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  • Questions that Salt Lake Home Buyers Always Ask (#5)

    Posted on October 20th, 2010 admin No comments

    Why should I test for radon gas?  I’m a non-smoker and we don’t have any kids who will be sleeping in the basement.

    Because you don’t want to be the homeowner left holding the radon card.  You have to consider that someday when you sell this home, the new buyer will test for radon and use it to negotiate a repair or better price.  Testing now, while you are the buyer is a much better strategy.
    Oh, and the elevated risk of lung cancer.  That’s a good reason too.

  • Questions that Salt Lake Home Buyers Always Ask (#4)

    Posted on October 16th, 2010 admin No comments

    Why should we make a large earnest money deposit?  Isn’t that an unnecessary risk?

    A very large earnest money deposit is risky, but just as the earnest money binds you to the contract it also binds the seller.
    In most cases if a buyer defaults on the real estate purchase contract then the seller can retain the earnest money deposit as compensation for time and trouble.  But this rule also works in reverse.
    If the seller defaults on the contract (fails to complete the sale) then you, the buyer, are entitled to a refund of your earnest money AND an equal amount from the seller for your time and trouble.

  • Shed of Dread

    Posted on October 15th, 2010 admin 1 comment

    Maybe it’s their club house?

  • Questions that Salt Lake Home Buyers Always Ask (#3)

    Posted on October 14th, 2010 admin No comments

    We’ve signed all the paperwork and given the title company our down payment check.  Can we get the keys now?

    Probably not.
    Completing the paperwork and making the down payment (called Settlement) is only one part of closing escrow.  The trip point is called Funding.  That is when your lender sends the loan amount in a wire transfer to the title company and the title company confirms it.  Then they notify all the players that they are recording the sale with the county and dispersing funds (called Recording).  Then you get the keys to your Barbie dream house (called Possession).  This all usually happens one business day after Settlement.
    The real estate purchase contract will spell out exactly when possession occurs.  Your agent’s negotiation of this point to your benefit is a key part of the original offer.  Sometimes there is a rent-back, or you may have negotiated extra move out time for the seller in exchange for a better price.
    A buyer with cash can usually get the keys the same day.  And pretty much anything else they want.

  • Questions that Salt Lake Home Buyers always Ask (#2)

    Posted on October 11th, 2010 admin No comments

    I know that the listing didn’t include any appliances, but let’s go ahead and ask them to throw in the washer and dryer.   They can always say no.

    Sometimes this is a good strategy, especially if you are offering at or near the asking price.  But you want to stay focused on the goal of acquiring the home for the best price.  You don’t want to give the seller more reasons to counter-offer.  Because while they are counter-offering your request for the 10 year old Maytag, they will probably go ahead and counter your offering price as well.
    Write a clean offer that can be accepted on the first draft.
    You can go back after the offer is accepted and offer to buy the appliances separately for a yard sale price.
    Remember that you are buying real estate not used appliances.

  • Questions that Salt Lake Home Buyers always Ask (#1)

    Posted on October 9th, 2010 admin No comments

    If the appraisal comes in higher than the purchase price can we get a loan for the higher amount?

    Wouldn’t that be nice.
    But no, the lender will not exceed the necessary loan amount.   For some reason it also doesn’t seem to make the loan any easier or faster to close.  Just be satisfied that you negotiated a great deal.
    Later when you own the home and have a current appraisal that exceeds your principle balance then you may be able to get a second home equity loan.  But that can be risky.  Ask anyone who did this from 2005 to 2008.

  • The Second Bathroom is a Little Photo Shy

    Posted on October 8th, 2010 admin No comments

    We had to sneak up on it, just to see this much.

  • Mistakes that Salt Lake Sellers Make. Number 6

    Posted on October 7th, 2010 admin No comments

    “There’s no sense in listing our home this close to the holidays.  Lets wait until spring when there are more buyers.”

    There are more buyers in the spring.  There are also more sellers.
    It has been my experience that the ratio stays pretty much the same with the difference being that someone who is shopping in the off season usually has to buy a home and is much more motivated.

  • Would You Look at the View From this Room!

    Posted on October 7th, 2010 admin No comments

    Well, you had me fooled.

  • Mistakes that Salt Lake Sellers Make. Number 5

    Posted on October 4th, 2010 admin No comments

    “My tenants are really good about this whole sales thing.  I don’t want them disturbed unless the buyer is serious.  We should have 24 hour notice.”

    If you are selling a multi-unit building or other investment property then yes, that is a reasonable request.  Skip the following rant.

    If you are selling a single family home or condo then it is very unlikely that the buyer with the highest and best offer will be interested in keeping your tenants.  In short, they will not be investors.
    Buyers who are not investors are scared witless by occupying tenants, even if the lease is up before closing.  They don’t like the idea of buying something that was a “rental”.  It just isn’t sexy.
    Selling a rented single family home puts the seller between a rock and proverbial hard place.  It is expensive to vacate paying tenants and stage the home for sale.  Every day on the market is a loss in income.  However the ultimate cost is likely far less because a vacant home that is prepped and staged is much easier to show and will bring a higher price than one that is being occupied by tenants who have nothing to gain by the sale of the property.
    If you really must keep the tenants then I suggest that you put in writing an agreement with them to keep the home in top condition and available to show on short notice in exchange for a cash bonus at closing.
    But only at closing.  Keep the carrot on a long stick.