Our Real Estate Blog
It can feel like real estate has its own language. After all, there is a reason agents take courses and need to become licensed!
And for a first-time buyer, I understand that it can be overwhelming and very confusing to keep track of all of this new information on top choosing the home of your dreams and planning a move.
Which is why I’ve created this quick and dirty list of real estate terms every first time home buyer needs to know.
Let’s get started:
A kick-out clause gives the seller the option to continue showing a house after a buyer has made their offer but is slowing down the process with the sale of their own home. The seller can then “kick out” that offer if someone else puts in a more desirable, and readily available, one.
A title-search is simply a search to pull up relevant information to the title of a house. It helps to determine the history of the home and if there are existing regulations in place that affect the property.
Escrow is a neutral third party used to handle transactions throughout the buying/selling process. They hold all related documents and funds until the day of the sale.
Earnest money is usually held in an escrow account and represents your commitment to the sale of a house you have made an offer on. Typically, the amount out down is between 1-3% of the asking price. It is also called “good faith money”.
An appraisal determines a property’s market value. Only a licensed appraiser can pull a report of this information for you. This is the report a lender will use to determine whether or not to lend money to a borrower.
Closing costs are paid at the actual sale of the house. The “closing” is when the title is transferred from the seller over to the buyer. The cost covers all of the fees that were incurred throughout the buying and selling process. A few examples of these fees are the home inspection, appraisal, and escrow.
A comparative market analysis or CMA is a report pulled from a database your real estate agent has access to. This is then used to determine the offering and asking price of homes.
A contingency is when in order to move forward with a sale there are specific requirements the buyer must complete first. Common contingencies are: waiting on an inspection, pre-approval or signing.
Disclosures are required by law. But what are they? A disclosure means a seller has to inform potential buyers of and problems that would affect the value of the property.
Due diligence is doing the work of fully understanding the property you are interested in before buying it. This includes obtaining insurance, reviewing all documents carefully and walking the property.
During a home inspection appliances, plumbing and electrical work are tested. The heating and cooling system are also inspected. This doesn’t affect the monetary value of your home. This is a way for you to determine what state a home is in and if it is worth the financial investment to you.
15 Duggan Way, Northbridge, MA 01534
If you’re looking to increase the value of your home before you sell, there are certain things that you can do to attract buyers and get a high return on your investment in your home. There’s only so much time and money that you have to invest in your home. You will be purchasing a new place most likely and will need some capital for that. Read on for some tips on how to cheaply and efficiently make some quick improvements to your home.
Stage Your Home
You don’t have to create a significant expense to make changes to your home. If there’s one thing you should know about selling your home, you should make an appearance. Clear out the clutter in your home. Then, take some time to stage it. No one who is touring your home should see your personal papers, children’s toys, and celebrity shrines. Think minimalistic when it comes to the things that need to be in your home when it’s put on the market. Having a clean house can make all the difference in selling your home.
First Impressions Are Everything
A mess never makes a good first impression. If things appear in disarray around the property, it’s going to deter interest in the home. Make sure the yard looks presentable. Add some plants to the outside of the house. A simple clean up can make a big difference in the property.
The Kitchen And The Bathroom Are Points Of Interest
People pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms of a home. One reason for this is that these rooms are particularly expensive to renovate. At the very least make sure that these rooms are clean. If you have the time and funds to replace tiles, or replace the sink, definitely complete these projects.
Don’t Try To Take On Projects Yourself
It’s important to recognize what you can and can’t do. Hiring a professional to complete your projects can make a big difference. If you don’t have a grasp on home renovation procedures, an improvement can turn into a nightmare. It could end up costing you more money and time in the long run.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
Hire a real estate agent to help you sell your home. Real estate agents understand how to price and market a home for an optimal sale. Fees for seller’s agents are very reasonable and worth it if you want a good price for your home.
As you can see, there are many simple ways you can get more value out of your home when you head to sell it.
17 Rifleman Way lot 1, Uxbridge, MA 01569
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you might be wondering what all of the expenses you can expect to have when it comes time to close on your home.
Ideally, you’ll want to understand all of the closing costs months in advance so that you can plan accordingly. However, even if you’re close to purchasing your first home, it’s still useful to get to know closing costs better.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover the closing costs that are typically the buyer’s responsibility.
Buyer’s closing costs
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to closing costs for buyers. The bad news is that buyers are typically on the hook for the majority of the closing costs associated with a real estate transaction. The good news, however, is that many of these fees will be grouped together as part of your mortgage, meaning you won’t have to devote much time or thought to them individually.
That being said, to ensure that you know where your money is going, here’s a breakdown of the main closing costs that you’ll likely be responsible for as a buyer:
1. Attorney fees
Real estate attorneys research the ownership of the home, ensuring that the seller actually has the right to sell you the property. Though this is usually a formality, it is an important one.
Attorneys can either charge a flat fee or hourly rate.
2. Origination fees
The origination fee is paid upfront to the lender. It’s the fee that they charge for processing your mortgage application and getting you approved as a borrower.
3. Prepaid interest
Many buyers pay their first month’s interest in advance. This is the amount of interest that will accrue from the time you purchase the home until your first mortgage payment is due (a month later).
4. Home inspection
Inspections are one of the closing costs that can save you a ton of money in the long run if they find anything during their visit to the home. Inspectors should be licensed in your state, and you should choose your own inspector based on ratings and reviews (not at the recommendation of someone who is incentivized to sell you the home such).
5. Escrow deposits
Escrow deposits are typically shared between the buyer and seller and it is the fee that escrow agents charge for their services. You can think of an escrow as a neutral third party that keeps your money safe while purchasing a home.
6. Recording fees
All real estate purchases have to be recorded by the local government. Typically, this is performed by the county or town hall. Recording fees are charged whenever a real estate transaction occurs.
7. Underwriting fees
Mortgages are all about determining risk. A lender wants to know whether they will see a return on their investment by lending to you. To do so, they research your credit and income history. The fee the charge for this work is called the underwriting fee.