Why Choosing the Right Lender is So Important

Why Choosing the Right Lender is So Important

  We like to meet with our Buyers in person prior to going out to see any houses. One reason for that is so we can sit in a relaxed environment and get to know their wants, needs, and what is driving their home purchase. Another reason is to go through a flow chart of the home buying process. As full-time Realtors, we do this on a monthly basis. We know the process inside and out and can tell you where the pitfalls and hang-ups will be if there are any. If our client has not already spoken with a lender about pre-approval, we discuss this and explain why choosing the right lender is so important. There are many different types of lenders as well as types of loans. When we are discussing our client’s desires for a home, this can clue us in on certain lenders that would be a good fit for them. For instance, if you are buying raw land, you can’t just walk into any bank or lending institution and get a loan. Not all lenders are set up to give loans for raw land. Another example is mobile homes or houses without a permanent foundation – like some “tiny” homes. There are very few lenders that can handle those loans. One we see a lot is condominiums. One would think that it is pretty straight forward, and that any lender can lend money for a condo purchase – not so. A lot of condominiums allow rentals or have allowed rentals in the past. If the ratio of owner-occupied to tenant occupied is too high, some lenders can’t or won’t lend the money to purchase that unit, whether or not you, the Buyer, is buying to live in or rent out. When we have a Buyer that has already talked to or chosen a lender prior to meeting with us, we ask specific questions to make sure that is the right fit for what they are trying to buy. You would think that loan officers would ask pertinent questions on the front end, but not all of them do, or Buyers aren’t quite sure of what they want in the beginning stages. We have had far too many bad experiences with lenders that promise the world but don’t deliver. We’ve also had many Buyers disappointed and incur extra expense because their closing date had to be changed because the lender did not get the loan processed in time. Realtors can do their best to manage the process and make sure the lender is on notice to get a condo questionnaire, any HOA documents needed and order the appraisal in time, but sometimes that is not...

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What do Contingencies Mean in a Real Estate Contract?

What do Contingencies Mean in a Real Estate Contract?

  When you are buying or selling a house, many contingencies can be written in the contract. What are they and what do contingencies mean? Let’s take a look at the five most common. Financing. Financing contingencies are the most common type of contingency. It is also the one that in almost all cases, does not get removed until the actual closing takes place, everyone has signed and the property changes ownership. It means that the lender or mortgage company has to fully approve and underwrite the loan and that if the loan is not approved for any reason, the Buyer can terminate the contract and receive their earnest/trust money back unless the contract accounts for it differently. Inspection. I always advise my Buyers to have the home inspected. Not only a general home inspection but if anything comes up on the inspection that may need to be evaluated further, specific contractors or professionals can also inspect those items. Radon, mold, and pest inspections can also be beneficial and can be part of the inspection contingency. Raw land may require other types of inspections and these are included as well. If the Buyer is not satisfied, for any reason, either with the findings, or the negotiations associated with the inspections, this contingency gives them a way out of buying the property. Appraisal. Appraisal contingencies keep buyers from overpaying for the property. Most contracts with appraisal contingencies in them allow the Buyer to terminate the agreement if the property does not appraise for at least the agreed to purchase price in the contract. As we discussed previously, the parties can negotiate if they want to move forward with executing the remainder of the contract but it does give the Buyer the right to walk away if they so choose. Sale of Home. This contingency can be used if a Buyer has another house they need or would like to sell prior to closing on a new one. Not all Sellers like to accept a home sale contingency – especially if the market is hot where they are but the market where the Buyer’s property is, isn’t. The contingency can be used if the Buyer’s property is currently on the market, is not currently on the market, or is already under contract, just waiting to close. Sellers should ask questions and perhaps make certain requirements of the Buyer if they choose to accept this type of contingency. Spousal approval. In a hot real estate market, it is necessary to move quickly in making an offer. If there is more than one Buyer but only one can make it to see the property, this contingency can be used. Typically, a Seller will...

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The Call is Coming From Inside the House

The Call is Coming From Inside the House

  Remember “When a Stranger Calls”? If you saw it and ever babysat, you probably thought of that at least once! There’s not much scarier than thinking someone you are not aware of may be in your house – but what about something being in your house? I am not a home inspector, but I have seen hundreds of home inspection reports and the ONE thing (in Middle Tennessee) that comes up time and time again that can kill a deal is crawl space issues. I have had clients that didn’t even know they had a crawl space, let alone look in it and know what’s going on in there. There can be plumbing leaks, obvious structural concerns, rodents, reptiles and other living creatures. Because I live in a humid climate, I see a lot of organic growth – aka, mold. Mold can grow where there is moisture and oxygen. Think about a shower in a bathroom that doesn’t have an exhaust fan. Eventually, mold will grow. Mold may not grow, however, because, the door or window is being opened to provide ventilation and it is being cleaned on a regular basis. But what about in your crawl space? Is it being ventilated or cleaned on a regular basis? Here is some good info from the EPA about mold growth and some ways to mediate it. https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home Critters also love to make their home in crawl spaces. They are safe from the elements and a lot of times, predators. Generations of critters could be making their home under your floor and you may not even know it. This may not be of large concern to you but what happens when they find a hole and get inside your house instead of just under it? You may have a more pressing problem on your hands. Plumbing leaks can be tricky. You may have one and not even know it because it’s not bad enough to be noticeable even with daily usage. A leak from a commode can be undetected for years but the damage it is causing beneath the surface can be devastating. Subfloor can be damaged or rotted and mold can be flourishing. The remedy can be much more involved than just replacing a wax ring, but it may have been avoided if you knew about it early on. Structural issues are a huge red flag for home buyers. Even though mold can be scary, and some will walk away, structural issues are almost always something the buyer will not budge on being fixed or they will simply find another house. No one wants to buy a house that is not sound or poorly built. And the kicker is...

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Why Isn’t My House Selling?

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

  I never like when anyone asks, “Why isn’t my house selling”? Markets change and there are always exceptions and unique situations, however, there are some things that you should look at first. If you are guilty of any of these or think you might be, you may have your answer. Your house is overpriced. This is the #1 reason houses don’t sell. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “We have the best house in the neighborhood,” I’d have a lot of dollars! Most of us think our house is great, which is why we bought it in the first place, however, we need to take a step back and be realistic. We need to see our house through the eyes of a buyer. Many Sellers will think that if they price it high, Buyers will just offer what they think it is worth and that it will give more room for negotiation, so what does it hurt? It can hurt more than you know. Buyers will look at the data and if your house is priced way above the market, many won’t even look at it because they think you are unrealistic and that you will be hard to deal with. Some Buyers will look at it, and even like it, but not make an offer for the same reason. They will decide to wait to see if you come down in price and in the meantime, they will find another house that is priced within the market and will be moving into it while you are asking why yours isn’t selling. The condition is poor. Again, you must see your house through the eyes of a Buyer. Have your real estate agent or a friend walk through and be honest about what they see. We live in our home every day and get used to what we see. We can often overlook things that others see immediately. If a Buyer sees that your house is in need of general maintenance, they may wonder what else is going on that can’t be seen. Your house needs to be in tip-top shape to get it sold for the most amount of money. Most Buyers don’t want to buy a house only to have to do a bunch of work to it. They want to move in and put their own touch on it with colors and decorations, not hammers and caulk. You have too much stuff! Do you have big furniture in small spaces? Do you have knick-knacks on every surface? Do you have your kitchen counter tops full of appliances and utensils? Do you have toys blocking attic storage doors? Do you have...

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