Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions

This weeks blog post is dedicated to answering some of the most common questions that I am asked as a Real Estate Agent.

How Should I Prepare My House Before Listing It?

You’ve heard it before and it’s as true with real estate as anything else- first impressions matter. It’s a good idea to make sure everything is working good and there are no glaring problems in the house. Make sure the rooms are clean and de-cluttered so the house can show better. You can also get a home inspection to see what issues the house has and go ahead and fix some of them, or have an appraiser come look at it to see exactly what you should list it at.

Should I Get A Home Inspection Before Listing My House?

If you are trying to maximize your profit from the house this can be a great way to help do that. Most clients are likely going to be getting their own inspection during their due diligence period, but this can be a great way to be prepared for anything that will come up in their repair request.

How Long Will It Take To Sell My Home?

Our current average for days on market in Catawba county is 21 days. Houses priced above $350,000 begin having a higher average as there is a smaller pool of buyers. This will be unique for each house depending on things such as the marketing proposition and the price of which it’s listed.

Why Is The Assessed (Tax) Value Different From The Market Value?

Assessed value is the value that is determined by a tax assessor just to determine the taxation amount for the property. The fair market value is an agreed upon price between the buyer and the seller. That means that it’s what a buyer is comfortable buying the property for and the seller is comfortable selling the property for. The assessed value can be a double edged sword because it could help buyers believe the house is worth more and thus increase the market value, but it also will increase the tax that the owner will be paying.

What Is The First Step In Buying A Home?

The first step to buying your next home is to speak with your lender and get pre-approved for a loan. Without a pre-approval, you aren’t sure of the price range that you can afford and you could be wasting your time. Also, if you are looking at houses that are say, $400,000, and your pre-approval comes back at $300,000, when you go to see $300,000 it is going to be harder to find one you like after you are used to the $400,000 price range. So it’s better to just know what you can afford from the very start so you can look at houses accordingly.

Should I Sell My Current Home Before Buying Another?

This question is entirely dependent on your personal situation. You may not want to sell the first house and have to find temporary housing while you are buying your next. Or you may need the equity from your current property as a down payment for the next. If you aren’t sure about this question, it may be a good idea to ask a financial advisor or your lender for their recommendation.

Should I Have A Home Inspection As A Buyer?

Yes, it’s always a good idea to have a home inspection before buying your next home. You will want to be aware of any potential issues in the house while you still have a chance to walk away, ask for them to be repaired, or negotiate the price because of them.

Should I Do A Final Walkthrough Before Closing?

It’s always a good idea to do a final walkthrough prior to closing. There are horror stories of houses being vandalized or catching fire the night before closing, and the buyer catches it less than an hour before they are supposed to take ownership of the home. There are also stories of sellers coming into the house and taking all the lightbulbs the day before closing (???). There’s nothing to lose, so this is just a sure way to give yourself a little bit of protection from the worst-case-scenario.

What Is The Difference Between Earnest Money And Due Diligence?

Both of these are forms of deposits for the house, but as a buyer if you back out it’s very unlikely that you will get due diligence back. Earnest money on the other hand can be reclaimed by the buyer as long as they back out prior to the due diligence date.

How Many Houses Should I View Before Deciding On One?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, it just depends on when you find the perfect one. I have worked with clients that have found the perfect one at our second showing, and I also have clients that I have been working with for about a year now. Just be sure not to work with a Real Estate Agent that is just hungry for their paycheck and in return rushes you into a decision. Your home is a huge decision and it can and should take as long as it needs to.

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