Our Real Estate Blog
Although a home seller has already accepted your home offer, you'll want to employ a diligent home inspector to examine a residence before you finalize a purchase agreement. By doing so, you can identify any potential home problems that you might have missed during an initial house showing. Plus, a home inspection will allow you to find out if a home requires extensive repairs or maintenance and if you'll need to modify or rescind your original offer.
Hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for homebuyers. However, finding the ideal home inspector sometimes can be difficult, particularly for homebuyers who want to speed through the homebuying process.
So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help you do just that:
1. Review a Home Inspector's Qualifications
Learning about a home inspector's experience and skills is paramount. And if you devote the necessary time and resources to understand a home inspector's qualifications, you'll be able to find out if this individual is the right person to assess a residence.
Typically, you should try to find a home inspector who boasts construction and building maintenance expertise. Depending on where your home is located or your residence's condition, you also may need to find a home inspector who understands how to deal with asbestos, lead-based paint and other potentially hazardous conditions.
Be sure to conduct an in-depth evaluation of several home inspectors before you make your final decision. This will enable you to hire a top-notch home inspector who can help you identify and resolve any home issues before you conclude your home purchase.
2. Evaluate Sample Reports from a Home Inspector
Ask a home inspector to provide samples of past home inspection reports – you'll be glad you did! By getting copies of past home inspection assessments, you can better understand how an individual approaches a home inspection.
For example, does a home inspector provide clear information in his or her reports? And does the inspector offer notes that highlight home problems? Take a close look at a home inspector's past reports, and you can find out whether this individual takes a basic or comprehensive approach to his or her work.
3. Get Home Inspector Insights from Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent may prove to be your best resource throughout the homebuying process. As such, your real estate agent can put you in touch with home inspectors who have your best interests in mind and will do everything possible to conduct a thorough inspection of a property.
In many instances, your real estate agent may be able to offer multiple home inspector recommendations. This professional also can provide details about what to expect during a home inspection and how to handle any home problems that you might encounter as part of a home assessment.
A home inspection may seem like a tall task, but with a great home inspector at your disposal, you can improve your chances of obtaining the ideal residence.
As a home seller, you'll likely want to do whatever you can to promote your house to the right groups of homebuyers. Thus, hosting an open house is a must, particularly for a seller who wants to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to conduct an open house, and these include:
1. You can stir up interest in your house.
An open house enables you to provide homebuyers with an up-close look at your residence. It allows these buyers to look beyond a home listing, and as such, may lead to many potential offers on your home.
Of course, an open house empowers you to show off the true size and beauty of your home as well. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your home prior to an open house, you may increase the likelihood of securing offers at the event's conclusion.
2. You can respond to homebuyers' questions.
Although a home listing may include details about your house's age and condition, it fails to provide homebuyers with a "feel" of what it's like to walk around inside and outside your residence. Fortunately, an open house allows buyers to get a first-hand look at your residence and determine whether your house matches or exceeds their expectations.
Furthermore, an open house provides homebuyers with the opportunity to ask questions about your house. And if you provide buyers with the information they request, you can make it easy for them to decide whether to submit an offer on your home.
3. You can analyze homebuyers' interest in your residence.
Believe it or not, an open house can help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
For instance, an open house that features dozens of potential buyers likely can be considered a resounding success. On the other hand, if no buyers attend your open house, you may need to reevaluate your home's initial asking price and other home selling factors.
When it comes to hosting an open house, there is a lot to consider. Luckily, you can work with a real estate agent to streamline the process of putting together a successful open house.
A real estate agent is a home selling guide who can offer expert tips and insights at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will learn about your residence and help you map out a successful home selling plan. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up open houses, help you assess offers on your residence and ensure you can make the best-possible decisions throughout the home selling process.
If you're worried about hosting an open house, there is no need to stress. Hire a real estate agent today, and you'll be able to receive comprehensive home selling support. In fact, with a real estate agent at your disposal, you can seamlessly navigate the home selling cycle.
The homebuying journey may seem long, complicated and time-consuming at first. Fortunately, there are lots of things a property buyer can do to streamline the process of finding his or her dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a homebuyer navigate the property buying journey like a pro.
1. Narrow Your Home Search
If you know you want to buy a home, you should take the next step forward in your quest to find your dream residence by narrowing your property search. That way, you can hone your search to properties that meet specific criteria and are located in your preferred cities and towns.
Oftentimes, it helps to envision what your dream home looks like and what features it offers. You may want to consider where your dream house is located as well. By examining these factors, you should have no trouble crafting homebuying criteria that you can use to narrow your property search.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage generally is a must-have for homebuyers. Lucky for you, there is no shortage of banks and credit unions willing to provide mortgages to homebuyers across the United States. And if you meet with these financial institutions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
Typically, it is beneficial for a homebuyer to pursue as many mortgage options as possible. This approach allows a homebuyer to search for the lowest interest rates and find a mortgage that complements his or her finances perfectly. Plus, if a homebuyer makes an informed mortgage decision, he or she may reap the benefits of this choice for years to come.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Even an expert homebuyer may need help as he or she navigates the property buying journey. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you search for your ideal residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a great house at a budget-friendly price. He or she also is happy to share homebuying recommendations and suggestions with you to ensure you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.
In addition, a real estate agent will assist you at all stages of the homebuying process. He or she first will help you craft a homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about houses that become available and meet your homebuying criteria. A real estate agent then will set up home showings and attend open house events with you. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.
As you get set to kick off the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can plan ahead for the homebuying journey. As a result, you can navigate the property buying journey like a pro.
While many people continue working and staying active well into their senior years, adjustments are eventually necessary. To ease the transition into post retirement, some homeowners are making remodeling or home buying decisions based on expected lifestyle changes.
Simple Adjustments Can Go a Long Way
One of the most basic accommodations you can make to improve accessibility is to replace door knobs, especially outside ones, with straight handles. If arthritis or other conditions make it difficult for you or your spouse to grip a round door knob and turn it to the right, a horizontal lever can be much less of a hassle. Water faucets that have handles instead of round knobs can also provide similar benefits. (If you really want to go for ease of use, there's always the option of installing motion-activated sink faucets!) Elderly parents who visit frequently -- or who may even be joining your household -- will also appreciate accommodations that make daily tasks less difficult.
There are a couple sound reasons to replace old, inefficient toilets with taller units, including the fact that they are easier and more comfortable for older people to use. Some of the newer models are a few inches higher and are noticeably more convenient than standard toilets. An additional benefit worth mentioning is that EPA-certified toilets conserve water and can save you money. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recent advancements in toilet design now allow consumers to use less water and save money on their water bills -- up to $110 a year for the average family. Although a retired couple may not flush that much money down the drain (in the form of wasted water), an updated toilet can still save money on utility bills and conserve natural resources (The "WaterSense" label certifies that it meets EPA standards).
A few other features to keep in mind for more comfortable senior living may include choosing a wall oven instead of a harder-to-reach floor version, and getting other appliances that don't require bending down. Lots of natural light and a sufficient amount of artificial light are also desirable features for a senior-occupied home. For shower safety, grab bars are another modification that can provide extra support without costing a lot of money.
Whether you're planning on buying a new home or doing updates and renovations on your existing home, there are a lot of ideas to consider. Since aging and climbing stairs don't usually go together, many people set their sights on a one-story ranch house for their retirement years. If you now own a multi-story house and want to stay put, there are a variety of stair lifts, elevators, and other mobility aids that may be worth looking into.
If you are selling a home, often, you hear of buyers backing out at the last minute due to financing difficulties or an inspection issue. While less common, it’s also not unheard of for the seller themselves to actually back out of the sale of a home.
Living in one place for a long time goes along with a strong emotional attachment to that place. Signing a contract, however, does not take into account these strong emotional ties that a seller may have to a home. Once a contract is signed, you have a legal obligation and have shown clear intent to sell the home. This could put you in a serious legal bind as a seller.
What If You’re Having Second Thoughts?
Ideally, before you even sell your home, you’ll have thought the decision through with a clear list of pros and cons. If you didn’t do this for some reason, you may want to sit down and re-examine all of the reasons you wanted to sell your home in the first place. Then, you’ll want to look at all of the reasons that you want to stay in the home.
Why Do We Move?
Often, people decide to sell heir homes based on life circumstances and needs. If you have changed jobs and found a home closer to your new workplace, backing out of the sale of your home might not be the best idea. Your home may be too big as the kids have grown and you want to downsize. Your family may have outgrown your old home and you need a larger space for everyone to be comfortable. These are all great reasons to move. However, our deep emotional attachments to our homes can sometimes hinder us from seeing this clearly.
You Need A Good Reason To Back Out Of A Sale
Sellers don’t have the same rights as buyers when it comes to buying a home. There is no “grace period” for sellers that will allow them to back out without question. If you do decide that you want to stay, you have the option of buying yourself out. You’ll need to consider what costs the buyer has put into trying to buy your home as well. If the buyer has been deeply inconvenienced by your rescinding of the sale, you could end up paying out quite a bit to get your home back. For this reason, you really, really have to want it for the decision to take your home back to make sense. You could end up needing to reimburse the buyer for things like:
- Temporary housing rentals
- Storage costs
- Inspection fees
- Legal fees
Your listing agent is involved in this as well. Not only have you affected another party greatly by your decision not to sell, but you have cost your realtor time and money. They could end up suing you for lost expenses and commission. In other words, backing out of the sale of your home could be a smooth transition, or it could be a really big legal headache.
Read Every Contract
While buying and selling a home requires a lot of signatures, make sure you understand what you’re signing throughout the process. Your contracts could state something that helps to give you an out. A common item on contracts for sellers is “contingent upon seller finding suitable housing.” This would have had to have been present on your sales contract. Another saving clause is “gaining required approval from family members.”
Buyer’s remorse is still more common than seller’s remorse, but this kind of thing does happen. Just understand what the consequences are before you decide to back out of the sale of your home.