FAQ'S

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.

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

Attempting to buy a home without a Rto properly 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.

How are the schools?

This is another question that Realtors should tread very lightly with.  There is no doubt that schools impact property values.  Just like tips for selecting a neighborhoods, a top Realtor should be able to provide you with names or websites where you can find information on the local schools so that you can determine whether or not the schools are acceptable to you or not

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.

How long does the seller have to respond to my offer?

There is not a standard answer to this question.  A purchase offer will have a “life.”  The “life of the offer” can vary from 12 hours to 3 or 4 days.  There are many circumstances that can effect the length of the “life of the offer.”  Your Realtor should know how long of a “life” to give to your offer.  If you’re looking to purchase a home that is newly listed and the possibility of multiple offers exists, a shorter life is recommended.  If the home you’re looking to purchase has been on the market for 3 months and the seller is located out of town, a 2 day “life” maybe necessary and/or recommended.

How many homes should I look at before putting in a purchase offer?

This question is often asked and is a simple answer.  The answer is, there is no specific number of homes you should look at before buying a home.  Don’t feel that if you were to purchase the first home you look at that you’re making a mistake.  Same can be said if it takes you looking at 25 homes.

How much should I offer the sellers?

When buying a home, you are the only one who can determine how much you should offer a seller.  Certainly, it’s suggested you ask for your Realtors advice and thoughts, but ultimately you are the only person who can determine how much you should offer.

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 becontingent 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.

Should I buy or continue to rent?

Can you find a needle in a haystack?  Of course you can, but the probability isn’t very high.  The same can be said about a rent-to-own property.  A common question from home buyers is whether rent-to-owns exist or whether an owner would consider that option.  They are out there, but there are somethings that you need to know before agreeing to a rent-to-own.

When an owner is offering “rent-to-own” as a possible financing option, they are taking on a high risk since in most cases, a rent-to-own buyer has a credit score that is not impeccable.  Since an owner is taking a higher risk the terms for a rent-to-own must be considerably favorable for the owner.  This often leads to less than favorable terms for a buyer.  When looking at a rent-to-own as an option you can expect to provide a considerable amount of money down and a higher interest rate than what a lender is currently offering.

If you’re able to purchase a home by financing through a bank or lender, you will be better off because the terms will be more favorable.

Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?

The answer to the question is YES!  There are tons of reasons why you should talk with a bank and get pre-approved before looking at homes.  First and foremost, talking with a bank 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 $250,000 if you can only afford up to $200,000.

If you’re a first time home buyer, talking with a bank 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 bank 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.

What are the average utility bills?

When buying a home, it’s important to know what additional costs will be in addition to the monthly mortgage payment.  Utility bills are just one of the additional costs to consider when buying a home.  Utility bills can be obtained from the home owner and in some cases, from the local utility company, who can provide averages over the past 12 months.  Keep in mind, everyone prefers to have their home temperature different, so the average bill could be different if you were to purchase the home.

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.

What is a foreclosure?

Believe it or not, foreclosures can actually be a smoother transaction than a short sale.  A foreclosure, sometimes referred to as a REO, is a property that is owned by a lender.  If you’re considering the purchase of a foreclosure, it’s important to understand that most are sold “as-is.”  Foreclosures, if not purchased by an owner occupant, are often purchased by investors, fixed up, “flipped,” and sold to a owner occupant.

What is a short sale?

Before getting involved with a short-sale, it’s important you understand exactly what it is and what to expect from a short sale.  The easiest way to understand a short sale is the sale of a home in which the proceeds from the sale are less than the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the home owner cannot afford to pay the liens in full.

Before purchasing a short sale, you should consider things such as the time it can take for a short sale response, the fact that a foreclosure is still possible, and that many short sale properties are in disarray.  Short sales are not impossible to buy but you must be patient and be in no immediate rush to move.

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’s the age of the _?

When looking at homes, many buyers want to know the ages of specific items in a home.  The most popular items in a home that buyers want to know about are the major mechanical items, such as the roof, furnace, water heater, and air conditioning (if applicable).  An experienced Realtor should be able to find the dates of a furnace, water heater, and air conditioning unit by looking at the serial numbers.  The roof age is often known by the home owner.  If not, the age usually can be approximately determined by looking at the roof characteristics, such as the sagging areas and the way the shingles are laying.

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.

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!

Can you recommend service providers who maybe needed throughout the transaction?

No matter what industry, top professionals enjoy working with top professionals.  This is no different in real estate.  A top Realtor should be able to provide high quality mortgage professionals, attorneys, contractors, movers, or other services needed throughout the home selling process.

Do I need to provide permits or anything for my deck, shed, fencing, or additions?

Every municipality is different, but in general, when making an improvement or change to a piece of property or land, a certificate of compliance (and/or permit) is required.  When selling a home, potential buyer’s have the right to ask for certificates of compliance for any improvements, such as decks, patios, or sheds.  Some buyer’s may not ask for any permits and some may.  Technically, you do not need to provide any permits or certificates of compliance, however, you could lose a potential buyer over a simple fence permit.

How do I respond to low ball offers?

When selling a home, it’s best to think of any decision as a business decision rather than an emotional one.  Low ball offers still happen, unfortunately.  Dealing with low-ball offers can sometimes lead to the sale of a home, if handled properly.  The worse decision you can make if you receive a low ball offer is not responding.  Some home owners are so upset they decide they do not want to respond to a low ball offer, which ultimately ends any potential chance for a deal.  A counter offer, even if it’s close to the list price, is better than letting a potential buyer walk!

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 6-12 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

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!

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.

How frequently and by which methods do you communicate with your home seller’s?

Like many of the answers to these frequently asked questions, the frequency and methods of communication will vary from agent to agent.  At a bare minimum, you should expect to hear from your Realtor at least once a week when selling your home.  The methods in which a Realtor communicates with their seller’s should be tailored to each individual seller.  If a home owner prefers communication via e-mail, the Realtor should communicate via e-mail.  The same can be said about text messaging, phone conversations, or face-to-face interaction.

How is the real estate market right now?

A frequently asked question from home seller’s 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.

How long does the listing agreement last?

Most of the frequently asked questions that relate to exclusive right to sell contracts are not able to be answered with a universal answer.  When it comes to the length of a listing agreement, every real estate agent will have a different preferred length.  One thing to keep in mind when asking about the length of a listing agreement is the average days on the market.  If the average days on the market in your local real estate market are 75, a 90 day listing agreement may not be enough.

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 atop mistake made by home seller’s when choosing a Realtor to sell their 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.

Should I be present during showings at my home?

Easy question to answer – no!  There are many reasons why seller’s 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.

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.

Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

This frequently asked question often leads to a common pricing mistake that seller’s make.  Many seller’s 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.

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 bank required repairs?

If a home buyer is obtaining financing from bank, the bank 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 bank required repairs include missing handrails, broken windows, peeling paint, missing electrical covers, and roofs that are in very poor condition.

What are the common closing expenses for home seller’s?

Another popular frequently asked question from home seller’s 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 seller’s include the abstract and title search, instrument survey, real estate commissions, and transfer taxes which also are known as revenue stamps.

What happens if I’m not happy and want to cancel the contract?

This frequently asked question is not one seller’s like to ask when selling a home, however, it can come up frequently.  The hope when selling a home is a quick sale and top dollar.  This isn’t always the case though.  Every state and contract has different terms but generally speaking, if you decide to cancel the listing agreement, you could possibly be responsible for any expenses incurred by the real estate agent and their brokerage.

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 seller’s 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.

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.

What should I disclose to potential buyers?

When selling a home, it’s important you disclose to potential buyersanything 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.

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 seller’s must do to prepare their home for showings.

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 seller’s 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.

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 seller’s 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.

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.

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.

How Much Money Do I Need?

The amount of money you need to begin investing in real estate depends on what type of investment you want to make, and for how long. For a short-term investment, when you expect to be able to sell the property for a profit within a few years, consider an adjustable-rate mortgage with a low introductory interest rate. You'll be able to pay mostly interest and leave the principle to the next buyer, while profiting from any rise in the market during the time you hold the mortgage. If you wish to buy an investment property and make improvements before selling it, you'll need more money. Look for a mortgage with a fixed interest rate so you can plan ahead knowing what your monthly payment will be. Create a budget that includes all major improvements you plan to make. Going deep into debt to fund real estate investments is generally a bad idea.

What Are My Options?

You can invest in real estate in several ways. One of the most common methods is to buy a rental property and get tenants whose monthly rent will help you pay the mortgage and fund maintenance for the property. Buying and improving a home is another option. This can be the best choice for investors who have some degree of maintenance ability and are willing to put in the time and effort to increase the value of the property. Coupled with a rising housing market, this can be a very profitable method for investing. Another option is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, which is like a mutual fund composed of real estate companies. This is a way to invest in real estate without buying property for yourself. You can still benefit from a rise in the real estate market, but you remove the ris of being stuck with a devalued property. REITs pay dividends and are a good long-term, low-risk real estate investment.Sponsored Links

What Is My Degree Of Risk?

Real estate investing runs the gamut from low-risk properties to extremely high-risk propositions with a higher upside. As with any type of investing, there is always some degree of risk, as fluctuations in the market can be impossible to anticipate. However, buying a foreclosure property or buying when the market is very low greatly lowers your risk if you can be patient and wait for the value of your investment to rise before selling. Short-term investing is riskier, as you may find the value of your property doesn't rise to the level you anticipated by the date you wish to sell.

Where Should I Invest?

Investing locally gives you an advantage over other real estate investors. Choose a neighborhood or region you're familiar with and follow the housing market there, including what prices homes sell for and how long properties typically stay on the market. Use this knowledge, along with your own predictions about the economic future of your region, to decide when is the right time to buy and when to sell.

Contact Us

Phone:
602-882-4113
Address:
6751 N. Sunset Blvd Suite 320
Glendale, AZ 85383

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