Home Buying / Selling: Most Popular Articles
Real estate agent potential income and the average amount of money real estate agents earn.
The reason why identical homes don't sell at identical sales prices -- why some houses sell for more money even though their square footage is the same, is due to how the home was prepared for sale. Learn the secrets agents know that will boost your bottom line and quickly sell your home.
What is the minimum down payment required to buy a home? How to choose the loan with the lowest down payment for home buying. How to calculate the down payment amount that is right for you as a first-time home buyer.
Bridge loans and how they work. Why a home buyer might consider a bridge loan when buying a home and selling a home. Bridge loans are temporary financing for bridging the gap between the sales price of a home and the new mortgage.
Home inspection checklist items to look for when getting a home inspection. How to tell if your home inspector checked the essentials. Major and minor repair concerns.
Flea infestation? How to get rid of fleas in your house and yard, especially killing flea eggs so they don't hatch. Here's how to make your house flea free and stop the fleas from coming back.
How to buy a home with bad credit, even if you have filed bankruptcy or gone through a foreclosure. Comparing the difference in rates for a variety of FICO scores. How to get a bad credit home loan after foreclosure.
Buying a home for the first time can be overwhelming for a first-time home buyer because few home buyers know how to begin the search. These tips will alleviate anxiety and get a home buyer started on the ground running.
Who pays a real estate agent? How are real estate commissions paid? Can real estate agents get paid by both sellers and buyers? Is it legal? Just how much money do real estate agents make anyway?
How to do a property search. How to find information on any property: who owns the home and balances of mortgage loans. Finding specific details of property. Public records search, MLS search, property information and tax records. Ordering free property profiles.
Time period to close on a home. Explanation of process and time length required to close when buying a home. Ways to speed up your home closing.
The fundamentals behind a short sale, why banks accept a short sale payoff, how to do short sales, and how a short sale affects sellers credit, why short sales are better than foreclosure.
Each year, home owners discover that their new home's square footage is not the figure stated when the home was advertised. Real estate agents and for sale by owner sellers can reduce their risks of lawsuit by knowing how use accepted standards to measure and calculate a home's square footage.
Don't make this home selling mistake. Pricing real estate is part art and part science. The one thing you DO NOT want to do is make this mistake. Find out why this seller had to sell at almost 50% of her original list price of $1.3 million.
Explains how much of an earnest money deposit is required and why buyers submit good faith deposits with offers. Why trust accounts are essential and whom a buyer can trust. How does a buyer get the money back if the transaction does not close? How can a buyer lose her deposit?
Can a home buyer bypass the listing agent and contact a seller directly? What if the home buyer has a buyer's agent, can the buyer still call the seller? Is it legal to by pass agents?
Tips for buying a short sale. Before you buy a short sale, read about your rights as a buyer. Why the seller's lender needs to approve a short sale; how to avoid short sale blues.
Questions to ask before you hire a real estate agent to represent you to buy or sell a home, and why it is essential to interview an agent.
Figuring the price per square foot for real estate. How to value homes in any given area by the price per square foot, including average and median square foot market values.
Find out why you must know the details about existing easements and rights-of-way before you buy a home or other real estate.
Owner financing, using seller financing to buy a home. Types of owner financing and creative financing instruments. How to negotiate owner-financed real estate sales.
How to figure out when your first mortgage payment is due. Mortgage payments pay first to interest, then to principal.
MLS stands for multiple listing service. Definition of MLS. Suggestions for MLS home searches. How to find MLS listings in your area.
Both sellers and buyers can get blindsided by low appraisals. If an appraisal comes in low, here are available options. A low appraisal doesn't mean the transaction will blow up. You can still close and salvage the deal.
How to figure out how much your home is worth and price the house so it will sell. Expert tips to determine your house value and figure out which house price is right.
After you buy a home, here is a budget for things you will need to buy to stock the home. Many new home owners don't think about the hidden costs of home ownership or what they will need to buy after closing.
Modular homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing. They are different types of structures. The differences between a modular home and a manufactured home can affect resale value and determine whether or not the house can be built on your land. Learn the facts before you buy.
What's involved in the final home inspection walk-through? What happens if repairs aren't made as promised or something else is wrong? What rights do home buyers have? When does the walk-through take place. All these answers and more.
How to write a purchase contract contingent on your home selling. What happens if your home doesn't sell? Enforcing the First Right of Refusal. Decisions buyers face when sellers issue a Notice to Perform. How sellers can knock a buyer out of a contingent contract. Protection clauses for both parties.
What are real estate counter offers and how many times can sellers and home buyers bicker back and forth? How are counter offers rejected and accepted? What are normal procedures for negotiating offers and multiple contracts?
Whether home sellers are better off fixing up the home or selling the house as is. How to draw the line at selling a home in its present condition or making repairs.
Criteria to use to hire a listing agent. How to find the best listing agent. Listing your home for top dollar. Getting the best service from a listing agent. How to weed out the bad listing agents from the good agents.
Complete A to Z guide to buying a home. From figuring out what you need versus in a home to what you want, to finding an agent to help you with buying a home, cleaning up credit, finding a lender and locating that perfect home to all the final details of buying a home.
How the short sale process is handled from listing the home, qualifying for and reaching short sale approval from the bank to closing. Complete A to Z short sale process, beginning to end.
If you could pick any day of the year to buy a home, do you know which day is best? We do. Under what conditions are sellers most likely to sign a low offer? On which days can you get the best deal of the year? How the pros often make a killing in the real estate market.
What it means to hold title as Tenants in Common. About property deeds that show title as tenants in common. Rights of owners and possession.
How to get rid of cat urine odors or dog urine odors in a carpet and / or wood floors. Tips for selling a home that stinks like dog or cat urine. How to clean difficult cat urine odors that won't go away.
How are real estate commissions negotiated? What's fair? What's open for debate and discussion? Why should you negotiate? Why would an agent negotiate real estate commissions with you?
The affect of short sales and foreclosures on credit reports and FICO scores. Which is better to see on a credit report: a foreclosure or a short sale? How soon after foreclosure or short sale can a seller buy a new home?
Explanation of companies that pay cash for homes. The truth about cash for homes schemes and how much companies pay when you see those signs that read: We buy houses for cash.
Here's a list of questions you need answers on before buying a home. Home buying questions to ask your agent or the seller before writing that offer to buy a home.
How to find foreclosures, government repossessed and bank repos. Find search engines that help you locate foreclosures after the Notice of Default is filed and homes seized by government entities.
How buyer's agents in real estate are paid. Does a buyer's agent get paid by the buyer or the seller? How buyer's agents earn a commission.
Are popcorn ceilings dangerous? Tips for buying a home with a popcorn ceiling. How to test your popcorn ceiling for asbestos and safely remove the textured ceiling.
All about foreclosures: the risks and the profits. In-depth explanation of how foreclosure work. How to protect yourself if you're thinking about buying a foreclosure.
Easy to understand explanation of real property deeds that are used to transfer title. Examples of title documents such as warranty deeds, grant deeds and quitclaim deeds. What makes title transfer valid? Do the documents need to be notarized? Legal instruments used to transfer title to real estate.
A successful home buying transaction depends quite a bit on getting a positive appraisal for the property. If you're paying cash for the house, the appraisal must only meet your approval, but if you're getting a loan, your lender will make sure that all aspects of the appraisal meet its requirements. Here are some of the appraisal results your lender will consider before granting the loan.
Why hire a real estate agent when you can do the job yourself? Here are 10 good reasons to hire a buyer's agent or a seller's agent that you might have overlooked and not considered.
How to find a great real estate agent. How do you find a qualified and knowledgeable real estate agent? Here are excellent suggestions.
Types of repairs that FHA will require to be fixed before closing and list of repairs that FHA does not require to be fixed. Repairs that FHA appraisers note when appraising a property for an FHA loan.
Beyond decorating and cleaning, home staging is about illusions. Staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, more loving, and it makes home buyers want to buy it.
Should you do a short sale or a foreclosure? Is a short sale or foreclosure better for your credit rating? How do you qualify for a short sale? Are there any advantages at all to doing a foreclosure?
Things you should think about before you buy a manufactured home. Advice to help you when you're buying a home.
Which remodeling jobs pay back big at resale? Here is how to invest your repair and home improvement dollars to get the most bang for your buck. Whether you're fixing up a home for resale or personal enjoyment, spending the right dollars in the right rooms will return rewards.
How quickly should a house sell? What is the average length of time it takes to sell a house? If your home sold too quickly was it priced too low?
Explanation of home warranty coverage and plans. What do home warranty program protect? What is covered and what is excluded from coverage? How to ask a seller to pay for a home protection plan.
How to make a lowball offer that is not insulting to the seller. Tips on getting lowball offers accepted.
How to sell a home as a for sale by owner, without an agent, without representation. Proven tips for marketing your home as a for sale by owner
Nearly all home buyers hire a professional home inspector to inspect your home before they go to closing and there are several home inspection hot-spots that worry buyers the most. Get your house ready for a home inspection by taking care of these issues before you put the house on the market.
What is a backup offer? How to determine if it's worthwhile writing a backup offer. Tips for writing a backup offer.
How much home can first-time home buyers afford? How to set realistic goals for home buying. Tips for selecting that first home so you don't get in over your head.
Seller financing via a land contract, which is sometimes called an Installment Sale Land Contract or contract for deed. The benefits and drawbacks to using land contracts to buy or sell a home. The differences between wrap-around and straight land contracts.
Buying For Sale by Owner Homes. What home buyers need to know when buying For Sales by Owners: writing FSBO offers, negotiating with FSBOs, successfully closing For Sales by Owners transaction without representation by a real estate agent.
Criteria to use when making an offer to buy a home. Data to help determine the price to pay for a home. Factors that influence home offer prices.
Definition of closing costs, including recurring and non-recurring (prepaid) fees. Addresses seller credits to buyer for closing costs and explanation of lender's requirements for such credits.
Before preparing your home for sale or signing listing agreements or making repairs. 5 essential home selling steps to complete before going on the market. How to determine if you are ready to begin selling your home.
What should you give your real estate agent to say thank you after your home sale closes? Here are gift suggestions and ideas for REALTOR® closing gifts. The gift most preferred by real estate agents doesn't cost you anything.
How to figure out why your home isn't selling and fix the problem so your home sells. There are a lot of reasons why a home doesn't sell apart from price.
Advantages and benefits to paying cash for a home. Ways to beat out other non-cash offers. Why a home seller prefers cash.
How to cancel a purchase contract, listing agreement, buyer's broker agreement or real estate contract without a penalty or getting into trouble.
There are many reasons to buy a home, especially for first-time home buyers, beyond tax deductions. Look at this list of excellent reasons to buy a home.
How to write a hardship letter that is likely to win over the bank. Whether you seek a short sale or a loan modification, the bank will request that you write a hardship letter. Tips for putting your hardship into words.
Requesting repairs after a home inspection is common. Here is how to make repair requests that are acceptable and why sellers may reject unreasonable repair requests. Alternatives to making repairs that keep sellers and buyers happy.
Homebuyers are entitled to seller disclosures and to hear all material facts. As a home seller, what do you need to disclose? Are deaths on the property required disclosures? Do you need to disclose recent repairs?
If you're buying a home, chances are you'll need a mortgage, but did you know there are big differences between mortgage brokers and bank loan officers? The differences affect your home buying transaction.
Are you buying a home? The HUD-1 settlement statement is the standard real estate settlement form for federally-related mortgage loans. Deciphering the HUD-1 can be confusing, but you'll be ready to study your closing statement after reading this handy reference.
How to put money into escrow. Types of funds required to close on a sale of a home. The problems associated with cashier's checks and wire transfers. Why certified funds are required to close.
Length of time sellers can wait to accept a buyer's offer to purchase their home. Once a buyer makes an offer, is it good forever? How long do sellers have to accept a purchase offer? Description of what constitutes delivery of offer acceptance.
What happens if you remodel or make an addition to your home without pulling a permit? Answers to whether you can sell a home with non-permitted improvements. What kind of trouble can a buyer get into by buying a home that was remodeled without a permit?
How long should a buyer wait for a short sale approval -- for the purchase offer to be approved by the bank? Approximate length of time for banks to issue short sale approvals.
How days on market matter to a listing. Why some agents relist a home as a new listing after 90 days on market to show zero days. How to find out the days on market for any listing.
Guide to writing offers to purchase real estate. Prevent offer rejection by following these expert tips for writing purchase offers.
Purchase offer contingencies and how to release contingencies. What happens if contingencies are not released. Types of contingencies, how sellers request releases and consequences of refusal.
Ways to buy a cheap foreclosure at a bargain price. How a bank determines the price of a foreclosure, and why not every foreclosure is a cheap buy.
Taking care of a septic tank and septic system isn't difficult, because modern waste removal systems function efficiently when you follow a few basic guidelines. Here are some tips to help you take care of your septic system.
Sometimes buyers decide to walk away from closing and forfeit their earnest money deposit. What can sellers do if buyers don't show up at closing? How buyers can walk away from closing and why.
Determining if a house is worth tearing down. Steps to take before you tear down a house and a thorough explanation of that process. Alternatives to tearing down a house.
Types of real estate listing agreements: Exclusive Right-to-Sell, Exclusive Agency and Open listings. Length of time to list, how to exclude buyers from the agreement, whether you can cancel the listing.
Whether you are trying to sell your home yourself without representation or you have hired an agent, you can benefit from showing your home in its best light. Here are 10 home showing tips to guide you. From the moment the buyer arrives at your front door, you've got three seconds to make a good first impression.
How to fire your real estate agent or terminate agency / listing agreements as a Realtor. Sure-fire signs that it's time to say goodbye. How to end your association without remorse or tension.
Acceptable condition to leave homes after selling. How much cleaning should a seller do before turning over the keys to a new buyer?
Top 10 marketing tips that are designed to sell your home faster and for more money, regardless of whether it's a buyer's or a seller's market.
If you think a modular home is the same as a manufactured home, take a closer look. Modular homes and manufactured homes are two completely different types of structures. Learn the similarities and differences before you get too far in your home buying journey.
Difference between lease options and lease purchase sales. Benefits and drawbacks for lease options. Why lease options can be bad for a home buyer.
Definition of comparative market analysis (CMA) and how to interpret a CMA. Explanation of elements in a comparative market analysis. Understanding comparable sale numbers. Adjusting for variances between non-similar homes and the subject property.
The 3 parties to a short sale offer, and how to win every time. Secret strategies for getting your short sale offer accepted.
How to keep the peace among real estate agents when home shopping. Here are the rules laid out for you. Whether you should hire a buyer's agent or buy a house without representation. The proper protocol to use to approach agents if you aren't sure yet whom to hire.
Multiple offer definition and tips on making offers to buy a home when competing against other home buyers. Multiple offer strategies for seller's and buyer's markets. Why not all multiple offer situations end up going to the highest home bidder.
New real estate agents sometimes aren't aware that commissions are usually shared by all agencies who participate in a sale. Here are some examples that show how commissions are split.
Do you really understand every clause within the contract you just signed? Repair issues are one of the least understood parts of a home sales contract. It's a misunderstanding that can cause you lots of headaches--and money. Get the facts before you sign.
How to buy land. Land buying tips for building a new home. Benefits and drawbacks to buying land in the country. Addressing concerns before buying land will help to ensure that you can build the home you want.
An explanation and a breakdown of the expenses and fees it typically costs a home seller to sell a house.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that can seep into your home. Most home buyers perform radon tests before buying a home because high radon levels can potentially cause health problems. Get the facts about radon tests and learn what to do if levels are high.
Should you sign a buyer's broker agreement? Should buying agents show homes to buy without a signed buyer's broker agreement? Advantages and pitfalls to working exclusively with a buyer's agent.
Words sell homes. Good advertising words sell homes faster. If you want to sell your house, choose advertising words that are designed to make home buyers want to see your house and buy it.
Conventional loans and how conventional loans fit into the real estate marketplace today. What is a conventional loan? How are conventional loans different from government-sponsored entity loans such as VA or FHA?
Wondering if you qualify for a short sale? Not every home owner qualifies for a short sale. Here is how to figure out if you meet the requirements for qualifying for a short sale.
When other buyers thumb noses at dated inventory, savvy home buyers can profit by considering homes that have been on the market longer than 30 days. When a home doesn't sell, sometimes it just means the home is overpriced.
How to get an FHA Streamlined 203K loan when buying a fixer. Benefits to a Streamlined 203K loan over a 203K FHA loan. How to apply for a Streamlinde 203K loan to fix up a house you are buying and roll the costs into your mortgage.
When you're buying a home, it's important to understand the restrictive covenants and other deed restrictions that are in place for the real estate you want to buy, because they dictate how you can and cannot use the property. Here's some advice to help you get the details you need before you make an offer on a home.
EIFS, also called synthetic stucco, is under fire for promoting moisture retention that can lead to structural problems. Find out why this happens and what you can do if your home is affected.
Figuring out what is a fixture and what is not a fixture. Five tests to determine if property is a fixture and must stay with the house. How personal property becomes a real estate fixture.
When you list your home, is it a good idea to send your listing to all the agents you know? How to market your home to other agents who might have buyers.
Learn how to buy a HUD foreclosure. HUD foreclosures are available throughout the US. This guide will help you understand the sales process you must use if you want to buy a foreclosure from HUD.
Why buyers may pay more for a short sale. 11 drawbacks to buying short sales. The hype surrounding short sales and why buyers should use caution.
Types of real estate agents and the differences between an agent and a real estate broker. Definition of selling agents, seller's agents, buyer's agents, buying agents, listing agents, broker associates and real estate brokers.
Definition of BPO. What is a BPO as it pertains to short sales and bank appraisal requirements.
What happens if your home doesn't sell? Here are alternatives to home selling when you can't sell your house.
Buyer's broker agreements, authorization to represent buyers, types of buyer listing agreements, terms, conditions and duration.
You'll feel more confident about your home buying journey when you understand what is required of you and every other person who is involved in the transaction. This guide takes you through it, and shows you that you're only 11 steps away from buying a home.
Receiving counter offers at full price is no reason to walk away. How to negotiate counter offers when the sellers counter at full price.
Tips for buying a new home from a builder. What rights do buyers have when purchasing new construction? Is it wise to use the builder's agent and lender? Steps new home buyers can take to ensure the neighborhood will sustain its value.
How to sell a house where pets live, especially to potential buyers who do not like pets. From overcoming objections to pets, to eliminating pet odors and stains, dealing with dirty cat boxes and barking dogs to get the sale. Advice on how to get top dollar for a home with pets in residence.
Here's how to tell when the price of your house needs to be reduced. Lowering the price is smart if you know how to analyze the market and determine positioning for your price reduction. Price adjustments are never too low if computed correctly.
Why do pending home sales go bad? What makes pending sales fall out of escrow? Here are reasons why pending sales go back on the market. Advice on how to keep a home sale from falling apart.
What constitutes a good home layout? How to spot trouble layouts before buying a home. What types of layout turn-off home buyers and cost sellers potential profit? How can you avoid buying a home with a bad layout?
How to figure out how much you should to offer to buy a home. When making offers on a home, how much is too much and how much is too little? Great tips for figuring out a reasonable price to offer a home seller.
How to figure out if buying that short sale house will work and is worth waiting for. Questions to ask the short sale listing agent, and how to research the home's history before writing a short sale offer.
Pros and cons to owning homes with swimming pools. Types of pool construction. Whether swimming pools add or detract from the market value of a home.
How to buy a foreclosures / REOs from the bank. Negotiating offers for bank owned homes. Difference between REO homes and short sales. Hiring an agent to buy REOs.
An explanation of proof of funds. Why a seller's agent or seller will request proof of funds from a home buyer. Types of proof of funds.
If you're selling a home, one of the first things you should do is improve its curb appeal. Use these curb appeal tips to attract potential home buyers from the moment they step out of their car.
Tips for buying REO foreclosure homes and writing a winning offer to buy that foreclosure. How to get REO offers accepted on bank-owned homes, especially in multiple-offer situations.
How does that work when a real estate agent refers an agent and collects a referral fee? Is it a good idea to hire the agent your real estate refers to you? A behind-the-scenes look at what happens when an agent refers another real estate agent in exchange for a referral fee
Reasons why a bank might reject a short sale. Why some short sales routinely face rejection by banks. How to pretty much guarantee your short sale won't get rejected.
Remove the contingency to sell under first right of refusal -- pitfalls and advantages during contract negotiation when buying before selling. How to deal with a 72-hour right-of-refusal notice on a contingent contract.
The differences between real estate agents and REALTORS. What sets real estate agents apart from REALTORS.
The best way to boost your offer negotiation skills into high gear is to appeal to a seller's emotions.
How to clean out a house after a relative's death. Getting a house ready to sell after a loved one dies. Separating trash from treasures -- disposing of mom's belongings before selling.
Explanation of deed of trust. Trust deeds evidence a mortgage loan secured by a promissory note. Parties to a trust deed, including role of the trustee.
Common purchase contract contingencies to use when buying a home. How to make a contract contingent on appraisal, loan and approval of inspections.
CC&Rs - Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions - Definition of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
Clear explanation of mortgage loan types. Differences among conventional, FHA and VA mortgage loan types, including exotic and old timey types of loans.
How to find the right home to buy and cut down on red tape. Here are all the questions you need to answer yourself to define your objectives.
How to work with a real estate agent; find, interview and hire an agent; understand how agents operate and who pays them; whether you need a full-service, minimum- or discount-service agent. The differences between an agent and a Realtor. How to fire your agent.
How to change real estate agents and switch to an agent you like better. Do you have to tell your first agent why you changed agents?
FHA loans never went away but had once dropped in favor with home buyers. Find out why FHA loans are popular for first-time home buyers and the benefits to obtaining such a loan today.
Title insurance policies as they pertain to real estate: owners and lenders title policies, terms of coverage, liability and protection. Title commitments and preliminary title reports prior to issuance of title insurance policies.
What are the risks of home buying without an agent? How to buy a for sale by owner without hiring an agent.
Home buying new or older homes. Differences between new homes and old homes. Should a first-time home buyer buy a newer home or older? Which is more expensive?