Category Archives: real estate

8 Real Estate Terms to Know Before You Buy

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home buyingFor most buyers, buying a home—a house, condo or townhouse—is the biggest purchase of their lives. That’s why it’s so important to “know your stuff” BEFORE you jump into the purchase. A little bit of knowledge, and choosing a good real estate agent, can be the key to finding the right property and saving thousands of dollars in the process.

Buyer’s Agent

A buyer’s agent is working for you, the buyer, during your home search and home-buying process. However, you as a buyer don’t pay them for their work; their commission comes from the seller. In most home purchases, the seller also has a real estate agent representing their interests called the seller’s agent.

The seller’s agent is paid by the sellers when they put their home on the market. Their home—whether it’s a condo, townhouse or house—becomes a real estate listing. Once you’ve narrowed down your criteria on your must have list for your ideal home, you’ll start to receive listings from your agent. Each listing includes important information such as estimated square footage, address, number of bedrooms, lot size, etc. If you receive a listing and find you are interested in the property, contact your real estate agent to set up a home tour or showing.

Condition Report

In 1992, Wisconsin became one of the first states requiring sellers to fill out a document disclosing defects that could affect the value or structure of a property. The Condition Report needs to be part of all transactions involving 1-4 properties and has more than 20 categories of disclosures, including important items such as unsafe well water, roof defects and problems within the electrical system. If the property does not have a defect in that category, and has never suffered damage as a result, the seller can indicate that the property is clear in that area.

So what do sellers have to include in the report? Everything—and what was done to fix it. If a problem occurred on the property, even for an insignificant length of time, it needs to be included in the report. Include the issue, what was done to fix the problem, and that it never happened again. For instance, if the basement flooded with a foot of water for a just a few hours 10 years ago, the flooding needs to disclosed. Also write down that the problem was caused by a faulty sump pump that was replaced that same day.

The report cannot be completed by a seller’s real estate agent. Truly, the Condition Report is not protecting the real estate agent, it’s protecting the sellers. That’s why sellers need to fill this important document out—and fill it out completely with full disclosure. A completed Condition Report is more than just a piece of paper. It’s a shield for sellers now—and after the sale is complete.

Earnest Money

Earnest money is a deposit included with your offer that shows you’re serious—earnest—about purchasing a property. The amount of earnest money is applied to the purchase price at sale. For example, if you include an earnest money amount of $5,000 in your offer of $115,000, you will pay $110,000 at closing. Earnest money is the edge that sets your offer apart, and shows your offer is genuine and committed. Including earnest money up front shows the seller you are making a down payment not only on a property, but also in the future.

To determine the amount of earnest money you should include, ask your real estate agent for their recommendation. The amount of earnest money varies nationally, and even among communities and counties in Wisconsin. If the purchase falls through due to contingencies included in your offer, such as an issue found in the home inspection report, the buyer should receive the earnest money in full. If the buyer defaults on the sale, an agreement can be made to compensate the buyer while still giving the buyer a partial refund.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is typically requested by a potential buyer, though a pre-listing home inspection also makes sense for anyone thinking of putting their home on the market. During a home inspection, a hired home inspector examines the interior and exterior of a house and compiles a report detailing issues that the potential buyer may need to remedy. For example, the home inspector may spot a roof that needs replacement, a gas leak from a furnace, electrical issues, plumbing problems or any other issues that may come up after the home sale. A good inspection is invaluable for buyers for several sound business reasons:

  • Some of the most expensive repairs can be hidden, such as structural and electrical issues. Buying a home is a sound investment, and should remain as such. You don’t want to sick more money into the property than you have, or than it’s worth.
  • A home inspector can tell you if work done by the previous owner—even if you can’t tell the work was even done—was done correctly, or can recommend professionals that can inspect the structure or foundation.
  • If the home inspector finds any issues, you can go back to the owners and ask for funds to fix the house, or ask them to fix the damage. If your offer is contingent on the home inspection, you can also back out of the sale.
  • Home inspectors can give you a list of future repairs that need to be made and a timeline. If the house needs a new roof, for example, he can give you his opinion on the damage and when it needs to be repaired or replaced.

For buyers, the most important item that any home inspector can give you is peace of mind and an education about your future investment. To find a good home inspector, talk to your agent. They can recommend a home inspector with the experience and knowledge that you need to make an informed decision about your home—and the amount of work and money needed to make it the perfect home, both aesthetically and structurally, inside and out.

Foreclosure

Foreclosure is a legal process used by a lender when a previous owner stops making payments on their property. In today’s market, the term “foreclosure” can also be used to describe properties that are owned by the bank—though technically, these properties are “bank-owned.”

The process of buying a bank-owned property can be lengthy, with some buyers enduring more than a year of paperwork before they can buy a foreclosed property. However, because lenders are eager to sell these properties, bank-owned properties promise the biggest bang for your buck, as properties are often sold for an incredible value. It is important to note when buying a bank-owned property, however, that all properties are sold “as is.” “As is” means that the lender that owns the property will not pay for any repairs that may be needed. In addition, if a bank-owned property has sat vacant for a lengthy period of time there may be unforeseen problems after you take ownership of the property. One buyer I knew even encountered a flood in her basement. The bank had turned off the water to the property but had not drained the pipes properly, leading to a swimming pool in her finished basement. Foreclosed properties are great values, but be prepared for the possibility of a long buying process and unforeseen repairs.

Mortgage lender

A mortgage lender is the entity that is borrowing you money to purchase a property. One of the most common home buyer mistakes is looking for a home without knowing how much you can afford. Don’t assume that you are going to be approved for a certain amount without talking to a mortgage lender. There are many factors that mortgage lenders use to determine the amount you are approved for, and a simple online calculator is not going to be 100% accurate. Don’t be afraid to “shop around” and find out what mortgage lender offers the best rate. Make sure that you are asking about more than just the mortgage rate, however, as some lenders add additional fees that can offset the low rate.

Before your first visit to the mortgage lender, be prepared. Ask your mortgage lender what documents to bring to your meeting so you can expedite your approval process. Depending on your lender, you need to bring documents such as your W-2, past tax returns, profit and loss forms if you own a business, documents that pertain to your debts, etc. Based on their research from the documentation you provide, the mortgage lender can either decline to give you a loan or approve you for a loan in the amount they specify. If you are approved, your mortgage lender will give you a pre-approval letter. How do you find a mortgage lender? Ask your realtor for information about local mortgage lenders.

Offer

Once you’ve decided you are serious about a property, it’s time to submit an offer (otherwise known as a purchase agreement). An offer contains a price and any contingencies, or conditions, of the sale. For example, a common contingency is a financing contingency which means your loan must go through for the sale to be final. Another common contingency is an inspection contingency where the house must pass a home inspection or both parties come to an agreement on how to handle an issue that arises during the home inspection. There are other contingencies that can be included in your offer; discuss your options with your real estate agent.

An offer is not a binding agreement until both parties have agreed upon the price and contingencies included in the purchase agreement. So how do you decide on the price to include in your offer? Use comparable sales as a compass. The best way to determine a fair price for the property is to compare the home to all area homes for sale, or that have sold, with comparable lot sizes and square footage. A real estate agent can assist with the process, and use their experience to hit upon a fair sales price. Just remember to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. For some properties, especially in rural areas, this can be challenging because of the low inventory of homes for sale in the area; ask your agent to help you navigate through the offer process fairly and affordably.

Short Sale

Short sales are properties that are often owner-occupied. A short sale occurs when an owner owes more for the property than the value of the property. For example, an owner owes $150,000 for a property that is appraised at $120,000. During a short sale, the lender—the institution who is owed the $150,000—agrees to sell the property for (let’s say) $120,000, less than the amount of the loan.

During a short sale, the owner and the lender have to approve the offer made by a buyer. This can mean a lengthy buying process, but, as with foreclosures, the value per square foot can be higher than a traditional sale.

Have any questions? Ask us on our Facebook page or send us an email. We’re experienced real estate agents with a passion for assisting buyers through the home-buying process. We’ll help you navigate through the real estate terms so your home purchase is a knowledgeable and satisfying buying experience.

Why should I use a realtor?

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sold homeIf you think realtors haven’t heard this question before, you’re wrong. Most realtors have faced this question throughout their career, and have some very good answers for the question, “why should I use a realtor?” Their answer isn’t short, though, because there are many, very good reasons to use a realtor for home selling and buying:

Assistance in navigating through the home selling and buying process. From defining terms like foreclosure and short sale, to identifying home repairs that can sell your home, to assistance with pricing and negotiating, to finding a solution that fits your needs after a bad home inspection report, a realtor’s first priority is to assist you through the home selling and buying process.

Local connections when you need professionals beyond a realtor. Lending services, home inspections, repairs, deep cleans—the home selling and buying process is full of situations where you need professionals beyond your realtor. An experienced realtor has connections in your community to experienced and competent home inspectors, handymen, cleaning services, insurance agents, lenders—everyone you need as you navigate through the home selling and buying process.

Objectivity when you need it. It’s hard when you are so emotionally involved, and close, to the home selling or buying process, or the person going through it. A realtor is unbiased, and can give you advice on challenges, pricing and anything else you encounter during the home selling or buying process.

Expertise when your home selling or buying process goes awry. A bad home inspection. Home negotiations that take a turn for the worst. Complicated communications with a bank selling a foreclosure. Sometimes selling your home or buying a house can seem like a race full or hurdles. A realtor can help you through the challenges that may arise during home selling or buying, so you can buy your new home or sell your property.

Experience to help you save money, price your property or save money to make money. Sounds like a mouthful, doesn’t it? An experienced realtor has seen it all: what home prices convert into quick home sales, how much money you should invest to sell your home (so you don’t overdo it), what you should and shouldn’t do to your home.

Remember, you realtor is looking out for your best interests. Your goals are their goals. They’re working for you, and can use all the experience from the home selling and buying processes they’ve been involved with to make your process successful. So what are you waiting for? Contact a realtor so you can get your home selling or buying process started, and achieve that happy ending.

Home Buying Checklist for Your Home Search

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new home Many a buyer has gone into a home search feeling ready to find a new home. After a few house tours into the home search, however, an overwhelming reality sets in: a home search is more than just house tours and writing up a contract. A new home search is also a bit of a process of finding out what kind of home fits you, so you can approach those house tours knowing what you need, and want, in a new home (there is a difference). Once you understand that your new home search is a process, take the proper steps to prepare for the reality of searching for a new home—without feeling overwhelmed:

  • Make a ‘must have’ list—and be prepared for it to change. Figuring out what you want before you buy is essential to property ownership success. Do you want a big backyard? Where do you want to live? Is the location of the new home important? Do you want a big yard with a lot of maintenance? Once you have a list, know that there is a high probability that items on your list may change, or take a higher priority over another item, as you go through a few house tours. It’s okay to change as you learn what you want—and don’t want—in your new home. You may not get everything in your new home.
  • Know how handy you are. If you haven’t picked up a hammer recently—or ever—perhaps that fixer upper is not the new home for you. Know your limitations and take on a new home that fits your experience. If you don’t have a lot of experience with a screw gun, but still want to put your personal touch on a home, look for a property that has small, manageable projects.
  • Prepare yourself for the unexpected. The buying and owning process is full of unpredictable twists and turns. Learn how to handle one of them, a bad home inspection, in our recent post. Once the home inspection is settled, be ready for repairs and expenses incurred in a new home. Put an account aside for unforeseen problems, and budget accordingly.
  • Find out how much you can afford. The feeling of being overwhelmed does not just come from buying that fixer upper you can’t fix.  Buyers commonly jump in over their head financially by not accounting for all the expenses—utilities, property taxes, etc.—that come with home ownership. Meet with your lender and find out how much of a monthly payment you can afford, then take those numbers home and use them to set up house tours at properties you can afford.

Don’t be afraid to ask your realtor for help throughout your new home search. Realtors are there for more than just writing up the contract and schedule house tours. They are also your guide as you navigate through the new home search, without getting overwhelmed.

Is your house ready for sale in the spring?

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3591When it’s the middle of winter, it’s hard to get into the real estate mindset. Even though you’re freezing cold, now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the spring real estate market. While you shouldn’t have to take out a second mortgage for your preparations (unless you have to make major repairs), a few changes in all the right places can make a big difference between your home sitting on the market or generating a quick sale:

  • Update. Buyers want updated countertops and flooring, both relatively inexpensive improvements. Updating doesn’t have to mean renovation, just a few replacements in areas where buyers have strong preferences—the kitchen, living room and bathrooms. Search discount home improvement stores and resale shops for new countertops, laminate flooring and carpeting remnants. These inexpensive changes can be the factors that trigger a quick sale.
  • Deep clean. Just because you have the original tile in the bathroom doesn’t mean you need to replace them. A good deep cleaning on your floors, in bathrooms and kitchens give your home the advantage with less cost. Buyers don’t want to buy a dirty house, or to pay top dollar for a home that needs a lot of work. With a small (tiny, really) investment in cleaning products, you can give your buyers a reason to choose your house over the competition.
  • Don’t let the pick-up stop indoors. A messy lot or lawn that doubles as a garbage dump deters buyers as much as a dirty house. Clean up any debris in your yard.
  • Use the ‘less is more’ concept. Don’t leave your house empty. To the contrary, empty rooms do not give buyers a clear vision of the purpose and potential of each room. However, keep the clutter—personal effects, knick knacks, items on counters and tables, extra furniture—to a minimum. If you need to, rent a temporary storage unit to store excess items. Rooms with less look bigger, while cluttered rooms tend to look smaller. If your house isn’t very big to begin with, you need all the help you can to give buyers the illusion of space.
  • Make the repairs you’ve been putting off. Buyers don’t want a house with holes in the wall, or water stains. Repair your drywall, put a fresh, neutral coat of paint on the wall and fix those leaky pipes. You want your buyers to see a clean, well-cared for property perfect for their situation.

Ask your realtor for recommendations so you don’t go overboard with sale preparations. It’s free, and you can also receive their expert opinion about pricing, as well as information about fees and costs associated with your home sale. These few simple steps can make your home a hot commodity when the temperatures—and the real estate market—heat up.

What to Do When Your House Won’t Sell

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20150108_104624If the sale of your home is as cold as the present Wisconsin temperatures, take a moment and step back to reevaluate your property before the spring real estate rush. With warmer temperatures come new buyers, and you need to have your property ready for them. The good news is that you have many options to improve your chance of a sale:

  1. Clean, clean, clean. A deep clean is essential to a home sale. Take the white glove approach to tile grout, flooring (especially carpeting), bathrooms and sinks. If you can’t take on the task of a deep cleaning, ask your realtor for a recommendation for a company that can. It’ll be worth the investment.
  2. Consider minor home improvements. Don’t feel like you have to break the bank, but remain focused. Bathrooms and kitchens are the two main areas to invest your funds, such as in new updated countertops and refaced cabinets. If you have dry wall damage from a water leak, or a rotten board in the front porch, make the repairs or hire someone who can. Buyers are scared away by homes they consider money pits, even if the repairs are minimal.
  3. Improve your curb appeal. This sounds ridiculous, especially in winter, but a well kept home on the outside is important. Clean up any trash in the yard, and keep the walks clean. You want your house to look well-maintained and inviting.
  4. Reevaluate the price. This is the option no one wants to hear, but a high price tag is one of the hugest obstacles to a quick sale. Look at comparable sales in the area, and be realistic. A house priced too high is a house that is going to stay for sale for the long term.

Don’t feel you have to take on the process of selling your home alone; that’s what a realtor is for. Contact a realtor and ask them for a recommendation on a realistic sales price and any improvements suitable for the area of your home. With your realtors’ assistance, and some help from Mother Nature, hopefully your home sale and temperatures will warm up in the spring.

6 Mistakes You’re Making in your Search for a New House

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Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.
Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.

Purchasing a new home is a BIG purchase, and most likely one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. You don’t want to make a mistake, right? An ounce of education can eliminate those mistakes later, or even mistakes you are making now while readying for your home search, including:

  1. Waiting. Mortgage rates are low now. Waiting a few months (or even a few weeks) can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Stop browsing through homes online. Contact a lender now, or call a local realtor for a referral for a local mortgage broker.
  2. Not knowing your budget. To prevent heartaches and disappointment later, consult a lender early in the process to find out if you are approved to buy a house, and what amount you can borrow.
  3. Not having a solid list of ‘must haves’ to work off. If you don’t know what you want in your new home, how is your realtor supposed to know? Make a list of ‘must haves,’ and expect it to change as you search for homes. It’s normal to tweak your list as you see features during your home tours that you like.
  4. Being unrealistic. Don’t expect the moon for nothing. Do your research, and ask your realtor to show you what your money can get for you in the real estate market—what kind of features you can get for 200,000, 250,000 and 300,000. Don’t assume that you need to set your budget at the maximum amount that a lender will borrow you, and don’t assume that you will get everything just because you want it. Prioritize your list of ‘must haves’ and decide what features you want most in your new home.
  5. Foregoing the home inspection. This is a mistake that can cost you thousands of dollars. A home inspector can tell you if work done by the previous owner was done correctly, or can recommend professionals that can inspect the structure or foundation. If you do find issues, you have time to renegotiate with the owners (visit our previous post to find out your options). If your offer is contingent on the home inspection, you can also back out of the sale. Home inspectors can not only give you insight into the quality of past repairs, but can also give you a list of repairs that need to be made in the future and a timeline. If the house needs a new roof, for example, he can give you his opinion on when it needs to be replaced.
  6. Jumping at the first property you see. Although it feels like love at first sight, compare your property love to other homes in the area to make sure it’s the one. Once you know that the property checks off boxes on your ‘must have’ list, and fits all the criteria as your match, talk to your realtor about submitting an offer.

Another common mistake most home buyers make is not using a realtor. A realtor has connections and expertise that can guide you through the home sale process, such as when you get a bad home inspection report or when navigating through the purchase of a foreclosure or short sale. In addition, realtors can recommend local home inspectors, contractors, lenders and insurance companies—any professionals you need to contact during your home search. Don’t delay. Contact a realtor to start your home search, and guide you through a smooth home buying process without any mistakes.

5 Real Estate New Year’s Resolutions for your Home Search

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Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.
Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.

You’re ringing in the New Year with some life changing news: you’re about to buy your dream (or starter) home or sell your home! As excited as you are, don’t just jump in to the real estate market. Use one of these New Year’s resolution to ensure that your home search and sale are stress free and save you money (another fulfill more of your New Year’s resolutions!):

  1. I will find out what my budget is for my new house BEFORE I start my home search. Going shopping without a budget is a sure way to set yourself up for disappointment. Talk to your lender to find out how much you qualify for, then contact a real estate agent about your home search. There are also other steps you can take to ready yourself for your home search.
  2. I will make my house look like a million bucks. Don’t just put your house on the market. If you want to get top dollar for your house, take these steps to prepare your house for sale.
  3. I will do my homework. Knowing the importance of earnest money, and the pros and cons of short sales and foreclosures helps you avoid some of the pratfalls that come with the real estate market.
  4. I will get a home inspection. This is a simple measure that we suggest for buyers AND sellers, and you can read why in our blog post.  
  5. I will ask my real estate agent for recommendations. An experienced real estate agent can give you advice about readying your home for sale, looking for a new home and throughout the sale process. Don’t feel like you are going through the sale process alone, ask your real estate agent for advice.

Remember, just because your sister’s mother’s cousin is a realtor doesn’t mean they are the real estate agent for you, or have the experience or expertise to guide you through your real estate sale. Choose a top real estate agent with experience in Dodge and Jefferson counties, and surrounding Wisconsin communities. The right realtor can recommend home inspectors and other professionals necessary for your home purchase or sale, and has the expertise that can save you thousands of dollars—and that’s a New Year’s resolution that everyone can enjoy.

Home Projects That Make You Money

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brown houseNo one wants to throw money out the window without seeing at least some kind of return on their investment. Whether you bought a fixer upper, plan on selling your house or just want to add value, choosing projects that actually bring money back to your pocket book is not as challenging as it sounds (or in some cases as expensive). While some projects sound like they bring value, such as that home office you’ve always wanted, here’s a list of projects that actually can make you money:

  • Updating kitchen hardware & countertops/full kitchen remodel. If you are on a tight budget or have fully functional cabinets, replacing the hardware on your cabinets and countertops yield a new, updated look that adds value to your home. Have cabinets that won’t close or are poor quality? Consider a full kitchen remodel that is functional and aesthetically appealing. If you are selling your home and want to give yourself an edge, update your appliances to complete the project.
  • Modernizing your bathroom. Blue toilets and goldenrod tubs don’t sell houses or increase your home value. If your tub is still functional, consider reglazing a tub, which can be cheaper than replacement.
  • New windows. New windows are a selling point, and a sure way to add value to your home. When your windows are ready for replacement, having quality windows installed can save you money by lowering your utility bills and giving you other key benefits.
  • Finishing your basement. Extra living space=extra value. Add an extra bedroom or rec room for your use or for resale value.
  • Deck. A well-done deck can bring back 70%+ in value to homeowners, not to mention a great hangout and grilling space.
  • Adding a bedroom in the attic. While this is not possible for all homeowners, an unfinished attic space is untapped potential. If your attic has headroom enough for a bedroom, finish off your attic for extra space and value.

If you have any questions about readying your Wisconsin home for sale, contact an experienced, local real estate agent. In addition to giving you information, your realtor can also give you an estimated value of your home so you can plan ahead and make strategic investments for your future sale. In addition to your projects, also plan on investing in these seven must-haves that ensure you get top dollar. With a little research and elbow grease, as well as education so you don’t make the most common home selling mistake, you can prepare a home that’s appealing to buyers and recoups your investment.

7 Things to Do BEFORE You Put Your House on the Market

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3591When time is on your side and you can prepare your home for sale, your efforts pay dividends—both in sale price and time on the market. Buyers want a turn-key home—a clean, fresh home that doesn’t need extensive repair. By focusing your efforts on seven key areas, you can give them that, and give yourself a higher sale price and a quick sale:

  1. Paint, and paint neutrals. As much as you love that hot pink room, now is not the time to be bold. Paint over bold colors with neutral colors such as a light grey or tan. A new coat of paint can go a long way to making a home feel new and clean—exactly what your buyers want.
  2. Deep clean, or replace, that nasty flooring. A professional carpet cleaning or hard floor cleaner can often give new life to that old flooring, but if you can’t get the stains out, shop around. Carpet remnants are an inexpensive way to make hallways, offices and small rooms look new without breaking the budget. Or upgrade your flooring by installing new laminate or hardwood floors, two kinds of flooring that often adds value to your home.
  3. Do all the repairs you’ve been putting off. Holes in your walls or ceiling do not give buyers a favorable impression. Now is the time to patch the drywall, repair water leaks and replace faulty electrical fixtures and leaky water faucets.
  4. Maximize curb appeal. When it’s muddy or frozen this seems like an impossible task, but this is where advance planning pays big. Contact contractors to get those broken sidewalks repaired, wood trim painted and the driveway sealed in the summer now before anyone else. Then tackle the projects that can be done, even during the coldest months of the year. Keep sidewalks clear and clean, and power wash your home to make it look its best. Make sure that all bulbs are replaced in your outdoor light fixtures.
  5. De-clutter. You don’t have to throw everything away, but you may have to put some of your items in storage. Make sure that potential buyers get a clear picture of the space in your home by clearing out any extra knickknacks or items on the floor. Too much furniture or décor in a room can backfire and make your home look smaller.
  6. Upgrade where it makes cents. Certain upgrades, such as high end countertops and hardwood flooring, add value to a home and can be a deciding factor for potential buyers. Talk to your real estate agent about what upgrades are right for your home and your area.
  7. Clean, clean, clean. Buyers want homes that are clean, even if the house needs a few upgrades. Give your home a deep clean, or hire a professional cleaning service for a thorough cleaning that buyers appreciate.

Want to avoid unpleasant surprises during the sale process? Hire a home inspector to do a full inspection before you put the home on the market. An inspector can identify problem areas that could deter buyers, and give you time to fix the issues. An experienced real estate agent can refer a local home inspector, as well as contractors that can make repairs or install upgrades before you put your home on the market.

Buyers & Sellers: What to do after a bad home inspection report

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brown houseA licensed home inspector has done a full inspection of your property, and the results are packed into a book the size of an encyclopedia. Whether buyer or seller, you’re less than enthralled with the results, and not sure of your next step.

Don’t panic. Take a deep breath, explore your options and discuss the situation with your real estate agent. What feels like a misstep now can turn into opportunity.

Buyers’ Options

Walk away. If your offer is contingent on a home inspection, you have every right to cancel your contract and walk away from the property. Talk to your real estate agent about getting a refund of your earnest money.

Ask the sellers to make repairs. You have every right to go back to the seller and ask them to make repairs. Make sure the repairs are done by a licensed repairman, and the sellers can provide paperwork for your records.

Use the report for negotiation & make the repairs after the closing. Did the home inspector suggest the house needs a $10,000 repair? Negotiate with the sellers for a lower price, and use the funds “saved” to repair the home after the sale.

Sellers’ Options

Walk away. Sellers can walk away because of the home inspection clause in the offer.
Don’t feel you have to make the repairs, or pay for repairs you feel unnecessary. Be aware that if the repairs are safety-related (i.e. electrical issues, foundation, etc.), you may HAVE to make the repairs to sell your home.

Make repairs before the closing. You have a better chance of closing your home sale if you select this option. Make sure to have all repairs done by a licensed repairman, and supply documentation to the buyers as proof.

Negotiate. If you don’t have the resources to pay for repairs, or cannot facilitate the repair process, offer concessions in the price or the amount of closing costs.

Turn to your real estate agent for advice. They have the experience and knowledge to help you through this home inspection issue, and getting you the results you want from this real estate sale.