Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / April 8, 2021Comment
How Do Real Estate Websites Work?
As a home buyer or seller you may have come across many different real estate websites. While there are different “brands” of real estate websites they usually all share one thing in common, they show current listings of homes that are available for sale on the market. Some websites can show which homes are for sale all around the United States whereas others are limited to specific areas. This article explores how real estate websites work and which websites may be the better option to go with.
Who Owns These Real Estate Websites?
The big nationwide real estate websites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com and some others are owned by big corporations. Those websites get nationwide access to all the multiple listing services (MLS) around the US so they can provide home buyers with current homes listed for sale. Those national real estate websites and their home listings though may not always be accurate depending on how they get the information for their websites. Some of them are pulling the information directly from the MLS while others use a third party to pull that information together for them which can result in some delays of status updates on properties.
There are other national real estate websites that have listings from where ever they have a physical presence in the market. Most home buyers...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / March 18, 2021Comment
8 Smart Moving Tips To Prevent Yourself From Going Crazy
While the activities of buying or selling a home are not as stressful, the time when people really can melt down is when it comes to moving. Moving literally involves a lot of moving parts. Getting the right packing materials, packing up items so as not to break or lose them, disassembling larger items in order to transport them more effectively and not getting injured in the process. Moving is not easy and moving without a plan is a recipe for disaster. This article provides eight great moving tips which can help you from having a nervous breakdown.
1. Hire Professional Movers
Professional movers are worth their weight in gold and can move their weight in gold and then some. These mover teams are moving many home buyers and sellers throughout the week so they know how to care for the things you care for. Don’t just pick any mover or the cheapest mover since the results may not impress you. Professional movers have insurance on themselves and on the items they are moving for you. So, if something does happen to break or not make it to the final destination at least you can be financially covered.
Movers can do everything for you if you want them too. Movers will pack up each and every room safely and securely and unpack them in the new house as well. All the homeowner has to do is tell the movers where to unpack things and let the movers handle the rest. Make sure to choose movers by either using multiple word of mouth recommendations or one that has stellar online reviews in order to have the best experience.
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / January 30, 2020Comment
How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?
In many lines of work or professions employees get paid by the hour and may get some work performance incentive bonuses as well. Many sales people on the other hand may make a small hourly wage but rely more on commissions that are earned upon closing of the sale. Other sales people are strictly commission based which means they only bring in a paycheck upon the closing of the sale. A majority of real estate agents in the US are paid on a commission only basis which means until they help a client buy or sell a home they do not earn any pay. This article looks in depth at the ways how and how much real estate agents get paid when representing clients.
Some Of The Not So Common Ways Real Estate Agents Get Paid
There are some companies who pay their real estate agents on an hourly basis. Companies that primarily deal with leasing of property have more incentive to pay their real estate agent employees on an hourly basis since more of that job entails showing vacant rental units to prospective tenants and screening them for suitability. These agents usually work directly for a company whose primary business is the managing of rental units.
There are other real estate companies who pay agents on an hourly basis to handle things like showings and listing appointments. While not very common these types of real estate companies are exploring different business models of serving their clients. Whether these business models survive the long term is a topic for another discussion but one possible result of hourly real estate agents is they don’t have as great of an incentive to learn the full depths of different...
Posted by Paul Sian on Friday, January 3, 2020 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / January 3, 2020Comment
What Does a Title Company Do?
For this podcast I sat down with Chris Finney owner of Finney Law Firm and Ivy Pointe Title. During our conversation we discussed what does a title company do, title work, covenants, title insurance, the real estate closing process and more. This podcast is helpful for those about to purchase or sell real estate by showing you what to expect during closing, and how the title company helps you get your your home bought or sold! I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative. Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.
Watch (listen) on YouTube
Feel free to ask any questions via the comments section below or to email either Chris or myself. Also if you have any ideas for future podcast topics you would like to see let me know!
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / April 11, 2019Comment
Should I Sue?
When something goes wrong during a real estate transaction the question comes up of should I sue? While it is easy to talk about filing a lawsuit and expecting an open and shut case the reality is quite different. This article looks at all the potential parties that could be sued, the reason they may sue and the possible outcomes to help determine whether it makes sense to sue someone when it comes to a real estate transaction. As with anything legal related it is highly recommended to speak with a local attorney who is an expert in the matter as laws vary state to state and even city to city and this article only covers the topics of lawsuits in a general manner and does not cover specifics as to each and every situation.
Should I Sue My Real Estate Agent?
When buying or selling a home a real estate agent is one of the more often seen person helping either the buyer or seller out and therefore more likely to be considered the target for a lawsuit. Those who are thinking of suing their real estate agent or the agent for the other side first need to look at if the agent actually did anything wrong. Real estate agents are bound by a code of ethics that they are required to operate by when dealing with clients and customers. There is a difference too in the duties an agent owes to their client versus the duties they own to a customer or to the other party in a transaction. For instance an agent who represents a buyer should not be sharing with the seller personal financial information that could indicate how much home they could afford. If an agent who represents the...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / February 7, 2019Comment
What To Know About The Home Appraisal Process
Whether you are selling your home to someone buying with a mortgage it or working on refinancing your existing mortgage you will have to get an appraisal on your home. An appraisal is prepared by a licensed Appraiser who looks at the condition and features of your home and compares them to other similar homes in order to come up with an opinion of value. As long as your appraisal meets at least the sales price during a sale or meets the value the mortgage loan refinance is being based on you should be fine. If your home ends up getting appraised for less than the agreed to sales price or less than the value of the refinance is based upon the purchase contract or refinance could fall through. This article looks at how best a homeowner can prepare for an appraisal so they put their best foot forward to ensure the best chances of success.
When Does An Appraisal Happen?
Once an offer on a home has been made and accepted, and usually after a home inspection has been done (the buyers are comfortable with the home inspection results), the buyer’s lender will put in a request for an appraisal. Generally the homebuyer is required to pay for the appraisal and may be asked to pay for it at the time it is scheduled or they may pay for it at closing depending on lender requirements. Once requested it may take up to seven to ten days for the appraiser to actually come out to the home depending on how busy the home selling season is. After the appraiser has visited a home the actual appraisal report should be issued within a few days. When a lender is involved the appraisal report will be given directly to the lender from...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / May 3, 20182 Comments
Smart Tips For Your Next Move
After the purchase or sale of a home comes the challenge of moving from or to a new home. There are a number of different approaches to take with the move but the initial prep work prior to the move can make the difference between having a move that is easy versus a move that could be very stressful. This article looks at the different options for moving, offers tips on preparing for a move and provides some advice on how to avoid some common moving scams.
The Move Yourself Option
Depending on how much stuff you have to move this can always be a cost effective option. If you plan on buying new furniture and belongings at your new home then you can sell, donate or throw out stuff you no longer want so as to reduce the amount you yourself have to personally carry. If you are just moving clothing, kitchen ware and little less else then one person could handle the entire move on their own. On the other hand if furniture is involved you will need help to move the larger pieces of furniture safely. Enlist the help of your friends and make sure you plan the move ahead of time. Inventory all your heavy items and keep an inventory list of everything boxed up and tag the boxes accordingly so you don’t have to tear open every box just to find your coffee maker after you move in.
Sometimes it is easier to move the heavier items at the start of the process since that is when you will have the most energy to do so. Moving a very large dresser after you have moved 20 heavy boxes puts you at greater risk for dropping the dresser due to fatigue thus possibly causing damage to the dresser or worse injury to you or those...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / April 26, 2018Comment
What Are Agency Relationships In Real Estate
Due to the complexity of real estate transactions many states have adopted laws regarding the agency relationship between a real estate agent and the client. All too often lines can get blurred as to who an agent is representing when there are multiple parties involved in a real estate transaction. Generally in most states a real estate agent works for a broker who is the one setting the terms of the relationships with clients. The real estate broker can impose on their agents the rules with which how agents can represent real estate buyers and sellers provided for under the state laws they are bound by. The agency relationship between a client and their agent governs how the agent is to treat their client and this article will explore agency relationships further.
Agency Disclosure And State Laws
Often states have agency disclosure rules that require home sellers or buyers to sign a document that explains how an agent will be representing them during the real estate transaction. The document to be signed by the buyer or the seller basically describes real estate agency relationships in detail. While the document is full of legal language and may look like some sort of contract, the document is not a contract and the signature is only indicated receipt. The buyer or seller client in most cases do not have to sign it they choose not to, and in many states the real estate agent only need make a note that the form was presented but client refused to sign which will be kept in their brokerage records. Signing merely acknowledges the client was informed about real estate agency relationships...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / October 26, 2017Comment
When It Makes Sense To Not Use A Real Estate Agent
While most real estate agents are licensed under their state laws many agents jump into the business in hopes of easy money and little work since the barrier to entry can be quite low. In fact the opposite is true. Many agents who jump in thinking there is a lot of money to be made in real estate quickly realize that just like any other job they only get out what they put into it. As a result homebuyers and sellers will find many agents who are lacking and not willing to do all it takes to make sure their client’s needs are put first. Whether it be the agents who don’t return calls, don’t respond to emails or live in the stone age and still rely on fax machines and want ink signatures on paper forms they have to hand carry everywhere, it is not benefit to someone wanting to buy or sell real estate to have to deal with that. Real estate transactions can be done in pretty much most states without the use of a real estate agent and this article explores where doing things on one’s own can be an option.
Renting A Home
One of the most common times where a real estate agent may not be needed is when a homeowner is wanting to rent their home out. There are many national and local websites that allow owners to post their vacancies for rent without the need for a real estate agent. Some of these sites may even provide generic lease documents for property owners to use, though it should be cautioned that local laws often control specifically the way residential leases can be written so it is best to consult with a local real estate attorney to make sure the lease used meets local requirements. ...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / August 31, 2017Comment
4 Things That Can Kill Your Home Sale
Just because an offer has been accepted on a home does not mean it is a done deal. Instead there are many steps that need to be accomplished prior to the actual homebuyer and sellers being able to close on the home and transfer ownership. Before closing there are a number of issues that can pop up that may not only stall a home sale but can kill the deal completely requiring the home to go back on the market. This article looks at where issues may pop up and some ways to prevent those issues from causing a deal to fall apart.
Buyer or Seller Cold Feet
While not as common this does happen from time to time where either the buyer or the seller decide they no longer want to buy or sell a home. If the homebuyer announces their intention ahead of time not to buy the home then sellers may only have lost a few days on the market and can quickly have the home back on the market. On the other hand if homebuyers declare they don’t want to buy the home at the last minute this can leave the home sellers in a tough situation especially if they have packed everything up and maybe even moved out of the house. Often these situations can result in a lawsuit to recover money for expenses made in anticipation of selling the home and the buyer could be forced to buy a home if a court ordered them to complete the terms of the contract they agreed to.
In the event the seller decides not to sell the home hopefully they also announce that decision early and not force the buyer to spend money to hire an appraiser, home inspector and more in order to make sure the home is in good condition. If done early enough then maybe the buyer will walk away and try looking for another...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / August 17, 2017Comment
Using Checklists For When Selling OR Buying A Home
Whether you are selling a home or buying a home, going into the process organized is key in order to make sure things are done right and in order. Getting a pre-approval after making an offer on a home is a surefire way to failure as the homebuyer does not know whether they can afford the home they are making an offer on or whether they will be approved for a mortgage with the lender they apply with. Similar with sellers is a home seller who does not prepare their home first hand and instead decides to list as is the chances of them getting a good price for their home is greatly reduced. Instead both homebuyers and home sellers will be better off by keeping a checklist of things they need to do and the order in which to do them in order to ensure a successful sale or purchase.
What Should Be Covered In A Home Sellers Checklist?
Home sellers should have a pre-listing checklist which covers the preparation of the home prior to putting it on the market as well as a checklist to cover what is done to the home prior to showings while the home is on the market. By having a home properly prepared home sellers can help ensure homebuyers are not distracted by readily apparent flaws in the home like uncleanliness, clutter, pet smells or more. Home showings are just as important as pre-sale preparation since during the actual showings homeowners will learn if buyers are actually interested in their home.
Any pre-sale checklist should include items like painting the house (indoors and outdoors), update/refresh landscaping, tune up mechanicals of home (like HVAC, garage door openers, plumbing, windows, doors and more). Tuning up mechanicals...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / July 27, 2017Comment
Real Estate Deeds Explored
When a homebuyer purchases a home they have a deed registered in their name which specifies how the property is owned. If the homebuyers are married the deed will usually be “titled” or written to show that both homebuyer spouses own the property as a whole together. There are other ways to title a deed and this article explores the different ways and the benefits and drawbacks of each of those ways.
There are a number of types of deeds that can be used for the transfer of real estate. The most common types found are General Warranty Deed, Limited or Special Warranty Deed, Quitclaim Deeds, Trustee Deeds, and Fiduciary Deeds. Deed types and deed names can vary based on state laws so it is always best to consult with a real estate attorney licensed in the state where the deed is to be recorded if there are any questions as to what type of deed is needed.
A General Warranty Deed is the best possible type of deed to receive from a home seller as it guarantees that the seller has clear title to the property. The home seller gives a warranty to the homebuyer that the deed is free from claims of others and if a claim would happen to arise the prior owner could be responsible for helping to settle the claim or to reimburse the current owner for any loss suffered as a result of a valid claim. Even with the General Warranty Deed it is still advisable for the homebuyer to purchase title insurance to protect against any claims as even though the General Warranty Deed...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / June 1, 2017Comment
Anatomy Of A Real Estate Offer
Both homebuyers and home sellers need to understand what is involved in an offer to purchase a home. Contracts to purchase a home contain many different terms and requirements that are binding to both the buyer and the seller. Even a simple slip in missing a deadline can result in consequences the parties may not fully understand the consequences of. So not only is a thorough understanding of the terms of the contract to purchase a home necessary understanding the critical timelines is also a must.
This article primarily deals with residential real estate. While there are some similar concepts in commercial real estate, the buying of commercial real estate is a different type of transaction that does not have all the protections required under law that residential real estate has. Regardless of the type of transaction, due to the complexities involved it is always advisable to have a professional Realtor or real estate attorney assist buyers or sellers with their real estate transaction.
Basics Of An Offer To Buy Real Estate
All contracts to buy or sell real estate must be in writing. Generally formal contracts are used and provided by many states and real estate agent boards for use by home buyers and sellers. The contract to purchase rental real estate must include the subject property information (usually the address), the amount being paid to purchase the property along with any other conditions and/or qualifications of the purchase, as well as the buyer and seller information.
Both the buyer and the seller must accept the terms as is with no changes in order to have an accepted contract to sell the real estate. If upon offer the seller...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / May 25, 2017Comment
What Causes A Home To Appreciate or Depreciate In Value?
There are many factors that can affect the value of a home. Some factors can cause a home’s price to increase in value whereas other factors can cause the value to go down. The factors that affect home value are not always internal to the home, external factors can also have dramatic impacts on a home value just as internal factors can. By knowing and understand what factors can impact the value of a home, homebuyers and home sellers can better position themselves in the real estate market for success.
External Factors That Can Affect The Value Of A Home
The National and State Level Economy
When the economy at the national and state level are running great the values of homes have a tendency to increase. With more people employed and with more access to credit there will be more homebuyers ready to move into a home. As a result this will have an upward effect on home prices. Now just because the national economy is strong does not mean the state or local economy will be strong as well. If a large local employer decides to move their operations to another area along with all the employees who work there that will result in many of those employees wanting to sell their home at the same time which can depress the price of homes in the area.
When the national and local economies are down due to recession or some other factors that will put downward pressure on the value of homes. Lower employment and lower access to credit means fewer people will be able to afford to buy a home or be willing to sell their current home to buy a bigger home. Just as mentioned above...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / February 2, 20171 Comment
Tips For Picking Real Estate Professionals When Buying or Selling Your Home
When buying or selling a home there are a number of different professionals involved in the process. These professionals are involved in critical parts of the real estate transaction that in order to be successful having the best and brightest is important. One of the main reasons for bringing in the best professionals possible is that the buying or selling of a home is usually one of the largest transactions a person will have in their lifetimes. As a result home buyers and sellers would like everything to go perfectly so that their investment in a home can keep itself going over the long haul. With that in mind the following tips below will help home buyers and sellers choose the best professionals to help make sure the transaction is a successful one.
Picking The Right Home Inspector
Whether you want a home inspection for buying a home or prior to listing your home for sale picking the right home inspector is important. Your home is a long term investment and therefore you want to make sure the home you are buying is properly evaluated or as a seller you want to make sure the home you are selling is putting its best foot forward when it comes time to sell. By taking care of home inspection before listing your home for sale you make it less likely you will have to scramble around to find contractors in order to get things done before closing.
If you live in a state where home inspectors are required to be licensed (Kentucky requires...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / December 1, 20166 Comments
Telltale Signs You May Have Hired The Wrong Real Estate Agent
Depending on the state you are in the bar to get a license to become a real estate agent can be quite low. Take a few classes, pass a test and you too can become a real estate agent. On the other hand skilled real estate agents are continually doing more to enhance their knowledge and skills so they can better serve their clients. So what are the exact signs that can let you know you got stuck with the wrong real estate agent? Read on below to learn more.
Agents Not Returning Calls
If from the start of your relationship with a real estate agent you are having issues with them calling you back on time or they don’t call you back at all that is a major problem. One of the greatest way to kill a real estate deal is by not returning phone calls. In very fast moving real estate markets time is of the essence and if an agent is not able to put in an offer to buy a home within a reasonable amount of time of you calling them you could lose the home to some other buyer whose agent was timely in responding to their clients.
A typical example of this is after seeing a number of homes during the day you decide to take a few hours to consider which home you would like to make an offer on. After finally deciding on a home that best works for you, you call up your agent and leave a voice message saying you would like to make an offer on one particular home. If your agent never returns your call to get the details of your offer that means they are not able to get the details of what you want to offer submit it to the sellers. If your agent is not able to timely submit an offer...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / November 10, 2016Comment
Dealing With Multiple Offers On A Home For Sale
In an active real estate market when a home is properly prepared and priced right the chances of a buyer or seller facing the situation of multiple offers on a home is increased. By handling a multiple offer situation properly both home buyers and sellers can ensure success on their part. When handled incorrectly multiple offers can cause some buyers to waste money during the purchase process and lead some sellers to think their house can be priced much higher than it currently is and reject good offers in hopes for more money.
How To Deal With Multiple Offers As A Home Seller
While it may be a great feeling to have your home in a multiple offer situation you need to make sure it is handled properly otherwise you could end up scaring buyers away. A multiple offer situation is a chance to get a little more money for your home and possibly get some better conditions when it comes to the offer contingencies. Sellers should definitely not get greedy when it comes to multiple offers as that could cause buyers to look elsewhere. Demanding much higher offer prices or removal of contingencies (inspection, appraisal, financing) is going overboard and will send up red flags with buyers. Not only that if the price is too high to meet the appraisal price then you could look at having to renegotiate the price or having the buyer walk away under the appraisal contingency clause.
Ideally if a buyer offers to buy your home at the same or better price and waive certain contingencies like home inspection that offer may be better than a higher priced offer that has...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / October 6, 2016Comment
Real Estate Scams To Watch Out For
Anytime you find an activity with money involved you are sure to find scam artists who are more than ready to part you with your hard earned money. Real estate is no different and there are many scams that individuals with less than honest intentions will try. By being aware of these common real estate scams you can make sure you do not become a victim yourself and if something does seem too good to be true have an idea of where you can dig for more information.
Real Estate Scams That Target Renters
This particular scam targets both home sellers and people looking for a place to rent. The scam artist in this scam will take pictures of a home for sale from a real estate website and then post those pictures on rental sites hoping to draw in potential renters. Part of the scam also involves not actually getting you into the rental home by saying it is occupied so only pictures will be used. Even if you are allowed into the rental home you still need to be careful as there are some rental companies that let anyone in through a home unattended so long as they provide some identification and a credit card. The scammers can get in using stolen identities or using your own information you gave them on an application.
Usually but not always the rental amount they advertise the place at seems too good to be true. For example you might see a rental advertisement showing a nice home for rent for only $700.00 where ...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 10:12 PMBy Paul Sian / April 28, 2016Comment
How To Negotiate After The Home Inspection
Once your home inspection is completed and depending on the age, condition and how you are selling your home you can expect to receive a list of requested repairs to deal with any issues your home may have. While a good buyer’s agent will counsel their clients that the home they are buying is not a new home and everything won’t be in perfect condition, asking for repairs of safety related issues is advisable. If you as the seller get a large list of requests requesting even simple things be repaired then it may be the case that the buyer’s agent did not counsel their clients properly when it came time to draw of the list of repairs. If you were advertising and selling your home as-is then the home inspection report is mainly for the buyers to know what they are getting when they purchase your home. Anything in need of repair on an as-is home is for the buyers to deal with and your home should be priced accordingly.
Timing and Market Condition Affect Your Ability to Negotiate Home Inspection Repair Requests
Your ability to negotiate will depend on the type of market you are in and how long your home has been on the market. If your home is in a seller’s market where as soon as a home pops up for sale they are under contract in less than a week then you are in a stronger negotiating position than if it were a buyer’s market with too many homes up for sale and not enough buyers. In a buyer’s market you must make the buyer happy in terms of the repairs so they...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 6:58 PMBy Paul Sian / March 3, 2016Comment
The Real Estate Transaction Guide For Buyers And Sellers
If you have never bought or sold a home before or haven’t bought one in a while you may not be aware of all the steps that go into the home buying or selling process. The process does not just start the instant you decide to sell or buy a home but instead starts out well before and requires plenty of planning and coordination with a number of different professionals. This guide to buying or selling a home will take you through the steps a seller and buyer must go through in order to buy or sell a home.
When getting ready to buy a home the process should not start with getting online and searching for homes that look nice or searching for a hot neighborhood to buy in. Instead the first step should be contacting a couple of different mortgage lenders and exploring your financial options for buying a home. Borrowing to buy a home is a long (15-30 year) term commitment and over spending on fees or the interest rate you pay means you will be paying more money than you have too. That money can be better spent on saving for retirement, paying for your children’s college, or on up keep of the home. There is no need to spend extra money when you don’t have to. So interview a number of different mortgage lenders and find out what they are offering and what are the costs associated with their mortgage options.
In addition to shopping around for mortgages you should also take a close look at your credit history. Do you have any credit report errors or negative...