Buying a Home? How Appraisals Work

If you’ve never bought a home before, you’ll soon find it’s a very involved process with a lot of different steps; especially if you’re seeking a home loan. If you apply for a home mortgage, your lender will likely require an appraisal. Without an appraisal, they can’t provide you with funding to make the purchase. 

What is a home appraisal?

At its core, an appraisal is an evaluation of the home’s value. It’s the lender that typically chooses a professional appraiser. The appraiser must be licensed or certified and is generally local. The value of the house can’t be determined by the structure itself (condition, materials used, square footage, and more). Value also depends on how much similar homes have sold for in the area as well as current local real estate market trends.

Why do you need an appraisal?

Lenders want professional property appraisals so they can compare appraisals to list prices. They want to ensure the appraisal isn’t well below what you’re planning on paying for it. If you’re overpaying significantly, the lender may have trouble recouping the loan if you default. They will have to foreclose on your home and sell it on auction but it’s unlikely they can get more than its appraised value, causing them to lose money.

As you can see, getting an appraisal is an important part of the home-buying process, especially if you’re taking out a home mortgage. 

Selling a Home? What to Repair Before Listing

If you’re about to sell your home, then you’ll want to make sure it’s ready before you list it. If there are issues, it’s not only going to hurt the property value, but it can turn away potential buyers. Buyers that see an obvious need for repairs will leave with a poor impression of your house.

Even if they can see past smaller repair needs, the idea that they will have to put time and money into repairing problems themselves after buying their “new” house isn’t a purchase incentive. Here are a few things you’ll want to before you list your house for sale:

  • Exterior siding – If your exterior paint is chipping away or starting to fade, repaint it. The siding has a big impact on your curb appeal and if it’s an eyesore, will leave a poor first impression.
  • Fences/railings – Loose or broken fences and railings are easy to fix. Not fixing them can make your property look like an abandoned lot.
  • Lighting – It’s not going to look good if a potential buyer tries to flip on a light switch and nothing happens. Make sure any lighting issues are addressed.
  • Plumbing – Get your plumbing inspected and repair any problems you find with faucets, toilets, showerheads, and drains.
  • Windows – Cracked window panes or worn, cracking window frames do not make your house look good. Plus, they can lose a lot of heat and air conditioning, which raises energy costs.

Buying a Home from Another State? Tips for Finding a Local Real Estate Agent

If you’ve taken a new job or have been relocated to another state, then you may find yourself in a situation in which you’ll need to buy a new house in that state. Buying a house from another state can be a real challenge, which is why it’s important that you find a local real estate agent who will be able to help you. The following are a few tips to help you find a local real estate agent that can help you find a house to buy in an area you’re probably unfamiliar with:

  • Look for an agent with experience – Experience matters. It means that they will feel comfortable helping you even though you’re out of state. It also means that they will have a more established network within the area that they can rely on to find properties in the neighborhood you’re interested in. 

  • Look for an agent local to the area you want to buy in – When researching real estate agents in the area, be sure to use the keyword for the city or town you’re looking to move to. Not only do you want to make sure that they are living in that area, but that they are operating out of that area as well.

  • Ask for referrals – More specifically, ask for referrals from homeowners who bought houses in the area you’re looking at. Contact these referrals and ask them about their experience working with the agent. You could even ask the agent if they have any referrals from anyone who came in from out of state.

Buying a house from out of state can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right real estate agent. 

How Having a Real Estate Agent Protects You as a Seller

There are many reasons why homeowners decide to sell their homes without the help of a real estate agent. They often think too much of their home and assume that there will be tons of interested buyers. They don’t think it will take a lot of work to sell because they think that all they’ll have to do is create an online listing and buyers will come flooding in. The biggest reason is often that they don’t want to pay the agent fee. However, not using an agent can be a mistake. A real estate agent can help protect you as the seller in the following ways:

They can protect you from pricing your home incorrectly

An agent can help you determine what your home’s market value is. Underpricing your home will lose you money while overpricing it will scare away potential buyers. The longer your house is on the market, the less likely it will be to sell. 

They can prevent you from losing a negotiation

Real estate agents understand the art of negotiation and have experience doing it. You’re going to have to negotiate with potential buyers at some point. Many sellers won’t budge because they’re too stubborn, resulting in the loss of a potentially fair sale, while others may budget too much and end up being taken advantage of. 

They can make sure you don’t accidentally do anything illegal

An agent will make sure that everything you do during the sales process is legal. For example, you’re legally required to inform buyers about any issues your house has that you know about. 

They can help you with the paperwork

Selling a house is not as simple as just signing a basic contract. There’s a ton of paperwork involved. If you don’t have the right paperwork or you don’t know what you’re doing, you could accidentally sabotage a sale. A real estate agent will help guide you through the paperwork process.

As you can see, a real estate agent can be extremely helpful when it comes to selling your home. To speak with an agent today, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay.

Buying a Home? What a Home Inspection Can Do for You

If you’ve found a house that you want to buy, then one of the most important things you need to do before signing on the dotted line is to schedule a professional home inspection. A home inspection will help identify any issues with the property that the seller may not have known about and that could potentially be costly. You’ll want to know about any repairs or replacements you have to pay for before you hand over a check for the house, after all. The following are a few things that you’ll want to know about home inspections in general:

What does a home inspection cover?

A professional home inspector will evaluate the condition of the home and look for safety issues, major or minor defects, items (such as HVAC units or appliances) that need to be replaced, items that need to be serviced or repaired, and items that are fine now but may need repair or replacement in the near future.

Can you back out of a sale agreement based on the inspection?

Generally speaking, most contracts contain contingencies that state that if significant problems are found during the home inspection that the buyer can back out without fear of losing any of their money.  

Are there any other solutions besides backing out?

You can discuss the situation with the seller. They may be willing to pay for any repairs or replacements. If they do this, you’ll want to agree to a date by which they will have it done before you buy the house. Alternatively, they can knock the cost of the repairs or replacement off the price of the house. 

A home inspection will help prevent you from buying damaged goods. For more home buying tips, be sure to reach out to us at Randy Lindsay today.

MY BIO

Randy has enjoyed over 27 wonderful years in the Real Estate industry making dreams come true for homeowners.

Superior customer service is #1 to Randy and he provides this to all of his clients using knowledge, professionalism, integrity and persistence.

Randy is a successful and experienced real estate agent who expertly represents both buyers and sellers. Scores of Charlotte area residents have trusted Randy in the process of listing their homes to sell.

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