“Do I really need a Realtor to buy a house?” If you are having doubts, here are a few reasons that a Real Estate Agent is valuable during the home buying process.
Sure, you can look through the many internet real estate listings, but a knowledgeable Realtor can cut through all the fat, plus have access to other sites, know the neighborhood comps, have contact with other agents in town with “pocket listings” and sometimes know the background (or the “skinny”) on a few homes. A Realtor is going to do all the dirty work and guide you through it all. They are going to research the market trends and other important information that can be tedious.
The housing market is immense, there are literally thousands of options available and it can prove to be difficult to narrow down which homes are even worth looking at. Your Realtor will have data about crime rates, education options, local businesses, commute times, zoning codes and a lot of other information that will influence your final decision.
Once you fall in love with a home, a skilled Realtor will have been through many homes and is trained to look for issues that might be hidden to you. Once the problem identified it can be addressed and the Realtor can ask for it to be repaired.
The vast knowledge of market conditions and comp sales coupled with the Realtor’s knowledge will help put together a competitive offer at the best possible price. You will be given information on at current home conditions to find any issues that could be leveraged during negotiations. The Realtor knows how to navigate through the many documents plus be your voice when the negotiating begins. If you end up with questions and concerns or are completely confused, your Realtor will be able to clarify all the clauses, contingencies and jargon-filled fine print as well as find hidden fees and conditions that many people tend to skim over.
The Bottom Line: Anyone can shop for a new home without a Realtor. Buying and selling a house is one of the largest financial transactions people make in their lifetime. Realtors earn their commission by making sure you know exactly what you are doing. They are helping you through the many pages of documents required on the transaction. They are with you during the inspection (pest, foundation, furnace, sewer, electrical, plumbing, etc), appraisal and disclosure. It’s in your best interest to use the resources of a skilled Real Estate Agent.
Owning real estate is one of the most precious values of freedom in the United States. We all want to be assured that the property we are buying is ours. That there isn’t another mortgage holder and that nobody has any other restrictions on the property. Having title insurance will eliminate any risk or loss caused by faults in the title from a situation that happened before we bought the property.
An Owner’s Policy of title insurance is the best protection against any these risks that can be hidden even after a search of public records such as:
- Forgery: The seller could misrepresent the identity of the person selling the property.
- Fraud: The seller may have stolen the identity of the person who owns the home or may even take out a second mortgage on the property.
- Clerical error: An example might be a discrepancy in the property or fence line causing confusion in the owner’s rights.
- Outstanding mortgages, unpaid taxes, and judgments.
- Pending legal action
- An unknown heir that sweeps in and claims the ownership of the property.
- An undisclosed divorce
- Incorrect survey
- Mechanics Lien Claim
- Federal estate or state inheritance tax liens
With title insurance, we, as the buyers, are guaranteed that anything that is found on the title will be corrected. Furthermore, we are protected if anything that was not discovered will be covered. Essentially, Title First Agency will assure the past is clear on the title as well as the future.
Thinking about selling your first home? Besides the fact that it will take a lot of time and energy, it may be very emotionally challenging. To have buyers come into your home and open closets, cabinets, and drawers, walk through your bedrooms and look behind furniture, and then to criticize the home you have loved is not easy. Eventually, there will be a buyer who wants it and will inevitably offer far less to buy it than you have it listed as.
The first hurdle to overcome after you have made the decision to sell is to let go of your home emotionally. Start looking at it as a positive financial opportunity and distance yourself from all the aspects of the property that you have created memories. It will be hard to pull your heart away from remembering the moments that you painted, decorated and picked out “just the right carpeting” for your child’s first bedroom. Acknowledge that selling your home is going to be stressful and emotional upfront and that will enable you to make good decisions going forward.
Think of your home as a product that you are selling. This should help you detach emotionally. Start removing personal items like pictures, knick-knacks, etc. to begin staging which will make it feel less like your home. If you put special hardware on cabinets and can’t imagine parting with them, replace them. A good Realtor will give you great recommendations to help make your home more neutral – maybe painting or pulling carpet – all of which will help you to see your home as a product and will help you emotionally.
It’s common for a seller to overprice their home when they are emotionally attached. The price of your home needs to be based on the market and the comparable properties, not the value you, someone with memories, puts on the home. After a Realtor helps you with the price, don’t get offended by offers that don’t meet your calculations. If a buyer makes a low offer, it’s good to know that there is someone who loves your home enough to even make an offer. Let your Realtor negotiate and learn what the seller likes and dislikes (which may hurt your feelings) so you are able to keep your emotions out of the selling process.
The Bottom Line: Make sure you are truly ready to sell your home. Make a list of the pros and cons of why you want to move and evaluate. Have an experienced Realtor help you once you have made the decision and realize that sentimental value does not translate to monetary value so you will need help pricing your home accordingly. Keep your emotions in check, make a clean break and put your energy and time into making your new house the home of your dreams!
The financial crisis of 2007-2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to have been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Since then and because of the losses, title insurance underwriters tightened their guidelines when working with residential properties to prevent further loss.
During the time of the financial crisis, title insurance underwriters often suffered loss due to mechanic’s lien claims. A mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property. The claim is issued when the work performed was not paid for.
The lien gives the debt holder the right to the property until the debt is paid in full and the property. This could be an expensive situation for new homeowners, so it is important to ensure a property is lien-free before purchasing a home. This can be confirmed with a lien waiver or a paid receipt for any work completed on the property. A lien waiver is a document issued by the service provider that states they have received payment and waive the right to issue a lien against the property in the future.
Title First Agency will protect all property buyers by providing a clear title of the property. If there is a lien, the title won’t be clear and we will coordinate the activity and documentation from the participants and pull each piece together, including paid receipt of any improvements or repairs to the property.
If you’re planning to purchase a home, make sure you know the full status of the property and any lien claims. Buying a home may be the single, largest financial purchase in your life and can signify a much-anticipated milestone. That’s why Title First offers a host of resources to help you understand this important personal transaction.