HELPFUL REAL ESTATE TIPS

 *Disclaimer: The following “tips” are the opinions of the author only and should not be used or applied without proper guidance from a professional realtor, mortgage lender & attorney.

 

Hire a Certified Buyer Representative (CBR) to represent your best interests in the selection, negotiation & settlement of your new home. Don’t shop around from broker to broker because there is no advantage to doing so. It is also important to know, the sellers broker cannot represent you exclusively. Unlike many of our competitors, Realty Edge DOES NOT require the Buyer to sign a Buyer Broker Agreement. It’s our opinion that these agreements are only in the best interests of the realtors presenting them.   

Hiring a Buyer Broker you can trust is very important. Ideally, you want someone who is looking to help you find the RIGHT property, not just ANY property. If they try to sell you on every home they show you, this is a true sign that the broker is just looking to sell you ANY property instead of the RIGHT property. A true professional will be able to point out the negatives & positives of each home. While Realtors are not professional home inspectors, a well seasoned agent is able to identify & point out some of the commonly seen red-flags.  Ask about our Home Buyers White-Glove Checklist.

Have your CBR review the lenders “Good Faith Estimate” of closing costs to get their opinion on competitive closing costs & pricing. Stay away from on-line discount mortgage brokers. Ask your real estate broker to recommend a good mortgage company. Don’t fall into the trap of just picking the lender with the lowest rates. SERVICE is just as important.    

Hire a broker who is a tuff negotiator & knows how to leverage the transaction in the buyers favor.

Hire a Real Estate Attorney to review the contacts & addendums so they can make changes which slant the agreement into your favor. 

Have your Certified Buyer Representative (CBR) do a market analysis on the property you’d like to purchase before making an Offer. Broker should provide advice & guidance on how much is too much to pay.

Add appropriate “due diligence” investigation clause into your Offer contract. Ask you broker for a list of suggestions on the types of due diligence that you should perform.

Make contract subject to property appraising for no less than sales price & final underwriter approval.

 

Make Mortgage Contingency Clause in contract subject to the bank providing a loan commitment. Said commitment shall only contain conditions which are reasonably obtainable by borrower. 

Have your Attorney add language to contract along the lines of the following: should sellers require extension for purposes of clearing the title, buyers extension shall be limited to such time as the expiration of buyers loan commitment. Should buyer incur costs to extend interest rate or loan program to accommodate sellers clearing of property title, sellers agrees to pay all costs associated with said extension or contract shall become null and void and buyer will be fully refunded their deposit.

Another clause to request your Attorney insert in the contract deals with Buyer’s Default. The contract should have language  to protect you…along the lines of: this shall be the sellers sole & exclusive remedy at both law and in equity.

Obtain Owners Title Insurance to protect your equity & ownership in the house. This is a one time charge and well worth peace of mind. If you are getting a mortgage, the lender will require you to purchase a Lenders Title Insurance policy as part of your closing costs. If your lender wants protection, don’t you think you should too? Having a Title policy has saved many of my clients thousands of dollars in legal fees & has allowed them to close their transactions on time.

Complete a Declaration of Homestead at time of purchase & after refinancing. Some lawyers have said you don’t need to do more than one & some other attorneys have said you do. This is obviously open to interpret & is well worth spending the $38 +/- it currently costs.

Review Auto Insurance coverage to make sure it’s adequate to protect your home from being attached should you get in an accident.

Consider purchasing life insurance policy to payoff your mortgage in the event of an unexpected death. Also, consider purchasing short-term disability insurance should you or your spouse get hurt & are unable to work. This will help you pay the mortgage. Hire attorney to prepare a Will including your home & other assets.

Oil Adjustment ? Buyers traditionally pay the sellers for the oil left in the tank at time of closing. Add language to contract that spells out the amount per gallon reimbursed to seller by having them provide a receipt of the amount seller paid. 

 

 

 

  

Hire a full-time broker to perform a Market Analysis consisting of the town your home is located in as well as other competing towns. Ask for a fully outlined strategic marketing plan tailored to YOUR home; not just a boiler plate plan.

 

Hire a broker who will tell you like it is & not pull any punches.

 

Be leary of brokers so willing to negotiate their commission rates. If they are so willing to give their money away, how willing do you think they will be to give your money away?! For every $10,000 you lose, the broker only loses $500. Remember, you  get what you pay for! 

 

Hire a broker who is a tuff negotiator & knows how to leverage the transaction in the sellers favor. 

 

Hire Attorney to review contact & draft addendum to slant contract into your favor. Attorney will also review mortgage payoff documents & ensure proper calculation of sellers settlement costs.
 

Make sure your broker has the knowledge & experience to be your real estate advisor; instead of just being a salesperson. Ask your brokers advice on how & where to place furniture, etc. Staging a home for sale is extremely important.

 

Add language to contract along the lines of the following: should sellers require extension for purposes of clearing the title; seller will only be required to expend up to $2,500.00 to clear title. Should costs exceed $2,500.00; seller may cancel contract at their option.  

 

Complete a Sellers Property Condition disclosure to protect you from future lawsuits. In real estate, if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t mean anything.

 

Sellers are required to disclose all known material defects. A material defect for all intensive purposes means…had the buyer known about the defect prior to making the purchase, might they have decided not to buy the house?

 

Ask your broker how to find out if your Oil Tank meets the current regulations.

 

Provide your broker with a copy of the deed, plot plan, tax bill, any known history of home if antique, current mortgage statements, subdivision restrictive covenants, homeowners or condo association information, list of repairs or improvements to house, with copies of any necessary building permits, estimated utility bills, etc.


I hope you have found these Helpful Real Estate Tips to be just that. Please realize, the information above only touches on the tip of the iceberg. Give us a call today! When working with Realty Edge, you can always  “Expect More!”

 

 

   President / CEO