What is a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA)? The most reliable indicator of a home’s value is what similar homes sold for in the past. A CMA is a comparison of the prices of recently sold homes that are similar to the “subject home” in terms of location, style, condition and amenities.
What is Multiple Listing Service (MLS)? MLS is a computer database for Realtors in a metro area. The database is compiled of detailed information on homes both for sale, under contract and sold. This is a tool Realtors use to produce a CMA, search for properties that a buyer is looking for, and to market their listings to other Realtors.
What is Dual Agency? When a Broker is representing both the Buyer and a Seller of real property. The broker is not acting in a “designated” agency capacity.
Who pays the Realtor? The seller pays the Realtor’s commission. Generally, the agent who lists the house “for sale” and the agent who “procures the buyer,” split the commission. The commission is paid at closing and taken out of the seller’s proceeds.
Who pays for a home inspection? The buyer hires and pays for an inspector.
What is earnest money? Money deposited by a buyer under the terms of a contract, as good faith money, to be forfeited if the buyer defaults according to the contract terms, but applied to the purchase price if the sale is closed.
What are closing costs? Closing costs are the miscellaneous expenses that are incurred during the loan process.
How many different fees are included in “closing costs”? You may see these on the closing statement and your “good faith estimate”. Appraisal Fee, Credit Report Fee, Document Processing Fee, Loan Document Viewer, Flood Certification Processing Fee, Lender Underwriting Fee, Tax Service Processing Fee, Wire Processing fee, Title Insurance, Title Exam Fees, Recording Fees, Attorney Fees, and Transfer Taxes.
Who pays for closing costs? And, just how much are closing costs? The party who pays for closing costs is negotiable in the contract, but it is assumed that the buyer will pay for them unless it is negotiated in the contract for the seller to pay or help with a portion of them. The total costs could vary, but a good estimate is 2.8% of the loan amount. Ask your lender to be sure!
What is a Sellers Disclosure? It is a questionnaire that the seller fills out that gives the buyer the history of the home.
How do I improve my home’s marketability? By following the Staging and Curb Appeal Checklists below.
Staging Your Home Checklist
1) Remove all clutter from the house.
Are countertops free and clear?
Have you removed unnecessary furniture throughout the house?
Remove the art gallery and coupon collection from the refrigerator.
2) Check the bathrooms.
Are the surfaces clean and clear?
Are shower curtains and doors hung properly?
Is the flooring clean and fresh?
Are towels neatly hung?
3) Check the walls.
Is paint and wallpaper fresh and clean?
Are the walls free from holes?
Are there any colors or objects on the walls that need to be removed?
4) Check the floors.
Is the carpet clean and free from stains?
Are hard surface floors clean and free from stains?
5) Check windows and window coverings.
Are all the windows clean?
Are draperies and blinds clean?
6) Pet check.
Are there any signs that this is a pet’s home? Be sure to clean and remove kitty litter, pet toys and bedding.
7) How’s the aroma?
Try to air out the home prior to showings.
If air freshener is necessary, use well before showings as a consideration to those with allergies.
Set the mood prior to showings.
Open draperies and blinds.
Turn on the radio to a classical music station, set the volume on low.
If you have time, cook a batch of cookies to have the warm, welcoming aroma permeating the home.
Curb Appeal Checklist
Inspect the outside ground. Remove any building materials, scrap wood, discarded household items, etc. from the property. Store garbage cans in the garage.
Check the home from the roof line down.
• Is the roof free and clear from obstructions and moss?
• Are the gutters clear and neatly hung?
• Are the windows clean and free from obstructions (such as overgrown bushes or trees)?
• Are bushes, trees and shrubs neatly pruned?
• Inspect the condition of the paint or siding?
• Is it time to power wash the siding?
• Is touch up paint needed?
• Is the front door in good shape?
• Do flower beds need an upgrade?
• Are plants neatly pruned?
• Is the bed free and clear of weeds?
• Is the bed properly mulched?
• Are flowers in bloom?
• Keep the lawn neatly groomed.
• Is the lawn free from weeds?
• Is the lawn free from grass clippings?
• Is the lawn neatly edged?