Selling Your Home Long Distance: Things to Consider

Selling a home can be stressful, but when you are selling a home long distance it can be even more so. There are a lot of reasons you might be needing to sell your home long distance, such as relocation for a job or to be closer to family in an emergency. Whatever your reasons for needing to sell your home from another city or state, there are some additional things you need to consider before putting your home on the market.

Safety and Security

When you have a home sitting vacant, it can be a safety and security issue. You run the risk of vandals, drifters, or thieves coming into the home and destroying the property. While this is true even if you are in the area and selling your home after moving out, it is even more of a concern when you are not in the area to keep an eye on the property.

One of the best things you can do is team up with neighbors to keep an eye on the property. Enlisting the help of the neighbors ensures that any unusual activity at the house will be noted and reported to the police. Of course, if you send workmen over to make repairs you need to notify the neighbors so that they do not call the authorities unnecessarily. Read more

From Offer to Closing: What Sellers Can Expect

Many people are now selling their homes as for sale by owner, yet often sellers are not sure what to expect once they get an offer on their home. Getting an offer is just the first step in the lengthy closing process. In fact, from offer to closing day is typically at least 30 to 45 days. Knowing what to expect during this process will help you be better prepared.

Purchase Agreement

After you accept and sign an offer on your home, the next step is the purchase agreement. The purchase agreement outlines things like who gets to keep the appliances, what if anything has to be repaired before closing, the buyer’s inspection, how much the buyer will put down in earnest money, and the closing date. This important document is the basis for the closing on the home. Read more

What to Expect at Closing with For Sale By Owner

The closing day on selling your home is a big day for both you and the buyer. Closing, also called the settlement, is when you completely transfer the property to the buyer. All the documents and money that need to change hands between you, the buyer, the buyer’s lender, your lender, and anyone else involved in the sale of your house are exchanged between the parties.

Before Closing

It is important that you have all conditions of the contract fulfilled before closing. If there are any repairs that you promised to make before the property changed hands, you must have these completed before closing. You may be able to take care of some repairs after closing if you and the buyer have a separate contract outlining this.

You will also need to contact your lender and let them know you are selling the property. Your lender will be a party to the closing, and they will need to have a representative present. When you are paid for your property by the seller through their lender, you will then have to pay your lender so the title will be clear for transfer.

If you involved any outside companies for title searches, inspections, or other services throughout the purchase process, you will need to make sure they are also aware of the closing date. They will need to be paid for their services and sign off on the sale before it will be able to be finalized. Read more

For Sale By Owner: What You Need to Know About Inspections

FSBOWhether you sell your house yourself or through a realtor, chances are you will have to deal with home inspections as part of the process. Buyers universally demand professional home inspections before signing a contract. There are a few things you should know about these inspections and how they affect the purchase of your home.

Why an Inspection?

Buyers want a professional inspection of the home for their own protection, and it works to your advantage as well. Professional inspections are not required by law, but they do help protect both the buyer and seller. Buyers want to know that there are no hidden defects in the property before settling on a price and purchase.

For sellers, this means you are protected against future demands. As a seller, you have a responsibility to disclose any defects of which you are aware. But if both you and an inspector do not notice a problem that is found after the purchase, you can easily prove that the defect did not exist or you couldn’t have known about it. This removes any liability from you, and protects you from lawsuits. Read more

The 3 Ways You Can Title Your New Home

One of the things you may not have considered when purchasing your home is how it will be titled. There are several different ways that you can title your new home. How you title it will affect ownership, how the property can be sold, and how the property is passed down in case of your death. There are several considerations to make when titling your home.

Sole Ownership

Sole ownership is usually the preferred method of title for someone who is single. You may also be able to title a home as a sole owner if you are married, but your spouse would likely need to file a quit claim deed to declare that they have no interest in the property. Sole ownership properties are the easiest to sell, because you don’t have to worry about another party to the sale. It can be problematic when you pass, however, and the property could wind up in probate. Read more

Advantages and Disadvantages of For Sale By Owner

Many people are now choosing to sell their home as for sale by owner rather than going through a real estate broker. There are several advantages and disadvantages to selling your home in this way. Overall, it really just depends on how much effort and cost you are willing to put forward to get your home out there on the market.

Advantages

There are several advantages to listing your home as for sale by owner. First, real estate brokers may not be working in your best interests. Economists have found that most real estate agents are more concerned with getting a fast commission than a large commission. These agents don’t get a huge boost in commission for every thousand dollars of the offer. It is more important to them to flip a house quickly than to sell it for the best possible price. As a free agent, you only have your own interests in mind. This can often result in getting a better offer for your home. Read more

What You Need to Know About Closing on a Refinance

You may think that refinancing your home is just a matter of signing a few documents with the bank. However, it is actually a bit more complicated than that. When you refinance your home, you will go through a closing process similar to when you first bought the property. The only difference between that closing and your refinance is that there is no seller or real estate broker involved in a refinance because you already own the home.

Closing Costs

There are closing costs associated with a refinance just as there were when you first purchased your home. Closing costs could include fees for credit reports, appraisals, application fee, loan origination fee, and other fees and assessments. The average closing costs for a refinance in 2017 were about 1.5 percent of the refinanced loan amount.

Your closing costs may not need to be paid up front. For some traditional loans, closing costs can be incorporated into the loan so you don’t have any money to pay up front. There are some loan types, such as FHA loans, that do not allow for this. In those instances, you will need to have a cashier’s check for the amount of the closing costs with you when you arrive for closing on your refinance.

What to Bring

Closing on a refinance usually happens in the lender’s office or business location, although it can sometimes be arranged to occur in your home. You will need to bring a government issued identification card, your closing disclosure to compare with the final documents, and a list of contacts such as your attorney in case questions arise during the closing process.

If you are working on a refinance for your home, or think it may be the right option for you, we can help. Contact us today for more information and an appointment.

How to Determine a Budget for Buying a House

Whether it’s your first or fifth time buying a house, the process is generally the same. It can be exciting when you are finally in the market for an upgrade and it seems like the possibilities are endless. But there are a lot of important pieces that go into buying a house, and one of the most important ones is determining a budget. A big mistake that some homebuyers make is not being realistic with what they can afford.

Debt to Income Ratio

If you are applying for a home loan, banks will look at your DTI, otherwise known as your debt to income ratio. A DTI considers the ratio of your total monthly debt and your pre-taxed monthly income. Some lenders might say you qualify for a high debt to income ratio, but many experts recommend not to exceed 36%. The 36% limit allows for a cushion in case something unfortunate happens and you are temporarily not bringing in income.

Affordability

When looking at affordability, you want to start by tracking all your monthly debts, including various types of loans such as your car or schooling. You will also need to consider your household income. If you are planning on purchasing a home with someone, you both should determine how your mortgage will be paid.  Next, you need to ensure that you have enough money in your savings account to cover a complete down payment and at least 3 months of housing payments. In case something happens, you want to make sure you have enough to pay your mortgage and various expenses. Read more

The Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Help Sell Your Home

You might be in the market to sell your home and are debating whether you want to hire a real estate agent. There are plenty of people who choose to sell their homes on their own, and they can be quite successful. However, there are many benefits to hiring a real estate agent to help you with the home-selling process.

Experience

Chances are, this is your first or second time selling a house. A real estate agent has education and sometimes years of experience in house selling, and this can be of use to you. An agent will be able to filter through serious buyers and people who only want to tour houses. Also, it’ll be their job to take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to the technical side of house selling. The amount of paperwork that goes into selling can be very extensive, so having an agent to take care of it is something you should take advantage of.

Knowledge

Real estate agents are well versed in the housing market. They will be able to guide you through financials and how much homes are selling for. Agents will also be able to provide information about your neighborhood and its statistics. Real estate agents know to take note of school information, crime rates, recent foreclosures, and demographics. These factors can affect the process of selling your house, so it is best to have someone there who is educated.

Negotiating

When someone is interested in your house, they might come to you with conditions or a price that might not be what you are looking for. A real estate agent can act like a buffer between you and the buyer and negotiate terms that are fair for both parties. Another benefit to hiring an agent is that all the negotiating will be done through them with full confidentiality.

Selling your home with the help of a real estate agent is worth the money and will prove to be of great help to you. Don’t be afraid to be picky when it comes to who you hire to help sell your house. You can reach out to us for help finding a real estate agent that suits your needs!

Help! I Want to Buy and Sell Simultaneously

Buying a new home and selling your current home are both complex and time-consuming processes. So what happens if you want to do them both at the same time? As long as you have the right guidance from an experienced real estate agent, you can sell your home and buy a new one simultaneously. Here are the tips and tricks you need to know.

First, Study Your Local Market

According to Forbes, 2019 is the most important year for housing in 10 years. That’s a bold statement that can work well in your favor! Thanks to population growth and job growth, more people are searching for homes than ever before. This puts you in a great position to sell your current home. Low supply and high demand will allow you demand your full asking price.

On the other hand, this trend could make finding your new dream home more challenging. Start your search early, and don’t hesitate to make an offer.

Make a Schedule

Will you buy first, and then try to sell? Sell first and trust that you can buy quickly? Each plan has its own benefits and drawbacks. The ultimate decision should be based on your finances. If affording a second mortgage, even for a few months, is unrealistic, then work to sell your home first. If your budget isn’t an issue, talk to your real estate agent for guidance. Read more