Closing Costs Surprise!

The money you have saved for a down payment is not the only cash you will need when buying a home. You’ll also need an additional amount to cover closing costs. More than half of homebuyers are surprised by the extra money needed at closing as found in a survey done by ClosingCorp.

New regulations have tightened, forcing mortgage lenders to disclose these costs in loan estimates, however, buyers still find themselves shocked when they see the final tally, which can add up to as much as 5% of the total loan amount.

Closing costs are fees and payments that need to be made to different individuals and organizations who are involved with the transaction of your home sale. The fees charged at your closing will be specific to you, your property’s location, and the lender and settlement service providers you choose to work with. They can include:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting Fees & Processing Fees
  • Escrow
  • Home inspection
  • Property tax
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

There are steps you can take to help bring down your closing costs:

  • Schedule your closing at the end of the month. Part of your closing costs is prepaid interest charges on your mortgage for the remaining days of the calendar month. If you schedule your closing toward the end of the month, you’ll only pay these charges for a few days.
  • Ask the seller to cover some of the costs. In a buyer’s market, and/or if your seller is particularly eager to complete the sale, you can ask them to cover some of the closing costs.
  • Compare your loan estimate and your final closing disclosure form. Check for inconsistencies and new charges. If something doesn’t look right, bring it to the attention of your lender.
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The Eyesore Next Door

Your house has been postured to be put on the market after getting everything cleaned, refreshed, landscaped, and staged. You’ve interviewed and hired the best realtor. Pictures have been taken, the marketing is perfect and you’re ready to go. But – there is a problem. A neighbor’s unkempt or other various forms of bad neighbors including being noisy or disruptive. These situations can negatively affect your home’s desirability and cost you some real money.

Respectfully and diplomatically, visit with the offending neighbor (s) and have a conversation with them, letting them know that you are preparing to sell your home and would love their help showcasing the neighborhood in the finest light which will also help them. After all, selling your home at a great price only means good news for them!

There are a multitude of reasons someone’s home can look disheveled. A sickness, or a new baby for instance. If this is the case and they are unable to clean up the outside, offer solutions. Maybe do the work yourself for them or hire professionals to get the job done. While it will be money out of your pocket, you won’t be forced to lower your asking price and in the end, you will be able to recoup that when you sell your home.

If your efforts are not successful, make a call to the city hall. Explore how they can help you. Many cities and counties have ordinances that prohibit things such as a vehicle on jacks, old tires, or an inoperable trailer/truck parked on a lawn. Beyond being an eyesore, it could be dangerous to a child who might wander onto the property, thus the police should be contacted. The fire department and health officials might be concerned about tall, dead grass that could be a fire hazard and an attraction to rats or other animals.

The problem may not be the fault of the homeowner if they rent out their home and their tenants aren’t taking care of it or behaving in a way that impacts the neighborhood. If after you have had a kind conversation with them and things still aren’t getting better, you should find the owner. Your realtor will be able to assist you in tracking him down and help in encouraging cooperation from him.

The Bottom Line: A bad neighbor is hard on a house, especially when your home is for sale. A home’s value can be negatively impacted or cause it to stay on the market longer. Good and direct communication is important in these situations. No matter what you do, keeping your realtor in the loop is suggested. They’ve been down this road before and probably have many good ideas.

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Is Your House Ready To Sell?

Putting your home on the market can involve several stresses and strains. Regardless of the reason behind selling, the goal is to sell it for the most money in the shortest amount of time. With the lease hassles and distractions. There is a lot to think about, prepare for, to organize. You must be objective about all the details in this your financial asset, your home.

Hire the most experienced realtor in your area to help you price your home right. The first thing buyers look for in their initial search for a home is the price. Your home might be perfect but if the price is too high you will miss out on a big group of buyers as it sits on the market longer. The realtor you hire should be well-versed in the ability to use comparative market analysis and determine the very best and the right listing price.

It’s easy to overlook small wear and tear issues in your home especially if you have been living in it for a longer period. It’s essential to remember that when a buyer is looking through your home, they are looking at the details. They will check to make certain the lights all work, and that the windows can open. How are your appliances? Do they all work? Are there any small leaks in a bathroom that you have forgotten about? Details like these can turn a buyer off no matter how small. They might be left wondering if the owner of the home has neglected bigger issues. Consider hiring an inspector for a pre-inspection to head off any potential issues.

Have your realtor walk through your home with you and help you decide what should be removed. A good rule of thumb is to remove about half of your furniture to enable rooms to appear bigger and more appealing. Create a cozy, intimate space in each room by rearranging furniture. Get rid of any clutter by purging and removing knick-knacks, and hiding any political affiliations, degrees, family photos, and other personal items. Paint should be traditional colors in each room. Open the blinds and pull back the curtains – let the light shine through. Staging your home is a good strategic move that can be done by a professional stager or you, as the seller, with your realtor.

The first thing a buyer sees after being enticed by your online presence is the outside of your home as they arrive to see it in person. The aesthetic look of the home’s exterior can be very telling as to what might be found on the inside. Get your yard landscaped if it’s not and keep it well maintained. Pull weeds, pick up sticks, fix burned grass patches, and rake the bushes clean of dead leaves. Walk around your home and notice if any paint is chipping or faded. Are your windows clean? Is your front door freshly painted? Are your gutters clear of debris? Again, having the realtor you hire look over everything with new eyes can be beneficial. Don’t take any criticism personally.

Once you have conquered all of the above and your home is ready to have a sign in the yard, the realtor you hire must be exceptional in the marketing of your home. Your realtor should know how to attract buyers online through professional photo listings and other new and creative ideas. The first place that buyers see a property is online, and if photos don’t look professional, buyers may disregard your property. Additionally, listings with high-quality photos can sell up to 32% faster.

The Bottom Line: Choosing the right realtor is paramount when putting your house on the market. One who is knowledgeable about your local market and with experience selling in your neighborhood. Selling a home is a big life milestone and can be complex with all the many steps involved. The consequences of a mistake can have a big impact. It pays to spend the time and money to make sure you are getting your home on the market and ready for success.

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Hire a Realtor with Remarkable Social Media Experience

Many people believe that traditional methods of real estate marketing are sufficient. While this can be true, social media has proven to be a hugely worthwhile avenue to pursue when buying or selling a property. Social media can make a difference in lead generation and give your home a competitive edge.

Realtors are now selling homes and buildings, finding clients, and growing their brands online completely through social media. Having a presence online is one of the most important, if not the most important attributes an agent can have. Social media is the strongest marketing tool there is as it reaches people around the world 24/7. You need as many people to view your home in the shortest and fastest way possible. The more eyes you have looking at your property, the more optimal it can be in selling your home.

Hiring a realtor with extensive experience with social media is critically important. Scour your accounts to see which realtor in your location takes advantage of all the incredible opportunities to get their listings out in front of the most eyes online. Social media is a free way to advertise virtually anything anyone is selling and a realtor should – MUST – have the acumen to utilize it correctly and brilliantly.

Once a home is staged and cleared of clutter, a realtor should have the very best photographer on hand to capture the most crisp photos for online viewing. Homebuyers more times than not, begin a search for their new home online. This should be taken full advantage of. There are never too many photos or videos. They should be used for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X, and Linkedin as well as mailings. Always remember – a picture is worth a thousand words.

The realtor chosen to sell your home must engage with any potential buyers who indicate interest on the platforms on which your home is being showcased. By communicating and being responsive, your realtor will build trust with the potential buyer and increase the chance of closing a sale.

The Bottom Line: Social media is one of the most common and effective ways to share property listings. To attract the right buyer, your realtor needs to go beyond the basics and adequately demonstrate the value of your home. The beautiful photos should have clear and precise descriptions as well as pointing out all the unique features of your home. The marketing of your home should be exceptional and social media marketing does not require a huge budget or even a large team of people. Simply do the work of finding the best realtor with the most experience with social media.

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