Frequently Asked Questions

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Here is a collection of frequently asked questions that I have put together to help you in buying or selling a home. If you have any other questions not listed here, feel free to call or send us an email. By clicking on any of the questions below, you may view the answer.

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Buyers

Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or more so, it is not very common for property to depreciate. This is why it's a great investment. Make sure you carefully consider location and community when choosing a home, it can effect the homes future value greatly. If you are in a newly developed area, do some research on the construction of the surrounding areas being developed to determine if they may effect your homes value.

This is really just a matter of preference, but both newer and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle. Older homes can generally cost less than new homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not have any backyard landscaping and some don''t include any front landscaping either. With an older home, the landscaping is normally already completed and could have 10''s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which is included in the purchase price. Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they''re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in. In a new house, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV''s, electrical, computers, phones and speakers, etc., as well as have more upgrade options. Modern features like media rooms, extra-large closets and extra-large bathrooms and tubs are also more attainable in ground-up construction. In a used home, you rely largely on the previous resident''s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling and rewiring. New-home designers can use new building materials such as glazed Energy Star windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances. Older homes, unless they have undergone an energy retrofit, usually cost much more per square foot to air-condition and heat. Builders have to follow very strict guidelines in new-homes and additions, especially in the West and Northwest, where earthquake safety standards must be observed. In general, new homes are usually more fire-safe and better accommodating of new security and garage-door systems. Older homes can be better judged for their quality and timeless beauty. New homes that now possess a smooth veneer might reveal the use of substandard building materials or shoddy workmanship over time. As you can see there are advantages and dis-advantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.

Closing costs are expenses incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property.

FSBO stands for For Sale By Owner. A for sale by owner property usually indicates that the property is being sold without a real estate agent.

With this type of listing the homeowner signs an agreement with the agent. What this agreement declares is the homeowner will provide the agent with a commission for selling the property. This agreement also states the homeowner cannot negotiate with the buyer at a later time to avoid paying a commission. This type of listing is most often used by agent showing FSBO (for sale by owner).

Sellers

It would be very unwise to try to back out of the contract because a purchase offer that's accepted is a legal contract that the buyer can seek legal remedies to enforce.

No. If you prefer a lower-priced offer, perhaps with a better-qualified buyer and/or more attractive terms, you can accept that offer instead. Or you can give counteroffers to one or more of the buyers. Beware, however, that if you turn down a full-priced offer, you may owe your agent a full commission even if you decide not to sell your home.

You must take into account the prevailing state of the real estate market and especially local market conditions. The real estate market continually changes, and market fluctuations affect property values. So it is critical to determine your listing price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. It would be a good idea to get a Home Value Request, or CMA, also known as Comparable Market Analysis.

Along with economic factors such as supply and demand, the time of year you choose to sell can impact both the length of time it takes to sell your home and its ultimate selling price. Typically, the real estate market picks up around February, continues strong through late May and June, and tapers off during July and August. The summer is usually the busiest time for moving since school is out and buyers may be looking to get their children in school before the new school year. September through November generally marks a rally not as strong as late winter and spring, followed by a slowdown from Thanksgiving through and beyond the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

These are referred to as recently sold properties that are similar in size, location, and amenities to the home for sale. These properties help an appraiser determine the fair market value of a property.

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