When should we contact a realtor to buy a home?
Using unitedrealtyweb.com gives you the opportunity to search homes at your convenience without any pressure. Once you have come to a decision to make a purchase then please contact us. Our agents can put you in touch with a lender to get a preapproved. A preapproval will make your offer legit and strong compared to offers that do not have a loan approval. Our agents have over a decade of experience and knowledge to provide you with the security that you be well represented. As a buyer it is important to note, that in a Real Estate transaction, the seller pays 100% of the commission, which eliminates any upfront financial concern.
Do real estate agents provide direct advice on how much to offer?
Agents can provide you comparables of like homes and help you come up with a range, but he or she cannot tell you what the seller will take because they do not know the answer. It should always up to the buyer as to what to offer. Your agent can give you advice based on what information he or she knows to be true, but ultimately it is your decision what you offer.
What is Earnest Money?
Earnest Money, which is credited towards the purchase, is a deposit towards the purchase of real estate made by a buyer to demonstrate that he/she is serious (earnest) about wanting to complete the purchase. When a buyer makes an offer to buy residential real estate, he/she generally signs a contract and pays a sum acceptable to the seller by way of earnest money. The amount varies enormously, depending upon local custom and the state of the local market at the time of contract negotiations. In some markets earnest money deposits could be as high as 5% of the sales price or more. While, in other communities, as little as $500 or $1000 is acceptable.
What Kind of Condo Insurance Do I need?
As part of your condominium HOA Fees, you pay for the Master Association Policy. What’s that? It covers the main portion of the condominium building, such as common areas, lobby, exterior, etc. But when it comes to your condominium, you need to have a policy not only to protect your personal belongings, but to cover the interior of your condominium as well. This is commonly called a renters policy. Most lenders will require you to have this policy in place as terms of loan approval.
What is a Short Sale?
A short sale occurs when the proceeds from a sale of a property are not sufficient to pay off the current lien holders and closing costs. Lien holders may include current mortgages, tax liens, judgments, mechanic liens, etc. This usually occurs when the market value of a property declines, and the existing lender cannot be paid off even if the property is sold at fair market value. If a seller can bring to escrow, enough funds to pay the difference between the sales price and the total amount due to all lien holders and closing costs, it would be considered a standard sale. If the current principal balance for a mortgage on a property is $400,000.00, and the market value of the property is $300,000.00, most likely the seller would list the property as a short sale unless the seller can bring over $100,000.00 to escrow.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR A SHORT SALE?
In order to qualify to short sale a property, the seller must show financial hardship to their existing lender. The seller will be required to provide sufficient amount of documents to prove to the lender that the mortgage payments cannot be made. These documents may include, but not limited to, bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and a hardship letter. In addition to all the financial statements provided by the seller, a fully executed purchase contract and an estimated HUD must be submitted to the existing lender as well. The lender will not approve a short sale without having a good offer from a qualified buyer. After all the necessary documents have been submitted, the existing lender will review the documents and determine if the short sale will beneficial to the lender, or a foreclosure auction. The lender would also consider that if the property does not get sold at an auction, they would have to repossess the property and list the property as a REO. The foreclosure option may incur additional fees for the existing lender and may not be in their best interest.
WHAT IS A REAL ESTATE OWNED PROPERTY (REO)?
REO is a real property which the lender acquired after an unsuccessful sale at the foreclosure auction. The lender will start the opening bid for the property at the balance of the loan. If there is no one interested, the lender will repossess the property and list it in their books as a REO.
WHAT ARE CONTINGENCIES FOR?
Contingencies help the buyer in a transaction by providing them enough time to let the sellers know if any conditions cannot be met. If the contingencies have been removed by the buyer, the earnest money deposit may be forfeited to the seller if the transaction does not close by the specified date on the purchase agreement. Common contingencies include the following
- Appraisal – Property must appraise at no less than the specified purchase price.
- Loan – If the buyer cannot get approved for the loan, the buyer must advise the seller before the number of days specified on the agreement.
- Inspection – The agreement is contingent upon the property being in good and saleable condition. If not, buyer can request repairs to be made and/or renegotiate the agreement.
WHO PAYS FOR WHAT FEES?
In the traditional distribution of expenses, the following fees will be paid by the buyer although fees may be negotiated by the buyer and seller at the time of offer.
- Homeowners transfer fee
- Title insurance (Lenders Policy)
- Loan fees
- Notary fees
- Termite inspection report
- Proration of taxes
- Escrow fees
- Document preparation (if applicable)
- Property inspection
- Home warranty
- First insurance premium
In the traditional distribution of expenses, the following fees will be paid by the seller although fees may be negotiated by the buyer and seller at the time of offer.
- Title insurance (Owner’s Policy)
- County transfer tax
- Deed preparation fee
- Payoff of existing loan
- Conveyance fees, statement fees, and prepayment penalties (if applicable)
- Termite work (if applicable)
- Any judgments or liens against seller
- Proration of taxes (if there are any unpaid taxes at the time of transfer)
- Any unpaid homeowner’s dues
- Real estate commission
- Escrow fees
- Notary fees
- Any delinquent taxes (if applicable)
City transfer tax (if applicable)