Saturday, September 20, 2008


Here's your chance to take a look at a unique and absolutely gorgeous home in Flower Mound! Stop by and say hello at 2551 Rock Haven off Wichita Trail and Bruton Orand. I will be there from 1-3 pm. I'd love to show you around this beauty! Bring your checkbook!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Waiting Game

There is so much activity and rushing around the first 10 days you have a contract on a house that after the option period, you are left saying "What next?"
After the option period you are now "pending". That basically means that all that's left is the appraisal. And when I saw all that's left, that's a really big step. We've seen trends recently because of the mortgage fraud and subprime fallout that homes are getting scrutinzed more. What does this mean for you? Let's say you contracted your future abode for $250,000 but the appraisal only comes in at $245,000. The lender is not going to approve this loan because the home isn't worth what the lender is going to give the borrower. What ends up happening is you have to renegotiate the contract or probably lose the deal all together. There have been instances where the seller believe that his or her is worth more than the silly appraiser thinks and absolutely will not negotiate.
Many times, recently, most of the appraisers are just appraising the house at what the contract is. I find this interesting for two reasons. The first is that it seems to me that most appraisers are just taking the contract price because that's what the buyer is willing to pay for it. It is a personal value to that buyer. The second is they may be just covering their rear-ends since the buyer is putting that value on it so why question it!? I had a listing where the appraisal was scheduled and then cancelled. We questioned why this happened. It was a desktop appraisal so he never even came out to the house. It appraised for the contract price.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Next Step

Yippee! You found the house you love, wrote an offer, negotiated and you are now in the "option period". During that 7-10 day period, the most important thing to do is get a third party inspection. I like to get my inspections completed the second or third day of the option period. I will elaborate on that later. Some people have an inspector they know through past experience or I can recommend the person for the job. Not only do you want a property inspection from a very anal and precise inspector, but you also want a wood destroying insect report. This is usually called a termite inspection, but there are also other types of nasty bugs that can ruin a residence like carpenter ants. Inspections will usually run from $250-500 and up, especially if there is a pool involved.
Once the inspection is completed, the hardest part comes: the repair request. From my experience, there are two types of buyers: ones that nit-pick the little stuff and those that focus on the big stuff. I understand buyers want perfection. Unfortunately, perfection isn't real in real estate. Even brand new homes have doors that stick or a crooked face plate. Unless it's electrical, heating, air conditioning, foundation, roof or major plumbing, it can be handled for a few hundred dollars and a call to a local handyman. Is a loose hinge and a couple of GFCI plugs REALLY worth losing the house you love? Oh, and the reason I like having the inspections done ASAP is because if the AC isn't cooling properly, there needs to be some extra time built in to get a professional out to the house to clearly make a diagnosis. I don't like to be rushed and with this is a major financial purchase, I am sure you don't want to be rushed either!
What happens next? Tune in next time!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Does It Mean?

For most people, buying or selling a house isn't something you do every year. OK, so there are investors, those that relocate, or just flat out like to move. Like to move? I hate to move. I haven't been able to find my portable round cake pan and cover since we moved into our home four years ago. I think it's still packed in a box in the garage.
The average American family moves every FIVE years, which is two years sooner than the national average of seven years not too long ago. With that being said, many of you may not remember the process that buying or selling actually is. Being a legal transaction, there are many steps that must take place. Forget to order this or enter that, and your closing is suddenly delayed.
Over the next few days, I plan to discuss things that occur once we (listing and buyer's agent) have an executed contract. Oh, the executed contract is when both parties come to agree on all terms in that said contract and have signed off on it.
Once the contract has been agreed to, we enter into the option period. First time homebuyers and out-of-state buyers don't usually know what this is. For a nominal fee of usually $50-100, you, the buyer have the unrestricted right to back out during a set number of days, for any reason at all. Some reasons to back out are inspection items, financing terms, or you just flat out changed your mind. As the buyer, you lose that money for the right to back out for no reason, but better $100 than a large loan on a home that you realize you hate.
With that being said, here is my Tip of the Day: If you first see the home of your dreams at 10 am on a Monday, make sure that you drive back at 5 pm on a Wednesday to see what kind of traffic, public transportation, neighbors and parking is going on at the property. Knowing that no one parks in their garage after work could be a huge pet peeve of yours. Find that out during the option period!
Next time, I will discuss some other aspects of the contract period. Have a good one!