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November
11

Seller's Guide to Buyer Contingencies

Unless you've had your head buried in the sand (and I'm sure you haven't) you have heard it's a hot "seller's market." And, while the market is cooling a bit, and prices equalizing, this is still true. And it means that if you are going to sell your home, you may receive two or three offers from which to choose.

The offering sales price is important, of course, but so are the contingencies attached to the offer. Some contingencies can greatly reduce the actual offering price. Understanding what these caveats mean can help you choose the best offer from the pack. While the list below will be helpful to you, for the best protection when selling your home, reach out to one of our Sales Partners for experienced, knowledgeable, professional guidance every step of the way.

5 Most Common Contingencies in Home Purchase Agreements

  1. Home Inspection Contingency–This allows the buyer the right, at their own expense, to have conducted a professional inspection to determine the condition of the home. Generally, this must be performed within two weeks. The inspection will address any safety, fire, and system condition issues. The buyer has the right to withdraw from the contract if they are unhappy with the findings of the report.
  2. Appraisal Contingency–A professional appraisal will be ordered by the lender to ensure the sales price offered is equal to or greater than the actual value of the home. If the purchase will be financed, the lender must be certain the home is worth what they are loaning on it.
  3. Final Loan Approval Contingency–This contingency protects the buyer in the event they are unable to obtain final loan approval.
  4. Sales of Current Home Contingency – Sometimes a buyer will make an offer on a new home before their current one has sold. This contingency protects the buyer from having to complete the new sale until their home has sold. This is not uncommon but requires a skilled Realtor to handle the transaction.
  5. Title Contingency–This contingency protects the buyer if the seller does not have the "right" to sell the home due to unforeseen ownership issues, or other clouds on the title.

Contingencies are included in pretty much all real estate contracts. As you review your buyers' offers, make sure you consider both the kind of contingencies and how long before the buyer must remove them. This way, you will choose the offer with the best terms and price. And for the best protection, reach out to the professionals at Picket Fences Realty!

 

November
8

How to Find the Perfect Home

When you're a senior and you're looking for a new home, there are a number of important things to keep in mind. In particular, if you're on a fixed income, or if you're looking to downsize and you're searching for a new residence that will allow you to age in place, you'll want to ensure the location you choose has all of the functionality features you need. A professional realtor from Picket Fences Realty and knowledgeable lender can be advocates in the process.

Long-Term Needs

Even if you're a healthy and active retiree, if you're looking for a home to stay in long-term, it's important to think about your needs not only for today, but into the future. For example, a single story may be preferable to two stories, especially if you have concerns about navigating steps later in life. Likewise, while you may have no problem with general maintenance and upkeep of a property right now, 10 or 15 years down the road, that might be a different story. As such, many seniors opt for a home that's in relatively good repair, and has low maintenance landscaping. A qualified real estate agent can find appropriate properties and help you make the best selection. It's wise to consider homes with safety features, like grab bars and handrails, home security, smart tech, and a first-floor bedroom. 

Financing Your Home

There are a variety of loan products and mortgages on the market, including conventional, FHA, and VA loans. The one that best meets your needs will be based on your unique financial situation. For example, do you have a home to sell? If so, what kind of equity do you have in the property? Most likely you'll need to make a down payment, which could mean selling your current residence before buying a new one. You'll also want to take into consideration your debt-to-income ratio, your earning potential or retirement income, and your liquid assets and investment portfolio. A reputable lender can help assess your finances and evaluate your credit to ensure you're creating a realistic home affordability budget and getting the best rate and terms for your circumstances.

Planning To Downsize?

If you're downsizing from a large residence to a smaller one, you'll need to think about what to do with personal belongings that will no longer fit into a smaller space. According to Family Handyman, it's a good idea to take measurements in your new space before you decide what to keep, especially when it comes to large furniture pieces. You may ultimately opt to have an auction, an estate sale, or to donate or gift certain items to friends or family. This can be a bit of an emotional process, so give some thought as to what is most important for you to keep and transport to your new home. Of course, you may also enjoy the idea of a completely fresh start for this new phase of life, and decide to outfit your new digs with all new furnishings and decor! This can often be a cost-effective option if you're moving a significant distance.

Packing and Moving

Depending on what you want to take with you, and how far you're planning to travel with your relocation, you may opt to utilize professional packers and movers to get you from point A to point B. This can help ensure that all of your possessions are packed appropriately and transported safely without having to put too much physical effort into the work yourself. If you're looking at different moving companies, be sure to interview a few different operations and ask for estimates and timelines in writing. You may also want to insure or personally transport especially valuable items to protect against the potential for damage or loss.

When you're buying a new house as a senior, it's important to consider your location, your short and long-term financial outlook, and the features and amenities that will make your home comfortable as you age.

 

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