Home Buying/Selling: Most Popular Articles
Flea infestation in your house and yard? Here's how to make your house flea free and stop the fleas from coming back.
What is the minimum down payment required to buy a home? Find out how to calculate the down payment amount that is right for you as a first-time home buyer.
Real estate agent potential income and the average amount of money real estate agents earn.
The reason why some houses sell for more money is due to how the home was prepared. Learn the secrets agents know that will boost your bottom line.
Learn why a home buyer might consider a bridge loan when buying a home and selling a home to bridge the gap between the sales price and the new mortgage.
How to find information on any property through public records, MLS searches, property information and tax records.
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.
How the short sale process is handled from listing the home, qualifying for and reaching short sale approval from the bank to 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.
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.
After you buy a home, many new home owners don't think about the hidden costs of home ownership or what they will need to buy after closing.
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?
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.
How to get rid of cat urine odors or dog urine odors in a carpet and / or wood floors when selling a home with odors that won't go away.
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.
In-depth explanation of how foreclosure work and how to protect yourself if you're thinking about buying a foreclosure.
Under what conditions are sellers most likely to sign a low offer? How the pros often make a killing in the real estate market.
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.
Owner financing, using seller financing to buy a home. Types of owner financing and creative financing instruments.
Are popcorn ceilings dangerous? Tips for buying a home with a popcorn ceiling and how to test your ceiling for asbestos.
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.
Learn how much of an earnest money deposit is required, why buyers submit good faith deposits with offers, and how a buyer can lose the deposit.
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.
How to figure out when your first mortgage payment is due. Mortgage payments pay first to interest, then to principal.
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.
Find out the types of real estate agents, including buying, listing, and broker, and the differences between an agent and a real estate broker.
Seller financing via a land contract, which is sometimes called an Installment Sale Land Contract or contract for deed.
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.
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?
MLS stands for multiple listing service. Definition of MLS. Suggestions for MLS home searches. How to find MLS listings in your area.
Find search engines that help you locate foreclosures after the Notice of Default is filed and homes seized by government entities.
Difference between lease options and lease purchase sales. Benefits and drawbacks for lease options. Why lease options can be bad for a home buyer.
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 the right house price.
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?
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.
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.
What's involved in the final home inspection walk-through? What happens if repairs aren't made as promised or something else is wrong?
How to value homes in any given area by the price per square foot, including average and median square foot market values.
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
What is a conventional loan? How are conventional loans different from government-sponsored entity loans such as VA or FHA?
Here's a list of questions to ask your agent or the seller on offering price, conditions and location before writing that offer to buy a home.
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.
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.
Learn the benefits and drawbacks to buying land and what concerns to address before buying land to ensure that you can build the home you want.
Find out why you must know the details about existing easements and rights-of-way before you buy a home or other real estate.
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.
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?
Both sellers and buyers can get blindsided by low appraisals. If an appraisal comes in low, here are available options.
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.
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.
Before preparing your home for sale or signing listing agreements or making repairs, here are five essential home selling steps.
How to buy a preforeclosure home and where to find them, the differences between a preforeclosure versus a home that has already been foreclosed upon.
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.
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.
Find out where to draw the line at selling a home in its present condition or making repairs and what variables the decision is dependent on.
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.
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.
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?
18 simple steps for first-time home buyers, from hiring an agent to closing. Complete path to buying a home in easy-to-understand terms.
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.
What happens if your home doesn't sell? Here are alternatives to home selling when you can't sell your house.
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.
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.
How to fire your real estate agent. Sure-fire signs that it's time to say goodbye.
Whether you hire a buyer's agent or buy a house without representation, here are the proper protocol to use when approaching agents.
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.
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.
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.
How are real estate commissions negotiated? What's fair? What's open for debate and discussion? Why should you negotiate?
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.
How to buy a foreclosures / REOs from the bank. Negotiating offers for bank owned homes. Difference between REO homes and short sales.
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.
Types of repairs that FHA will require to be fixed before closing and list of repairs that FHA does not require to be fixed.
What do home warranty program protect? Find out what is covered and what is excluded from coverage and how to ask a seller to pay for a home protection plan.
Guide to writing offers to purchase real estate. Prevent offer rejection by following these expert tips for writing purchase offers.
Words sell homes. 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.
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.
All homes tend to sell for money after they are prepared properly for the market, and I would not let a small budget for home selling dissuade you.
What rights do buyers have when purchasing new construction? Is it wise to use the builder's agent and lender? Tips for buying a new home from a builder.
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.
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.
Definition of cash for keys, including explanation of tenant's rights under foreclosure and how some how some homeowners can avoid eviction during the foreclosure process.
Selling houses at an open house. Here's how to host a successful open house and sell that house. Not all homes are candidates for holding open and why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top 10 reasons for selling and moving. Motivation for selling your home. Need a reason to buy your second or next home? You'll find a good reason in this list.
What home buyers need to know when buying For Sales by Owners: writing FSBO offers, negotiating with FSBOs, successfully closing transaction and more.
How to find a great real estate agent. How do you find a qualified and knowledgeable real estate agent? Here are excellent suggestions.
Definition of BPO. What is a BPO as it pertains to short sales and bank appraisal requirements.
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.
How to get REO offers accepted on bank-owned homes and writing a winning offer, especially in multiple-offer situations.
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.
What happens if you remodel or make an addition to your home without pulling a permit? Find out what kind of trouble a buyer can get into.
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.
What happens if your home doesn't sell? Learn how to write a purchase contract contingent on your home selling and protection clauses for both parties.
Etiquette and guidelines for attending open houses. What sellers and real estate agents expect from open house guests. How to make your open house visit productive by following open house do's and don'ts. How to find out if the listing agent is holding the open house.
How to make a short sale offer. 10 tips for making a short sale offer that will encourage the seller to accept it and the bank to issue short sale approval.
The differences between real estate agents and REALTORS. What sets real estate agents apart from REALTORS.
How much home can first-time home buyers afford? Learn how to set realistic goals for home buying and tips for selecting that first home.
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.
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.
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?
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.
An explanation and a breakdown of the expenses and fees it typically costs a home seller to sell a house.
How to choose the best places to live. If you could live anywhere in the United States, which places would you choose that are best for you? Here's how to help you decide where you would love to live.
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.
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.
How to cancel a purchase contract, listing agreement, buyer's broker agreement or real estate contract without a penalty or getting into trouble.
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.
Definition of a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Is a deed in lieu of foreclosure better than a short sale? Reasons a bank might accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Tax and legal consequences of a deed in lieu.
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.
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.
Tips for negotiating terms, protecting seller's rights and making your financing instrument saleable on the secondary market.
CC&Rs - Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions - Definition of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
Advantages and benefits to paying cash for a home. Ways to beat out other non-cash offers. Why a home seller prefers cash.
Pros and cons of buying a one-story home vs. a two-story home. Which is better to buy -- a one story or a two-story home? Do two-story homes hold their value better?
How a bad credit mortgage can help poor credit risks re-establish credit after a bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale or other financial crisis.
Determining if a house is worth tearing down. Steps to take before you tear down a house and a thorough explanation of that process.
Acceptable condition to leave homes after selling. How much cleaning should a seller do before turning over the keys to a new buyer?
When Realtors say location, location, location, what does it mean? Why is it repeated three times? What is a bad location versus a good location in real estate?
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.
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?
Buyer's broker agreements, authorization to represent buyers, types of buyer listing agreements, terms, conditions and duration.
Gas log fireplaces are an ideal choice for anyone who wants to enjoy the warmth of a fire without the chores of hauling wood and cleaning ashes. One type of gas log fixture is vented to the outside, like woodburning fireplaces. This article helps you decide if a vented gas fireplace is the best choice for your 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.
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.
Definition and explanation of approved short sale. What an approved short sale actually means when you see it listed that way.
How are seller vacating and buyer move-ins orchestrated? When do sellers move out? When can a home buyer move in? What is actual possession and early possession? Should a seller rent back before giving possession?
Homebuyers are entitled to seller disclosures and to hear all material facts. As a home seller, what do you need to disclose?
Should you buy a house with a wet basement? What types of problems are present in wet basements? Solutions to fixing wet basements. What causes spalling and efflorescence? How can you tell if water has leaked into a basement?
What do full service real estate brokers and agents do to earn all that money? Is it deserved?
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.
Definition of procuring cause and how Realtor associations handle the complaints and charges. How to work effectively with real estate agents so commission disputes among them do not erupt.
Are you suddenly feeling queasy about the house you just agreed to purchase? It's most likely a case of home buyer's remorse, a condition that sometimes occurs between the time your home buying contract is accepted until you actually go to the closing table. Here's some advice to help you sort out your feelings about your new home.
Are vent-free gas logs, also called unvented gas logs, the best choice for your home? This article gives you the facts and helps you sort out the pros and cons of vent-free gas fireplaces.
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.
Why it is difficult to sell a home at the same time you buy a home. Tips for buying a home when selling a home in a seller's market that are different than buying and selling a home in a buyer's market.
The condition of homes puchased at auctions or trustee sales. What can a buyer expect and prepare for when buying foreclosures without an inspection.
Clear explanation of mortgage loan types. Differences among conventional, FHA and VA mortgage loan types, including exotic and old timey types of loans.
Offer negotiation tips: three tried and true methods that get home sellers to say
Renting back after closing. Protection for home buyers and sellers when the sellers rent back after closing the transaction.
What constitutes a good home layout? Learn how to spot trouble layouts before buying a home and what types of layout turn-off home buyers.
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?
Easements - Definition of Easements - What is an Easement?