Preparing for an Appraisal - Plan For It
Author: Raynor James

A critical part of selling a home is the appraisal. Here's how to plan for it.
You have a contract to sell your home and now the appraiser is coming. The appraisal needs to come in at a good price in order for your buyer to get his loan. What should you do?

The Appraiser Says

Appraisers typically tell people not to do anything special before they come. They tell the owner they see lots of houses and they can look past a little clutter and dust. "Don't be nervous," they counsel. Appraisers are sincere people. I'm sure they mean what they say.

I Say

On the other hand, appraisers are human. They respond to cleanliness and order and to good maintenance the same way buyers do. If you've let your hair down, get your home back into "show" condition before the appraiser comes.

Everything you know about a tidy approach to your home, well mulched flower beds, door knobs that are attached firmly and work smoothly, lack of finger prints, lack of clutter, and all the rest applies. Take a look at a "Uniform Residential Appraisal Report" form if you doubt me. The age of the home and the "effective age" are asked for under the "General Description." Don't you think how well your home appears to be cared for affects the number that appears under "effective age?"

The Uniform Appraisal Report requires information about materials (and their condition) used for floors, walls, trim and finishing elements, bathroom floors and wainscots, and for interior doors. Appraisers train themselves to notice these details. If yours are dusted, polished, and free of scratches and fingerprints, don't you think you might be giving your appraisal a nudge in the right direction?

The Report also asks about kitchen equipment (refrigerator, range and oven, disposal, dishwasher, fan and hood, microwave, and washer and dryer). Do you think it'd be a good idea to have them clean and purring?

The Report asks about amenities such as fireplaces, patios, decks, porches, fences, pools, and sheds. If an appraiser is going to take special note of such things, shouldn't they be swept, cleaned, and have paint in good condition? Also, clean out the gutters if they need it. If it should be raining on the day your appraisal is done, you want your house to handle the rain water well.

Let me share the "comments" section of an appraisal which got the owners what they wanted. I think it'll give you a good feel for what you need to do. "The subject is well maintained and no physical, functional or external inadequacies were noted. Marketability is enhanced by hardwood flooring throughout a majority of the home, an updated kitchen, fresh interior and exterior paint, transom windows, built-ins, a front porch, a rear patio, a large storage shed, 4 fireplaces, etc."

The appraiser is a human being. Make sure you do everything you can to appeal to them and you'll get a good appraisal.

Raynor James is with the FSBO site - FSBOAmerica.org - homes for sale by owner. Visit our "Sell My Home" page to sell your house or our home buying page to view and buy homes, houses, condos, land and real estate.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_17228_33.html
About the Author: http://www.fsboamerica.org


Good Faith Deposit – Real Estate Transactions

Date Published: 1st January 2006

Author: Raynor James

In a real estate transaction, a touchy issue is how much trust the seller has in a buyer. The existence of a good faith deposit helps put a seller at rest.

Good Faith Deposit

If you are selling your home, condominium or other real estate, you should always require a buyer to make a good faith deposit. The good faith deposit simply establishes that the buyer is serious and, to some extent, has the financial capacity to follow through on the purchase.

The amount of the good faith deposit is dependent upon the agreed sale price of the real estate. Although percentages vary from state to state, a cash deposit equal to three percent of the sales price is typical. For instance, the deposit would be $9,000 for home selling at a price of $300,000. As with most transactions, this percentage is negotiable. I don't recommend that you accept anything less than two percent.

Once the buyer and seller agree to the amount of the good faith deposit, you have to figure out what to do with the deposit. Importantly, the seller should not hold the deposit as doing so could make the buyer very uncomfortable. Instead, the money should be deposited with a third party and held "in trust." Potential third parties include escrow and title insurance companies as well as an attorney if your state requires their involvement.

A good faith deposit acts like an insurance option for a seller. Moving through escrow can take 30 to 60 days, during which the property is off the market. The good faith deposit essentially compensates the seller for this time in the event the buyer is unable to follow through on the purchase of the property.

Depending on the laws in your state, a buyer who can't close will lose the deposit. Typically, the only exception to this is when the seller allows language indicating the deposit will be returned if the buyer can't get a home loan. Of course, including such language can open the seller up to repeated frustration when bad credit buyers repeatedly fail to get funding.

Good faith deposits are a fundamental part of a real estate transaction. Buyers should expect to pay them and sellers should demand them.
Read more at http://www.articlealley.com/article_21815_33.html?ktrack=kcplink


What Happens To My Mortgage When I Sell My Home

Author: Raynor James

You've decided to make the plunge and sell you home. More than a few people have innocently asked me, "What happens to my mortgage when I sell my home?"

What Happens to My Mortgage When I sell My Home

If you own a home, you undoubtedly are carrying a mortgage on it. A mortgage is simply a loan from a bank or financial institution for percentage of the value of the home, which you pay to the person you purchased the home from when you bought it. Depend on the type of mortgage you have, the amount due on the loan should have decreased during the time you lived in the home and made monthly payments.

When you go to sell your home, the simple question is what happens to the then due balance on the mortgage? The simple answer is the financial institution is going to be paid out of the proceeds of the sale before you see anything. As a result, it is critical that you calculate in the loan repayment amount when determining if it makes sense to sell a home. If you have a home worth $300,000 and owe $280,000 on the mortgage, you are going to realize little or no profit after the costs associated with the sale and probably shouldn't sell it.

If you have plenty of equity built up in the home, your mortgage can still end up costing you more than you originally expected. Many modern mortgages have restrictive penalties built into them. These penalties are designed to encourage you to hold onto the home for a set period of time, usually a couple of years, so the bank can recover a certain amount of interest up front. Put another way, the bank is trying to lock in a certain amount of profit on the loan.

When it comes to these restrictive penalties, lending institutions get pretty creative. Many will include a penalty if you sell or refinance the property within the first two years of the loan period. The penalties can be anything from the equivalent of three months of payments to a preset amount or even a percentage of the loan. State law often influences these issues, so you need to read your mortgage loan documents closely.

Regardless, you mortgage is going to be paid off as part of the sales process. The exact amount will depend upon the nature of your loan.

Raynor James is with the FSBO site - FSBOAmerica.org - homes for sale by owner. Visit our "Sell My Home" page to sell your house or our home buying page to view and buy homes, houses, condos, land and real estate.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_19865_33.html

Occupation: Real Estate