright, and that no foul odors are present are just a few things that sellers must do to prepare their home for showings.
  • Should I be present during showings at my home?
    Easy question to answer – no! There are many reasons why sellers should not be present during showings. The primary reason why you should not be present at showings of your home is potential buyer’s can feel uncomfortable to talk open and freely with their Realtor about your home. They do not want to say something that could offend you, the seller. The best idea is to leave shortly before the scheduled showing and come back once you are certain the buyer and their Realtor have left your home.
  • Will you be holding open houses?
    Believe it or not, open houses are a fairly controversial topic in the real estate industry. Some Realtors will convince a seller that they will get their home sold because they hold it open every weekend. Unfortunately, these same Realtors are not being honest with the seller. The truth is, open houses are not necessary to sell a home. The primary reason a Realtor will convince a seller that open houses are necessary is because they are hoping to pick up additional buyer’s. The percentage of homes that sell due to an open house is less than 5%. Ask the Realtor what their thoughts on open houses are and make sure you’re comfortable with their response. It’s important you’re on the same page as the Realtor when it comes to open houses.
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Coldwell Banker Realty 9442 N Capital Of Texas Hwy, Plz 1-625, Austin, TX 78759 O: 512-343-7500

Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice

Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services

Jenn Griffith
Realtor
License #: 0637966

9442 N Capital Of Texas Hwy, Plz 1-625, Austin, TX 78759  | Office Phone: (512) 343-7500  | Cell Phone: (512) 970-5130

Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of the company.

Licensed Supervisor: Teresa Recar  |  trecar@cbunited.com  | 512-343-7500  |  License #: 0360584

 

Designated Broker of Firm: Joanne Justice  |  joanne.justice@cbdfw.com  |  972-906-7709  |  License #: 0159793

Sales Agent: Jenn Griffith  |  jenn.griffith@cbunited.com  |  512-970-5130  | License #: 0637966

© 2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

 

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